The Disappearance of Cynthia Anderson

Mackenzie VanSickle, Journalist

Cynthia Anderson was a 20-year-old who was raised in a religious household. In 1981, she went missing at her secretary Job at law office inside of a strip mall in Toldeo, Ohio 

Cynthia was described by her father Michael Anderson as “Quiet, Obedient type of girl who never made waves, yet had a lot of friends”. A local neighbor described her as “A pretty young lady who caught the attention of a passerby” Cynthia’s family had many strict rules and curfews, but she had a boyfriend who was also part of the family church. She was about to quit her job in two weeks to attend bible college with him. 

 One year before Cynthia went missing, outside of her job window someone drew on the wall across the street “I love you Cindy” in big letter also with a signature that said “By GW” in smaller lettersAccording to one of Cynthia friends she was the only one with that name on that side of the mall. This message took six months to cover up, but a couple of weeks later the same message was back in bigger letters. 

The summer of 1981 Cynthia started to be harassed by anonymous callers. The messaged the caller had been saying were disturbing and ominous. One of her co-workers Larry Mullins was in the room when someone called her, He said she picked up the phone and then quickly hung upAfter she hung up the phone began to ring againMullin quoted “She was scared, sincerely scared” Around the same time of these calls Cynthia started to have nightmares about being kidnapped and murdered. Due to these strange events her co-workers started to tell her to keep the office door always locked even during business hours. They also installed a panic button that if she pressed it the nearby stores would be alerted to go and check on her.  

On August 4, 1981 Cynthia skipped breakfast and left her parents’ house at 8:30am. She arrived at her Law Office on East Manhattan Boulevard at 9:45, this would be the last time anyone ever saw Cynthia. Around 12pm her employer James Rabbit arrived at the office. There was no sign of Cynthia and the lights and radio were still on, there was also a smell of nail polish remover in the airShe would usually leave a note and put the phone on hold if she would leave the office but there was no note, and the phone was not put-on holdThe was no sign of a struggle, and her panic button hadn’t been pushed. Her purse and keys were missing, and the door was still locked from the inside. Her car was also still inside of the parking lotThe book she had been currently reading was left open on a page where the main character was being kidnapped at knifepoint.  

The first theory is that she was kidnapped by a stalker. Since she was receiving those strange calls and the “I love you Cindy” signsPolice and some of Cynthia friends worked to find out who GW is. A Janitor who worked at the strip mall that Cynthia worked at had those initials. He also has all the keys to all the offices and that could explain why the door was still locked from the inside when she disappeared. Police found no other evidence about the Maintenance man. The police found the man who made the “I love you Cindy” signs. The man claimed they were for his girlfriend and that the one across the street from the law office wasn’t the only sign he had made. He was also not charged. 

A month after Cynthia disappearance police received a call of a whispering women claiming to be Cynthia AndersonThe woman claimed to be in a white house own by a family that had been out of town, she said the son of the family was the one who had been holding her captivePolice asked the woman for more details about her whereabouts to be able to find her, but the woman hung up. Police had searched the area but had never found the woman who called. 

The second theory is the Cynthia was murdered after hearing about a drug deal. In 1981, Richard Neller was working on a case with his client Jose Rodrigeuz Jr. Neller and Rodrigeuz were both arrested after a long-time drug conspiracy. In 1995 in their trail Rodriguez admitted to killing Cynthia but the judge ruled it as a not true statement 

The third theory is that Cynthia ran away to experience what the world is like without being sheltered. Cynthia did grow up in a strict church household. Michael Anderson said “Cynthia had been spending a lot of time on her face and becoming a bit of debutant.”  She could have been doing makeup and dieting for when she ran away, so she could have an altered appearanceCynthia sister described “My parents wanted us involved in church, and we were”. Cynthia has now been missing for 39 years and her is case is still open.