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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2005

    Tiffany Jennifer Papesh (8) - Maple Heights OH, 1980

    Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
    Missing Since: June 13, 1980 from Maple Heights, Ohio
    Classification: Non-Family Abduction
    Date Of Birth: July 2, 1971
    Age: 8 years old
    Height and Weight: 4'0, 58 pounds
    Distinguishing Characteristics: Brown hair, blue eyes. Papesh has a gap between her upper front teeth and facial dimples. She has a scar on her right knee. Her ears are pierced. Some agencies spell Papesh's name "Tiffiny." Her nickname is T. J.
    Clothing Description: Shorts, sneakers, and a red t-shirt that read "Let's face it, I'm cute."

    Details of Disappearance
    Papesh was last seen inside the Convenient Food Mart in her hometown of Maple Heights, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland, on June 13, 1980. Papesh purchased hamburger buns at the store and left at approximately 2:45 p.m. that afternoon. She disappeared while en route to her family's residence which was half a block away. Papesh has never been heard from again. The search for her began at 3:00 p.m., when she had not returned home.

    Papesh's father was at work at the time of her disappearance; he was cleared as a suspect in her case early in the investigation. Papesh's stepmother, who had raised her since she was four years old, passed a polygraph and was also cleared.

    Brandon Lee Flagner, who changed his name from Chico Virgilio Tenorio, confessed to Papesh's rape, murder and dismemberment in a 1983 letter sent from where he was imprisoned in Texas to the Federal Bureau Of Investigation (FBI), three years after her disappearance. He also told at least two other people, both ministers, about the alleged murder. He mentioned the scar on Papesh's knee, which was not generally known to the public at the time.

    Flagner gave several conflicting statements about how he killed Papesh. He later retracted his confessions, claiming he only wrote the letters because he was about to be released from prison and wanted to stay for treatment. He was nonetheless convicted of two counts of aggravated murder and one count of kidnapping in June 1985. Flagner was sentenced to life in prison for Papesh's murder and twenty-five years for the kidnapping.

    Flagner became actively involved in the search for Papesh very shortly after she became missing. He offered to sell t-shirts with Papesh's picture on them to raise awareness of her case. After her disappearance, he asked his wife and brother to destroy a metal box which was in the trunk of his car. The box contained, among other things, some children's clothing.

    It is worth noting that many people believe Flagner to be innocent of involvement in Papesh's case. His time card shows that he was at work at Sta-Co 55 miles away from Maple Heights, up until half an hour before Papesh's disappearance on June 13. Some have suggested that one of Flagner's co-workers stamped his time-card for him, but all of his fellow employees denied doing so. His employer says that while no one remembered seeing Flagner at work that day, the production line needed five people, Flagner included, to function properly.

    Flagner, who converted to Orthodox Judaism while in prison, was convicted in Papesh's case largely because of his confession and because he has a criminal record for child molestation; he says he has molested over 400 young girls, a claim most investigators believe is exaggerated. He remains in prison, but investigators in Papesh's case and many members of her own family do not believe Flagner was the responsible party. Papesh's remains have never been located.

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