Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Details of Disappearance
Jessica was last seen at the family's Lexington County trailer and became missing between the hours of 11:30 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. The child had gone to sleep in the double bed she shared with her sister Becky. When her mother awoke the next morning, the living room window was open and Jessica was gone. Her sister told of a man with a beard, a mustache, blue jeans and a "magic hat" who took Jessica away. Her sister hid under a blanket and didn't say anything, afraid the man would take her, too. "Magic hat" were the words Becky used to describe a cowboy hat.
Jessica's mother, Debra Gutierrez Garnsey, said a family friend may have kidnapped Jessica. She said she found fibers in an abandoned car that were linked to her daughter. The car had been connected to a 27-year- old friend from West Columbia who was in a North Carolina prison on a rape conviction, she said.
Lexington County sheriff's investigators lifted a fingerprint from the window but didn't match it with anyone until the family acquaintance was arrested in North Carolina. Investigators later determined that the fingerprint could have been made during any visit to the house. In 1987, he told a fellow inmate that he had kidnapped a girl in Lexington County and would tell all he knew if he were granted immunity. The request was denied.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Lexington County Sheriff's Office