The front door was busted open. The doorknob was on the floor. The family dog was in the basement. The television set was on. On February 25, 1983, Kathy Nicarico, a 13-year-old eighth grader from the Chicago suburb of Naperville, arrived home to discover that her family’s house had been burglarized. And her ten-year-old sister, Jeanine, who’d been off school sick that day, was gone.
Born in Naperville on July 7, 1972, Jeanine was reportedly a sweet, sensitive girl with bright eyes and a dimpled smile. According to her friends and family, she loved learning, reading, baking, puppies, horses and make-believe games.
On the day that she disappeared, Jeanine had been at home as she had the flu. Her sisters were at school. Her parents were at work. “I’ll be okay mom, don’t worry,” Jeanine had told her mother, Patricia, when she checked in on her earlier that day, according to the Chicago Tribune. But in the afternoon, at around 1:00 p.m., Jeanine was abducted from her home.