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  1. #1
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    CA - Ramona Price, 7, Santa Barbara, 2 Sept 1961

    September 2, 1961, in Santa Barbara California, 7 year old Ramona Price disappeared while walking from her old house (family was moving that day) to her new house. She was seen walking by several witnesses along her route and was last seen by two men by the name of Ray and William Panno (both brothers and sex offenders now deceased). Although there were many suspects and her scent was picked up by bloodhounds, no trace was ever found.

    Less than 2 ½ years later, 3 ½ year old Todd Collett disappeared within a few miles of where Ramona disappeared from. Few clues were ever found and ultimately neither was he. Todd was a twin. I have met with his twin and he did give DNA. Two children in less than 2 ½ years, within about 2 ½ miles of each other, gone.


    I have tried many times over the years to get Santa Barbara Sheriff Dept. to either allow me to look at old files and/or ask them to put those two cases side by side and see how many other similarities there are aside from the obvious. I have had little luck. When I call, they say the damn files don’t even match up. I think they think I am just some crazy old lady who has nothing better to do with my time than be an arm chair detective on a 40 something year old case! I can assure you that the Collett case is somewhat a personal crusade as I am an extended family member of a family member who was directly involved at the time. A bit confusing I know.

    I have tried many times over the years to file these two cases away and just “let it go” as my friends and family have encouraged me to do. However every 4-6 months, I take out the old newspaper clippings and pour over them with a fine tooth comb hoping to see something I may have missed. I guess you could say I have gut instinct that these two cases are related and/or that there is something that these cops are missing. I have tons of information regarding both of these cases so feel free to ask questions and I will answer them as best I can. Any information on how I could get this case in the headlines again, or even what the laws are in California pertaining to the public being allowed to view old police files would be great. I was contacted by a detective soon after I posted my initial post on this site. I did speak to him and he sounded genuinely interested although he never called me back or followed through with me with several questions I had. He said he and a partner had gone over the Price case a few years back and they believed that they had enough information that the Panno brothers had something to do with her disappearance however when I mentioned the similarities of the Collett case, he had no idea who Todd Collett was. Todd disappeared a short time after Ramona and within the same area! I have attempted to get both children on the National Center For Missing and Exploited Children however I was told that only the police department or the family can make this request. I have not attempted to look up the Price family as I do not want to bring up any old wounds and as for the Collett family, although I have met the twin, I do not want to disturb him any longer.

    I am hoping in lieu of this latest case involving Hornbeck/Ownby and the Stayner/White cases that it will bring to light how many other similar cases there are and that although the possibilities of Ramona Price and Todd Collett still being alive today, there is a chance and someone out there knows something. Can someone help me???

  2. #2
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    Oct 2003
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    I found Todd on the Charley Project but not Ramona. (The very sweet and incredibly dedicated Meggilyweggily runs the site.) Here is the info listed on Todd:

    # Missing Since: January 23, 1964 from Santa Barbara County, California
    # Classification: Non-Family Abduction
    # Date Of Birth: March 30, 1960
    # Age: 3 years old
    # Height and Weight: 3'0, 30 pounds
    # Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian male. Blond hair, blue eyes. Collett has a dimple in his left cheek.
    # Clothing/Jewelry Description: A sports shirt, brown corduroy pants and black loafers.

    Details of Disappearance

    Collett was last seen playing near a construction site or vacant building in Santa Barbara County, California on January 23, 1964. He has never been heard from again, although dogs tracked his scent to a nearby highway. Authorities believe Collett may have been abducted by a non-family member. There was a bonfire nearby at around the time he disappeared, but when the ashes were searched no evidence related to his case was found.

    Collett is one of five children. His mother died of cancer in May 2003. The child's case remains unsolved.


    http://www.charleyproject.org/cases/c/collett_todd.html

    Boomgirl72, you've found a great group here - hopefully we can be of some assistance in your quest. Thanks for posting.

    eta: Oh, I see you posted earlier on a thread about Todd. I missed it the first time around!
    Last edited by annemc2; 01-17-2007 at 11:05 PM. Reason: addition

  3. #3
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    May 2006
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    Todd is listed on several web sites but Ramona is only listed in one article from when the cold case dept. was established several years back. She was listed as an "unsolved killing." I have called the dept on several occasions and every time I call, I get different answers pertaining to this case. Sometimes they tell me they have no record of her missing or dead! As if she never existed. I was contacted by one detective and he said he would look into some things but of course, nothing ever came of it. I want Ramona's case posted on all the sites that Todd is on. I want them BOTH listed on the NCMEC. Call it a gut feeling but I believe these cases are connected.
    Last edited by KateB; 04-13-2015 at 07:45 PM. Reason: remove broken font tag.

