Cynthia "Cindy" Anderson was last seen on the morning of August 4, 1981, while working at her desk in Toledo, Ohio. Four decades later, and now the longest and still active missing person's case in Ohio, Toledo Police have come no closer to figuring out what happened to Cynthia Anderson.
At the time of her disappearance, 20-year-old Cynthia Anderson was preparing her resignation letter to give to her bosses, James Rabbitt and Jay Feldstein, of the Rabbitt and Feldstein Law Firm on east Manhattan Boulevard in Toledo, Ohio.
When Rabbitt and Feldstein returned to the office around noontime, they noticed a few strange things. Cindy's 1980 Chevrolet Citation was parked in its usual spot, but Cindy was not in hers, her desk near the company telephone.
The front door was locked, the radio and air condition was on, but Cindy and her tan leather purse were nowhere to be found. Rabbitt told investigators that Cindy would rarely leave the office unattended like this, but if she did, she would at least place the telephone on hold.
That no incoming phone calls were answered before 10am showed police she must have been gone before this time.
A maintenance worker, ruled out as a suspect, drilled down this timeline even further by claiming he saw Cindy at her desk around 9:45am and noticed nothing unusual.
The law office, which was in a low-income strip mall, had installed a panic button for Cynthia weeks before she went missing. Simply pressing the button would alert neighboring businesses she was in trouble.
Toledo Police immediately treated Cindy's disappearance as a top priority.
Despite their initial motivation, however, they would soon admit to news sources that they were "getting a bit nervous" after finding no clues.
Cindy's bank account was untouched, even though she had a "substantial amount of money". Her car was still in the same spot as is her routine. Cindy and her purse were missing.
What really troubled Toledo Police more than the lack of evidence, or that somebody abducted her in broad daylight, but according to Toledo police officer, SGT. Robert Cothern, "Two bodies were found Monday night in the trunk of a car three blocks from where she works."
What Cothern left unmentioned was that three of the four recently stained people in Toledo worked for a specific supermarket chain. One of these stores neighbored the law office where Cynthia Anderson worked.
The first theory police needed to debunk was if Cynthia Anderson ran away.
Cindy was raised in a strict Christian fundamentalist home and she and her boyfriend were in the final stages of planning their Christian Bible Fellowship in Farmington Hills.
A long-time friend of Cindy, Jeff Lemke, said
"I have no doubt that she didn't run away. She had no problems. She was a very strong evangelical Christian person."
Both Cynthia's mother and father (both deceased) also knew that their daughter didn't run away. In fact, before the father's death in 2008, he firmly believed his daughter's remains would be found in a suburban pond in Perrysburg, Ohio. Police divers found nothing when searching this pond years later.
Cindy had no real incentive to run away. At the time of her disappearance, she was preparing to leave her job as a legal secretary and follow her boyfriend to the Christian College weeks later.
Her father approved of his daughter's religious fervor, but not of her recent lifestyle changes. Cindy was now 20-years-old and, according to him, recently "spending a lot of time on her face and herself'. He believed his daughter was trying too hard to be noticed with her new dieting and makeup regiment and even "becoming a bit of a debutante."
A neighbor described Cindy as "an attractive young woman" who may have "caught the attention of a passer-by"
Several weeks before Cynthia Anderson went missing, she began being plagued by bizarre and terrifying nightmares. The dreams may have held more weight in her mind because of her Christian upbringing and spirituality.
In these recurring dreams, a stranger abducted and murdered Cindy.
Christine Savidge, Cindy's sister, claimed that
"One morning while I was getting ready for work, Ioverheard 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."
Perhaps more disturbing that Cynthia Anderson's nightmares was the open book on her desk.
Although the title of the novel was never made public, Cindy had been about half-way point of the story when she went missing. The open page was of the violent part in the story, of where the protagonist is abducted at knifepoint.
According to Cindy's boss, Jim Rabbitt, "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."
Another disturbing fact about this case is the graffiti on a neighboring business. For several months leading up to Cynthia Anderson's disappearance, and directly in the line of sight from her secretarial desk, was an eerie message.
"I Love You Cindy - By GW" was prominently displayed in large letters on the side wall of another building.
Cindy had told friends and family about this strange message and they noticed its sudden appearance visibly shook her up.
Police checked with local establishments, receiving a full list of all the strip mall employees.
Cynthia Anderson was the only person who notably went by the name Cindy, but she knew of no one with the initials GW.
A maintenance man with those initials had keys to the law office where Cindy worked, but was ruled out by police.
Clearly disturbed by this message and clueless as to the author could be, Cindy had requested that the strange message be painted over. Her request was granted. However, weeks later, the message reappeared again in the same location. This time, the letters were much bigger.
Larry Mullins, Cindy's friend and former client, told police that weeks leading up to her disappearance, she began receiving strange and unnerving calls into the office.
No one but Cindy knew the exact content of these mysterious phone calls, but Mullins told police that Cindy appeared extremely upset when mentioning them.
Mullins was present for one of these calls. He tells police, "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. Something scared the hell out of her."
For the past forty years, Toledo Police have strived to solve the strange disappearance of Cynthia Anderson, but have yet to do so.
At the end of 1995, Police felt confident that the case was near being solved and in November they finally brought an actual suspect to the public's attention.
According to one local Ohio newspaper during that time, police claimed that Cynthia Anderson was killed by her bosses, Richard Neller, a lawyer working in the same office, and a man by the name of Jose Rodriguez Jr., whom was at the office prior to the secretary's disappearance.
The police theory was that Cindy had overheard Neller and Rodriguez Jr. discussing a drug operation they were involved with.
Police announced Neller as the prime murder suspect after they arrested him and Rodriguez Jr. (the alleged ringleader) and seven others involved on a 25 count indictment.
A witness had confessed in trial that Rodriguez had ordered Neller to kill Anderson to "send a message", however, this claim was never substantiated by police.
When presented with this information, Cindy's father said that if her daughter would have overheard a conversation like this, she would have reported it to the police, because "that's just who she was, honest and caring."
These allegations were dropped against the dope smugglers due to lack of evidence, and police have never officially charged anyone with Cynthia Anderson's murder.
In September 1981, Toledo Police Detective William Adams received an anonymous phone call from an unidentified female. The caller was clearly nervous and talking in low whispers, but claimed that Cynthia Anderson was being held against her will in a basement.
And this caller knew where she was.
The only information this caller gave was that her abductor tied her up in the basement of a white house, across from two side-by-side houses owned by the same family.
She explained that the family that owns the properties was out of town and the son had abducted Cindy and took her down to the basement while they were away.
When asked for an address, the caller hung up.
According to Detective Adams. "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. 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."
It's been forty years since Cynthia Anderson disappeared from her desk on the morning of August 4th, 1981. Her case is the longest still active missing person's case in Ohio law enforcement history.
Still, police have not given up on finding Cindy, as it may be possible she is still alive.
Some internet sleuths speculate that she may have received severe head trauma, and if she is alive, may not know who she is.
Others are less optimistic, saying that her nightmares finally became a reality and the once vibrant Cindy has long since passed.
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