Missing Since: June 24, 1979 from Torrance, California
Classification: Endangered Missing
Date of Birth: July 9, 1962
Age: 17 years old
Height and Weight: 5'4, 115 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian female. Blonde hair, blue eyes. Schaefer's nickname is Cindy.
Clothing/Jewelry Description: Dark blue jeans and a white blouse with black Mexican-style embroidery.
Details of Disappearance
Schaefer was abducted from Torrance, California, on June 24, 1979. She was last seen walking back to her grandmother's house from a Christian youth meeting at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Torrance. When she was missed and people searched for her, they only found one of her shoes alongside the road.
Later in 1979, Lawrence Bittaker and Roy Norris were arrested and eventually convicted of murdering Schaefer and several other young women, including Andrea Hall
. Photographs of the two men are posted below this case summary. Norris and Bittaker had driven around California in their silver 1977 GMC
cargo van, which they nicknamed "Murder Mac," and abducted, raped and killed a large number of women.
Norris and Bittaker admitted to kidnapping and raping Schaefer and to dumping her body in a remote gorge, but each man blamed the other one for strangling her. She was their first known victim. Norris testified against Bittaker in exchange for a life sentence; Bittaker was sentenced to death. He is awaiting execution.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
California Department of Justice
Missing and Unidentified Persons Unit