Real Name: Jessica Suzanne Gutierrez
Location: Lexington, South Carolina
Date: June 5, 1986
Date of Birth: December 3, 1981
Weight: 32 pounds
Marital Status: Single
Characteristics: Caucasian female, Brown hair, brown eyes. She has a scar on the top of her forehead and a brown birthmark on her left butt cheek.
Details: On the night of June 5, 1986, four-year-old Jessica Gutierrez was asleep in her bedroom with her two sisters when she was abducted by unknown intruder(s) who had broken into the house through the living room window. The next morning, her mother, Debra, discovered the scene. Curtains had been ripped off the windows, papers were thrown across the bedroom floor, and the front door was open. Her six-year-old sister claimed that she was taken by a man with a "magic hat". She was never seen again. Her family believes that she may have been abducted by a close friend of theirs. Despite this, the case remains unsolved.
Suspects: The family friend that is believed to be the abductor was a twenty-seven-year-old man who had served time in North Carolina for auto theft and rape. The crime occurred just a few weeks after Jessica's disappearance. Debra found fibers in his car that she says were linked to Jessica.
In 1987, the suspect told another inmate that he had kidnapped a young girl and would confess if given immunity for the crime. However, immunity was denied and he did not confess to police. Interestingly, he stated that he was wearing a cowboy hat when he abducted the child. Police did find his fingerprint on the outside frame of Jessica's window, but he has never been publicly identified or charged in the case, although he is the prime suspect.
Jessica's father was a suspect at one point; however, he was able to prove that he was in California at the time of her disappearance and was cleared. Debra's ex-boyfriend was also looked into as a possible suspect. She recalled him and the family friend being acquainted with each other, although they denied this.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the January 24, 1990 episode along with three other missing children cases: Leticia Hernandez, David Borer, and Malakia Logan.
Results: Unsolved. When Jessica's sister was an adult, she was reinterviewed. She told police that she remembered that Jessica was lifted out of her bed by a man, and taken away. She claimed that he did this without waking her, and that she was afraid to tell anyone about it. It is uncertain whether or not she identified him, however, police believe that he was the family friend.
Recently, Debra has accused investigators of mishandling Jessica's case. When she got into an argument with Sheriff Metts, he allegedly threatened to stop investigating it completely. Interestingly, Metts was later arrested on corruption charges. She hopes that new investigators will be put on the case. Jessica remains missing. The non-profit "Unfinished Files" has picked up the investigation, and working directly with Jessica's Mother in hopes of finding an answer and much needed closure.
- Jessica Gutierrez on the Charley Project
- Jessica Gutierrez on the Doe Network
- Jessica Gutierrez on NamUs
- Missing girl's mother questions conversation with Sheriff Metts
- Missing From South Carolina: Jessica Gutierrez
- Vigil held for Lexington County girl missing for nearly 30 years
- 4-year-old Jessica Gutierrez kidnapped from her bedroom in 1986
- No charges in 1986 Lexington SC missing child cold case
- The Unfinished Files