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The Murder of Sister Cathy 

Catholic religious sisters work to offer care to the needy, promote peace, educate children and support people experiencing oppression. Robert J. DeBry & Associates has dedicated this blog series to discussing wrongful deaths, and today we will dive into the disappearance of Sister Cathy.

Who Was Sister Cathy?

Catherine Anne Cesnik, or Sister Cathy, was an American Catholic religious sister born on 17th November 1942. She taught drama and English at Archbishop Keough High School in Baltimore, Maryland. 

From our research, we also established that Sister Cathy was Joseph and Anna Omulac Cesnik’s eldest child and attended St. Augustine High School and St. Mary’s School, both in Lawrenceville. Cesnik joined the School Sisters of Notre Dame when she was 18 and had three siblings. 

How did Sister Cathy Disappear?

Sister Cathy’s disappearance took place in the fall of 1969. During this period, she was teaching English and drama at a particular school for girls called Archbishop Keough High School in Baltimore, Maryland. 7th November 1969; Sister Cathy left the apartment she shared with Helen Russell Philips to buy a gift at Hecht’s jewelry store, Edmondson Village Shopping Center. The present was for Cathy’s sister’s engagement.

From our research at Robert J. DeBry & Associates, we found Catherine Anne Cesnik may have purchased something else at Muhly’s Bakery. A box full of buns from that Edmondson Village bakery was sitting on her car’s front seat. 

How was Sister Cathy’s Body Search and Discovery?

Immediately after Sister Cathy’s disappearance, police launched an investigation and searched for her body. Unfortunately, the search was unsuccessful until 3rd January 1970 when a hunter accompanying his son found her body. The two found Sister Cathy’s body in an informal landfill in a remote area of Lansdowne. 

According to Wehner’s encounter with Sister Cathy’s body at its discovery. Scientific evidence might have brought her account into question. However, meteorological records and the confirmation of maggots’ presence in the victim’s trachea and mouth were enough evidence to determine the identity and signs of foul play. 


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