OH OH - Joanne Coughlin, 21, Boardman, 27 December 1974

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apearn

Paratrooper John Doe, May 1984, Florida #UP1254
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I didn't see a thread for this girl.

Namus Info

Case Information
Status Missing
First name Joanne
Middle name Elaine
Last name Coughlin
Nickname/Alias
Date last seen December 27, 1974 00:00
Date entered 09/29/2011
Age last seen 21 to years old
Age now 61 years old
Race White
Ethnicity
Sex Female
Height (inches) 68.0
Weight (pounds) 140.0
Circumstances
City Boardman
State Ohio
Zip code
County Mahoning
Circumstances
On 12/27/1974, Coughlin signed in at a health spa in Boardman, Ohio. She reportedly made plans to meet her boyfriend at his home later that night, but never arrived and has never been heard from again. Her 1968 Ford also disappeared and has never been recovered.

Coughlin.jpeg
 
Flashback Friday: Joanne Coughlin - Charley Project Blog

Charley Project

Details of Disappearance
Coughlin was last seen in Youngstown, Ohio on December 27, 1974, when she supposedly went to the European Health Spa on Boardman-Canfield Road. She had plans to meet her boyfriend at his home on Indianola Avenue later that night, but never arrived and has never been heard from again. The same day she disappearance, Coughlin wrote a check for her latest life insurance premium. She didn't take any money from her bank accounts, and nothing was missing from her home on Ohio Avenue. Her 1968 Ford with the license plate number H4482G vanished with her, however. Coughlin's niece doesn't believe she was ever at the spa that day. She claims the signature on the sign-in sheet doesn't match Coughlin's and nobody actually saw her at the facility.

Coughlin lived in 1400 block of Ohio Avenue at the time of her disappearance and was an aspiring actress; she was majoring in theater at Youngstown State University and performed at the Youngstown Playhouse. She was declared legally dead in 1985. Authorities theorize she was robbed and murdered and her car, with the body inside, was disposed of in a quarry in Pennsylvania. Few details are available in her case.
 
Posted March 26, 2010
[h=1]New lead fails to solve mystery[/h]
Police say a convicted killer in California is not responsible for the fate of a missing woman here, but investigators will continue to look for the person who is.
Joanne Coughlin vanished from friends and family more than 35 years ago, but an arrest in California gave brief hope that her killer had been found.

Police in Huntington Beach, Calif., recently released more than 100 photos of unidentified women found in the storage locker of a man convicted of killing four women and a 12-year-old girl. Police say Rodney Alcala used his camera to lure in victims. They fear some of those in the photos may have fallen victim to Alcala.

Officers in Huntington Beach, believing one of the women to be Coughlin, called YPD asking for information.

Lt. Mark Milstead, Youngstown Police Department, said officers between Youngstown and Huntington Beach spent time comparing notes and creating a time line Thursday. Police here have determined that Alcala is not responsible for Coughlin’s disappearance.

According to Milstead, Alcala was in prison in California from October 1974 through June 1977. Coughlin was reported missing in December 1974.
Milstead said the crime may not have been solved with the additional information out of California, but investigators are not letting the case go.
http://www.vindy.com/news/2010/mar/26/new-lead-fails-to-solve-mystery/
 
March 26, 2010
Dave McBride is a radio personality in Florida, but in 1974 he was living on Indianola Avenue here and dating Coughlin.

“The night she disappeared I was waiting for her. She was going to come over, and we were going to hang out. I remember waiting up so long I fell asleep on the couch,” he said.
McBride describes Coughlin as a talented aspiring actress and sees how a man offering professional photographs could have appealed to the young woman’s vulnerable side. He was excited to hear about a possible break in the case and disappointed to realize the case is still cold.

Sheriff Randall A. Wellington was a member of the Youngstown Police Department when Coughlin was reported missing and remembers the case well. He has a theory about the case, and that theory has not changed in three decades.
“We felt it was robbery. She was going to the health spa, and they grabbed her, killed her and put her in the stone quarry out by the Pennsylvania line,” he said.
Wellington said police searched the area extensively, but he believes sediment in the area may have concealed Coughlin’s body.

http://www.vindy.com/news/2010/mar/26/new-lead-fails-to-solve-mystery/
 
Since last year, Detective Sgt. David Sweeney has been assigned to missing-person cases, as the Youngstown department has tried to place a new emphasis on them. Three cases that are currently in the forefront are cases involving Joanne Coughlin, who was last seen Dec. 27, 1974; Ronald Rankin, last seen July 18, 2012; and Dean Donnadio, last seen Sept. 1, 2005. Anyone with information on those cases can call Sweeney at 330-742-8911.

