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Thread: PA - Cherrie Ann Mahan, 8, Cabot, 22 Feb 1985 *merged*

  1. #126
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    There was another well-known case that followed a similar line, the Nicole Bryner case. Her mother reported that she was abducted from the Giant Eagle supermarket, but in fact the live-in boyfriend murdered her.

    I always wonder if the parents aren't involved, but there is also the case that many of these dirtbags do follow school buses, looking for opportunities. And as I have said before, here and on the Cold Case thread for Cherrie, the geography is very favorable to an abductor, who could literally be on first, isolated back roads, and then on four-lane highways that link to major interstates, going east-west and north-south. Getaway would have been very easy.

    [quote]Timothy Widman confessed in 1986 to killing his girlfriend's daughter, Nicole Bryner, on March 9, 1982. With the child's mother, the late Melody Childs, he buried the body in a wooded lot in Brookline, he told police. Police searched unsuccessfully for the body, and without it prosecutors could not pursue the case.
    Mrs. Childs insisted from the day of Nicole's disappearance that her daughter had been abducted from a South Side supermarket.
    Mrs. Childs was charged with hindering apprehension and lying to police in 1986. Her charges also were dismissed. She died in June 2001 following back surgery in a Texas hospital, her family said.
    Until the day she died, Mrs. Childs maintained her daughter was abducted from the Giant Eagle, Mrs. Childs' family said.
    [snipped for space]
    The new case against Mr. Widman, 51, appears to have been built not on new information, but rather on case law that has changed since Mr. Widman was originally arrested in 1986.
    At that time, prosecutors could not charge someone with murder unless a body was found.

    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06271/725734-53.stm

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  3. #127
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    Pittsburgh Girl,

    I do remember hearing about the Nicole Bryner case... so scary so close to home...


    I don't remember hearing if Cherrie's family was investigated for her disappearance (but then I was only 9 yrs old )... do you know if they were throughly investigated?

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  5. #128
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    I don't recall, and none of the more recent newspaper articles mention the mother and stepfather as suspects. They were at home, but the trailer was some distance from the bus stop. I couldn't find mention of a bio father. Back in those days, I wonder if looking at the parents was as automatic as it is today. There's no doubt that she was in school and on the bus ride home.

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  7. #129
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    I didn't recall that the parents were ever suspects in her disapperarance, but you know these days when a child is abducted, it seems like the first person they look at are the parents.


    I drove by the house on Tuesday where the man that had the skier van lived... (I came to realize that the street only has 4 houses on it)... One house is for sale and I am not sure exactly which house the guy lived in.. I haven't been on that street since I was a kid. So safe in saying, I don't know anymore about who this guy is other than a grandfather to a girl in my girl scout troop or even if he is still alive.

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  9. #130
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    I am so hoping something comes of this! I have always wondered about this case.

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  11. #131
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    Quote Originally Posted by chaddylex View Post
    I didn't recall that the parents were ever suspects in her disapperarance, but you know these days when a child is abducted, it seems like the first person they look at are the parents.


    I drove by the house on Tuesday where the man that had the skier van lived... (I came to realize that the street only has 4 houses on it)... One house is for sale and I am not sure exactly which house the guy lived in.. I haven't been on that street since I was a kid. So safe in saying, I don't know anymore about who this guy is other than a grandfather to a girl in my girl scout troop or even if he is still alive.
    The police have access to a lot more historic records -- they can look up everybody who lived on the street at the time.

    Do you remember your scout leader's name? That might be helpful information for them.

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  13. #132
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    I do remember the girls name and I googled her mom's name.. and got her maiden name (I think the grandfather was the girl's maternal grandfather) so when I get home tonight I am going to look up that last name for a property search in our County and then an obituary.. (not sure if he's still alive or not) Will post if I find out anything...

