Archive for ‘The Missing’

The Missing Maryanne Ruffini

The Missing
Maryanne Ruffini
Case #: 96005234
County: Middlesex

Maryanne Jane Ruffini, also commonly known as “Missy”, “Missy Kontowt,” or “Maryanne Kontowt,” was last seen on January 26th, 1996 at her residence in Edison, NJ. She left her home after an argument with her husband during the early hours of the morning. She has traveled to Inglewod, California in the past but her whereabouts are unknown. Missy suffers from bipolar disorder. She was last seen wearing a Rangers jacket, size 13/14, blue jeans size 8, white socks and white Nike sneakers. She was carrying a black handbag. She has brown hair and blue eyes, 120-140 lbs, 5’04” in height. Maryanne has scars on both of her wrists and one under her eyebrow. Dental characteristics are charted in NCIC, and dental x-rays and fingerprints are available. 

– Artistic rendering of age progression

Any further information about this case, please call the Edison Police Department at 732-248-7400.


The Missing Usha Iyer

The Missing 
Usha S. Iyer
Case #: 94-13923
Monmouth County

Usha Iyer was last seen December 26, 1994 in Eatontown, NJ when she was 22 years old. (Doe Network states she was missing since June of 1994. ) Her husband came home to their apartment and discovered she was missing and their 19 day old baby was left alone. She left her passport, clothing and personal belongings behind. She was last seen wearing a green coat with white and blue stripes, a yellow Indonesian type dress with brown Indian style pants and white canvas shoes. Usha is an Indian female that is 5’0” and 100 lbs, with black hair and brown eyes. She has an olive colored mole on her left hand, her ears are pierced and she was born in India. Usha had married in India in January of 1994 and moved to the United States shortly afterwards. She and her husband lived in East Brunswick, New Jersey before moving to Stoneyhill Apartments on Stoneyhill Road in Eatontown. Their son was born on December 7th. Her husband stated she didn’t know anyone in the United States.
Usha is considered “missing under suspicious circumstances” and foul play is suspected. After she went missing, her husband and son moved to India. Her disappearance remains unsolved.

If you have any further information, please call the Eatontown Police Department at 732-389-7644.


The Missing Lisa Ann Schmidt

The Missing
Lisa Ann Schmidt
Case #: 94-9918
County: Hudson

   Lisa Ann Schmidt was a 23 year old Caucasian woman that was last seen on Sunday, October 2, 1994 at her home on North 2nd Street in Harrison, Hudson County, New Jersey. She left on foot, at around 2:00PM,(weirdly, without a jacket) to walk to a K-Mart in Kearny on Passaic Avenue. She needed to make a layaway payment on an item, but she never returned home and has not been heard from since. She left her 3 year old son in the care of her mother when she left her home. Surveillance footage at the K-Mart shows Lisa never made it to the store. 
Lisa was last seen wearing a black shirt with blue jeans, black fringed suede boots, a yellow gold crucifix on a gold neck chain and was also wearing several rings including a silver toned happy face ring. With her she was carrying a small change purse with a photo ID and enough money to pay off her layaway. She’s 5’8”, 140 lbs, brown hair with red highlights, with brown eyes and a light complexion. Lisa was only 23 years old. (Doe network states she was 5’6”-5’8” and 109-119 lbs. Not sure which is accurate.) Lisa also has a slight dental overbite, a concave sternum and a possible medical history of a broken leg. Her ears are pierced.
Inside her home, Lisa left $600 in her dresser drawer. Everyone close to Lisa was questioned and cadaver dogs were also sent out, but no leads were ever found.

If you have any information, please contact the Harrison Police Department at 973-483-4100.


The Missing Elba Irizarry

The Missing
Elba Irizarry
Case #: 940622255
County: Camden

Elba Irizarry was a 43 year old hispanic woman living in Camden, New Jersey. She was last seen at 3410 Westfield Ave on June 22, 1994. She has depression and is a drug user. (it was not specified what kinds of drugs she used.) She is 5’1-5’3” in height, 110 pounds, with black/dark brown hair and brown eyes. There is not much further information about her.