Family retrieves remains of woman missing for 20 years
 
I grabbed these from the video shared above. It seems Joanne is likely in a quarry, but in case not I thought more "recent" images might help: Screenshot_2019-09-17-13-13-44_kindlephoto-19357905.png
 

Attachments

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Search continues for Youngstown woman missing since ’74

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Joanne Coughlin vanished without a trace on her way to a Boardman health spa 45 years ago -- on Dec. 27, 1974

If you’re a homicide detective in Youngstown, being able to find out the fate of Joanne Coughlin would be like finding the Holy Grail.

She vanished without a trace Dec. 27, 1974, on her way to a Boardman health spa. Her fate has bewitched generations of detectives.

The latest to take a crack at finding out what happened to her is Detective Sgt. Dave Sweeney, a veteran investigator who has worked several homicides, including the infamous Robert Seman triple homicide case in 2015.
---
Coughlin, 21, was supposed to go to her boyfriend’s home after she was finished at the spa, but she never made it, even though someone signed her name into the register at the spa. Her car, a 1968 Ford Fairlane, was also never found.

She was declared legally dead in 1985.

The case attracted a lot of attention when she went first missing, and it has been revisited over the years by several different detectives.

Since he started working the case last year, Sweeney has talked to family members, former Youngstown detectives who worked the case and even detectives in Boardman who worked the case. They were involved in the case because the health spa was in Boardman.
---
Coughlin is the sister of Louise McIltrot and was one of four girls in a once tight-knit family that lived in Brownlee Woods. McIltrot said her sister’s disappearance tore the family apart.

“It ruined my mother,” McIltrot said.

Coughlin was a Woodrow Wilson graduate who was on the flag line and a head majorette. She was in a school production of “Man Of La Mancha,” which gave her a taste of the acting bug.

She worked at the Jewish Community Center and attended Youngstown State University, where she planned on majoring in counseling. She would babysit McIltrot’s son.

“She was a like a second mother to him,” McIltrot said.

The last time she saw her sister was Christmas Day, 1974, McIltrot said.

The day she went missing, McIltrot received a call from her mother, Johanna, saying she was worried because Coughlin had not told anyone where she was going.

“That was not like her at all,” McIltrot said.

They searched Coughlin’s apartment looking for any clues as to where she might have been.

“There was not a thing out of place,” McIltrot said.
---
There were reports that the night Coughlin disappeared, someone heard a woman screaming near some quarries off of U.S. Route 224 near the Pennsylvania border. Johanna decided to have the quarries searched herself, using money Coughlin won in a settlement after she was injured in a car crash.

The searches turned up nothing.

McIltrot said she thinks her sister either saw something or heard something that forced someone to kill her because that person or group of people were afraid of what would happen if she would tell anyone what she knew.
---
Someone also tried to use Coughlin’s bank book at a downtown bank shortly after she died, but that lead also turned up nothing. Johanna never gave up searching for her daughter, but McIltrot said she learned to let go a little bit over the years, although she said she still wants to find out what happened to Joanne and who is responsible.

Search continues for Youngstown woman missing since ’74
 
Flashback Friday: Joanne Coughlin - Charley Project Blog

Charley Project

Details of Disappearance
Coughlin was last seen in Youngstown, Ohio on December 27, 1974, when she supposedly went to the European Health Spa on Boardman-Canfield Road. She had plans to meet her boyfriend at his home on Indianola Avenue later that night, but never arrived and has never been heard from again. The same day she disappearance, Coughlin wrote a check for her latest life insurance premium. She didn't take any money from her bank accounts, and nothing was missing from her home on Ohio Avenue. Her 1968 Ford with the license plate number H4482G vanished with her, however. Coughlin's niece doesn't believe she was ever at the spa that day. She claims the signature on the sign-in sheet doesn't match Coughlin's and nobody actually saw her at the facility.

