Left and Center: Sketches of Marlene made in 1985 after her abduction
Right: Age Progressed to age 25
Reason: there were no photos of Marlene taken before her abduction
Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: October 21, 1985
Missing From: Brooklyn, Kings County, New York
Classification: Non-Family Abduction
Date Of Birth: October 18, 1985
Age: 3 days old
Height and Weight: 1’8″ and 7 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: Hispanic Female, Brown hair, Brown eyes, Marlene has a foot deformity known as metatarsus adductus and her feet will look c-shaped if viewed from the bottom
Clothing/Jewelry Description: Marlene was wrapped in a blue/yellow/pink blanket at the time she was kidnapped
NCMEC Number: 601889
Details of Disappearance
Marlene Santana was abducted at gunpoint on October 21st 1985 from Brooklyn, New York. The kidnapping took place at 9:30 pm that night. The abductor was a female suspect who remains unidentified. She met Marlene’s mother, Francesca Santana, 3 days after her daughters birth and said that Marlene was the most beautiful, well behaved, and quiet baby there. Francesca could not bring Marlene home early because of jaundice but was quickly discharged with a clean bill of health.
At 9:30 pm, Francesca was leaving the hospital with Marlene and two of her sisters in law when the woman came up to them and pulled out a gun. She put the gun up to Marlenes head and told the 3 women to walk. They walked for 6 blocks until they reached a deserted junk yard and the suspect threatened to kill Francesca if she didn’t give up the baby. She complied and the abductor took Marlene and escaped in a waiting vehicle. The woman and Marlene have never been seen again.
The woman is described as having both Caucasian and Hispanic traits. She stood at 5 feet 2 inches and weighed approximately 130 pounds. She had red or blonde hair that may have been dyed and also could have been wearing a wig. She was between 24 and 30 years old in 1985. The vehicle that the abductor and Marlene entered was described as a white 1976 Chevrolet Malibu with red letters on the door. Investigators believe it might have been a unlicensed cab.
Investigators initially believed that Marlene’s abduction could have been connected to a similar abduction that occurred several weeks before she was taken. Two month old Christopher Morgan was abducted from a New York City hospital but was found alive a few weeks after his kidnapping. He was taken by an unidentified woman but neither have been linked to Marlene’s abduction.
Marlene’s family lived in the Dominican Republic at the time of her abduction. Her father and other family members were looked at in her case but are not believed to have been involved in her case. Francesca moves back to the Dominican Republic after her daughters abduction. She said she no longer felt safe in the United States. She had two children before Marlene and had two more afterwards. The whole family still remains there and works the family supermarket there.
Investigators theorize that Marlene might have been sold after her abduction but they do not think the abductor was a professional criminal in this crime. They think the woman was mentally unstable and wanted a child to raise for her own. She might have been unable to have some of her own.
Marlene’s abduction remains unsolved and her abductor remains unidentified.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
New York City Police Department 646-610-6914
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children