Left and Center: Sarah circa, 1981
Right: Age Progressed to age 38
Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: July 21, 1981
Missing From: Joliet, Will County, Illinois
Classification: Non-Family Abduction
Date Of Birth: January 6, 1975
Age: 6 years old
Height and Weight: 4’0″ and 45 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: White Female, Blonde hair, Brown eyes
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.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Will County Sheriffs Office 815-727-8574