Overview of Jessica Gutierrez
Jessica Suzanne Gutierrez was taken from her family's mobile home in Lexington, South Carolina, on June 5, 1986. An unknown intruder or intruders entered the residence between 11:30 p.m. that evening and 9:00 a.m. the following morning.
The intruder(s) apparently broke in through the living room window and removed the screen and curtains. The abductor(s) then removed Jessica from the bedroom and left the residence through the front door.
Jessica's mother discovered the crime scene and her disappearance on the morning of June 6, her six-year-old sister, Rebecca, stated she had been taken by "the man with the magic hat and the beard." A longtime suspect in the case is Thomas Eric McDowell, a friend of the family who was 27 in 1986 and had served time in a North Carolina prison for rape. His fingerprint was found on the window of Jessica's bedroom.
In January 2022, McDowell was charged with murder, kidnapping and first-degree burglary in Jessica's disappearance. Jessica's remains have never been found, but foul play is suspected in her case due to the circumstances involved.