!!UPDATE: I just got off the phone with Sissy’s sister. When we wrote about Sissy and recorded our podcast, we took our information from newspaper articles written at the time of her disappearance and recovery. Some details are inaccurate. The following has been updated:

-Sissy’s sister was never spoken to for anyone to know if she did or did not hear anything that night. She clarified to me that she absolutely did not hear anything the night Sissy was taken.

-It was reported that there was either a door inside the room Sissy was sleeping in or very close to the room she was sleeping in that led outside of the house. This is incorrect. There was ONE door by which someone could gain access to the house, It was a side door that opened to the kitchen. The bedroom Sissy was in was down a hallway just outside the kitchen.

-Sissy’s uncle was NOT sleeping in the room OR in the bed where Sissy was the night she was taken. He had been sleeping in the bedroom with Sissy’s mother. He was still in that room with Sissy’s mother the next morning when Sissy’s sister woke up and couldn’t find her sister anywhere in the house.

These details have been updated within the post below, and an update to Sissy’s episode on our podcast will be uploaded.

Shirley “Sissy” Armande Beaty went missing from her Oklahoma City home sometime in the early morning hours of June 3, 1975. She was six years old.

Sissy was last seen asleep in her bedroom at approximately 4am. When Sissy’s sister woke up at approximately 6am, Sissy was nowhere to be found. It became apparent to everyone, including law enforcement that Sissy hadn’t simply runaway or wandered off. The night she disappeared had been a stormy one and she disappeared with only what she had worn to bed, a long t-shirt and her socks, and possibly a blanket. The room that Sissy had been sleeping in had another bed in it as well, with her older sister in it. Sissy’s sister hadn’t heard anything during the night and woke to find Sissy gone from the home.

A full scale search for Sissy was launched, but no evidence of any sort was found. Several people fell under suspicion right away: Sissy’s uncle Bryan, Sissy’s father, Sissy’s grandfather, and James Sullivan, a friend of the family. Her father and grandfather were cleared in short order. Her uncle would bring suspicion on himself by telling authorities wild stories about what happened to Sissy that would turn out to be false before ultimately being cleared. James Sullivan would be polygraphed and remain a suspect.

On September 25th, 1975, a man out searching for tree seedlings in a cedar grove on SW Pennsylvania Avenue found human remains that would turn out to be that of a female child. Sissy’s mother would identify the remains as being her daughter’s when the police showed her the scraps of clothing found with the skeletonized remains. It’s believed strangulation is a possible cause of death, though the state of the remains when discovered made it difficult to determine.

Shortly after Sissy’s remains were found, authorities charged James Sullivan with Sissy’s murder. Charges would be dropped a month later after the case fell apart due to lack of evidence. No one else has ever been publicly named a suspect or ever charged in the kidnapping and murder of Shirley “Sissy” Beaty.

Sissy was a sweet and affectionate little girl who loved playing baseball. She was extremely afraid of the dark and of storms. She would not have left the house under any circumstances.

Jen and I were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to discuss Sissy’s case with Hell in the Heartland author Jax Miller recently on our podcast. You can listen to the episode here: https://spotifyanchor-web.app.link/e/0jABnZvOCsb

You can check out Jax’s book about the disappearance of Ashley Freemand and Lauria Bible here: Hell in the Heartland: Murder, Meth, and the Case of Two Missing Girls https://a.co/d/dwy0H5q

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