CA - Elizabeth 'Beth' Funchess, 6 mos, San Jose, 9 Sept 1977

Discussion in '1970's Missing' started by enigma, Nov 22, 2005.

  1. enigma

    enigma New Member

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    In late 70's / early 80's in San Jose, CA area I had a friend named Ken Funchess. His wife Diane and daughter were abducted from their home in the middle of the day while he was at work. He was completely cleared. I had heard years later that Diane's body was found in the Santa Cruz mountains but never heard any word on the baby. It has been many years and I have lost touch with those I know back then. If anyone knows any information I would greatly appreciate it. They are always in my thoughts and I would like to know they can rest in peace. Thank-you.
     
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  3. shadowangel

    shadowangel Black cats consider me unlucky.

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    I can't come up with anything on NewspaperArchive...Are you sure of the spelling, or are there alternatives to the spelling that could be tried?
    BTW, did you previously post this on AETV's forum? (Just wanted to make sure that someone else wasn't also looking into this case...)
     
  4. enigma

    enigma New Member

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    It is possible that I have the spelling off, I was just a teenager at the time and spelling wasn't my forte. As for putting this on A&E I could have at some time in the past. I have been trying to find out for quite a few years now. My mom still lives in the area and has heard nothing either. I have searched in the San Jose Mercury-News but their online archives don't seem to go back that far. I thank you for your help tho....
     
  5. reportertype

    reportertype Dogs are awesome!

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    Enigma,

    I don't know if you've already tried this, but most large newspapers employ librarians or researchers that should be able to help you search older copies of the paper than are available online. There may be a number listed on the paper's Web site or you may have to call them up.

    Sometimes Funchess, which I think may be German? was "Americanized" to Funches so that might be an option.
     
  6. sjfrank

    sjfrank New Member

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    Enigma, reportertype, shadowangel,

    I am a new member to this web site. I can provide the following information regarding this case.

    My wife and I moved to San Jose in October 1976. One of the first things that I remember reading in the San Jose Mercury News was this case. I remember commenting to my wife that "I thought that San Jose was supposed to be a safe city to live in and here is a story about a possible abduction."

    So it would appear that Diane went missing around October 1976.

    There were subsequent articles in the following weeks about the case - One concerning the police clearing the husband, another about concerned neighbors but the next major article in the case occured in the early 80's when her remains were found in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

    This would mean that most of the infomation on this case was reported between 1976 and 1984 (a guess on this later date). Which is unfortunate because the San Jose Mercury News archives only go back to 1985.

    Since enigma personally knew the family, I would like to ask you some questions after you reply to my posting. I am new to these websleuthing websites and would like to think that the four of us could help solve this case with a lot of research and brain storming.

    The other case that I am researching is the Jenner Beach murders in 2004. That was the one about the Christian camp counselers found shot to death on the beach.

    My wife and I discuss some of the big local cases and more often than not we turn out to be right with our speculations.

    sjfrank
     
  7. gardenmom

    gardenmom Former Member

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    California Death Index, 1940-1997 Record
    about DIANE EDITH FUNCHESS
    Name: FUNCHESS, DIANE EDITH
    Social Security #: 267940131
    Sex: FEMALE
    Birth Date: 26 Dec 1946
    Birthplace: MASSACHUSETTS
    Death Date: 16 Sep 1981
    Death Place: SANTA CRUZ
    Mother's Maiden Name: PIERE
    Father's Surname: CROOKE


    Is this her?
     
  8. sjfrank

    sjfrank New Member

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    gardenmom,

    Thanks for providing the info on Diane. I would have to say that you have ID'd the correct person. I did not recall the names of the people involved in the case until I stumbled on this website and found enigma's thread.

    Since yesterday, I have racked my brain on this case and can recall more information. This info is based on my memory of the news articles from 1976 - 1981.

    The Mercury News reported that the couple lived on Rainbow Drive in San Jose. The front door was found open, Diane's purse was in the house but Diane was missing. Therefore, she must have been abducted. I did not remember that a child was also missing until enigma pointed this out in the opening post. I also recall that Ken, the husband, was cleared pretty quickly because the police verified that he was at work when she was supposedly abducted.

    The other thing that I seem to recall was that there was a second case in San Jose very similiar to this one that occured within a few months of this case. I could be mistaken on the time frame, but I remember thinking that the two cases could be connected.
     
  9. shadowangel

    shadowangel Black cats consider me unlucky.

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    I still can't find anything archived on-line about this case. Maybe a local library may have something, probably in microfilm.
     
  10. T'sNana

    T'sNana Nana Extraordinaire

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  11. sjfrank

    sjfrank New Member

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    I will try to see if there is anything on the Santa Cruz Sentinel. Thanks for the tip.

    As for researching the library or the Mercury News, I may plan a trip there in the future but I want to have as much background information as possible. The last time I used the microfiche files at the San Jose Main Library, it took forever. You have to practicaly know the exact date that things occurred otherwise you spend a lot of time looking at irrelavent info.
     
  12. sjfrank

    sjfrank New Member

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    gardenmom, enigma,

    I did some searches over the last few days and found a site that gave some info about Diane Funchess. The site was called veromi.info and it said the following:

    Diane "C" Funchess - no age - San Jose, CA
    Husband Kenneth M - age 64
    Daughter Sue E. (no age listed)

    I believe that no ages are listed for Diane or her daughter because they went missing.

