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Catherine Barbara Davidson

Missing Person Case September 2021

Missing Person Case September 2021

Catherine, approximately 1973; Anna Young, approximately 2017

Date reported missing : 09/01/1973

Missing location (approx) :
Sawyer, Michigan
Missing classification : Endangered Missing
Gender : Female
Ethnicity :

DOB : 12/13/1966 (54)
Age at the time of disappearance: 6 years old
Height / Weight : 3'10, 70 pounds
Description, clothing, jewerly and more : A white blouse, blue shorts and white sandals.
Distinguishing characteristics, birthmarks, tattoos : African-American female. Black hair, brown eyes. Catherine's hair was braided into tight rows at the time of her disappearance. Her nickname is Cathy.

Information on the case from local sources, may or may not be correct : Catherine is from Chicago, Illinois. She was reported missing on September 1, 1973, after her family traveled to Warren Dunes State Park in Sawyer, Michigan for a picnic.
Her father, Robert, and stepmother, Anna, said that while they unpacked the car, Catherine and her five older siblings went to explore Paintervillle Drain, which empties into Lake Michigan. Fifteen minutes later, all the other children had returned to the vehicle except Catherine. An extensive search of the area turned up nothing but a pair of green underpants, and it wasn't established whether they were Catherine's or not.
The police noted that Catherine's parents seemed unusually callous about the situation. Three days into the search, Anna and Robert were seen sitting in a car with other couples, laughing and drinking alcohol. The police were suspicious, but there was no evidence to implicate that Davidsons at that time, and all their children backed up their story.
Anna and Robert had another daughter, Joy, after Catherine's disappearance. More than thirty years after the child went missing, Joy went to the police and said her older sister had told her Catherine had never gone to Warren Dunes State Park that day and was, in fact, already dead by then. Joy stated she was told Anna bound and gagged Catherine and placed her in a closet in the family's home in Chicago. The other children heard scratching coming from the closet all night long, then the noises stopped. When Joy's sister looked in the closet she saw her sister lying in a fetal position, apparently dead.
The Davidson parents turned to religion after Catherine went missing. They moved to Zebulon, Georgia and then to rural Florida, and in the mid-1980s they founded the House of Prayer for All People, a religious group that operated under a system of collectivism and Old Testament style beliefs, including adhering to a kosher diet and wearing full-length robes and head coverings. At its largest, the group comprised 24 members. They would take new names upon joining. Robert changed his name to Jonah Young and Anna became Anna Young.
Anna, who was in charge, was cruel to the other members, particularly after her husband died in 1988. She forced members to turn over all their savings, separated parents from their children, and frequently starved, humiliated, beat and tortured the members, especially children, for their "sins." Each beating took 33 lashes with a whip, the same number Christ had received before the crucifixion.
At one point Anna ordered a cult member to abandon a two-year-old Marcos Cruz at a church in Puerto Rico because he was "full of the devil." The toddler's ultimate fate is unknown. In 1992, she bathed a twelve-year-old child in bleach, causing severe burns, then left her tied to a bed, which exacerbated her injuries. The victim had permanent scarring. After the girl's parents found her and took her to a hospital, Anna was convicted of child abuse. Before she could be sentenced, she went on the run with Joy, who was still a child at the time. The cult dissolved in her absence
In 2000, Anna was located in Alton, Illinois and sent to jail, where she served six months for the child abuse charge. After her release she settled in Cobb County, Georgia and kept a low profile for fifteen years. In 2017, Joy accused her mother of having killed Catherine and a toddler she knew as Moses Young, who had been a member of the House of Prayer for All People. She went to the police, who were able to identify the boy as Emon Harper. He was about two years old at the time.
Other former cult members supported Joy's story, stating that in 1988 or 1989, Anna had beaten and starved the boy over an extended time period until he was found dead inside her closet. His body has not been found; witnesses report that Anna put it in a large straw hamper and burned the hamper in a fire. She told other cult members that she had given the child away to be raised by monks.
Anna was charged with Emon's murder in December 2017. One man who was in the cult as a child said Anna forced other cult members to beat and torture his two-year-old sister, Katonya Jackson. Katonya had epilepsy and Anna also withheld her medication. Katonya subsequently died. At the time her death was classified as natural, but after charges were filed against Anna in Emon's case, Katonya's death was re-investigated and Anna was ultimately charged with manslaughter. A photo of Anna is posted with this case summary. She had been arrested once before Catherine's disappearance, in Ohio in 1968, for child abuse against a five-year-old girl.
Joy believes her mother suffered from untreated mental illness and this caused her violent behavior. In February 2021, Anna reached a plea agreement with the prosecution and pleaded no contest to second-degree murder in Emon's case and manslaughter in Katonya's death. She was sentenced to 30 years in prison. She died a month later at the Age at the time of disappearance: of seventy-nine, having served just 33 days of her sentence.
No one has ever been charged in Catherine or Marcos's disappearances.

Other information and links : ncy

Michigan State Police

September 2021 updates and sources

A missing person is a person who has disappeared and whose status as alive or dead cannot be confirmed as their location and condition are not known. A person may go missing through a voluntary disappearance, or else due to an accident, crime, death in a location where they cannot be found (such as at sea), or many other reasons. In most parts of the world, a missing person will usually be found quickly. While criminal abductions are some of the most widely reported missing person cases, these account for only 25% of missing children in Europe. By contrast, some missing person cases remain unresolved for many years. Laws related to these cases are often complex since, in many jurisdictions, relatives and third parties may not deal with a person's assets until their death is considered proven by law and a formal death certificate issued. The situation, uncertainties, and lack of closure or a funeral resulting when a person goes missing may be extremely painful with long-lasting effects on family and friends. Several organizations seek to connect, share best practices, and disseminate information and imAge at the time of disappearance: s of missing children to improve the effectiveness of missing children investigations, including the International Commission on Missing Persons, the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC), as well as national organizations, including the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children in the US, Missing People in the UK, Child Focus in Belgium, and The Smile of the Child in Greece.
The St. Joseph Herald-Press
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
The Gainesville Sun