June 15, 1987
Stirling City, CA—A spokesman for the Stirling City Police Department admitted this week that there were no promising leads in the case of eight year old Katrina Elkins, who went missing from her home Thursday night.
"It's like she disappeared into thin air," said neighbor and family friend, Marybeth Carlisle.
Police were called to the residence at 6:30 AM on Friday morning by Katrina's father, David.
He realized that Katrina was missing when he went into her bedroom to wake her for school and discovered that she was not in her bed. The only possible witness was the victim's sister, ten year old Alice, with whom Katrina shares a bedroom. Alice has been unable to provide many details to investigators, however.
"It seems that [the girl] suffers from an overactive imagination," SCPD Sergeant William Hohne said, "she told us the last time she saw her sister, was through the window where she was 'hugging the tall man'." According to witness statements, over the past several weeks a man had been coming to the girls' bedroom window at night, where he would tap on the glass, 'make faces', and watch the girls.
Police investigators initially dismissed the account as a dream, as the bedroom window is on the second story, with no support beneath it. "[Alice] Elkins reported that, on the night of her sisters disappearance, they were again awakened by a tapping at the glass," Sergeant Hohne explained, "She heard her sister get out of bed, and have a short conversation.
When she didn't hear her sister get back in bed after several minutes, she got up and went to the window, where she saw her sister in the side yard, 'hugging the tall man'. According to the witness, the man looked up at her, grinned, and indicated that she was to come down as well with a 'snaky arm'. It was at this point that Miss Elkins became extremely frightened, and returned to bed.
The tapping continued for some minutes, but finally ceased." Police scoured the Elkins' yard for clues, with no success. When asked why Alice had not told her parents about the tall men before, she explained, "He scared me. He told us to not tell Mom and Dad, or we'd be in trouble. He told us that he was our friend, and that he would give us anything we wanted, but we had to keep his secret.
His smile was scary... and his voice. He said nice things but he sounded mean." Police believe that there is no link between the disappearance, and the vicious killing of the Elkin's cat by disemboweling in April.