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  1. #1
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    PA - Cherrie Ann Mahan, 8, Cabot, 22 Feb 1985

    This case has been on my mind and in my heart for the last 19 years:


    Cherrie Ann Mahan - Missing from Butler, Pennsylvania

    At 4:05 P.M. on February 22, 1985,the above described child exited her school bus, in company with three other Students. She had approximately 100 years to walk to her residence, but did not arrive home. When she failed to arrive home, her father immediately began a search with negative results, and then notified the state police. A blue or green van, with a painting on the passenger side with a mountain scene with a skier coming down the mountain, was following the bus. There was also an unaccounted for blue colored car in the area at the time of the disappearance.

    Please see Cherrie's picture then and what she may look like now:

    http://doenetwork.bravepages.com/255dfpa.html

  2. #2
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    More, including a slightly different age progression pic, under photo's M-R, click the second picture in the top row from the right:

    http://www.operationlookout.org/Missing_Kids/index.htm

  3. #3
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    Nation's Largest, Most Successful Missing Child Recovery Program Highlighted In Smithsonian Exhibit Honoring America's Postal Workers

    . . .

    "Also in attendance were Janice McKinney and her son Robert. Janice is the mother of Cherrie Mahan, the first child whose photo was featured on ADVO's missing children cards and who, tragically, remains missing."

    http://www.forrelease.com/D20031008/...142.22960.html

  4. #4
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    Mindys
    I was just thinking about her the night before last !! I was sitting here with my daughter and we were looking through the missing photo's of people from Pa and I was showing her Cherrie's Photo, I remember this like it was yesterday and I remember that van so clearly !! Thanks for posting this.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by LinnieB
    Mindys
    I was just thinking about her the night before last !! I was sitting here with my daughter and we were looking through the missing photo's of people from Pa and I was showing her Cherrie's Photo, I remember this like it was yesterday and I remember that van so clearly !! Thanks for posting this.
    No, I'll tell You, what's weird, I was just going to PM you and see if you remembered her. Why do we never hear about her locally, even on the anniversary of her disappearance which we just had. Grrrr. Those eyes, her sweet face.

    She deserves so much more than to forever to be a cold-case. PLEASE anyone who is reading that has the power and resources, take another look at Cherrie's case.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mindys
    No, I'll tell You, what's weird, I was just going to PM you and see if you remembered her. Why do we never hear about her locally, even on the anniversary of her disappearance which we just had. Grrrr. Those eyes, her sweet face.

    Wow !!

    I know what you mean, For years they would always mention her and the anniversary ...now unfortunately you never hear about her...

    I remember I was standing in the kitchen watching t.v that day when she was taken, I was just so shocked that she was soooooooooo close to home...How very sad...Poor baby

    I love the age progression photo of her ! Wonderful job they did !

  7. #7
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    This age progression pic is probably the most accurate, the other one didn't seem quite right to me:


  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mindys
    This age progression pic is probably the most accurate, the other one didn't seem quite right to me:



    Yes ! Thats the one I was refering to.

  9. #9
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    From 2002:

    Take Cherrie Mahan. She's been gone 17 years. The Butler County girl, the first to appear on an ADVO card, vanished after stepping off a school bus near her home around 4:30 p.m. Feb. 22, 1985. Police believe someone following the bus in a van with a ski scene decal scooped up the girl.

    She was 8 then. Her 26th birthday is in August.

    "For the first couple or three years I didn't want to go on," said her mother, Janice McKinney. "I just wanted to die and be done with it. Then, I don't know what happened to me. A peace came over me the third year. I told God I can't cry any more. I can't hurt any more."

    McKinney finally had her declared legally dead in1998, the year Cherrie would've turned 22. She wanted to release money saved in Cherrie's name to the girl's younger brother. After Cherrie disappeared, Mc-Kinney was invited to speak at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's headquarters in Alexandria, Va. There she met Vince Giuliano, the ADVO vice president who started the "Have you seen me?" card campaign.



    http://www.post-gazette.com/nation/2...ssingkids3.asp

  10. #10
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    In the 13 years since she vanished into that place where little girls are always 8 years old and mothers walk forever with huge rips in their souls, Cherrie Mahan's absence has been measured in things missed.