Dental records are available for comparison.

If you have any information regarding this case, please contact the Camden County Sheriff’s Office at 856-225-5470.


The Missing Lisa Bacote

The Missing
Lisa Bacote
Case #: 9426333
County: East Orange

Lisa Bacote was a 35 year old woman living on North Maple Avenue in East Orange, New Jersey. She was last seen leaving her family’s home to go visit a friend at South 6th Street in Newark on May 18, 1994. She was wearing a red short jacket, blue jeans and white sneakers. She has partial upper dentures and has a partial plate. She has pierced ears. She had a previous operation on her 2nd/3rd toes on one foot. She wears eyeglasses. Lisa had previously left home without warning, but she returned after two days. Following her May disappearance, she was never heard from again. 
Lisa is a black female, her birthday is July 30, 1958. She is 5’4” and 165 lbs. Black hair, brown eyes, medium complexion. Lisa suffers from bipolar disorder and requires medication to control her condition. She did take her medication with her when she vanished. She frequently hitchhiked on Central Avenue in East Orange. Her case remains unsolved. 

If you have any information about this person, please contact the East Orange Police Department at 973-266-5000.

Side note, there is one additional photo that was put on Lisa’s Charley Project page. It was updated in April of 2020 but I don’t personally see any kind of resemblance and I don’t believe this picture is of Lisa. There is no other context with the photo and I haven’t been able to find any other places in which this picture was posted. Of course I could be wrong. I will provide the photo below. What do you think? Completely different nose shape, face shape and the shape of her lips as well. Even her eyebrow shape doesn’t match.

I also tried to find Lisa on NamUs because it is listed as a source on the Charley Project page but when I typed her name in, no results came up. 


The Missing Christopher Zahl

The Missing
Christopher Zahl
Case #: 946716
County: Monmouth

Christopher Allen Zahl was 43 years old in 1994 when he was last seen on May 12th in Holmdel, Monmouth County, New Jersey. He has not been heard from since. The day after he was last seen, May 13th, his vehicle was located abandoned at a train station in Red Bank, New Jersey. There had been no signs of him at the scene. The vehicle had been wiped clean of fingerprints, and Zahl’s eyeglasses, wallet and credit cards were inside it. 
Zahl’s disappearance was possibly related to a recent dispute with his brother. They had been fighting over the family’s tree farm. Christopher’s brother wanted to buy him out. He also reported Chris to the police for growing marijuana on the farm. The brother has never been charged as a suspect. In one article I linked below, it has a small newspaper clipping that states “Chris had been having an affair with his best friend’s wife.” But I do not have any proof of that.
Foul play is suspected in this case, but it is still unsolved. 
Christopher is a white man with brown hair and blue eyes. He is 5’9” and 200 lbs. His blood type is A positive and he has a scar on his right knee. What clothing he had on is unknown. He was usually wearing a watch and was carrying a keychain. (no details on what they look like.) His dental records, DNA and fingerprints are all uploaded into NamUs.

If you have any information about this case, please contact the Holmdel Police Department as 732-946-4400


The Missing Renee Lamanna

The Missing
Renee Lamanna
Case #: 94-00205
County: Cape May

  Renee Martine Lamanna was 35 years old when she went missing on January 8, 1994.  She is a caucasian woman with brown eyes and dark brown hair, 5’2 in height, 100 pounds. Renee has a widow’s peak, and a keloid scar on one of her inner elbows. She converted to Muslim faith prior to her disappearance and she does not drink alcohol or do drugs as per her religious beliefs. Renee is considered the “bright light” of the family, being intelligent and caring for others. She also unfortunately has anorexia, depression and an anxiety disorder due to unspecified psychological trauma. This disorder causes her to have panic attacks and sometimes it makes her agitated and paranoid. 

