I'm very interested in unidentified bodies and I have come across a couple of cases that have promising traces leading to germany and share similar characteristics.
The Isdal Woman
I'm sure most of you know the case of the Isdal Woman already, but I will give a brief summary.
In November of 1970 a to this date unidentified female body was found in the Isdal valley near Bergen, Norway. The front of her body and her face were burned to unrecognizability. In the autopsy 50 to 70 sleeping pills were found in her stomach. It's unsure if she killed herself, because there where traces of carbonmonoxide in her lungs which means that she inhaled the smoke. so she must have been alive when she was burnt, which is a very radical way to commit suicide. The contents of a suit case, that could be linked to her because of a finger print, raise more questions. The labels in all of her clothes were removed and so they couldn't be traced back. People that saw the woman said that she talked english with an accent and spoke several languages including german, dutch and french. She used at least 8 different fake passports or names and used to fill forms in german or french but she always stated that she was belgian. DNA and dental analysis showed that she was probably born in southern Germany in the region of Nürnberg in the 1930s and lived in the region of the german french border later in her live.
The case of Jennifer Fairgate leads to Norway again and is also well known I think.
On June 3, 1995 the body of an to this date unidetified elegant young woman was found in room 2085 of the Oslo Plaza Hotel in Oslo, Norway. She had been shot in the head and it appeared to be suicide. It's unclear if she comitted suicide beacause of the uncommon way the gun was found in her hand aswell as the missing blood on the hand she hold the gun in while was blood all over the room. No labels were found inside any of her clothes either. When she checked into the hotel she wrote the name Jennifer Fairgate as well as the name of a second person named Lois Fairgate on the form. If Lois was an actual person, is unclear. The staff of the hotel is unsure, if she checked in alone or if there was a man with her. If so, the man couldn't been found to this day. She gave a fake address on the form that was supposed to be in small town in Belgium. I spare you the details of how long and when she left her room, because it's a little complicated and I don't want to confuse you. She also was fluent in german and english but had an east german accent according to the staff of the hotel.
Sources: Info site by the norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang and short documentary, S2E2 of the Netflix Series Unsolved Mysteries "A Death in Oslo",
I'm not sure how well known the case is and I will summarise it quick.
In June 2009 a man that used the name Peter Bergamann was found on the beach of Sligo, Ireland. His clothes had no labels but the police discovered that they were all from C&A, a clothing brand from germany. The staff of the hotel he stayed in said that he spoke english with a thick german accent. When he checked into the hotel he gave a fake address which was supposed to be in Vienna, Austria. He was a heavy smoker and CCTV prevalent in Ireland filmed him smoking a lot. The hotels own CCTV captured him leaving the hotel with a full purple plastic bag regularly and returning without it. When he checked out it he also carried a full purple plastic bag. It's unclear where the contents of the plastic bag/bags are and what they are. The autopsy showed that he probably drowned and that he was missing a kiddney and had prostate cancer aswell as tumors in the pelvis. Surprisingly no pain-killers traces were found in his blood even though he must have had terrible pain, because of the late stage cancer and the tumors. The missing kiddney had seemingly been removed by a professional a longer time ago.
As you have noticed there some striking similarities. All three had clothes with missing labels. All three used fake names. In all cases the circumstances of death are unsure. In all cases a link to germany is the strongest trace to their native country. The two women claimed that they were from Belgium. Peter and jennifer used fake addresses when they checked in. Peter and Jennifer left their rooms frequently and nobody knows where they went and what they did. And of cause all of them ar unidentified.
Do you know similar cases with links to germany that I am not aware of? Do you have a theory that connects all the cases? Do you think think there is no connection? Do you have information to any of those cases I missed? I would be happy, if you could help me gathering more information.
I think it's pretty unlikely that the three deaths are connected. They all took place at large intervals, and there's little to link them other than the mystery over their identities, along with a connection to Germany which is, after all, a pretty big country.
As for the clothing labels being removed, that ties in with a feature of some suicides - the desire to obliterate one's identity, to make it look as though the person never existed. It's also the case with the man found on Saddleworth Moor in 2015. Here again there are some common features with the deaths you've described - a man who (purposely) made himself very hard to identify, who killed himself by unusual means (strychnine poisoning in his case, which is NOT a nice way to go) in a remote location, far from anyone who might have known him.
