A nine-year-old Navajo girl is abducted in the middle of the night.
Gallup, New Mexico, lies within what was once the territory of the Navajo Indian nation. On April 6, 1986, this quiet community of 18,000 was rocked by the mysterious disappearance of a nine-year-old Navajo girl named Anthonette Cayedito. When her mother, Penny, awoke that morning, she was surprised to find that Anthonette was not in the house:
The police and Penny’s neighbors searched the surrounding foothills but found no trace of the little girl. Authorities were almost certain she had been kidnapped. The days stretched into weeks, then months. Police could offer little to bolster Penny’s hopes of ever finding her daughter alive. Finally, after a year had passed and all seemed lost, a dramatic call for help came into the Gallup Police Station. The voice claimed to be Anthonette Cayedito and the dispatcher asked her where she was. But before the girl could answer, the call was abruptly ended by an unidentified man. Detectives played a recording of the call for Penny Cayedito:
The phone call renewed hope for Anthonette’s safe return. However, four tortuous years passed without any further clues. The FBI released two computer-enhanced photographs showing what Anthonette might look like at the age of 14. Four months later, according to Agent Kevin Miles of the FBI, a possible sighting of Anthonette was reported in Carson City, Nevada:
Shortly after the Carson City sighting, Penny turned to her own Native American heritage in the search for Anthonette. She and her other daughters visited a respected Navajo medicine woman skilled in performing traditional tribal ceremonies. The medicine woman performed the Crystal Ritual, which is said to make contact with the spirit of a missing person. According to the medicine woman, Anthonette was still alive and may have a child. She was being held against her will by threats of violence, somewhere in the Southwest. Penny was amazed that the information provided by the medicine woman was consistent with elements of the detective’s investigation:
Anthonette Cayedito was nine-years-old when she disappeared. Today, she would be in her 30’s. She has brown hair and brown eyes. Her birthday is December 25 th.