A nine-year-old Navajo girl is abducted in the middle of the night.

Anthonette Cayedito

Missing:

Gender: Female
DOB: 12/25/76
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Black
Defining Characteristics: Has a mole on her right cheek, a scar on her knee, and a scar on her lip
Remarks: Last seen 4/6/86

CASE DETAILS

Was it Anthonette whose call was recorded?

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:

“We went looking for her around the house, nothing.   I didn’t start panicking until we checked with all the neighbors, went to every house and nobody had, seen her.”

She left a note for the waitress

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:

“I listened to that tape over and over and over.   And just by the way she says her last name, and the way she screamed, sent chills all over my body.   A mother knows and I know that was her.”

Her sister remembered the abduction

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:

“A waitress in at a restaurant in Carson City told the Carson City police about a strange incident that she had witnessed that particular day.   She waited on a table at which sat a male and a female, rather unkempt, and a small girl about the age of 14 or 15.   The little girl would deliberately drop a utensil on the floor.   The waitress put the utensil back on the table and the little girl grabbed her hand. And the waitress thought nothing of it and went about her business.   The threesome left the restaurant and the waitress went back to the table and began to bus the table.   She lifted up the plate belonging to the girl, beneath was a napkin that said please help me, call the police.   By the time she realized what had happened, the couple and the girl were gone.”

Neighbors helped search for Anthonette

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:

“Going to the medicine lady gives me a lot of strength and it helps me to just know that she is alive. No matter who she’s with, they’ve got to have some compassion not to hurt another human being as small as she is.”

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.


Watch this case now on Amazon Prime in season five with Robert Stack and in season eight with Dennis Farina. Also available on YouTube with Dennis Farina. Various seasons available now on Hulu.

SUBMIT A TIP

 

51 Comments

  1. Toni

    I am a medium and I feel so strongly that she is alive and does not want to be found. She just wants to live a simple life under the radar with her uncle, daughter and his wife. She has the support like she would with parents. She was never harmed or in danger. At the time that she was at the restaurant, she was upset with her uncle over an argument and wanted freedom at the moment. She tried to get the waitresses attention however she did not feel like she was in danger. Her living with her uncle was planned by mom

    Reply

  2. They know

    Who took her. But without evidence and credible witness, its moot. She’s been gone, probably was killed soon after kidnappings. I wonder why her, whomever knew the girls were alone essentiallly, could’ve done much worse. I’m not going to say the entire family doesn’t care. But what can they do? Police, media ect don’t care soooo…. When family lies to investigators they love it, BC it means they don’t have to care either.

    Reply

  3. Donavan S.Delvecchio

    Who is this uncle Joe the sister spoke of? I heard he was involved & a member of the family.Feel free to correct me if im mistaking.And have he been investigated and where is he now.

    Reply

  4. Adam

    I saw this case on UM when I was 14 (now 36) I think about it from time to time and check to see if she’s been found. I know one day she will.

    Reply

  5. Anonymous

    Whatever you have to say, please post it regarding this case. Whether it’s opinions, suggestions, prayers or positive energy to Anthonette’s family, it will keep it open in everyone’s mind and hopefully prompt the police to re-investigate this case with the modern use of DNA, etc.

    Reply

  6. Anonymous

    My heart goes out to the fam, hopefully they can get answers

    Reply

  7. Anonymous

    Perhaps, the case is best summed up by the words of Special Agent Steve Marshall, spokesman for the FBI’s Albuquerque Field Office, “This case was very weird.”

    Reply

  8. Anonymous

    God bless the family. I can’t imagine the weight of the pain they have carried for so many years.

    Reply

  9. Chaita

    That’s A Beatufil Little 9 Year Old Girl I HopeThey Her soon

    Reply

  10. Jen

    Just saw Anthonette’s story on Unsolved Mysteries. Thoughts & prayers to her and her family. My heart truly goes out to all of you. Never give up hope that she is out there trying to find her way home. God bless you all.

    Reply

  11. Anonymous

    For those of you who want to give the family hope and prayers, bless you! For those of you who want to fantasize about where she might be today, please stop unless you have seen someone resembling her. And for anthonette, your family misses you, loves you dearly, don’t ever give up! Try to believe in God and for all of us who are praying for your safe return, God will find a way! For the disgusting couple who had or has her, your only potential saving grace is that she had better be found safe. heaven help you!

