As the calendar turned to August in 1981, 20-year-old Cindy Anderson turned in her two-week notice to the Toledo, Ohio, law firm that employed her. A devout Christian fundamentalist, Cindy planned to attend Bible College with her boyfriend.
Cindy, the law firm’s secretary, usually worked alone in the office during the mornings as the lawyers were either in court or meetings. The morning of August 4 was no different. Several clients stopped at the office, and Cindy handled their administrative needs. All said she was in good spirits and nothing seemed out of the ordinary.
When two of the lawyers arrived at the office just afternoon, they found Cindy had prepared their desks, as usual, with the mail and meeting schedules. However, they also found several things unusual, chiefly that Cindy was not at the office. When she left the building, Cindy always placed the phones on hold, but this time she had not done so.
Furthermore, Cindy also always left a note on the door telling her bosses where she was going and what time she would return. This time, however, no message was on the door.
Cindy’s car was parked in her usual spot in the firm’s parking lot. The doors were locked, but her keys and purse were missing. Thirty-eight years later, so is Cindy.
At 9:45 a.m., two clients saw Cindy at the office attorneys James Rabbit and Jay Feldstein in Toledo. By 10:00, however, clients calling the office were getting no answer.
Cindy’s disappearance was initially thought to be related to an incident that occurred ten months earlier. In October of 1980, the words “I love you, Cindy, by G.W.” had been spray-painted in large letters on the parking lot wall across the street from the law firm. The graffiti was in a direct line of vision from the law firm, and the incident spooked her. The words were painted over in April of 1981, but a few weeks later, the same message was spray-painted again in larger letters.
Suspicions fell on the law firm’s maintenance man, who had the initials “G.W.” However, he was cleared when police determined a teenage boy had written the message to his girlfriend. The youth had no connection to Cindy Anderson.
On August 3, the day before Cindy disappeared, Larry Mullins, a client at Cindy’s law firm, was in the office paying a bill. While doing so, Cindy answered a telephone call. Larry said she reacted as though the call was a prank and quickly hung up. Several seconds later, the phone rang again. Cindy again answered and, this time, she looked scared and hung up.
Cindy had been receiving a lot of crank calls within the last few days, and that some of them involved obscene language. She assured him, however, that everything was fine. She did not want to discuss the matter any further.
Police never determined who made the calls.
In September 1981, one month after Cindy disappeared, a woman called the Toledo Police Department, saying Cindy was being held prisoner in the basement of a white house in northern Toledo. The caller spoke in low whispers and sounded afraid. She hung up before the police officer could question her.
A few minutes later, she called again. This time, she was more forthcoming, saying Cindy was being held in a house beside another home owned by the same family. She said the family was out of town, but their son was home and that it was he who was holding Cindy prisoner in the basement. When the police officer asked for the caller’s name, however, she again hung up. Police were unable to determine the described adjacent houses and, despite repeated pleas, never heard from the caller again.
Since the anonymous woman’s phone calls in September of 1981, no solid leads have surfaced in Cindy Anderson’s disappearance.
Anthony and Nathaniel Cook are persons of interest in Cindy’s disappearance. From 1973-81, the brothers, both of whom were long-haul truck drivers, murdered at least nine people in and around Toledo. They have denied involvement in Cindy’s disappearance, and nothing has been found connecting them to her.
Anthony Cook is serving a life sentence at the Chillicothe Correctional Institution in Ross County, Ohio. His request for parole was denied in 2015; he will be eligible again in 2025.
Nathaniel Cook was granted parole in August 2018. Besides having to participate in sex offender rehabilitation programs, he must wear a GPS bracelet, and he is forbidden to approach places crowded by children.
Another murderer currently imprisoned in Ohio is also a suspect, but he has not been conclusively linked to Cindy. Authorities have not publicly identified him.
Perhaps the strongest lead to Cindy’s fate involves the law firm for which she worked.
In 1995, drug dealer Jose Rodriguez was convicted on federal drug trafficking charges. Also convicted was Richard Neller. At the time of Cindy’s disappearance, Neller was Rodriguez’s lawyer and worked with Cindy’s law firm.
Rodriguez’s prison cellmate testified Rodriguez told him he had killed Cindy with a 9 mm. handgun because she overheard conversations between Rodriguez and Neller about their drug trafficking. A judge, however, the prisoner’s testimony was unreliable.
Both Rodriguez and Neller remain imprisoned; neither has been charged in connection with Cindy’s disappearance, but both men are considered suspects. I could not find a picture of either man.
No source I found mentioned Cindy’s boyfriend ever being a suspect in her disappearance.
Thirty-eight years after her disappearance, Cindy Anderson is still missing.
Below are computer-aged images showing Cindy at approximately age 30. Further computer-aged photos have not been created because the evidence suggests she was murdered.
Cindy’s bank account and her social security card have had no activity since her disappearance. Both of her parents have since passed away. Her three siblings continue the search for answers.
If you have information relating to Cindy Anderson’s disappearance, please contact the Toledo, Ohio, Police Department at 419-245-3151 or 419-245-3111.
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