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View Full Version : Found Deceased NY - JoAnn Nichols: school teacher, 55, Poughkeepsie, 21 Dec 1985


Richard
12-12-2005, 12:58 PM
Twenty Years ago....

JoAnn Nichols
Missing since December 21, 1985 from Poughkeepsie, Dutchess County, New York.
Classification: Endangered Missing
Case updated on: April 25, 2005
Vital Statistics
Date Of Birth: June 4, 1930
Age at Time of Disappearance: 55 years old
Height and Weight at Time of Disappearance: 5'7"; 140 lbs.
Distinguishing Characteristics: White female. Blue eyes; blonde hair.
Dentals: Dental records are on file.
Other: Fingerprints are on file.

Circumstances of Disappearance
Nichols was last seen on December 21, 1985 in Poughkeepsie, NY. Her husband discovered his wife had missed a hair appointment at a local beauty parlor and notified police. The day after her disappearance, the couple's car was found in the parking lot of the former 9 Mall Shopping Center on South Road. The doors were locked and no trace of Nichols was found. In addition, none of her personal belongings were missing. Her banking and credit card records turned up nothing.

A despondent note was left on the Nichols' home computer. Nichols had become depressed in May 1982, when she lost her only child in a drowning accident.
Police looked into whether Nichols may have committed suicide or simply run away. But after searching nearby waterways, which were already frozen, found no evidence.
Nichols, a first-grade teacher at Gayhead Elementary School, taught in the Wappingers school district for 22 years. She only had to complete her dissertation to receive a doctorate in education from Louisiana State University.

Detective Herman of the Poughkeepsie, NY Police Department feels there is someone with knowledge of the disappearance of Joann. They should come forward and clear their mind. It is very important how we start our lives, but more important how we finish it.
Note: Height and Weight at Time of Disappearance was verified by NY State Police on 4/25/05.

Investigators
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Poughkeepsie Town Police Detective Herman 845-485-3666

NCIC Number: M-179357074
Please refer to this number when contacting any agency with information regarding this case.

Source Information
Poughkeepsie Journal
The Doe Network: Case File 1295DFNY

Link::
http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/1295dfny.html

Richard
01-17-2011, 01:59 AM
This unsolved case is now 25 years old.

CatFancier
06-29-2013, 02:54 PM
Town of Poughkeepsie house where woman missing since 1985 used to live yields human remains, police say

http://www.dailyfreeman.com/content/articles/2013/06/29/blotter/doc51cf1882155c0547068014.jpg

http://www.dailyfreeman.com/articles/2013/06/29/blotter/doc51cf1882155c0547068014.txt

meanmaryjean
06-29-2013, 03:02 PM
Wow- a sealed container behind a false wall? That pretty much rules out accidental death....

mikkismom
06-30-2013, 10:48 AM
VIDEO: Discovery of human remains may end cold case

http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/article/20130630/NEWS05/306300071/Discovery-of-human-remains-may-end-cold-case

Neighbors on 'hoarder': 'We all said he did it'

http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/article/20130630/NEWS01/306300070/Neighbors-on-hoarder-We-all-said-he-did-it-

Richard
06-30-2013, 04:20 PM
It has been over 27 years now since JoAnn went missing. Looks like the case may be solved if these remains turn out to be hers.

The now deceased husband would appear to be the primary suspect. From information available, it would seem that he was about six bricks short of a full load.

mikkismom
07-01-2013, 12:43 PM
Body believed to be woman missing since 1985 found in Poughkeepsie

http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=news/local/northern_suburbs&id=9158084

Jmoose
07-01-2013, 12:59 PM
It has been over 27 years now since JoAnn went missing. Looks like the case may be solved if these remains turn out to be hers.

The now deceased husband would appear to be the primary suspect. From information available, it would seem that he was about six bricks short of a full load.

It would certainly be some bizarre coincidence if the remains turn out to be those of any other person!

CatFancier
07-01-2013, 08:17 PM
Remains ID'd as Poughkeepsie woman missing since 1985

http://www.dailyfreeman.com/articles/2013/07/01/blotter/doc51d21ab53fd81203250478.txt

CatFancier
07-01-2013, 09:39 PM
VIDEOS: JoAnn Nichols suffered head wound, police say

Blunt force trauma to the head was the apparent cause of death for a Town of Poughkeepsie woman assumed missing for 28 years, according to town police.

http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/article/20130701/NEWS01/130701011/VIDEOS-JoAnn-Nichols-suffered-head-wound-police-say?odyssey=mod%7Cbreaking%7Ctext%7CPoughkeepsieJo urnal.com

floridamomma
07-01-2013, 09:42 PM
her only child died, how sad... i hope she receives a proper burial. finally.

