Mylette and Annette Anderson, two young girls, vanished from their home in Oceanway, a small neighborhood in Jacksonville, Florida, on August 1, 1974. Their disappearance has gone unsolved for 49 years, and there are no leads as to what transpired to them.
While their mother, Elizabeth Anderson, and sister, Donna, went to take care of a sick relative, Mylette, 6, and Lillian “Annette,” 11, were left alone at home. Due to boat issues, their father Jack was not home by the scheduled time of 6 o’clock. He spoke to the girls over the phone at around 7 o’clock. He overheard their dog barking while they were on the phone, but Annette assured him the dog was yelping at birds in the front yard.
However, at 7:20 p.m. the worried father called once more. No one picked up the phone this time. When Jack returned home, he discovered the girls were gone and the family dog was locked in the back bedroom. Mylette’s favorite doll — the one she carried everywhere — was also missing.
The disappearances of Mylette and Annette, which occurred over the course of three months in 1974, are related to a string of disappearances in which a total of five young girls went missing. Virginia Helm and Rebecca Greene, both 12 years old, were found dead, but no one was detained.
The Investigation of Case
When Mylette and Annette Anderson’s father Jack returned home on August 1, 1974, he found their family dog locked in the back bedroom and the girls nowhere to be found. This marked the beginning of the investigation into the girls’ disappearance. At 7:20 p.m., Jack tried to call the girls again after speaking to them earlier in the evening, but there was no response.
The two girls are thought to have vanished in the 20 minutes between Jack’s phone calls, according to the police. Although neighbours reported seeing a white car in the driveway around the time the girls vanished, they insisted they saw nothing suspicious. Nobody noticed the girls leaving.
Police looked around for any signs of the girls, but they were nowhere to be found. They questioned relatives and neighbors, but no one had reported having witnessed anything unusual. The only information the police had was that there was a white car in the driveway, but neither the car nor the driver could be located.
When two bodies were discovered nearby in the weeks after the girls vanished, the investigation took a new turn. Virginia Helm and Rebecca Greene, both 12, were found dead, but no one was taken into custody in relation to their deaths.
In the years following the disap.pearance of Mylette and Annette, the case was revisited by the police several times, but no new leads were uncovered. In 2019, the case was featured on an episode of the TV show “Cold Justice,” but no new evidence was found.
The Case of Paul John Knowles
Serial killer Paul John Knowles was the only person ever linked to Mylette and Annette’s disappearance. Knowles also went by the moniker “The Casanova Kller.” He reportedly committed at least 18 murders during a four-month rampage that spanned seven states in 1974. According to Eric W. Hickey, a criminal psychology professor at California State University, he claimed to have klled 35 people.
Knowles claimed to have killed and buried two girls in Commonwealth whose descriptions matched those of Mylette and Annette. But the police found nothing when they searched the area. According to Sgt. Dan Janson of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office’s Hom*cide Unit, “I can’t say that he is responsible for this,” he told First Coast News last year. “I’m inclined to think he’s not. Based solely on the information we currently have about this case, the confession is false.
Janson claimed that Knowles was infamous for inflating the number of his victims in order to create shock value. After making an attempt to shoot a Georgia sheriff, Knowles passed away in 1974. As a result, a Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent shot him to death.
Mylette and Annette Anderson’s sister, Donna Anderson, shared her recollection of the day her sisters vanished in an interview with First Coast News in 2019.
Mylette and Annette were left at home alone by their mother and Donna while they went to care for a sick relative, and their father was delayed because of boat issues, according to Donna. That evening, the girls’ father, Jack Anderson, spoke to them on the phone twice. Jack overheard the dog barking during the initial call, but Annette clarified that the dog was yipping at birds in the front yard.
On the other hand, no one picked up the phone during the second call. Later that evening, when Jack got home, he discovered the girls were gone and the family dog was locked in the back bedroom. Moreover, Mylette’s preferred doll was absent.
Because the family lived on a remote, one-way street and the person would have to put the dog up in the parents’ bedroom to keep him from attacking, Donna thinks whoever took her sisters must have had a plan.
During the interview, Donna also mentioned that the neighbors saw a white car in the driveway around the time the girls went missing, but they did not notice anything suspicious. No one saw the girls leave, and there were no apparent signs of forced entry or struggle.
Annette and Mylette Anderson would be in their fifties by this time. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children have both made efforts, but no leads have been discovered. Without ever learning what happened to their daughters, their parents passed away. Authorities continue to ask the public to come forward with any information they may have as the case is still active.
Mylette and Annette Anderson’s disappearance is still one of Jacksonville’s most puzzling unsolved mysteries. The neighborhood has been in mourning for decades due to the lack of answers and resolution. There is still hope that one day someone will come forward with details that could, at long last, provide the family and neighborhood with answers and peace. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children or the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office should be contacted if you have any information.