FBI, SLED join Lexington County deputies in investigating case of a girl kidnapped in 1986

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO)– The Lexington County Sheriff’s Department says the FBI and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division have joined in on the search for a girl who went missing more than 35 years ago. Authorities say four-year-old Jessica Gutierrez was kidnapped from her home on South Lake Drive in June of 1986.

“Jessica’s mother was unable to find her when family members woke up on June 6, 1986,” Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon said. “A large area was searched on foot, on all-terrain vehicles and by air in the days after she disappeared. But no one has seen Jessie since.”

Gutierrez Jessica2

Jessica Gutierrez
Courtesy: Lexington County Sheriff’s Department

Sheriff Koon says he contacted the FBI for help with this investigation, and the case will be worked on by individuals specializing in cases of this nature.

“This is a team of highly trained and experienced experts on missing children cases,” Koon said. “Over the coming days, the team will provide on-the-ground investigative, technical, behavioral analysis and analytical support to find out more about what happened to Jessie.”

While more agencies are now involved in this case, the sheriff says it is still important to utilize help from the public.

“We’ll need the community’s help on this too. They’re a very valuable part of the work being done here over the next couple of weeks,” Koon said. “We know it’s been a long time, but we believe it’s very likely someone has information that can lead us to Jessie.”

Authorities released an age progressed photo, showing what Jessie may look like now.

Jessie Gutierrez Age Progressed

Age progressed photo of Jessie Gutierrez
Source: Lexington County Sheriff’s Department

If you have any information about this case, call 803-785-2457 or Crimestoopers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.

Categories: Lexington, Local News