I’m sure someone else has brought this up regarding Jennifer Fairgate but with my admittedly little reading on her death i feel prostitution is a strong possibility. The reason she was allowed to check in without paying is because the front desk likely knew her as a frequent guest of a VIP and assumed he’d be checking in soon so they let her up. After several days and he never arrived they went looking to talk to her. Why she committed suicide is anyone’s guess but I feel espionage/spy etc is a longer shot. Regarding labels missing from clothes, it could be she wore really expensive clothes from her pay as a high priced escort or maybe men took her shopping and she didn’t want her friends or family to know what she was wearing because they didn’t know what she did. I may be missing something that discounts this theory but I think it easily explains most of it.
Same! So many people in the Unsolved Mysteries thread jumped to the espionage angle. I think that her being some sort of high class escort is more likely, hence why she was never reported missing.
Isdal Woman has got to be my favorite case...there's just some crazy coincidences about her and myself. I was blown away by the similarities between her and the other woman found in a hotel when I watched the Unsolved Mysteries episode! The man is interesting too.
I don't think any of them are spies, though. I kinda lean more toward international dealer of some sort, whether that be drugs, sex, or antiquities I don't know.
By the start of the 20th century, Alfred Loewenstein was firmly established as one of the most powerful financiers in the world. He made his immense fortune by acting as a broker between various industries and the financial system. He also invested in several companies across Europe and was one of the pioneers of the concept of the « holding company».
The story begins on the evening of July 4, 1928. On that day, Alfred and his employees boarded a private plane at Croydon Airport. He was heading to his home country of Belgium, a routine trip that he made on a regular basis. The weather was perfect and the flight was going as smoothly as planned. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary until, at some point over the English Channel, Loewenstein got up to his feet and went inside the tiny bathroom compartment at the back of the cabin. This compartment had two doors, a windowless one that separated it from the rest of the plane, and an exterior one that served as the sole mean of entrance and exit to the plane.
Alfred Loewenstein never made it out of this compartment, and that was the last time anyone had seen him alive.
Naturally, one of the employees went to check on Alfred when he failed to return to his seat. Upon discovering that the compartment was empty, he notified the pilot, Donald Drew. The latter made a strange decision; he decided to land on a deserted beach just outside of the city of Dunkirk instead of heading to a nearby airfield. This beach was under the control of the French military so the pilot and Loewenstein’s employees were quickly apprehended by the authorities. They were at loss as to what actually happened, but they seemed to believe that their boss must have fallen to his death after accidentally opening the exit door.
The question of whether Loewenstein was actually dead was answered on July 19. A fishing boat spotted a decomposed corpse floating near the French coast. It was identified as the body of Alfred Loewenstein thanks to various clothing items. His widow Madeleine arranged a private autopsy to determine the cause of death. The examination found no signs that could indicate foul play or suicide. However, a small amount of alcohol was detected in his blood, which is odd considering Alfred never drank.
The strangest thing about how the whole incident was handled is that there was little effort to get to the bottom of what had happened. An official inquiry, in which no one was under oath, concluded that Loewenstein’s death was accidental. That conclusion was in great part based on the testimonies of Donald Drew (the pilot) and Robert Little ( the mechanic). Both men insisted that the exit door was easy to open and that it was entirely possible for Lowenstein to open it by accident. As we will see later, the veracity of this claim will come under intense scrutiny.
So was it just an unfortunate accident? This seems highly unlikely. As you would expect, the airplane exit door wasn’t as easy to open as the pilot and mechanic had claimed. In fact, numerous tests to check the door’s stability were conducted in the weeks following the incident Some even involved men from Accidents Branch of the British Air Ministry throwing themselves at the entry door at an altitude of 1,000 feet! The door withstood the weight with relative ease. The conclusion was clear and simple: No one could have fallen out of the plane by accident.
So...was it suicide? Again, the facts just don’t add up. Loewenstein wasn’t depressed and he was making plans for the future right until the day of the incident. And even if we entertain this theory, there is still the issue of the door. Alfred could not have opened it by himself even if he was trying to kill himself.
This leaves us with one conclusion: Alfred Loewenstein was forced off the plane. If that was indeed the case, then who did it? How did they manage to open the door midflight? And who was behind the plot?
