Unsolved Disappearances That Will Haunt You

Unsolved! It is a word that will inspire different reactions in different people. Some, who love a new mystery to dig into, might grow obsessed with each detail that does exist. Some, who prefer closure and riddles with solutions, will feel an itch in their brain every time they think of a scenario with no satisfactory conclusion. Others might tremble in fear (of experiencing such a tragedy) or sympathy (for those who have already been there).

Whatever the reaction, unsolved mysteries are an obsession for many people. But while unsolved murders are the obvious candidate for obsession and investigation, unsolved disappearances are perhaps even more mysterious and haunting. With a murder, the crime itself is clear: There is a body, and a murder has happened. But with disappearances, not even the crime itself is known. Was it a kidnapping? A murder? Was there even a crime at all? Did someone just run off? Were they under duress? Did they just want a new life? 

These are some of the strangest and most mysterious unsolved disappearances in history.

Sodder children

The unsolved disappearance of the five Sodder children in 1945 is one of the strangest vanishings ever. In the middle of the night on Christmas 1945, a fire broke out at the Sodder home in Fayetteville, West Virginia, with parents George and Jennie and nine of their 10 children at home in bed. Within 45 minutes the house had burned down. George and Jennie escaped with four of their children, but five never made it out of the house. George tried to get back in to help them, but his ladder was mysteriously missing. He tried to drive his trucks next to the house so he could climb to the upper windows, but neither of his trucks would start. Calls to the fire department received no response from the operator. By the new year, the coroner had issued five death certificates for the Sodder children left in the house.

But here's the thing: There were no bodies. No bones, no remains of any kind. Signs pointed to arson and to their phone lines being cut. George, who was actually Italian immigrant Giorgio Soddu, remembered a number of encounters in which he was threatened for his vocal criticism of Mussolini. The Sodders never believed the children died, as evidenced by a billboard looking for information that stood by the highway for nearly 40 years. 

Flannan Isles lighthouse keepers

In December 1900, a ship landed at Eilean Mor, one of the seven islands of the Flannan Isles near Scotland, to drop off a lighthouse keeper and relieve one of the three currently stationed there. But ... there were no lighthouse keepers there to greet them. All three — Thomas Marshall, James Ducat, and Donald McArthur — were gone, and things at the lighthouse were ... not right. An untouched dinner was set on the table, and a nearby chair was overturned. The clocks were all stopped, and the lamps were prepared for lighting but were unlit. Two of the three men's coats were missing, and the doors and gate were tightly shut. Signs pointed to the men having been gone for about a week by the time their disappearance was discovered.

It was strictly against the rules for all three keepers to leave the lighthouse at the same time, and these were experienced men who wouldn't flout safety rules lightly. Investigators concluded they must have gone to secure a crane and been blown off a cliff or swept out to sea by an unexpected wave. And in fact, the final logs at the lighthouse did note storms so severe that the three seasoned mariners were crying and praying. On the other hand, there was no record anywhere else in the area of bad weather during this time period, and no bodies were ever found.

[Featured image by JJM via Wikimedia Commons | Cropped and scaled | CC BY-SA 2.0]

Asha Degree

On the night before Valentine's Day in 2000, sometime after 2:30 a.m., O'Bryant Degree was awakened by the sound of his older sister Asha's bed squeaking in the room they shared in Cleveland County, North Carolina. Thinking that she was simply rolling over in her bed, he went back to sleep. However, as ABC News reported, 9-year-old Asha was actually getting dressed and grabbing a backpack she had already filled with clothes and other items and preparing to leave the house, never to be seen by her family again.

She was seen, however, by a number of motorists who spotted a girl fitting Asha's description walking down the highway at about 4 a.m. in pouring rain. One driver, rightly figuring that a 9-year-old girl walking down the road in the middle of the night in a rainstorm was something worth looking into, turned their car around to check on the girl, only for her to run off into the woods.

That was the last time anyone saw Asha Degree. A search of the woods near where she was seen running by the helpful driver revealed a shed that held candy wrappers, pencils, markers, and a Mickey Mouse hair bow that Degree's parents identified as Asha's. In the spookiest, "this is probably not just a runaway situation" detail, a year later, Asha's backpack was found buried, wrapped in garbage bags, 26 miles away. Her family hasn't given up hope, however, and the investigation was even ramped up in September 2017.

