Cheryl “Cherie” Wyant, age 13, disappeared from Rohnert Park, California on May 1, 1978.
Cheryl was living in a group home there at the time. She was involved in a car accident, and was in a local hospital as a result. She left the hospital and has never been seen again.
It has been speculated that she may have planned on returning to Clark County, Washington as she had a former foster home there.
My first thought was that she may have returned to her biological family, although that scenario was eliminated when I saw that her biological family has submitted a DNA sample, thus apparently searching for her.
Law Enforcement does not know what she was wearing when she disappeared, but depending on the circumstances under which she left the hospital, it may have been a hospital gown.
She was only 13, so obviously too young to drive – whoever was driving her when the car accident happened could probably fill in the blanks (or at least, could have, back then) about what she was wearing when she went into the hospital – which likely would be what she was wearing when she came out, unless she was indeed wearing a hospital gown.
There is no indication of whether she was released from the hospital, or just bolted while still under treatment. I’d have to guess the latter, since I can’t imagine a hospital releasing a 13 year old without a guardian to pick her up.
In searching the internet, the only group home I can find associated with Rohnert Park is one called Sarah’s Group Home for Young Adults. They don’t have a website, so I don’t know how long it’s been in operation, or if this could be the group home where Cheryl was living.
I wonder if she had a history of running away, or if she were adventurous enough to travel across two states on her own. I’m curious as to her state of mind while living at the group home.
I have found a couple unidentified remains that I think could be a possible match – the most likely being this one, which was found in Pierce County, Washington on August 29, 1978. The unidentified is listed as 5’7″, while Cheryl is listed as 5’8″. The unidentified had brown hair with blonde strands. The photo of Cheryl appears to have blonde strands, although it could just be due to the lighting.
The age is off a little, as the unidentified is supposed to be 15-20 years old. I am not sure if that could be due to her height, though, as 5’7-5’8 is very tall for a 13 year old. If she is still out there, she’d be at least 5’10” by now, I’d think.
Strangely, the clothing the unidentified was wearing are noted as girls clothing, as opposed to juniors or womens. That seems unlikely for anyone who is 5’7-5’8, but especially so for someone over 15. That small tidbit makes me think it would be an 11-13 year old that would still be wearing girls clothing.
The other issue I see, is that Pierce County, where this unidentified was found, is about 2 1/2 hours north of Clark County, where it was believed she may have been headed.
There’s been no news coverage that I’ve found on her case, which surprises me due to her age. There is another similar case in the same county, of 12 year old Mary Ann Hogland-McCloskey, who ran away from a group home in 1981 and I’ve seen nothing on her case either.
I think I’ll shoot an email to the Press Democrat and gently remind them that they have two missing girls from their corner of the world who could use some publicity. Someone knows what happened to Cheryl.
If you’d like to join me in my effort, the newsroom email is ted.appel[at]pressdemocrat.com