Namus #: MP10336
Darlene Ellen Conklin
Date of Birth: 10/15/1959
Age: 21 years old
Height/Weight: 5’8, 110-130lbs
Missing Since: 04/01/1981
Missing From: Monsey New York (Rockland County) 10952
Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian female, brown hair, green eyes.
Tattoos of words on both hands, possibly “love” on one hand and either
“terry, jerry or hate” on the other hand. Scars on her wrists.
Clothing/Jewelry: blue jeans
Disappearance: “Darlene was last seen April 19, 1981 in the area of Monsey, New York. Victim may have been beaten to death and her body disposed of. This is thought to have occurred inside a home in Monsey, NY.” http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/3034dfny.html
She was last seen in Monsey NY, sometime in April of 1981. (articles differ from April 1st to April 19th) She lived with her boyfriend, Stephen Szanyi in a house off routes 59 and 306, and she frequented the waterfront beach area off Haverstraw, NY, near the U.S gypsum plant. She has not been heard from since.
Her mom reported her missing later that year after the family suddenly stopped hearing from her by phone, which was unusual.
Her boyfriend at the time stated that Darlene would “drop out of sight from time to time,” and one day she simply “left and never came back.”
In April of 2011, there was an anonymous tip given to the Ramapo NY Police, that led to the re-opening of Darlene’s case. She may have been the victim of a homicide. The tip stated that an acquaintance described killing a woman and disposing of her body in 1981.
Ramapo police have been investigating another report that a woman’s body was found wrapped in a blanket with the name “Westchester County Moving Company” on it, shortly after Darlene vanished.
(SIDE NOTE: this is the only mention I was able to find about the company being referred to as Westchester Moving Company. All other references from this point on, are talking about the “Whalen’s Moving and Storage” company.)
Detectives aren’t clear on where the body was found or whether the description was a match. Ramapo police do know that an “as yet identified” law enforcement agency reached out to “Whalen’s Moving and Storage” of Mt. Kisco, NY, seeking information.
When paid a visit, they had with them a polaroid photo of a deceased woman, wrapped in a Whalen’s moving and storage moving blanket. She was murdered and disposed of. At this point, investigators believe the body was in fact Darlene, due to her boyfriend Stephen being an employee of Whalen’s Moving and Storage. It is not known which agency investigated this homicide, Whalen’s is a national company with many locations. Every employee that was questioned remembered being shown the picture and recalled the woman had brown hair and was Caucasian.
Conflicting Information: Looking around the internet for quite some time, I’ve noticed there are a few discrepancies in the articles.
- The Charley project says Darlene was last seen on April 1st of 1981, but several other sites are saying she was last seen on April 19th.
- There is also a mistake on the exact year the tip came in. Some say 2010, others say 2011.
- There are two different names being used, one says “Westchester County Moving Company,” and the other one is “Whalen’s Moving and Storage”
(updated in 2014) *https://www.njherald.com/article/20140502/NEWS/909028116
(facebook page) *https://www.facebook.com/Justice-for-Darlene-Conklin-404199809704791/about/
(on websleuths, there is an article posted in the comments on a website called lohud.com and it is no longer available.)
PART TWO: Stephen Szanyi
I have been doing some digging on Darlene’s boyfriend, Stephen Szanyi. I found an article stating as of 2014, he lived in Newton, New Jersey, which is close to where I live. I found this:
(NOTE: this website has a crap ton of info on it that isn’t relevant. Scroll to the bottom of the page and you’ll eventually find a paragraph or so of his charges.)
Clearly this man has had many run ins with the law all over the place. Sentenced in Sussex county in 2013, but on the mugshots.com article, it shows that he is “currently in custody” so he may have other charges, or this is a mistake. It can’t be a coincidence that he worked at Whalen’s moving van company in the 80’s and then some picture surfaces of (supposedly) Darlene wrapped in a moving company blanket.
Another puzzle to me, where is the polaroid picture? And also, why is it becoming impossible to find the law agency that took on the case in the first place?
Too many questions and not enough answers!
There have been no other suspects.
Darlene’s mom passed away in 2006 without finding out what happened to her daughter.
If you have any information about this case, I urge you to contact the proper authorities.
Ramapo Police Department : 845-357-2400 case # 10-37970
Regional Program Specialist is Lori Bruski : 817-718-7904