These missing children were kidnapped years ago and they have never been found. These unsolved cases are haunting, but they also contain some useful lessons that can be used to prevent other children disappearing in the future.
1. Michaela Garecht
Michaela Garecht was 9 years old and lived in California. On November 19, 1988, Michaela and her friend riding around on their scooters. They went to the local convenience store and left their scooters outside. When they came out, Michaela’s scooter was missing. They looked around and noticed something strange. The scooter was sitting in the parking lot, next to a parked car. When Michaela went to get her scooter, a man suddenly jumped out of the parked car and grabbed her from behind. As her friend watched in horror, the man threw Michaela into the back of his car and drove off. She has not been seen or heard from since. Michaela’s friend was able to give police a description of the kidnapper. She said he had long blond hair, bad acne on his face and “fox-like” eyes.
2. The Lyon Sisters
Katherine and Sheila Lyon were two sisters from Washington DC. Katherine was 12 and Sheila was 10. On March 25, 1975, they went on a trip to a shopping mall. A boy who knew the sisters saw them talking to a middle-aged man who had a briefcase with a tape recorder inside. Somewhere along the way home, the Lyon sisters disappeared and were never seen again. A few weeks earlier, a man had been seen at another shopping mall approaching young girls and asking them to read a message into his hand-held microphone. Police believe this man may have been the kidnapper.
3. Jacob Wetterling
Jacob Wetterling was an 11-year old boy from St Joseph, Minnesota. On October 22, 1989 he was cycling home from a convenience store with his brother and a friend. All of a sudden, they were stopped by a masked gunman. He ordered the boys to throw their bikes into a ditch and lie down on the ground. Then, the gunman asked the boys what age they were. He told Jacob’s brother to run to a nearby wooded area and not to look back or he would be shot. The gunman then told the remaining boys to show him their faces. He picked Jacob, and told his friend to run away and not to look back or he would be shot. Nobody ever saw Jacob Wetterling again.
4. Anthonette Cayedito
Anthonette Cayedito was a 9-year old Navajo girl from Gallup, New Mexico. On April 6, 1986, she was abducted from her home in the middle of the night. Despite an extensive search by police, no trace of her could be found. Then, a year later, the police received a phonecall from a girl claiming to be Anthonette, but before she could tell them anything more, she screamed and the police heard the voice of an unidentified man before the call was abruptly ended. Four years later, a waitress in a restaurant in Carson City told the police about a strange incident that she had witnessed. A man and a woman came into the restaurant with a small girl about the age of 14 or 15. The girl kept deliberately dropping her fork on the floor. When the waitress picked it up and put it back on the table, the girl grabbed her hand. After they left, the waitress was cleaning the table when she found a napkin with a message written on it that read: “Please help me! Call the police!”
5. Johnny Gosch
Johnny Gosch was a 12-year old boy from Des Moines, Iowa. He had a job as a paperboy and on September 5, 1982, he left home before dawn to begin his paper route. He never came home and his wagon full of newspapers was found only two blocks from his house. A neighbor saw him talking to a stocky man in a blue car. The neighbor also noticed another man following Johnny.
6. The Beaumont Children
Jane Beaumont (aged 9), her sister Arnna (aged 7) and their brother Grant (aged 4) all went missing in Adelaide, Australia. On 26 January 1966, the children took a bus to the beach. Witnesses saw them playing with a tall, blond, thin-faced man in his mid-30s. The children seemed to be enjoying themselves. A shopkeeper who knew the children said Jane bought pasties and a meat pie with a Â£1 note. Police believe that she had been given the money by the man they were playing with. The Beaumont Children never came home and the mystery of their disappearance has never been explained.
7. Joanne Ratcliffe and Kirste Gordon
Joanne Ratcliffe (aged 11) and Kirste Gordon (aged 4) disappeared on in Australia. The girls were at a football match at Adelaide Oval. Joanne’s parents allowed the two girls to go to the toilet on their own. The girls were seen leaving the stadium with an unidentified man. People who saw them said both girls seemed to be distressed. They were never seen again.
8. Philip Cairns
Philip Cairns was a 13-year old boy from Dublin, Ireland. He disappeared on 23 October, 1986 while on his way to school. Six days later, his school bag was found in a laneway close to his home. The lane had already been searched by police and the bag wasn’t there. It is believed that, for some reason, the kidnapper came back later and left the bag there. To this day, Philip has never been found.
9. Madeleine McCann
British girl, Madeleine McCann, was almost 4 years old when she disappeared. Her parents took her and her younger siblings on holiday to Praia da Luz, Portugal. Her parents went out to a nearby bar with friends, leaving Madeleine and her two younger siblings alone in the apartment. She has yet to be found.
10. Isabel Celis
Isabel Celis is a 6-year old girl from Tucson, Arizona. She mysteriously vanished from her home on April 20, 2012. When her father woke up in the morning, he discovered that Celis was not in her room. The bedroom window was open and the screen had been removed. She still has not been found.
If you have any information about Isabel Celis or any of the other missing children, please contact the police immediately and tell them what you know.