Texas authorities announced on Thursday June 9 that they had found an American woman who went missing in 1981 as an infant alive, and called for help to unravel the mystery that still surrounds the murder of her parents.
“Baby Holly has been located, she is alive, 42 and doing well”Texas Assistant Attorney General Brent Webster said at a press conference. “We are delighted”he continued, “but we still have a crime to solve”. This dates back to January 1981, when the bodies of a man and a woman, apparently victims of homicide, were found in a wooded area of Houston, Texas. For forty years they remained without an identity.
Advances in genetic genealogy made it possible, in 2021, to put a name to these victims: they are Tina and Harold Clouse, a couple from Florida who had a little girl, Holly. It is the latter that has just been found. She ‘was told who her biological parents were and met her biological family members virtually for the first time on Tuesday’, said Brent Webster. According to him, she had been abandoned in a church in Arizona and raised in a family that is not “not suspected in the investigation”.
However, the police are looking “two women identifying as members of a nomadic religious group” who deposited her in this church. “They wore long white dresses, walked barefoot and said their beliefs included separating men and women, being vegetarians and not using any leather object”, described the prosecutor. However, the Clouse family had been contacted, in December 1980 or January 1981, by a woman presenting herself as “Sister Susan”. She had assured that the couple had joined their sect, wanted to cut ties with the outside world and get rid of their material possessions. She had offered Harold Clouse’s parents to bring them their car, for a fee.
They had contacted the police. When two or three women in white dresses arrived with the vehicle, officers pulled them over, but no records could be found, according to Brent Webster, calling on the public “help” to trace the course of history. In the meantime, the Clause family rejoiced to have reunited with Holly. “It’s a real relief to know that she is well and having a good life”commented his aunt Cheryl Clouse quoted in a press release.