Left: Nelida circa 1976 Right: Age Progressed to age 44
Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: December 20, 1976 from Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts
Classification: Non-Family Abduction
Date Of Birth: July 9, 1967
Age: 9 years old
Height and Weight: 4’0″; 50 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: Hispanic Female, Brown hair, Brown eyes, Nelida speaks Spanish but has limited English speaking skills, her ears are also pierced
Clothing/Jewelry Description: A gold coat, dark blue slacks, black platform shoes, and a white pullover sweater
Circumstances of Disappearance
Nelida was last seen in Boston Massachusetts on December 20th 1976. She was last seen walking to William Blackstone Elementary School on Shawmut Avenue. The Elementary School was a short one and a half blocks walk from Nelida’s residence. She never made it to school and was never seen or heard from again.
Authorities and the family immediately suspected that foul play was involved in Nelida’s disappearance. Authorities believed that the child had been abducted while she walked to school. Authorities created a sketch of Nelida’s possible abductor.
Some of the clothing that Nelida has been wearing was found in the possession of Anthony Flores about two weeks after her presumed abduction. A woman phoned authorities after Flores gave her a hat and gloves. She was suspicious and noted that Anthony resembled the sketch of her possible abductor.
Another witness reported that he saw Nelida walking with Flores on the morning of her disappearance. She was reportedly holding his hand. Flores was taken in for questioning. Authorities found the he possessed a fake police badge and fake gun. He was immediately arrested but made claims that he had found the clothing on the side of the road. Authorities were unable to connect him to Nelida’s abduction. He was released there after.
Although Nelida was taught not to talk to strangers and had a shy mature in 1976, she knew to and would have trusted a police officer. It’s believed that Flores abducted Nelida by pretending to be a police officer. Flores maintains his innocence in her disappearance. He was never charged due to lack of evidence but he remains a suspect in the case.
Flores is also a suspect in the 1976 abduction of Cesilia Pena from New York City, New York in October of 1976. He has not been charged in that case either. Flores is currently in prison for murders he committed in New York.
In January of 1985, a photograph that was thought to have depicted Nelida was found in the apartment of David R. Collins. The picture was identified as possibly being her by Nelida’s mother. 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 Sarah Elizabeth Avon who was abducted in 1981 from Illinois .
The photos were later found to be someone else. Authorities do not believe that Collins had anything to do with the girls disappearances.
Nelida’s case remains unsolved. Foul play is suspected and it’s believed that Nelida was abducted by a stranger as she walked to school.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Boston Police Department 617-343-4200
NCMEC Number: 600988