Darlene Ellen Conklin
Monsey, New York
Case #: 10-37970
Darlene Conklin was 21 years old when she was last seen at some point between April 1st and April 19th of 1981, leaving the home she shared with her boyfriend Stephen Szanyi, in Monsey, New York. She has not been heard from since. She is a Caucasian female with light brown hair, and green eyes. She was 5’8” and was around 130 lbs. at the time. She has tattoos of words on both hands, “love” on one hand and either “terry, jerry, or hate” on the other hand. She is noted to have scars on her wrists. Her date of birth is listed as October 15, 1959. She was last observed wearing blue jeans.
Darlene’s boyfriend claimed to police that she would “drop out of sight from time to time,” and one day she simply left and never came back.
The home in which the couple lived, is located off of Routes 59 and 306. Darlene frequented the waterfront beach area in Haverstraw, NY, near the U.S gypsum plant.
Darlene’s mother, Delores, reported her daughter missing later in the year 1981 after she stopped hearing from her by phone, which was very unusual and out of character.
At some point after Darlene’s disappearance, officers from an unknown police agency visited a moving and storage company in Mount Kisco, NY, called “Whalen’s Moving and Storage,” where Darlene’s boyfriend had worked at the time of her disappearance, looking for information about a Polaroid picture they brought with them, depicting an unidentified woman who had recently been killed and her body had been wrapped in a “Whalen’s Moving and Storage” moving blanket. This visit was not learned about by local police until nearly 30 years later, in 2010. The agency that conducted this visit remains unknown and the polaroid photograph has not been located. According to the statements by employees of the storage facility, the deceased woman did match Darlene’s description, including the light brown hair.
Around the same time in 2010, an anonymous tip was given to the Ramapo Police Department, which led to the re-opening of Darlene’s case. It was relabeled as an “Unknown Death investigation.” It was believed that Darlene was the victim of a homicide. This tip stated that an acquaintance described killing a woman and disposing of her body in 1981. Unfortunately, this tipster had no information on the woman’s name or the location of where her body was disposed of. The name of this acquaintance has not been made public.
Darlene is described as someone who really enjoyed life and loved to have fun. She spent a lot of time at the waterfront beach with her friends. Her brother Thomas states that “She might have been around the wrong people.”
Four decades have gone by without closure for the Conklin family. The investigation remains open. Detectives continue to look for the police agency that had the polaroid photograph in their possession. It is still believed that the woman in the photo is Darlene.
Delores Conklin passed away in 2006, but Darlene’s siblings are still searching for answers. It has been agreed upon by remaining family members that Stephen Szanyi is most likely responsible for Darlene’s disappearance. He was interviewed several times by police but he provided little insight into where Darlene was.
Looking into Stephen online, it is easy to point out that he has a record with the law.
Here are a few articles;
According to these sources, Stephen was booked in the Sussex County Jail in Newton, New Jersey in 2009 and again in 2013 for burglary and conspiracy, and released no later than February of 2014.
The website link below provides a lot of irrelevant information pertaining to this case, besides this excerpt from the very bottom of the article:
“Stephen P. Szanyi, 51 of Newton, was sentenced to five years probation with 364 days in county jail. Upon his release Szanyi must enter a long-term inpatient treatment program. He must also pay $8,530.47 in restitution. He pled guilty on Sept. 16, 2009, to two counts of burglary, one count attempted burglary, third degree crimes; two counts possession of burglary tools, a fourth degree crime; one count criminal mischief, a fourth degree crime, and two counts theft, fourth degree crimes.” – https://www.townshipjournal.com/news/sussex-county-prosecutor-HXTJ20091119311199856
Stephen is currently walking around free, and he is most likely living in New Jersey, New York or Florida.
The question still remains, where is Darlene?
There is a $2,500 reward for any information that leads to the location of Darlene’s remains.
If you have any further information regarding the whereabouts of Darlene Conklin, please contact the Ramapo Police Department at 845-357-2400.
Regional Program Specialist is Lori Bruski : 817-718-7904