    One a side notethe girl that I went to school with and was in girl scouts with, was adopted. She was biracial and her parents were white. Her parents seemed a little odd and the girl got into trouble and was sent away. Her parents eventually divorced and her mom died in a house fire back in 1991. (the mom was only 41 when she died). I googled the girl too and she is living half way across the country from me and from what I have read, she seems sucessful today! (I know it is the same girl, it listed her parents)

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  15. #133
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    I'm glad she's doing well. That's a complicated and rather tragic story.

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  17. #134

    Hey chaddylex

    Hey, Chattylex...I haven't read the posts here in the last 2 months or so, but I saw your string on Scottdale and the guy from your street. If the van story is indeed real, you're on to something. Knowing western PA roads very well, there's a country road that many take from Freeport to Westmoreland County, and it would have been easy for the van to drive from Cornplanter Rd to Scottdale. It's PA Route 128 to Freeport, then PA Route 356 to PA Route 66, which turns into US 119 by Scottdale. I've driven the 356 to 119 route many times down to West Virginia and I-68/I-79. It's actually a half hour shorter than trying to drive down PA Rt 28 and around downtown Pittsburgh to I-79. The shortcut would have been the way a grandfather type like you described in the 1980s would have driven between the two points, with the newer expressways just opening in 1985.

    Do not be discouraged, and continue to pursue who that person is and what happened to him, and you may have the clue that solves this. Good luck!
    Last edited by local pgh guy; 04-15-2010 at 11:16 PM. Reason: additional points in message

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  19. #135
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    Hi Local Pgh Guy,

    I sent in the tip over a month ago and haven't heard another word. I did figure out the grandfathers last name, he passed away in I Think 2000. (I did an obituary search in the newspaper)When I talked to the gentleman at Namus, I gave him the street address of where the grandfather lived in 1985... You would think that maybe they have in the system (maybe in the Dept of Motor Vehicles) somewhere a list of people who owned that type of van then...

    I just hope this will be solved... Her disappearance has haunted me since she went missing...

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  21. #136
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    Very good.

    I imagine it will take quite a while to investigate leads as old as that, with many people probably dead or moved away. *fingers crossed*

  22. #137
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    New Trooper Assigned To 25-Year-Old Missing Girl Case

    Itís one of our areas most baffling mysteries. What happened to 8-year old Cherrie Mahan?

    It was February 22,1985 when a school bus dropped Mahan off at her stop on Cornplanter Road in Winfield Township, Butler County. That was that last time she was seen. Her mother and stepfather were waiting for her at the family home just on top of the hill. She never made it.

    Investigators continue to receive information about Mahanís whereabouts, but nothing has lead them to her.

    ďItís like she vanished in thin air,Ē said Pennsylvania State Trooper Frank Jendesky.

    Jendesky has been searching for Mahan for the past 15 years, but his search will soon come to an end. Jendesky is retiring this month. The case will be assigned to another investigator, the fourth to work the case.

    More: http://www.wpxi.com/news/24158527/detail.html
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  23. #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by Idaho4Groenes View Post
    New Trooper Assigned To 25-Year-Old Missing Girl Case

    Itís one of our areas most baffling mysteries. What happened to 8-year old Cherrie Mahan?

    It was February 22,1985 when a school bus dropped Mahan off at her stop on Cornplanter Road in Winfield Township, Butler County. That was that last time she was seen. Her mother and stepfather were waiting for her at the family home just on top of the hill. She never made it.

    Investigators continue to receive information about Mahanís whereabouts, but nothing has lead them to her.

    ďItís like she vanished in thin air,Ē said Pennsylvania State Trooper Frank Jendesky.

    Jendesky has been searching for Mahan for the past 15 years, but his search will soon come to an end. Jendesky is retiring this month. The case will be assigned to another investigator, the fourth to work the case.

    More: http://www.wpxi.com/news/24158527/detail.html
    Thanks for the update, I usually don't watch WPXI news, I watch WTAE Pittsburgh, so probably would have never heard about this.