Coughlin lived in 1400 block of Ohio Avenue at the time of her disappearance and was an aspiring actress; she was majoring in theater at Youngstown State University and performed at the Youngstown Playhouse. She was declared legally dead in 1985. Authorities theorize she was robbed and murdered and her car, with the body inside, was disposed of in a quarry in Pennsylvania. Few details are available in her case.

Interesting comments under the blog link
 
Joanne Elaine Coughlin

joanne_elaine_coughlin_1.jpg
joanne_elaine_coughlin_2.jpg
joanne_elaine_coughlin_3.jpg

Coughlin, circa 1974

  • Missing Since 12/27/1974
  • Missing From Youngstown, Ohio
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Female
  • Race White
  • Date of Birth 06/24/1953 (66)
  • Age 21 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'5 - 5'8, 120 - 140 pounds
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description A green leather jacket, a black shirt, a blue tie, blue jeans and tan shoes.
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian female. Brown hair, brown/green eyes. Coughlin may wear eyeglasses or contact lenses.
Details of Disappearance
Coughlin was last seen in Youngstown, Ohio on December 27, 1974, when she supposedly went to the European Health Spa on Boardman-Canfield Road. She had plans to meet her boyfriend at his home on Indianola Avenue later that night, but never arrived and has never been heard from again.

Coughlin's niece doesn't believe she was ever at the spa that day. She claims the signature on the sign-in sheet doesn't match Coughlin's handwriting and that nobody actually saw her at the facility.

The same day she disappeared, Coughlin wrote a check for her latest life insurance premium. She didn't take any money from her bank accounts, and nothing was missing from her home on Ohio Avenue. Her 1968 Ford Fairlane with the license plate number H4482G vanished with her, however, and has never been located.

Coughlin lived in 1400 block of Ohio Avenue at the time of her disappearance and was an aspiring actress; she was majoring in theater at Youngstown State University and performed at the Youngstown Playhouse.

She was declared legally dead in 1985. Authorities theorize she was robbed and murdered and her car, with the body inside, was disposed of in a quarry in Pennsylvania. Her case remains unsolved.

New charley project link - Joanne Elaine Coughlin – The Charley Project
 
New Details per Charley Project:

Details of Disappearance

Coughlin was last seen in Youngstown, Ohio on December 27, 1974, when she supposedly went to the European Health Spa on Boardman-Canfield Road. She had plans to meet her boyfriend at his home on Indianola Avenue later that night, but never arrived and has never been heard from again.

Coughlin's family last saw her on Christmas Day, at the family celebration. Her family was close-knit and she had three sisters. She worked on December 26 and December 27, and told her coworkers she was going to the European Health Spa that night, as she had just gotten a membership for it. Her niece, however, doesn't believe she ever actually went to the spa. She claims the signature on the sign-in sheet doesn't match Coughlin's handwriting and that nobody actually saw her at the facility.

The same day she disappeared, Coughlin wrote a check for her latest life insurance premium and mailed it. Nothing was missing from her apartment on Ohio Avenue except a small suitcase, her hair dryer and her bathing suit. Her four-door 1968 Ford Fairlane with the license plate number H4482G vanished with her, however, and has never been located.

Shortly before her disappearance, Coughlin had received a $3,400 settlement from a car accident. Her mother decided to alert her daughter's bank about her disappearance, in case anyone tried to withdraw money from her account, which was at the Struthers branch of the Mahoning National Bank.

On December 31, four days after Coughlin was last seen, a young woman went to the Mahoning Bank branch located on Midlothian Boulevard in Boardman, Ohio and attempted to withdraw $800 from Coughlin's account at the drive-through window. The teller asked the young woman to come inside and call her mother, and the woman said she would do so after she arrived in Florida. The teller told her she would have to go to the Struthers branch of the bank to withdraw the money, and the young woman left. The teller noted that the woman appeared to be under the influence of drugs.

She never went to the Struthers branch, and the manager of the Boardman branch assumed Coughlin had gotten in touch with her mother and that her disappearance was a family matter. He called Coughlin's mother a week later after he saw an article about Coughlin in the newspaper and realized she was still missing. The signature on the withdrawal slips the woman signed at the Struthers bank branch didn't match Coughlin's writing, and when the teller who handled the transaction was shown a photo of Coughlin, she said the woman who tried to withdraw the money wasn't her.