    She was absent for what would have been her high school graduation in 1994. She wasn't there nine years ago when her brother was born. Yesterday, she missed her own death.

    After waiting six years longer than law requires, Cherrie Mahan's mother walked into a courtroom and surrendered to a reality she can barely speak about. Cherrie Mahan is now, in the official books of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, dead.

    "This is not over," Janice McKinney said, fairly choking on her words. "We'll always look for Cherrie. If nothing else, she'll always be in our hearts."

    There long ago ceased to be any other plausible spot to look for Cherrie. After she stepped off a school bus and never made the remaining 150 yards to her house, police scoured her neighborhood in the Butler County town of Cabot.

    Car tracks were photographed. They led nowhere. Fliers blanketed the region. Family friends were asked pointed questions. Janice and LeRoy McKinney, Cherrie's mother and stepfather, were given the obligatory lie detector tests.

    The only certainty to emerge was that Cherrie could not be found.

    Three months ago, after Janice McKinney decided to hand over to a charity for missing children the $50,000 once intended to reward the person who found Cherrie, she telephoned her lawyer, J. Stevenson Suess. Would he do some final paperwork on the case?

    Before she had vanished, Cherrie won a $3,500 settlement from an insurance company after her arm was broken in a traffic accident. The money had been sitting in a bank, waiting for her. Janice McKinney decided the time had come to give that money to the child she can still find, her 9-year-old son Robert, the brother Cherrie never met.

    It took 15 minutes for Judge Thomas Doerr to hear McKinney's petition yesterday. He duly noted the bare facts: Cherrie Mahan was born Aug. 14, 1976. On Feb. 22, 1985 she got off her bus along Cornplanter Road in the town of Cabot. After that, she has been neither seen nor heard from, despite a search that stretched across Western Pennsylvania.

    With so much evidence of things not seen, Pennsylvania's law holds that, on Feb. 22, 1992 -- after the necessary seven years had elapsed -- Cherrie Mahan died.

    What happened to her is anyone's guess.

    "I was outside on the porch," LeRoy McKinney recalled yesterday. "I heard the bus comin' down the hollow. I heard the kids gettin' off."

    LeRoy McKiney said he was about to go down the 150-yard driveway leading to their place when Janice told him: "No, it's a nice day. Let her walk."

    After 10 minutes, LeRoy and Janice McKinney began to worry. He went to the bus stop. All he noticed were some tire prints and utter silence. School mates later told investigators Cherrie had gotten off the bus. In the ensuing months, the only lead anyone had was that a van with a mountain scene painted on its side had been noticed around the neighborhood. It was never found.

    Years followed. Janice and LeRoy McKinney tortured themselves with thoughts of what might have happened. Eliminating suspects one by one, police questioned the McKinneys. They questioned friends, too, and some of them fell away.

    "I don't know if they were mad," LeRoy McKinney explained. "They just wanted nothing to do with it."

    Doerr, a thin, 42-year-old judge with thick, curly hair and wire-rimmed glasses, was noticeably shaken by his own ruling yesterday. He won't comment on any case before him, but does admit to remembering the desperate days in which a community looked for a Cherrie Mahan. His own daughter had been born just two years earlier.

    "I'm sorry to see you here, ma'am," he told Janice McKinney, then closed the proceedings.

    The statute under which Cherrie was declared dead takes its pedigree from colonial times, when men often went to war or into the woods to hunt and never returned. Common law, passed down from the British, held that, after seven years without any word, the spouse left behind could remarry and society could safely assume the missing one had died.

    It became the basis for a popular myth still afoot today: that if a couple lives together for seven years, they are, by default, in a common-law marriage.

    A judge can entertain a declaration of death in less than seven years if the missing person was involved in some perilous activity. Suess gave the example of a balloonist who tries to cross the Atlantic and isn't heard from again.

    All Cherrie Mahan was doing, though, was what thousands of children do every day: getting off a school bus to walk up her driveway to home. It should have taken five minutes.

