Sister Catherine Cesnik case: Kidnapping Signs Absent In Nun's Case
Nov 12, 1969 at 12:00 AM
City homicide detectives said yesterday that they have no reason to believe that a young teaching nun who disappeared five days ago might have been kidnapped.
"If we had any inkling of an abduction we would have called in the FBI," Capt. John C. Barnold, Jr., the homicide squad chief, said yesterday.
Captain Barnold, who is personally directing the five-man police squad looking for Sister Catherine Cesnik, S.S.N.D., said the police are still trying to fill in a two-hour time gap in the nun's movements on Friday night.
Residents of the Carriage House apartment complex, where Sister Catherine shared a two-bedroom apartment with another nun, have told police that they saw her car swing into its reserved space in the apartment's parking lot at about 8.30 P.M. that night.
The car was later discovered illegally parked about a block away from the parking lot, and the police say neighbors first saw it in the second space at about 10.30 P.M.
"We're hoping to fill in the 8.30 to 10.30 break," Captain Barnold said yesterday.
The police said yesterday that the witnesses who saw the car at 8.30 P.M. were unable to tell them whether the 26-year old nun was driving the car, or how many people were in it.
Sister Catherine left her apartment at 7.30 P.M. for a trip to a Catonsville bank and the Edmondson Village shopping center.
Police checks later showed that she did go to the bank, and a box of buns from a bakery was found in the car.
But the police have so far been unable to discover whether Sister Catherine also purchased an engagement present for her sister which she had planned to get at the department store in the center in which the bakery is located.
Sister Catherine and her roommate, Sister Helen Russell Phillips, have been members of the School Sisters of Notre Dame order for the past eight years.
Police Talk To Father
They both left parochial school teaching this year to don civilian clothes and teach in the city school system. Sister Catherine was teaching junior and senior English at Western High School.
The police interviewed Sister Catherine's father, Joseph Cesnik, a Pittsburgh postal worker, yesterday for the second time, attempting, they said, ''to find out background information on her.”
The Baltimore Sun is republishing archived coverage of the unsolved 1969 murder of Sister Catherine Cesnik, which is the subject of a Netflix documentary series set to debut May 19. Cesnik, a 26-year-old Baltimore nun, was reported missing in November 1969 and her body was found in Lansdowne in January 1970. These stories appear as they were originally written in The Sun or The Evening Sun.