An image has been released depicting what a missing Golden Gate girl might look like 22 years after her disappearance.
It is nearly the anniversary of Wendy Hudakoc’s disappearance, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has created a new picture of what she might look like today.
Detectives are once again reaching out to the community for information.
“Shoulda gone with her. No, I shouldn’t have gone with her. What if something would have happened to me too? I should have called; I should have paged her sooner. I should not have let her go; I should have ratted her out,” said Sharlene Boyatt, Hudakoc’s sister.
Those are just a few of the thoughts that have swirled around in Sharlene Boyatt’s mind the past 22 years.
“Times like this, the bigger the number gets, the harder it can be,” Boyatt said.
Hudakoc was 14 at the time of her disappearance. Thus, a new image shows what she might look like today at the age of 36. She was last seen leaving a party with an adult man in Naples on Nov. 15, 1998. She had snuck out of her family’s home.
“She asked me to go with her, and I said, ‘No,’” Boyatt said.
The next morning when Boyatt went to check on her sister, “The bed was still made; the window was open,” she said.
Boyatt’s heart sank into her chest.
“That night, I sat down on the couch, and I looked at my parents, and I said, ‘We’re never going to see Wendy again, and I never saw Wendy again,” Boyatt said.
As the 22-year mark since Wendy’s disappearance approaches, her family and Collier County Sheriff’s Office hope some questions can get answered.
“It’s been 22 years. I’m ready to grieve. Let it begin, of sitting in limbo wondering,” Boyatt said. “Just give it up. Write a letter. Send it to someone.”
Hudakoc had light brown hair at the time of her disappearance and hazel eyes. She was 5-feet, 6-inches tall, weighed 130 pounds and wore braces on her teeth. She has a scar on her left hand and a birthmark on the back of her neck.
Hudakoc is listed as missing on the Collier County Sheriff’s Office website. Information and photographs, including the age progression image, can be found there and on the NCMEC website.
There is an open investigation into this case and investigators encourage anyone who may have information to contact the CCSO at (239) 252-9300.