Found Alive After Four Decades: 42-Year-Old Holly Marie Clouse Is Located In Oklahoma

Holly Marie Clouse vanished from Texas as an infant after her parents, Harold Dean Clouse Jr. and Tina Gail Linn Clouse, were murdered in 1981. In June 2022, she was found alive and well.

Holly Clouse as a baby [left] and Holly Clouse now at 42 years old [right].

Holly Marie Clouse vanished from Texas as an infant after her parents, Harold Dean Clouse Jr. and Tina Linn Clouse were murdered in 1981. In 2022, she was found alive and well.

Photo by: NCMEC

NCMEC

By: Michelle Sigona

Donna Casasanta never gave up hope that one day she would be reunited with her granddaughter, Holly Maire Clouse after her parents were murdered in 1981. This week, Casasanta’s prayers were finally answered when Holly was found alive, living as an adult in Oklahoma.

Casasanta told USA Today in a statement, “Finding Holly is a birthday present from heaven. I prayed for more than 40 years for answers and the Lord has revealed some of it... we have found Holly.”

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) provided more background on the case,“Through the collaborative efforts of the Texas Attorney General’s Office Cold Case and Missing Persons Unit, the Lewisville Police Department as well as numerous law enforcement agencies and NCMEC, baby Holly has been located.”

NCMEC said they were able to connect with Holly directly just prior to the announcement to the public. “She said she hopes to meet her biological family in person soon. Although she realizes that so many people are interested in hearing more about her and her story, she is asking for privacy at this time,” NCMEC added. Investigators reportedly walked into Holly’s job and broke the news to her recently. USA Today reports she was adopted by a family as a baby and they are not suspects.

The Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said, “I am extremely proud of the exceptional work done by my office’s newly formed Cold Case and Missing Persons Unit. My office diligently worked across state lines to uncover the mystery surrounding Holly’s disappearance. We were successful in our efforts to locate her and reunite her with her biological family.”

According to USA Today, Holly’s parents, Harold Clouse, 22, and Tina Clouse, 18, were murdered in 1981. They were not identified until their bodies were exhumed 40 years later when a genetic genealogy agency confirmed their DNA was positively connected to the crimes.

The Houston Chronicle reported that in 1981, a dog uncovered bones in the woods, but baby Holly’s remains were not found anywhere near the site. The recovery led to the couple in a "remote patch" of trees in Harris County, TX. The report said the couple was killed likely around New Year's Day in 1981. Tina was strangled, and Harold was beaten to death, the report added. In addition, reportedly, a bloody towel and green gym shorts were discarded near the bodies.

Casasanta previously told the publication, "I will never forget my son and his Tina, I went years in pain wondering where they were.” She added, "I spent years with my chest on fire, just waiting."

KWTX reports the identification of the bodies was a team effort. Forensic Anthropology Director Dr. Jennifer Love, who works for the Unit-Harris County Medical Examiner's office, exhumed both bodies. Love reportedly extracted DNA and worked hard to put the pieces together.

In 2021, Indianapolis-based media company audiochuck funded the research in combination with Deborrah Pinto with the Harris County Institute of Forensic Services. Ultimately, according to KWTX, the case was put together in 10 days by Misty Gillis with Identifiers and Allison Peacock who was previously with the company.

Gillis told the station, “I’m very thankful to have been given the opportunity to work on this case. It was a difficult case emotionally."

According to NCMEC at a press conference, investigators provided more details about the possible suspects or persons who may have more information. It’s possible, reportedly, they were members of a nomadic religious group and were wearing white religious robes. The suspects may have possibly practiced vegetarianism at the time and renounced worldly goods.

As for Holly’s positive identification and recovery, Vice President of the Missing Children Division at NCMEC John Bischoff said, “We are thrilled that Holly will now have the chance to connect with her biological family who has been searching for her for so long. We hope that this is a source of encouragement for other families who have missing loved ones and reminds us all to never give up. NCMEC applauds the collaborative effort of the Texas Attorney General’s Office Cold Case and Missing Persons Unit, the Lewisville Police Department and all the assisting agencies who came together to make today’s news possible.”

If you have any information about Clouse murders, please authorities contact the Texas Attorney Genera’s Cold Case and Missing Persons Unit: coldcaseunit@oag.texas.gov.

Read more:

Next Up

Transgender Teen Gwen Araujo ‘Has Literally Saved Thousands Of Lives’ Since Her 2002 Murder, Mother Says

Her daughter’s death “was the beginning of a life sentence for me and my family,” Sylvia Guerrero recalls.

A Fitness Tracker Helped Police Pinpoint An Unlikely Killer in California

Police in San Jose, California, got help from a fitness tracker when a woman was found beaten and dead in her home.

A Man’s Family Is Certain He Was Wrongly Convicted Of Murdering His Pregnant Wife In 1997

Rodney Patrick McNeal is in prison after authorities say he murdered his wife in a fit of rage in 1997. His family has been adamant about his innocence ever since.

True Crime News Roundup: Texas Doctor Arrested For Contaminating IV Bags After His Colleague Died

Plus: Prosecutors move to overturn Adnan Syed’s murder conviction; human remains of missing woman found; suspect in Eliza Fletcher case indicted on separate rape case; Cincinatti woman arrested after her baby dies from ‘co-sleeping’.

True Crime News Roundup: Young NYC Mother Fatally Shot While Pushing Newborn In Stroller

Plus: Gabby Petito’s mother “fed up” with “narcissist” killer Brian Laundrie; search continues for missing Georgia teen with special needs; Arizona grandmother solves her own murder; warrant connected to Emmett Till lynching case discovered in Mississippi courthouse.

UPDATE: Melissa Lucio Granted Stay Of Execution

“If they go through with it, they'll be killing an innocent woman,” Bobby Alvarez says of his mother.

How The Tragic Murder Of Jasmine Fiore Changed Reality TV

On August 15, 2009, human remains found stuffed in a suitcase were identified as 28-year-old model Jasmine Fiore. Soon after, reality TV star Ryan Alexander Jenkins was charged with her murder.

True Crime News Roundup: Missouri Man Gets Life In Prison After Killing Pregnant Wife With Mallet

Plus: Alabama inmate indicted for murder of corrections officer lover; two teenagers accused of murdering elderly man with traffic cone; Michigan family of four dead in apparent murder-suicide; and NYC homeless man accused of ‘heinous’ violent crimes.

‘Killer Nanny’ Or Wrongly Accused: Did Louise Woodward Get Away With Murdering An Infant In Her Care?

“I am innocent. I have done nothing wrong,” the former au pair insisted after she was released from prison.

Dog DNA Helped Solve Case Of Illinois Woman Whose Body Was Found Dismembered In Lake

23-year-old Karyn Hearn Slover, the mother of a 3-year-old son, was about to move out of state to pursue modeling when she was murdered.

Featured Cases

More Missing