Thirty-seven years ago today, Kathy Teague’s life turned upside down in a moment.
It was June of 1983 and Kathy was living in the Robert Taylor Homes, a public housing project on the South Side of Chicago. She and her husband ached to have a night out, so they decided to catch a movie at the drive-in. They left their 18-month-old daughter, Vinyette, home with family who agreed to watch her.
Kathy’s family was spending the evening out on the breezeway of the building, coming and going from the apartment. When Kathy’s mom got a phone call, she popped inside to take it. The next-door neighbor, who was holding Vinyette, set her down in the hallway and went inside her own unit to do dishes.
And in an instant, Vinyette was gone.
When Kathy got home from the movie, she heard a neighbor screaming her name, asking if she had Vinyette. That’s when Kathy noticed all the police cars.
“I started running to the seventh floor and when I opened the door, I saw my mother and my mother-in-law…and that’s when I knew my baby was missing. I came back out of the door and just went floor to floor, door to door, searching for my baby.”
But Vinyette was nowhere to be found.
“We don’t know from that day to this day if someone was walking up the stairs or going down, just saw a pretty baby…and just wanted her,” said Kathy.
For 37 years, Kathy Teague has been searching for little Vinyette.
“It’s hard to describe, because as the years go by, it gets numb and numb and numb and numb. You say to yourself, ‘If I break down and I cry, if I go crazy and don’t know what’s going on, who’s going to fight for my child? Who’s going to be their voice?’”
Hear from Kathy Teague in this NCMEC video:
Here is Vinyette’s missing poster. If you have any information about the disappearance of Vinyette Teague, call the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST.