Linda Pagano identified

Per Carl Koppelman, Linda Marie Pagano has been identified. (That link’s not gonna work much longer; I intend to remove her today.) The seventeen-year-old had been missing from Akron, Ohio since September 1, 1974, but I think she wasn’t added to NamUs till last year, and I just added her case last month. She was beautiful, doe-eyed. Her body was found in Strongsville, Ohio, less than an hour from Akron, in February 1975, only a few months after Linda disappeared, but no one made the connection until now. In fact the UID wasn’t even listed on NamUs until June of last year. Carl says,

An online sleuth discovered this forgotten case while researching cemeteries for graves of John and Jane Doe’s. Websleuths member Ice190 [whom I know, she’s a Facebook friend] obtained the casefile via a FOIA request.

(Muttergrumble. Just how many more of these forgotten UIDs are out there?)

Just to show what an amazing, talented forensic artist Carl is, I’m going to show his drawing of the UID. He calls it a “rough reconstruction” because he had only the side view to work with, and no lower jaw. Yet it looks amazingly like Linda. Here’s Carl’s drawing on the left, and a photo of Linda on the right (I cropped Carl’s drawing and made it smaller because I don’t have a bigger picture of Linda).


Linda had been shot in the head, and her hands and feet were deliberately removed. Her mandible was missing also, though I’m not sure whether this was done by the killer or by nature.

Since the killer made a considerable effort to make sure Linda wouldn’t be identified, my guess is he or she was someone Linda knew. Given how long ago she died, there’s a good chance her killer is also deceased. But at least her family will get the opportunity to bury her decently.


14 thoughts on “Linda Pagano identified

  1. diamondlil16 March 13, 2017 / 2:34 pm

    This is incredible that two strangers with their own talents and curiosity helped this case. Kudos to Carl and Ice190.

    May Linda rest in peace. Condolences to those that loved her.

    • Meaghan March 13, 2017 / 6:19 pm

      I love how the internet works. A lot of cold cases are solved by a bunch of people who each have a piece of the puzzle, and they don’t know each other or ever meet, but they come together online and find the answer.

      • Pogo-a-Gogo March 14, 2017 / 5:33 am

        Meaghan- this brings up a number of issues that would be perfect for future blog posts. I myself am interested in the FOIA process, and I am a member of a crowd sourcing FOIA website.

        I am going to assume that the websleuth member Carl mentioned above discovered that Ms. Pagano was an old MP case that was not listed in NamUs.

        A REALLY helpful Charley blog post (perhaps one already exists, i’ll have to do another search) would be a post detailing all missing person reports that are not already listed in NamUs.

        I understand that LE will usually make the excuse that they are over worked and under budgeted. However, a FOIA request for old cases would force local departments to search for, and digitize, old files. This is something that they should be doing already.

        Perhaps people could get together and create a list of 100 or so old missing person cases that aren’t listed in NamUs. There could then be an organized effort to FOIA this information in various jurisdictions.

      • Meaghan March 14, 2017 / 6:14 am

        I’ll see what I can do about missing such a list. It will be an opportunity to do a big purge, too, I should think. *gulps a couple of laxatives*

      • Meaghan March 14, 2017 / 9:37 am

        Gah. Well, I TRIED to start a list of cases that were on my site but weren’t on NamUs but I’ve been working on it for hours alphabetically by surname and so far I’m only up to “Aikau.” Cause I keep having to check “is this case in NamUs, yes, okay, check the NamUs page and see if there’s anything I don’t have, okay, it’s not in NamUs, check the original source and see if this person has been found” etc and it is taking a very long time and I’m afraid I have a lot of other things that must also occupy my time.

      • Heathebee June 12, 2017 / 5:06 pm

        Pretty sure it was the stepdad. They had a pretty volatile relationship and he was supposedly the last person to have seen her and they fought. I am so happy to see that this is confirmed….

    • Kimberly Gibbs March 18, 2017 / 11:33 am

      I am an old high school friend of Linda’s ,we had a lot of great times hanging out together and I miss my spunky little friend. My heart has been heavy all these years of the NOT knowing. I thank all involved for finally giving her family and friends closure.May her soul finally rest in peace.Love and miss you my sweet friend🌹🙏🐞💔

    • C A Boraski March 20, 2017 / 10:15 pm

      I hope the remains will positively be identified. Linda was my cousin. We all thought the stepfather did it. How sad that Aunt Ann never had closure.

      • diamondlil16 March 21, 2017 / 8:09 pm

        I can’t imagine what it has been like for you and your family all these years.

        Is the step father still living?

        Hoping that your family doesn’t have much longer to wait for the DNA.

      • Meaghan March 21, 2017 / 8:34 pm

        Her stepfather has passed on.

  2. Pogo-a-Gogo March 14, 2017 / 7:27 am

    Took me a while to find it, but here’s a recent example. The state of Kansas is currently debating a bill that would open up missing person records to cold cases that are over 25 years in age:

    The second this bill passes there should be open record requests for each and every case that mentions the criteria. I’d be willing to be that there are a number of such cases that were never added to NamUs.

  3. Justin March 14, 2017 / 5:42 pm

    Way to go Karl.

  4. Lynda M June 24, 2017 / 6:34 pm

    Feelig sad and happy at the same time. Happy they finally found her, sad at what may have been done to her. I wish Ann, her Mom was still with us. But I am sure they are together now. RIP

  5. Susan S. aka Butcher August 11, 2017 / 11:59 am

    I was best friends with Linda for years in high school. I am glad her mother did not have to live knowing this. It would have been too devastating for those who loved her. I always had hope that she would turn up somewhere. I only regret that no one had to pay for what they did to her. RIP

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