The Halloween disappearance of Cindy Song

Hyun Jong Song, who went by Cindy Song, was born and raised in South Korea. When she was 15 years old, she moved to the states to live with her aunt and uncle in Springfield, Virgina. After graduating high school, she went on to attend Pennsylvania State University.

In 2001, Cindy was 21 years old. She was a senior at Penn State, majoring in art, and was set to graduate in a few months. She was living in an off-campus apartment in State College and working two part-time restaurant jobs. 

Disappearance. 

On Halloween night in 2001, Cindy Song attended a costume party at Player’s Nite Club. She was with her two friends, Stacy Paik and Lisa Kim. Cindy was dressed up as a bunny. She had on bunny ears, a pink t-shirt with a bunny logo on it, a white tennis skirt with a tail attached, sheer stockings, brown suede knee-high boots, and a red hooded parka. 

“She had bunny ears and a tail that she had bought. It was a very cute outfit. It wasn’t like a sexy outfit. It was a very cute outfit. That was her thing, she was very cute. She liked to look cute,” a friend of Cindy’s said.

Cindy the night she disappeared, wearing her bunny costume.

The three partied into the early morning hours of November 1. After the club closed at 2 am, they drove through downtown and stopped at a friend’s apartment. There they played video games for the next couple hours. At 4 am Cindy was dropped off at her apartment by Stacy. Stacy didn’t stay long enough to make sure Cindy made it into her apartment safely. 

That’s the last time Cindy was seen. 

Search. 

Cindy’s roommate, who had just got back from visiting her family in Philadelphia, returned home later that day. The apartment was locked and nothing looked out of the ordinary, but Cindy wasn’t there. 

Her friends began to become more and more concerned about not hearing from Cindy. They reported her missing on November 4, 2001, which was three days after anyone had any contact with her. 

Two days later, the investigators searched her apartment. 

It’s believed that she did enter her apartment, but left shortly after. Since she locked the door after herself, it seemed she had left voluntarily. The fake eyelashes that she was wearing that night were on the bathroom counter, and her backpack and phone were found. The only thing that seemed to be missing was her purse— which contained her driver’s license, keys, and credit cards. Two Britney Spears concert tickets were in the apartment.

Down the road from her apartment was a 24-hour convenience store that she would often walk to, she was known to do so at odd hours. Maybe she made a trip there thinking she would go right home. 

When investigators got her phone records, they learned that there were no calls made or received after she was dropped off at her house. None of her emails seemed alarming either. There was also no activity on any of her credit cards. 

After reading her diary investigators began to believe drugs may have been involved. In it she writes about experimenting with ecstasy and marijuana. Her friends came to her defense and said that those were just normal college experiences. 

Investigators also took a look into Cindy’s mental state. A month prior to her disappearance she went through a pretty rough breakup with her boyfriend she had been living with. Her family thought maybe she took her own life or ran off because of the heartache, but her friends again disagreed. They said she had started therapy and was taking medication to help herself mentally. 

Her friends stressed that Cindy was not the type of person to take off without letting someone know where she was. 

Sightings.

The only sighting of Cindy was a few days after she was reported missing and over 200 miles away in Chinatown. A woman called in a tip that a woman matching Cindy’s description was in a vehicle she was passing by. The woman appeared to be crying and yelling for help. She said a man suddenly appeared and told her to “get lost”. 

Sketch of the man seen with the woman crying for help in Chinatown, still wanted for questions to this day.

Police were skeptical of the siting since the witness ended up changing her story multiple times. 

The only lead. 

In June 2003, a man named Paul Weakley was facing a felony burglary charge and decided to tell a shocking story to police. 

Paul Weakley – murderer and informant

Paul, who was a career criminal, told police that Hugo Selenski and Michael Kerkowski abducted a woman who they thought was a prostitute from State College while she was walking. He said they then took her to Hugo’s house in Hunlock Creek where they kept her in a walk-in safe. Over the next few days they assaulted the woman and “had their way” with her, leaving her to die when they were finished. 

The women described matched Cindy’s description. 

Michael had been a wanted fugitive since May 2002 after he was convicted of several felonies for running an illegal drug ring out of his pharmacy. He went missing with his girlfriend, Tammy Fassett, while awaiting sentencing. But Paul claimed that Hugo actually had killed Michael, supposedly Michael kept Cindy’s bunny ears as a trophy and Hugo didn’t like that.

Loose-lipped Paul kept on going. He told investigators that Hugo was actually responsible for the death of at least 16 people. He then lead investigators to Selenski’s property where five bodies were located. And you guessed it, two of the bodies that were found buried on the property belonged to Michael and Tammy. Bone fragments belonging to drug dealers Frank James and Adeiye Keiler were found in a burn pit, along with a third person who has never been identified. 

After digging around on the property, a total of 12 bodies had been discovered.

Investigator’s digging on Hugo’s property where a total of 12 bodies were found.

None of the remains on Hugo’s property matched Cindy, but that’s probably because he had moved onto this property a few months after she went missing. Investigators have not been able to connect him to her disappearance, but he has not been ruled out as a suspect. And since Michael is dead, they were never able to confirm Paul’s story.

A search of Paul’s computer revealed that he had downloaded multiple articles about Cindy’s disappearance, leading police to believe he may have been studying the details in order to provide false evidence in exchange for a lesser sentence- he was already serving a life sentence and looking at the death penalty. Or maybe he was the actual killer, framing Hugo since he already had a large amount of dead bodies on his hands.

Paul and Hugo are both serving life sentences for unrelated murders. The sighting in Philadelphia is hard to prove. Everyone close to Cindy at the time of her disappearance has been ruled out as suspects. And none of her friends believe she could have taken her own life or that she ran away. So what happened to Cindy?

There is no body, no physical evidence, no witnesses, and no active suspects.

She basically vanished into thin air.

Links

Charley Project
NamUs
Photos
More on Hugo Selenski
More about murder of Michael Kerkowski

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