Ambrose Bierce

Ambrose Bierce is probably the one person on this list more famous for what he did before he disappeared than for the disappearance itself. He was an author famous for his cynically satirical The Devil's Dictionary, which gives definitions such as "Politeness, n. The most acceptable hypocrisy," and supernatural stories such as "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" and "The Damned Thing." Alternatively, you might know him for writing the stories that inspired Season 1 of "True Detective."

When you combine his penchant for cynicism and the macabre with his history as a veteran of the Civil War, it may not entirely surprise you that he had what Time describes as a "morbid fascination with horror and death." This led to him making the pretty wild decision at age 71 to leave behind his life of boredom in the United States to witness Pancho Villa's Mexican revolution in 1913. He sent his cousin a super reassuring letter saying, "Good-bye — if you hear of my being stood up against a Mexican stone wall and shot to rags please know that I think that a pretty good way to depart this life. It beats old age, disease, or falling down the cellar stars."

He was never heard from again once he set out for Mexico. Some believe he was killed in the siege of Ojinaga in 1914, while others believe it was all a ruse and he never went to Mexico at all, but ran off and died by suicide somewhere.

Rachel Trlica, Lisa Wilson, and Julie Moseley

Seventeen-year-old Rachel Trlica went to do some Christmas shopping on the morning of December 23, 1974, with her friend, 14-year-old Lisa Renee Wilson, and Wilson's 9-year-old neighbor Julie Moseley, at the new Seminary South Shopping Center in Fort Worth, Texas. According to an article on a website maintained by Trlica's brother, the girls were supposed to be home by 4 p.m., but they were never seen again.

Trlica's car was found parked outside Sears, and witnesses placed the three girls inside the shopping center during the day. Locked inside the car were all the gifts the girls had bought, which makes it seem unlikely they just ran away. Why would you pay for your layaway before starting a new life?

The last sign of life from the girls came in the form of a letter sent to Trlica's husband (yes, the 17-year-old high school student was married, but this was Texas in the 1970s, so, you know) that read, "I know I'm going to catch it, but we just had to get away. We're going to Houston. See you in about a week. The car is in Sear's upper lot. Love Rachel." Besides the other errors in the letter, it looked as if Rachel had misspelled her own name on the first pass, and one of the numbers in the postmark was backward.

Over 40 years later, the families have not given up hope, and they release pigeons in their honor each year.

Diane Augat

According to the St. Petersburg Times, Diane Augat disappeared in April 1998 in Pasco County, Florida, and was reported missing by her mother on Good Friday of that year. In the years before her disappearance, Augat had struggled with mental illness and addiction, and according to her mother, "was very trusting and liked men with money."

It's hard to say whether her issues or personal associations had something to do with her disappearance, but the things we do know are pretty disturbing. A few days after Augat went missing, she left a message on her mother's answering machine in which she can be heard saying, "Help, help!" followed by the sounds of a scuffle and someone saying, "Hey, gimme that" before hanging up. The caller ID simply said "Starlight" and when Augat's mother called the number back, there was no answer.

Two days after the phone call, the tip of Augat's middle finger was found on the side of the same highway she had last been seen walking down five days earlier. And then, a week after that, a bag of Augat's clothes were found neatly folded inside a bag that had been placed in a convenience store freezer. And according to the Charley Project, the day after the Times reported all that in 2000, another bag was found in another convenience store, this one a Ziploc bag full of makeup labeled "Diane."

Tara Calico

On the morning of September 20, 1988, 19-year-old Tara Calico went out for a bike ride in Belen, New Mexico, and planned to meet her boyfriend for a tennis date at noon. When her mother didn't hear from her by the afternoon, she went looking for her daughter and started to worry when she found the tape Tara had been listening to in a ditch by the side of the highway. Things got worse when police found bits of Tara's Walkman and bike at a campground 20 miles from her home. Witnesses said they saw Tara on her bike and a truck suspiciously following her, but there were no real conclusive leads.

The next summer, however, across the country in Port St. Joe, Florida, a woman who had been shopping found a Polaroid picture on the ground in the grocery store parking lot. In the picture were a teenage girl and a young boy tied up with tape over their mouths on top of a mattress in what appeared to be the back of a van. Tara's mother was convinced that this girl was Tara, due to the resemblance and the presence of a scar on the leg of the girl in the picture similar to one Tara also had.

There has never been a conclusive link between Tara and the picture, nor has the boy ever been identified.

