Home / National News / Calif. Missing Child Case Reopened 25 Years Later


(PINOLE, Calif.) — California police have reopened a 25-year-old case in the hopes that new technology will help them solve the mysterious 1988 disappearance of Amber Swartz.

Amber, then 7, disappeared from outside her home in Pinole, Calif., while she was skipping rope.

“We want to make absolutely certain that we take advantage of the advanced forensic science that we now have,” said John Hardester, chief of the Pinole Police Department.

Amber was born in 1980, weeks after her father, a police officer, died in the line of duty. Her disappearance made headlines in the Bay area for weeks, but police had few leads.

Police focused their attention at the time on one suspect, believed to be linked to several missing children cases, but whom they never charged.

Cops closed Amber’s case in 2009 after Curtis Anderson, a convict accused of killing another girl, said he had also killed Amber. Anderson said he disposed of Amber’s body in Arizona, but it was never recovered.

Anderson died a month after making the statements.

Amber’s mother said she always doubted his guilt and believed Anderson lied to the FBI in a last-ditch effort to get off death row.

“He said all the things he said, but he could have made them up,” Kim Swartz told ABC News station KGO-TV in San Francisco.

She said she was elated that the case had been reopened. “I’m totally excited,” he said. “I feel like maybe my days of running into brick walls are over.”

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