Peggy Rahn

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Above Images: Peggy, circa 1969

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Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: December 29, 1969 from Pompano Beach, Florida
  • Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Date of Birth: October 21, 1960
  • Age: 9 years old
  • Height and Weight: 4'4, 67 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian female. Blonde hair, blue eyes. Peggy has a small scar near her right eye and a birthmark on the back of her her right knee. She has freckles on her nose and cheeks. Her two lower eyeteeth are missing. She has between four and six warts on her hands, including one on the back of her right hand between her first and second finger, and one on the inside of her left palm. Her hair was shoulder-length at the time of her disappearance.
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description: A pink baby doll bikini bathing suit with fringe.
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    Details of Disappearance

    Peggy and a friend, Wendy Stevenson, were last seen in Pompano Beach, Florida on December 29, 1969. They had gone to the beach separately; a family friend took Peggy and Wendy went with her uncle. The girls met at the beach by chance and began playing together. They both attended Palmview Elementary School and had mutual friends, but they didn't know each other well prior to that day.

    At 1:00 p.m., Peggy and Wendy decided to walk to the parking lot to buy ice cream. A convenience store clerk reported seeing a man buying ice cream cones for Peggy and Wendy and cigarettes for himself. He identified the girls from photographs and described their companion as a Caucasian man, 25 to 30 years old, about six feet tall and 190 to 200 pounds, with sandy blond hair, blue/gray eyes, a two-inch scar on the back of his right hand between his thumb and first finger, and a humped nose. He was wearing a red turtleneck, blue dungaree pants, and a gray pinstriped sports coat, and drove a metallic blue 1966 or 1967 Chevrolet with a black vinyl top and wire wheel covers. Peggy and Wendy have never been heard from again.

    Authorities initially suspected both girls had drowned. However, nobody saw them in distress in the water that day, their bodies were not recovered, and Wendy was known to be a good swimmer. The drowning theory was eventually discarded as implausible. The man who took Peggy to the beach was questioned as a possible suspect. He cooperated with the investigation, passed a polygraph, and was cleared.

    One suspect in the girls' cases was Kenneth Guy Shilts, a serial child molester who was arrested in Alabama six weeks after Peggy and Wendy vanished. He kept a coded notebook apparently recording his crimes, and there was an entry that said "Peggy and Wendy Pompano Beach." Shilts admitted having been in central Florida around the time the girls went missing, but denied having had anything to do with their disappearances. Authorities were never able to prove his involvement. He died in 1991. A photo of Shilts is posted below this case summary.

    The serial killer Gerard John Schaefer Jr. is another suspect in the children's disappearances. A photograph of him is posted below this case summary. Schaefer is a suspect in the deaths and disappearances of dozens of girls and young women, including Nancy Leichner, Pamela Nater and Carmen Hallock. The family of Debora Lowe, who disappeared in 1972, believes he was involved in her case as well. Schaefer was only convicted of two murders. Prosecutors publicly accused him of killing Peggy and Wendy in 1973. He denied it at that time, but in 1989 he wrote a letter and confessed to murdering the girls. He was never charged in their cases, however, and was himself murdered in prison in 1995.

    Wendy and Peggy's bodies have never been located.

    Schaefer Shilts
    Left: Gerald Schaefer;
    Right: Kenneth Shilts

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    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Broward County Sheriff's Office
    954-493-8477

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    Source Information
    The Doe Network
    The Crime Library
    The Waterloo Daily Courier
    The Appleton Post-Crescent
    The Miami Herald
    Florida Department of Law Enforcement
    The Panama City News
    The Palm Beach Post
    Florida Today

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    Updated 7 times since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated March 8, 2016; distinguishing characteristics, clothing/jewelry description and details of disappearance updated.

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