Details of Disappearance
Cindy married Albert Lesko III in 1986 in Detroit, Michigan, and they had a son and daughter together. The couple's relationship was very troubled and Cindy filed two domestic violence reports against Albert in 1989 and 1992. She didn't pursue criminal charges against him either time, however.
Cindy tipped off investigators regarding six pounds of marijuana Albert was concealing in the family's St. Clair Shores home in 1994. She was severely beaten by Albert shortly afterwards and he was convicted of domestic abuse.
Cindy filed for divorce after the incident took place and was awarded temporary custody of the couple's children, along with possession of the family home. She would also be able to testify as a witness against Albert at his trial for drug offenses later in 1994 after the divorce was finalized. She would no longer be restricted by spousal immunity claims on the part of Albert's defense attorneys.
Cindy was speaking to a relative on the phone from her St. Clair Shores residence on October 23, 1994 at approximately 10:00 p.m. She was concerned because her children were late in returning home from a trip to Comins, Michigan with Albert. Authorities believe Cindy and Albert argued after he arrived later in the evening with the children.
A witness stated that she saw the couple fighting in the front yard of Cindy's residence on Evergreen that night. Cindy reportedly called for help, but law enforcement was not summoned. Investigators theorize that Albert strangled Cindy at the house and then placed her body inside his pickup truck.
She may have been buried somewhere along Interstate 75 in Michigan or near the couple's cabin in Oscoda County. Extensive searches have not produced any evidence as to Cindy's location and she has never been seen again. Albert kept their children home from school the day after her disappearance.
Cindy was reported as a missing person on October 24, after she failed to arrive as scheduled for her nursing school classes. Her vehicle was discovered abandoned at 7 Mile Road and Van Dyke Street in Detroit, Michigan on October 26, three days after she was last seen. Albert admitted that he parked the car at the location out of spite after an argument with his wife.
There was no trace of Cindy at the scene. Her purse was there but her wallet was missing, as was a handgun she normally carried. She failed to appear at a divorce settlement conference the same day her car was discovered; as a result, Albert was granted full custody of their children and reclaimed their residence on Evergreen.
Albert was charged with Cindy's homicide in 2001. Her body has never been found, but authorities believed they had compiled enough evidence against Albert to merit a trial. He testified in his own defense, maintaining that he had not killed Cindy and that their domestic disputes were her fault.
One of Albert's friends also testified, stating Albert told him he wanted to "get rid of" Cindy prior to her disappearance. His children stood by him, however; they said they believed Cindy left of her own volition and is still alive. They both testified that at the time Albert was supposedly killing their mother, they were asleep in the cab of his truck and heard no commotion.
A jury acquitted Albert of the charges in December 2001; they did not believe the evidence proved Cindy was deceased. Albert maintains his innocence in Cindy's disappearance, which remains unsolved.