San Diego's dark history of child abductions - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

San Diego's dark history of child abductions

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SAN DIEGO, Calif. (CBS 8) - Sadly, Chelsea King and Amber Dubois are not the only victims of child abductions in San Diego. There have been nearly two dozen cases over the past 50 years, which means there are people out there capable of harming our children.

After searching through News 8 archives, it didn't take us too long to find San Diego's dark history of child abductions, including many that ended in death.

February 6, 1977

A six-year-old Golden Hill Boy, Jose Luis Ramirez is reported missing. Two days later, his nude body is found by searchers in a nearby park. Robert McFarlane, 34, a convicted child molester, pleaded guilty to the child's slaying and was sentenced to life in prison.

July 5, 1978

Two 16-year-old boys, John Mayeski and Michael Baker, were kidnapped from the parking lot of a Mira Mesa Jack in the Box and shot to death. Eleven years later, Robert Alton Harris was convicted, sentenced to death and executed in 1992 for their murders. Michael's dad, San Diego police Detective Steven Baker actually arrested Harris before he discovered one of the victims was his son.


April 10, 1986

RickieAnn Blake, 14, was last seen in her Chula Vista home April 10, 1986. She was found 24 hours later, strangled to death along an exit ramp on Interstate 15. In 2006, George Williams was sentenced to death for her kidnapping, rape and murder.

August 5, 1988

After failing to return from a friend's Pacific Beach house, seven-year-old Charitie Angelique Careins' mother reports her missing. In June 1989, hikers in a canyon near Beaumont find a small skull with a jaw and teeth that were determined to be Charitie's. Her killer was never brought to justice.

December 16, 1989

A seven-year-old Oceanside girl, Leticia Hernandez, disappears while playing in front of her house. Dozens of officers and more than 200 volunteers search for her. The FBI checks hundreds of reported sightings from coast to coast. Oceanside police Detective Chris McDonough writes a song about the crime.

Her skull was found March 9, 1991 by a ranch caretaker near the Riverside County line. She had been dead about a year. Detectives focused on a neighbor as a possible suspect, but no arrest was made.

June 19, 1991

Nine-year-old Laura Arroyo of Chula Vista answers the door and vanishes. The next day her body was found three miles away in an industrial park. The child had been beaten and stabbed. In 2005, Manuel Bracamontes was sentenced to death for Laura's kidnapping, molestation and murder.

July 15, 1991

Rasheeyda Wilson told her mom she was going to play outside the Yale Hotel where they lived in downtown San Diego. The nine-year-old disappeared and despite a major search for days by officers and volunteers, she has never been found.

October 3, 1991

Nine-year-old Amanda Gaeke of North Park never comes home after a bike ride. Her body is found five days later in a canyon near her house. In May 1996, David Webb-Kim is arrested for her murder. When he was 16, he got Amanda to come to his home, where he drugged, raped and hid her under his bed while he went to school. Kim was sentenced to life in prison.

March 27, 1993

Charlie Keever, 13, and Jonathan Sellers, 9, were riding their bikes in Imperial Beach. Two days later their bodies were discovered near the Otay River. In 2003, Scott Thomas Erskine was convicted of their killings.

February 2, 2002

Seven-year-old Danielle Van Dam is reported missing from her Sabre Springs bedroom by her parents. Volunteer searchers find her body under a tree near Dehesa 25 days later. Her neighbor David Westerfield is on death row for her murder.

April 25, 2002

With his stepfather Tieray Jones allegedly nearby, two-year-old Jahi Turner vanishes from a playground near Balboa Park. Despite a massive search, including one at the Miramar Landfill, Jahi has never been found. San Diego police are convinced that Jahi is dead, but they do not have enough evidence to file charges against anyone in connection with his disappearance.

Even after several years, many of these unsolved mysteries are still being looked into by members of local law enforcement cold case units.

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