02-24-2009, 04:14 PM #1Registered User
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- Feb 2009
NY - Antonella Mattina, 12, Queens, 16 July 1984
The case of Antonella Mattina has weighed on my mind over the years. I remember when she disappeared from Queens,NY in 1984. I remember seeing her family pleas for help in locating her, on the local news. I do not however remember ever hearing if they found out how she disappered or who murdered her. I have not been able to locate much info about her on the internet. The following two links are all I have ever been able to find. One link talks briefly about her disapperance, the other when her body was found three years later, in 1987, over 50 miles from where she disappeared. I often wondered what happened to this poor young girl
Last edited by Cubby; 09-07-2010 at 03:06 PM.
09-07-2010, 01:56 PM #2Registered User
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09-07-2010, 02:27 PM #3
I don't have a subscription to this news archiver. Perhaps someone here does and will be along to tell us what it says.
Teen Tied to Suspect, Missing Girl
Dec 16, 1987
09-07-2010, 03:05 PM #4
Girl Who Disappeared in 1984 Is Found Dead
By JOHN T. McQUISTON
Published: December 1, 1987
The remains of a 12-year-old Queens girl who disappeared on July 16, 1984, after going to a Flushing bank to make a deposit for her parents, were found on Thanksgiving in a shallow grave in Yorktown, N.Y., the authorities reported last night.
Identification of the girl, Antonella Mattina, was confirmed yesterday
full article at link
A grandfather is someone with silver in his hair and gold in his heart. ~Author Unknown
Long Lost Love - Discovery ID - Disappeared - Bob Harrod Case
You can now purchase Mr. Harrod's Disappeared episode through Amazon, iTunes or YouTube.
10-16-2010, 10:33 AM #5Registered User
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07-27-2012, 10:06 AM #6
NY - 2 unsolved murders of 13 yr olds - Antonella Mattina & Christine Deifenbach
On or about July, 1982, 13 year old Antonella Mattina left her Flushing home to bring a deposit to a Citibank for her father's business. She never came back. Several years later her body was found on an off side lot on the Taconic Parkway.
Feb, 1988 - 13 yr old Christine Deifenbach left her home in Richmond Hill, NY to get a newspaper at Jamaica Avenue and Lefferts Blvd. She never returned. Her body was found later in a lot adjacent to the LIRR tracks.
Anyone with information on these unsolved murders?
07-27-2012, 01:04 PM #7Registered User
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- Chicago, IL
I don't have any information of my own but found some articles online. Not a ton of info but what I found so far.
07-27-2012, 01:07 PM #8
As of 2006, Christine's was still unsolved. One article I found said she was stomped to death while resisting a rape. Sigh.
07-27-2012, 10:16 PM #9
I remember that day almost as if it was yesterday. My partner and I started a rainy day raiding a home where we believed the homeowner had a machine gun. I don't remember if we found a machine gun but we did get something. Before the morning was over the skies opened up with sunshine. That is when we got the call to go to the Mattina home.
Detective P and I were assigned to the home should a ransom call come in. I remember sitting at the kitchen table with the Pyshic Dorothy Allison. How she got there so fast is still a mystery to me. I put her to the test almost immediately: Tell me the winners of today's Daily Double. She got nothing right by me, but for Richie, she got some things almost to the tee. She even got the name of his sick uncle right and knew he was burdened with the uncle's care.
It was very sad in that house. I still remember the mother running to the bathroom dry heaving on many occasions. The poor woman had nothing left in her body to heave anymore.
We, OK, not me got on a tangent when an anonymous caller called in and maybe said a word of two and hung up. We dumped the phone lines to see who the caller was. What we believed we found was the young nephew of a congressman making the call. He would deny making the call. We then dumped his calls from the phone number we got on the victim's phone. As I remember it there was NO record of a call being made from the suspect's phone. But the bulk of the investigation centered around the alleged caller.
The kid's uncle was a congressman and a lawyer. the congressman gave him the only advice a lawyer that is also an uncle could give him: Shut up. My recollection is we did set up an interview with the kid and his uncle. We didn't get much out of it.
