Woman claims she’s girl missing since 1985, but fingerprints don’t align: police

BUTLER, Penn. (NEXSTAR) — Pennsylvania authorities say despite a woman’s claims, she is not Cherrie Mahan, who went missing as an 8-year-old girl in 1985. State police are, however, continuing to investigate.

Nearly 40 years ago, Mahan was last seen getting off a bus about 100 yards from her home in Cabot, about 30 miles north of Pittsburgh. Authorities believe a bright blue 1976 Dodge van with a mural of a mountain and a skier may have been involved in her disappearance, but Mahan has never been found.

In May, a woman posted in a Facebook group dedicated to finding the little girl that she is Mahan. However, Mahan’s mother, Janice McKinney, said in the same group that she had contacted Pennsylvania State Police to report the post as fraudulent, according to USA Today.

“I talked to the police, they are investigating,” McKinney wrote in “Memories of Cherrie Mahan,” the outlet reported. “This is very hard on me so please be aware I see everything.”

Pennsylvania State Police were investigating the woman’s claims, Myles Snyder, communications director for the agency, told NewsNation last week. They were, however, unable to make contact with the woman, who was also removed from the Facebook group.

On Thursday, Trooper Bertha Cazy with the Pennsylvania State Police, released a statement, saying the agency was still unable to make contact with the woman. Cazy noted the woman also left a voicemail, but returned calls to the woman went unanswered.

“Pennsylvania State Police were able to obtain fingerprints for the name left by the female caller,” the statement continued. “An initial review of these fingerprints indicate that she is not Cherri Mahan [sic].”

If the woman were to “make herself available to the Pennsylvania State Police or any other law enforcement agencies, her claim will be investigated,” Cazy said.

Three other women have claimed to be Mahan throughout the years.

Mahan, who would now be 47 years old, was last seen wearing a gray coat, blue denim skirt, blue leg warmers, and beige boots. She has dark hair, brown eyes, and pierced ears.

Anyone with information about Mahan’s disappearance or her current location is asked to contact Pennsylvania State Police’s missing persons unit at 724-284-8100. Tips can also be submitted to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children online or by calling 1-800-843-5678.

A $5,000 cash reward is still being offered for any information leading to an arrest in the case or finding Mahan, KDKA reported in February.

NewsNation’s Cassie Buchman contributed to this report.

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