Sharaun Cole, age 12, disappeared from Manhattan, New York on February 23, 1983.

She was last seen outside her building in the evening hours, when she told her mother she was going to a nearby park to play.  She never returned.

According to news articles from 1983, her mother stated that she wasn’t having any problems at home.  Her mother told reporters that she initially thought Sharaun might have gone to stay with her godmother, something she was known to do from time to time.  When she didn’t return the following day, and it was learned that her godmother hadn’t seen her, her mother contacted police.

According to comments posted by former classmates and neighbors, Sharaun lived in the corner building at 165th and Edgecomb in the Washington Heights neighborhood in Manhattan and had attended P.S. 128 Elementary School.


One of the commenters who had known her said she was having issues at home with her mother.  Another said that her mother never talks about her since she’s been missing.

I recall 1983 as a particularly harsh winter in New York City, but am not sure if I am remembering the 1982-83 winter or the 1983-84.  Looking up the historical weather reports for the date of her disappearance, the temperatures were actually mild, ranging from 39-51 degrees Fahrenheit.

There were a couple reported sightings of Sharaun in July 1983.  Both were reported by people who knew Sharaun.  One sighting was in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan, and the other was in the vicinity of 160th St and Broadway.

Both witnesses described her as being “very dirty” and stated sbe looked upset.  They stated it was unlike Sharaun to neglect her hygiene.

It’s not clear if she was seen alone, or in the company of others. It’s also not known whether any of these witnesses spoke to her.

Her case has received no publicity over the years, and until I recently noticed a Charley Project update on her case, I thought there had been none at all, ever.  It turns out that the New York Daily News ran a couple articles: this one just after she vanished, and this one describing the potential sightings.

I’ve seen some suggestions that Sharaun could be a match to St. Louis Little Jane Doe, who was discovered in an abandoned house only a few days after Sharaun was last seen.   If the sightings described were genuine, she’d be an easy rule out. We just can’t be sure how credible the sightings were. Given the fact that there were two sightings, presumably by different people who actually knew her, I’d like to think they were genuine, and that she could still be out there somewhere.


The Charley Project


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