Brian Shaffer

The scary thing about most of these stories are the details we don't know. Who made that phone call? Where did the person run? Was there someone else in the house, or was this an accident or foul play? While there were cameras all over Columbus, Ohio's Ugly Tuna Saloona on April 1, 2006, that hasn't helped anyone discover the whereabouts of Brian Shaffer since he disappeared that day. In fact, the cameras show him going in the bar but never show him going out.

The recordings account for every other person in the bar, both entering and exiting. Shaffer is seen going in at 1:15 a.m., but he never comes out any of the exits. Searches through the bar, the adjacent alley, nearby trash cans, and the nearby river turned up nothing.

Despite a number of hoax tips, hope for Shaffer has been kept alive. His girlfriend would call his cell phone every night, and every night it would go straight to voicemail. One night about six months after his disappearance, however, it rang, pinging a cell tower just outside Columbus. This slim hope has been enough to keep his family and friends going, more than a decade later.

[Featured image by Carvalho.26 via Wikimedia Commons | Cropped and scaled | CC BY-SA 4.0]

Maura Murray

The disappearance of Maura Murray in February 2004 is so long, complicated, and baffling, we couldn't possibly cover all the details here, but here's the short version: 21-year-old nursing student Maura Murray emailed her professors at the University of Massachusetts Amherst that she would be missing class due to a death in her family. This was a lie. She emailed her boyfriend, packed a bag, took $280 out of an ATM, spent $40 of that at a liquor store and started driving.

Between 7 and 7:30 p.m., Murray skidded off the road into a snowbank where she got stuck, 140 miles north of Amherst in Haverhill, New Hampshire. A school bus driver stopped to ask if she needed help. She said no, but he called 911 anyway. The police arrived 10 minutes later, and in that 10-minute window, Maura Murray vanished from the face of the Earth.

The police found her textbooks in the car, together with a spilled bottle of wine and a printout of MapQuest directions to Burlington, Vermont. But there was no wallet, no keys, and no cell phone. Oh, and strangest of all: no footprints in the snow anywhere around the car.

Joan Risch

The disappearance of housewife Joan Risch from her home in Lincoln, Massachusetts, in 1961 is also unsolved and involves a not insignificant amount of blood, but there might be a chance it's not the result of a tragedy.

As reported by the Boston Globe, on the afternoon of October 24, 1961, Risch's 4-year-old daughter went to a neighbor and said, "Mommy is gone and the kitchen is covered with red paint." The paint was actually Risch's blood. Police also found the telephone ripped out of the wall and a bloody fingerprint that has never been identified. The blood trailed into the driveway, but no body or weapon was ever found.

Further investigation led the police to looking into Risch's borrowing history at the local library. It seems she had checked out and read a shocking 25 books that summer, most on a similar theme: unexplained disappearances. These books included one called "Into Thin Air" about a woman who went missing, leaving behind only blood smears and a towel. Could she have been researching before faking her own disappearance?

Michelle Vanek

On September 24, 2005, Michelle Vanek and her longtime hiking partner tackled the arduous Mount of the Holy Cross (pictured above), a "14er" — or mountain that reaches over 14,000 feet in elevation — near Vail, Colorado. The mountain is so-called because of the cross-shaped cracks that become visible in the winter when they fill with snow.

Shortly after starting the hike, Vanek seemed to be suffering from dehydration and altitude sickness, leaving her unable to reach the top. When they were close, Vanek and her partner split up, with Vanek heading back and her partner briefly reaching the summit. They had plans to meet up on the route down, but things went horribly wrong. Local authorities think Vanek missed the trail she meant to take by just 100 yards and instead took a rougher path into an area known as Angelica Couloir, which was basically a dead end. When they didn't meet up, rescue teams scoured the mountain for weeks, but sub-freezing temperatures combined with a snowstorm blanketed the area, and they never found her.

It wasn't until 18 years later that any trace emerged. In 2022, a father and son found a boot in the couloir, and forensic evidence determined it was hers. Based on the evidence, it's thought that Vanek froze to death alone on the mountain as rescue crews searched for her nearby. The difference between life and death may have been just a couple yards a few breaths, but we'll never know Vanek's ultimate fate. 

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370

The chilling story of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 begins on March 8, 2014, when the aircraft took off from Kuala Lumpur headed for Beijing. Onboard were 239 souls, including passengers and crew, and everything seemed normal during take off just after midnight. However, things took a dark turn at 1:21 a.m.

