We will never forget the breaking of our hearts on Feb. 22, 1985. This is 33rd anniversary of the disappearance/abduction of Cherie Mahan after getting off her school bus.
That Friday shattered the security of many lives: her family, school family, the Winfield Township community. Classroom pictures had been handed out that very day and her classmates believed that whoever had taken Cherie might now return and abduct them. These 8- and 9-year olds felt guilty that they did not prevent Cherie’s abduction. They were scared. Their families were scared. Cherie’s family was devastated.
Now grown, her classmates’ scars remain. Each year they remember and post on Facebook, always hoping that some clue will lead to Cherie’s recovery.
Although we adapted to living with the pain of loss, it will never disappear until we know what happened to our third grade classmate.
We will always hope that next year we will know what happened and welcome our friend home.
Please educate your children about “stranger danger.” We hope to never have another disappearance of any child again.
The writer was Cherie Mahan’s third grade teacher at Winfield Elementary School