Details of Disappearance Mary was employed as a house cleaner in Sherman, Connecticut in 1984. She had a stormy relationship with her husband, Dominic Badaracco Sr., and had left him for short periods of time in the past. Shortly before she disappeared, Mary found out Dominic was having an affair. He had a history of infidelity as well as domestic violence. She decided to file for divorce. Mary's adult daughters last heard from her on August 19. They reported her missing on August 31.
Dominic claimed that he saw Mary for the last time on August 20, when she packed all of her belongings and left their residence in the 20 block of Wakeman Hill Road. None of Mary's personal items were located inside the house by her daughters. Her 1982 Chevrolet Cavalier was parked outside of their home, at the end of the long driveway. The windshield on the driver's side of the vehicle had been smashed inward and shards of glass were on the front seat. A photo of the car is posted with this case summary.
Mary's car keys and her wedding ring were placed on the kitchen counter. Her clothes were missing, as were all of the framed photos of her. Dominic claimed that he gave Mary between $100,000 and $250,000 to leave their residence and as an informal settlement. He maintained that she simply packed her things and left after receiving the cash.
Mary's daughters had a close relationship with Mary in 1984. One of her daughters had just given birth to Mary's first grandchild, and the other was engaged to be married at the time. Other loved ones stated she would never leave the vicinity without sharing her plans. Dominic told Mary's children not to tell anyone she was gone. When they reported her disappearance, he told the police she'd left him. He admitted having smashed her car windshield. The police decided not to seize the vehicle, as there was no evidence of foul play. The car disappeared sometime later and has never been located. There's no record of it being sold or given away.
A woman and her daughters moved in with Dominic less than a week after Mary disappeared. Dominic said he had moved in with his sister and was only renting his house to the woman, but he later married her. Two days before Mary was reported missing, Dominic filed for divorce on grounds of abandonment. Divorce proceedings for Mary and Dominic took place in August 1985, nine months after she vanished. Mary was not represented at the hearing and Dominic continued to insist that she left their home after accepting his cash offering. There has not been any evidence of the cash or any trace of Mary's belongings since her disappearance.
Mary's case was upgraded from a missing person's case to a homicide in 1990, six years after she disappeared. Investigators received a tip from an informant that Mary was killed after members of The Hell's Angels motorcycle gang issued a contract on her life. Dominic's son Joseph, who has a criminal record for arson, is a member of the gang. Reportedly, Joseph and an accomplice, Steve Kendall, killed Mary because she was going to go to the police with incriminating information about Dominic.
Joseph was interviewed in prison, but he refused to cooperate. Kendall refused to be interviewed, but he did take a lie detector test, which he reportedly failed. He was later killed in a motorcycle accident. The tip has never been confirmed. No charges have been filed in Mary's disappearance.
Authorities searched the backyard of Ernest Dachenhausen's former home in September 2007, and also brought him to the search site. He said he knew Dominic, but he had nothing to do with Mary's disappearance. Some buried cars were located during the search.
In April 2008, Dachenhausen was charged with a misdemeanor count of interfering with a police investigation in Mary's disappearance. Authorities stated he gave false and leading information to the police. At the trial, authorities identified Dominic as the prime suspect in Mary's presumed death. Dachenhausen was acquitted at his trial in May 2009.
Dominic was convicted of attempted bribery in connection with Mary's disappearance in June 2013. He had attempted to interfered with the grand jury probe into Mary's disappearance by offering the presiding judge $100,000. He was sentenced to seven years in prison.
Mary has eleven siblings. She attended Danbury High School, but dropped out at sixteen to marry her first husband. They had two daughters and divorced a few years later. Mary worked sporadically as a bartender and a housecleaner after the divorce, and frequently changed residences. She enjoyed painting and drawing as a hobby. She married Dominic in 1970. He has four children from a prior marriage.
Some agencies may list Southbury, Connecticut as the location of Mary's disappearance. Her case remains unsolved.
- Connecticut State Police
Updated 9 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated December 18, 2013; details of disappearance updated.