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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19 Comments

  1. teedee B.

    The police have done shoddy work because Cindy Song was Korean and not Caucasian. They have a suspect. they have dead bodies from his land. They have people who can place her in his company. Although the Suspect is “allegedly” dead, it was obvious to me (a simple TV Show view) that she was “abducted” by someone who gain her confidence. I think the man who is mentioned (above as being obsessed) is the same man who abducted her and had many bodies on his land. It is no doubt that she was kidnapped or abducted for the purpose of sexual exploitation.— Police need to quit playing and get serious about bringing her abductors to justice.

    Reply

    • Disenchanted In State College

      While I agree with you completely that the investigation done by the Ferguson Township Police Department was “shoddy’, and that’s being kind, this had nothing at all to do with the fact that Cindy Song was Korean and not Caucasian, none whatsoever. That should be very clear to you and everyone else simply based on the total and complete lack of ANY investigation at all being done when Jennifer Cahill-Shadle disappeared from their jurisdiction on May 15th of 2014. Jennifer Cahill-Shadle was a0 48 year-old Caucasian mother of 3 who literally vaporized without a trace, last being seen at Simply Tan in the Walmart Shopping Plaza around 8:00 p.m. on May 15th, 2014. She had been there earlier in the day around 5:30 for a tanning appointment, left around 6:00 p.m., presumably walked back to the Rodeway Inn, also on N. Atherton St., where she had been living while looking to get her own apartment, and then came back to Simply Tan just as they were closing at 8:00 p.m. She was alone, on-foot in the rain, and completely soaked, and she was looking for her wallet, which she had lost at some point earlier in the day. They helped her look for it, couldn’t find it, she left on-foot and alone, and was never seen again. That was 4 years ago, and the Ferguson Township Police didn’t even start an investigation until 30 days AFTER her mother had called them on May 20th to file a missing-person’s report. The police didn’t even go to the Rodeway Inn to speak to anyone or look in the room she had been living in and had left all of her belongings in until 7 months after Jennifer had gone missing. The Ferguson Township Police, along with the Centre County DA (the corrupt and immoral Stacey Parks-Miller at the time) have had not one good lead, tip, piece of physical evidence, nothing at all to go on, and even though it’s been 4 years since this poor woman vanished and her parents have gotten the FBI and the US Attorney General’s Office to agree to open their own investigations and to execute ground searches using cadaver dogs, search teams, ATV’s, Drones, etc., they must be “invited” to do so by the Ferguson Township Police Department since they are “in-charge” of the investigation, and they absolutely REFUSE to invite the FBI or any other law enforcement or search organizations into State College to help them or to do their own investigation, not even 4 years later…Why? Because they don’t want her found. Her soon-to-be ex-husband was abusive and was completely non-supportive of Jennifer’s recovery efforts from alcoholism, and he also is a very politically-involved person in Centre County, as well as a well-known and successful business man. He and his oldest daughter (yes, Jennifer’s oldest daughter) lied to both police and to friends and family of Jennifer in the days and weeks after she first went missing, telling people who asked about her that “She hadn’t gone missing, she probably just checked herself in to another rehab” or “She hadn’t gone missing, she moved to Western Pennsylvania”…Now why would her husband and daughter lie about her disappearing? Why would they not want her to be found? Why would the Ferguson Township Police Department start no investigation until months and months had passed since she vanished? Why would they not do Grid-Searches of possible body-dump sites with search teams on-foot, dogs, Drones, ATV’s, etc.? THEY’VE DONE NOTHING AT ALL TO TRY TO FIND JENNIFER’S BODY IN 4 YEARS!!!

      State College and Centre County in-general is as corrupt an area as there is in the United States. PSU and their money dictate what happens and when it happens, as do local politics, and local law enforcement follows-suit. It has nothing at all to do with the color of a victim’s skin, trust me.

      Reply

  2. Fred Rosenfeld

    I’ve determined, through new details I’ve discovered since my original post, that Cindy Song committed suicide with the help of friends from the area. Anyone who would like to contact me about this is welcome to do so at the email address above.

    Reply

    • Anon

      What proof do YA have for this cockamamie theory? A young woman disappeared and your trolling posting outrageous conspiracy jargon

