Cesilia, approximate photo date 1976 Age-progression to age 53 (approximate photo date 2015)
Missing since: 10/06/1976
Manhattan, New York
Type of missing case: Non-Family Abduction
Date of Birth: 09/04/1962 (57)
Age at time of disappearance: 14 years old
Height / Weight: 4'9, 111 pounds
Description, clothing, tattoos, other identifying markings: A parochial school uniform consisting of a light gray jacket, a gray plaid skirt and a white blouse.
Other characteristics: Hispanic female. Black hair, brown eyes. Cesilia has a scar on her left forearm.
Details at time of disappearance: Cesilia was a student at St. Alphonsus Commercial High School in the New York City borough of lower Manhattan in 1976. Her family resided in the borough of the Bronx. Cesilia used the subway as her means of transportation to and from school.
When returning home on her normal route, Cesilia took the Number 2 Train at the 149th Street station in Manhattan. She would travel five stops down the line to her exit at the Simpson Street station in the Bronx. Cesilia took the Number 5 bus from that subway stop to her family's home every school day.
Cesilia was last seen by her friends at the 149th Street station between 3:00 and 4:00 p.m. on October 6, 1976. She never arrived at her residence that day and has not been heard from again.
A witness came forward several days after Cesilia initially vanished and told her family that she had seen Cesilia on October 6 after the final reported sighting. The witness stated that Cesilia was on the corner of 163rd Street and Southern Boulevard with a resident of the Bronx named Anthony "Rudy" Flores. Flores was holding Cesilia by her arm and she appeared frightened of him.
The location of the sighting is less than half a mile from Intervale Avenue station, one stop before Simpson Station, where Cesilia normally got off the subway. If the sighting is accurate, either that Cesilia got off the subway earlier than she normally did, or that she met Flores after getting off at the Simpson Station as usual and they were together for sixth-tenths of a mile without anyone noticing that anyone was wrong.
Flores claimed that he was not with Cesilia the day she vanished and that he had nothing to do with her case. He is also a suspect in the case of nine-year-old Nelida Del Valle, who disappeared from Boston, Massachusetts in 1976. He has not been charged in either case, however. There are reports that he's serving a fifty-year sentence for one and possibly two murders in New York, but this has not been confirmed.
Cesilia has never been located.
Other case information
Agency in charge: New York Police Department
Other information: The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
New York Police Department
America's Most Wanted
The Public Spirit
Stolen: Cesilia Pena & Nelida Del Valle | DARK MATTERS #25
Psychic detective links:
Revised: October 12, 2004. Last updated December 1, 2018 details of disappearance updated.