School photo of Anthonette Christine Cayedito who was shot in the Fall of 1985, approximately a half a year prior to her disappearance

Anthonette Cayedito, age 9, was kidnapped from her home in the early morning hours (approx 3.a.m) on April 6, 1986 from Gallup, New Mexico. Her disappearance was profiled on Unsolved Mysteries a few years later. About one year after her abduction a call came in to the Gallup police department. The girl on the phone claimed to be Anthonette, saying that she was in Albuquerque, but before she could say anything else, an unidentified male voice said, “Who said you could use the phone?”, at that point the girl screamed and the call ended. Anthonette’s mother was certain that the voice was her daughter’s, but she still could not be located. Four years later, a Carson City waitress told police that she served a couple and a young girl, and that while she was there the young girl intentionally pushed her fork off the table, and every time the waitress put the fork back on the table, the young girl squeezed her hand. After the three left, the waitress was cleaning the table when she found a napkin that said “Please help me! Call the police,” One month later, detectives interviewed Anthonette’s younger sister, Wendy, and she told them that a man knocked at the door in the middle of the night. She said that when Anthonette went to the door, she asked who the person was, and the man said that it was their Uncle Joe. When Anthonette opened the door, two men grabbed her and took her away. Police interviewed the real Uncle Joe and they ruled him out as a suspect. They believe that Anthonette was abducted by someone who was not a family member, but may have known the family. Penny later went to a medicine woman who told her that Anthonette was alive and that she was being held against her will, and that she may have had a child. Despite this, Anthonette has never been found.

Authorities are not sure if the restaurant sighting was in-fact Anthonette but if it was, that incident was the last reported sighting of the kidnapped child who would be a 36-year-old adult today.

Anthonette’s case was wide-spread, not only because of the crime, but because of the mysterious of the phone call that took place and the waitress sighting. Many people assume she couldn’t possibly still be alive because no further contact or sightings have been reported in the past three decades, but that isn’t always the case. Victim’s of kidnapping who are held against their will for long periods of time can develop what is called Stockholm Syndrome,which is very similar to Battered Person Syndrome.

Robert Epstein, PhD, Director Emeritus a child psychologist at the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies has said that the most crucial psych development period is in childhood, which would make victim’s of child abduction and abuse extra venerable to Stockholm. Take the kidnapping of Jaycee Lee Dugard for example.

Jaycee Dugard was 11-years-old when she was kidnapped in 1991 by Phillip and Nancy Garrido as she walked to the bus-stop which was only one street away from her Lake Tahoe, California home. Within a minute of her abduction, she was already tasered, forced against her will into a vehicle with two ”strangers”, that in itself is a traumatizing experience but the next 18 years would change Jaycee’s psych forever.

The first several years, Jaycee was tied up, locked in a sound proof shed in the back of the Garrido’s Antioch, CA home. She was sexually assaulted almost immediately, abused emotionally, mentally, and physically, she was threatened by Garrido, telling her the police won’t believe her if she ever tried running away, and he even threatened her with the one thing she loved and missed the most, her family. This instantly put Jaycee into ”survival mode.”

Several years and two (rape) pregnancies later, Jaycee’s mind-set had completely changed, she has learned to cope and is now under Garrido’s ”spell” and the physical ropes have come off, however, the invisible ropes would stay on for years. 

Now, It isn’t all threats and abuse. The ‘good-cop, bad-cop’ strategy is also utilized so that the detainee will confide in them and in Jaycee’s case, it was Nancy who played the ‘good cop,’ pretending to ‘sneak’ out a peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, buying her a kitten and pretending to care about the little girl who she helped kidnapped.

In 2009, a police officer took notice of ”Alyssa” and her two ”sisters”, who were both eleven and fifteen at the time. Realizing something wasn’t quite right the officers dug deeper and ended up having the Garrido’s along with “Alissa” come down to the Police Department. At first, Phillip Garrido was doing all the talking so police separated all of them, but even when Jaycee was alone with a police officer she wouldn’t admit who she really was and kept telling the officers that the Garrido’s were “good people”. Cops used different strategies and eventually “Alissa” opened up and told officers her real name, Jaycee Lee Dugard. She also told them her two little sisters were in fact her daughters, Angel and Starlit.

Phillip and Nancy Garrido were immediately arrested and Jaycee was initially upset but that has since passed and right now, as of 2012, Jaycee and her daughters are on a long road to recovery and have been spending the past few years with her family, especially Tracy Probyn, her mother.

Age progressed photo of what Anthonette Cayedito may look like at 30 years of age. She would be turning 36-years-old in 2012.

Date of birth: Christmas 12/25/1976 Date of abduction: 04/06/1986 Location: Gallup, New Mexico (US) Race: Biracial (American Indian and Caucasian) Hair/Eye: Brown, Brown Identifying factors: Mole on her right cheek, a scar on her knee and another scar on her lip.

NCMEC Case Number: NCMC600709

If you have any information regarding this cold case you’re asked to please contact: Gallup Police Department at 505-863-9365

National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (1-800-THE-LOST)