Disappearance of Anthonette Cayedito

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Anthonette Cayedito was born to Penny Cayedito and Larry Estrada on December 25, 1976. Her mother Penny Cayedito was of the Navajo Nation and her father Italian and Hispanic descent. 

The couple went on to eventually separate after Anthonette was born. Penny became involved in a new relationship and had two children Wendy and Sadie and once again separated from their father.

The children stayed with Penny in Gallup, New Mexico, which has been described as one of the poorest parts of Gallup. As Penny struggled with money. Some rumors stated that Penny was possibly dealing drugs and some very undesirable individuals would come in and out of her home at all hours of the day and night. 

There isn’t much more discussed about Anthonette’s father after this. Penny, who is now raising three little girls on her own, would occasionally go out with friends to local bars. On the evening of April 6th, 1986, Penny found a babysitter to watch her girls, while she went out for a few drinks with some friends. She went to a bar located on Route 66, called ‘The Talk of the Town’. Just a few hours later she returned and sent the babysitter home between midnight and 1 am. Looking in on her three daughters before she went to bed, all seemed well. 

Sometime in this night… After all were asleep there was a knock on the door. Penny did not wake to the knock, but her three daughters did. Anthonette, who was 9 years old, got up to answer the knock. 

The next morning, Penny woke around 7 am and went to rouse the three girls for Bible school. Though Wendy and Sadie were in their beds, Anthonette was nowhere to be found. 

Panic set in and she began checking with neighbors and anyone in the surrounding neighborhood. No one had seen Anthonette. 

Police were called and began searching the foothills surrounding the address 204 Arnold Circle, apartment number 9 in Gallup, New Mexico. the surrounding foothills were checked. There were no traces of Anthonette. 

Police questioned the family and learned from the younger sister Wendy, that around 3 am they heard a knock at the door and a voice that said it was Uncle Joe. This may be why Anthonette answered the door without pause. 

Obviously police questioned and ruled out any involvement from Uncle Joe, who was an actual family member. He was married to Penny’s sister.

Anthonette was often described as a smart, level headed child, wise beyond her years. She was her mother’s right hand, often cooking or ironing to assist her mother with her sisters. She loved school, the color purple, Michael Jackson as well as other musical artists and her nickname was Squirrel

For a little over a year the disappearance of Anthonette turned up no leads. There were simply no traces of her. Then one day, a 911 dispatcher in the Gallup area received a phone call from a young girl claiming to be Anthonette Cayedito. 

As you just heard, the girl claimed to be Anthonette Cayedito who was being held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, which is roughly two hours away from her home in Gallup. The call was interrupted when a man yelled, “Who said you could use the phone”.

Obviously, this was a time before we were able to trace call locations. We will never know if this was truly Anthonette or if she was in fact in Albuquerque. Her mother Penny, claimed she knew that was her daughter’s voice. She just knew it was her.

Four more years passed without a lead or trace of Anthonette, but in 1990 a waitress in a Carson City, Nevada, diner claimed she saw a teen sitting with a couple. Describing the man and woman as dirty and the girl to be about 14 years old and nervous.

The waitress claimed the young teen would drop her fork continuously and when she stooped to pick it up for the girl, she would grab her hand and squeeze it. Once they had left, the waitress found a note that read, 

“Please help me. Call the police.”

This lead seemed to take authorities nowhere and there hasn’t been a lead since. Though, about a month after the waitresses sighting, investigators decide to re-interview witnesses, this included Anthonette’s sister Wendy. Wendy was only 5 years old at the time of the disappearance. She now told investigators in 1990, that she had witnessed her sister’s abduction. She claimed the knock occurred and a voice stated it was Uncle Joe, but when Anthonette opened the door, two men grabbed her and she heard her sister yell, “let me go, let me go.”

She was asked why she didn’t share this sooner and only replied that she was afraid to get in trouble. 

Three years after Anthonette went missing, her aunt, Louisa also went missing. Some believe the two disappearances are related somehow. Though, nothing could ever be proved. 

Anthonette’s sister Wendy was the only soul on the earth to see the abduction. Wendy went on to suffer as a result of what she had witnessed and in her teen years, she coped with drugs, alcohol and crime. It took Wendy many years to overcome this trauma, but in 2007, she was able to turn her life around. Now living in Bakersfield, California, she has a family and a great career.

Penny passed away in 1999 and the three girls’ father passed away in 2012, neither knowing what happened to their precious little girl.

Before Penny passed, she visited a Navajo Medicine woman in 1992, the woman stated that Anthonette was being held captive in the Southwest of the United States. 

Local police always believed that Penny had more information on the disappearance of her daughter as she had failed a lie detector test. And as of 2021, authorities believe Anthonette to be deceased. 

Where is Anthonette? Has she passed away or is she still alive? I guess we will never really know… and have to leave to the realms of the unexplained…

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