Details of Disappearance
Annette was last seen at approximately 7:00 a.m. on October 4, 1988 in her hometown of Mount Holly, South Carolina. She was standing with her dog at the bus stop in front of Mount Holly Plantation at the time, waiting to go to classes at Westview Middle School, where she was a sixth-grader.
When the bus arrived twenty minutes later, Annette was gone and her dog was at the bus stop alone. She has never been seen again. Her stepfather, Thomas Steven "Steve" Malinoski, didn't realize she was missing until that afternoon, when she didn't come home from school and he found out she'd never arrived there.
Annette vanished from the same location her mother, Korrina Sagers Malinoski, disappeared from nearly one year earlier, five days before Thanksgiving in November 1987. Steve said she left after an argument. When she did not show up for work, her boss went looking for her and found her car parked at the entrance to Mount Holly Plantation. Steve, who is Annette's stepfather, worked as a caretaker at the plantation. The family lived in a cabin on the property, which encompassed 6,000 acres.
Steve discovered a penciled note at the bus stop after Annette was reported missing. The note was addressed to him and said, "Dad, Mom came back. I have to go with her. Give the boys lots of kisses and hugs and also you to. Love, Annette." Handwriting experts determined that the note was written by Annette. There has been no other sign of either Annette or Korrina since 1988. Although several people had seen Annette at the bus stop that morning, no one saw anyone pick her up.
Authorities do not know if Korrina did in fact return for Annette; the child could have written the note under duress. Some theorize that Annette knew something about her mother's disappearance and was silenced, but there is no evidence to support any theory. One of Korrina and Steve's two sons said his parents argued frequently and some of their arguments were violent, that Steve was addicted to drugs. However, neither of the boys were old enough at the time to remember anything specific about their mother and half-sister's disappearances.
Steve moved to Florida several months after Annette's disappearance, giving up his rights to his two sons by Korrina. The boys were sent into foster care, were eventually adopted, and have since grown up and reconnected with their biological relatives. Steve maintains his innocence in his wife ands stepdaughter's cases. In 2000, an anonymous caller directed police to search for a body in Sumter County. Investigators took a cadaver-sniffing dog to the location, but found no sign of any remains.
Although Annette's case remains classified as a non-family abduction by many agencies, and it's unclear what happened to her and her mother, authorities believe it's likely that both Annette and Korrina met with foul play and neither of them ever left the Mount Holly Plantation after they went missing.