FENTON, MO (KTVI) - She’s been a fixture in South County for about a decade: a middle-aged blonde woman carrying bags and picking up trash. But now, spotting Cindy has gone beyond word of mouth.
Early Friday afternoon, nearly 14,000 people saw Cindy standing outside the Gravois Bluffs GameStop. That’s because someone spotted her, snapped a photo, and posted it to the “South County Cindy” facebook page. This page, established at the end of May, is quickly picking up steam, raking in followers by the minute.
Fans use it to share stories of encounters with her, as well as Cindy sightings. Some feel it’s a nice way to keep track of her, while others say it puts the mentally disabled woman in real danger.
After checking the “South County Cindy” page, it wasn’t difficult to find someone who’s recently spotted Cindy. Jacob Vantuyl was outside his Fenton Plaza business when he saw her. He explains, “It was just kind of different seeing somebody walking around and stopping and picking up trash, and almost getting hit by a car.”
It may be an odd sight, but one that many South County residents have become accustomed to.
Carol Brennan first saw the mentally disabled woman when she interrupted her church service, and since then has experienced countless stories and sightings.
“I believe she goes to Florida in the wintertime, I’m told, she tries to find small domestic jobs while she’s here," Brennan explains.
Facts about Cindy’s life seem to be scarce. From the information FOX 2 has gathered, she grew up in Affton, had a traumatic experience, and ultimately faced prostitution charges. She reportedly has limited or little family interaction.
Now, those who have interacted with her say it’s clear she’s mentally disabled.
But does this facebook page help her or harm her? In a public post, the page’s anonymous administrator said its purpose “was simply to help St. Louis recognize where she is and see her as a St. Louis icon like I did.”
One facebook fan feels the page’s mission is coming to fruition. He says, “I’ve heard more and more people dropping her food and drinks on hot and cold days.”
But many say broadcasting her current location puts her at risk. “Now that people even from their home can see exactly where she is, I think she’s now like a moving target,” explains Jenn Gibson, who has spotted Cindy twice.
Brennan adds, “I just feel it’s an exploitation of a poor soul that needs help, and I don’t know what help she can get other than professional. And then I don’t who’s there to give it to her; there aren’t facilities for people like her."
Does Cindy know about the facebook page dedicated to her? In several posts, facebook fans said they told her about it, but it is still unclear whether she fully understands.