These disturbing clues are baffling. In all five cases, leads went cold, and the person was never found.
1. The Romance Novel
On the morning of August 4, 1981, 20-year old Cynthia Anderson went to work at a law firm in Toledo, Ohio, where she was employed as a legal secretary.
Later in the day, her employers realized she had vanished. Her car was parked outside but her car keys and purse were missing. A romance novel was on her desk, open to a scene where the heroine is abducted at knifepoint.
There have been many other theories about what happened to Cynthia. Police received an anonymous tip that Cynthia was being held against her will in the basement of a white house. Then, one of the attorneys at Cynthia’s firm was involved in drug dealing and went to prison. Both these facts drummed up speculation, including rumors that she was murdered to keep quiet about drug deals, but nothing ever came of either lead.
2. The Unscrewed Light Bulbs
Laureen Rahn, a 14-year old girl from Manchester, New Hampshire, was last seen on the evening of April 26, 1980. Two of her friends were over at her home, hanging out. One slept over. Laureen’s mother, Judith, came home that night to find that the apartment building’s hallway was dark. Somebody had unscrewed all the light bulbs.
In the morning, Laureen’s friend woke up, but Laureen didn’t. She wasn’t there, and her friend claimed she had no idea where she went.
Judith found three calls to California on her phone bill that she didn’t make. Two of the calls were made to motels, one of which was a motel often used by a child pornographer known as “Dr. Z.” For several years, Judith received mysterious hang up calls.
3. "Starlight," a Severed Finger, and the Convenience Store Freezer
Diane Augat left her home in Odessa, Florida on April 10, 1988 and never returned. Three days later, her mother received a message on her answering machine. It sounded like her 40-year-old daughter saying, “Help, help, let me out.” Then, another person is heard saying, “Hey, gimme that.” The caller ID read “Starlight.”
Five days after Diane went missing, the severed tip of her right middle finger was found in the area where she was last seen. Two weeks later, a bag of her clothing was found in the freezer of a convenience store. The clothes were neatly folded in the bag. Then, over two years later, a day after a local paper published an article about the disappearance, a plastic bag was discovered in another convenience store. It had the name “Diane” written on it. Inside the bag were items thought to have possibly belonged to her.
4. The Two Last Calls
On January 25, 2006, Teresa Butler’s husband finished up his night shift job to come home to an unsettling surprise. His wife was gone, and their two young sons were all alone in their Risco, Missouri home.
Her Jeep, wedding rings and jacket were left behind. Although there were no signs of forced entry, Teresa’s purse, cell phone, Playstation, video camera and car stereo were missing.
Police discovered that two calls were made from Teresa’s cell phone shortly after she disappeared. The calls were to numbers at two different towns in Missouri. The person at the first number didn’t answered the phone. The second did answer. The person who answered told police that they didn’t hear anything on the line. Both people said they never heard of Teresa.
5. The Bus Stop Note
On November 21, 1987, 26-year old Korrina Lynne Sagers Malinoski didn’t show up for job in Mount Holly, South Carolina. Her car was found in front of the Mount Holly Plantation.
Then, nearly a year later, on October 4, 1988 Korrina’s 8-year old daughter, Annette Sagers, also went missing. She vanished at the school bus stop in front of Mount Holly Plantation. They both vanished in the same spot, leaving people baffled.
A note was left behind at the bus stop. It read: “Dad, momma come back. Give the boys a hug.” Handwriting experts determined it was likely that Annette penned the note. It’s been theorized that Korrina really did come back for her daughter.
[Images courtesy of the Charley Project. Korinna & Annette photo courtesy of Facebook]
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxgen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.