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10 mysterious disappearances, deaths of Arizona children

Missing Children
Posted at 7:11 PM, Jan 03, 2022

Arizona is no stranger to high-profile murder cases and disappearances involving children, but there are numerous unsolved cases that may not have received as much attention over the decades.

KGUN9's sister station, ABC15 is taking a look at some of the children who have been reported missing in our state and related cold cases.

Analissa Monares-Leon, killed in 2007

Analissa Monares-Leon
Analissa Monares-Leon

Analissa Monares-Leon was asleep inside her Tucson home on Oct. 10, 2007.

Shots were fired at the home, striking the 6-year-old girl. She later died from her injuries at a hospital.

"My baby girl loved nature and butterflies were her favorite, purple and yellow, her favorite colors," an obituary reads. "So any time we see butterflies or the colors purple and yellow, it's just her saying hi and any breath taking moment that nature gives us is a blessing from God that tells us to love life for every moment that it gives us."

Officials are offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case.

Jackie and Cynthia Leslie, last seen in 1974

Cynthia and Jackie Leslie
Jackie (left) and Cynthia (right) Leslie

Jackie, 13, and Cynthia, 15, were last seen walking together near Baseline and Power roads on July 31, 1974.

According to the Doe Network, a nonprofit group of volunteers dedicated to the search of missing persons, the sisters were headed to a friend’s home located a few blocks from their home in the Desert Sands Mobile Home Park in Mesa.

It’s reported that they told their mother they were going to babysit but were really going to a party. Reports conflict on whether the pair made it to the party.

According to KGUN9, ABC15’s sister station in Tucson, family says there have been numerous reports of sightings and even a message from a psychic, saying they were alive.

Searches were conducted in the nearby area, but no signs of the teenagers were found. They have not been heard from since.

Jesse Florez, last seen in 2001

Jesse Florez
Jesse Florez and age-progression photo

Around 6 p.m. on Sept. 14, 2001, 14-year-old Jesse Florez left his home near 51st Avenue and Indian School Road to meet a friend to go to a party.

However, police say, Florez hasn’t been seen since.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children released an age-progression photo of Flores to show what he may look like at age 31.

He had a black mole on the corner of his right eye and had two ear piercings.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Phoenix Police Department.

Brian Richard Bleyl, last seen in 1981

Brian Richard Bleyl
Brian Richard Bleyl

Twelve-year-old Brian Richard Bleyl left his home near 9th and Myrtle avenues in Phoenix around 3 p.m. on Feb. 28, 1981. Bleyl rode his bicycle to work a newspaper route in the area.

Bleyl didn’t return, but his bicycle was located and witnesses reported seeing him near an apartment complex.

Several years later, a man was charged with abducting and murdering Bleyl, and a jury acquitted him before he died in 1994. No other suspects or persons of interest have been identified.

Bleyl’s body has never been located, but foul play is believed to have played a part in his disappearance.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Phoenix Police Department.

Abduction and assault of 4-year-old girl in 1999

Screen Shot 2021-12-22 at 7.32.33 AM.png
A computer-generated photo was created to show what witnesses say the suspect in the Chandler attack looked like.

Chandler police say a 4-year-old girl was abducted from an apartment complex playground on March 27, 1999.

The incident occurred around 8 p.m. in the area of McQueen Road and Galveston Street.

Fortunately, the girl was located about a mile away at another apartment complex. However, the girl has been violently sexually assaulted and was left there by her attacker.

Police say she was found “badly bleeding” and needed “major surgery” to repair the trauma she suffered during the assault.

The abductor was reportedly seen leaving the first apartment complex with the girl on a red or dark-colored bicycle. He had also been seen at the playground previously.

The suspect is described as a Spanish-speaking man who was in his late teens to mid-twenties. He was 5 feet, 6 inches tall, and about 140 pounds.

A computer-generated photo was created to show what witnesses say the suspect looked like.

Amberly Ann Mendoza, killed in 1996

Amberly Ann Mendoza
Amberly Ann Mendoza

Sometime between the hours of 11:30 p.m. on March 8 and 10:45 a.m. on March 9, 1996, someone entered 10-year-old Amberly Ann Mendoza’s Yuma home.

The girl was sexually assaulted and murdered in her bedroom. Her mother reportedly discovered what had happened when she went to wake her up for breakfast.

An advocacy center with a crisis response team was established years later in honor of Amberly.

Officials say the case remains unsolved and anyone with information is asked to call Yuma Police Department.

Randy Parscale, last seen in 1979

Randy Doyle Parscale Jr.
Randy Doyle Parscale Jr.

Randy Doyle Parscale Jr., 10, went hiking with his family in April 1979.

They were at Peppersauce Canyon, located near Oracle, Arizona, when he became separated from their group.

He was never located.

Mindi Chambers, last seen in 1982

Mindi Chambers
Mindi Chambers

Mindi Chambers, 17, was last seen walking her step-sister to school in the East Valley on Oct. 19, 1982.

Mesa police say she wasn’t reported missing until April 1995, but some reports say it may be because family suspected she ran away from home.

According to the Doe Network, a nonprofit group of volunteers dedicated to the search of missing persons, she left behind her purse, ID, and other belongings. Days before her disappearance, she had reportedly told police her father had molested her and she was placed in the care of her stepmother.

Police say one of her high school friends may have information about her disappearance. Anyone with information asked to contact police.

Dorothy Mildred Clitheroe, last seen in 1973

Dorothy Mildred Clitheroe
Dorothy Mildred Clitheroe

Fourteen-year-old Dorothy Mildred Clitheroe was last seen around 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 20, 1973.

Phoenix police say she was seen walking toward the bathroom area at Cortez Park near 35th Avenue and Dunlap Road.

She hasn’t been seen since.

Alan ‘AJ’ Hoover, killed in 2015

Alan AJ Hoover
Alan AJ Hoover

Alan ‘AJ’ Hoover, 16, was shot and killed on Jan. 7, 2015.

The incident occurred at a home near 24th Street and Cactus Road, and it’s believed multiple teenagers were around when the shooting occurred.

Police say they interviewed witnesses and those who were present at the time of the shooting, but no motive or suspects were identified.

"He had a heart of gold and would do anything for anyone, no questions asked," the family said in an online obituary.