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Thread: NV - Charles and Jennifer Chia, age 6 & 7, kidnapped & murdered in Reno, Oct 1989

  1. #1
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    NV - Charles and Jennifer Chia, age 6 & 7, kidnapped & murdered in Reno, Oct 1989

    Could someone please get this link to work. Very disturbing case.
    I found the story at www.RGJ.com
    I wonder what you all think about the man being released from prison, who tried to extort $100,000 from the mother.
    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Here is a link to the FBI report on this case:
    http://www.fbi.gov/mostwant/seekinfo/chiaw.htm

    And an MSNBC story:
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9746584/

  3. #3
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    Question This made me think of ....

    The Lisa Bonham case where she was abducted in Reno, NV in '77.

    May be totally unrelated but here is the link...

    http://www.rgj.com/cgi-bin/printstor...tory=959999559

  4. #4
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    I was living in Reno when this happened - this case fell out of the media real quick. I know it is cold now but I really hope they can still solve it - there is a large piece of the puzzle that is missing.

  5. #5
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    Charles and Jennifer Chia

    I came across this story earlier this week. I was not living here (Reno) at the time, didn't get here until a few years later. But I am still amazed that I have never heard anything about this story in the past 15 years. I tried doing some research on it but was only able to come up with a couple of things.

    http://crime.about.com/od/unsolved/p/chias.htm

    I found this one on the internet....

    http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/nevada/1999/oct/18/509439133.html

    This was posted in the Las Vegas paper in 1999 (ten year anniversary).

    These kids really deserve some justice here. There has got to be someone out there that knows of this case. Maybe someone from that apartment complex saw something, but were too afraid to come forward.

  6. #6
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    So i assume these kids never made it inside to the apartment? No lunch box on the kitchen counter...


    And was anyone home at the apartment or did they go home to an empty apartment?

  7. #7
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    Reno
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    That is what I am trying to find out. I am going to head down to our main library and see if I can find some old news stories or something. All I know is they disappeared soon after getting off the bus.

  8. #8
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    Northern California (near Sac)
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    No they never made it to the apartment. I know that much. I don't know if anyone was waiting for them at home though. This is one of those cases that haunts me...it's pretty close to home. There's some good info on the net, I wish I had time to find some of it for you guys right now.
    Rest in peace little Marcus.

    Where is Jaycee Lee Dugard?

  9. #9
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    I found a couple more things today. One is an article from the Reno paper from back in October, marking the anniversary of their disappearance. I don't read the paper much, but do watch the news alot (and read the news channel websites). I don't remember hearing anything about this guy at that time. I will do some more research and see what I can come up with.

  10. #10
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    Reno
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    Oops...forgot to post the links...lol

    http://www.fbi.gov/wanted/seekinfo/chiaw.htm


    http://news.rgj.com/apps/pbcs.dll/ar...0318/1004/NEWS

    I found a website for the kids, but it no longer existed. I can find links to several things about these kids, but when I click on them, they no longer exist. Not sure where else to look. Am still hoping to get some free time to go to the library to look through the archives.

  11. #11
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    THE CHIA MURDER CASE, 16 YEARS LATER

    By Jaclyn O'Malley

    jomalley@rgj.com

    The 6-and 7-year-old siblings only had a 100-yard walk to their Reno home from their school bus stop.

    But in that short distance, someone -- undetected -- kidnapped Jennifer and Charles Chia on Oct. 18, 1989.

    Their decomposed skeletal remains were found nine months later by a highway worker beside a partially hidden turnout near Blairsden, Calif., about 60 miles west of Reno.

    "The most horrible nightmare that could happen to anyone occurred to my beautiful children ... they were taken from me and murdered," their mother Ann Chang wrote 10 years ago in an open letter to the Reno Gazette-Journal. "The killer has yet to be caught."

    Those words still ring true today.

    On almost every anniversary of the Chia children's abduction, police reach out to the media in hope that publicity will attract witnesses to come forward.

    Publicity following the 10th anniversary generated a tip that Reno police say could be the key in solving the case. Witnesses in 2000 reported seeing a white Volkswagen near the grave site about the time of the abduction. The car had been registered to convicted felon James W. Grooms, who spent nine years in prison for trying to extort money from Chang a week after the abduction. He called her multiple times promising he would return her children if she paid him $100,000.

    Retired Reno police detective Ron Dreher, who was the lead investigator on the case and remains involved, said Grooms was a primary suspect and has yet to be removed from suspicion.

    Dreher said Grooms' car was never found and Grooms never gave a clear answer about its whereabouts. Grooms was released from Nevada prison in 1998.

    "The car could hold the key," he said. "We need to find it."

    Several people have confessed to the murders and were cleared, said Dreher of the high-profile case. But he is confident the Chia children's killer will be found someday.

    "Everything in this case centers around getting that crucial lead, or witness coming forward," Dreher said. "This was a beautiful family and a horrific crime. We know it's solvable. The killer could be someone we've already interviewed."

    Community responds

    The Chia case gripped the community so much that local real-estate developers offered a $50,000 reward for information, an anonymous mother gave Chang a check for more than $1,700 to help with expenses and Anderson Elementary, the school the Chias attended, dedicated a memorial to the siblings outside the school.

    Their disappearance shocked the community that was already coping with other missing children. Jennifer Martin, 11, disappeared June 28, 1987, while walking home from a Lemmon Valley 7-Eleven store and Tony Franko, 10, disappeared in 1983, also in Lemmon Valley.

    And following the Chia's abduction, Monica DaSilva, 7, disappeared from her Reno bedroom on Sept. 23, 1990. Her partial remains were found three weeks later. In June 1991, Jaycee Lee Dugard, 11, was kidnapped in South Lake Tahoe as she walked to her school bus on a quiet cul-de-sac. Her stepfather watched from the family garage as a car stopped and someone grabbed the girl. She remains missing.

