5 Puzzling Disappearance Cases That Went Cold Before The Tiniest Clues Cracked Them Wide Open

When authorities have investigated every angle and avenue of a missing person’s case without finding answers, sometimes officials have to just call it quits on active searches. It would take too many resources to follow the cold trail. Unfortunately, that typically means the missing person isn’t getting found—but not always.

Sometimes a long-lost clue, a miraculous coincidence, or a deathbed confession takes a flamethrower to a cold case and sends investigators back into the field. Some of the five missing persons and murder cases below were set aside for decades before new information changed everything…

1. Two Jane Does: September 28th, 1995, authorities in New Britain, Connecticut, discovered the body of a teenage girl, right, shot in the back of the head and left behind a music store. A week later, the investigation into her death took a turn.

Forty miles away, police found the body of an older woman in a forest, wrapped in plastic. Authorities struggled to identify both her and the teenager at the music store. In 2011, though, the investigators made crucial leaps in the case with the help of forensics.

Chicago Tribune

Science proved the two bodies were mother and daughter, which lent itself to the idea that the murders were not only linked, but likely carried out by the same killer, who was still at large. Worse, investigators still didn’t know the bodies’ identities.

In 2o14, police officers in New York received a phone call from someone claiming that her relatives, Marcia and teenager Elizabeth Honsch, had gone missing 19 years earlier. The family had been looking for them without getting authorities involved. But now?

Now, the caller suspected Elizabeth’s dad, Robert, might’ve been responsible for their disappearance. He’d claimed in ’95 the family was going to move to Australia. But then they ended up dead, and he ended up living in Ohio under another name—with another family.