The Strange Disappearance of Anthonette Christine Cayedito

National Crime Information Center Case Number: M-550277143
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children Case Number: NCMC600709
Gallup Police Department 505-863-9365: Case Number 0006-86
New Mexico Department of Public Safety Missing Person Hotline: 1-800-457-3463

General Information:

Anthonette Christine Cayedito

Date of Birth: 12/25/1976
Parents: Theresa "Penny" Cayedito and Larry Estrada. (Both deceased)
Date of Disappearance: 4/6/1986, Between 3am and 7am.
Address at Time of Disappearance: 204 Arnold Circle #9, Gallup, NM 87301
Age at Time of Disappearance: 9 Years Old
Height & Weight at Time of Disappearance: 4'7, 55 lbs 
Hair and Eyes: Brown Hair and Brown Eyes
Ethnicity: White/Hispanic/Native American/Italian Descent, Female with 
Clothing: Wearing a knee length pink nightgown when she disappeared
Distinguishing Charcteristics: Moles on her right cheek, nose, ankle, and back. Scars on her knee and lip.
Classification: Non Family Abduction/Out of State Abduction. Foul Play is suspected.

Details of Disappearance:

Anthonette Cayedito disappeared from her home at 204 Arnold Circle #9 in Gallup, New Mexico in the early morning hours of April 6, 1986. (Between 3am and 7am) That evening, Anthonette's mother, Penny Cayedito, had been out with friends at a local bar, and Anthonette along with her younger sisters, Wendy and Senida were with a babysitter. Penny, who often frequented the bars along Highway 66. Had been out at the Talk of the Town Bar until after midnight the night her daughter was abducted. Penny arrived home and sent the babysitter home. She allowed the kids to stay up late and play. According to Penny she stayed up until nearly 3am talking to Anthonette. And she went to bed around 3am. According to a Gallup article at the time. Sometime after 3am Anthonette and her sister Sadie (Senida) heard someone at the front door. They didn't recognize the voice so they didn't respond and ignored the man and went back to bed. Some time after they heard another knock. (Sadie wasn't sure of the time) But Anthonette got up and checked to see who it was. Sadie stayed in bed the second time so she did not hear or see anything. This is coming from Larry Estrada, the father of Anthonette. Penny then woke up around 7am to get the kids ready for Bible School. Anthonette was not in bed nor was she in the house. (Apparently Anthonette slept in her mothers bed) For some reason I have read that Penny assumed at one point that Anthonette was out searching for a missing neighbor's dog. This has been disputed by the family to some degree so I do not know where this part of the story came from. But I have read it in a number of articles. Despite searching the surrounding area with the assistance of neighbors. Anthonette was not found. Penny informed the Gallup Police at 11am. They informed her (According to Penny) that she would need to wait 8 hours before filing a missing person report. This is before the era of Amber Alerts. Either way. That's idiocy to the extreme. I have a 9 year old. If she ended up missing and someone told me that. My foot would drill a hole in someones ass! Anyways, An elderly neighbor told the authorities that she saw an older model Brown Van with New Mexico license plates outside the house between 630-7am. She also said she saw a man get out and approach the Cayedito house. But she couldn't provide a description of the man. She said she didn't pay that much attention. Apparently there was a lot of coming and going with different people at all hours of the day and night at the Cayedito residence. That's according to the other neighbors who were interviewed at the time. When the authorities questioned the family regarding if they knew anyone who owned such a vehicle. Larry and Penny both said they didn't.  A 5 day search ensued with the authorities to no avail. The case soon went cold.....

"We went looking for her around the house, nothing.   I didn't start panicking until we checked with all the neighbors, went to every house and nobody had, seen her." Penny Cayedito

                               (All pics above are of the house the Cayedito Family lived in at the time.)