Given the erroneous statements that they gave to Belgian authorities, the two obvious suspects are Donald Drew and Robert Little. Author Williams Norris believes that both men were hired to kill Alfred. Drew, who died of stomach cancer a few years after the incident, seems to have lived a lavish life after this incident, which indicates that someone might have paid him a hefty sum of money for accomplishing the job.
Norris believes that the conspirators replaced the entry door with a rigged one that featured loose bolts and hinges. This would make opening it midflight and sending Alfred to his death a fairly simple task. As for the original door, it could have been placed in the small luggage compartment at the back. The two doors would then be switched upon landing. This would also explain the pilot’s strange decision to land on the beach rather than the nearby airfield. Clearly they couldn’t afford to have anyone witness the switch being made.
So who was behind the plot? Some likely suspects include:
Henri Dreyfus: A business rival and former associate of Alfred. Their feud escalated when Loewenstein discovered that Henri was a behind an exposé that circulated in the Belgian press a few months before the incident. As a consequence , Dreyfus was facing a libel suit. Did he turn to murder to avoid appearing in court for what could have been a ruinous lawsuit?
Albert Pam and Frederick Szarvasy: The two men were Alfred’s partners in International Holdings. On the surface, it doesn’t seem like they could have benefited from Loewenstein’s death. But a closer look at the paper trail reveals a different story. As a matter of fact, International Holdings stock soared in the weeks following the incident thanks to a mysterious $13 million profit that appeared out of nowhere. Williams Norris did some digging and discovered that this sum eerily matched a number of anonymous insurance policies that were taken out on Loewenstein’s life shortly before the incident.
While Williams Norris did some excellent work piecing this case together, there are still a lot of unanswered questions. Was the badly decomposed corpse that was found floating in the channel really the body of Alfred Loewenstein? Why was the case hastily closed by both French and Belgian Authorities? Who was behind the insurance policies on Alfred’s life?
THE DISAPPEARANCE OF DYLAN EHLER
In the afternoon of Wednesday 6th May 2020, three-year-old Dylan Ehler was visiting his grandmother at her home near Queen Street and Elizabeth Street in Truro, Nova Scotia. They were playing outside together in the yard and Dylan's grandmother got distracted by her dog — when she finished dealing with it and turned around to talk to her grandson, he was gone.
Emergency services were contacted immediately and investigators began combing the area Dylan vanished from in search of anything that would lead them to the missing toddler. The very same day, they made an important discovery.
Dylan's rubber boots were found in Lepper Brook, a waterway located a mere two-minute walk from his grandmother's home. One was found at 7.20pm and the other was found later in the evening, further down the brook near where it meets Salmon River. Salmon River runs into Cobequid Bay which connects to the Bay of Fundy — known to have the highest tides in the world.
Police quickly shifted their focus towards recovery efforts, examining the Salmon River shoreline and the river itself. Underwater cameras and thermal imaging devices were used and after nothing of value was found in the initial operation, law enforcement expanded their search to include the area near the mouth of Cobequid Bay. They also re-canvassed residents of Dylan's grandmother's neighbourhood.
Although the water was clear and visibility was good, they could find no further sign of Dylan. On 15th May, police announced they would not be continuing the underwater searches unless there were new developments in the case.
RESPONSE FROM DYLAN EHLER'S FAMILY
Support for the Ehler family came pouring in, locally, provincially, and nationally. Some Truro residents put rubber boots on their doorsteps as a sign of hope that Dylan may still return, with one saying: "I put out a teddy bear and a blanket hoping that he would… just find his way up the road, and I left the light on so he could see my yard is all lit up.”
Then, on 20th May, a local newspaper revealed Dylan's mother (Ashley Brown) had been charged with assaulting Dylan’s father (Jason Ehler) four days before Dylan went missing. On the same day, Jason was charged with "uttering a threat to cause death,” to Ashley. He was also charged with committing mischief for deliberately damaging Ashley's cellphone.
Dave MacNeil, Truro Police Chief, has stated from the very beginning of the investigation he does not believe Dylan fell victim to foul play and that the previous charges are completely unconnected to his case. Speaking in an interview about what may have happened, Dylan's grandfather said:
"He thinks it’s a game. Once he’s out and about, he loves to run. He was outside with his grandmother. Then he was gone."
