Michaela Garecht

In 1988, 9-year-old Michaela Garecht was kidnapped from a neighborhood market in Northern California. Michaela was riding her scooter with a friend and went into the Rainbow Grocery in Hayward to buy some snacks on the Saturday morning before Thanksgiving. The girls left their scooters outside and when they returned, one of the scooters had been moved behind a car. Michaela went to retrieve it, but was grabbed by the driver of the car and forced into the vehicle. Her friend ran to tell the store clerk, but the vehicle, and Michaela, had already disappeared.

Michaela’s young friend was able to describe the man and the vehicle to police officers, but no suspects were located. They gathered DNA from Michaela’s scooter, hoping that one day a match would be found.

Nearly 30 years later, that day finally came. The case was reopened and the DNA was tested again. This time, they found a match. David Misch, 59, who is serving a sentence for an unrelated murder conviction, was charged Monday, December 21st 2020 by Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley in the disappearance of Michaela Garecht. Witnesses place him in the area at the time. While Michaela’s remains have still not been found, the family is one step closer to justice for their little girl.

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