Missing in childhood. Found after 40 years

Photo National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) / printscreen / https://www.missingkids.org

Someone could say that such miracles happen only in books. But Holly Clouse, whose parents had been murdered and who herself had gone missing as a baby, was found a few days ago. Safe and sound.

On June 9th, 2022, Texas officials delivered news that electrified the whole of the United States. The missing child of the victims of a brutal murder committed four decades earlier had been found. Until then only a few believed that Holly Marie Clouse was alive. The majority had come to terms with the idea that she had shared the same fate as her parents and that her remains had been abandoned somewhere in a wooded area of Houston. That is why when Attorney General Ken Paxton announced at a press conference that Holly was now 42 years old and alive, hardly anyone believed it at first. More than 40 years had passed since her disappearance and the murder of her parents.

Mysterious "Sister Susan" and a car

Forty one years earlier, in Volusia, Florida, 17-year-old Tina and 21-year-old Harold Dean Clouse Jr., together with their little daughter Holly, were packing up all their belongings, getting ready to leave. The young couple who got married in June, 1979, were planning to move to Texas, where Harold had been promised a job in a carpentry shop. It is a long journey from Florida to Texas, especially for a small child. It is over two thousand kilometres, about 22 hours by car.

Tina and Harold promised their parents and siblings they would keep in touch -- at least once a week. Also, that they would send letters, lots of letters. But in December, 1980, they fell silent. And then, just before the end of the year, a woman who introduced herself as "Sister Susan" called relatives of the Clouses in Florida. She told them that she was in Los Angeles and that she would like to return Tina and Harold's car to them. She claimed they had given the vehicle to her.

  When asked why they would give her their car, the woman replied that the couple had joined a religious sect and had decided to get rid of all their material possessions. She also said she was ready to give the car back but wanted to be paid for it. Tina and Harold’s loved ones were shocked, but were so desperate for any proof that the young couple was alive that they agreed to a meeting in Florida. The car was to be handed over near the Daytona racetrack. Two persons come to the meeting: the mysterious "Sister Susan" and a man. Both were dressed in white robes, as if coming from another world.

Nobody knows anything

  Afterwards, Tina and Harold's family started looking for them. They tryied to find something through the local authorities and by calling their friends all over the US. They even attempted to contact the mysterious religious group, unfortunately without any results. Nobody knew anything, nobody saw anything, and nobody heard anything.

Read the full story here.

By Maria Radzik
Translated by Agnieszka Rakoczy