A legal secretary disappears after having dreams of being abducted.
Remarks: Last seen 8/4/81
Cynthia was plagued by bad dreams
In 1980, 20-year-old Cindy Anderson of Toledo, Ohio, was plagued by a series of frightening dreams. In one episode, the acquaintance she lets in the door betrays her trust. Cindy’s sister, Christine Savidge, heard her sister talking about the dreams:
“One morning while I was getting ready for work, I overheard Cindy talking to my mother. I do believe that the dreams could’ve been a premonition of fears that Cindy actually had in her subconscious at the time.”
Police searched for clues
On August 4, 1981, Cindy went to work as usual. She was employed as a legal secretary and, in the mornings, usually worked in the office alone. She kept the door locked at all times. A buzzer had even been installed at her desk so that she could alert the shop next door if there was trouble.
One day, at noon, Jim Rabbitt and Jay Feldstein, two of the lawyers, arrived back at their office after a meeting. According to Jim Rabbitt:
“Jay and I came back from downtown, got to the door and the lights were on, the door was locked. We unlocked the door, went inside, yelled for Cindy and there was no answer. I started to look around out front. Cindy, when she would leave, would place the phones on hold and that wasn’t done either.”
Jim Rabbitt said that Cindy had left her romance novel open to the only violent scene in the book, where the heroine is abducted at knifepoint:
“It wasn’t until really looking at the book, particularly reading the passage in the novel, that I had a sickening feeling that something was wrong.”
Cindy was never seen again. There was no body, no farewell letter, no hint where she had gone, or why she had disappeared. Were Cindy’s dreams premonitions of a terrible fate? Or, were they just a coincidence?
A mystery caller provided a new lead
Cindy was raised in a strict religious environment. Her family, boyfriend, and most of her social circle were all devout Christian fundamentalists. Cindy’s father, Michael Anderson:
“She was a very quiet, obedient type of a girl. She never made waves with either myself or her mother. And she had lots of friends. She was the type of daughter that you just enjoy, I mean, just a beautiful young girl.”
Cindy’s sister had no idea why she might leave on her own:
“At the time of Cindy’s disappearance, there were no circumstances in her life that any of us were aware of that would’ve caused her to have run away. She was looking forward to quitting her job in two weeks and going to a Bible college that she would attend with her boyfriend. She was very excited about it.”
Cindy’s dad said he noticed a change in his daughter’s behavior:
“Just before she disappeared however, she was becoming like a debutante. She was spending a lot of time on her face and herself and she’d skip breakfast for this reason. And that may be part of the problem.”
The day Cindy vanished, the police immediately began a search for clues. Cindy’s car keys and purse were missing. But the office was undisturbed, and according to Toledo Police Det. William Adams, there were no signs of a struggle:
“Her car was parked in front of the law office. Her bank account, which had a nice substantial amount of money, was never touched. Her social security number has never shown up under any other work place. It’s a complete mystery how and why Cindy disappeared.”
Larry Mullins was a client of the law office where Cindy worked:
“The day before Cynthia Anderson disappeared, I had been in the law offices to pay off a legal fee. She got a phone call. She kind of reacted like maybe it was obscene or something and hung up real quick. And the look on her face, still, I can picture it today. She was scared. She was honestly and sincerely scared. It gives me shivers to think of the look on her face. I went home and I called the police department and asked them to do a drive-by and check on her. Something scared the hell out of her, in my opinion.”
In September, 1981, a month after Cindy vanished, another strange phone call gave police a new lead. According to Det. Adams, a woman called to report that Cindy was being held in the basement of a white house:
“She said that she was scared and she was talking in low whispers. She kept saying she had to go. I kept begging her to stay on the line, give me more information, give me an exact address, something that we could act on. A short while later, she again called. The lady mentioned that there were two houses side by side owned by the same family, and that the family was out of town. But their son was home and he was the party that was holding Cindy in the basement. We did check street after street on the north end to see if we could find two houses side by side. There’s many, but you can’t find any positive location to the house.”
Michael Anderson has wondered if his daughter isn’t living somewhere with amnesia:
“If she herself is out there, we want her to know we love her and we certainly want her to come back, whatever the case may be. The door is open, we certainly want anybody and everybody that can possibly help in this situation to do so.”
After Cindy’s disappearance, a local grand jury indicted nine people for drug trafficking. Some suspect that Cindy knew one of them, and she was killed after she overheard incriminating comments. No charges were ever filed.
Watch this case now on Amazon Prime in season two with Robert Stack and season four with Dennis Farina. Also available on YouTube with Dennis Farina. Various seasons available now on Hulu.
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