Home » Cherie Barnes, 2: Toddler Missing, Mother Found Dead In 1986
The child’s incarcerated stepfather claims to know where she is.
Another cold case that has gone unsolved involves Elizabeth Turek Vasser and her daughter, Cherie Barnes. According to reports, in 1986, two-year-old Cherie was being cared for by her mother and stepfather, Larry Vasser. The trio reportedly moved from Nashville, Tennessee, to St. Louis, Missouri, that year, but it would spell tragedy for the family.
It was said that upon arriving in St. Louis, Elizabeth began working as a prostitute with her husband operating as her pimp. Then, during the holiday season, on December 1, Elizabeth was reported missing. Her last known location was at her home, but it would take years to learn her fate. Although the remains of a woman were discovered in the Mississippi River two weeks after the mother vanished, Elizabeth wouldn’t be identified for another seven years.
Meanwhile, relatives were also concerned about Cherie Barnes’s whereabouts. Both Elizabeth and Cherie were listed as missing persons, but it was stated that the toddler was last seen with her stepfather, Larry Vasser, on January 7, 1987. The exact location where the two were seen is unclear; however, it was noted that they were somewhere in Kansas City, Missouri.
Cherie Barnes has never been seen or heard from again.
Vasser was questioned by the authorities and told police that Cherie was “being looked after” by relatives. He also revealed that the little girl was given a new name and was somewhere in Kansas City. To prove his claim, Vasser offered to provide new photos of Cherie, but he would only do so if the elderly woman gave him $500.
Later, it was alleged that Vasser told his probation officer in 1988 that his wife was strangled in 1986. It was also speculated there was a woman who accused Vasser of attempting to kidnap her in 1987. The investigations into these claims are unknown.
If Cherie is still alive, there is a good chance she may not be aware of her past or know that she is a missing person. This case is listed as a non-family abduction, as Cherie was supposed to be given over to the custody of Elizabeth’s mother. Yet, police have not ruled out a darker fate.
At the time of her disappearance, Cherie Barnes stood 4 feet tall and weighed 80 pounds. She had brown hair and brown eyes. Cherie’s mother was white and her father is Black. Her middle name is Nicole. She would be 38 years old at the time of this publication.
Anyone with information about this case is urged to contact the St Louis Metropolitan Police Department (314) 231-1212. The agency case number is 94-060619.
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