Murders without bodies

I was working on adding additional (gruesome) details to one of my murder-without-a-body cases on Charley and found this from the Chicago Tribune. It talks about several MWAB cases from Illinois, including Michael Howarth, convicted of murdering his four-year-old neighbor Angelica Mena, and Garry Huff, convicted of murdering his wife Cheryl Huff. I don’t think either of these bodies were ever found. First time I’ve ever heard of either of those cases, and I find photos of the defendants but not the victims. I’d like to put them on Charley. Help, anyone?


12 thoughts on “Murders without bodies

  1. Kat April 30, 2012 / 3:04 pm

    All murder is gruesome…there are days when I wonder how you, and others that deal with MPs deal with. I don’t have anything significant to add, but I do vaguely (how in hell is that word spelled?) hearing about both, esp the Huff case. I think one was news for a time. Hmmm. Now I have to think real hard. I hate those days lol.

    • Meaghan April 30, 2012 / 3:20 pm

      Yes, vaguely is the correct spelling. *was a spelling bee champion once*

      Nowicki was charged with Andrews’s murder in 2000, and was tried in 2005. He has an extensive criminal history, including convictions for burglary and armed robbery. Prosecutors stated Nowicki was a drug dealer in 1984 and, instead of taking Andrews to the hospital to be treated for her car accident injuries, he took her back to his apartment and had her take THC until she was incoherent. One Nowicki’s friends, Michael John Panisi, testified he saw Andrews naked and handcuffed to a radiator inside the apartment a few days after February 14. Andrews appeared to be under the influence of drugs, and Nowicki said she had taken THC and was “too screwed up too be walking around the apartment.”

      Panisi stated he unchained Andrews and gave her some food, and he and Nowicki were able to dress her. He then bought some drugs from Noicki and left. When he returned the next day, Andrews was still there and still appeared to be under the influence, disoriented and unaware of her surroundings, and another man who had come to the apartment to buy drugs sexually assaulted her. Nowicki told Panisi he had tricked Andrews into taking an overdose of THC. Panisi stated he came back the day after that and found Andrews was lying dead on the floor, wrapped up in blanket or rug, and Nowicki stated she had “died on me.” Nowicki refused to call the police and asked Panisi to help him dispose of Andrews’s body. When Panisi said no, Nowicki told him not to come back to the apartment. Nowicki then carried the body downstairs, put it in the trunk of a car, and drove away.

      Another witness, who had known Andrews for several years, backed up Panisi’s testimony and said he’d seen her, naked and under the influence THC, at Nowicki’s apartment on February 15, the day after her friends saw her. Others testified that, years after Andrews vanished, Nowicki told people he had raped and strangled her and that her body would never be found.

      I find that all to be pretty gruesome.

  2. Kat April 30, 2012 / 4:12 pm

    I’ve read that before in reference to that case, and worse otherwise. Insane would be a better word, but that is doing injustice to those who are honestly mentally ill. It will never cease to amaze me what one human being can do to another. And those that do nothing….worse than scum. Oh, and you go spelling champ..I refuse to use spellcheck (I think it is too easy and makes me dumb so…). At least you can do it, I’m terrible with words.

    • Meaghan April 30, 2012 / 4:15 pm

      Actually, you haven’t read it all before, because most of that is new text I’m going to put up next update. 🙂 But you’ve read the gist of it before.

      I don’t know which is worse: the facts of this poor woman’s imprisonment and murder, or the fact that apparently dozens of people came in and out of the apartment and none of them really did anything to help her and some of them went out of their way to hurt her.

      • Kat April 30, 2012 / 5:53 pm

        You’re right, that was the gist of it, I do remember the whole chained to a radiator thing though. Like I said, those who aid and abet it and only come forward when forced….scum. If I have to hear, in any case, one more time “I was afraid for my life….” I’ll scream. Not specific for this case but there are a lot of others that fit that.

  3. Peter Henderson April 30, 2012 / 4:16 pm

    Hi Meaghan

    Best I could do was this


    You will need to contact the source for the image.

    Like you I had never heard of either case but both are well documented. It’s highly unlikely Cheryl or Angelica will ever be found.

    Cheryl husband shot her, not once, not twice; he empted his 22 pistol into her. Shooting her three time in the face and the rest in her chest. Of course he said it was a accident. He then put her body in a 55 gallon drum and set her on fire using Kerosene. After that he dumped her in a trash bin where he worked. They checked the garbage dump, did find a few bone fragments, but it was never established that the bones were Cheryl’s. Her two children were raised by her parents.

    Angelica was murdered by a convicted sex offender. Her body was dumped in Lake Michigan. She became famous when Oprah Winfrey, outraged by her murder, used it to bring national attention to child abuse/child rape, including her own.

    • Meaghan April 30, 2012 / 4:20 pm

      I don’t see any picture there, just “No preview currently available.”

      • Kat April 30, 2012 / 5:50 pm

        I concur…looks like you have to contact someone to get the info. Ah, red tape.

      • Peter Henderson April 30, 2012 / 6:02 pm

        Correct Meaghan I could not link the photo, just the fact it was there. You need to contact the page. Better yet contact Oprah Winfrey. I am sure she can provide a picture and who knows maybe she will mention Charley on OWN.

  4. Justin May 20, 2012 / 9:40 pm

    Here is one I found. Eleven year old Roxie Moser. She disappeared from an east Tulsa parking lot. Vernon Lynn Hopper Jr. confessed to murdering her by injecting her with an animal tranquilizer and received a no-parole life prison sentence in 1998. They never did find her body. I was looking for a photograph of her, but have come up empty.

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