Left and Center: Cynthia circa, 1974
Right: Age Progressed to age 47
Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: April 27, 1974
Missing From: San Jose, Santa Clara County, California
Classification: Non-Family Abduction
Date Of Birth: July 28, 1968
Age: 5 years old
Height and Weight: 3’8″ and 55 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian Female, Blonde hair, Blue eyes, Cynthia has moles on the left side of her neck and on her shin, she has a cowlick on the right side of her hairline, she may use the nickname “Cindy”
Clothing/Jewelry Description: A red/white sleeveless shirt with a blue start printed on the chest and a pair of long purple pants
NCMEC Number: 601913
Details of Disappearance
Cynthia Sumpter was last seen in San Jose, California on April 27th 1974. She was last seen as she played in front of her family’s residence on Elm Street. She vanished at some point while playing and was never send or heard from again afterwards. Her mother began to search for the child between 1:30 pm and 1:45 pm and search for half an hour.
When Cynthia’s mother could not locate her, she reported her disappearance to authorities. A massive search was conducted of San Jose but no trace of Sumpter was found. Some witnesses reported that they saw Cynthia in a blue car being driven by an unidentified young male with blond hair and a mustache.
The sightings of Cynthia with the male have not been confirmed. Apparently weeks prior to her disappearance, Cynthia was sexually molested near her home. Her mother pressed charges against the man for his abuse against the child. Approximately several days after her disappearance, Cynthia’s mother got a phone call from the mans brother.
In the phone call, he stated he had “ripped off” Cynthia. He demanded a ransom of $1,000 for Cynthia’s safe return and demanded that she drop the criminal charges against his brother. The ransom was a hoax and the brother was charged with attempted extortion of Cynthia’s family.
Cynthia’s parents were both ruled out early on the investigation after being given polygraph exams. The couple had been going through a divorce the year prior to the disappearance and when Cynthia vanished, they each accused each other of hiding her.
Authorities believe that foul play was involved in Cynthia’s disappearance. A man named, Antonio Madrid, is considered a possible suspect in the case. He was the stepfather of one of Cynthia’s friends and lived only 100 yards from the sight of her disappearance. Two days after Cynthia’s disappearances, Madrid took his own life. After his suicide, authorities found a bloodstained shirt that belonged to him and also found blond hairs inside his car.
Authorities also believe that convicted murderer, Eugene Joseph Wesley, may have also been involved in Cynthia’s disappearance. He took two polygraph exams in relation to her disappearance and the results indicated he knew more about her disappearance then he was letting on. Wesley was never charged or arrested in her disappearance and he has since died in prison.
Cynthia’s disappearance remains unsolved and authorities suspect that she was kidnapped on the day she vanished and possibly murdered.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
San Jose Police Department 408-277-4786
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children