Mamie and Harold Riley were living in Florida when they had their third child, Harriet Riley. Harriet was born in 1968. By 1971, the family had moved to Sacramento to follow Harold’s career in the Air Force. He was discharged from the Air Force in late August or early September. Less than a month later, Harold was shot and killed in the family’s kitchen. Mamie was left behind to raise three children.
But just three years later, the Rileys’ lives got even worse. Harriet Riley didn’t come home from the playground when she was supposed to on January 9, 1975. The next day, a woman opened a dumpster and discovered Harriet’s body, wrapped in plastic. Police at the time classified her death as an accident. But was it?
Donna Kay Cloud
This case was submitted to Reddit by someone who had met Donna a few times before her disappearance and couldn’t shake the case. Donna was only 19 when she disappeared in 2016. The loving mother of a three-year-old boy, Donna dropped her son off with her parents to go on a blind date. After texting her parents that the date went well the next day, Donna disappeared without a trace. According to her cell phone records, Donna drove out on a major highway, making frequent stops along the way. Since her disappearance, her father has posted on her social media pages, sometimes alienating others searching for Donna. This summary of the case was written up about six months after her disappearance. Years later, Donna has still not been found.
Amanda Gallion had just moved to Wyoming when she disappeared in 1997. Only six weeks into her residency in Gillette, Amanda had already found a boyfriend, 20-year-old Patrick Ghering. Amanda was last seen walking to school on October 13. Police questioned Patrick, who said he’d last seen Amanda at 7:15 that morning. Patrick himself went missing on October 19. His car was later found, facing oncoming traffic.
There are a number of theories about what happened to the pair, from Patrick killing Amanda to Amanda having caught the eye of Nathaniel Bar-Jonah, a convicted killer who is known to have been in the area at the time. In 2007, a man confessed to the murder of Amanda Gallion, but his confession has never been confirmed as accurate.
Su Taraskiewicz was a trailblazer. Before #MeToo became the cultural zeitgeist, in 1992, Su was not only the first woman to work as a ramp supervisor at Logan International Airport, she also filed reports of the rampant sexual harassment she encountered on the job. Su was a standup worker, who refused to become involved in a credit card theft ring amongst airport employees. Susan was last seen at 1:00 A.M. on September 13, 1992. She didn’t return from getting a midshift meal–and co-workers punched her timecard in and out anyway. Due to return for another shift the next evening, she didn’t show again. And once again, her co-workers punched her timecard. Her body was found inside the trunk of her car on September 14, having been beaten and stabbed to death. It is suspected that either one of her co-workers involved in the credit card ring or an ex-boyfriend was responsible for her killing, but the case went cold about a year after her death.
What could prompt a nine-year-old to pack her bags and leave her home in the middle of the night? That’s the exact question investigators have been asking themselves since young Asha disappeared in 2000. Witnesses reported seeing the young girl walking along Route 18, and it is believed that she got into a dark green sports car (either a Thunderbird or Lincoln Mark IV) sometime in the night. Asha’s bag was discovered wrapped in plastic and buried miles away from her home. This disappearance is one of Unresolved Mysteries’s most troubling entries and has a habit of popping up time after time. In late 2017, the FBI began assisting in her case.
Erik Cross’s father went outside at 5:45 A.M. on June 26, 1983 to grab the morning paper. Instead, he found his son’s body, lying in the street, seemingly struck by a car. Although he had certainly been hit by a car, that was not the teen’s cause of death. He was killed–and likely tortured for hours–well before his death. A hit-and-run was then staged, hoping that the then-popular trend of “hood-surfing” would explain his death. Many in Kalamazoo, Cross’s hometown, believe that the facts of his death are being covered up by powerful families in town. It may sound farfetched, but stranger things have happened… In February, 2019, Michigan's Attorney General announced her office would be reviewing the investigation in hopes of finding new details.
