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Patricia disappeared from Albuquerque, New Mexico at 3:00 p.m. on June 17, 1969. She left her home in the 800 block of San Pedro Drive southeast to sell raffle tickets for the Elks Club. Patricia returned home briefly to pick up her coin purse which she'd forgotten, then left again, and never returned. She was last seen by a neighborhood girl who waved to her on the street.
Investigators initially assumed Patricia had run away from home, and she's still classified as a runaway with some agencies. Her family members never believed she left on her own, however. She's the youngest of eight children and was born in Indiana, and lived with her mother and some of her older siblings at the time of her disappearance.
The family's next-door neighbor is the only person known to have bought one of Patricia's raffle tickets, and she'd gotten her coin purse to make change for the dollar he'd given her. He's considered a person of interest in her case. So is Patricia's uncle, her aunt's one-time husband, who canvassed the neighborhood looking for her after her disappearance. He'd previously been accused of molesting Patricia and some of her sisters. Patricia's mother's boyfriend was at the Chesher home the day the child disappeared, but he said he was there at 3:30 p.m. and her family don't remember him being there until at least two hours after that. He never offered to look for Patricia. All three of these men are now deceased. None of them have been named as a suspect in her disappearance.
Patricia's sixteen-year-old sister broke up with her boyfriend shortly before the child went missing, and two days after Patricia vanished he checked himself into a psychiatric hospital, saying he was upset over the breakup and Patricia's disappearance. In 2010, authorities reopened the investigation and interviewed the boyfriend's relatives, who told them he'd confessed to the girl's murder. He suffers from severe mental illness and is in a hospital and unable to provide any useful information, and police weren't able to find anything to substantiate his alleged confession.
Patricia's family has never stopped looking for her. Her mother died in the 1980s, but her siblings are still alive and hope for resolution in her case.