After 28 years, a Kingman woman still searches for her daughters

It is every parent's nightmare.

Two teen-age girls walk out of their home, leaving a note, only to disappear into the night, never to be seen again.

Cindy and Jackie Leslie left their mobile home park in Mesa on July 31, 1974.

They left a scribbled note for their parents saying they were going to baby-sit at a neighbor's home.

Twenty-eight years later their mother, Erma Prue, who lives in Kingman, is still waiting for them to return.

Prue learned that Cindy and Jackie might have sneaked out to a party.

One of Cindy and Jackie's friends told Prue she saw the girls with a 17-year-old boy briefly at the party before they left.

Cindy Leslie, who was nearsighted, left the house without her glasses or contact lenses.

Neither girl took anything else with them.

No money, no extra clothes.

Prue, who is also listed as Erma Leslie in the Kingman phone book, married again after her first husband, Jack, died of a tumor shortly after the girls' disappearance.

"He lived as long as he did because he wanted so badly to find the girls," Prue said.

In 1974, about a month before the girls' disappearance, the Leslies moved to the Desert Sands Mobile Home Park in Mesa from Page so Jack Leslie, a construction worker, could be closer to a larger hospital.

Prue said the girls would not have run away with their father being so ill.

Prue's husband, Chester, guessed the girls might have been drugged.

Rumors abound of girls who were drugged and sold into prostitution possibly overseas during the 1960s and '70s.

On that Wednesday evening 28 years ago, Erma and Jack Leslie went to church leaving the girls with their grandmother.

Erma Prue's mom said that the phone rang several times, the last time answered by Cindy, and she left with her younger sister around 6:30 p.m.

During their brief time in Mesa, the girls regularly met a number of teen-agers, some their age, most several years older.

Prue said she never met most of those friends.

Jack Leslie did not approve of the boy the girls were last seen with.

Even today he is periodically arrested in the Phoenix area for drugs offenses or for stealing cars, Chester Prue said.

Prue said he is convinced the man knows what happened to the girls.

"I can't feel like they're dead," Erma Prue said.

"Maybe because I have to see them dead."

All the girls' friends, as well as the boy, were interviewed, but police failed to come up with any leads.

During the years, Erma Prue searched everywhere for the girls, racking up the miles on her car.

That was how she met Chester Prue, who replaced several sets of tires on her car.

The Prues moved to Kingman three years ago to be closer to her oldest daughter, Linda Herring, who lives in Henderson, Nev.

One eerie dream Jack Leslie had shortly before he died was of Cindy.

Jackie was not in the dream.

In the dream he saw Cindy standing near a house where several cars were parked, pointing to a nearby lake.

About a year later, Erma Leslie took several of the girls' items to a Navajo medicine man, who told her that the girls were alive and living near water.

A visit to a Southern California psychic, who worked for the Los Angeles Police Department, also revealed that the girls were alive and living near water.

"I don't know where they are," Prue said.

"I just pray they're happy."

The girls' age-progressed pictures recently have been on ShopWise cards, which are mailed to millions of homes in the country by ADVO, a Connecticut company.

The company puts pictures of missing persons on one side of the cards and advertises products and services on the other side.

The Leslie girls may be one of the oldest cases to be on the ADVO cards.

In the 1970s, parents had to wait 24 hours before reporting a missing child.

Today, missing children are reported immediately.

"You can go a long ways in 24 hours," Chester Prue said.

If she were alive today, Cindy would be 43.

At the time of her disappearance, she was 5 feet 6 and about 109 pounds with blue eyes and brown hair.

Cindy had a half-inch mole on the outer side of her right armpit.

Jackie would be 41.

She was 5 feet 4, about 110 pounds, also with blue eyes and brown hair.

She had a mole on her right cheekbone.

Anyone having information on their whereabouts can contact The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at (800) 843-5678.