Marlene Santana

Above: Age-progression for Marlene to age 25 (circa 2010) (photographs of her are unavailable because she was abducted shortly after birth)

  • Missing Since 10/21/1985
  • Missing From Brooklyn, New York
  • Classification Non-Family Abduction
  • Date of Birth 10/18/1985 (32)
  • Height and Weight 1'8, 7 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Hispanic female. Brown hair, brown eyes. Marlene has a foot deformity called a metatarsus adductus; her feet will appear C-shaped if viewed from the bottom.

Details of Disappearance

Marlene was abducted at gunpoint by a female suspect in the New York City borough of Brooklyn at 9:30 p.m. on October 21, 1985. Marlene's mother met the abductor while giving birth to Marlene three days prior to the abduction at Brookdale Hospital. The woman admired the baby at the nursery window during visiting hours; she said it was the prettiest baby and the quietest one. Marlene was kept longer than usual due to jaundice, but eventually discharged with a clean bill of health. The suspect kidnapped the baby as her mother was leaving the hospital with her. The child was wrapped in a blue, pink and yellow swaddling blanket at the time of her abduction.

The suspect threatened to shoot Marlene if her mother did not give her up. The two women walked together for six blocks with the suspect pointing a gun at Marlene, then stopped at a deserted junkyard, and the suspect took the baby. Her mother gave the abductor her telephone number and asked her to call. After she got the baby, the kidnapper escaped in a vehicle driven by an accomplice. Marlene and the suspect have never been seen again. Sketches of the abductor is posted below this case summary. She was 5'2 and 130 pounds, and approximately 24 to 30 years old in 1985. She was Caucasian with some Hispanic features, and no accent. She had dirty blonde or bleached blonde hair and may have been wearing a wig. The abduction car was a white 1976 Chevrolet Malibu with red lettering on the door; possibly it was an unlicensed cab.

Marlene's father was in the Dominican Republic at the time of the infant's disappearance and is not considered a suspect in her case. The same week Marlene disappeared, a two-month-old baby was kidnapped from another New York City hospital. The infant was recovered unharmed a few days later and his abductor was arrested. The case is not believed to be connected to Marlene's; the timing was coincidental.

It's possible that Marlene was sold for adoption. Her abductor could also have been a mentally unstable woman who wanted a child to raise. Marlene's case remains unsolved.

Above: Sketches of the abductor

Updated 7 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated August 1, 2011; age-progression and details of disappearance updated.