Details of Disappearance
Mylette and her sister, Lillian "Annette" Anderson
, disappeared from Jacksonville, Florida on August 1, 1974. Their mother and older sister left them alone at home at approximately 6:00 p.m., while she went to care for a sick relative. Their mother called them at 7:00 p.m. to check on the children and everything was normal during the conversation, but when their aunt called later, no one answered the phone.
The girls' father, a commercial fisherman, was supposed to arrive home from work at 7:00 p.m., but he got delayed by twenty minutes due to a faulty boat motor. When he did get home, Annette and Mylette were nowhere to be found.
Neighbors said they saw a white car in the driveway of the Anderson residence sometime during 6:00 and 7:00 p.m., but nobody saw anything suspicious and no one saw the girls leave. Nothing was missing from the house except a baby doll Mylette owned. The doors to the home were shut, but not locked, and there were no indications of forced entry. The family's small dog, which usually had the run of the house, was shut up in a bedroom. Mylette and Annette were never heard from again.
That year several young girls between six and twelve disappeared from the Jacksonville area. The first was Jean Marie Schoen
. Virginia Suzanne Helm vanished on September 27, and Rebecca Ann Greene disappeared on October 12.
Virginia's partially clothed body was found in a shallow grave a month after her disappearance; she had been shot in the head. Rebecca's skeletal remains were found three years later, washed up on the shore of Little Fort George Island at the mouth of the St. Johns River. Both girls were twelve years old when they died. Jean's body and the Anderson sisters' remains were never found.
Because the abductions happened in different parts of the city, authorities don't believe they are related. One suspect in their cases was Paul John Knowles, a serial murderer who was killed by police later in 1974. A photo of him is posted below this case summary. Ima Sanders
, whose body wasn't identified until 2011, is another presumed victim of his.
Knowles claimed he killed 35 victims. After his death, they found tape recordings where Knowles said he'd abducted two girls matching the description of the Anderson sisters, killed them and buried them in a remote area at the west end of Commonwealth Avenue. The children's father subsequently filed a wrongful death suit against his estate.
However, Knowles was known for inflating his number of victims, and the police now believe his confession was probably false and he was not involved in the sisters' cases.
Annette and Mylette were both students at Louis Sheffield Elementary in 1974. Their cases remain unsolved.