Holly Marie Clouse had last been seen by her family in late 1980. Her parents, Dean and Tina Linn Clouse, were found murdered in Houston with no sign of the infant.
HOUSTON — Missing for more than 40 years, the daughter of a couple found murdered in Houston has been found alive and well, according to investigators. The new Cold Case and Missing Persons Unit with the Texas Attorney General’s Office made the announcement Thursday morning.
It’s a story that KHOU 11’s Xavier Walton reported on in January and one he’s following today.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The video above is from the identities of Dean and Tina Linn Clouse were confirmed using advanced DNA techniques.
A press conference is scheduled for 2:30 pm which can be streamed in the player above, the KHOU 11 app and YouTube channel.
The daughter, Holly Marie Clouse, was found in Oklahoma. She had last been seen by her family in late 1980. Her parents, Dean and Tina Linn Clouse, were found murdered in a rural part of Houston on January 12, 1981 with no sign of the infant.
The couple’s identification was determined earlier this year using advanced DNA techniques underwritten by podcast producer audiochuck.
With the help of counterparts in three states, a search for records of the child, who was born Holly Marie Clouse, by Texas investigators resulted in her surprising discovery.
The investigation into the deaths of Dean and Tina Linn Clouse remains open.
Due to the sensitive nature of the ongoing criminal investigation, additional information about Holly’s childhood and separation from her parents is not available at this time.
The Clouse and Linn families said they would like to thank Texas AG’s Cold Case and Missing Persons Unit, Lewisville Police Department, Harris County Sheriff’s Office, Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, Arizona Attorney General’s Office, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children for the collaborative and coordinated efforts that resulted in their meeting with Holly.
“I am extremely proud of the exceptional work done by my office’s newly formed Cold Case and Missing Persons Unit. My office diligently worked across state lines to uncover the mystery surrounding Holly’s disappearance. We were successful in our efforts to locate her and reunite her with her biological family. ” Texas Attorney General Paxton said.
Holly Marie Clouse is now a mother of five in Oklahoma
“It’s one of the most meaningful things I’ve ever been a part of,” Det. Steve Wheeler, Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, said. “It’s a once in a lifetime thing to play even a small part in reuniting a family after 40 years.”
OAG Senior Counsel Mindy Montford and Det. Craig Holloman with Lewisville Police Department, where the young family went missing, arrived at Holly’s place of employment Tuesday, on what would have been her father’s Ella Dean’s 63rd birthday.
Just hours later, the Oklahoma mother of five was reunited online with her family on both sides.
In an effort to help locate Holly after her parents were identified, FHD Forensics launched the Hope For Holly DNA Project in her honor and became the custodian of the genetic profiles of several of Holly’s family members.
“The whole family slept well last night. The Hope For Holly Project was a success thanks to the Texas Cold Case Unit,” Cheryl Clouse, Holly’s aunt, said.
“I believe Tina is finally resting in peace knowing Holly is reuniting with her family,” Sherry Green, another aunt, said.
Green dreamed of her sister Tina after meeting her long-lost child in the video meeting hosted by Montford and her team.
Founder of FHD Forensics and one of the genealogists involved in identifying Holly’s parents, Allison Peacock praised her family for never giving up.
“They’ve spent the past six months with me digging through records, gathering photos for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s age progression portrait, and documenting memories of Holly and her parents in an effort to help law enforcement,” Peacock said.
“Allison is forever our angel in helping us through this whole heartbreaking experience,” Donna Casasanta, Dean’s mother, said.
“What matters is that Holly was found happy and alive and now knows that she has a huge extended family that has loved her for decades,” Peacock said.
Anyone with information about the disappearance and murder of Dean “Junior” Clouse and his wife, Tina Linn Clouse is asked to contact Sgt. Rachel Kading at the Texas Office of the Attorney General’s Cold Case and Missing Persons Unit at [email protected] gov or 512-936-0742.
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George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism