Cynthia Lynn Sumpter

1 2 AP
Left and Center: Sumpter, circa 1974;
Right: Age-progression to age 42 (circa 2010)

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Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: April 27, 1974 from San Jose, California
  • Classification: Non-Family Abduction
  • Date Of Birth: July 18, 1968
  • Age: 5 years old
  • Height and Weight: 3'8, 35 - 55 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian female. Blonde hair, blue eyes. Sumpter has a cowlick on the right side of her hairline. She also has moles on the left side of her neck and on her shin. Her nickname is Cindy and some agencies refer to her by that name.
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description: A red and white sleeveless shirt with a blue star printed on the chest, long purple slacks, and no shoes.
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    Details of Disappearance

    Sumpter was last seen playing in the front yard of her family's apartment house on Elm Street in San Jose, California on April 27, 1974. She has never been heard from again. Sumpter's mother began looking for her between 1:30 and 1:45 p.m. that same day. When she had searched for half an hour with no result, she called police. A massive search of San Jose turned up no sign of the child. Witnesses report that she was in a blue car driven by an unidentified young man with blond hair and a moustache; these sightings have not been confirmed. Sumpter's parents had had a bitter divorce a year before her disappearance and each one accused the other of hiding her. Both her mother and father passed polygraph tests and police ruled them out as suspects.

    Several people claimed to know Sumpter's whereabouts and attempted to extort money from her parents, but none of them really knew anything about her case. Antonio Madrid was investigated for possible involvement in Sumpter's disappearance. He was the stepfather of one of her friends and lived only about 100 yards from her apartment. Madrid committed suicide two days after Sumpter disappeared. After his death, police found a bloodstained shirt belonging to him, and blonde hairs in his car. A convicted murderer named Eugene Joseph Wesley is also a possible suspect. He took two polygraph tests about Sumpter's case and the results indicated that he knew more than he was saying about her disappearance. Wesley was never charged in connection with her case, however, and has since died in prison.

    Sumpter's mother has since remarried and moved to Pocatello, Idaho. She believes her daughter is still alive. Police believe Sumpter was abducted. Foul play is suspected in her case.

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    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    San Jose Police Department
    408-277-4786

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    Source Information
    The National Center For Missing and Exploited Children
    California Attorney General's Office
    NewsLibrary
    Newspaper Archive

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    Updated 3 times since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated January 8, 2011; age-progression updated.

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