Toddler Laura Bradbury went missing from a campsite in Joshua Tree, California in October of 1984. My little cousin went to the same preschool as her in Costa Mesa, CA, at around the same time. This case broke when I was in my teens. It traumatized me greatly. In fact, I saved a picture of her and a tiny newspaper clipping about her case from the time it happened and I have it somewhere still!!! She was so adorable! It was my first experience hearing about a child who went missing and was never found. I think the impression her case made on me as a teen girl was so strong that it lead to a lifelong concern for the prevention of crimes against children. Over the years I have thought about Laura now and then. It has been hard to remember everything but I remember that for several years her family became pretty quiet about the case, primarily because her mom was too heartbroken to speak about it. But I found a couple posts from her dad recently on another site. He tirelessly searched for his daughter. It was awful. He has a website devoted to Laura now which gives a lot of detail:
This case is a weird one filled with good potential suspects, possible cover-ups and an area controlled by drug dealers and addicts who may have prevented the case from being solved. A few people who gave the police tips were actually found dead/murdered after they did so. I have always wondered why this case has not gotten much attention. Little Laura seemed so precious. It would be so nice for her family to finally be able to find out what happened to their little girl.