However, Dylan's parents do not think their son was a victim of a tragic accident. In June 2020, they announced details of a crowdfunded $10,000 reward for Dylan's safe return and $1,000 for information leading to his whereabouts. It's their belief the toddler may have been kidnapped. According to Dylan's father, Jason:
"The boots don’t make sense. The boots have never made sense... people covered that ground as soon as (Dylan’s grandmother) screamed for help. As soon as the grandmother called for help, there was a guy instantly at that brook, and there was nothing. No boots, no boy, no nothing."
Ashley and Jason theorise that Dylan's boots could've ended up in Lepper Brook after being thrown from the small railway bridge that crosses over the waterway — they're concerned police zeroed in on the river too quickly without considering other possible scenarios in the case.
WHERE DOES DYLAN EHLER'S CASE STAND NOW?
Initially, Ashley and Jason set an expiry date of 15th July on the reward in order to urge people to come forward quickly. However, no credible tips were received by this date and the reward was subsequently increased to $15,000 with no deadline implemented for the receipt of information.
Dylan's parents have conducted many of their own searches in recent months, aided by volunteers from the local community. At the time of Dylan's disappearance, the water was high and moving quickly. The drier summer and fall conditions made the brook easier to navigate, but searchers are yet to find any further trace of Dylan.
Ashley remains hopeful that Dylan is still alive since no other clothing belonging to him — or Dylan himself — has been found.
In an August 2020 interview, she said the family has been taking additional security measures after receiving death threats online. They have also gotten ransom messages demanding cryptocurrency in exchange for their son's safe return, which the police have investigated and determined to be a scam.
In October 2020, an individual made a Facebook post about a possible sighting of Dylan walking down the street with a woman in Bathurst, New Brunswick (a three-and-a-half hour drive from Truro). Local police reviewed video footage, interviewed witnesses, and concluded that “there was no confirmation that the child seen... was actually Dylan.”
Just this month, the reward fund was again increased to $18,207. Police follow up on leads as they receive them. Dylan's family carries out daily searches using a drone and continues to organise volunteer ground searches. His parents say they will keep looking for Dylan until they have answers, with his father commenting:
"Dead or alive, we want him back. We need him back."
If you found this post informative and would like to learn about other unresolved mysteries in Atlantic Canada and Scotland, you can find some of my other posts here:
It was just around 6:00 p.m. on April 15, 1985, when 3-year-old Arthur Williams, Jr. exited his family’s apartment unit at 213 West New York Avenue in the "Naked City" neighborhood of Las Vegas that was as well-known back then as it is now for high crime rates. A few moments later, Arthur's 5-year-old sister Anglia joined her brother in the front yard of the apartment complex.
At some point while the siblings played in the front yard Anglia took a seat on a low concrete wall and was joined by an unknown man that had been standing nearby. As Arthur continued to play on the sidewalk in front of his apartment, the stranger told Anglia, “I’m going to kill your brother.” The man then rose from his spot on the wall, pulled out a folding knife, and approached Arthur. Apparently without any further indication of a motive, the unidentified man stabbed Arthur once just above his ear.
The brutal attack was over as suddenly as it had unfolded. The attacker ran south down a nearby alleyway. Meanwhile, Arthur’s mother and a neighbor attempted to perform CPR on the child while awaiting an ambulance. Sadly, Arthur was declared dead after his arrival at the hospital.
Investigators were baffled as to a motive for the murder of the young boy. The children had been outside playing for only about ten minutes. Detective Tom Dillard of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said, “There could be no provocation for this. The kids were not out there long enough to do anything.”
And nothing in the hours leading up to the stabbing provided any additional insight into a motive for the attack. Arthur and Anglia’s father, a porter at the Tropicana Hotel, had dropped the kids off at their mother’s home to visit for a few hours as was a routine between the couple. Arthur’s mother, a maid at the Las Vegas Hilton, took the children to get some KFC before returning to her apartment.