DPR4444
07-02-2013, 02:16 PM
interesting longer article:


Remains in wall identified as New York woman missing since 1985

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/07/02/remains-in-wall-identified-as-new-york-woman-missing-since-185/


"Jeannie Foster, 71, a longtime friend of the couple, told the Journal she never suspected James Nichols in his wife's disappearance. She described JoAnne as down-to-earth and a delight to be with. But she said James was odd and once showed guests the frozen carcass of a pet cat he kept in a basement freezer."

Fin
07-02-2013, 03:32 PM
27 years...wow.

Interesting that a long time friend never suspected the husband in the wife's disappearance...

The husband kept a frozen carcass of a cat in the freezer in the past?

http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/Remains+walled+basement+identified+woman+missing+s ince+1985/8605983/story.html

Ufgator
07-02-2013, 04:40 PM
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2353794/Skeleton-sealed-plastic-container-false-wall-New-York-home-identified-woman-disappeared-nearly-30-years-ago-missing-hair-appointment.html

Sounds like most of the neighbors thought he was responsible. Sadly, looks like none of the family helped with burial.

cocomod
07-02-2013, 07:58 PM
Another article with basically the same information. This sentence really struck a sad note with me
She never left her home in Poughkeepsie. She was most likely killed there, buried there and forgotten there.




http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/03/nyregion/answer-to-a-1985-disappearance-is-found-behind-a-false-wall.html?smid=fb-share&_r=0

This article says that HIS body was not ever claimed. I hope that her family will bury her when her remains are released. It sounds like she still has family that do care about her. Now they know that she did not commit suicide as they previously were lead to believe.

carbuff
07-02-2013, 08:56 PM
Another article: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/human-remains-found-hidden-n-y-home-id-article-1.1387910

Says pretty much the same as the others.

Ada
07-02-2013, 09:05 PM
A despondent note was left on the Nichols' home computer. Nichols had become depressed in May 1982, when she lost her only child in a drowning accident.

They had a home computer in 1982-85?

ArianeEmory
07-02-2013, 09:07 PM
They had a home computer in 1982-85?

(We did.)

Ada
07-02-2013, 09:10 PM
(We did.)

That's astonishing, but, they say things are slower down here. It was 92-93 before I even saw a personal computer, and, that belonged to a college professor and was kept in his on-campus office.

carbuff
07-02-2013, 09:11 PM
They had a home computer in 1982-85?

We did. Of course we worked for a leading-edge computer company.

danzn16
07-02-2013, 09:41 PM
28 years later, body found behind false wall
http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/02/justice/new-york-body-false-wall/index.html

On CNN as well. Said her hands were tied together with a rope. Poor woman :(


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Ray_of_hope
07-02-2013, 11:52 PM
http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/02/justice/new-york-body-false-wall/index.html?hpt=hp_t2
I hope the authorities also check out their son's death. I read that he drowned, but the circumstances were not explained. MOO

starry1
07-03-2013, 12:24 AM
Their son drowned while riding an amphibious vehicle somewhere down in the south.

danzn16
07-03-2013, 01:28 AM
Their son drowned while riding an amphibious vehicle somewhere down in the south.

A what???


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Nameless Helper
07-03-2013, 08:32 AM
her only child died, how sad... i hope she receives a proper burial. finally.


I have to say this raises questions about the sons death, but I can't find anything on it!

Nameless Helper
07-03-2013, 08:34 AM
27 years...wow.

Interesting that a long time friend never suspected the husband in the wife's disappearance...

The husband kept a frozen carcass of a cat in the freezer in the past?

http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/Remains+walled+basement+identified+woman+missing+s ince+1985/8605983/story.html

And the Golden Retriever after the dog died. As well as driving around with a "dummy" . . .

Nameless Helper
07-03-2013, 08:38 AM
We did. Of course we worked for a leading-edge computer company.

He worked for IBM -- but does that mean that she knew how to use it. . .[not to be sexist but who had the IT knowledge]

Nameless Helper
07-03-2013, 08:40 AM
Their son drowned while riding an amphibious vehicle somewhere down in the south.

Do you have the reference article?

TootsieFootsie
07-03-2013, 09:57 AM
Family, friends suspected worst in JoAnn Nichols' disappearance

http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/article/20130702/NEWS01/307020020/nichols-poughkeepsie-missing-remains

Mitsana
07-03-2013, 10:10 AM
I absolutely believe he did it (and would investigate the death of the son). I've read on this thread that the body's hands were tied and and the COD was blunt force trauma, and if those are true, it's hard to believe anything else. But if those reports aren't true and it turned out she did of suicide or natural causes, then I would believe that he would cover it up and keep the body.

IMO: He was clearly pathological in his need to keep things. It's even possible he murdered her and kept the body because she simply wanted to leave him. In this case, he need not be angry at her and he may have still loved her (in his own peculiar way). That could be why the friend did not suspect anything... there might not have been any of the usual drama or contention seen before a domestic fatality. It also accounts for his driving around with the dummy as a substitute for her, since driving around with the actual body would have practical issues.