    These missing child cases sparked police to form a task force.

    The siblings' parents had been divorced about two years. Their mother was raising them alone, with the help of her mother. Chang also owned Imperial Palace restaurant, which she closed in 2001.

    The children's parents were Taiwanese, and the siblings spoke the most fluent English in the family. Their father lived in California.

    Chang could not be reached for comment for this story.

    Anderson Elementary Principal Vince Ames once described the pair as best friends. Jennifer considered her brother her hero, and the two frequently played together. Jennifer was shy, and loved to draw and play the piano and violin. Her brother studied tae kwon do and played the violin.

    The siblings were excited for Halloween and had picked out matching boy and girl Batman costumes.

    Oct. 18, 1989

    Classes ended about 3 p.m. at Anderson Elementary, and the siblings took the bus home to their apartment in the 800 block of Redfield Parkway. Their grandmother, who was staying with the family while Chang visited her father in Taiwan, waited for them.

    About 3:30 p.m., Jennifer, whose two front teeth were missing, grabbed her tote bag and "Miss Piggy" lunch pail and got off the bus. Charles, wearing his backpack, was in tow. The apartment was 100 yards away. They never reached home.

    Dreher said when their grandmother reported them missing, police did not immediately approach the case as a stranger abduction.

    "The mentality was that they are somewhere and we would find them," he said.

    But as more time went on, police changed their attitude and conducted one of the most extensive searches in the county.

    Detectives had gone door-to-door throughout apartment complexes and businesses in the area. The children's pictures were placed on billboards, fliers, buttons and a television reenactment was aired.

    When they were found nine months later, Chang, the community and the police were devastated, Dreher said.

    The prime suspect

    At the time of the abduction, Grooms' own children, a boy and girl, were about the same age of the Chias and looked similar, Dreher said. Following his arrest for extorting the Chias' mother, police found evidence at his home that indicates he met the children before they were kidnapped and was aware of the Imperial Palace restaurant. Chang has said she never met Grooms. Police said Grooms has denied responsibility in the children's kidnapping and murders. His whereabouts today are unknown.

    Detectives said he couldn't explain his whereabouts at the time of the murder. He once lived within two miles of where the bodies were buried, and has never said where police could find his Volkswagen. Grooms has felony convictions in California related to welfare fraud, records show.

    But there are other people whom police are looking for:

    o The married couple who reported seeing a brown van with a Miller Lite gear-shift knob near the burial site after the children were taken.

    o Witnesses saw a balding Asian man in the apartment complex at the time of the kidnapping. He was standing next to a pickup parked near the bus stop. He was never found.

    o Shortly after the funeral in 1990, a man deposited money to the children's trust fund and was crying and highly emotional. The teller turned on the surveillance camera and gave the footage to police. He has not yet been found.

    "I still believe someone is out there with information," Dreher said.

    "They just need to call us."

    HOW TO HELP

    Anyone with tips or information regarding the Chia case, or who recalls anything in the area of where the children were abducted or buried, or has information about James Grooms or his car, should call Detective Scott Hopkins, Reno police, at 334-2188 or Secret Witness at 322-4900.

    CHIA CASE TIMELINE

    Oct. 18, 1989 - Charles Chia, 8 and Jennifer Chia, 6, disappeared about 3:30 p.m. after they got off their school bus. Later that night, their grandmother reported them missing.

    Oct. 22 and 24 - James Grooms calls Imperial Palace, the restaurant that the children's mother owns, and demanded $100,000 for their safe return.

    Oct. 25 - Grooms is arrested for extortion.

    Oct. 27 - Ann Chang makes a public plea for the safe return of her children.

    Nov. 5 - Photographs of the children appear on billboards, fliers and buttons throughout the Truckee Meadows. Ten days later, a reenactment would appear on television.

    July 25, 1990 - Charles and Jennifer's skeletal remains are found by a highway worker near Blairsden, Calif., in Plumas County.

    April 9, 1992 - Police form a task force investigating missing childrens' disappearance.

    August 1993 - Forensic anthropologists and archeologists re-create the grave site, and find new evidence that police decline to comment about.

    Oct. 18, 1995 - Ann Chang offers a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of her children's killers.

    January 1998 - Grooms is released from prison after serving time for trying to extort Ann Chang.

    January 2000 - A witness reported seeing a white Volkswagen near the children's gravesite following their abduction. The car was registered to Grooms. Police believe case-breaking clues could be inside the car, which has never been found.


    Here is a copy of an article I found.......

  12. #12
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    Dec 2006
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    Reno
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    Unsolved for almost 18 years

    Bumping for Charles and Jennifer. Next month will mark 18 years since they were abducted. Somebody out there knows what happened to these children. They vanished from their apartment complex in broad daylight. Someone had to have seen something. I know in my apartment complex in the middle of the afternoon, there is always some kind of activity going on outside.....maintenance workers driving around, people out walking their dogs, people driving through......someone had to have seeen them get into a vehicle. I also believe that it was someone they knew. How else would they have been able to disappear with no notice? They were old enough to know the difference between friends and strangers, and surely would have made a scene if someone tried to force them into a vehicle (not to mention the difficulty in kidnapping 2 kids at the same time). I hope that this case can be solved so their poor mother can finally know who did this and why.

  13. #13
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    Mar 2005
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    Pennsylvania
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    bumping for Jennifer, Charles and Monica (i believe the cases are related...and if they aren't, all 3 still deserve justice)

    I wonder if Phillip Garrido, Jaycee Dugard's abductor, is related to it...Reno is about 3/4 hours from Antioch, CA...and Garrido had ties to Nevada....

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