Unsolved Mysteries Wiki

Cathy loving.jpg

Real Name: Unrevealed
Case: Lost Savior
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Date: July 1961


Details: When Cathy Loving was fourteen, she was repeatedly abused and raped by her stepfather, Clifford Starks, who was also a Chicago police detective. On one night in July 1961, she was forced to participate in a drunken party and was again sexually abused by Starks. The next morning, she wrote a note, saying that she was running away. However, with no place to go, she was soon picked up by Starks. She was beaten and held prisoner in a relative's apartment for a week.
When Cathy tried to get help, she went to a police station and pretended to have amnesia in order to not get sent back home. The officer noticed bruises on her arm and believed that she was running from problems at home. When he suggested that her siblings might be going through the same problems she went through, she decided to tell the truth. However, Starks was notified and he went to pick her up. When she refused to go with him, he ordered her to be locked up.
Cathy was labeled "incorrigible", put in handcuffs, and placed in a paddy wagon. She was taken to jail and remanded to a city home for delinquent children. Four months later, she had a hearing in juvenile court. Although several friends in the neighborhood planned to testify on her behalf, only her family was allowed in the courtroom. As the proceedings began, it was discovered that her case file had conveniently disappeared. The file contained affidavits supporting her allegations of sexual abuse. The judge ordered that she be sent to the Illinois State Training School for Girls at Geneva until her eighteenth birthday.
While being driven to there, however, Cathy told her story to an unknown Cook County Deputy Sheriff; she told him about how she was being sexually abused and that she was only there because the abuser was her detective stepfather. He was touched by her story and convinced that the system made a mistake; he decided to take action. After arriving at the school, her asked her for the names of two friends that could help her, Louise Gordan and Maisy Bell. They soon brought the case to the attention of state social workers.
A few weeks later, Cathy met with a social worker, who told her how the deputy had helped her prove that the system had made a mistake. Two weeks after that, she was declared an emancipated minor and released thanks to him; afterwards, she began living with neighborhood friends. Years later, she started a church group that counsels abused children.
Now, thirty years later, Cathy wants to thank the unknown deputy for saving her and changing her life.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the November 13, 1991 episode.

Results: Solved. Former Deputy Sheriff Fred Douglas Lyle saw the broadcast and realized that he was the deputy that Cathy was looking for. He left the Sheriff's Department in 1965; he has four children and eight grandchildren. That evening, he and Cathy spoke on the phone and made arrangements for a reunion.
On July 18, 1992, Fred and one of his daughters traveled to Cathy's home in Atlanta, Georgia, where they were joyfully reunited. She was finally able to thank him for saving her; he was overjoyed to learn how much of an impact he had on her life.
Sadly, Fred passed away on October 5, 1998; he was sixty-six. At his funeral, Cathy told their story to the congregation.