By Naptime Nancy
Little seven year old Patty Lee Kuzara was having too much fun at her babysitter’s home to leave when her mother tried to pick her up. Patty had been relentlessly bullied at school that year, so she undoubtedly didn’t want the fun that Saturday evening to end. Frustrated and distraught from losing her mother just months prior, Nancy Kuzara begrudgingly agreed to let her daughter walk the two and a half miles home from her babysitter’s home to her home off Putney Road. Or she assumed Patty would get a ride, that is unclear. Considering this was 1974, it wasn’t uncommon to let children walk alone by themselves.
At approximately 6pm on September 28th, 1974, Patty Lee Kuzara walked home clutching her red and black blanket. Clad in overalls and a gold top, she turned onto Hilleary road toward Midland road. She was only about a half mile from her home on Putney road when something or someone distracted Patty and she headed into the field across from the First Baptist Church. It was not uncommon for kids to play in this field. By 7:45pm, Nancy Kuzara called police to report her daughter missing. More than 50 San Diego reserve officers and volunteers scoured the area. It wasn’t until 10:30AM Sunday morning, that a group of church going teenage boys discovered Patty Lee’s tiny body in the brush of the field she had stopped to play in.
Patty had been sexually assaulted and bludgeoned with an angle iron. According to an article from the San Diego Tribune, a six year old boy was witness to Patty’s death. He had been in the field playing and was told to “Put your face in the dirt and don’t look up”. The six year old witness claims that the man had dark hair, but did not recall further details of Patty’s killer. Patty was laid to rest in Wyoming, where much of her family is from.
This September will mark 45 years since Patricia Lee Kuzara was murdered. Who stole this little girl from her family? Someone knows. This case also needs the forensic attention of services like M-Vac Systems to attempt to obtain a DNA sample. Please turn your tips into San Diego Sheriff’s Homicide Unit (858)-974-232 or send tips anonymously to (858)-580-8477. For more information visit sdsheriff.net/ColdCase/
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