Case Of Couple Who Vanished From Manhattan Apartment In 1997 Remains A Mystery
Did a feud with a landlord lead to the disappearance of Camden Sylvia and Michael Sullivan? If you have any information about this mystery, please contact Senior Investigator Robert Delaney with the Manhattan District Attorney's Office: (212) 335-8957.
On Nov. 7, 1997, 36-year-old Camden Sylvia and 54-year-old Michael Sullivan vanished from their Manhattan apartment. They left their belongings behind, including their keys, wallet, and a video they rented earlier on in the day. The couple wasn’t formally reported missing until after the weekend, according to authorities.
According to WPIX, Sylvia and Sullivan had a great deal on their loft in the Wall Street district. Because this area was rent controlled, the couple was only required to pay $304 a month.
In November 2022, Joel Seidemann, a prosecutor with the Manhattan District Attorney's Office, spoke to WPIX for a story about the 25-year mystery. He provided more information and shed more light on the disappearance. The couple wanted their landlord, Robert Rodriguez, to provide heat, something he may not have been willing to do. Seidemann said, “The tenants (Syliva and Sullivan) had put together a letter. They said they intended engaging in a rent strike if he did not, and Michael Sullivan was supposed to deliver the letter that day.”
According to WPIX, authorities wanted to question Rodriguez, but he reportedly disappeared for 10 days.
Although Rodriguez has previously denied any wrongdoing, authorities confirmed he did vanish for a long stretch of time early on in the investigation. In 2017, WPIX reported the investigation into Rodriguez about Syliva and Sullivan, uncovered other crimes. WPIX said, "The investigation of Robert Rodriguez eventually led to other criminal charges, with Rodriguez convicted of identity theft (he was convicted of using the ID of a dead man), credit card fraud and tax evasion." The report goes on to say Rodriguez spent time behind bars for his convictions and was released in 2004.
Camden’s mother Laurie, who is now 81-years-old, says she has hope and does what she can to keep her daughter's memory alive.“I don’t have that long to live. I’m 81 years old. I’d like to go to bed one night knowing what happened.”
Seidemann added, “Somebody out there who knows something... who can put us over the finish line.”
If you have any information about this Manhattan mystery, please contact Senior Investigator Robert Delaney with the Manhattan District Attorney's Office: (212) 335-8957.