JaxFlaGal
07-03-2013, 07:21 PM
He worked for IBM -- but does that mean that she knew how to use it. . .[not to be sexist but who had the IT knowledge]
If she was a schoolteacher, I'd not be surprised at all that / if she knew how to use one in that period. There were computer classrooms in the early 80s throughout the nation, though most were Apple IIs or TRS-80 systems. Of course, I'd not be surprised either if he'd faked the note.

Sad story, I hope her family has some closure now.

danzn16
07-03-2013, 07:27 PM
What note are you guys talking about on a computer? I haven't seen that in the articles I've looked at

Ausgirl
07-03-2013, 10:00 PM
Mitsana has pretty much summed up what I had to say on this.. good post, and I agree 100%.

Poor JoAnn. Rest in peace at last.

starry1
07-03-2013, 10:26 PM
Do you have the reference article?

I'm on my phone or I'd snip the paragraph for you.

http://www.lohud.com/article/20130701/NEWS/307010069/Remains-missing-schoolteacher-found-home-ID-d

starry1
07-03-2013, 11:45 PM
I absolutely believe he did it (and would investigate the death of the son). I've read on this thread that the body's hands were tied and and the COD was blunt force trauma, and if those are true, it's hard to believe anything else. But if those reports aren't true and it turned out she did of suicide or natural causes, then I would believe that he would cover it up and keep the body.

IMO: He was clearly pathological in his need to keep things. It's even possible he murdered her and kept the body because she simply wanted to leave him. In this case, he need not be angry at her and he may have still loved her (in his own peculiar way). That could be why the friend did not suspect anything... there might not have been any of the usual drama or contention seen before a domestic fatality. It also accounts for his driving around with the dummy as a substitute for her, since driving around with the actual body would have practical issues.


Also the article I just posted says that the vehicle the son was killed in was kept on the property.

JaxFlaGal
07-13-2013, 04:39 PM
Interview with the original investigator:
http://www.lakewyliepilot.com/2013/07/03/1966829/neighbors-near-womans-bone-find.html


James Nichols was a loner, detached and anti-social. Neighbors saw him as odd, someone who would stare into space or sit in his car to read the newspaper. One remembers seeing him driving around with a mannequin in the passenger seat.

Retired Poughkeepsie Detective Capt. Charles Mittelstaedt, who ran the investigation nearly three decades ago, saw more.

"There was no doubt in my mind that he knew where his wife was," Mittelstaedt said Wednesday. "The man was cold. I mean, seriously cold."

Nichols, an IBM retiree, reported his wife missing on Dec. 21, 1985. In December, he died of natural causes at the age of 82. When a contractor was hired to clean out the debris-choked house at 720 Vassar Road last week, workers found JoAnn Nichols' skeletal remains in a container behind a false wall. Officials said she died from a blow to the head.

Mittelstaedt said investigators had never searched the house because they didn't have legal grounds to get a warrant.

Nichols told detectives their marriage was fine, Mittelstaedt said. Police characterized a note left on her computer as depressed, but not suicidal. Their only child, a son, drowned a couple years earlier at age of 25.


Mittelstaedt, the retired detective, never let the case go.
"I remember the case like it happened yesterday because every time I drove past her house, I wondered if she was in there," he said.
"It's just a sin that he got away with it all these years," he said. "I probably shouldn't say this because it's not politically correct, but I hope he rots in hell."

Also a video interview w/Mittelstaedt here: http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/article/20130704/NEWS01/307040023/VIDEOS-Detective-Nichols-was-cold-callous (http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/article/20130704/NEWS01/307040023/VIDEOS-Detective-Nichols-was-cold-callous)

nao
07-14-2013, 02:32 PM
Two weeks before her disappearance, James Nichols said his wife was having dizzy spells at work and claimed her school district was a “villain that pushed her over the brink,” the Journal reported.

On Dec. 4, 1985, Gayhead Principal Bernard McGovern told JoAnn Nichols he was concerned with her problems walking in a straight line and referred her to the school district doctor, who told her to see a neurologist. She never made it to her appointment with the neurologist on Jan. 6.

http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/article/20130702/news01/307020021/proarts-detailed-joann-nichols-disappearance

wonder if that was DV related or a medical issue ? JMO MOO

Fin
09-02-2013, 09:54 PM
Is it for certain that the remains have been identified as Joann? The ONLY reason I ask is that yesterday, to my dismay, I found her namus profile up and active on namus. I found that to be weird. Thoughts?

Roselvr
09-03-2013, 08:18 AM
Is it for certain that the remains have been identified as Joann? The ONLY reason I ask is that yesterday, to my dismay, I found her namus profile up and active on namus. I found that to be weird. Thoughts?

Someone screwed up. JoAnn Nichols NamUs (https://www.findthemissing.org/en/cases/10290/0/)
I contacted Lori

Roselvr
09-03-2013, 09:15 AM
Lori contacted LE & is waiting for a reply.

Roselvr
09-06-2013, 09:47 AM
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