Was a college student abducted after a Halloween party?

Cindy Song

Missing:

Gender: Female
DOB: 2/25/80
Height: 5’
Weight: 110 lbs.
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Black
Defining Characteristics: Pierced ears and navel
Remarks: Last seen 11/1/01

CASE DETAILS

Cindy Song grew up in South Korea but left in 1995 to live with her aunt and uncle in Virginia. Cindy was enjoying every minute of her new found freedom in America. But on Halloween, 2001, Cindy Song’s dream was apparently shattered. It was a Wednesday, the perfect excuse for students to party on a school night. Cindy and two of her girlfriends, Stacy Paik and Lisa Kim, showed up at their favorite haunt dressed in costumes-ready to drink and dance the night away. According to Lisa, Cindy wore a rabbit outfit:

“She had bunny ears and a tail that she had bought. It was a very cute outfit. It wasn’t like a sexy outfit. It was a very cute outfit. That was her thing, she was very cute. She liked to look cute.”

A backpack and cell phone were found

The girls partied until 2 AM. Afterwards, they stopped at a friend’s to play video games for a few hours and arrived home at 4 AM. Stacy waved goodbye to her friend and drove off. She never saw Cindy enter her apartment and has not seen her since. Unfortunately, neither has anyone else.

Brian Sprinkle was a detective for the Ferguson Township Police Department at the time of Cindy’s disappearance:

“We have no body, we have no crime scene, and we have no actual crime. So it’s been very frustrating without any of those pieces of the puzzle. And because of that it seems like she just vanished in thin air.”

Was Cindy with this man?

Cindy Song was known to have an independent streak and liked to be spontaneous. But she was also hard-working and responsible. She was an art major at Penn State University and she achieved good grades and held down two jobs. Friends say running off on a whim was not something Cindy would do.

A search of Cindy’s apartment a few days after her disappearance showed no sign of any struggle. But according to Cindy’s friend, Stacy Paik, there were some interesting clues:

“We found her eyelashes on the counter, because she was wearing fake eyelashes. So we knew that she must have at least come in and taken those off. And her backpack was in her room as well, which she had been carrying earlier. So we knew that she at least came in and dropped that off.”

Cindy had removed eyelashes she was wearing

Another clue was that Cindy’s cell phone was still in her bag. Her friends noted that she never went anywhere without it. But according to Detective Sprinkle, Cindy’s bunny costume was nowhere to be found:

“We know that whenever she left the apartment she was wearing the clothes she had on that night. We also know that her purse, her pocketbook, or whatever she had with her that evening that contained her driver’s license and credit cards were with her, too, because we could not locate those in the apartment.”

Did Cindy leave her apartment later that same night? Detective Sprinkle checked her phone records, but there were no calls in or out. He then checked her credit cards and email:

“There was no activity on her credit cards. And there were no e-mails or any activity on her e-mail accounts that gave us any clue as to her disappearance.”

In early November, police and volunteers searched a wooded area near Penn State University. But there was no trace of Cindy Song. She had apparently vanished, leaving detectives with nothing to go on but hunches and theories.

Cindy, the night before she disappeared

So what did happen to Cindy Song that Halloween night? It seems Cindy left her apartment voluntarily, locking the door from the outside. Police wondered where she might go at 4 AM. Friends said it wasn’t unusual for Cindy to run out to a nearby 24 hour market late at night.

Then, a few days after Cindy Song disappeared, a chilling scene reportedly unfolded in Philadelphia’s Chinatown district–nearly 200 miles from Cindy’s apartment. A woman matching Cindy’s description was seen crying and yelling for help. Later, the eyewitness came forward with a description of the alleged abductor. A police artist created a composite drawing of a man with olive to light-brown complexion and medium length hair. He is not a suspect, but police would like to question him.

On Halloween night, 2001, 23-year-old Cindy Song partied into the wee hours of the night then went home to her apartment. And although she has not been seen or heard from since, her friends and family are confident that she’ll return home alive.


Watch this case now on Amazon Prime in season twelve with Robert Stack and in season two with Dennis Farina. Also available on YouTube with Dennis FarinaVarious seasons available now on Hulu.

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12 Comments

  1. Cindy

    I remember this girl, she worked at Dunkin Donuts when I was young. We both had the same name ( Cindy). She was sweet and bubbly…seeing that she disappeared and its still unsolved disturbs me. Nobody deserves to be lost like that.

    Reply

  2. Anonymous

    If i was there at the scene, i wouldve sit in that guy’s vehicle too and asked “are we going to go to a party, man? Sweet! But first let her go home and me and you can grab a beer together.” If he didnt listen throw him in front of the traffic and say “jaywalking is a bad habit man!”