At age 20, Renee held three college degrees, including a Master’s in History. She graduated from the University of Scranton. She also speaks five languages, traveled with the Peace Corps in Morocco and helped dozens of immigrants gain their footing in the United States.  In 1994, she was studying nuclear medicine technology, which left her with a great amount of stress. Her relationship was also apparently strained. After an argument with her taxi driver boyfriend of ten years on January 8, she stormed out of their apartment in Fresh Meadows, Queens, New York. (One article says the boyfriend asked her to leave.) The weather was freezing and Renee was not wearing proper attire, only wearing at the time a sweatshirt, red silk pajama bottoms, and white socks with no shoes. One article linked below claimed she was last seen in a red silk traditional Afghan wedding outfit. ( Can’t confirm which is accurate. )

According to her sister Margaret, Renee had been in love with an “immigrant taxi driver from Afghanistan for nearly a decade and devoted her life to the culture from which he came.” (which is probably why she converted her religion.) Something happened on January 8 that caused Renee and her boyfriend to have some type of disagreement. ( I am sorry but I can’t find his name. )

She was later found wandering in the bitter cold, barefoot and only in night clothes. She was in an incoherent and confused state and was taken to a local hospital for a psychiatric evaluation, and was cleared. (Some articles say Jamaica Hospital, others say she was at  Queens Center Psychiatric Hospital.) After that, Renee was taken to her sister Margaret’s house in the 2500 block of Wesley Avenue in Ocean City NJ, where they had dinner at approximately 7:00PM. Once at her sister’s residence, Margaret stated that her sister was in a “catatonic state.” 

An hour after she arrived, Renee once again suddenly ran outside for no apparent reason in freezing temperatures. At this point she was only wearing a sweatshirt, pajama bottoms and hospital slippers. She was carrying her navy blue bathrobe at the time.  One of the slippers and the bathrobe were found later on. Margaret is quoted saying, “She bolted out the door into the darkness of the beach, the police found her robe, but that was it. She was gone.”

She was last seen inside a Waterfront Bar in Somers Point acting “strangely” later the same night at 9PM. Her bathrobe was found approximately two blocks from the bar shortly after someone reported the sighting. Of note: Renee was now a Muslim and did not drink alcohol. 

A bloodhound traced her scent to two Ocean City homes on Central Avenue, but no evidence of what happened to her was ever found. Police can’t determine if she met with foul play or left on her own accord. She may have hitchhiked out of the area. There have been several reported sightings of Renee.

In May of 1995, she was reportedly seen in New Jersey but the sighting is unconfirmed. 

This case was aired on television for the first time on November 3, 1995 as a Special Bulletin episode, and shortly after the broadcast Renee was sighted in a subway station in Manhattan, looking at a missing persons flyer of herself, however she was not located. This lead made officers believe she is not in her right mind and could be unaware of her identity. It is suspected she is suffering from Dissociative Fugue Disorder. 

Since then, various sightings of her have been reported throughout the Eastern United States from Virginia through Tennessee, and Renee’s family has followed each lead with no avail.

A woman believed to be Renee was seen at a store in Asheville, North Carolina, in October of 2014, and the witness took a few photos of her. I have attached one below.

 The woman told witnesses she was headed to Florida and that she was looking for her family. She gave police officers several aliases, including “Renee LaMan” and “Josephine Pagano.”  Unfortunately, in January of 2016, the mystery woman was located in Florida and it has been confirmed through fingerprints that she is not Renee and did match another woman from upstate New York.

The last confirmed sightings were in the Chamber Street Subway in Lower Manhattan in December of 1994, and then once more in Northfield trying to get a bus ticket back to New York City in May of 1995. 

Renee’s parents passed away without knowing what happened to their daughter. Her older sister Margaret still hopes to locate her one day and she believes Renee is still somewhere in New York. 

Any further information, please contact the Ocean County Police Department at 609-399-9111.


