Jeannette Kamahele

Kamahele, circa 1972

  • Missing Since 04/25/1972
  • Missing From Santa Rosa, California
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Female
  • Race Pacific Islander
  • Date of Birth 02/10/1952 (72)
  • Age 20 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'5, 120 pounds
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description A dark brown blouse or sweater, Levi's jeans, sandals and gold post-type earrings. Carrying a leather purse, colored its natural brown with the dye pattern visible.
  • Associated Vehicle(s) Faded brown 1970 - 1972 Chevrolet pickup truck
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Pacific Islander female. Black hair, brown eyes. Kamahele is of Hawaiian descent. She wears a dental bridge and she has a large birthmark beneath her right breast.

Details of Disappearance

Kamahele was last seen hitchhiking on the Cotati onramp off Highway 101 in Santa Rosa, California on April 25, 1972. A friend of hers was going to stop and pick her up, but before the friend could do this, another vehicle pulled over. Kamahele was picked up by a 20- to 30-year-old Caucasian male with an Afro-type hairstyle, driving a faded brown 1970 - 1972 Chevrolet pickup truck. She has never been heard from again.

Around the time of Kamahele's disappearance, seven females disappeared and were later found murdered. They were all between 12 and 23 years old and all of them were habitual hitchhikers. Kamahele is the only one who was never located. Police believed a serial killer was operating in the area.

The serial killer Ted Bundy was considered a possible suspect in Kamahele's case at one time, but he was cleared. Others suspect she may have been a victim of the Zodiac Killer, a still-unidentified a serial killer who terrorized California in the late 1970s. Robin Graham, who went missing in 1970, is considered to be a possible Zodiac victim.

The body of a young woman was found in a ravine near Calistoga Road in 1979. Authorities initially thought she might be Kamahele, but her dental records did not match the murder victim's.

Kamahele graduated from Yokohama American High School in Japan in 1970. She was a student at Santa Rosa Junior college at the time of her disappearance, and lived with a roommate in the 900 block of Sierra Avenue. She is described as a conscientious student and it's uncharacteristic of her to leave without warning.

Kamahele's case remains unsolved. Her parents and brother are now deceased, but she has a sister who's still looking for her.

Investigating Agency

  • Sonoma County Sheriff's Office 707-565-2185

Updated 5 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated August 30, 2011; details of disappearance updated.