    Reply

  12. Anonymous

    I have heard roamers that that she is alive and well living in Carson City NV waiting tables

    Reply

  13. Lola

    Anthonette was abducted 30 years ago, a little girl was just taken and probably subjected to so much pain of no fault of her own. Family members, friends, people of the community near and far want answers, are hopeful on her where abouts and safe return. That could be made possible if they reopen her case, have detectives, FBI, someone search for her. She wasn’t given a voice to be heard, she wasn’t protected, she deserves not to be forgotten.

    Reply

  14. Monica S.

    30 Yr. Anniversary 4/6/16
    i read all these positive and negative comments about my cousin Anthonette; it is really sad how people just judge you without not even knowing any facts or whatever they think they know. i know as a family member to Anthonette ( and how i am related our mothers were sisters ) it hurts everyday knowing she is out there somewhere, wondering if she will come home, we hold on to that hope. My aunt left this world not finding her daughter it really tore her up mentally,physically no one will ever know the pain she felt unless you have been through this type of heartache keep your judgmental comments to yourself. Anthonette was not your average child she had a lot of spunk, she loved Micheal Jackson, did not go a day without listening to her Ronnie milsap songs, she was out going, loved school, and loved learning about God. for those of you that send your kind thoughts and words I say thank you from the bottom of my heart; and those that fuel the negativity in this world well you can take that else where we don’t need it !!! Keep her in your prayers that one day she will finally make it home.
    I love and miss you everyday Anthonette…
    Monica ( Cousin to Anthonette)

    Reply

    • Danny Hill

      I hope she is found and goes home one day. I wonder though, if she is still alive what is keeping her from contacting family…

      Reply

    • Donavan S.Delvecchio

      Hi Monica! I read somewhere Joe took Anthoneete they call him uncle Joe. Have he been investigated. Correct me if im wrong.

      Reply

    • Jules

      I hope you find her. This story just makes me so sad, I cannot even imagine what you have been and still are going through and what she has suffered. I am sorry to hear that her mother has passed away without finding her. My heart goes out to you all.

      Reply

  15. Dom

    This story interests me a lot but there’s not enough description on the disappearance. For one somebody should look into the one cmnt on here about the girl stating she seen a girl who looks just like her that could be her daughter. Someone should report that. I live in Wisconsin and having many Native American friends mostly Oneida and they have taught me many things. I have never heard of a medicine woman using this crystal ritual being able to contact missing people but I’m going to look into that. Has the family ever contacted the medicine woman prior to see if she has any more info about the girl being alive still or anything? I know that there is a native lady here in my town who does cleansing on your souls and can read everything about and see spirits around if they are loved ones that have passed or lost souls trying to contact you and she tells you if they have a msg for you or what they want. So the family should look into seeing a lady who does stuff like that or native mediums that have those special gifts. As for the cmnt stating she saws her when she a child that could possibly be true. My one native friend had a special gift from when she was about for 4-13 on having contact with spirits. She was 4 when her uncle passed away and her family always told her of how she would be pointing to the ceiling and laughing; talking away with him. She had told them that uncle had visited her and told her to tell her aunt that everything would be okay and not to worry and that he loves and misses her. She described what he looked like and the family was shocked. Ever since she got older she would either come in contact with a spirit but wouldn’t be able to talk to them or she would either hear them and wouldn’t be able to see them. I remember her always being able to talk to her aunt Kelly all the time and seeing her. But like they say babies and animals have the ability to see spirits over most adults especially native babies. Was there any babies in the family or relatives that ever stated seeing anthonette? Did any of the family ever have experiences with hearing or seeing owls before or after her disappearance? I’ve had 10 encounters with owls seeing only one during this past January before my bday. My friend says she thinks I’m a messenger. Because most natives tell me seeing or hearing owls either means to watch out for something, death of a close one is near, or something not always good will occur. I really think the family should look into a native psychic for this case. I pray the girl is found someday and she can be laid to the rest at peace and my condolences go out to the family, I hope you all will be at peace when justice gets served.

    Reply

  16. Eric W Bohannon

    I Get the “Family” Has a 7-11 type,Store, and She is a manager, now I see her doing the accounting books, standing at the counter, serving people, She is in Friends or Family 2 families removed. I see her getting married when she was 21, a couple of week and a half, before, after some training, and a B and G, and a end after 2.5 after, and some more training, and some If that is true, which could be is a lie, then why is the story is on here?