The only description of the assailant came from 5-year-old Anglia. The killer was described as a white man standing about 5’8, 130 pounds, with a slim build, light brown hair and eyes, a slight mustache, and wearing a white button-down shirt. Detectives received hundreds of tips in the days after the Williams murder on a phone line set up to track leads in the case, and while no suspect was identified as a result of these efforts, tipsters did reveal that the unknown attacker was spotted in the area outside of Arthur’s apartment building about 15 minutes or so before the murder.
No suspects have been identified in the 35 years since the tragic killing of Arthur Williams, Jr. A neighbor speculated about the murderer, “I wonder why he didn’t hurt the girl. I guess the guy was nuts or planned to kill the boy all along.”
We were unable to find any other links about the Williams murder outside of this paywall newspaper site, which was pretty surprising given the brutal nature of the crime (the article can be seen in the thumbnail, titled "Vegas Boy's Murder Frightens Area"): https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/150737251/
This is my first post here and english is not my first language so sorry if there are any mistakes. And, yes there is a typo in the title:(
Also: Luis was taken to a psychiatric hospital because in my country neurological diseases were not understood as well as we do now so,,,yes
Luis Eduardo Guachala (23) was admitted to the Julio Endara Hospital, a psychiatric institution in Quito, Ecuador on January 10th 2004 after a series of bad epileptic seizures. His mother, Zoila was really worried because he seemed out of it and was talking incoherently. After he arrived to the hospital, she recalls the nurses putting him on a bed and sedating him. The doctor who was in charge that night told her to come back on monday because according to him; "Luis was going to sleep through the whole weekend"
So, she gave him her blessing, a kiss on the cheek and told him she was going to come see him later.
Zoila came back on the 12th to see Luis but when she went to his room it was empty. She asked the nurses where her son was and they told her he was probably in the barber shop or in group therapy with other patients. Then, a nurse added that they actually didn't know exactly where Luis was because they didn't have the direct responsibilty to take care of patients and that that was the job of the auxiliary nurse. She looked everywhere in the hospital and couldn't find Luis. After a few minutes a doctor told her that it was "better" that she didn't see his son because she could disturb him. But, she promised Zoila they would keep contact with her.
According to hospital records, the day after, on January 13th, doctors assessed Luis and found him " not very communicative, confused and had impaired memory, judgment and reasoning" also, according to hospital staff, Luis suffered a fall while he was showering and hit his head, close to his eye. It is unknown if he received treatment for any of this, but on the last report on January 16th, he was perfectly healthy, hadn't had any episodes and was eating and sleeping well. So, his mother was called and she said she would come over on the weekend.
Zoila arrived on Sunday and the same nurse that sedated Luis when he first arrived told her that her son had escaped the day before and was nowhere to be found. Hospital records back up this; an entry made on that day stated that: "the patient had abandoned the hospital, a search was done but he was not found on the premises" When she went to her son's room another patient was in there, so she went outside crying and the security guard asked her what was wrong, she explained the situation, and he said that neither he, nor the guard that was on duty the day Luis escaped knew a patient was missing.
Since that moment, Zoila and her daughter went to places close to the hospital looking for Luis. Even though staff said they had called police, nobody came to help with the search. On the 20th, Zoila went to the police and they just took a statement and said this was not the first time a patient from that hospital had gone missing.
Something worth noting, a patient in the hospital told Zoila that Luis had died of a heart attack while they were in mass. She told police this and they said they were going to confirm it, they never did.
After getting nowhere with the search, Zoila called the hospital and asked for more information about the day Luis went missing, according to her, hospital staff told her not to make a fuss about it and that she should be happy that her son was missing.
On february police started to take statements from the nurses and doctors that treated Luis, one of them told police that because they were taking down some trees, the fencing around the hospital had been damaged so it was likely that Luis just walked out.
After seeing the lack of effort by the ecuadorian police, Zoila put a petition in the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (ICHR) in 2007. In 2010, they took the case. And in 2014, police started to work in the case comparing DNA to unidentified bodies in the county. Between 2015 and 2017 more ground work was done to try and help locate Luis but, it was almost 12 years later so the evidence was probably gone by then.
Finally, after 16 years the case went to the ICHR court. Zoila is suing the ecuadorian government. Today was the last day of hearing and according to the judge sentencing will take place next year. Zoila is 69 now and says she will keep looking for her son and will only know peace when she finds him.
