Sarah Elizabeth Avon

Left and Center: Sarah circa 1981

Right: Age Progressed to age 38


Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

Missing Since: July 21, 1981

Classification: Non-Family Abduction

Date Of Birth: January 6, 1975

Age: 6 years old

Height: 4’0″

Weight: 45 pounds

Hair Color: Blonde

Eye Color: Brown

Race: White/Caucasian

Gender: Female

Clothing/Jewelry Description: A Joliet District soccer shirt, blue/red/white colored jogging pants, and blue sneakers with a white stripe

NCMEC Number: 600166


Details of Disappearance

Sarah Elizabeth Avon was last seen in Joliet, Illinois on July 21st of 1981. She was accompanied by her sister and met a group of friends at the end of Richards street. Sarah apparently walked away after an argument occurred between her and a playmate. She was never seen or heard from again and her family reported her missing at approximately 9:00 pm that night.

Searches for the girl produced no trace of her whereabouts. In January of 1985, a photograph that was thought to have depicted Sarah was found in the apartment of David R. Collins. He was previously convicted of kidnapping a teenager from California and was also convicted of assault in several other cases. At least 25 pictures were found in his apartment. It was thought that another girl was Nelida Del Valle who was abducted in 1976 from Massachusetts.

The photos were later found to be someone else. Authorities do not believe that Collins had anything to do with the girls disappearances.

In 1993, a man came forward and stated that he believed his mentally disabled nephew had killed Sarah and that his nephews father had buried Sarah to protect him. The boy would have been a child at the time and his father was deceased by 1993. A vacant lot was excavated later that year. Authorities believed that Sarah might have been buried there but nothing was located. Sarah’s former babysitter had actually previously lived there.

Authorities continue to keep the case open and have had searches done for her. In 2004, authorities dig underneath an old garage on Noel Road which was south of Joliet. Authorities were hoping to locate Sarah’s remains but only unearthed clothing and no evidence relating to Sarah’s disappearance.

Sarah’s case remains unsolved. Authorities believe that Sarah was the victim of a stranger abduction.


Investigating Agency

If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:

Will County Sheriffs Office 815-727-8574


Source Information

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

The CharleAy Project

The Doe Network

NamUs