California Cops Reopen Missing Child Case 25 Years Later

By ABC News

Oct 2, 2013 5:51pm
nc kim amber swartz ll 131002 16x9 608 California Cops Reopen Missing Child Case 25 Years Later

     (Kristopher Skinner/Contra Costa Times/Bay Area News Group/Zuma Press/Newscom)

California police have reopened a 25-year-old case in the hopes that new technology will help them solve the mysterious disappearance of Amber Swartz.

Amber, then 7, disappeared from outside her home in Pinole, Calif., while skipping rope in 1988.

“We want to make absolutely certain that we take advantage of the advanced forensic science that we now have,” said John Hardester, chief of the Pinole Police Department.

Car Discovery Could Bring Closure in 1971 Cold Case

Amber was born in 1980, weeks after her father, a police officer, died in the line of duty. Her disappearance made headlines in the Bay area for weeks, but police had few leads.

Police focused their attention at the time on one suspect, believed to be linked to several missing children cases, but whom they never charged.

Cops closed Amber’s case in 2009 after Curtis Anderson, a convict accused of killing another girl, said he had also killed Amber. Anderson said he disposed of Amber’s body in Arizona, but it was never recovered.

Anderson died a month after making the statements.

Break in 41-Year-old Cold Case

Amber’s mother said she always doubted his guilt and believed Anderson lied to the FBI in a last-ditch effort to get off death row.

“He said all the things he said, but he could have made them up,” Kim Swartz told ABC News station KGO-TV in San Francisco.

She said she was elated that the case had been reopened. “I’m totally excited,” he said. “I feel like maybe my days of running into brick walls are over.”

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