Shannon Marie Sherrill was born on August 12th, 1980 and went missing on Sunday, October 15th, 1986 from her family’s trailer home in the 600 block of Plum Street in Thorntown, Indiana when she was just 6 years old. Shannon is 3’0, and weighs 30 pounds. She is a Caucasian female with brown hair and blue eyes. She was extremely shy when she went missing, and has a four inch scar on her abdomen. Her ears are also pierced. She also attended kindergarten at Thorntown Elementary School. I’ve read that at the time of her disappearance, she was either wearing a yellow dress or a white sundress with blue trim with no socks or shoes.
Shannon was playing hide and seek with 10 other children at family’s trailer home in the 600 block of Plum Street in Thorntown, Indiana on October 15th, 1986. The children were playing hide and seek at approximately 1:30pm that afternoon. Whilst playing, Shannon vanished and has never been seen again. No one saw her leave the yard and extensive searches have been conducted. They brought in Bloodhounds that traced Sherrill’s scent to a nearby cornfield and cemetery, but they soon lost the trail. The night temperatures had dropped into the 40’s when she disappeared, which worried her family as she was only wearing a dress, due to the fact it had been unusually warm that day.
All the children who were there at the trailer park that Sunday afternoon were questioned, and both Mike Sherrill and Dorothy Sherrill (Shannon’s parents) took polygraph tests. There were also hundred of tips sent in and police and detectives looked into all of them, though nothing ever came of these.
Seventeen years later in July 2003, a 35 year old woman from Topeka, Kansas called Donna Lynette Walker claimed that she was Shannon. She sent Shannon’s family photos of herself through email and called them claiming to be their missing daughter. Shannon’s family did believe her, but it turned out to be a hoax and Donna was charged with a dozen felony counts of identity deception and false informing. She had a criminal history before this incident. Though it was later found out that Donna was on medication for her mental illness and she completely believed she was the missing girl.
There is a suspect in this case, his name is Jeffrey L. Sunnycalb. He is considered a suspect due to the fact that he sent a letter to the Thorntown police about Shannon’s disappearance, claiming to have information on her case. The police said they plan to have an interview with him. Shannon’s parents though have criticized the police for failing to follow previous leads and not frequently updating the family on the investigation.
Both of Shannon’s parents are divorced now, and still don’t have answers. I hope that one day they will, and if she is still alive, she can come home safely. Shannon would now be 38 years old.
Updated contact info: If you have any information regarding this case please contact the Thorntown Police Department on 765-436-7677.