One detective brought in a pshysic to assist in the investigation. He came in by plane. He was picked up and got in the car. He was asked to tell us where we should go. He took the detectives right to the home of the suspect. As I recall a search was done of the home. My recollection is they sprayed a chemical on the ball and found blood. It was long before DNA became a factor.
07-27-2012, 10:43 PM #10
..... the 109 detective squad had a commander that was very skeptical of the detective. I can tell you that the commander never believed the veracity of the detecive. The detective was very brash and opiniated.I pretty much agreed with that assessment. I never believed the kid did it. Maybe somebody should think about doing a DNA test now we have the tools to do it. The questions I have to ask: Was there blood, and do we still have it.
We did all kinds of searches. We scoured a swampy area not far from the home. It was a hand to hand grid search. We found nothing. In the winter of that year the foilage disappeared in the swamp area. A body was found. We raced over there in fear that we missied her body. The body we found appeared to have been there before Anotonella went missing.. It turned out to be someone else. obviousy, we missed it. (See the Gilgo Beach case to understand how a body could be missed). It is not as easy as one might think. In the Gilgo Beach they had an exceptional cop and a more exceptional dog named Blue.
Of course we used dogs. One dog took us from various places, including the suspect's home to the water's edge. And there the trail stopped.
I had experience with dogs in other cases. I never counted on them to find anything. If they did, they did. I have had experiences where the person the dogs were looking for was right under their noses and they never came close. I got the worn out shoes to prove it. We did find every dead dog in the neighborhood. But dogs don't count.
Antonella had to walk several blocks on a well traveled street - Parsons Blvd. Whether it was raining when she came back is unknown. All I know I was close by at the time and it rained like cats and dogs.
We checked almost every home on Parsons. Most of them were apartment buildings. I believed I found a good suspect. He was non=cooperative. I gave it to the precinct detectives that set up an interview with him. He never showed up. And that was the end of that. It was a shot in the dark, anyway. Nobody we could find saw Antonella. I believed that it was raining when she was returning and someone she knew offered her a ride. Being grabbed off the street in such a highly populated area and I doubt if anyone would grab her off the street in the daylight.
The detective I told you about would eventually retire and go to Hollywood to be a producer of a well known and popular police show. He took that case and put it on the air. Only this time he 'solved' it on TV, but not in real life.
We did everything possible. The father was understandably out of his mind. He brought in psyschics that led us to homes they believed the child was taken. Needless to say we were on a fool's errand.
07-27-2012, 11:05 PM #11
THE OTHER MURDERED GIRL CASE. It is SOP to go to the locations the victim was last seen on the same day of the week and the same time. The hope is other people followed the same patterns. The detectives get there and a man approaches the newstand and asks the vendor if there is a story about the murdered girl in the papers. This POS detective grabs the guy and asks him what does he want to know this for. The guy tells him he lives in the neighborhood and where the girl would have passed, and, of course he was interested. Life changed for that poor guy and his family for at least two weeks of constant and unnecessary harassment.
The detective would get hair and clothes samples from his new suspect. It was sent to the lab and the findings were the threads from his suspect were consistent with what was found on the dead girl. It meant nothing because the sample was so wide as to being impossible. He persisted in his crusade to make this guy the killer. We gave both the suspect and his wife polygraphs. They both passed with flying colors. the detective persisted. The captain had enough after reviewing the reports and ordered him to cease and desist.
The case went cold. I was assigned to go back and do it again. The precinct detective sergeant and I re-visited the Lab. We had a very vialbe suspect that fit the profile to a tee. That is if you can put any faith in profilers. But he was a perfect match in many ways. Gave him a poly and he failed on all counts. The detective that wanted to blame an innocent man was furious with our investigation. He insisted his suspect did it.
When we got to the LAB we found the examiner who did the original case. We told him we wanted to review his findings. He went berserk. He told us if we thought we were trying to get this guy in the loop again we could get the hell out of the place. My partner was a boss, the LAB detective was just that, a detective. But he went wild.
The whole case was the weirdest case I have ever done. It would have been a great Stephan King movie. all kinds of crazy things happened. That case is unsolved to this day.
Obstacles were put in our way because my new commander had a beef with the new precinct squad commander. My commander didn't want the precinct commander to get the glory of soliving this well publicized case. He made it impossible for us to continue.