    I wonder if gardenmom can do a California death index check to see what it has on a Sue E. Funchess. I have tried using various sites that list the CA death index but they all want a fee for information.

    Can enigma confirm that the daughter was named Sue?

    I plan on going to either the Mercury News building or the library and check thier microfiche files regarding the stories they ran back when the abduction took place. There may be more information that we can use to followup on.
     
  13. gardenmom

    gardenmom Former Member

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    Is the info on veromi for current listings? If so, it's not her. I tried a search on "Sue Funchess" and nothing came up on ancestry.com. I wonder if the baby has not been found, and that's why there is no listing. Let me try one more thing...
     
  14. blueclouds

    blueclouds Former member

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    I'm confused too. My archives that I've paid for isn't showing anything. I'm going to try an old LE connection regarding this. There's something off whether it's the spelling or what.
     
  15. gardenmom

    gardenmom Former Member

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    I'm sorry. I couldn't find anything else. I tried to do a last name search, but no other funchess came up with a death city of Santa Cruz, or with a birthdate that would be a child. I also looked under mother's maiden name of crooke, but there wasn't a death for that one. I did find an obit for Diane's mother, she died just last year, and Diane Crooke Funchess was named as a deceased daughter. There was no mention of Diane's husband or child in the obit.
    I'm really curious as to what happened to the child. Was it killed, or stolen? Was it a boy or girl, do you remember?

    Sorry, I see now that they had a daughter.
     
  16. sjfrank

    sjfrank New Member

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    I have discovered some information regarding Sue Funchess. I found a site that showed a Sue Funchess married to a Ken Funchess. The age for Ken Funchess - 64, would track with the age of the Ken Funchess that enigma knew. The age of Sue Funchess was listed at 56. So, I believe that we have solved who the Sue Funchess is, listed on the veromi site with Ken and Diane Funchess.

    It would appear that the daughter is still missing.
     
  17. sjfrank

    sjfrank New Member

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    I have spent the last week researching newspaper archives, missing person web sites and I am very concerned regarding this case. There appears to be no record of Elizabeth Funchess, the daughter, in any of the missing person or police web sites. The best site for a missing person, especially a child, is the Doe Network. There is no record of her listed on this vast site (thousands listed). Even more puzzling is the fact that this case is not listed on the State of California Missing persons web site. This site allows you to put in the person's name or the county, the date, etc, but nothing came up for Elizabeth Funchess. This site had missing person cases datig back to the 1950s. I really got concerned when her name is not even listed on the San Jose Police Dept. web site which also provides the web user to search the various cases by name. They too had cases older than this one.

    I tried entering this case on the Doe Network but it won't accept your information without a photo of the missing person. If someone has a photo, I can direct you to the Doe Network site and you or I can enter the necessary information.

    I don't have time to list other information that I have discovered in my research but there is a lot of things that we can discuss if we can get Elizabeth listed. I suppose there is a possibility that Elizabeth was found but neither my wife nor I can remember reading anything about that in the San Jose paper. And, enigma, who knew the family also wondered whatever happened to the daughter.
     
  18. enigma

    enigma New Member

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    I can't thank all of you enough...My mom came to visit me over the holidays and we discussed Ken and Diane. My mom still lives in that area but has lost touch with my friends as moms tend to do once the kids leave home. For the life of me I can't remember their daughter's name. And as I stated before, I have no current information on her.

    The information I do have on the state of the home at the time was that the front door was ajar, Diane's purse and glasses were there (she really needed her glasses) and the baby's diaper bag was also in the house. It seems the only item missing was the electrical cord from the TV.

    Again, thanks too all of you for being so kind, this has stuck in my mind for so long. I think of them all so often.
     
  19. Marie

    Marie Daughter, if you don't remember us...who will?

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    Title: Woman's skull found
    By: Townsend, Peggy R.
    Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel
    1982 Feb 22

    I found this but it doesn't match the death date given on the above SS death record. The full article is available at the Central Branch Library.
     
  20. Richard

    Richard New Member

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    Diane's SSN was issued by the state of Florida. So, although she may have been born in MA, she lived in FL at some time.

    Rather than looking for a death record for her daughter, try looking in the California Birth records. That data base can be sorted using various bits of information available. There MIGHT be a record in the California Death Index if she was DECLARED dead after seven years, but it is much more likely that you could find her in the Birth Records only. Usually a person is declared dead legally for purposes such as insurance, inheritance, re-marriage, etc. There might not be a need to have a missing baby legally declared dead.

    The Birth Records would give you her full name and birthdate, making further searching much easier. If not in California birth records, maybe Florida birth records would have her.
     
  21. Richard

    Richard New Member

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    I have done a number of On-Line People searches, and have found that some of the information you get could be out-dated and inaccurate. Many of these On-Line outfits charge money for varying ammounts of information. They usually first allow you a little bit for free. This is so that you will see that they have something and might then pay them for more information.

    What they might do is give you the name and current age, along with a City and State. You then have to pay them for the address, phone number, etc, etc. Any current age is generated from the known birth date. So, if a phone is or was listed under a dead person's name, he or she will come up as living at that address and their age today will appear based on their birthdate, even though they may have moved or even died years ago.

    If you know the birthdate, and include that in your sort, you can feel much stronger about a positive "hit" on the person's name, because it does an exact match and will exclude other persons of the same name.
     

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