  4. #4
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    http://websleuths.com/forums/showthr...t=todd+collett

    Bumping up your thread. Link above is just the original thread I created.

  5. #5
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    Another link I found

    http://dojapp.doj.ca.gov/missing/det...=5089327400223


    I wonder what the evidence is that he was abducted by a stranger.

  6. #6
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    Jul 2006
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    Chattanooga, TN
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boomgirl72
    [font=Verdana','sans-serif]Todd is listed on several web sites but Ramona is only listed in one article from when the cold case dept. was established several years back. She was listed as an "unsolved killing." I have called the dept on several occasions and every time I call, I get different answers pertaining to this case. Sometimes they tell me they have no record of her missing or dead! As if she never existed. I was contacted by one detective and he said he would look into some things but of course, nothing ever came of it. I want Ramona's case posted on all the sites that Todd is on. I want them BOTH listed on the NCMEC. Call it a gut feeling but I believe these cases are connected.[/font]
    Maybe a call to one of your local television stations is in order? Media sometimes likes getting ahold of stories like this, and can often get fires lit where ordinary citizens just can't.

    Good luck, and bless you for taking this on!
    Lis

  7. #7
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    May 2006
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    I have thought about that but this is Santa Barbara and not the type of town that likes this type of publicity. I am hoping that the detective that contacted me a few months back after reading my original post here, will follow through with the things we talked about. If all else fails, I just may go to th media. Thanks for the advice and encouragement Lis.

  8. #8
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    Thanks "bones" for the bumping of the thread. I am in the process of answering your question as well.

  9. #9
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    FACTS ON RAMONA PRICE CASE

    On the morning of September 2, 1961 Ramona Irene Price, age 7, told her father she was going to walk to their new home. That day, the Prices’ were moving from a home in Santa Barbara to one located in Goleta, approximately 5 miles away. Her father jokingly said “go to it.” He never saw her again.

    At the time of her disappearance, Ramona Price was 4 ft. tall, 45 lbs. and had a dark pixie style haircut. She was last seen wearing a brown and white pull over sweater, brown pants with fine pin stripes and flip flops.
    Ramona walked from Oak Ave. down Modoc Rd. and towards the entrance of the La Cumbre Country Club; police believe it was there that she disappeared.

    Extensive searches proved fruitless. Bloodhounds hit on several sites although nothing significant ever emerged. One dog did show interest near an old house on a hill in the area and foot steps of a small child and adult were present. The handler said the scent could have been Ramona’s but still for some reason they deemed this information inconclusive because the dogs were not being consistent. The dogs did indicate that her tracks went upward through the Hope Ranch area but went back towards the Country Club ultimately ending in the vicinity.

    Along her route she was spotted by several people. One woman said that she saw Ramona dragging a stick behind her and many people said (foot steps in dirt confirmed this) that she stopped often to remove her sandals as they had pinched her feet. Searchers combed the entire area all the way to the beaches. No trace of her was ever found.

    Several witnesses came forward with similar descriptions of a car. Some people claimed they saw a blue/grey Cadillac or Plymouth. A few people said they saw a man, 60’s, thin face wearing a felt hat obviously interested in Ramona.

    Modoc Rd. was a well known road but was typically only traveled by the locals. Within a few days two men were arrested for failing to register as sex offenders. Their names were Ray and William Panno. These brothers did admit they had been in their car across from the Country Club drinking. Their car fit the description given by witnesses.

    William Panno had spent time in Mendocino State Hospital for molesting a girl in Isla Vista. When the brothers were arrested, their car was confiscated and processed for fingerprint/blood evidence. All tests came up negative.

    The Panno brothers both gave polygraph and sodium pentathol tests. Police were slow to reveal that the tests were deemed inconclusive and later, according to the Newspress, tests indicated they had no knowledge of her whereabouts.

    Two other suspects reported by the Newspress were questioned in Southern California. The first man named Edward Kreutz, 35, was a grave digger from Long Beach. He resembled the sketch and drove a similar car. Authorities found a bat, child’s stalking, and coloring book. He denied being in Santa Barbara at the time of Ramona’s disappearance. He had been living in his car for the past 3 weeks. Blood and hair found on the bat was said to be that belonging to a dog.