      Reply

    • Disenchanted In State College

      Seriously, that’s already been examined very closely, actually the “suicide theory” was probably the scenario that was investigated most closely because it only needed to involve her close friends, her ex-boyfriend, co-workers, and family, and did not require a lot of participation from the Ferguson Township PD or the Centre County DA’s Office to look-into closely. Cindy’s parents, specifically her mother, were worried that she might have committed suicide due to a recent break-up with her boyfriend in the months just prior to her disappearance, so her parents and the people they had working with them while they were doing their own investigation (they had private investigators working on the case because yet again Ferguson Township PD and the Centre County DA’s Office didn’t have a clue how to run a missing person’s investigation, nor did they care to do so anyway)…All of Cindy’s close friends who had been with her most all of the time since she broke-up with her boyfriend said that Cindy had been handling the break-up just fine, and that though she was sad at first, as anyone would be, she was not any more upset about it than anyone would normally be. It had been at least a couple of months since Cindy and her boyfriend broke-up, and she was doing great in the weeks before her disappearance. Cindy was happy, was working and finishing her undergraduate degree, she was going out a lot and spending tons of time with her friends, and just having fun. She was not depressed at all, and she was looking forward to graduating from PSU the following spring of 2002-about 6 months from the day she disappeared. In addition, it’s very well documented that Cindy had been dropped-off that night/early morning around 4:00 a.m. at her apartment by her very close friend Lisa, and even though Lisa didn’t see Cindy enter her apartment as she had driven-off as Cindy was opening the door, it’s positively known that Cindy entered her apartment, as she set down her backpack and removed the big black, false eyelashes that she had been wearing all night as a part of her bunny costume. That’s proof that she entered her apartment after being dropped off by Lisa. However, in addition to carrying a backpack all night, Cindy also had a small, shoulder-sling purse around her shoulders all night, the kind that most women carry around their shoulder when they go out to bars, almost like a tiny messenger bag. Cindy always carried her wallet with her PA ID, PSU Student Id, bank card, credit cards, any cash that she had with her, and this wallet was always inside the shoulder bag, along with her keys on a key chain. This bag was too small to keep her cellphone in, which is why her friends said she always kept her cellphone in her backpack. So while we know that Cindy DID in-fact enter her apartment because she set down her backpack and took off the fake eyelashes, as they were sitting inside her apartment, we also know that her shoulder bag/purse with her wallet and keys were not left inside her apartment, and were never found. It’s very, very, very likely that Cindy took her keys out of her small shoulder purse, unlocked her apartment door, put her keys back inside the purse (which was still around body, over her shoulder), walked inside her apartment, set her backpack with her cellphone inside it down on the chair, then took off the fake eyelashes and set them on the counter in the kitchen (any woman who has worn fake eyelashes, especially huge ones that were a part of a costume, will tell you that they eventually drive you crazy, especially if you’ve been wearing them all night long). At this point Cindy still had the shoulder purse around her body, and it’s quite likely that she decided to run down the street to the Snappy’s convenience store that was only a block away from her apartment (this Snappy’s is still there on N. Atherton St.). Cindy’s friends all stated that Cindy ran down to this Snappy’s store all the time, and many of them who had spent the night at Cindy’s apartment told the police and her family that they all had made that walk to Snappy’s from Cindy’s apartment many times, ESPECIALLY AFTER THEY HAD BEEN OUT AT BARS DRINKING ALL NIGHT AND WERE BACK HOME FOR THE NIGHT! If we’re being logical here, I shouldn’t have to explain to anyone about how hungry you usually are late at night/early in the morning hours after you’ve been drinking all night. In State College/at PSU and other area colleges, after you’ve been out drinking all night and you’re starving and thirsty, you do one of two things: #1 If you have a car or are within walking distance, you go to the nearest Sheetz and order food, or #2 If you don’t have a car and aren’t within walking distance of a Sheetz, as Cindy’s apartment is not, you head to the closest 24-hour store and you buy food and drink. That Snappy’s on N. Atherton St. has all kinds of food, fountain drinks, coffee, frozen foods like pizza, etc. And it’s the only 24-hour store within walking distance of the apartment Cindy Song lived in by a long shot, which is why she often walked to it late at night after being out drinking. And since Cindy didn’t take the shoulder bag off from around her body, which contained both her keys and her wallet with all of her money sources, NOR DID SHE TAKE OFF THE HIGH-HEELED, KNEE-HIGH SUEDE BOOTS THAT WERE A PART OF HER COSTUME AND THAT SHE WAS WEARING AND DANCING IN ALL NIGHT, this draws a very logical picture that she walked in her apartment, was still a bit drunk as testified to by Lisa, the friend who dropped her off at her apartment, and she was hungry and thirsty. She put down her backpack that contained her cellphone because she didn’t need it, but she kept her shoulder purse around her body and she kept the almost certainly uncomfortable high-heeled, knee-high boots on, along with the rest of her bunny costume, because why change if you’re only running quick to the Snappy’s that is a block away and where they already know you and you don’t care if they see you in the bunny costume? So she stopped and took a minute to rip off the fake eyelashes that were driving her crazy, then went back out her apartment door, locked it with the keys that were still in her shoulder purse, put the keys back in her purse, and then headed down W. Clinton Ave./Blue Course Drive towards the corner of N. Atherton St., where she would turn and walk a half a block to the Snappy’s store. She never made it. And if you know that area of W. Clinton Ave./Blue Course Drive and what it’s like, especially during the night when it’s dark out, it’s not the best area.

      it makes absolutely no sense at all that a very happy, excited for her future Cindy Song would go out all night with her friends, dressed up for Halloween, dancing, drinking, and having a blast, then leave Player’s at 2:00 a.m. when they close with her best friends, go to another friend’s apartment and play video games for another 2 hours and continue to drink, then have her close friend drop her off at her apartment at 4:00 a.m., come inside her apartment, remove the big, fake eyelashes that were bothering her by then, set down her backpack but keep her shoulder purse containing her keys and her wallet around her body, as well as not even take off the high-heeled, knee-high suede boots that she had on all night, then go back out on-foot to get food at the Snappy’s down the street, and commit suicide. There are numerous witnesses to ALL of these actions of Cindy Song up until she walks inside her apartment at 4:00 a.m., too many witnesses to “help her commit suicide” as you profess, and not have a single one of them in 17 years confess anything at all.

      Stop spreading rumors like this around that have been investigated and ruled-out, and that you know nothing about at all. Comments like this will serve no purpose other than to torture her family and friends who love her and miss her. It’s irresponsible and it’s pointless.

      Reply

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. BEV

    I AGREE

    Reply

  13. 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