By M.P. Pellicer | Eerie News
In 1960, Sharon Lee Gallegos, 4, was kidnapped by two persons, a man and a woman, driving an old-model green car. Despite a good description of one of the kidnappers and the vehicle, as well as reporting it right away to the police, the child's fate remained unknown for 62 years.
July 1960 Alamogordo, New Mexico
Within hours, police set up roadblocks across southern New Mexico with a description of the kidnappers and the vehicle they were driving. They also reported Sharon as having light brown hair, light complexion and brown eyes. She was wearing pink shorts and white shoes. In September, she would have celebrated her fifth birthday.
Sharon lived in a modest white frame house with her mother, two older siblings, her grandmother and six other young Gallegos children.
A playmate told police, an "old green car" stopped and a woman asked Sharon to come with her, and offered to buy her candy and clothes. The child refused and the woman grabbed her arm, and dragged her into the vehicle.
A neighbor described, that the past Sunday after church, an auto fitting the description of the car was parked in the alley.
The kidnapper was described as a short, overweight woman, in her 30s, with dirty blonde hair and wearing a faded cotton wash dress. The woman asked the neighbor where Lupe Gallegos lived. The man with her appeared to be between 30 and 40 years old, and was described as slender, with straight sandy-colored hair and he had a long, prominent nose.
The neighbor pointed out the house, and the woman said she was looking for Mrs. Gallegos in order to give her work. The neighbor said, "The strange woman also asked if Mrs. Gallegos had a little girl, whether or not she had lots of children and if the entire family lived in the house, or if it was divided into apartments."
Inside the dirty car were two children; a young girl and a freckle-faced boy.
Another witness, an 11-year-old girl noticed the car, which was thought to be a 1951 or 1952 Dodge. She told authorities that the woman just sat and stared toward the house, and didn't move when she stood in the kitchen doorway.
She described, that earlier she had gone to the neighborhood grocery with Sharon hours before the abduction, and that Sharon upon seeing the green car expressed fear, and asked to be picked up and carried as they passed the vehicle.
The FBI joined in the search for the child, even though ransom was ruled out since the family was from modest means. Mrs. Gallegos discounted that Sharon's father could have kidnapped her. She said, "I met Frank when he was stationed at the air base near here. But he was transferred away before Sharon was born. He has never written or shown any interest in the child. I don't think he would want her. He does not even know her." At that point authorities believed they were dealing with a child-stealing case.
A week after the kidnapping, police found her father, a former airman living in a southeastern city working as a telephone company employee. He was married and had two children. He knew nothing about the kidnapping.
On July 31, a Las Vegas school teacher and his family were rock hunting when they found a dead child in a sandy wash off Arizona 93, in southern Yavapai County. Her body was badly decomposed, and the autopsy failed to reveal the cause of death. There were no marks of physical violence, no broken bones, no puncture wounds or bruises. A pocket knife found nearby, was sent to the FBI laboratories to determine if particles on the blade were dried blood.
At the death scene, officers found two sets of footprints. One set was made by a man's shoes. The other set could have been made by the thongs the child was wearing, indicating the girl probably walked to the death scene. A set of automobile tire tracks were found which indicated that someone drove off the road and turned around in the wash.
FBI agents ruled out the possibility, that who they had dubbed "Little Miss Nobody", was Sharon after comparing footprints. The police had no leads in establishing the dead child's identity. A Yavapai County police officer offered the theory that the child belonged to a transient family and died of natural causes. The family due to lack of funds did not report the death or bury the child.
Residents in the nearby community of Prescott raised money for a funeral and florists, and a mortuary donated their services for the little girl they had dubbed "Little Miss Nobody." Funeral services were held on August 10, 1960 for the child.
In January 1961, Richard Arlen Lindsey and Dixie Elaine Lindsey were arrested for the kidnapping and murder of Rose Marie Riddle, 6, in California. They were questioned regarding the disappearance of Sharon.
