Two-year-old Cherie's mother, Elizabeth "Sissy" Turek Vasser and stepfather Larry Vasser had custody of Cherie in 1986. They moved from Nashville, Tennessee to St. Louis, Missouri that year.
Elizabeth and Cherie disappeared on December 1, 1986. Two months later in February of 1987, Elizabeth's body was found in the Mississippi River as the victim of a homicide. There wasn't any trace of Cherie at the scene of the crime.
Police know that Elizabeth worked as a prostitute for her husband on Independence Avenue in St. Louis. Elizabeth's body remained unidentified for 7 years until family members contacted the police and reported her & Cherie missing.
Cherie was reportedly seen on January 7, 1987 in Kansas City, Missouri with Larry. She disappeared from that location and hasn't been seen since. Investigators found Larry in prison for armed robbery in the mid-90's.
Larry told police that he knew where Cherie was and that she's being looked after by family members, living under another name in the Kansas City area. Cherie might not even know that she's a missing child.
At one point, Larry offered to give Elizabeth's mother photographs of Cherie and a recording of her voice if she paid him $500. Cherie was supposed to stay in the custody of her other relatives after Elizabeth's death.
Due to the circumstances in Cherie's case, it's classified as a non-family abduction despite her stepfather claiming to know where she is. Her case remains unsolved.
Cherie is biracial: she's of half African-American and half Caucasian descent.