    The second suspect from down South reported in the local paper was a man named Charles Deubert Jr. 34, of San Diego. He was arrested on a suspected DUI and fit the composite and make of car. I assume he was cleared although I have no other info on this.

    Police apparently excluded a blue Plymouth found abandon in the Santa Barbara Mountains saying it had nothing to do with this case. I know nothing further on this incident or what made law enforcement come to this conclusion.

    A few weeks after Ramona’s disappearance Ventura Authorities reported a blue and white Plymouth 1953-1954 watching children playing near Meirner’s Oaks but the man left the scene before law enforcement could investigate.

    In several articles a man named Morton Ortiz of San Francisco was wanted for questioning, due to his resemblance of the sketch and car. It is unclear whether or not authorities ever questioned him.

    On August 1, 1966 a man by the name of Mark Williams 20, was arrested on suspicion of car theft. He told cops that he killed a girl on Goleta Beach. Police said they had no reports of a missing girl and believed his “confession” was a hoax. HELLO! Williams later recanted his statement. Interestingly Williams’ home was literally within “a rocks throw” to the Prices new home.

  10. #10
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    Facts on Todd Collett Case

    On January 23, 1964 Todd Eugene Collett vanished without a trace. He was last seen wearing a white shirt and light beige corduroy pants. Todd had a big scar that went from this upper chest to his stomach due to a surgery following an accident. A car had apparently run over him in a driveway. The car also ran over his head and I believe he had a lazy eye and had a tendency to fall asleep randomly after the accident.

    On this day Todd, his twin brother Travis and a friend Greg (all about 4yrs old) were playing at the corner of Hollister Road and Turnpike Rd in Santa Barbara. There were shopping centers being constructed and the boys knew they weren’t to cross the street and enter the construction site. However, Todd being the curious one of the bunch headed toward the dirt embankments. Greg followed and Travis stayed back.

    About twenty minutes had gone by when Greg’s mother saw her son across the street. She angrily crossed the street to get her son and brought him back home. When she returned home, she asked where Todd was. Greg was saying something about a bulldozer and a fire. Greg indicated that Todd might have gone over the Turnpike overpass. The demolition fires burned for four hours before they were extinguished and all wells and septic systems were combed for days.

    Dogs picked up Todd’s scent in the neighborhood around the railroad tracks and did indicate that Todd had traveled over the Turnpike overpass. Neighbors reported a mysterious bearded stranger in the area within the same time frame that Todd disappeared. He had a black beard, light skin and piercing green eyes. He was wearing a navy blue blazer with an insignia “New Zealand” on the front. Witnesses said he spoke good English but had an accent. The witnesses said that their children were playing in the front yard when they spotted the man walking up to the children. He approached the door asking for directions to the new houses. At this time, the neighborhood Todd lived in and the ones surrounding it were brand new. Todd’s neighborhood was completely surrounded by new homes being constructed as well as a big shopping center across the street. The women pointed him to the direction that Todd was last seen. The man made the women so uneasy that they brought their children indoors. They thought nothing of the incident until they later heard of Todd’s disappearance.

    Within a few days after Todd disappeared, Mrs. Collett received a call at 5am by a man claiming that the boy was OK in Collegeville, near Stockton close to an unkempt road by the railroad tracks. He told her it was near the intersection of Highway 99 with Route 4. San Joaquin County Sheriffs were called and verified that there was a small grocery store at that intersection. A woman who lived within a visual distance said at 5:30 that morning she saw a man working on an older car and heard a child crying from the back seat. She apparently gave cops a description of a blond haired boy with blue eyes, light shirt and brown corduroys. My question is how did she know his eyes were blue? Was she face to face with him?

    A second call came from the same man the following day stating that he was in Keystone, south of Stockton and was heading toward La Grange and the mountains on Highway 132 with the boy. Sheriff in those counties apparently put up road blocks but never found anyone.

    The caller said in the second phone call that the man who had the boy was getting nervous and might hurt him if police got to close. A third call came from this same person stating that the boy was safe in a cabin near Merced Falls. Before police tracked him down, he made a fourth call to Mrs. Collett telling her that the boy was beside a canal 13 miles south of Bakersfield, a mile west of Highway 99. Apparently Kern County Sheriff admitted there was such a place, they found nothing there. I wonder if they checked for freshly turned dirt, odd rock formations, tire tracks etc…

    Authorities tracked down the caller in Los Angeles. The News press reported his name to be Aloys Anthony Dietman, 63, of Hollywood. Although after a few hours of research, I believe his name was misprinted and that his name was John Aloyes Dieteman. He was a WWI and II veteran who claimed to have invented a ‘finding device’. Authorities said it was a machine he built with dials and needles. The man said he would use intricate maps and had luck over 27 years of finding people with it. Cops recorded their interview (I have asked the detectives if they still have these tapes and they have yet to get back to me on this). Cops put no merit to Dietmans’ claims or ‘finding machine’ but neighbors who knew him believed he did possess some sort of gift or ‘receptive powers’.