On Aug. 27, 1992, as Hurricane Andrew swept across the southeastern United States, 13-year-old Leigh Occhi disappeared from her home in Tupelo, Mississippi. The teen was still on summer vacation, and Leigh’s mother left her home alone for the day as she headed to work–the first time that Leigh would be trusted alone. About an hour after she arrived at work, Vickie called home to check on her daughter. When no one picked up, she rushed back home. The garage door was open, lights were on, and a bloody nightgown and bra were in the laundry basket, but Leigh was nowhere to be found.
When police came, they found no signs of forced entry. They also found pools of blood, some of which had been cleaned up rather ineptly. Two weeks later, Vickie and Leigh’s stepfather, Barney, received a package. It contained Leigh’s glasses. No suspects in the case have ever been named by police, although Vickie, a local church member, and Barney have all been floated as potential suspects.
One of the stranger stories on Unresolved Mysteries, this case involves a falsified mummy. In 2000, a Pakistani man claimed to have found a Persian mummy–an incredibly rare archeological artifact. After some digging, it became clear that despite the fanfare over the mummy’s appearance, the body was not ancient and had in fact been alive as recently as 1996. Her body showed signs of serious abuse before death, include a vertebrate that was so broken it stood at 90 degrees to the rest of her spine. It’s believed that the woman was murdered by a gang who then attempted to make money off her body. The woman and the gang have never been identified.
Mollie and Harry Schlesinger
In the mid-90s, Ottis Toole and Henry Lee Lucas made headlines with their horrifying list of murders and assaults. They also made headlines for their false confessions for as many as 3,000 murders. Toole and Lucas were convicted for six and 11 homicides, respectively. But one person believes that their grandmother’s death was incorrectly attributed to the murderous pair. Mollie Schlesinger was murdered on October 23, 1979, along with her husband at the time, Harry. The descendant turned to Reddit for help discovering what really happened to the couple. Will you be the one to crack the case?
Brookelyn went missing after a party in Berea, Kentucky in 2013. After getting into a fight with a friend, Brookelyn was left stranded, without a ride. She sent texts to friends looking for a ride home, saying that she was scared. Hours later, she sent a text saying that she was fine and going to another party in nearby Rockcastle County. The last person to see her owned the house at which the original party was hosted. He went to move his horses early in the morning of June 22. When he came back to the house, it was on fire. Brookelyn was no longer there, nor was her cell phone. Her boots, purse, and clothes were. Police determined that the fire had started on the couch Brookelyn was last seen sitting on. It is believed that the final text sent from her phone was sent by someone else–someone who had abducted and likely murdered the teen.
Ten-year-old Andy Puglisi went to a local pool in Lawrence, Massachusetts with his best friend, Melanie Perkins, on August 21, 1976. Less than 500 feet from home, no one anticipated his disappearance on a beautiful summer day. Supposedly, five pedophiles were at the pool on the day of Andy’s disappearance.
Years later, a now-grown man came forward to claim that he was with Andy that fateful August day. He claimed that a man lured the two boys into the woods, ostensibly in search of a lost puppy. Soon thereafter, the man in the woods seized upon Andy, pinning him down to the ground. This allowed the other boy to escape. He raced home and told his mother what happened, but she did not believe his tale. Andy’s whereabouts have never been confirmed. Today, one of Andy's aunts believes that he may have been murdered by serial child rapist Wayne Chapman.
Thirteen-year-old Janett was babysitting on the night of the big dance. But that was okay: The church-loving teenager was saving up money to buy a brand new outfit for Easter Sunday. She was taking care of a three-year-old neighbor, Gregory. About three hours after Gregory’s parents left, police received a call from a panicked female voice, asking them to come quickly–but the phone line cut out before they could get any information. Three hours after that, the parents came home to a grisly sight. Janett had been raped and murdered in their living room and left lying in a pool of her blood. Gregory was asleep and unharmed.
The investigation was marred by two battling jurisdictions and racial basis. One suspect confessed, then recanted, claiming he’d been forced into his confession by police. Over the years, suspicions have fallen upon a man who has since passed away. We may never truly know what happened to Janett.
