Mystery – Jaclyn

Many things can happen in five days. You can plant seeds and some can start to sprout. Read and finish a novel. Take a road trip. But in five days from losing your child to finding them, five days can be never ending, with stress, worry, anxiety, and the sadness that surrounds the loss of your child. Five days was all that it took for Jaclyn Dowaliby to go missing and being found. Sadly she wasn’t alive when she was found.

September 10, 1988, seven year old Jaclyn was taken from her home in Illinois some time during the night. Her mother Cynthia reported her as missing, possibly an abduction.

When police came out to the scene, they found a broken window that may have been staged, and her adoptive father, David, recalled a back door was left open. Search parties were organized, but Jaclyn was nowhere to be found.

September 14, 1988, Jaclyn was found at a dump site, six miles from home. It was not learned how she had been killed. However the police suspected both Cynthia and David for the crime.

Two years later they were put on trial for Jaclyn’s murder. Cynthia was acquitted, and David was convicted based on eyewitness testimony that put him at the scene where the body was found. In October of 1991, an appellate court overturned his conviction as they stated there was no more evidence against him than there had been for Cynthia.

Nobody else has been arrested or convicted of her murder. The case remains unsolved to this day.

In 2016, the case was re-examined, and people suggested the murderer was her biological father, Jimmy Guess. However, Jimmy was in prison at the time and couldn’t have been responsible for his daughter’s murder. It is interesting to learn that when the police turned their attention to Cynthia and David, they took the Fifth Amendment, and they didn’t cooperate or communicate with police any further.

Two alternate suspects were offered in defense: Tim Guess, Jaclyn’s mentally ill uncle, who claimed to have an alibi; and Perry Hernandez, who was a child sex offender and whose M.O. resembled what happened to Jaclyn. He had been ruled out by police, but is in prison for an unrelated case.

So who murdered Jaclyn Dowaliby? We may never know, and sadly this little girls can’t tell us any longer.

Be safe, make good choices, hug your children tightly

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