Lindsey worked as a migrant worker, and this work carried him back and forth across the southwest about the time Sharon was seized.
Richard Arlen Lindsey, 30, was an alcoholic drifter from Texas with a history of violence against his family. He'd been arrested and sent to different mental facilities for short periods of time. Dishonorably discharged from the army at the age of 18, after just 9 months service, he spent half of the next 12 years in prisons in Texas, Arkansas and Oklahoma for car theft, grand larceny and taking a woman across state lines for sexual purposes.
He'd been married six times. The first marriage was when he was 16, each marriage ending in an episode of violence. In 1960, he re-met his third wife Dixie in a bar in Texas and they began living together again. They both had married other people during the time they were separated.
The couple lurked around the Shafter farm labor camp. Dixie Elaine Chesshire Lindsey, 26, was 8-months pregnant with either her third or fourth child, when she lured Marie Riddle from her home, offering her $1 for doing housework. She sat in the back seat of the car while her husband, raped and choked the child in the front seat. He then walked off with the girl, and left her in a nearby field. He wasn't sure if she was dead, and she said, "If you don't do it, I will." she grabbed a tire iron and struck the girl 19 times.
The couples' picture was shown to the witnesses who had seen Sharon's kidnapping, but they were unable to definitely identify them, even though there were several similarities in appearance. Dixie Lindsey weighed 208 pounds at the time of her arrest, and the FBI found that she had dyed her hair dark when she was arrested in California. The most striking similarity was in the sharp nose of the man who drove the abduction car. Also the Lindseys had children traveling with them, which corresponded to what the neighbor had described.
Investigators in California advised authorities the Lindseys had changed cars a number of times traveling from Texas to California.
In January 1961, Lindsey was sentenced to death for the murder of Marie Riddle. He was executed in San Quentin's gas chamber in November of the same year. Dixie Elaine Lindsey was sentenced to two life terms without the chance of parole.
On March 22, Dixie gave birth to a son which was given in custody to her mother Mrs. James Chesshire.
It appeared the labor camps were dangerous places for children. In June 1961, Donald Ray Riddle, 23, Ronald Earl Riddle, 19 and a 17 year old youth all of Wasco were being held for investigation of rape and contributing to the delinquency of a 14 year old girl. According to the police Ronald Riddle and the 17 year old boy were charged with rape and a contributing charge was filed against the older brother.
The Riddles were brothers of Everett Riddle, whose 6 year old daughter Rose Marie was kidnapped and murdered only six months before by Richard Lindsey. Despite the tragedy that had visited their family, they themselves were predators.
Then in October 1963, an 11-year-old girl was lured away from the Dewitt Labor camp where Marie Riddle had been living when she was killed. The girl was kidnapped and raped by a ranch worker who lured the girl into a car with a $1 bill. Elmer W. McCoy, 46, was charged with the kidnapping and rape. He was found a short distance from the camp gate in a car in which he was bringing the child home. He died in 1983, age 66. .
Once the headlines faded concerning the Lindseys and the heinous crime they committed, there was no further information as to why they were excluded as suspects in the murder of Sharon Lee Gallegos.
In 2015, the child's body was exhumed for DNA examination, and eventually there was a match to one of Sharon's living relatives.
Fast forward to March 15, 2022, and according to the NYPost DNA evidence and facial reconstruction solved the 62-year-old mystery that the child found in 1961, in Arizona was indeed Sharon Lee Gallegos. Her mother, Guadalupe Gallegos passed away in 2011, and her sister Ramona Chavez in 2017.
Why the woman who stalked her was so persistent and openly targeted her is unknown. That she was stolen in broad daylight only a few feet from her home, indicates this crime was not one of opportunity. Also why she was driven 500 miles away and killed remains a mystery as well.
Eerie News | Stories of the Mysterious and Unexplained
For all the latest news articles and stories about the world of the paranormal and the unexplained.
Fair Use Act Disclaimer - This site is for educational purposes only. Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976