    Reply

  17. Christine

    This story touches my heart sooo much I’ve watch this last 2yrs ago and I never forgot her name and I rewatch the video over and over as I’m the mother and yes I can imagine what this little innocent angel has gone thru the years missing too, Oh lets pray “Dear Lord only you know what happen to little Anthonette Cayedito you have eyes on us and Dear Lord I hope shes happy in your arms if shes gone to this day and or not may she return home safe in some way by your supernatural power Lord and reuniting her back to her lost loved ones and Dear Lord put a stumbling block on those suspects to be caught and found justice served in your mighty way Dear Lord rest assure this case in your judgement thank you only you Jesus is the way Amen and we love and miss you little Anthonette Cayedito you shall always be remembered….

    Reply

  18. Sadie

    Have they found her?

    Reply

  19. Tara

    I do believe the family knew more then they are saying. She can’t just disappear into thin air. Why does her sister tell it years later? That was weird. I think her sister was coached into saying that years later. And how can no one see or hear anything? how come her mom didn’t hear the knock or the screaming? Weird case.

    Reply

    • Mitchell

      It’s a strange phenomenon when people think that others need to know how they feel or what they think.

      Do you have inside information? Were you there? Are you a relative? Oh..no, you say? Then why do you think you know what happened? Or that everyone else should give a damn? People should keep their uninformed opinions to themselves. A nation full of narcissists….

      Reply

    • Anonymous

      The mom was out drinking the night this happened. She could have been passed out, perhaps black out drunk and doesn’t even remember coming home? They keep saying they think she knew more than what she told, maybe this is the reason. She was drunk, she doesn’t remember coming home, she could have brought someone home with her and lied about it, she could have told someone at the bar she had 2 young girls at home, etc etc.

      Reply

  20. natt

    I feel for the family and I sure hope the mom gets an answer to what happened because it has been almost 30 yrs since it happened but you have to wonder why the little girl answered the door alone that late at night she should have woken up her mom instead and why didn’t the younger girl start screaming for help I’ve always taught my son to let me always answer the door when he was younger never to open to anyone because it is so unsafe these days but back then the world wasn’t half as scary as it is now but I pray they get an answer.

    Reply

  21. trev

    Why don’t they hire a psychic to find her, like on Psychic Detectives?

    Reply

  22. Mulder

    I don’t believe the sister’s story. I really think she was coaxed into saying that 2 people in a van took her. She didn’t tell the story until several years after. And according to the story. Only after they had a lead as to a possible sighting of Anthonette. THEN she tells this story. Whether she made it up or dreamed it. I dunno. It makes no sense to just go back to bed afterwards. And then help her mom try and find Anthonette the next morning. Why didn’t she tell her mom???? The phone call doesn’t make sense either. From what I have read it was made to the police station. NOT 911. Who just up and knows the number? To the police station? Im 31 and I dont. I think Anthonette’s mom KNEW MORE than she was telling. Apparently so did the investigators in charge of the investigation. They wanted to interview her before she passed away of illness. However they got to the hospital too late. I would like to make a possible leap here. I think the phone call was set up to renew interest in the case. I think the mom knew who possibly might have taken her. And was trying to give the police a tip. Just my theory. I believe she was threatened into NOT saying anything. And feared her daughter was dead. Then possibly someone probably gave her the impression she was alive. Which resulted in the phony phone call to the police station. Too short to trace. But enough to light a fire under the investigation.

    Reply

  23. Mulder

    I cannot get this case outta my head. This one and Tammy Lynn Leppert. I have a feeling as to what happened to them. Just dont want to think about it.

    Reply

  24. Tara

    This case is so strange. They have no idea what happened to her? I hope one day she is found. So sad to see the family not know where she is especially after all these years. Bless you Ahnthonette.

    Reply

  25. Anonymous

    Never assumed the worst. What happened is going to give all a definite answer.

    Reply

  26. TAYA TOM

    SHE MIGHT BE DEAD.WHEN I WAS ONLY THREE YEARS OLD I HAD SEEN HER AS A GHOST SHE WAS STILL WEARING THE CLOTHES SHE HAD GOT KIDNAPPED IN AND HER HAIR WAS STILL DOWN .SO SHE MIGHT DEAD TO THIS VERY DAY.

