Woman claims to be missing person who vanished from a bus stop in 1985

Thursday, June 6, 2024 - An American woman has come forward to claim she is the eight-year-old Pennsylvania girl who vanished from a bust stop in 1985.

Cherrie Mahan was last seen in Winfield Township, Butler County, nearly four decades ago on February 22 after getting off a school bus about 100 yards from her Cabot home.

The unnamed woman claimed she was the missing girl, who would currently be 47, in a May 23 post on the Facebook group 'Memories of Cherrie Mahan.' She did not publicly provide a picture, so it was unclear what she looked like.

Cherrie's mother, Janice McKinney, was not convinced that the woman was her long-lost daughter.

'I truly believe she thought in her mind that she was Cherrie. It did not look anything like Cherrie at all,' McKinney told the Butler Eagle.

A spokeswoman from the Pennsylvania State Police told DailyMail: 'We are investigating this woman's claim to be Cherrie Mahan.'

'I talked to the police they are investigating this is very hard on me please be aware I see everything,' McKinney posted.

The heartbroken mother said this isn't the first time someone has claimed to be her now-adult daughter, as many tips have trickled in over the years.

McKinney explained that many reach out to her around the anniversary of Cherrie's disappearance, and around August, the missing girl's birthday month.

'In February and August, I expect craziness. This just hit me differently,' McKinney told the Butler Eagle.

'I didn't even see it. Someone called me and told me about it.'

She explained how every day is already hard without her daughter, but when unwarranted claims start to fly around, she experiences more pain.

'If you wanted your 15 minutes of fame, you've already blown it,' she said.

'People are mean, they are cruel, but this affects me really crazy. It's gonna be 40 years since Cherrie's been missing.'

She said that what keeps her sane is knowing that if her daughter is dead or alive, she is being cared for.

'I've always felt that she was ok. If she was dead, she is in heaven with my parents and my brothers,' the mother said.

'If she is alive, someone was taking care of her. I don't know why I feel that way.'

She previously told KDKA News that she remembers waiting with her husband Leroy for Cherrie to run up the family's driveway after getting off the school bus that day.

'Leroy's like, "Do you want me to go down and pick her up?" and I said no, it's a beautiful day, she'll come running right up over the hill because she wants to go. But then that never happened,' McKinney said.

Still, McKinney has not found the closure that she needs nearly four decades after seeing her beloved child.

'There’s something somebody missed somewhere, and somebody knows,' she said. 

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