Amy Lee Fandel

Amy, circa 1978; Age-progression to age 46 (circa 2016)

  • Missing Since 09/05/1978
  • Missing From Sterling, Alaska
  • Classification Non-Family Abduction
  • Sex Female
  • Race White
  • Date of Birth 08/25/1970 (53)
  • Age 8 years old
  • Height and Weight 4'0, 52 pounds
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description A sweater, a red and a blue vest and striped jeans.
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian female. Blonde hair, brown eyes.

Details of Disappearance

Amy and her older brother, Scott, were last seen during the evening hours of September 4, 1978. They had been at Good Time Charlie's, a bar/restaurant in Sterling, until approximately 10:00 p.m. that night with their mother, Margaret, and a visiting aunt, Margaret's sister Cathy Schonfelder. The women brought Scott and Amy back to their cabin at that time and then returned to the bar by themselves.

The cabin the Fandels lived in had two bedrooms and was located in a rural, heavily wooded area off Scout Lake Road, half a mile from Sterling Highway, and south of Sterling. It had a single bright streetlight out front. The front door lock did not work. (The cabin burned down several years after the Fandel children's disappearances.)

Scott and Amy visited their next-door neighbors, the Lupton family, after their mother and aunt dropped them off. They were very close to the Lupton children and walked with them to school each day. After playing with the Luptons, they went home again. A neighbor passing by at 11:45 p.m. noticed lights on in the Fandels' cabin.

Margaret and Cathy arrived back home between 2:00 and 3:00 a.m. on September 5, 1978 to find the lights out. This is unusual; Scott and Amy were afraid of the dark and usually left the lights on at night.

A package of macaroni and an open can of tomatoes sat on the kitchen counter, and a pot of water was boiling on the stove. It appeared as if Scott had been interrupted in the process of preparing a macaroni snack, which he liked to eat before bed. Assuming that the children were sleeping at the Luptons' house, Margaret and Cathy retired for the night.

Margaret left for work at approximately 8:30 a.m. that morning; Cathy awoke at 12:00 p.m. and assumed Scott and Amy were at school for the day. Margaret tried to call Amy at school that morning and was told the child hadn't arrived. She became worried, but her boss would not let her leave work.

The Lupton children arrived at the Fandels' home after school and inquired as to Scott and Amy's whereabouts. Cathy learned that neither child had attended classes that day, nor had they spent the night at the neighbor's house. She called Margaret, who immediately summoned the police.

Scott and Amy have never been seen again. Bullet casings were later found outside the cabin; it is unknown if they have anything to do with the children's disappearances.

Margaret moved to Illinois after her children's disappearances. Scott's biological father also lives in Illinois. The children's maternal uncle, Terry Schonfelder, believes Amy's father, Roger D. Fandel, may be involved in her and her brother's disappearances.

Roger left Margaret and the children in January 1978, nine months prior to Scott and Amy's disappearances, and moved to Arizona. Margaret tried to reach him immediately after Scott and Amy vanished but could not, although his relatives whom she spoke to said he did not know the children's whereabouts. Shortly after their abductions, Roger flew to Alaska to assist in the search for them.

Years after the children's disappearances, a woman who had been Roger's girlfriend in 1978 allegedly asked for $5,000 from Roger's uncle in exchange for her telling him the children's fates. Roger has not been charged in connection with Scott and Amy's apparent abductions, however, and neither has anyone else.

Investigators considered him a suspect in the cases for many years, but no longer believe he was involved.

Terry believes Amy is alive and living in Anchorage, Alaska; Lompoc, California; or Drummond, Montana, but that Scott was killed shortly after being abducted. No evidence has been found to support any theory.

Scott and Amy's cases remain unsolved.

Investigating Agency

  • Alaska State Troopers 907-262-4453

Updated 4 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated September 7, 2016; age-progression updated.