    It is interesting to note that the news-press reported a day later that indeed when Dietman called about the boy being in Merced, the cops did find a man in a small car who had been a patient in a mental hospital. Cops claim that they feel he had no connection. I wonder were the Panno Brothers were at this time…

    Another man in the Goleta area named Franklin Gaskell who lived close by the Collets’ said he had worked with ESP for many years and would help out any way he could. I wonder if he was checked by cops.

    There just seems to be a lot of unanswered questions and a lot of possibilities that may or may not have been looked into. Any thoughts?



  11. #11
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    I would also like to add another odd chapter to this story. In 2001 when I began to dig deeper into the Collett case, I was attending my local community college. I wasn't one for being social and was not really there to make friends. One day while I was waiting for a class, a student that was in several other classes of mine approached me as I was reading through the Collett files. She asked me what I was doing and for some reason I just blurted out the whole story from the beginning of when my sister in law first told me the story over 10 years before. She looked at me with a shocked expression and said, “you’re not going to believe this but my family was friends with the Colletts!' She went on to tell me that her mother used to babysit Todd and Travis. She said Mrs. Collett had dropped the boys off at her house the day before Todd disappeared. Apparently, Todd pitched a fit and didn't want to stay, so Mrs. Collett only left Travis. She told me that she even had a picture of Travis and her sister sitting on the front porch of her home from that day. Sure enough, the following day she brought me a copy.

    She also said that her dad's best friend (Manuel) was in the custody of the Santa Barbara County Jail and was working on the chain gang kiddy corner from where Todd was last seen on that day. He and some other guys had been working in a field when he noticed a small child on the corner. He said that he saw a man pull up along side of the child, go around the front of the car and open up the passenger side door and put the child in the car. He then walked in front of the car, got in, and proceeded to drive up over the Turnpike overpass which is where Greg and the bloodhounds had indicated he had gone. Apparently at the time, Manuel didn't think anything of it as he thought it was the child's father until he was later informed of the incident. When I asked my friend if she was aware that Manual had ever filed an official report with the sheriff regarding this issue or had given any other details about the car or the man, she said she didn't know and that he had since died. I questioned her father and he could not remember any other details. I was also curious to know if any other inmates had seen anything out of the ordinary.

    I found it utterly amazing that despite how unsociable I was at school, that not only did I feel the need to spill my guts out to an acquaintance but that she had 2 separate ties to this case. As I said previously in my posts, my sister in law and I met Travis and we all had a meeting with the cold case detective in charge a few years back. I asked the detective if there were any reports that Manual had indeed reported this that and the detective's response was that he didn't know but "would look into it."

    There are a few other odd and strange things to this saga that I will post in the near future. Thanks for listening….
    Last edited by KateB; 04-13-2015 at 07:46 PM. Reason: remove broken font tags.

  12. #12
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    Ramona Price

    I knew Ramona Price. We were in the same Sunday school class together. I vividly remember the Sunday before she disappeared, she had reminded the teacher that it was someone's birthday and we needed to sing happy birthday.

    The next Sunday it was a very disturbing class, the two teachers kept speaking in whispers and there was a very somber mood. My mother told me what had happened -- all I could think of was the sweet little girl reminding us we needed to sing happy birthday.

    In January 1970, when I was in high school, there was an article in the Santa Barbara News-Press about unsolved mysteries of the 1960s, and there was a picture of Ramona with pigtails (I don't remember her with pigtails, she had
    shorter hair when I knew her). That was the last I had heard of her till now, but I was always haunted by her disappearance and by not knowing what had happened to her.

  13. #13
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    I can't believe that any parent would allow their 7 year old child to walk 5 miles alone. I was 5 years old back in 1961 and my parents would have never let me walk that far alone. I think it's very strange her father told her it was ok. I think some pedophile kidnapped her and killed her.

  14. #14
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    Ramona Price

    Her father thought she was kidding when she said "I am going to walk to the new house." So he jokingly said, "Go to it!" When he realized that she was gone (about a half hour) he spead along the route that she walked. She was seen by several people and her scent was picked up by dogs. Then, she vanished.

  15. #15
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