Sources (in spanish)
http://portal.oas.org/en/iachr/decisions/court/2019/12786FondoEn.pdf (case and timeline in english)
The Volga maniac has been captured yesterday night in Kazan. Radik Tagirov's DNA is a match to previously collected DNA material. Tagirov killed more than 25 elderly women and was caught on CCTV cameras. His last confirmed killing happened in 2012. There is no more detailed info at the moment and Kazan Police did not provide any further details.
A detailed write-up about the case: https://www.reddit.com/r/TrueCrime/comments/eyenpq/most_prolific_russian_serial_killer_who_is/
This is my first write up and I’m on mobile, so I apologize for any errors.
On December 2, 2019, the Ansonia, Connecticut police department received a request for a welfare check. Christine Holloway’s employer placed that call after she hadn’t called in sick and failed to show up to work that day. At around 1pm, officers attempted contact at the residence, but nobody answered the door. The officers left the residence, but it was not the last time police would be brought there that day. Around 7:30pm, just hours later, a second welfare check was requested. Officers responding to that call checked around the outside of the home and must have been alerted to something wrong; they quickly forced entry into the home. Inside they made a grisly discovery: Holloway, 43, was dead. It would be later said that she was beaten to death. The cause of death was blunt force trauma, and the manner of death was homicide. This murder alone was enough to shake the community but the situation escalated before residents were informed. Police discovered that Holloway’s 1 year old daughter was not in the home as she should have been. What started as welfare checks snowballed into a case of murder and disappearance. What happened to baby Vanessa Morales?
Vanessa Morales was born to parents Christine Holloway and Jose Morales (now age 44) on September 7, 2018. Vanessa lived with her mother and her father lived separately in the neighboring city of New Haven. Jose was known to occasionally visit and stay in Ansonia with Holloway and Vanessa. It is alleged that, at first, while Jose denied staying over the previous weekend, his mother and step father disputed this claim, telling police that he actually had been staying with Holloway in the days leading up to the discovery of her body. Police quickly suspected him of the murder, but did not have enough to charge him. However, they did manage to search his home, where they found 2 stun guns. These were weapons he was not permitted to own as he was a convicted felon. On December 3, 2019, Jose was taken into custody on those weapons related charges. Detectives interviewing him that day observed a few physical marks on him: a bruise on his chest, abrasions on the knuckles of both hands and scratches on his arms. Still, police had not found answers relating to Vanessa’s whereabouts. Holloway’s family said they last saw the mother daughter duo on November 29. Though the police still worked on building the case against Jose for Holloway’s murder, their first priority was finding Vanessa. They spoke with the Holloway and Morales families and said both families were cooperating with authorities.
The number of law enforcement officials involved in this tragedy and mystery rapidly grew, initially starting with the Ansonia PD and went on to include numerous other local police departments, the Connecticut State Police and the FBI. While I originally didn’t want to spend too much time on the murder investigation of Vanessa’s mother, it’s unavoidable in this case. It seems here that finding the truth about Holloway’s murder is key to finding Vanessa. With so many cooperating departments and agencies, much information was uncovered. In February 2020, Jose Morales was charged with the murder of Christine Holloway. While all evidence gathered is important, some pieces were bigger in this puzzle: a neighbor claimed he had seen Jose leaving Holloway’s home on December 2. Video footage obtained by police - and they obtained a lot of surveillance and cell phone video after appealing to local residents- confirmed this sighting. Jose had left the home shortly after the first welfare check had occurred that day. Other footage led to more evidence, this time with DNA. Jose’s car had been caught on camera on December 1 in close proximity to a clothing donation bin in a neighboring town. Various items such as a children’s book, a men’s shirt and some of Holloway’s personal papers recovered from that donation bin had blood on them. The blood was tested and found to be consistent with Holloway’s DNA.
Jose’s arrest could have brought a sense of closure or relief for the Holloway family, but it didn’t have much of that effect. While the family struggles without Christine, the eldest of 5 siblings and a doting daycare worker, they are devastated without Vanessa. A well meaning tip came in about a month after the 1 year old was last seen, but it didn’t pan out. A little girl was spotted at a local hospital who looked similar to Vanessa’s description. Police rushed to check it out, but publicly confirmed it was not Vanessa. Other tips have come in as well, but nothing concrete. Besides looking for the infant, police are looking for items missing from the family home: a car seat, a polka dot blanket and a gray Eddie Bauer backpack/diaper bag. The disappearance of these items lead to one idea in particular. Police and Holloway’s family have held firm in their belief that Vanessa is still alive. They agree on who they suspect in her disappearance, too. “Deep down, everything tells me he knows,” Jodi Jacobellis, Vanessa’s aunt has said about Jose.