“A neighbor said it wasn’t unusual for Penny to have people visit all hours of the night,”


7 months later a break came when the Gallup Police Department received a call. (I've read the date of the call was anywhere from 7 months to over a year later) The caller, A girl, Said she was Anthonette Cayedito and she was in Albuquerque. The call lasted less than 30 seconds. A man can be heard on the line yelling "Who said you can use the phone!?" The girl claiming to be Anthonette can be heard crying and then the call ended. The call was too short to be traced. And no follow up calls came in after. Penny Cayedito swore that it was the voice of Anthonette. However it was never conclusively proven one way or the other. The call can be heard on the Unsolved Mysteries segment below. (Penny did not recognize the other voice.)

"I listened to that tape over and over and over. And just by the way she says her last name, And the way she screamed, sent chills all over my body. A mother knows and I know that was her."  Penny Cayedito

Carson City, Nevada

 Another lead came from a waitress in Carson City, Nevada 4 years later who claimed to have seen Anthonette. The gist of the lead was that this waitress thought the girl looked like Anthonette and she was accompanied by a couple (Male and Female) who were described as unkempt. The girl kept intentionally dropping silverware on the floor so that the waitress would pick it up. Apparently upon leaving the waitress was cleaning the table and discovered a note written on a napkin that read "Help Me Call Police". This story has never been proven to be true and I have never seen an interview with this supposed waitress. But it has almost always been reported in regards to this case. I do not lend much credence to this aspect unless this mysterious waitress suddenly comes forth for an interview. 

Wendy Cayedito

 The phone call and the lead from the waitress in Carson City renewed interest in the case. The authorities began re-interviewing witnesses and family. Wendy Cayedito (Anthonette's younger sister) then told investigators that the night of the disappearance there was a knock at the door. Anthonette and her went to the door. Anthonette asked who was there. The voice replied "Uncle Joe". She then opened the door and two men then grabbed Anthonette and carried her to the van. Wendy stated she didn't recognize either of the men. She stated Anthonette was kicking and screaming. When the investigators asked Wendy why she didn't tell investigators this at the time. She stated she didn't want to upset her mother. And she didn't want to get in trouble. Now the first time I watched this (Even as a kid) I asked myself why would Wendy then go back to bed and then actively help her mom search for her sister in the morning and NOT tell her about this? I still don't understand to this day. However, In the article above you'll read that Larry Estrada (Anthonette's Father) was informed by Sadie that there were 2 knocks on the door at their home that night. No mention of Wendy being involved or even knowing. Yet, Years later authorities are informed of Wendy's story. However, It is possible (If we are to believe Wendy's story) that she awoke either from another room or the same room and followed Anthonette out to the living room and to the door without Sadie knowing. And she may have not told Larry seeing as how she kept this from her mother as well. (Again, If you believe Wendy's story) Also, Would like to point out that Anthonette did indeed have an Uncle Joe who was cleared of any involvement.


“We haven’t had anything on this case for almost 10 years since the mother died,” said Deputy Chief of Police John Allen. “We’ve had several detectives look at this case over the years but haven’t been able to come up with anything new.”

“I’m pretty confident Penny had knowledge of who took Anthonette based on her failing a polygraph test administered by the FBI,” said Esquibel recently which coincides with the medicine woman’s spiritual hypothesis.


* In April 1999, the police went to Penny’s deathbed hoping for one last interview. They were too late. Detective Esquibel believes Penny knew more about her daughter’s disappearance, citing a failed lie detector test as one reason for his suspicion.

* The police believe Anthonette was targeted for kidnapping by someone she knew and that she is now deceased.

* According to Deputy Chief of Police John Allen, an initial pool of suspects included two sex offenders but neither is thought to be involved in her disappearance.

* Larry Estrada's sister also went missing under strange circumstances. (Louisa Estrada)

* There has been talk of Penny Cayedito purchasing a new car after her daughter's disappearance. I have not been able to confirm this.

* Police didn't start searching for Anthonette until the next day. (According to one of the above articles.)

