One of my ‘guilty geek pleasures’ is sitting through reruns of Unsolved Mysteries – that guy’s cheesy moustache, that grainy low quality 80’s camera quality…I loved it then…and I still love it now.
Over the years, a high majority of the missing persons cases that the show has covered have been solved…but one in particular still stands out as heartbreaking…and unsolved…
The Anthonette Cayedito Missing case from 1986.
Nine-year-old Anthonette lived with her mother Penny and her two sisters in an apartment in a very poor area of of Gallup, New Mexico.
On April the 6th, 1986, Penny attended a function at a local bar and hired a babysitter to look after her two daughters. She arrived home about 12 midnight, and allowed her two daughters to stay up playing until about 3 in the morning.
Penny decided to let Anthonette sleep with her in bed, but she woke up at 7am the next morning to find herself alone.
Penny thought that Anthonette had heard about the dog missing in their neighborhood – maybe she had got up early to help with the search for him?
None of her neighbors had seen Anthonette, however, and a search around the neighborhood turned up nothing.
The authorities got involved but it was useless – nobody had any idea where the nine-year-old had gone, and the case would stay cold for more than a year…
A year later, the local police department at Gallup received a call from a girl claiming to be Anthonette. The call was cut short by a voice booming out in the background:
“Who said you could use the phone?”
The mother, Penny, was played the recording of the phone call, and she tearfully confirmed it was her daughter’s voice.
In 1990, a waitress in Carson City, Nevada reported seeing a girl who looked like Anthonette in the Diner where she was employed.
The girl was around the age of 14, and she continually dropped her fork on the floor during the meal she was having with two unkempt individuals. Every time the waitress would bend down to retrieve her fork, the young girl would lightly squeeze her hand.
After the three of them left the Diner, the waitress noticed a message written on one of the table napkins. It read:
“Please help me. Call the police.”
Anthonette’s younger sister, Wendy, eventually came clean that year and informed investigators that her sister had indeed been abducted. She did not mention this when the investigation began, because she was afraid that it would upset her mother further.
Apparently a man knocked on their family door that night and claimed he was their Uncle Joe. Anthonette opened the door because she did not want to wake her mother…
She was set upon by two strange men who then dragged her into a waiting brown van.
Strangely enough, the family did have an uncle Joe, but he was ruled out of investigations. Interestingly, Penny failed a lie detector test about her daughter’s disappearance – this led many detectives to believe that she was fully aware of the identities of the abductors.
Penny died in April of 1999, so if she knew anything, she took it to the grave with her.
The Anthonette Cayedito Missing case was closed in June 2006.
If you have any thoughts or opinions on the subject we have covered here today, please leave them in the comment section below.