Left and Right: Amy circa, 1981
Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: November 6, 1981
Missing From: Phoenix, Maricopa County, Arizona
Classification: Endangered Missing
Date Of Birth: February 24, 1968
Age: 13 years old
Height and Weight: 5’3″ and 105 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian Female, Brown hair, Blue eyes, Amy has pierced ears
Clothing/Jewelry Description: A blue terry clothed short sleeved shirt, maroon slacks, blue slip on shoes, Amy was last known to be wearing a thin gold chain necklace and gold post type earrings
NCMEC Number: 1165448
Details of Disappearance
Amy was last seen in Phoenix, Arizona on November 6th 1981. She was last seen at approximately 10:00 pm that night by her family. She was reportedly last seen at her apartment complex located in the 3500 block of west Van Buren Street. At 10:30 pm, her neighbor, Raymond Diaz, came by her apartment to pick her up so she could go to a party.
Raymond was accompanied by his 20 year old girlfriend at the time. Amy woke her sister, Anita, and asked her if she wanted to go. Anita did not want to and Amy left without her. Amy is believed to have been seen in their car which is described as a 1964 dark blue four door Chevrolet sedan with aluminum wheels.￼
Raymond’s cousin told police that Raymond, his girlfriend, and Amy came by his house during that night. While they were there, Diaz told his cousin he wanted to have sexual intercourse with Amy. His cousin said he would not allow it to happen at his home and the trio left soon afterwards. Amy was never seen or heard from again.
Later during the night, Diaz and his girlfriend came by the Yachimecs family apartment to ask what was wrong. Her parents didn’t know what they were talking about and didn’t even know that Amy was missing at the time. Diaz was actually naked at the time and his girlfriend had to go and get a blanket to cover himself up.
Amy was reported missing the next day on November 7th. She was discovered as missing when her grandmother, Lila Berding, called on her at 6:00 am to go on an outing. Amy had a outside door in her bedroom which she used to sneak out of her house undetected by her family. The door was found unlocked. No personal belongings were missing from the room.
Lila owned the apartment complex that Amy lived in with her family at the time of her disappearance. She told police she had heard a car driving away from the area at 10:30 pm. This is presumably the car that Amy, Diaz, and his girlfriend were driving in.
Amy was originally thought to be a runaway by police. Her family, however, believed that Amy met with foul play was possibly kidnapped and murdered on the night she disappeared. Police received few leads at the time of her disappearance. Her parents knew that the couple were somehow responsible for whatever happened to Amy that night. They were acquainted with Diaz and his girlfriend in 1981.
Diaz and his girlfriend were regarded as strong persons of interest in her disappearance but were never charged with any wrongdoing in Amy’s case at the time. Her disappearance was heavily publicized when she disappeared but no substantial leads about her whereabouts were developed in the initial time after her disappearance.
The car that Diaz was driving that night was borrowed and a friend turned it over to the police. They examined the car and found hairs which were consistent with Amy’s. They still weren’t charged at the time, however.
The case went cold for quite a few years after Amy’s strange disappearance. In 1988, an anonymous tip stated Amy was murdered in 1981 and her body was buried in a desert area. The missing persons case was reclassified as a probable homicide and was turned over to the Maricopa County Sheriffs Office, they believed Amy was killed in their jurisdiction.
Despite the tip and searches, Amy’s body was never recovered. Investigators never gave up and continued to search for her for decades afterwards. Raymond would later be charged with kidnapping, sexual assault, and various other crimes. He is currently incarcerated and his girlfriend at the time suffers from severe mental illness.
Investigators apparently linked Raymond Diaz to Amy’s presumed murder in March of 2015 when blood found in his car was found to belong to Amy. The blood was found in the car during the original search in 1981 but couldn’t be tested since DNA testing wasn’t present in that time.
The DNA evidence would serve as a key component in arresting Diaz. In October of 2018, Raymond was arrested and charged with murdering Amy. He was charged with first degree murder in relation to her death. He is currently awaiting trial in her case which is scheduled to take place at some point in June of 2020.
At the time of her disappearance, Amy was an 8th grade student at Isaac Junior High School and lived her family who describes her as a fun, sweet girl. She was close with her sister, Anita, when she vanished. Amy’s body has not been found but foul play is suspected.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Maricopa County Sheriffs Office 602-256-1000
California Department of Justice