    Maybe fresh eyes to the case will open the case wide open and they will be able to see things that they overlooked before....

    This is why i joined this site and became interested in finding missing people, all because of Cherie Mahan!!

  24. #139
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    Does anybody know the time that the parents reported her missing?

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  26. #140
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    I'm not sure if it was as soon as she was supposed to have gotten off the bus or not....

    Cherie needs to be found! I can't believe it's been 25 years. Just seems like yesterday I was sitting on my couch seeing the news report of her missing...

  27. #141
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    http://www.butlereagle.com/article/2...WS01/701119981

    Tip brings hope of resolution
    CNN looks at case in show Thursday
    By Kim Paskorz
    Eagle Staff Writer



    Cherrie Mahan's missing person file is nearly 26 years old and 3,600 pages thick.
    But it's not dusty.
    Investigators say, coincidentally, a promising tipster has come forward with information about the case at the same time CNN plans to revisit the case as part of its network television series on the nation's top 10 cold cases.
    “An individual has come forward to the Pennsylvania State Police whose information has the potential to bring resolution to this case,” said Trooper Robert McGraw, stressing that he's “truly optimistic” about this new development.
    Cherrie, an 8-year-old who disappeared from her Winfield Township school bus stop Feb. 22, 1985, has long garnered attention near and far.
    Witnesses who recalled seeing Cherrie get off the bus, also claimed seeing a bluish-green van with a painting of a mountain and a skier behind her bus as well as a small blue compact car nearby.
    Because it was a nice day, Cherrie's stepfather, LeRoy McKinney, would later tell investigators he let the third grader walk the short distance to her Cornplanter Road home.
    When she didn't arrive home, he went to the bus stop 10 minutes later and saw tire prints, but no Cherrie.
    Her disappearance changed the way many people thought about the safety of their children and neighborhoods.
    Her case, including the picture of the now familiar smiling, brown-haired girl, also was the first ever to appear on one of the national “Have you seen me?” missing person, direct mail flyers.
    CNN reporter Randi Kaye said she covered the story then, and recalled meeting Cherrie's mother.
    “This case has always stuck with me,” Kaye said. “I've thought a lot about it over the years.”
    Kaye's segment on Cherrie's case will run Thursday at 10 p.m. and again at 11 p.m.
    She interviewed McGraw, the fourth person to take the investigation lead, by telephone Thursday.
    McGraw, who was 13 years old when Cherrie went missing, said that to this day not a week goes by that someone doesn't offer investigators information they believe will be helpful in resolving the mystery once and for all.
    “We follow every lead,” he said, acknowledging the case keeps him up at night.
    “I can't imagine if that was my daughter,” he said. “I can't imagine the pain her mother and stepfather must feel.”
    McGraw, who took over the investigation about seven months ago, said he volunteered for it because he specializes in crimes against children and firmly believes this case will be solved.

    More at link, long article.

    ETA: Sorry, just realized that you need subscription to view this story, but the important detail of when the CNN show is airing is included in the above section that I copied here. I tried to find the story elsewhere and couldn't find anything. Again, I apologize, but I will leave the link for those who may be here who can view it.
    Last edited by AeroFanRW; 01-11-2011 at 05:56 PM.

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  29. #142
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    So hoping the new information pans out. Hopefilly the CNN program will trigger more memories, finally bring Cherrie home.

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  31. #143
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    Yup, Anderson Cooper 360 will be talking about the Cherrie's case, Thursday, according to the above article. They've been running ads for their month long "AC 360's Most Notorious Cases" special and I saw Cherrie's picture. Amber Hagerman is also going to be on Thursday's program.

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  33. #144
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    I was just on my local news website to see if my kids had a delay (we had a snow storm) and up popped the headlines about Cherrie.

    Cherrie is the whole reason why I am so interested into finding missing people. We were the same age when she went missing and she lived about an hour North of me. I remember being scared because a man that lived a few blocks away from me had a blue van with a skier painted on it.

