Aurora, Ontario — , eight-year-old Cheryl Anne Hanson disappeared, but her family says they haven't given up hope.
Hanson disappeared from Aurora, Ontario on May 31, 1974. She was last seen at approximately 5:30pm after she asked her mother for permission to have a sleepover with her cousins who lived approximately 10 minutes away from her family's farm. Her mother initially denied the request but then let her go. Cheryl packed her pajamas into a brown paper bag and was seen walking down the driveway towards her cousin Linda Van Horne's house.
"At first I said no. Not tonight. Not today. She kept wanting to go and I agreed." Cheryl's mother said she had a "bad" feeling after Cheryl had gone and called the house to see if Cheryl had made it to the house. Cheryl never arrived to her cousin's house and was never seen or heard from again.
"I called up and said, 'Did she get there?' and they said no she's not here yet. I went running up the road. I thought she might have been hit by a car or something and that was it. I never saw her again."
After Cheryl disappeared, several witnesses came forward and stated they had seen Cheryl walking along Bloomington Road in Aurora. An extensive search which included over 411 volunteers commenced but no trace of Cheryl was ever found. Authorities believe that she was abducted and the victim of foul play.
"If we knew something one way or another, it would at least [bring] some closure - and we are not getting any younger," Cheryl's mother Patricia Hanson said.
A few months after Cheryl's disappearance, Donald Everingham was charged with the sexual assault and the attempted murder of a 9 year old girl. He confessed to several other murders, including the murder of Cheryl. He provided a description of the clothing that the girl was wearing and led authorities to the place that he allegedly disposed of her body.
Cheryl's remains were not located and Everingham has since recanted his confession. He remains a person of interest in the case, however. He was unable to provide an alibi for the time that Cheryl was likely abducted.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact York Regional Police at 905-830-0303.