School Photo of Amber Swartz

Amber Swartz was just a couple months away from her eighth birthday when she was kidnapped around 4:15pm  on June 3, 1988 while playing in her front yard, she has not been seen or heard from since.

Kim Swartz, Amber’s mother, wouldn’t normally let Amber play alone but let it slide, knowing there next-door-neighbors were going to be home soon. Kim would check outside every 15-20 minutes and when she went to check on her, a little past 4pm, she noticed Amber wasn’t in eyesight and began looking for her.  She opened the door and called out for her and got no reply, that’s when she went out and noticed the jump-rope Amber was skipping on was also missing. After realizing her daughter wasn’t around, Kim became frantic and called Pinole Police Department, who came shortly after.

Amber’s story quickly received national attention due to the rarity of stranger abductions, especially in her town located in Pinole, California

Pinole Police along with the community came together to help search for the little girl. Police made stops to every house in the neighborhood, asking if anyone happen to see the missing girl. Amber’s face along with details of her disappearance were plastered on every pool in Pinole. People couldn’t get the image of the missing child out of their head and parents were fearful, paying extra close attention to their children and refused to let them play outside or walk to school by themselves.

On June 4th, one day after Amber disappeared, PPD located a pair of pink socks near the Swartz home. The Socks were found on A baseball diamond by the creek that flows behind Amber’s home. According to Investigators, this particular place had already been searched and it is believed that they were left after the initial search. Kim believes the socks may have belonged to her daughter, but wasn’t positive at the time. The same day, a witness claimed she seen someone matching the young girl’s description at Alvarado Park around 5o’clock PM being roughly handled by an adult white male being thrown into a car near the park’s entrance. The witness described the unknown man, saying he looked around 40 years of age, between 5’7” and 5’8”, and weighing approximately 160-170 pounds. He was driving an older model four-door general motors car, tan in color. Police were never able to identify the man and aren’t sure if the young girl was infact Amber.

For many years, Timothy Bindner was one of the main suspect’s in Amber Swartz abduction and possible murder.  Bidner was also a suspect in several other missing/murdered cases, including the disappearance of Michaela Garecht, Ilene Misheloff, Tara Cossey and Amanda Campbell.  But, over two decades later, police  were able to link DNA to the real culprit in Amber’s abduction. Curtis Dean Anderson.

Curtis Dean Anderson

Left; Amber Swartz, photo taking shortly before her disappearance Right; Curtis Dean Anderson, Amber’s kidnapper and killer

Police link Curtis Dean Anderson to the murder of Amber Swartz-Garcia

If you would like more detailed information regarding the kidnapping of Amber Swartz-Garcia, click: Charley Project: Amber Swartz

The Amber Foundation for Missing Children – Providing assistance to the families of children who have been abducted by a stranger.