    Reply

  3. Picachu

    The following information regarding the above mentioned Hugo Selenski, is from the Charley Project’s page on Cindy:
    “Selenski told police that he and another man, Michael Jason Kerkowski Jr., saw Song on the night of her disappearance, mistook her for a prostitute, and kidnapped her and kept her imprisoned in a walk-in safe in his home until she died. He says they then buried Song’s body in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. Kerkowski could not confirm or deny Selenski’s account because he was one of the people buried in Selenski’s backyard. (He said he killed Kerkowski after learning that he had kept Song’s bunny ears as a souvenir of the crime.) One of Selenski’s friends, however, told police that Selenski had boasted of the murder to him. Investigators have been unable to proof of Selenski’s involvement in Song’s disappearance, but they have not ruled him out as a suspect either. He was acquitted of the murder charges against him but was convicted of two counts of abuse of a corpse in March 2006.” http://www.charleyproject.org/cases/s/song_hyun.html

    I likewise attach the grand Jury report on the case, that explains why Selenski was not pressed harder on the many bodies on his land and Song’s disappearance: http://www.wbcitizensvoice.com/pdfs/centini.pdf
    In short, the reasons were serious witness intimidation and that Selenski, his attorney and the private investigator ( a former police officer ) were all in bed with each other.

    Reply

  4. Fred Rosenfeld

    I worked with Cindy for two weeks at a Penn State dining hall in August of ’99. I’m hoping to speak with anyone who knew her personally. My email address is foundationdigital@hotmail.com. I’ve already been ruled out as a suspect. I believe this was a case of obsession and I also believe I’ve seen the man who did this. I can easily prove I knew Cindy. In Jan of ’07 I tried to tell Det. Sprinkle about my information and he instead chose to focus on me. I WAS IN BOSTON AT THE TIME. I’m from Boston, but I’ve lived in State College a few times to investigate this crime since learning of her disappearance from Psychic Detective in ’02. I believe a co-worker of Cindy’s from the dining halls waited for her to return that night. He then entered her apartment through her unlocked door. She probably complied thinking he would let her go. I believe he’s a local resident who grew up in the Bellefonte area. Other locals have suspicions about this man. I also believe Cindy befriended him and wrote about him in her diary, which was discarded by her roommate before the investigation began. They had a chance to scour the landfill for this diary, so Cindy’s roommate shouldn’t feel any guilt about it. It’s bizarre, yes, but the Korean culture is much different than ours. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you want to talk about Cindy. I’ve never been able to talk about her to anyone who knew her.

    Reply

  5. Judith Fisher

    This the man in this photo drawing is Hugo Selenski he had 12 bodies found on his land here is Luzerne County , he was questioned on the disappearance of Cindy Song , we have 2 other girls missing here alone with Cindy Song , We are always going to remember the missing as to they have forgotten to get justice and closure for these beautiful missing girl , Let no one ever be forgotten , As we look for Phylicia Thomas we always remember Cindy and Jennifer , As for Hugo we were told there were bodies found on his land that were never able to be identified , now that is just not excepted at all , as we need to know who those people were so we can see if it was Cindy , Phylicia , or Jennifer who are still missing now for 11 and 15 years , they did find Jennifer skull but never the rest of her so to me and her family she is still missing with Cindy and Phylicia , We love all 3 girls and will always remember them and pray for justice for them ..

    Reply

  6. Caitie

    It seems strange to me that she wouldn’t take her phone, even if she was just going out for a little bit. I think that something must’ve happened near her apartment.

    Reply

  7. Tom J.

    There’s another article online where they talk to the detective involved. He says they(police) did go to the Giant market to check if they had security cameras. The Giant market did have security cameras but by the time the police had arrived at the market, the video had been copied over. So, they have no idea if she made it to that market.
    This is so sad, I couldn’t imagine my daughter vanishing and never knowing what happened to her. It would be on my mind every remaining day I was alive.
    She was in the prime of her life, just starting to enjoy it and some evil slime abducted her. God bless her and hopefully they will solve this mystery some day soon and give her family peace.

    Reply

  8. Anonymous

    That poor girl……to have a fun night turn into a disappernce… I hope more clues come forward.. This my theory she did make inside her apartment take off her eyelashes; leave her backpack and cell phone. One a spare of the moment needed or wanted to get something form the 24 hr market. She then grabbed her wallet and left her phone cause she was planning to come back. She heading out and then if she made to the market got her stuff and was apporched by a strange. Or she was apporched by a stranger. Either way my feeling is it was so late in the evening that someone took her. I also think the siting of her is correct. Whoever that man who was identified isn’t going come forward for questions. Its up to the police to follow that lead. Each day they let it pass it gets further and further away. For Cindy Song one can only hope and hold out for prayers…

    Reply

  9. smarty_fan

    this happened back in 2001. as i recall, the market in question is the north atherton giant. they wouldn’t have had surveillance cameras back then. leads haven’t gone anywhere. we have too many weird things happen for such a small community.

    Reply

  10. BEV

    I AGREE

    Reply

  11. jill

    If she did go to the 24 hour market wouldn’t they have video surveillance? Either someone from her apartment complex grabbed her on her way out or someone abducted her on her way to the market. I’m guessing it was someone who knew her from her apartment building. Very sad to never know the truth.

    Reply