Details of Disappearance Carla was last seen at her family's residence at the Eastwood public housing project on Airport Highway in Birmingham, Alabama during the evening hours of August 12, 1980. She and her mother were watching television, and then her mother went to bed.
Her mother awoke at approximately 4:30 a.m. on August 13 and discovered the doors to their apartment were wide open. Chairs had been pushed back from the living room table and a soft drink bottle had been overturned as well.
Carla's new sandals were near the couch where she had placed them the night before, and her belt was lying on the ground outside the front door. All of her belongings, including money and her medication, had been left behind. There was no sign of her inside the residence. She has never been seen again.
Carla had been allegedly abducted and raped by a group of men in July 1980, one month prior to the time she was last seen. The three-hour attack had taken place near Lake Purdy in Alabama. The men had arrived at Carla's family's residence the week before she disappeared, but they were not permitted inside.
It is not known if the previous attack is related to Carla's disappearance. No official report about the incident was filed at the time and the police didn't learn about it until eighteen years after Carla went missing. Authorities have continued to search for Carla since 1980.
Throughout the years, her mother has been the victim of many individuals attempting to cash in on her daughter's disappearance. Various people have claimed they would reveal Carla's whereabouts if a monetary amount was paid. Carla's sister stated she's been warned that she could be killed if she keeps searching for Carla; she's persisted in the search anyway.
At the time of her disappearance, Carla was about to start seventh grade and was looking forward to it. She was close to her older sister, who by then had moved out of the family home, and her sister doesn't believe she would have gone this long without contact. Their mother believes that she was sexually assaulted and murdered shortly after her disappearance.
Several years after Carla's disappearance, she was declared legally dead. A suspect claimed he knew her fate, but then he recanted his story. Her case remains unsolved. Foul play is suspected in Carla's case.
- Birmingham Police Department
Updated 6 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated June 25, 2019; distinguishing characteristics and clothing/jewelry description updated.