It's unknown exactly what transpired in the cockpit, but the plane inexplicably stopped sending signals to the air traffic controllers and disappeared. The Malaysian military's radar tracked the plane flipping around to head southwest towards the deep of the Indian Ocean but eventually lost it. It still communicated a "keep-alive" signal for several hours after it left radar, but it never relayed a final location. It's thought that the plane made it roughly 400 miles before running out of fuel and crashing into the ocean, but that's far from definitive. Search crews combed the area, and within two years they had covered more than 45,000 square miles, but no significant trace of the plane has ever shown up.

The government's official report offered no concrete conclusions, and it's a complete mystery what happened to Flight 370 and the 239 people on board. Most people blame the pilot or his co-pilot, Zaharie Ahmad Shah and Fariq Abdul Hamid, respectively, but that's only speculation. Could the plane have been hijacked, or was there a mechanical failure? Did the 237 people outside of the cockpit even realize they were headed to their deaths? Sadly, the answers we'll likely never know.

Jimmy Hoffa

The unsolved disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa might be the most infamous missing persons case in American history. Hoffa had made his career working in the union business in the 1930s-1940s, eventually becoming head of the Teamsters, the biggest union in the United States, in 1957. After finding himself incarcerated in federal prison, he was released in 1971 on the condition he cease his union activities for several years.

Following his release, Hoffa, began to run afoul of the Chicago mob, who he had previously rubbed shoulders with. On July 30, 1975, he was supposed to meet mobster Anthony Provenzano at a restaurant in Detroit, and he hasn't been seen since. It's unknown what happened, but it's long been thought he was the victim of a mob assassination. According to the "Hoffex Memo" from the FBI (via PBS), among the most likely motives for the hit was Hoffa's attempted reentry into the Teamsters, which upset the mob because they thought he wouldn't be as controllable as the current president. Additionally, Hoffa may have been planning on testifying against them about illicit Teamster crimes.

Nobody knows what happened to Hoffa or his body, but there are some eerie hypotheses. Some think he was buried below the old Giants Stadium in New Jersey, at a New Jersey landfill, or even dismembered and shipped abroad. He was declared legally dead in 1982, but his body has never been found, and his disappearance is still a gigantic mystery today. 

Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan

Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan might just be the most famous unsolved disappearances in American lore. Earhart was a very important women in aviation history, known for her groundbreaking flights across the Atlantic Ocean. In 1937, Earhart and her navigator Noonan attempted to fly around the world, but tragedy befell them before they could complete the journey.

They began on May 20, 1937, in Oakland, and just over a month later all they had to do was cross the Pacific Ocean from southeast Asia back to California and they were finished. Earhart and Noonan departed from Papua New Guinea on July 2, aiming to land 2,500 miles away at Howland Island. However, when they were seemingly close, she cryptically radioed the Coast Guard that they were low on fuel and disoriented, and the world never heard from either her or Noonan again. The U.S. Navy immediately conducted a massive search effort, but even after looking more than ¼ of a million miles around Howland, they never found a trace (via The New York Times).

It's thought that the aviators could not locate Howland and circled until they ran out of fuel, finally crashing into the ocean. It's hard to imagine how they may have felt as the fuel gauge dwindled while they desperately scoured for any signs of the island, and it's heartbreaking to think about. Without bodies, we'll never know their ultimate fate, however gruesome it may have been.

Flight 19

The mystery of Flight 19 has captivated observers since it bafflingly took place just a few months after the end of the Second World War. Flight 19 — which consisted of five planes of Navy students — departed on December 5, 1945, from Ft. Lauderdale on a practice bombing run. Their route was supposed to take them in a large circle through Grand Bahamas Island — smack dab in the middle of the Bermuda Triangle.

Almost immediately after dropping their bombs, either due to malfunction or human error, Flight 19 lost their bearings. For some reason, the instructor thought they had flown southwest instead of north towards Grand Bahamas Island as planned. It's believed that they were actually on the right track and that the instructor was disoriented and mistook the Bahamas for the Florida Keys, and tragically decided to fly east — thinking he would come up on mainland Florida.

