Cynthia Dawn Kinney’s parents say they don’t ever expect to learn what happened to their daughter who disappeared in 1976, but vow never to give up their search.
Her name is back in the headlines after investigators linked Dennis Rader, the self-proclaimed BTK serial killer, to the missing persons case of the 16-year-old who was last seen at a laundromat in Pawhuska, Oklahoma on 23 June 1976.
Don and Markie Kinney shared with KSN why they are afraid they’ll never know what happened to their “Cindi.”
“We went 50 years thinking every time somebody had something, well, I hope this sheriff does,” Mr Kinney said. “I hope he has good intentions.”
Investigators have uncovered personal writings from Rader that have led them to believe he is the “prime suspect” in Kinney’s missing person case, according to Osage County Undersheriff Gary Upton.
“She was just beautiful,” Mr Kinney told KSN following the news.
“I just can’t understand. It’s just so heavy for me.”
The 16-year-old cheerleader was last seen leaving a laundromat in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, in 1976, when she got into a 1965 faded beige Plymouth with two women, according to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System.
Sheriff Virden told KAKE-TV that Rader may have been installing alarms in a bank across the street from the laundromat where Kinney was last seen. Rader worked as a regional installer for ADT at the time, and was also involved with Boy Scouts in the area.
Sheriff Eddie Virden said he launched an investigation after learning that Rader had written “bad laundry day” in his journals.
“He would go to a laundromat in Wichita and watch victims and young women,” the sheriff said.
“She was taken mid-morning in the week,” the sheriff told KSN. “A lot of his crimes occurred between eight and noon in the week when he worked for ADT.”
He interviewed the notorious killer earlier this year, and Rader denied any involvement in the abduction.
But Rader is now a suspect in Kinney’s case. He is also suspected of the rape and murder of Shawna Beth Garber, 22, whose body was discovered behind an abandoned farmhouse in McDonald County, Missouri in 1990. For more than three decades, she was known only as Grace Doe, before her remains were identified in 2021.
“There is somebody that knows, somebody knows, that’s alive right now, what happened to her,” Kinney’s father said in wake of the recent investigation.
Rader was arrested in 2005 and is now serving 10 consecutive life sentences after pleading guilty to murdering 10 people.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Osage County Sheriff’s Office at 918-287-3131.