In January 1975, police were able to identify and interview the woman who had posed as Coughlin at the bank, and she told them she had gotten the bank book from two men who waited at the nearby Point Market while she tried to withdraw the money. The men she identified, Robert Shughart and Howard Rodriguez, were both known figures in the local drug scene. A photo of Shughart is posted with this case summary. By 1975, he was already suspected of having some involvement of multiple murders that had happened in the local area. The killings were believed to have been retribution because all of the victims were either police informants or had spoken about local drug activity.

Authorities tracked down and questioned Rodriguez and Shughart, but they said they knew nothing about Coughlin's disappearance. Shughart said Rodriguez had stolen Coughlin's belongings from a drug party in Warren, Ohio. The men were released after being questioned. Authorities think Coughlin may have known them. Both were acquaintances of her former boyfriend, a married man who used heroin and had gotten Coughlin acquainted with the local drug culture. By the time she went missing, she had ended her relationship with that man and was seeing someone else.

Coughlin's mother wanted to press charges against the woman for the attempted fraud, but the police asked her not to do so, saying she was a potential witness in whatever had happened to Coughlin and they wanted to "keep her in the background" to see if she would provide any more information to implicate Shughart and Rodriguez. Neither of the men, or the woman, were ever charged in the attempted bank fraud or Coughlin's disappearance.

Authorities theorize she was robbed and murdered and her car, with the body inside, was disposed of in a quarry near the Pennsylvania border. Witnesses reported seeing a screaming woman being dragged out of a car and into a truck on Villa Marie Road, near the quarries, at 10:00 p.m. on the day Coughlin disappeared, but the woman couldn't be identified as Coughlin and searches of the quarries have turned up nothing.

Coughlin lived in 1400 block of Ohio Avenue at the time of her disappearance and was an aspiring actress who performed at the Youngstown Playhouse and took tap dance lessons. She was declared legally dead in 1985. Her case remains unsolved.
 
It appears that Boardman wasn't a very quiet place in 1970s: BOY CRAZY: Three Dead in Ohio
I wondered if Joanne was robbed and murdered, as detectives theorize, or if she was an uncomfortable witness... Was there a powerful predator in the area with connections with drug scene? It's a crazy theory, I know.
 
It appears that Boardman wasn't a very quiet place in 1970s: BOY CRAZY: Three Dead in Ohio
I wondered if Joanne was robbed and murdered, as detectives theorize, or if she was an uncomfortable witness... Was there a powerful predator in the area with connections with drug scene? It's a crazy theory, I know.

This is the first I've heard of any of these. I live about an hour from Boardman in Pittsburgh and frequent the area for its shops. (Anyone in the Mahoning Valley probably knows why I come for Rulli Bros, Gorant, and, before it closed, Dillard's; I'm also a huge Springfield Grille fan).

My family lived in Boardman in the 60s and 70s (I continue to have extended family in that area). They spoke of their time there as a safe one, but I'll have to ask about some of these cases. I asked my mom if she knew or knew of Joanne but she said she hadn't. (I had mistakenly thought Joanne may have been a Boardman High School graduate).

If not the quarry, there are lots of lakes around the area as well as the Mahoning River. Going east into PA, there's a larger river, the Beaver River, about 13 miles over the state line on the Turnpike. Outside of Boardman and the Youngstown metro area, it's pretty rural.

If they had gone elsewhere with her, you're at a pretty big crossroads in Youngstown. I-76 may be the Turnpike in the area, but I-80 is on the northern end of the city. I-76 goes into Pittsburgh and stretches across Pennsylvania to the east; it terminates near Akron to the west and runs into I-71, which goes to Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, and Louisville. I-80 bumps into I-90 in Cleveland to the west and is advertised as far out as Warren, OH as a road to New York City. (Yes, you can see signs for that around the Warren/Lordstown area). I-77 isn't too far from Youngstown, either, and stretches as far south as Charlotte and Columbia.

(if you're not from around the area, Youngstown is a pretty good place to jump off from if you're looking for a road trip you can take in a day)

However, a dumping in the rural parts seems more likely.
 

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