Sylvia Ann Lee

Above: Sylvia, circa 1995


Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: October 31, 1995 from Campbell, California
  • Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Date Of Birth: March 26, 1978
  • Age: 17 years old
  • Height and Weight: 4'11 - 5'0, 110 - 125 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian female. Brown hair, brown/hazel eyes. Sylvia has a tattoo of her nickname, Shorty, on her left hand. She may dye her hair blonde or black.
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description: A black sweatshirt and black pants.
  • Bar

    Details of Disappearance

    Sylvia was last seen in Campbell, California on October 31, 1995. She said goodbye to her boyfriend and boarded a bus en route to a light rail station, where she planned to catch a train to her grandmother's home in San Jose. She never arrived and has never been heard from again.

    Wilbur Atcherley pleaded guilty to Sylvia's murder in 2011, sixteen years after her disappearance. He was already serving 61 years to life in prison at the time; he had abducted another female and tried to kill her in 1999. While in prison, on the fifth anniversary of Sylvia's disappearance, Atcherley contacted authorities and confessed to killing her. He said he met at the light rail station and she got into a taxi with him. He took her to a remote area in New Almaden, sexually assaulted her and killed her, then left her body in a creek bed. Investigators checked his story and found cab records indicating a fare from San Jose to New Almaden on that date. Atcherley had 15 years added to his sentence for her death.

    Atcherley led police to the spot where he said he'd left Sylvia's body, but a search turned up nothing. Authorities believe her remains were washed away.


    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Campbell Police Department



    Source Information
    California Attorney General's Office
    Vanished Children's Alliance
    The National Center For Missing and Exploited Children
    The Mercury News
    KTVU 2


    Updated 2 times since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated September 24, 2011; details of disappearance updated.

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