Real Name: Therese Rose-Vanderheiden Walsh
Nicknames: Therese Rose Vanderheiden, Therese Rose Walsh, Therese Walsh
Location: Kailua, Hawaii
Date: June 22, 1990
Date of Birth: July 4, 1984
Weight: 45 pounds
Marital Status: Single
Characteristics: Caucasian female. Blonde hair, green/hazel eyes.
Details: In 1988, Francis Walsh was given custody over his daughter, Therese, and her mother, Merle Marie Vanderheiden, was not permitted any unsupervised visits until she took a mental evaluation. Merle and Francis met in Maryland in 1977 when they were both in the army in Intelligence Units. They married in 1980 and Therese was born four years later; however, their marriage was failing. They moved to Hawaii and divorced in 1987 after Merle claimed that Therese was being sexually abused by Francis, although there was no evidence whatsoever to prove the abuse. An investigation by a social worker and a psychologist determined that Therese was being brainwashed by Merle into believing she had been abused by her father. They also felt that if Merle had custody, she would most likely take Therese away from Francis and never bring her back.
After the divorce, Francis began dating Janice Anderson; during their first date, Merle appeared and began screaming at the couple. Janice returned to her car and then Merle got into their car, showed obscenities at her, and tried to attack her with a stun gun. Fortunately, the stun gun's battery was low so Janice was not injured. However, Merle did rip out the car's distributor wire, disabling it completely. Eventually, Merle left Hawaii and went back to the United States; Francis and Janice married and made a happy living environment for Therese in Hawaii.
Merle made regular phone calls to Therese but stayed in the United States. Francis believed that Merle would finally be out of their lives, but everything changed on June 22, 1990. That day, Therese went to her day care center in Honolulu; in the morning, they went out for recess, and at 12 pm, the group was to head back inside. However, Therese was abducted by a woman wearing sunglasses and a hat while she was walking back. When the owner of the day care center called Francis, he was certain that he woman was Merle; a warrant was soon issued for her arrest.
Francis soon learned that Merle was probably aided in her flight by the Children of the Underground, headed by Faye Yager. Authorities believe that this group may have given Merle false identification papers for her and Therese. Francis is still hoping to find his daughter even though years have passed. Neither Merle nor Therese have ever been located.
Suspects: Merle Marie Vanderheiden is wanted for kidnapping her daughter Therese; she is considered armed and dangerous.
Extra Notes: The case was featured as a part of the March 14, 1997 episode.
Results: Unsolved. Sadly, in 1998, Therese's father, Francis, passed without ever finding his daughter. Her stepmother, Janice Walsh, passed away in 2014.