    Here's the link that I found tonight.
    http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2011/...#comment-17984

    I hope this lead is credible and the family finally gets answers and closure.

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  35. #145
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    Finally after 26 years there is hope!
    Kyron, HALEIGH, ADJI & Gabriel NEEDS PRAYERS NOW TO FIND THEM!. Zahra & Jonathan in heaven
    Justice for Hailey!!!!
    No Justice for Caylee Marie..........

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  37. #146
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    CNN may have a story on Cherrie tomorrow eve.
    It was scheduled already...........KDKA.com
    Kyron, HALEIGH, ADJI & Gabriel NEEDS PRAYERS NOW TO FIND THEM!. Zahra & Jonathan in heaven
    Justice for Hailey!!!!
    No Justice for Caylee Marie..........

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  39. #147
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    I was a year younger than Cherie when she went missing just 10 miles from where I grew up. I remember the panic and the blue van warnings, the fear that rocked this little area. I so hope this new lead answers questions for this poor family - it's been far, far too long.

    Local newspaper article that ran yesterday: http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/vall.../s_717793.html

    Of note, which I found interesting: "McGraw said there still is a chance that Cherrie is alive."

    Wouldn't that be amazing.

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  41. #148
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    My idea of tip is this one

    It seems logical to me as in a few other cases in the past that,
    this tipster may have held a secret told to her/him from when a
    [ the perp]
    let it slip while drunk?
    And like others who would hear something shocking, dissmiss it until the perp either has died or is on his/her death bed.
    Now, the witness with the van story?
    You mean to tell me that someone locally, with a van fitting that description was never investigated?
    Reallywhy not?
    How many vans fitting that description were in the area to begin with?
    Shouldn't all of them have been investigated?
    I mean,
    that sure would be out and about wouldn't it?
    People would have seen the van someplace at some point.
    Who saw the van?
    was that the perp who wanted to distract everyone?
    Someone said" stupid to abduct a child with a distinctive van like that"
    well, I say it was a false lead meant to divert attention from the real perp in this case.
    If this new lead/tip/ is false and brings no closure,it would seem to me that bloodhounds should be brought out in and around the house & nearby woods again.
    She may be closer to her neighborhood than anyone thought.
    I say this because the Nation has been searching for her all over the place, when she may have beem nearby all this time.
    Or this could be another case like the UTAH one?
    I do not know, many things could be the situation for this.
    Like everyone else here, I am crossing my fingers that this will close this cold,cold case....




    #789UMCO unidentified found The victim was discovered on September 8, 2004 in the Flat Tops, White River National Forest, Garfield County, Colorado
    Estimated Date of Death: No longer than 5 years prior to discovery he left a note to "LIB"
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  43. #149
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    Quote Originally Posted by missadrienne View Post
    I was a year younger than Cherie when she went missing just 10 miles from where I grew up. I remember the panic and the blue van warnings, the fear that rocked this little area. I so hope this new lead answers questions for this poor family - it's been far, far too long.

    Local newspaper article that ran yesterday: http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/vall.../s_717793.html

    Of note, which I found interesting: "McGraw said there still is a chance that Cherrie is alive."

    Wouldn't that be amazing.

    I didn't even catch McGraw state that!! OMG what a miracle it would be!! PRAYING PRAYING she is!!

    FINGERS CROSSED ++

    On a side note, I hope this is not a nother dead end....or another lead that drops and we hear nothing about (Jacob Wetterling).

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  45. #150
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    When I read online last night about them having a lead in the case, I gasped real loud.. My teenage daughter was sitting on the couch and thought something happened to me... Then I told her the name of the girl and about the case and she knew who exactly whom I was talking about. She tells people that I am crazy about finding missing people because of a girl that went missing when I was a kid...

    I am hoping that this lead is real.........

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