40 Years After Couple's Murder, Their Baby Is Still Missing

Female named Hollie Marie by her parents would be closing in on 42 now
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 12, 2022 10:40 AM CST
1980 Murder Victims IDed, but Where Is Their Baby?
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/KatarzynaBialasiewicz)

Harold Dean Clouse gathered up his wife, Tina Gail Linn, and new baby, Hollie Marie, and moved from Florida to Texas, with a promise of a well-paying job as a carpenter. "I can take better care of Tina and the baby," Clouse's mother recalls him saying. Instead, the couple were murdered soon after their arrival in Houston in 1980. The remains of the 21-year-old Clouse and 17-year-old Linn were discovered in January 1981, but they wouldn't be identified until late last year, per the Houston Chronicle. Clouse's sister, Debbie Brooks, recalls getting the call from a genealogist who'd tracked her down once Clouse's DNA was uploaded to GEDmatch.com. Brooks explained the woman found with Clouse was probably his wife, which DNA from relatives confirmed. One question remained: Where was Hollie?

As Clouse's mother, Donna Casasanta, recalls, Clouse stopped writing home in late 1980, months before a person called offering to drive his car back to Florida from California for $1,000. Three women in robes appeared with the vehicle, saying the couple had joined a religious group and were cutting ties. Clouse had previously joined a cult, Brooks tells the Chronicle, so the story didn't seem out of character. But "we started searching and searching," Casasanta says. The couple's names were added to missing persons lists. Then years stretched into decades. It wasn't until July 2011 that Harris County authorities exhumed the bodies of the man who'd been beaten to death and the woman who'd been strangled, then left in a wooded area, to retrieve DNA.

A break came a decade later, when genetic genealogy group Identifinders International took up the case, per a release. "We've taken it very hard," says Casasanta. Still, "I hope we can find [Hollie]." That's a challenge as, if alive, she's probably unaware of her true identity. The hope, however, is that someone who remembers the couple will be able to provide some information about their child, who'd be nearing the age of 42. Carol Schweitzer of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children adds "a missing infant that was abducted to be raised by their abductor, or a child abducted by their non-custodial family member … could be resolved with a lead generated by genealogy efforts." (Such efforts might also be used in the JonBenet Ramsey case.)

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