Avondale Infant -- Missing Since 2001 -- is Still Missing. Cops Need Help
The Avondale Police Department wants to remind Valley residents that an infant taken from a swap meet in 2001 is still missing, in the hope that some new ink about the girl's abduction could create some new leads.
Ten years ago Friday, 4-month-old Jacqueline Vasquez was with her mother and 2-year-old sister at a swap meet at 12300 West Buckeye Road in Avondale. Her mother, then-18-year-old Olivia Casteneda, set the car seat in which Jacqueline was being carried down next to a port-a-john as she and the 2-year-old went inside to use the toilet. When they came out, Jacqueline was gone.
Frantic, Casteneda searched for a few minutes before calling police.
Witnesses later told detectives there was a suspicious woman walking around the swap meet the day of Jacqueline's disappearance, and that she was asking about infant children. The woman was never located, and the case went cold.
Authorities suspect that whomever took Jacqueline might have cared for her and possibly raised her as the suspect's own child.
The hurdle for investigators 10 years after the infant was taken is that nobody knows what she looks like. Authorities have created an image of what the girl could look like, but nobody knows for sure.
There is one thing that could help identify the girl: she has a heart-shaped birthmark on her upper-right arm.
If you're a 10-year-old girl and have a similar birthmark, or you know a 10-year-old girl who has a similar birthmark, Avondale police would like to speak with you. Anyone with information is asked to call Avondale Police Department at 623-333-7001 or silent witness at 480-WITNESS.
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