Two Missing Person Cases Baffling Police

CHICAGO (CBS) — Seventeen-thousand – that’s how many people go missing in Chicago every year. Ninety-eight percent of them are located, but CBS 2’s Bill Kurtis reports on two cases that have baffled police.

Kathy Teague’s daughter, Vinyette, disappeared on June 15, 1983.

An age progression has been done to show us how she might look today.

vinyette teague age progression 0928 Two Missing Person Cases Baffling Police

An age progression has been done to show what Vinyette Teague might look like today, 28 years after she went missing in 1983. (Credit: Chicago Police Department)

“I cry every day,” Kathy said.

It was a hot night when Vinyette went missing. Kathy’s mother was babysitting. About 50 neighbors and family members were gathered on the outside gallery of the Robert Taylor Homes when Vinyette simply vanished.

Police Cmdr. Robert Hargesheimer of the Youth Division explained what happened next.

“We brought in more police officers,” he said. “We did grid searches, we had police dogs there, everything, but we never found Vinyette.”

Police also have never found 19-year-old Jesse Ross from Missouri, who went missing on Nov. 21, 2006.

His mother described what it has been like.

“We still know nothing. it’s a parent’s worst nightmare,” Donna Ross said.

Jesse was at a mock United Nations conference at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel.

“He was a wonderful young man with bright red hair that sticks out. He was last seen at the hotel around 3 a.m. He disappeared without a trace,” said Belmont Area Special Victims Unit Police Lt. Kevin Dillon.

The search for Jesse was massive.

“They had cadaver dogs, 21 detectives, they had boats, divers, sonar, coast guard … and nothing,” Donna Ross said.

This week, Donna Ross and her husband Don were back in Chicago to talk to police, hoping that some witnesses could be re-interviewed.

“We have no choice. We have to keep pursuing this,” Don Ross said.

Questions also still haunt Kathy Teague

“I just want to believe that someone just saw a pretty baby and just wanted a pretty baby,” she said.

Chicago Police said they have not stopped looking for either child.

“We never close a case. It can be suspended, but the case is never closed until we locate someone,” Hargesheimer said.

Donna Ross said she hopes her son is still alive, “but we need answers.”

Both families are thankful for the Internet, because of all the pictures posted of Jesse and Vinyette.

“Maybe she’ll see a missing childrens poster and say this looks like me,” Kathy said of her daughter.

Chicago police were not planning to do any re-interviews of witnesses in the Ross case, but they said they will pursue any new leads that come in.

That’s why, if you know anything that could help investigators in either of these cases, it’s important that you call Chicago Police at 312-744-8266.

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    […] the Wednesday morning death of a Hoffman Estates infant at her northwest suburban home.Two Missing Person Cases Baffling PoliceSeventeen-thousand – that’s how many people go missing in Chicago every year. Ninety-eight […]

  • Guest

    Maybe someone killed their own baby by accident, and replaced their baby with Vinyette and then moved. Just a thought.

    • beverly

      Here is another thought. Maybe there was a female involved who had lost a baby and decided to take Vinyette to replace the one she lost. Either way it’s a very sad sorry

  • Maureen Reintjes

    I’m thankful CBS Chicago aired a story on the missing but I’m not sure why this station combined these two cases in one segment. Both baby Vinyette and Jesse Ross deserved their own segments. Families of the missing are always happy when any awareness such as this takes place. There are over 100,000 missing in the US and few get media attention. But CBS Chicago coupling these two stories to me was not fair to do to Jesse’s story,. Missing adult males are the bottom of the barrel to law enforcement, media and the public. Most of your viewers will remember baby Vinyette’s sweet face but will they remember Jesse? Does the public realize what an honor it was for Jesse to be taking part in that mock UN?? Do they realize he was representing his University, the University of Missouri at Kansas City at this mock UN? Do they realize the name “Opie” was his on air personality … that at his young age he had secured a spot on a radio station and had a following?

    And, to Chicago PD……every family of the missing is pleased and so very thankful when any search is conducted and in both these cases searches were conducted ….. but now all these years after the searches just how hard is to pick up the phone say maybe every 6 weeks and talk to the families? We know oh God do we know how hard it can be to find a missing person but to be so ignored, left to feel so powerless, so helpless is so unacceptable. Many times the simplest thing such as returning a phone call or an email can give the families a great emotional boost.

    It’s a new world in this world of the missing. Old time tactics of treating the families like children that should go home and be quiet are going by the wayside, fast. The families have banded together on the Internet and through organizations….and have compared notes. No more being quiet! No more old ways. It’s time for LE to start working with the families on these cases, empowering the families with the knowledge and tools they need to find their loved ones. Communication and awareness is what gets the missing found. And LE would you really want to hear that if your loved one was missing that that your loved one’s case is SUSPENDED? How would that make you feel?

    And, CBS Chicago just a friendly suggestion it would be a nice courtesy to both these families if you had given links to their websites, facebook, twitter, etc. It helps to up the awareness. You worked a little bit on these cases to do this story but the families work at it every minute of every day from the time their loved one goes missing until an answer is placed before them….your work is done for this story but the families many times go at this for decades. But in the end I do thank you ….. awareness is needed so any time anyone does a story on the missing we in the world of the missing are grateful.

    I pray for both families that answers come soon. I pray this broadcast brings in the tips that will UNSUSPEND their cases. Profile for Vinyette: Profile for Jesse:

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