Select It Sunday: Star Palumbo

This Select It Sunday post, chosen by Elisabeth D., is Star Michelle Palumbo, a young woman missing from Reno, Nevada since April 26, 2000. I have a fair amount of info on her case but I haven’t updated the casefile in almost a decade.

Star was an attractive young woman and 25 when she vanished. Unfortunately she’d gotten involved with meth and, with it, prostitution. Around the time she disappeared she’d gotten very paranoid, probably as a result of her meth use: she believed she was being stalked, that her phone was tapped and the federal government was trying to kill her.

The last person to see her was, apparently, a police officer who found her wandering around the airport tarmac and took her to a hotel. She never checked in.

I have been unable to find any updates on her case. Someone has set up a Facebook page but there’s not much on it.

Although foul play might not necessarily have been involved in her disappearance, I think it’s very unlikely Star is still alive today. But if she is, she’d be 42 now.

18 thoughts on “Select It Sunday: Star Palumbo

  1. Mia June 19, 2017 / 11:22 pm

    Oh wow. She sounds like her life took an awful turn. Apparently meth can induce psychosis, which I didn’t know until looking it up after reading this post. She could have also suffered from schizophrenia… the whole government-preying-on-her thing sounds pretty textbook.

    • Meaghan June 20, 2017 / 7:53 am

      I think just about any of the “hard” drugs can induce psychosis under certain conditions (with the possible exception of heroin which I’m not sure about).

      • Mia June 20, 2017 / 2:31 pm

        Hmm… not too sure since heroin is a depressant, while cocaine, LSD, meth, etc are stimulants. Of course, any time you’re doing something illegal, there’s bound to be a measure of paranoia about getting caught.

      • Kevin June 20, 2017 / 7:11 pm

        The only drug that can make someone more paranoid than Meth is PCP, but nobody last too long doing either one of them

  2. marsyao June 19, 2017 / 11:34 pm

    What government-preying-on-her thing ?

    • Meaghan June 20, 2017 / 7:50 am

      She thought the Feds were trying to kill her.

      • marsyao June 20, 2017 / 9:35 am

        Thanks, looks like she may suffered mental illness, the best case scenario was that she lived on the street somewhere as a homeless person, but based on her condition, it is probable that she would not survive very long

  3. whereaboutsstillunknown June 20, 2017 / 11:02 am

    There is some interesting stuff on her Unsolved Mysteries page. There are pictures of the drawing she made and of the inside of her car when it was found.

    Comments are interesting too, though unconfirmed of course. One commenter said that she had gone to meet a date not long before, and something happened and her date died. LE had come to question Stat a couple times about this death and then she disappeared along with a friend, Angel. No idea how true any of that is but I found it interesting.

    https://unsolved.com/gallery/star-palumbo/

    • marsyao June 20, 2017 / 1:11 pm

      Notice there is a new comment post on May 27 ” live in ceres, ca and volunteer at the homeless shelter in my area. I thought I saw her in line to eat.” though I kind of doubt it, even if she manages to survive so long living on the street, her appearance would be very different now

      • Meaghan June 20, 2017 / 3:15 pm

        Yeah, think of those “faces of meth” billboards.

  4. Mia June 20, 2017 / 2:32 pm

    Meaghan, it might be an interesting Make-A-List topic to include people who were experiencing hallucinations or paranoia at the time of their disappearances.

  5. Kathryn June 2, 2018 / 1:35 pm

    I have a very Good friend who held a responsible job, and was not taking anything, not even alcohol.
    She went very weird on me, sayingthe government was in a conspiracy and when she lost her job inevitably she refused to sign on for financial help saying the form filling was their way of taking over! Sometimes she could hold an intelligent conversation and in the next breath say john lennon was ruling the worldby communicating througgh madonna! She had me thinking I was mad.
    Anyway she was arrested walking along our motorway picking up litter and she told the police she was heading for sellafield, our nuclear plant.
    Turns out she was bi-polar.
    This can happen to anyone in times of stress and trauma. . Very frightening to witness and very real to her. Still haas relapses and episodes. She could have been very ill.

  6. Who was Valdis 'Wally' Krilovs? June 2, 2018 / 1:35 pm

    Was the police officer genuine, or rent a cop. She never checked in, did he really take her to a hotel?? Where is the other girl angel??

    • Ken Moroney September 7, 2018 / 4:56 pm

      The version I had been told immediately after the incidence was that an airport fueler (not an airline employee but ground services) took her from airport..not LE..and strangely (I investigated) quit his longtime job there) within a short time after her missing. Nothing about airport police report sounded authentic as I worked for the airlines 20 yrs and if you were found on the tarmac you would have been under investigation for more than an hour…and no real airport police would ask an independent contractor employee to take a person nearly arrested to drop her off at a hotel. BTW, personal friend of the family and knew Star pretty well.

    • Courtney December 1, 2020 / 2:20 pm

      Hey there! Niece of Star and trying to get her case reopened but with that need new evidence… I haven’t heard of angel. Could you please fill me in?

      • Bob December 2, 2020 / 1:56 pm

        My heart breaks when I think of Star. I feel so bad for her parents and family not having closure. There was a guy that lived up near Truckee, he was a former priest and is now severing time for the abductions and murders of several teens from about the same time frame as when Star went missing. This info, along w/a phone number that Star had called Sunday morning prior to going missing was given to Det. Jenkins (?). I would have to research the “priest” name again but it was a well known case. LE went to his property and dug a few area’s to search for remains. The Priest first name was Richard (all that I remember). The last I heard was that he is/was serving time in a NorCal prison. He should be questioned re: Star’s case. gl Courtney in my opinion, unless someone came forward w/new info you best bet may be a private detective and access to everything that Jenkins and RPD had at the time.

      • Bob December 2, 2020 / 2:10 pm

        Angel and her brother were roommates of Star’s. Angel worked as an “Escort” w/Star. I’ve always felt that the brother and sister knew a lot more than they shared w/LE. They knew Star’s “comings and goings” plus, who Star associated with. My feeling is that RPD had a lot of the pieces that they needed but, they had too many other “more pressing” cases. Basicly they dropped the ball.

  7. Bob April 30, 2019 / 2:11 pm

    Ken I appreciate your comments. I had never heard that theory before. This is a case that could have and, should have been solved by now. Too bad that LE did not work it harder. The trail ends w/whoever made the alleged drop off at the hotel. Something doesn’t add up here, including a gap in the time. The girl referred to as Angel and her brother, knew more about Star’s circumstances than they were required to answer. It is my believe that RPD dropped the ball on this one and, did not bother to follow up due to Star’s involvement w/meth and her attempts at prostitution. I knew Star and believe me, she was a novice at best. A sweet young girl that got in way, way over her head.
    Does it not strike anyone strange that Darren Mack was Star’s boss? And, that they were heading down parallel paths, when their lives started to unravel!
    Ken if you are in contact w/Star’s mom I would like to speak w/her. The Caly guy..

    https://www.rgj.com/story/news/2018/05/01/darren-mack-appeals-again-ex-wifes-murder-judge-shooting/570783002/

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