Sag Harbor native Margaret “Maggie” Elizabeth McMahon, who disappeared from her station at a Marine base in California last week, appeared to be safe when she was captured on a video surveillance camera attempting to withdraw money from an ATM in central Kansas on April 1.
The 20-year-old marine’s relatives ?in New York said publicly last week ?that they feared she might have been kidnapped, possibly by her new husband. The U.S. Naval Criminal ?Investigative Services is continuing to investigate the disappearance, though NCIS spokesman Ed Buice said he ?does not believe foul play was involved.
The family did not return calls seeking comment after the video surfaced.
Ms. McMahon, a lance corporal in the Marine Corps, married fellow Marine, Private George “Kevyn” Reid, 22, in January, and both were scheduled to be deployed to Iraq later this year. They both worked on radios in Humvees, Ms. McMahon at Camp Pendleton and Mr. Reid at the nearby Miramar Marine Corps Air Station.
The new video prompted detectives from the Escondido Police Department in California to drop the missing person investigation launched days earlier. In a press release, the police department said Ms. McMahon was outside the jurisdiction of the department and turned the investigation over to the NCIS.
Ms. McMahon’s family said the couple had been fighting prior to their disappearance.
On March 30, Ms. McMahon called relatives and friends saying that her husband was furious that she had been assigned a work duty on Saturday. She told relatives and friends that ?same weekend that she and her husband were having marital problems. The couple had dated for only six weeks before their civil union, and no one ?in Ms. McMahon’s family had attended the wedding or met her new husband.
“She spoke to me on Friday,” said Ms. McMahon’s sister, Kimberleigh McMahon, 26, of Manorville, referring to March 28, three days before her sister’s disappearance. “She was very happy. She had been on the range throwing grenades. We were bantering back and forth.”
Ms. McMahon said that her sister’s tone changed dramatically in frantic calls to her family over the weekend, and that on Sunday night she was on the phone to friends and became very upset when her husband walked into the room.
“He was very jealous. He was giving her a hard time because she was working with men,” said Kimberleigh McMahon, who added that she and the rest of her family are usually in ?constant contact with their sister and have never known her to not stay in touch.
Monday morning, Maggie McMahon showed up for work on time but left her station mid-morning to file papers to change her last name due to her marriage and hasn’t been seen since.
Escondido police said that they’d searched the couple’s apartment on April 2 and found nothing that belonged to them other than their furniture and military uniforms.
Ms. McMahon’s mother, Kathryn McMahon, a former Sag Harbor resident who now lives in South Otselic, said that the Marines do not ordinarily immediately launch an investigation when young soldiers go missing, but that Military Police had begun to investigate her disappearance as a possible kidnapping that night because they knew the couple was having problems.
“Kids go missing all the time. They don’t take action for 30 days. Nobody gets too worried about it,” said Ms. McMahon.
Ms. McMahon also said that on Tuesday night someone withdrew $400 using her daughter’s debit card at an ATM in Hazelwood, Missouri. She added that her daughter’s cell phone company has been unable to locate her daughter through satellite tracking because her phone is either not on or the battery is dead.
Members of Ms. McMahon’s family also said that Mr. Reid has been checking e-mail pleas for information on his wife’s whereabouts on his MySpace account, but he has not responded.
Maggie McMahon is the seventh of 11 children who were raised in a military family in Sag Harbor. She attended the Stella Maris Regional Catholic School in Sag Harbor through eighth grade, before transferring to Pierson High School and finishing her senior year at West Babylon High School. She spent a year at Elmira College in upstate New York before joining the Marines last year.
Mr. Reid listed his hometown as Lafayette, Louisiana, on his MySpace page, though his mother lives in North Carolina and his father lives in Montana. In Mr. Reid’s profile on his MySpace page he describes himself as “a fun, outgoing, charming, smart, [talkative], friendly person. Though many tell me I am different. They say I come off cocky and [arrogant].” He adds later in the profile, “sorry ladies, I’m happily married!”
Ms. McMahon’s MySpace account is filled with frantic messages from friends and relatives begging her to contact them.
She’s listed on the networking site as “Mrs. Reid” and wrote that her greatest weakness is “that boy with the blue green eyes, and that crooked mischievous smile.” She also lists Iraq as the place she’d least like to visit.
Kathryn McMahon said that her daughter was clear-eyed about the potential dangers of deployment and that Maggie was due to leave in June and Kevyn was scheduled to leave in September.
“The closer they got to deploying, the more they were going to be called in to work extra hours,” she said of the effect the stress of leaving was having on the couple. “She was sick of his emotional roller-coaster. She said, ‘I’ve just gotta do what I’ve gotta do. It’s another 36 months out of my life.'”
Ms. McMahon’s family is offering a $12,000 reward for information leading to her whereabouts.