Wichita Falls, TX Buried by Bulldozer, Dec 1949

Puppy's Whine Gives Clue To Fate of Five-Year-Olds

WICHITA FALLS, Tex., Dec. 23 (UP) - Two little boys, killed when they were buried by a bulldozer, may have lain unfound forever had not a puppy's mournful whining led searchers to the spot authorities said today.

The two five-year-old boys, Billy Rogers and Donnie Tolten, disappeared yesterday afternoon.

More than 1,000 persons joined in a hunt for them in fear that they may have been kidnapped. Billy was the son of C.L. Rogers, a well-to-do contractor. Donnie was the son of Mrs. Reba Tolten. His grandfather works for Rogers' construction company.

Late in the evening a volunteer searcher, H. W. Freeman, noticed a puppy whining at a spot where a bulldozer had leveled ground earlier in the day.

A power shovel, rushed to the search, found the boys buried in the earth. Billy's body was found first under a foot of dirt and gravel. Ten minutes later Donnie was found under two feet of gravel.

A coroner said they had died six hours earlier from suffocation.

Bulldozer Operator Leon Price told police he had seen the boys playing with the puppy on a hill near where he was working.

He warned them not to play there.

"I thought they had left," he said.

The boys apparently were playing in one of the many gullies in the area when the bull-dozer pushed the earth onto them, unnoticed by the operator.

The bulldozer was owned by Billy's dad and was doing work for his construction company which has its headquarters on the hill where the boys were seen playing with the puppy.

The Ogden Standard Examiner, Ogden, UT 23 Dec 1949