Cynthia Ardina Leslie, age 15, and her younger sister, Jackie Lynn Leslie, age 13, went missing together from Mesa, Arizona on July 31, 1974.
The two girls were last seen walking down Baseline Road, away from their home at the Desert Sands Mobile Home Park. They’d left a note for their parents saying they were going to babysit at “the same place”, in reference to a family they had babysat for before. Their grandmother was home at the time, and recounted that Cynthia had taken a phone call just before writing the note and leaving with Jackie. Their parents were at church.
It was later discovered that the girls planned to go to a party about three blocks away from their residence. It’s believed that Cynthia wanted to see a boy that her parents had forbidden her to see.
It is not clear whether they arrived at the party, as some in attendance said they arrived, and others said they didn’t. They never returned home.
The area of the party was rural back in 1974, and nearby wooded areas were searched at the time with no results. The area is now built up, with houses and businesses sitting on the once wooded areas.
The Leslie family had only moved to the Mesa area about a month before; they had previously lived in Page and had relocated to be closer to a hospital, as their father was ill with cancer. He died about seven months after the girls vanished.
A surviving relative has indicated that the boy Cynthia may have wanted to meet, along with his parents, were interrogated and considered persons of interest. The boy’s mother reportedly became arrogant toward Cynthia and Jackie’s mother, telling her to “call off the dogs”.
The girls’ mother lives in Kingman, Arizona now and along with an older daughter, still seeks answers. She believes that her daughters had gotten in with the wrong crowd, noting that friends who normally called Cynthia frequently never called again after that day.
To me, the fact that multiple friends just stopped calling the Leslie home after that night suggests that they knew the girls wouldn’t be there. Someone – and probably more than one person – has to have the piece of the puzzle that can relieve some of the agony the Leslie family undoubtedly continues to endure.
And speaking of friends, I also find it odd that Cynthia and Jackie had a circle of friends, when they had been in the area for such a short period of time. Since it was the end of July, they wouldn’t have attended school there yet.
Cynthia and Jackie Leslie were described as normal teenagers, who enjoyed bowling and roller skating. Cynthia hated wearing her glasses, and had just gotten contact lenses, but they were left at home.
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