As I said, I think the murder and missing baby go hand in hand. With strong evidence in the murder case against Jose, it seems doubtful to have happened any other way. Jose, however, offers a completely different scenario. He allegedly told police that he had been high on PCP when visiting the Holloway home at the end of November. It is during this time that, he says, he can recall people attempting to break into the home. He blames those other, unnamed people as possibly being responsible for the murder and disappearance. While the break in is a separate part of the story, the PCP usage had been brought up in an interview between investigators and one of Jose’s friends. This friend told investigators that he and Jose had purchased 7 bags of PCP together on November 29. Further, he alleges that Jose took 2 bags home with him after they smoked some together. Police still did not believe the idea of random people committing these terrible crimes, and said so to Jose, who stuck by his claim about the home being broken into.
Vanessa is still missing. Jose has offered no reliable information about her whereabouts. His pending court cases have been slow to proceed due to the pandemic. Christine Holloway’s family has not stopped looking Vanessa. “Peanut, we’re still looking for you,” Jodi Jacobellis said. “We’re not going to stop. We want you home.” They keep her name relevant online and in the media when possible. Police are still actively on the case as well. At the time of her disappearance, Vanessa was nearly 15 months old, 2ft tall, 17lbs with brown hair and brown eyes. The family is worried that since a year has passed, Vanessa may look different now. Her 2nd birthday was on September 7th. “For all we know, she could be dressed as a boy,” said Danielle Holloway, Vanessa’s aunt. “She might have her hair dyed. She will obviously look a little older than the pictures we constantly share. So, even if you think in the slightest that the child in the parking lot has a slight resemblance to her, call it in, send an anonymous tip. You never know.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Ansonia Police at (203) 735-1885 or to call the FBI tip line at 203-503-5555. There is a $10k reward for information that leads to Vanessa’s safe return.
So, what are your thoughts? Do you think Vanessa is truly thriving somewhere and we just don’t know who she’s with? Do the drugs make a difference in your opinion of what happened?
Today marks 1 year since the discovery of Christine Holloway’s death and the discovery that baby Vanessa was missing. As I said at the beginning, this is my first write up and while I know I’ve likely made many mistakes (and may have jumped around too much), I couldn’t go without posting this. This case is local to me and I think about Christine and Vanessa a lot. Their story was on the news this morning and after that emotional segment I decided that doing this write up, however crappy, will still get Vanessa’s name and face out there.
-An amber alert was issued for Vanessa
-When appearing in court after being brought up on the new murder and tampering with evidence charges, Jose was represented by Attorneys Norm Pattis and Kevin Smith. Some of you may have heard of the Jennifer Farber Dulos case in Connecticut, well those same attorneys had once represented Jennifer’s estranged husband, Fotis Dulos. Fotis Dulos died earlier this year.
-Jose Morales has a prior criminal record, including DV charges. You should be able to find this in one of the links I provide
-local speculation is that Jose may have a large extended family and that the baby could be with a family member now anywhere in the US, possibly Puerto Rico. Again, this is just local speculation that I’ve seen; I’ve read that the police don’t think Vanessa has left the state
-there were other pieces of evidence, I tried to include the ones I felt were the especially important
-I’ve seen many times over the last year that anyone who returns Vanessa won’t be punished; it would be no questions asked. This leads me to believe the police have somewhat of an idea of who she could be with, I think, and in turn are confident she is alive
Sources: (all local news)
News story with age progression photos
Nine-year-old Andrew, 7 year old Alexander and 5 year old Tanner Skelton are the sons of Tanya and John Skelton. In 2010 the Skelton’s were in the middle of a contentious divorce. Tanya had full custody of the boys her soon to be ex-husband John had visitation. John wasn’t happy about this arrangement and weeks earlier he’d used his visitation to try and kidnap the boys, driving them south to Florida. When pressed by police he brought the boys back and returned them to their mother as legally required, but he deeply resented that Tanya, who he was very angry with, had custody of the children, had custody of “his boys”.