Angela Marie Hammond
In 1990, Angela Hammond started dating Rob Shafer. Two months later, she discovered that she was pregnant, and the pair got engaged. A few months later, the couple went to a cookout, then went their separate ways, planning to meet up again that night. An hour and a half later, Angela called Rob from a pay phone at the local grocery store. She was exhausted and wanted to go home rather than meet up again. While they were on the phone, a pickup truck started circling the lot. Angela was unsettled, especially when the driver climbed out the truck and approached her phone booth. Rob heard Angela ask the man if he needed the phone; he then heard Angela scream and the phone clatter against the side of the booth. Rob raced out to his car, and drove to the grocery store pay phones. He soon spotted a truck driving in the opposite direction, and as he passed heard Angela screaming out from the vehicle. Rob made a hard U-turn and gave chase for about a mile–but then his car's transmission gave out.
The story may sound suspicious, but it soon became clear that Rob was telling the truth. Despite his description of the truck, and Angela’s description of the man, passed on to Rob over the phone, neither Angela nor her abductor have never been found. Her story was featured on Unsolved Mysteries but still has seen no resolution.
Camden Sylvia and Michael Sullivan
On November 7, 1997, Camden Sylvia and Michael Sullivan went out for an evening jog in Manhattan. They were never heard from again. Sylvia’s mother tried to get ahold of the couple, and even went into their loft to check in. Everything in the apartment was in normal condition, with the movie the couple planned to watch that night still sitting on their coffee table. Investigators were left stumped.
It was later revealed that the couple had issues with their landlord, Robert Rodriguez. Rodriguez wanted to increase the rent for the couple’s apartment and threatened to shut off their heat if they didn’t comply. Rodriguez briefly disappeared during the investigation. He hired a lawyer to defend him upon returning to the city–it is believed that he retreated to his upstate property for the duration of the active investigation.
Rodriguez eventually served time in prison for identity theft and tax fraud. To this day, Rodriguez denies any involvement with the couple’s disappearance, and neither Sylvia or Sullivan have been found.
Abigail Williams and Liberty German
On February 13, 2017, Abigail Williams and Liberty German were dropped off by Liberty’s older sister at an abandoned railway near a hiking path in Delphi, Indiana. The two girls promised to meet with a family member near a bridge later on that day, but the duo never showed up.
At first the police didn’t expect any foul play, but the girls’ bodies were found the next day about half a mile away from the bridge. The only lead investigators had were Snapchat uploads of the girls walking along the railroad, and an unidentified man approaching them. The last thing that remains from their encounter is a chilling audio clip of the man saying, “Down the hill.”
Several arrests have been made, but none of the suspects could be conclusively connected to the murder. The identity of the man who was on the hiking trail with the girls still remains unknown.
On December 14, 1991, ten-year-old Jerome Cantet told his mother, Dominique, that he was going to step out and get her a gift for Christmas at the Les Quatre Temps shopping center in Paris, France. They agreed to meet in 30 minutes at the top of the escalators, but he never returned.
Later on that evening, Dominique informed the police that her son was missing. When the cops investigated the scene, all they found was Jerome’s skateboard. According to the report, Jerome had apparently gotten into a car and vanished.
To make things all the more disturbing, Dominique got a phone call two months later from someone she believed was her son saying, “Mum, mum I am going to die. He hits me, come and get me.” Jerome was never found, and his case still remains unsolved.
Jill Dando was a huge television personality in the U.K. during the 1990s. Perhaps ironically, she was best known for her hosting gig with BBC’s Crimewatch. On April 26, 1999, when Dando was entering her home in London, she was shot in the head. Her body was discovered a few minutes later by her neighbor Helen Doble; Dando was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.
After investigating, the police arrested a local man named Barry George, who was later convicted and was sentenced to life in prison. But it turned out that George didn’t commit the crime, and was subsequently released from jail. Dando’s case was reopened soon thereafter.
From a crazy fan to Balkan hitmen, there are tons of theories surrounding Dando’s grisly murder. In a recent documentary, a detective on Dando’s case said her case “will never be solved.”
Featured photo: Justice For Erik Stirling Cross / Facebook