Thirteen-year-old Cinda and her friend, Charlotte Kinsey were last seen at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on September 26, 1981.
Charlotte called her family to let them know that she and Cinda had been offered jobs assisting a worker unload plush toys from a truck at the fair.
The girls' boyfriends said that Charlotte and Cinda left with a man who was 40 to 50 years old and wearing a yellow badge. The boys joined them and the man took them to a truck stop off Interstate 40, but the truck wasn't there.
The man dropped the boys off in a parking lot, gave them $10, and told them to wait while he went to get the truck. He drove away with Charlotte and Cinda, and neither girl has been seen again.
After Charlotte and Cinda's disappearances, a yellow badge was discovered in the parking lot where they were last seen. It bore the name and photograph of a carnival drifter.
The man was charged with the girls' abductions, but the charges were dropped a short time later. The suspect was able to prove he had been in Dallas, Texas on the day that Charlotte and Cinda disappeared.
Royal Russell Long (who was employed as carnie and a part-time long-haul truck driver at the time) has long been considered the prime suspect in the girls' disappearances.
In August of 1985, he was charged with kidnapping & murdering Charlotte and Cinda. Long had been in Oklahoma City on the day the girls disappeared and the girls' boyfriends identified him as the man who offered them jobs unloading toys.
Long also had a history of sexual violence towards young women. His own daughter claimed that he had molested her for years and witnessed him attempting to lure other girls with puppies or stuffed animals.
Authorities located the Pontiac Grand Prix which Long had rented during his September 1981 stay in Oklahoma; its make and model matched the vehicle a witness claimed to have seen Charlotte and Cinda riding in the day they disappeared, along with a man matching Long's description.
Hairs that were discovered in the car's truck were analyzed using forensic testing and were matched to Cinda. Animal hairs were also located in the truck which matched the types of dogs and a cat that Cinda had access towards before she disappeared.
A lock of blonde hair found by investigators in Long's residence in Wyoming may have matched Charlotte's hair; however, the test appeared to be inconclusive. Forensic tests proved that the mat in the truck of the Grand Prix had a bloody boot print as well as two bodies outlined in blood.
During court proceedings Long taunted the Pallett and Kinsey families, saying that he was the only one who knew the truth about their disappearances. After the presiding judge threw out the testimony of Long's daughter and much of the physical evidence, all charges against Long were dismissed.
Long is still considered the prime suspect in the girls' cases. He is also a possible suspect in the disappearances of Deborah Meyer and Carlene Brown, two women who disappeared from Wyoming in 1974. He also pleaded guilty to kidnapping in connection with the 1984 abduction of 12-year-old Sharon Baldeagle, who remains missing.
Long was sentenced to two terms of life in prison and was still in custody when he died of a heart attack in 1993.
Authorities believe that Charlotte and Cinda's bodies are still in Oklahoma, but may never be found. As of 2019, their disappearances remain unsolved.
At the time of her disappearance, Cinda was a shortstop on a softball team and was looking forward to trying out for the school basketball team. She had purchased tickets for a Van Halen concert which took place the week after she disappeared.
Description[edit | edit source]
Cinda is described as a Caucasian female of Mexican descent with brown hair and brown eyes, is 5'0 and weighs 88 pounds. She has a small scar located below the corner of her left eyebrow.
At the time of her disappearance, she wore a dental rentainer behind her lower front teeth and her collarbone was previously broken, but it had since healed.
She was last seen wearing a white t-shirt jersey with dark blue sleeves, the "ZZ Top" logo on front and the number 81 on the back, size 12 slim blue jeans, a rope belt made of braided orange or rust-colored nylon with a leather buckle that has the name "Cinda" tooled in it, and two-tone blue Nike sneakers with black waffle soles.