The Courier-Journal (Louisville)

Despite claim, woman likely isn’t missing Pa. girl

- Scott Boeck

A police investigat­ion has revealed that the woman claiming to be Cherrie Mahan, who has been missing since she was 8 in 1985, is likely not the missing child.

Forensic fingerprin­t analysis showed that fingerprin­ts from the woman claiming to be Cherrie, who was last seen on Feb. 22, 1985, did not match the missing girl’s fingerprin­ts, according to a news release from the Pennsylvan­ia State Police.

Cherrie disappeare­d after getting off a school bus about 100 yards from her home in Cabot, Pennsylvan­ia, 30 miles northeast of Pittsburgh. Last month, a woman claimed to be the missing girl in a Facebook group called Memories of Cherrie Mahan, a group dedicated to the little girl.

Janice McKinney, Cherrie’s mother, posted in the group that she had contacted Pennsylvan­ia State Police and told the Butler Eagle newspaper that she believes the post was fraudulent.

“I talked to the police, they are investigat­ing,” McKinney wrote. “This is very hard on me so please be aware I see everything.”

After receiving a report that a woman was claiming to be Cherrie, the Pennsylvan­ia State Police opened an investigat­ion, the news release said.

In addition, police said a voicemail was left with the Pennsylvan­ia State Police from the same woman. On the recording the woman provided her address and telephone number for investigat­ors to contact her. However, when officers reached out to the number and visited the address provided, the woman could not be found.

The woman has not contacted authoritie­s since making the post on Facebook and leaving the voicemail, police said.

Authoritie­s said the fingerprin­ts of the caller were in the database. In the investigat­ors’ initial review, they found that the caller and Cherrie Mahan’s fingerprin­ts did not match.

If the woman decides to speak with authoritie­s, she can contact the Pennsylvan­ia State Police or other local agencies, which will investigat­e her claim, police said.

The woman claiming to be Cherrie has been blocked from the Facebook group and her posts were deleted, with group administra­tor Brock Organ writing that she had been “harassing and bullying” other members and that no one in the group − particular­ly McKinney − should be subjected to that.

“Some people say, ‘But what if it was really her?’ ” Organ wrote. “This has an easy answer: if it was really her, she could present herself at any police office and arrange for a DNA test without reaching out to people online and making aggressive claims. That is what a reasonable person would do.”

He asked group members to “please continue to pray for the family.”

Three other people have claimed to be McKinney’s daughter over the years, KDKA-TV reported.

“People are mean, they are cruel, but this affects me really crazy,” McKinney told the Butler Eagle.

When the latest woman’s claims popped up, McKinney told the newspaper that she knew immediatel­y that it wasn’t her girl. “It did not look anything like Cherrie at all,” McKinney said.

Dornoch hit it out of the park. The 17-1 long shot won Saturday’s 156th running of the Belmont Stakes at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York.

Luis Saez, who was aboard Dornoch, controlled the pace against a strong 10horse field that included Kentucky Derby winner Mystik Dan and Preakness winner Seize the Grey for his second career Belmont Stakes victory. It was the first for Louisville trainer Danny Gargan and co-owner Jayson Werth, a former Major League Baseball All-Star.

“Horse racing is the most underrated sport in the world, bar none. It’s the biggest game: You get the Derby, the Preakness, the Belmont. We just won the Belmont. This is as good as it gets in horse racing. It’s as good as it gets in sports.”

Unlike his 10th-place finish in the Kentucky Derby, Dornoch showed what he was capable of in the third leg of the Triple Crown.

Dornoch and Seize the Grey led the field into the homestretc­h, with Mindframe making a move down the stretch. Seize the Grey faded, and Dornoch was able to hold off the threat from Mindframe to win the race by a half-length. He posted a winning time of 2:01.64.

Sierra Leone, the favorite at 8-5, struggled out of the gate but ended up finishing third. Honor Marie was fourth.

This is the sixth straight year a different horse won each of the Triple Crown races — the longest stretch since 192429.

“When I rode this horse here in Saratoga for the first time (July 29), I told Danny, ‘You have the Derby winner,’” Saez said. “Unfortunat­ely, the Derby’s a crazy race, and we draw that No. 1 hole. Today, we have pretty good confidence that we could win this race.”

Traditiona­lly held at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York, the famed track’s meet was relocated to the iconic Saratoga Race Course due to a $455 million renovation at Belmont Park.

The distance of the race was also different than the norm. This year’s race was 1 1⁄4 miles, shorter than the traditiona­l 11⁄2. It was shortened because the shape of the track at Saratoga Race Course made it implausibl­e to run it at 11⁄2 miles, so it was shortened to 11⁄4 miles — the same distance as the Kentucky Derby. When the race returns to Belmont in 2026, it is then expected to go back to being 11⁄2 miles.

156th Belmont Stakes payouts

6 — Dornoch WIN: $37.40 PLACE: $17.60 SHOW: $8.10 10 — Mindframe PLACE: $6.80 SHOW: $4.20 9 — Sierra Leone SHOW: $2.60 $1.00 EXACTA: 6-10 $163.25 $0.50 TRIFECTA: 6-10-9 $236.50 $0.10 SUPERFECTA: 6-10-9-8 $320.05 $1.00 DAILY DOUBLE: 9-6 $86.50 $1.00 PICK 3: 2-9-6 $213.25 $0.50 PICK 4 4 OF 4: 8,13,14,15,16-2-9-6 $514.00 $0.50 PICK 5 5 OF 5: 1-8,13,14,15,16-2-9-6 $3,972.50 $1.00 PICK 6 5 OF 6: 1-1-8,13,14,15,16-2-9-6 $227.25 $1.00 PICK 6 6 OF 6: 1-1-8,13,14,15,16-2-9-6 $35,034.00

(All times Eastern)

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 ?? GREGORY FISHER/USA TODAY SPORTS ?? Dornoch with Luis Saez up (6) wins the Belmont Stakes at Saratoga Race Course on Saturday.
GREGORY FISHER/USA TODAY SPORTS Dornoch with Luis Saez up (6) wins the Belmont Stakes at Saratoga Race Course on Saturday.

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