Anthonette Christine Cayedito was born on 25th December, 1976, to Penny Cayedito and Anthony Montoya. Her parents separated, and Anthonette lived with her mother and 2 younger sisters, Wendy and Sadie, in Gallup, New Mexico.
Anthonette was described as being friendly, caring, wise beyond her years and level-headed. At the age of 6, Anthonette was cooking for her sisters, ironing clothes for the week and played a huge role in caring for the younger girls. Her younger sister described Anthonette as having a “caregivers heart.” Anthonette was in fourth grade at the time of her disappearance, and it is said she maintained outstanding grades as well as being awarded the Presidential Fitness award. She was devoted to her Religious faith, and showed interest at her weekly Bible studies group.
Anthonette was living at 204 Arnold Circle #9, Gallup, when she disappeared.
Penny, her mother, had been out that night at a local bar. She arrived home at around midnight, on the 6th April 1986. Penny sent the babysitter home, and proceeded to go to bed. At around 3am, Wendy and Anthonette were still awake, and they heard a knock on the front door. When Anthonette approached the door to ask who was there, the knocker called himself “Uncle Joe”. Anthonette opened the door, only to be grabbed by 2 men. Kicking and screaming “Let me go! Let me go”, she was forced into a brown van.
The next morning, when Penny went to get the girls ready for their Bible study group, she could not find Anthonette. After checking with neighbours, Penny called the police.
Wendy, who was with Anthonette when the man knocked at the door, says that she did not recognise the voices of the men, and was not able to see their faces clearly. One neighbour reportedly saw a brown truck with a New Mexico licence sitting outside of Anthonette’s home between 6:30am-7:00am the morning of 6th April. The neighbour saw a man get out of the truck and walk towards Anthonette’s house. Whilst this sounds promising, the neighbour was unable to describe the man or the van in any detail.
The police did question Anthonette’s uncle about her disappearance, but he is not considered a suspect nor is it thought that he had any connection to her disappearance.
Around a year after Anthonette had been missing, the Gallup Police received a phone call from a young girl who said she was Anthonette and was living in Albuquerque. Before the police were able to trace the call, a man is heard angrily saying “Who said you could use the phone?” before muffled screaming and the phone line goes dead. Anthonette’s mother listened to the recording, and said that the girl sounded like Anthonette but she did not recognise the man’s voice. You can listen to the 911 call below.
In 1991, at a restaurant in Carson City, Nevada, a waitress served a girl who matched Anthonette’s description. The waitress said that the girl kept dropping her fork, and that when the waitress would pick it up for her the young girl would squeeze the waitress’s hand. After they had left, and the waitress was clearing the table, she found a napkin under the plate the girl had been eating from. The napkin contained the messages “Help me” and “Call the police”. The young girl was in the company of a couple, but this sighting has never been confirmed to be Anthonette.
Penny died in 1999 from liver disease and heart issues. The police visited her on her deathbed, but no new information was given. To this day, the police still believe that Penny knew more about Anthonette’s disappearance then she let on, but due to her death, we will never know.
3 years after Anthonette went missing, her mentally handicapped 25-year old step-aunt, Louise Estrada, also went missing. Louise has never been found, and police question whether the two are linked in anyway.
Anthonette’s case still remains open, but as of 2021 there have not been any new leads. Investigators suspect that Anthonette eventually met with foul play and is no longer with us, but since her body has not been found, she is still classed as missing. As of right now, Anthonette Cayedito has been missing for 35 years.
What happened to Anthonette? Will we ever learn the truth? Did her mother know more than what she let on? And if she did, why would she not help the police find her daughter? Was the girl the waitress served Anthonette, or another young girl? Below is an age-enhanced photo of what Anthonette might look like at age 36.
Could Anthonette still be alive?
True crime, unsolved, missing, children, USA