By: Jennifer Beierle, MPN Staff Writer
Binghamton, NY (MPN) – On January 11, 2006, thirty-four year old Bambi Lyn Madden left her house at 29 Winding Way in Binghamton, NY, to walk to a nearby convenience store. Though it was 11pm, the petite blonde-haired, blue-eyed wife and mother of three, was just going to run down the road quick for beer. She set off with $5 in her pocket, wearing a pair of size 3 black jeans, a black medium-sized South Pole brand puffy jacket, and a pair of size 6 Timberland boots. It was a cold, dark January night in upstate NY, and one would expect anyone out walking in the weather would want to make their trek quickly. But hour after hour passed and eventually morning came, and still she had not returned. Bambi Lyn Madden had vanished in the night.
In the nearly seven years that have passed since Bambi’s disappearance, Binghamton police have aggressively followed up on every tip they have received. Still, there’s been nothing that would explain what happened to the friendly, loving young mother. Her family briefly considered the possibility that she had left voluntarily, but quickly their concern shifted to fear – especially for her children, ages 19, 17, and 9. Bambi had been working with the courts to get joint custody of her granddaughter, and was due in court for a hearing on the matter the day after her disappearance. According to her sister, Jackie Fiske, Bambi had been excited about the prospect of going to court and gaining shared custody of her granddaughter, when they spoke just one day prior to Bambi’s disappearance. It was completely unlike her to go to such lengths for her grandchild and then fail to show up in court. Her family now knew there was something drastically wrong.
Even though police have no evidence suggesting foul play in Bambi’s disappearance, they say they have not ruled out the possibility. Police also have no evidence of any cellphone pings or credit card use, because Bambi owned neither. With no sign of Bambi on the local store surveillance cameras, no phones or credit cards to trace, and nobody coming forward with information, police have very little to go on. What they do know is that, although she was known to frequent the Clinton Street bars “the Brass Rail Grill” and “Sara’s Pub”, nobody at either establishment recalls having seen her since the night she vanished. Having dredged the river and interviewed family members and friends repeatedly, police say all of their potential leads have been exhausted. Her family has been open and cooperative, readily admitting that Bambi had a misdemeanor drug charge in her past, likely in an effort to hold nothing back that may help find her. Binghamton police have said, however, that there is no reason to think that these aspects of Bambi’s life had anything to do with her disappearance.
Bambi’s friends and family members describe her as friendly and without enemies. They, and fellow community members, have gathered at candlelight vigils held in Bambi’s honor many times over the past almost-seven years, often at the One Stop at 283 Front Street in Binghamton where Bambi was heading to buy beer the night she vanished. If history serves as an example, another will be held either there or at the family’s church this coming January. Her parents, William and Phyllis Burns, have said their hope for Bambi’s safe return fades as years go by. Perhaps somebody, somewhere will give them the gift of information this holiday season, so that if nothing else they can lay their daughter’s body to rest.
If you have any information regarding the disappearance of Bambi Lyn Madden, please call the Binghamton Police Department at (607)772-7080 or contact your local FBI office.
Bambi Lyn Madden’s NamUs case file can be found at https://www.findthemissing.org/en/cases/694/0/.