She Vanished From Parking Lot in 1988. Now, Charges

Michaela Garecht's body has never been found in Northern California case
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 22, 2020 3:40 AM CST
32 Years Later, Charges in Girl's Grocery Store Disappearance
This 1988 poster provided by the FBI shows a wanted poster of photos of kidnapped Michaela Joy Garecht.   (FBI via AP)

Michaela Garecht's disappearance made headlines across the nation after the 9-year-old disappeared from a supermarket in California's Bay Area in 1988. Her body has never been found, but more than three decades later, a man has been charged with her kidnapping and murder, NBC News reports. David Misch, 59, is accused of moving a child's scooter nearer to his car in a grocery store parking lot in Hayward. The scooter belonged to Michaela, who had ridden with a friend to the market to get snacks one November morning, leaving their scooters outside. Misch is accused of snatching Michaela as she approached his car to retrieve her scooter. Misch is currently imprisoned for the 1989 murder of a woman in the Hayward area, and he also faces charges of murdering two women in nearby Fremont in 1986.

"The crime shocked not only the local community of Hayward and Alameda County, but the entire Bay Area and the nation," the district attorney says of Michaela's murder. "It was so brazen, so ruthless but clearly planned." The police chief read a statement from Michaela's mom, who says that while she is "glad that there are answers," she is also devastated, KRON4 reports. "In the last year I had to come to a place of accepting that Michaela was no longer alive. But somehow that acceptance was far more wrapped up in the idea of Michaela sitting on a fluffy, pink cloud, walking streets of gold, dancing on grassy hills, soaring among the stars," she says. "What I did not envision was my daughter as a dead child. It was only when I heard this news that this vision of reality appeared and I honestly have not figured out what to do with it." (Read more Michaela Garecht stories.)

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