Flashback Friday: The Giusti Family

This week’s Flashback Friday is for not one, not two, but three persons: three-quarters of the Giusti family, who vanished from the family farm five miles outside of Port Townsend, Washington on March 5, 1963. There was the young mother, Sharon, age 20. She had two daughters, and I only have a photo for one of them: Michelle Renee, who was three weeks’ shy of her second birthday. Ten-month-old Clara Arlene (or Arleen; I’ve seen it spelled both ways) has no photo, and hence no Charley Project page. Both the girls were redheads; Sharon had brown hair and blue eyes.

Sharon’s husband didn’t report his wife and daughters missing for four days. He said they simply vanished one day while he was out working on the farm, and the car and some clothes and money disappeared along with them. Perhaps he thought his wife had taken the kids and left him. The day after Mr. Giusti finally filed the missing persons report, however, the missing car was found unlocked and abandoned under a highway overpass just two miles away. No sign of Sharon or the babies. No sign of them from that day to this, fifty years and counting.

The Giusti family’s disappearances are, naturally, considered “suspicious” and foul play is suspected. I have no idea whether the husband is a suspect or whether he’s even still alive. I don’t even know the man’s name. Very little information is available on this case. Michelle and Clara aren’t even on the NCMEC site.

I don’t hold out much hope for Sharon having lived long after her disappearance. But Michelle and Clara could still be out there. What reason would there be to kill babies? It’s not like they could have testified against whoever-it-was that did whatever-it-was to them and their mother. Maybe they have been raised by other families; maybe they think they were adopted through normal channels; or maybe they think they were raised by their biological family and they have no idea there are people looking for them.

Stranger things have happened…we can only hope.

10 thoughts on “Flashback Friday: The Giusti Family

  1. Jason Martin October 2, 2014 / 11:30 pm

    Sharon was my great aunt.( my grandmas sister) Her husbands name is Ray Guisti, and the last known place he lived is Gorst/Belfair wa, he owned a gun shop. Not soon after her disappearance ( about a year) ray married her best friend Bobbi Smith. The town sheriff at the time was ray’s best friend. His name was Bob Hansen, years later he told my uncle he wished he had investigated this case more. He said his hands were tied? My grandma has told me that throughout Sharon’s marriage to Ray she had ran away from him several times hiding at her aunts and my grandmas ( her sisters) and also during her pregnancy she moved back in to her parents house because she was afraid of him. My grandma has told me that she and Sharon were very close and her disappearing without telling her was not like Sharon.

    • Jenni Johnson Watkins August 2, 2019 / 3:57 am

      James,
      Sherri was my aunt, my grandmothers daughter. I’m curious to whimyour related to? I know many Martins are related to Ray through marriage. Cold case detectives have contacted me

  2. James Martin May 10, 2018 / 9:02 am

    Sherry was may aunt, my mother told me that Ray (Sherry’s) husband at the time of her disappearance shot himself last a few days ago. I’m not sure if, or how, it will the case. Its not known if he left a note, but hopefully the truth will come out so my family can put this case behind all of us.

    • Stacy George May 17, 2018 / 11:45 pm

      I am praying for answers for your family. It truly sounds like more should’ve been done.

    • butterflyrises42 May 30, 2018 / 10:27 am

      He committed suicide?

    • TMS November 14, 2018 / 2:02 pm

      What do you think the sheriff meant by “his hands were tied”?

    • Jenni Johnson Watkins August 2, 2019 / 4:03 am

      James,
      I wanted to give an update on my aunts case. The cold case detectives have brought new life into this case and I will assist as much as I can. My father is her baby brother and this has haunted our family for to long. My grandmother died not knowing where her daughter & grandkids are. They’re not in this world anymore but they’re here somewhere

  3. jenni watkins August 2, 2019 / 12:56 am

    I am the niece of Sherry Johnson Guisti and know many things about this case. I believe with the help of the Jefferson county cold case detective team there is new life in this investigation. I know my Grandma J lived her life heartbroken not knowing what happened to her beautiful daughter and 2 precious grandchildren. I know that Ray committed suicide on a date that had great significance to his family. He was not a loving man, he waited to report his family missing, he showed little concern, quickly disposed of the girls belongings then married her best friend soon after the disappearance. And he was good friends with the Sheriff at the time; very small town friends. I’ll be checking in because I want to find justice for my aunt I never got to meet whom I always heard about.

    • TMS October 21, 2019 / 1:00 pm

      Hello Jenni. I am in Port Townsend and have been doing a little research on Sharon’s disappearance. Would you want to talk about it with me a little?

      you can contact me: tmshaw at gmail dot com.

      if not, that’s ok too.

    • Molly Bee September 19, 2020 / 10:39 pm

      Sherry’s story has ate at me for years. Grandma Black and Aunt Florence talked about her just about every time they visited . As a little kid lots didn’t sink in . As I got older the story plagued me. Still does .I too wonder if the girls weren’t placed with someone . Lets hope the task force can find out more about that last day and help everyone have peace of mind.

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