In November, with the thanksgiving holiday approaching, the couple again discussed visitation. John wanted to spend the holiday with his sons. It was agreed that the boys could spend Thanksgiving with John and sleep over at his home. It was agreed that John would bring the three boys back on Friday, the day after the holiday.
When John didn’t return the boys on and didn’t respond to calls, Tanya notified the police. When neither John nor the boys could be located, an Amber Alert was released by law enforcement in Lenawee County. Meanwhile, John Skelton appeared in a local emergency room with minor injuries. He told staff that he’d tried to take his own life and that’s how he’d hurt himself.
When asked about his children, he revealed that on Friday afternoon he’d turned them over to a woman named Joanne Taylor. He didn’t have much information about her. They gleaned that Taylor, who supposedly lives near Jackson or Hillsdale Michigan drives a silver van. Investigators were not able to locate anyone matching this description.
John Skelton said that his children were safe, that Taylor would take the boys to an underground network, that they’d grow up on a nice farm, where no one would find them. No evidence of this so-called network was found. When they searched his online footprint, nothing on John’s cell phone or computers showed him talking with anyone who could be involved in the disappearance of Andrew, Alexander and Tanner.
A search was done of John’s cell phone records. They tracked his movements from Michigan to Ohio, where the phone stopped. A massive days long search was done of the area, both where John stopped in Ohio and the route that he traveled to get there. There was no sign of the boys.
In 2011 John Skelton was charged with parental kidnapping, but he took a plea. He pled guilty to three charges of unlawful imprisonment and was sentenced to 10-15 years in prison. While John Skelton sits behind bars, claiming that the boys are finally safe, family and friends of the three children wait for answers.
As of this writing, there has been no sight or sign of the boys since thanksgiving of 2010. All three boys, if they are still alive, would be teenagers. If you have information on the case, please contact the Morenci Police Department 517-458-7104
Jabreal Collins was 18 years old when he went missing from Youngstown, Ohio. At the time of his disappearance, he was a resident of Safehouse Ministries located on Eastview Drive in Youngstown. Safehouse Ministries is a non-profit organization that provides a home and services for juveniles assigned by the county children service boards or the juvenile court system.
3 years later, Jabreal's skeletal remains were found in a vacant lot in the industrial area of Youngstown near the corner of Wydesteel and Trussit Avenue. On April 8, 2016 around 10 p.m., a man walking through a vacant lot where his home used to exist found a skull and brought it to police; his home on 2408 Wydesteel Avenue had been demolished in May 2014. Officers went to the scene that night and returned the next morning with the Mahoning County Coroner’s office to excavate the site. They found the skeletal torso of a male body, a varsity style jacket and a set of headphones. A forensic dental expert and a Youngstown State University anthropologist later determined the remains to be Jabreal's. It was estimated that Jabreal had been dead six months to a year.
According to investigators, "it is apparent that gunshots struck [Jabreal] in the ribs." They found several bullet holes in his jacket and one bullet was recovered from the fabric of the jacket. However, investigators were concerned about the integrity of the scene as the man who found the skeletal remains disturbed the scene commenting "it’s hard to determine how big of an impact him taking the skull is.”
At the time of the discovery of Jabreal's body, his mother lived in Columbus, Ohio and his father was an inmate at the Trumbull Correctional Institute in Leavittsburg, Ohio. A May 2016 news article noted that Youngstown detectives were investigating Jabreal's murder but I did not find any further updates on the investigation.
The information in this post is all I could about Jabreal's disappearance and subsequent murder. However, while searching for additional information, I found an obituary which noted that Jabreal's brother, Marquise "Chop" Howard Buxton passed away on October 31, 2020. The obituary also noted that the brothers' parents were deceased as well.
After reading one of the comments below, I looked up Marquise and found a news article (linked below) that discussed how he was found shot to death in an SUV outside a Taco Bell restaurant located in the 3000 block of Market Street. He was found in the driver's seat of the SUV on October 31, 2020 around 6 p.m.
Thanks to u/welk101 for providing the link to the Youngstown Vindicator archived article as it provided additional information for the post.