Unsolved Mysteries Segment:


 Pretty obvious to me that Penny Cayedito knew more. I don't happen to believe things happened as reported either. Penny failed one polygraph. But she also according to a few articles took more than one. And I read somewhere that Wendy stated one was inconclusive. I don't believe the waitress at the diner. Because I don't believe she ever existed. And if she did. She likely either made it up. Or it was NOT Anthonette. The phone call I believe was a hoax. And possibly a hoax at the direction of Penny. TWO EXTREMELY IMPORTANT facts are NOT often reported in this case are 1) One of the Cayedito's neighbors reported a van outside the Cayedito house between 630-7am the day Anthonette disappeared. And 2) That there was a screen door that was often locked on the front door. Meaning that even if Anthonette opened the door. She would also have to unlock the screen to let someone in. I will always have the image ingrained in my memory of the Unsolved Mysteries reenactment of Anthonette opening the door and getting snatched away. But that apparently didn't happen because Anthonette wouldn't have opened the door for someone she didn't know. (If she did open the door it would have been for someone she did know. But LE classified this as a NON family abduction) If she opened the main door and saw 2 men with masks on. I highly doubt she would have also opened the screen door. Wendy stated (If you believe her story) that Anthonette was put into a van forcibly. The neighbor happened to see A MAN get out of the van and walk towards the Cayedito residence. Now that's interesting. As I doubt that the person leaving the van and walking towards the residence would be able to take Anthonette without any witnesses. Assuming both individuals are one and the same. An interesting thing is the neighbor must've just had a thing for looking at license plates because they happened to notice the color of the van and that it had a New Mexico plate. But couldn't provide a description of the man that got out of it. LE kinda blew it here if you can trust the reporting. They apparently didn't start the search until the day after? And the bozo LE Official defended it by saying something to the effect of even the next day there would've been evidence for them to find. So I guess it wouldn't have mattered? That's why all abduction investigations are started on day 2 instead of day 1......Yeah sure, Whatever dumbass. 2 different people in charge of the investigation believe that Penny Cayedito knew more. The New Mexico FBI closed their investigation on this case stating everything led to a dead end. I believe Gallup PD still has theirs open. However I doubt they do much investigating on it. Probably open in case a new tip comes in. Be nice if they actually had a website. I'm not kidding. Gallup PD doesn't have a website at all. I happen to believe Penny eventually ended up knowing what happened to Anthonette. That's just a gut feeling. I have no evidence to back it up. I have read where both Penny and Larry were both involved heavily in drugs. Maybe a drug debt has something to do with it. I dunno. I believe Wendy was coerced into her story by Penny. And I wish I knew the reason she implicated her Uncle Joe. Whom LE stated was not involved. I personally do not believe that Anthonette is still alive. I believe her to be deceased. This is a case that has always stuck with me ever since I saw it on Unsolved Mysteries as a kid. I have a Google Alert set in case some break in the case comes around. I do not believe this case will be solved unfortunately. If it is ever solved. It will be due to Wendy. I do believe she may know more. Again, That is a hunch. No evidence to back it up. I did contact her some time ago before I wrote this. This entry has set idle for a long time. I never heard back from her. Every Christmas that goes by. I do think of Anthonette. As I have stated I have a 9 year old. And they do resemble each other. So I cant imagine what Penny and her family must've gone through. I know I would not be strong enough to cope god forbid this ever happens to me. Whatever happened to you Anthonette? I pray for the day we find out.


Anthonette's Wiki Page

Charley Project Page



Facebook Page

Fairly recent news article from Abq Journal

Missing Person's Database for New Mexico 

For The Lost

Unsolved Mysteries Page

My good friend True Crime Diva's EXCELLENT blog entry

America's Most Wanted page

Unexplained Mysteries page

Crime Watchers page

Gallup Herald Article

NBC News Article (31 Years)

AMW Page

Owlcation Article

Facebook Page

Anthonette's Sister Wendy's FB

Anthonette's Cousin Desiree's FB

Trace Evidence: Anthonette Cayedito

Odd Note:

That link had 2 cast openings for characters with the same names as the Gallup Detective and the FBI Agent who were originally in charge of the Anthonette Cayedito case. ODD.

Theresa Penny Cayedito

Courtesy: Cayleigh Elise

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