Cayce Lynn McDaniel

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Top Row and Bottom Left and Center: Cayce, circa 1996;
Bottom Right: Age-progression to age 33 (circa 2015)

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Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: August 16, 1996 from Milan, Tennessee
  • Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Date Of Birth: July 17, 1982
  • Age: 14 years old
  • Height and Weight: 5'4, 120 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian female. Brown hair, brown eyes. Cayce has a strawberry birthmark on the underside of her lower left arm.
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description: Possibly a t-shirt and boxer shorts, a silver friendship necklace with pendant of half a heart, and probably no shoes or socks.
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    Details of Disappearance

    Cayce returned to her family's home on U.S. 45 in Milan, Tennessee at approximately 12:30 a.m. on August 16, 1996 after a back-to-school party at Double Springs Cumberland Presbyterian Church, the church she and her family attended. A chaperone dropped her off there and watched her go into the house. Her mother arrived at the residence between approximately 1:30 a.m. and 2:00 a.m.

    Cayce's mother noticed the television set in Cayce's bedroom was turned on and the clothes she'd worn to the party were lying out. There was a bowl of cookies and some milk sitting on the floor, and the back door was left open. There were no indications of a struggle. It appeared as if Cayce had changed into her nightclothes, then left the house for some reason. She has never been heard from again. Her mother didn't report her disappearance immediately. About ten hours later, she called one of Cayce's friends to ask if she had seen her. When the friend said she hadn't, Cayce's mother contacted police.

    A sketch of a possible suspect in Cayce's disappearance is posted below this case summary. He was in his early twenties, with a dark complexion, dark hair, dark eyes and a scar below his right eye. He was approximately 6'0 and 170 pounds and wore an earring in his right ear. He has never been identified.

    In March 1998, more than eighteen months after Cayce vanished, the evidence of psychics and cadaver dogs prompted police to drain a west Tennessee farm pond in search of her body. The 3 1/2 acre pond is a popular hangout for teenagers. Nothing was found there, however, except animal bones and some clothing that did not belong to her. There were two unconfirmed sightings of Cayce in her hometown after her disappearance. Witnesses said the girl was accompanied by an unidentified man in his twenties. Authorities do not know if the girl was actually Cayce or just another young female who looked like her.

    In 2007, investigators announced they believe they know who is responsible for Cayce's disappearance, but they did not publicly name the suspect or speculate on any motives for her apparent abduction. Cayce was a freshman in high school in 1996. Her loved ones describe her as a good student and well-behaved teenager; they do not believe she would have run away and not contacted her family for this long. Her case remains unsolved. Foul play is suspected in Cayce's disappearance.

    McDaniel Suspect
    Above: Sketch of possible suspect

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    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Milan Police Department
    901-686-3800

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    Source Information
    The National Center For Missing and Exploited Children
    Child Protection Education Of America
    Missing Child: Cayce McDaniel
    Tennessee Internet Crime Information Center
    America's Most Wanted
    The Oak Ridger Online
    The Jackson Sun
    MCTV
    Unsolved in the News
    NamUs
    Searching for Ghosts Podcast

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    Updated 12 times since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated April 18, 2017; picture added.

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