The Missing Mark Himebaugh

Mark Himebaugh
Case #: 91-17695
County: Cape May

On November 25, 1991, 11 year old Mark Himebaugh lived with his mother and older brother in Del Haven, NJ and was a 6th grader at Cape May County Alternative Middle School. He was last seen walking towards a playground in the County Park, nearby to his home. The last person to see him was a park guard, claiming it was about 4:00 that afternoon. Mark was wearing a blue U.S.N sweatshirt, a gray jacket with a red blue and gray plaid lining and four outer pockets with velcro, a pair of gray docker pants and red and white sneakers. Mark’s mother Maureen told her son she was dropping off a neighbor to pick up their car at a repair shop in Middle Township. He did not want to go along because a fire had broken out in town and he wanted to watch what was happening a quarter mile away. By the time Maureen had finished her errand around 40 minutes later, her son was gone. At the time, Maureen assumed Mark was with neighborhood children, however he was never heard from again. His mother reported him missing at about 5:00 PM that evening after she still could not locate her son. Of note, the afternoon of his disappearance, traffic was rerouted past their house. 

Mark’s left foot was healing from a fracture at the time of his disappearance. He was also taking the antidepressant medication Prozac for his behavioral problems. Mark is classified as emotionally disturbed and he may have OCD. He frequently had tantrums and angry outbursts as a result of his conditions, but his behavior had been improving prior to his disappearance with the help of his meds and therapy. He had a habit of biting his fingernails and is right handed. He is a caucasain male, with blue eyes and red hair with freckles across his body. He was 4’6, 85 lbs.

There are unconfirmed reports from witnesses stating that Mark was seen at the entrance of a local park with an unidentified young girl at about 3:40 P.M. on the day Mark vanished. Her identity is still unknown. She was about 9 or 10 years old in 1991 with dishwater blonde colored hair. She was about 4 ft tall and 70 to 75 lbs. Wearing a dark blue ski parka that had a hunter orange stripe on the back. Police believe this girl has information about Mark’s disappearance, below is a sketch of what she looked like.

Two other men were also reported to have been seen with Mark on the day of his disappearance. One man was said to be 30 to 35 years old, ‘5’8 – ‘5’9 and about 150 lbs. He had dark reddish brown hair in a ponytail and had a scruffy, unkempt appearance. Below is a sketch. There is no available description of the other male.

Investigators did locate Mark’s left shoe, a hand-me-down L.A Gear sneaker at Sunray Beach approx. 75 yards from the family home later in the day of his disappearance. His footprints were also seen above the tide line, but these were the only solid clues ever found.

In 1993, A man named Thomas Butcavage Jr. was named as a person of interest in Mark’s disappearance. He resembled the sketch of the man Mark may have been seen with. A male prostitute named Daniel Coll approached the police and said that Butcavage was one of his regular clients and had shown him a video of himself having sex with a young boy who resembled Mark. The boy was handcuffed, gagged and appeared frightened. The prostitute asked Butcavage if the boy was Mark Himebaugh and Butcavage said it was. He also said he deliberately planted Mark’s sneaker on the beach to confuse the investigation. 

Butcavage has not been charged in Mark’s case but he has been imprisoned multiple times for drug offences and for sex with underage males. In 2015, authorities asked anyone who knew Butcavage in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s to please come forward.

Mark is believed to have been abducted by a stranger. The case is still unsolved. Mark’s mother has kept unopened gifts for Mark and still uses the same phone number in case her son might one day be found alive. 


South Jersey Mother Whose Son Went Missing 28 Years Ago Has Message Of Support For Mother Of Missing Dulce Maria Alavez

If you have any information about this case, please contact the Middle Township Police Department at 609-465-8700.

