Cherie Nicole Barnes

1 AP
Left: Cherie, circa 1986;
Right: Age-progression at age 26 (circa 2010)

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Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: December 1, 1986 from St. Louis, Missouri
  • Classification: Non-Family Abduction
  • Date Of Birth: July 30, 1984
  • Age: 2 years old
  • Height and Weight: 4'0, 80 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Biracial (African-American/Caucasian) female. Brown hair, brown eyes.
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    Details of Disappearance

    Cherie's mother and stepfather, Elizabeth Ann Turek Vasser and Larry Vasser, had custody of her in 1986. They moved from Nashville, Tennessee to St. Louis, Missouri that year. Elizabeth, who was also known as Sissy, disappeared from their home in St. Louis on December 1, 1986. She was discovered in the Mississippi River over two months later in February 1987 as the victim of homicide. There was no trace of Cherie at the scene. Authorities know that Elizabeth worked as a prostitute for her husband on Independence Avenue in St. Louis; she remained unidentified for seven years, until her family members contacted authorities and reported Elizabeth and Cherie as missing persons. The investigation into Cherie's case began at that time.

    Cherie was apparently last seen in Kansas City, Missouri with Larry on January 7, 1987. She disappeared from that location and has never been heard from again. Investigators located Larry in prison for armed robbery in the mid-1990s; he will be incarcerated until at least 2028. He told authorities that he knew where his stepdaughter was located. He has stated Cherie is "being looked after" by his family members and living under another name in the Kansas City area. She may not even know she is a missing child. At one point, Larry offered to give Elizabeth's mother photographs of Cherie and a recording of her voice, if she paid him $500.

    Cherie was supposed to remain in the custody of other relatives after her mother's death. Due to the complexities in this case, Cherie's disappearance is classified as a non-family Abduction, although her stepfather claims to know her whereabouts. Her case remains unsolved.

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    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    St. Louis Police Department
    314-444-5371

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    Source Information
    The National Center For Missing and Exploited Children
    Child Protection Education Of America
    The St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    America's Most Wanted
    A Lost Child

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    Updated 3 times since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated May 20, 2011; age-progression updated.

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