That’s how one Montgomery County Police Lieutenant described Tuesday’s sentencing in the 42-year-old Lyon sisters’ case. He didn’t say this because of his work as a law enforcement member.
March 25, 1975
“I could shut my eyes, and I’ll shut ‘em right now, and I can just remember that day vividly and I’ll never forget it,” said 52-year-old Lt. Eric Bunting.
He was around 10 years old in 1975.
Bunting and his group of friends were one of the last kids to see 10-year-old Sheila and 12-year-old Katherine Lyon before the two sisters headed to the Wheaton Plaza Shopping Mall and were never seen or heard from again.
“Just that day and the proceeding day afterwards, it was a tough time,” he said.
Bunting met WUSA9 at the intersection of Drumm Ave. and Faulkner Pl., right off of University Blvd. in the Kensington section of Montgomery County. He says he and three other boys were playing basketball in his next-door neighbor’s front driveway. He remembers it was Spring Break on March 25, 1975.
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“That day Kate and Sheila are walking up the street. We were playing basketball in the driveway here and we met ‘em – we walked to them for 10 or 15 minutes,” said the Lt. “They were classmates and went to the pool. We went to Kenmont Swim Club up the street here. [Wwe were] friends with the family and the other brother and sister so that’s when we first met them and they told us they were going up to the Plaza, Wheaton Plaza, which is just right up the street, for the day.”
It’s an account Bunting would repeat for investigators over-and-over again for the next four decades.
“Back then we’d run out and play, even in the evenings and stuff and they [parents] wouldn’t worry about us. We hung out in groups but always after that incident, their disappearance, it changed our lives and what we did. We were always worried,” said Bunting, who also says it carried into how he raised his children.
“You know, I raised my kids in a neighborhood with a cul-de-sac and we didn’t want to take our eyes off our children, because we were just worried. We just had that in the back of our minds. It just – just changed our lives.”
When he became a police officer, Bunting says he would make sure to stop by his old neighborhood, just to check that everything was okay.
September 12, 2017
“Today, it's tough, but at the same time it’s closure. I just, I prayed for the Lyon family for years. Jay [Lyon] is a member of our department, I pray for him and his family and finally, finally for them, closure,” said Bunting.
He said even talking to WUSA9 on Tuesday was a sense of closure for him. He hoped it would come to a some sort of finality with justice for the Lyon family.
Lt. Bunting says he’s not sure, but he did commend the work of Montgomery County investigators for keeping this case alive for 42-years.
Bunting declined when he was asked if he had any words for the suspect.