When I was given the case to reinvestigate the Zone Captain told us we had an 'open checkbook" or as much OT as we needed. It wouldn't be questioned. That lasted less than a week. I don't think I got more than 20 hours OT. My boss was behind that when he refused to let us continue with leads if they came near the end of our regualry scheduled day.
07-28-2012, 02:47 AM #12
Your theory makes sense, Hawkshaw. If she was walking home in the rain, some perp would have seen that as a perfect opportunity to abduct her. Especially if he was someone she was familiar with. So sad. The perp was probably a person she trusted, someone right from the neighborhood. It's bad enough when a random stranger snatches a child, but when one takes advantage of a child's trust, well, I know there's a special place in hell for those perps and the people around them who keep their mouths shut. It sounds like this case could have been solved.
Do you recall the teen suspect mentioned in one of the articles? If my google map is correct, she was found about 40 miles away. I would expect her to be found closer if the perp was a teen. I wonder what became of that angle.
Thanks for sharing your insights, Hawkshaw. It's always good to see these older cases get some attention. I hope the original posters check in and read your posts.
08-01-2012, 03:52 AM #13
I found more articles about little Antonella. She was one of the first children to have her face on a milk carton, and a security company offered a $20K reward for information. But no answers. I can't imagine how her parents suffered.
THE CITY ; 12-YEAR OLD GIRL MISSING IN QUEENS
Published: July 19, 1984
The police said the girl, Antonella Mattina of 144-47 29th Avenue in Flushing, is white, 5 feet tall, weighs 90 pounds and has brown eyes and brown hair.
Finger LakesTimes Wednesday, August 1, 1984
Byrne Dairy, Inc. is sponsoring a "Missing Kids!" program, putting the photos of abducted children on milk cartons.
Cartons with the photos of Clark "Toshiro" Handa of Fairfield, Calif., and Antonella Mattina
of Flushing, NY., were distributed by the dairy this week.
This details in this article sound just like what you've told us, Hawkshaw. I take it the "bearded photographer" was the teen suspect. Hmm...
Finger Lakes Times Wednesday, February 6,1985
NEW YORK (AP) - While police
canine units search marshes and the
reward money climbs, parishioners
at St. Mel's Church in Queens pray
for the return of 12-year-old Antonella
Mattina, who vanished July
"A civilized society should not
accept the fact that children simply
disappear," said John Mallon, vice
chairman of IBI Security Service
Inc., which posted a $10,000 reward
on Tuesday. The reward for anyone
locating the missing girl now stands
A bearded photographer seen in
the neighborhood the day Antonella
disappeared is no longer a suspect
in the case, Clark said, after the
man's story that he was taking pictures
for a college project checked out...
All the while Joseph" Mattina, a
painting contractor, his wife, Maria,
and their son Leo hold out hope that
Antonella, who turned 12 on June
18. will be found. But the vigil is
taking its toll on Mrs. Mattina, her
husband says. "She cries all day long.
She doesn't eat, doesn't sleep, doesn't
talk I don't know how long we can
go on like this," Mattina said...
She was found on Thanksgiving Day, 1987. I wish I could find a picture of her.
Dec. 1, 1987 10:48 AM ET
YORKTOWN, N.Y. (AP) _ A skull discovered last week has been identified as the remains of a 12- year-old girl whose 1984 disappearance set off one of the most intense searches in New York City history, authorities said.
The skull showed no evidence of assault, but police ''have come up with possible ways on how she died,'' Cody said. It was not immediately clear how long the girl had been dead.
Last edited by bessie; 08-01-2012 at 04:07 AM.
10-15-2013, 11:42 PM #14Registered User
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- Oct 2013
All I can say is that I didn't realize that I had already been gone at least a year if not two before her kidnapping. My memory isn't what it used to be. But it is weird for many years after her kidnapping and a couple of years after her body/skull was found, I still saw her missing girl photo every time I went to the local store.
Last edited by Dhc2013; 10-15-2013 at 11:57 PM. Reason: Wanted to add more info and also wanted to correct the time line.
10-16-2013, 10:01 PM #15
Welcome, Dhc2013. I'm so sorry you lost your friend in such an awful way. Even though you had moved away, I know it must have hurt you terribly.
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