Details of Disappearance Mary was last seen in Lighthouse Point, Florida on April 28, 1982. She lived in the 3100 block of northeast 31st Avenue. The previous day, she visited her daughter and her daughter's family, then went out with friends for her regular evening out. She seemed to be in a good mood at the time. At 1:45 a.m., she left for home.
According to her estranged husband, Joseph A. Dussich, he and Mary got into an argument in the living room which turned into a fight, and Joseph punched her in the face, bloodying her nose. She left the house angrily, got into her yellow four-door 1978 Lincoln Continental, and drove away. She has never been heard from again.
Mary's Lincoln was found in May 1982, in the long-term parking lot at Miami International Airport. Her purse was in the trunk, along with some old clothing. Inside the purse were Mary's checkbook and photos of her daughter and grandchildren, but no cash or wallet. Police could find no bloodstains or other indications of a fight at the couple's home, and no blood traces in her vehicle.
After sixteen years of marriage, the Dussiches were going through a bitter divorce at the time of Mary's disappearance. Neither wanted to relinquish the rights to their home, so they continued to live together, but in different wings. They had cowbells on their bedroom doors and police described the atmosphere as "like an armed camp."
Mary had accused Joseph of beating her, and twice police went to their home to settle domestic disputes. In 1980, after being assaulted by her husband, she had had to go to the hospital to get her injuries treated. Mary got a restraining order against him, but no charges were ever filed. Joseph, meanwhile, called Mary "very abusive" in his testimony about the divorce.
It's unclear whether Mary's disappearance had anything to do with the divorce. Her husband died in 1996. Although he said he thought Mary might have left on her own, but Mary's family and friends believed she'd met with foul play. Her case remains unsolved.
- Lighthouse Point Police Department
Updated 1 time since October 12, 2004. Last updated September 4, 2018; casefile added.