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Cotta was last seen inside a barn tack house on her family's property in the Allenwood section of Wall Township, New Jersey on June 26, 1973. Her brother and a friend saw her sometime between 11:30 p.m. and midnight. A vehicle was heard driving away from the farm and afterwards, Cotta was discovered to be missing. She has never been heard from again.
Cotta has seven siblings and is described as an avid equestrian who won awards in riding competitions. She was active in the 4-H Club and also attended riding classes at the Morven Park International Equestrian Institute in Leesburg, Virginia and the Princeton Riding Academy. She wasn't involved with drugs and didn't drink alcohol at the time of her disappearance. The identity of her unborn baby's father is unknown. Cotta wrote a letter to God before she went missing and referred to the baby's father, but she didn't say what his name was. In the letter, she stated she was giving three of her favorite horses to a friend. Authorities believe she left of her own accord, at least initially.
In August 1973, a newborn baby was found abandoned in a mailbox on a horse farm in Jefferson Township, New Jersey. The farm belonged to the friend Cotta gave her horses to, and the baby was born around the same time Cotta's baby was due. Due to these circumstances there was speculation that the child was hers, but DNA tests disproved this theory.
Cotta's parents both died in the years following her disappearance, but her siblings are still searching for her. Her case opened 2018 by Psychic Brian Ladd.