In 1981, a couple was found dead in a forest in Texas. They had been brutally murdered, but their baby girl was still to be found. She was nicknamed Baby Holly. Her family held out hopes of finding their young relative, but no luck was had. This was 40 years ago, but thanks to some modern-day science, Baby Holly was found as an adult. The missing baby case came to a close, while the investigation of her parent’s murder continued.
'BABY HOLLY MARIE' FOUND | Missing for more than 40 years, the daughter of a murdered couple has been found alive and well, according to investigators. @xmanwalton— KHOU 11 News Houston (@KHOU) June 9, 2022
Read more: https://t.co/bEErWm47HW pic.twitter.com/NMjswWJDTI
Missing baby found 40 years later
Donna Casasanta is Holly’s grandmother, biologically. Her son was Harold Dean Clouse Jr. As it turns out, Holly was found on her son’s birthday. The independent conducted an interview with Donna. She was overjoyed at finding her granddaughter and called it a heavenly gift. She had prayed and prayed for the return of her grandchild, and her prayers were answered. “I prayed for more than 40 years for answers and the Lord has revealed some of it… we have found Holly,” said Donna.
Donna had feared for her granddaughter’s safety and hoped against all odds that she was cared for. “I was crying for joy because we’ve all been praying that we would find her and she would be okay – and she’d had a family that took care of her and raised her proper … we were very glad for that.” Holly had been adopted by a loving family, who are reportedly not suspects in the murder case
Only a few hours after having been identified, Holly was on a Zoom meeting with her biological family. Her aunt, Cheryl Clouse, said: “It was so exciting to see Holly. I was so happy to meet her for the first time. It is such a blessing to be reassured that she is alright and has had a good life. The whole family slept well last night.”
Her parents were murdered
Tina Gail Linn Clouse and her husband, Harold Dean Clouse Jr went missing in 1981 along with their baby, Holly Clouse. They were presumed dead, but their bodies were never found – or so everyone thought.
As it turned out, the bodies of a couple were found murdered in a forest, but at the time their identity was a mystery. They remained as a John and Jane Dow for many years. In 2021, the bodies of these unknown people were exhumed. A company called Identifinders International conducted a few tests using genetic genealogy. They had success because they were identified as Tina and Harold Clouse who had been murdered in 1981. The missing baby was still a mystery to the investigators. At least until she was found this year.
At the time, the only thing that the investigators had on the case was how the couple had been murdered. They knew that Tina had been strangled, while her husband was beaten to death.
Holly was dropped off at a church
After some investigation, the authorities found out that Holly had been dropped off at a church in Arizona. Her deliverers were two young women who were barefoot and wearing white robes. The claimed to be a part of a nomadic religious group.
“They indicated the beliefs of their religion included the separation of male and female members, practicing vegetarian habits and not using or wearing leather goods,” said Brent Webster, the First Assistant Attorney General of Texas.
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children released a statement on behalf of Holly. They ask for the public to give her space so that she can adjust to this realization of her past. “Holly appreciates all of the support she has received. We request that you give her time and respect her privacy as she process this very personal news about her biological family. We know that the public is anxious to hear directly from Holly but for now we ask for patience and time.”
Keep Reading: ‘America’s Most Wanted’ Started With A Father’s Quest To Solve His Own Son’s Murder Case
- “A baby who went missing after her parents’ death over 40 years ago is found alive.” NPR. Rina Torchinsky. June 10, 2022
- “‘Baby Holly’ who vanished when her parents were murdered in 1980 is found alive 40 years later.” The Independent. Graeme Massie and Sheila Flynn. June 10, 2022.
- “Baby Holly Found After 42 Years. Cult Connected to Her Parents’ Murder?” Missing Kids. Emma Henderson Vaughan. June 9, 2022.