Sharon Lynn Pretorius

Sharon, circa 1973; Age-progression to age 50 (circa 2010)

  • Missing Since 09/28/1973
  • Missing From Dayton, Ohio
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Female
  • Race White
  • Date of Birth 04/23/1960 (64)
  • Age 13 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'7, 135 pounds
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description A long-sleeved yellow flowered sweater, blue jeans and white sneakers.
  • Associated Vehicle(s) Dark blue 1965 Ford sedan
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian female. Brown hair, blue eyes. Sharon did not wear makeup in 1973, and she frequently wore her hair in braids or pigtails.

Details of Disappearance

Sharon was last seen on September 28, 1973, when she left her home in the Dayton View neighborhood of Dayton, Ohio. She had attended her classes at Fairview High School, where she was a freshman.

After school she went home, had a piano lesson, and left to collect money in the neighborhood for her Dayton Journal Herald newspaper route. She never visited any of the customers along her route that day, and has never been heard from again.

Procedures at the time prohibited Sharon's family from reporting her as a missing child until 24 hours had passed. Investigators believe she did not run away and was probably abducted and murdered.

A witness saw a girl matching Sharon's description struggling with a man near a car at the corner of Cornell and Philadelphia Drive at 5:30 p.m. on the day she disappeared.

The car was a dark blue 1965 Ford sedan, and the man is described as Caucasian, between thirty and forty years old, with a medium complexion and a full beard. He was wearing blue jeans, a dirty white t-shirt, a dirty waist-length brown jacket and a hat with a thin brown trim. The man has never been identified and the girl was not confirmed to be Sharon.

Sharon's family describes her as an intelligent, responsible and studious teenager who always dressed modestly. She played in the school band and was an active member of Messiah Lutheran Church and a straight-A student who had skipped the eighth grade at Cornell Heights School prior to her disappearance. She lived with her mother and five siblings in the 3000 block of Cornell Drive; her father was deceased.

Authorities followed up many leads in her case over the years, but her disappearance remains a mystery. Her family held a memorial service for her in 2006.

Updated 8 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated July 21, 2020; details of disappearance updated.