The Missing Betty Smith

The Missing
Betty Fran Smith
Case #: 91-013139
County: Mercer

Betty Fran Smith was last seen on October 1, 1991 in West Windsor, New Jersey. People usually called her by her middle name, Fran. She was married to a man named John David Smith III at the time of her disappearance. Her maiden name was Gladdon. They met in Niceville, Florida in 1990 and got married later the same year. In January of 1991, John filed for divorce from Betty, however, the couple reconciled and then decided to move to New Jersey in May. According to Betty’s family, John seemed mild-mannered prior to her disappearance, but they later learned he was abusing Betty. (Picture of John down below)
Betty called her daughter at 8:30am, on October 4, 1991 from their residence in West Windsor Township. Betty gave no indication that anything was amiss and did not mention any travel plans. She recently had surgery to fix a broken hip, which would make traveling difficult. Betty has never been heard from again. John told Betty’s family he believed she went on some sort of impromptu trip. Her relatives did not believe him and began to investigate her disappearance themselves. They learned that John had previously been married to a woman named Janice Hartman Smith from 1970 to 1974, while he told Betty’s family that their marriage was his first. As it turns out, the first wife, Janice, vanished from Ohio in 1974, which was just a few days after the finalization of her and John’s divorce. John reported Janice missing two days later, Janice’s case remained unsolved until 2000. (Picture of Janice below)
John had not been charged in connection with either of his wives’ disappearances in the 1990’s and he moved to California after Betty vanished. In 1998, he married for a third time.
Janice’s remains were located in an Indiana roadside ditch in 1980, 6 years after she was last seen, but she remained unidentified until 2000. John, who by then had already moved to California, was charged with aggravated murder in Janice’s case in the fall of 2000. His new wife supported him at first, but eventually filed for divorce and got a restraining order shortly before his arrest. She learned about John’s abusive background and the disappearances of his first two wives. John was finally found guilty of Janice’s murder in 2001, sentenced to 15 years to life and is currently incarcerated in Ohio.
Foul play is suspected in Betty’s disappearance due to who is involved. John isn’t charged with anything in her case, but he was found liable for her wrongful death in a civil suit in 2002 and was ordered to pay $1 million to her family. Betty has never been located. It is unlikely that her family will be able to collect it.
The FBI is attempting to identify two women pictured in photos found in John’s collection at the time of his 2000 arrest. Investigators would like to figure out the women’s whereabouts, given John’s history. (Pictures below)
If you have any information about any of the people in this case, please contact the West Windsor Township Police Department at 609-799-1212.

Picture of John:
Photo of John’s first wife Janice:
Pictures of two unidentified women found in John’s photo collection:


Information about husband John David Smith:

The Missing Bonita Krummel

The Missing
Bonita Krummel
Case #:2866DFNJ
County: Burlington

Bonita “Bonnie” Louise Krummel was 44 years old, living in Medford, Burlington County, New Jersey when she went missing on January 23, 1991. She is Caucasian, brown hair and blue eyes, her height and weight are 5’1, and 103 pounds, last seen wearing a dark gray and white tweed jacket, an off-white or cream colored sweatshirt, maroon corduroy pants, L.A Gear sneakers and a gold heart necklace. Her ears are pierced and she has a scar on her abdomen from an appendix removal, and she also had a healed fractured right forearm. Bonnie suffers from Huntington’s Disease, a degenerative genetic condition that causes uncontrollable random movements, loss of muscle control, impaired cognitive abilities, mental illness and eventual death. She had this disease for seven years by the time she disappeared, and was also suffering from insomnia and difficulty swallowing in 1991. She was taking medications to slow the progress of the illness, since Huntington’s is incurable.
Bonita was last seen leaving her home on Hadley Drive in Medford on January 23, 1991. She told her family that she would be back in time for dinner, but she never returned and hasn’t been heard from since. Her husband reported her missing at 9:30 p.m. The very next day, her vehicle was parked at the Pinelands Library on South Main Street, which is approx. 5 miles from where she resided. Bonita’s keys, I.D, purse, credit cards, money, watch and wedding ring were left inside the car, along with a note that stated “I am sorry that it had to come to this but I can’t go on another minute. Love you all. Bonnie.”
Search dogs tracked her scent to a nearby lake, however her sister did not believe she would have drowned herself because Bonnie knew how to swim and she didn’t like to get dirty. (I am not sure whether or not the lake was ever searched by a dive team.) Bonita’s family does believe however, that she left on her own to spare them from having to watch her die slowly from her Huntington’s Disease, and it is also of note that several of Bonnie’s family members including her mother had passed away from the same illness.
Authorities are unsure what happened to her, but they don’t believe foul play was involved.
Her case remains unsolved.

If you have any information about Bonita, please contact the Medford Township Police
Department at 609-654-7511


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