His own students appeared to realize the mistake but they continued to follow orders and fly east towards the open ocean, unknowingly sealing their fate. Soon, Flight 19 was out of fuel and out of hope, and they probably crashed into the sea looking in vain for Florida. The Navy immediately searched over 300,000 square miles of territory, but not a scrap of any of the planes ever turned up. In the years since the disappearance, people have attributed it to everything from human error to alien abductions to even the enigma of the Bermuda Triangle — but we'll never truly know.

Lauren Spierer

For parents, few things are as gut-wrenching or terrifying as losing a child, but that's an unfortunate reality that Lauren Spierer's parents have been dealing with since 2011. At the time of her disappearance, Spierer was a student at the University of Indiana, but she had recently been in trouble with the law for public intoxication. On June 3, 2011, Spierer met some friends at a local bar — she had to use a fake ID due to being under 21 — where she drank enough to leave without either her shoes or phone, and she was reportedly falling down.

Eventually, she made it to the home of an acquaintance but left after he passed out. Her fate after leaving the apartment barefoot and phoneless is unknown, and some disturbing theories have arisen. Back at Spierer's residence, authorities found cocaine, leaving some to believe she was heinously kidnapped and killed as part of a drug debt to a local biker gang. There is also a theory that a released convict may have taken her as she walked intoxicated down the street and another saying she overdosed on ecstasy and alcohol and was callously tossed in the Ohio River.

For Spierer's parents, the worst part is not knowing what happened, or how she spent her potential final moments. In an effort to find their daughter, they hired private detectives and worked with the FBI cold case department, but they have still come up agonizingly empty-handed. 

Frederick Valentich

October 21, 1978, was the last time the world heard the voice of pilot Frederick Valentich, and his evanescence is still confusing and slightly terrifying today. Valentich was flying a Cessna 182L (pictured above) from Moorabbin to King Island in Australia, but upon his approach to King Island, things turned strange. Valentich radioed back to the air traffic controllers that a large unidentified flying object (UFO) was flying circles above him, almost as if it was taunting him.

According to Valentich's transmissions, the UFO would go from flying at extreme speeds to standing still, had weird shiny and metallic lights on it, and even briefly vanished. After tracking it for just a short period, Valentich's engine started to falter. After relaying one last transmission about the UFO being directly above him, Valentich's radio stopped communicating, and it was never reactivated. Valentich had vanished. Authorities quickly searched the area for any sign of Valentich's plane, or the UFO, but found no aircraft and no body.

According to Skeptical Inquirer, it's likely Valentich approached King's Island when he saw the celestial lights of several planets and a star, which he may have mistaken as UFO lights. As he became disoriented, he may have stopped paying attention to his instrumentation and started careening towards the ocean. However, that is in no way definitive. We'll never know what was really going on inside Valentich's plane that night, or where he really ended up, but hopefully, he stayed on this planet.

[Featured image by Robert Frola via Wikimedia Commons | Cropped and scaled | GNU FDL]

MV Joyita

For more than 65 years, the mystery of the ship the MV Joyita has confused and befuddled many. The Joyita set sail on October 3, 1955, heading out from Western Samoa to the Tokelau Islands. The ship had 25 people on board including crew, but when it was found a month later it was completely deserted. It was finally located nearly 600 miles in the wrong direction by a passing merchant vessel the "Tuvalu."

When the Tuvalu's crew boarded the Joyita they found the ship was empty of any life, as well as of lifeboats, rafts, food — except a refrigerator full of meat — ship logs, a sextant, radios, compasses, or really anything useful. It's unclear why the passengers left the ship, though it's potentially because of engine failure which would have left them drifting aimlessly at sea. Other theories include pirates, a collision with a larger boat, or being thrown overboard by an earthquake. One particularly disturbing one has the 25 passengers and crew deliberately sinking the boat in order to escape their old lives and begin new ones in another country.

The most logical speculation is that the engine was taking on water, leaving those onboard no chance but to abandon ship. They may have incorrectly thought that emergency help was on the way, opting to wait in the lifeboats and rafts for rescuers who would never come. No trace of the Joyita's passengers or crew have ever turned up, and their fate is still unknown.

Felix Moncla & Robert Wilson

The early 1950s was a tense time for the United States. It was the height of the Cold War and there were widespread fears the Soviet Union was going to obliterate everyone with a nuclear weapon, putting the entire military and defense system on edge. One particular incident from November 23, 1953 still stands out seven decades later: The mysterious and chilling case of 1st LT. Felix Moncla and 2nd LT. Robert Wilson of the U.S. Air Force.