    Robert McKinney, the brother born four years after Cherrie vanished, was in school yesterday, and thus not on hand to see the sister he never knew declared dead, years after she passed away.

    "He doesn't understand, other than he has a very overprotective mother. This child's not going anywhere without me," Janice McKinney said.

    There was never a funeral service for Cherrie Mahan, because her mother could never bring herself to do anything but continue to hope, even when hoping was the thing that hurt most, because there was no clear way to stop.

    "When people die, you have a body. You kiss 'em in the face, you put them in the ground and you say goodbye," she said. "That's something I never had."


    gazette.com/regionstate/19981104close2.asp


  11. #11
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    From the Director of ADVO:

    "If we can find one person who knows something, maybe we can bring Cherrie home".

  12. #12
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    Oh Wow, when you can find Cherrie mentioned its a big deal, this is a good one:

    Missing, Exploited and Runaway Children Act

    . . .

    "Mr. Speaker, I think a lot of good work has been done on this bill;
    and I would like to laud Members on both sides of the aisle for this
    work.

    The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children is a private,
    non-Federal corporation that was founded back in 1984; and they have
    helped over the last 15 years to recover over 40,000 missing children.
    I first worked with them back in 1985. They were one year in existence
    at that time. And I was a news reporter working back in Pennsylvania.
    One afternoon after getting off the school bus near the town of
    Cabot, Pennsylvania, 8-year-old Cherrie Mahan disappeared, never to be
    seen or heard from again. There was a police bulletin which went out,
    went all over the Nation, looking for a van with a ski scene on the
    side. That is what they believed the people were driving who they
    thought abducted Cherrie.

    That was never proven. The van was never found. But a very quiet,
    rural community was upended. The family was upended. This 8-year-old
    girl had just gotten off the bus on her way home, never to be seen,
    never to be heard from again. Where do they look? Where do they turn
    to?

    And finally, the people from that community found the National Center
    for Missing and Exploited Children. People in the community worked
    together. They searched. They looked for clues. They put out every kind
    of feeler they could trying to find out who knew about this young
    girl's abduction. And they collected money for a reward. All told, they
    collected from their hard-earned dollars $58,000.

    Last October, when it was determined that Cherrie was not going to
    come back and she was declared legally dead, that $58,000 was presented
    by me along with those people, the friends and neighbors of Cherrie
    Mahan, a $58,000 check, to the National Center for Missing and
    Exploited Children so that that money could be used as a resource to
    help establish computer networks across this country to find runaway
    kids, to find kids who have been abducted, and to help fight against
    violence in our schools.

    In return, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
    gave an $8,000 TRAC system, called Technology to Recover Abducted Kids,
    back to the Butler State Police Barracks in Butler, Pennsylvania. And
    they hoped that if they ever have to see another sad situation like the
    tragic disappearance of Cherrie Mahan, that the community will be
    better prepared, that they will be better armed with this new
    technology, and that we in the Federal Government can be a partner in
    that, making sure that the resources are there so that the sadness that
    the Mahan family has had to live with will never be felt by other
    families across this Nation."


    http://groups.google.com/groups?q=ch...ews.org&rnum=1

  13. #13
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    It is so heart-breaking - the pain and the emptiness that these families have to endure. What causes someone to want to take another person's child? How could someone look into a child's eyes and hurt him or her? I just do not understand. I wish there was something I or someone could do.



    IMO

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juliana
    It is so heart-breaking - the pain and the emptiness that these families have to endure. What causes someone to want to take another person's child? How could someone look into a child's eyes and hurt him or her? I just do not understand. I wish there was something I or someone could do.



    IMO
    Juliana, thanks for reading and posting on this thread. It's only going to take one voice, one day. I KNOW the Lord can move mountains, there's some really big one's here.

    Remember her face. Remember her name.

  15. #15
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    Thank you for posting her story MIndy, I can't do much to help bring her back, but knowing her story, and reading about her life, hearing her mothers words, my heart just aches for her... in some small way I I feel am remembering her. I would want people to do the same for me, don't forget her. Your a great lady Mindy, let me tell you that much.
    "The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart."-Helen Keller
    Laci & Conner.... you will always be in my heart.

    Proud Military Wife

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