    Reply

  27. samantha

    Again I thank its a famliy kiddnaping, cause the girl’s were told never to answer the door inless it was a famliy memeber. So look at famliy, an uncle to be exact, cause acoreding to her sister when she answered the door she called the person uncle.

    Reply

  28. This case still touches me...

    I remember seeing this story… I’m a Navajo woman from Arizona and Gallup really isn’t that far from my hometown. I think about it often and wonder what happened to that little girl…. Although she is older than me, I’m 29, I see the last images and think of her as a baby. Oh, my heart goes out to the Cayedito family. I know no matter what anyone says, or does, your hearts must ache. I hope you all heal in some ways and I pray to God that you get answers and that Anthonette is alive and well, or no longer suffering. Peace be with you, Shi Dine’.
    :,,(

    Reply

  29. shadia

    I have this weird fixation with this case. I’ve remembered it since I was little. I know she’s probably dead, but I have a weird hope in me that she is alive somewhere. God bless. I hope shes alive somewhere. I feel like the only one who still cares about her, god.

    Reply

    • Desiree

      No Shadia……….you are not the ‘only one’ who cares about her. She has TONS of family that still loves her and cares for her and misses her dearly. Please think about your words before you just spew out stuff. Please and thank you!

      Desiree – First cousin of Anthonette ‘Squirrel’ Cayedito <3 Love you Squirrel <3 always and forever!!

      Reply

  30. Lola

    I would like to believe that Anthonette Cayadito is still alive? To look at her photo, you see the face of innocence. For someone or more than one individual to take her and hurt her is such pure evil. Maybe one day the truth will be told and those involved will be held accountable for their actions.

    Reply

  31. Vada

    She looks an awful lot like a girl I met last year in school. I was around fourteen, the girl was fifteen or sixteen.

    Reply

  32. nene

    Sorry to hear about this little girl. I have three kids myself i can’t imagine what her family is going through. I pray she reunited with her family soon.

    Reply

  33. Desiree

    Anthonette “Squirrel” Cayedito, is my first cousin and no, she has never been found. April 6, 2015 will be the 29th Anniversary of her disappearance. I wrote this poem a few years ago for her. Cousin, wherever you are, I love you and I pray you are safe.

    Anthonette ‘Squirrel’ Cayedito
    ©2012 Desiree Rivers

    Her favorite color was purple
    She was born on Christmas Day
    She loved Ronnie Milsap
    On a cool April morning, she came up missing – gone, taken away
    The search then started
    Many came from miles around
    To help my hurting family
    Search for my cousin who still has not been found
    Not a day goes by that I don’t think of her
    Her smile and laughter live on in my mind
    Living, dancing & singing the memories will never die
    Dear Lord you know what happened as everything is part of your plan
    It’s just so hard for me to fathom as I struggle to understand
    I pray that You will protect her, wherever she may be
    Anthonette ‘Squirrel’ Cayedito, you are always a special part of me

    Reply

    • Canadien Native

      Hey Desiree. I’m still troubled by this case. And I’d like to help in any way. Did you ever think about giving your DNA to the federal data bank. I heard theyre working on one in the US to help identify people In murder cases. It would speed up finding her significantly

      Reply

    • Amber

      Would you or your family consider contacting Dr. Phil about this case? It might help because if Antonette is still alive & she happens to watch it then she would know that you are still looking for her, there is a possibility that she may not know she is a missing child. If she is dead, then the person who knows something might be able to locate her remains so she c an b e properly laid to rest & your family might have some type of closure

      Reply

  34. kiesha

    did they ever find this girl who was kidnapped in 1986.

    Reply

  35. tara

    did they ever find this girl who was kidnapped in 1986.

    Reply

    • unsolved

      She is still missing. If you have any tips, please be sure to let us know!

      Reply

    • s.

      I was a friend of her sister in school and they never found her,but her mother had a shrine of sorts to celebrate her daughter and you couldn’t touch it at all. Her mother still feels shes alive I think.

      Reply

    • cassandra

      No they havent. My grandpa was on the case and I live here in gallup. And she still hasn’t been found.

      Reply

    • jasmine (related to Anthonette)

      No we have not found her yet. She is still missing. And my aunt Penny passed away.

      Reply