That night, Moncla and Wilson were sent to investigate a radar blip near the Canadian border at Lake Superior, but they never returned. After seemingly catching up with it, both Moncla and Wilson's aircraft, along with the blip, vanished from radar without a trace. Even after a large search of the area, neither Moncla, Wilson, nor their F-89 could be found anywhere.

What makes the mystery really creepy is the Air Force's contradictory explanations. At first, they said the two vanished from radar, before later saying they had crashed into the lake after successfully completing the mission. To complicate things further, the Canadian aircraft they said was intercepted was officially denied to have existed by the Canadian government, and the Air Force deleted the case files before an investigation could take place.

So what did happen to Wilson and Moncla, and what were they tracking? The possibilities are endless, and range from normal, like a case of vertigo leading to a crash, to horrifying — like the presence of extraterrestrials.

[Image by Gord Heath via Wikimedia Commons | Cropped and scaled | CC BY-SA 3.0]

Amy Wroe Bechtel

A former track sensation at the University of Wyoming, Amy Wroe Bechtel has been missing since July 24, 1997. Just 24 years old at the time of her disappearance, Bechtel went running that afternoon in the Shoshone National Forest in central Wyoming. When she did not turn up after, authorities initially thought she may have become lost in the dense forest, which is populated by large animals, but things quickly turned more sinister.

Search-and-rescuers could not find a trace of Bechtel anywhere, and there were contradictory reports about her whereabouts prior to running. Authorities found her car near a trail, but couldn't even confirm whether or not she had been the one to actually drive it there. They soon suspected foul play was involved. Her husband refused to take a polygraph test, much to the ire of authorities and Bechtel's family, and his alibi could not be immediately confirmed by investigators. He was named a suspect by authorities, and her family became skeptical of his innocence.

The Bechtel family put up fliers with a reward going up to $100,000, but no one has ever been able to tell them what happened that day. The possibilities surrounding her vanishment are endless, and many of them are grim. If authorities are right and she was potentially kidnapped, there's no telling where she may be today decades later, or if she's even alive. Bechtel's family will likely never have full closure over their daughter's disappearance, and it's heartbreaking still today.

Bryce Laspisa

The last time anybody ever heard from Bryce Laspisa was early on the morning of August 30, 2013. Laspisa was on his way to his parents' home from Sierra College, when he called and briefly talked to his mother. Tragically, there was no way she could have known that would be the last time she would ever speak to her son.

Just a few hours later, Laspisa's car was found crashed into a ravine, but Laspisa was not inside, and there was no trace of where he went. The day prior, Laspisa had been reported missing by his parents, but was apparently safe and okay by the time he called them early on the morning of the 30th. When authorities found his abandoned car they immediately began an intensive search for him that lasted weeks, but they couldn't find any clues as to what had happened. He wasn't that far from home when he had called his mother, but was apparently too tired to make it all the way and said he was going to pull over and sleep.

According to friends, Laspisa was having a tough time prior to his disappearance, including being kicked out of college the previous year. His car was found near Castaic Lake (pictured above), and he may have accidentally drowned to death, possibly stumbling into the lake after suffering a concussion from the crash. The search for Laspisa continues through late 2023, with little sign of turning around.

Anthonette Cayedito

The dark story of Anthonette Cayedito's disappearance is as disturbing as it is chilling and tragic. Cayedito was just a 9-year-old girl when she disappeared without a trace on April 6, 1986, from her home in Gallup, New Mexico. Sometime very early in the morning, a stranger knocked on the door to their apartment. With her mother asleep, Cayedito decided to answer it herself, and it's thought that she was kidnapped when she did. 

As soon as she woke and discovered her daughter was missing, Cayedito's mother called the police and they started a manhunt to scour the area, but it was unsuccessful and the trail went cold. A year later, a young girl identifying herself as Cayedito called the local police department. They said they had been kidnapped and were still in the state, then abruptly hung up after being scolded by an angry male voice. But it's unclear how authentic the phone call really was. 

Even 30 years later, the case was still considered open and active by Gallup police, though no significant leads appear to have recently come out. In 2023, the FBI released an age-progressed photo of Cayedito hoping to find new leads (via Albuquerque Journal). Cayedito's disappearance is undoubtedly one of the most tragic and disconcerting in recent memory, and we can only hope she is ultimately okay.