Details of Disappearance Ocasio was last seen leaving the Florida Tap Room bar on Raleigh Street in Orlando, Florida at 2:30 a.m. on May 27, 2009. She never arrived home and has never been heard from again. Her car, a yellow two-door 2002 Chevrolet Cobalt LS with the Florida license plate number J051EC, was found unlocked and abandoned on Franklin Street in Ocoee, Florida at 7:00 p.m. on May 27. This was three miles from the home she shared with her parents.
Photos of the car are posted with this case summary. Ocasio's parents stated it would be uncharacteristic of her to leave her car at that location, as it was a dark area without streetlights and she is afraid of the dark. Her keys, wallet and Verizon LG Voyager cellular phone disappeared with her and have never been found.
James Virgil Hataway is the prime suspect in Ocasio's case. She left the bar with him that night. He said she drove him to his home in the 100 block of Lyle Street and wanted to smoke marijuana, but she didn't like the drugs he had and left quickly. However, Ocasio's cellular phone records show she was in the area until 8:30 a.m. Her car was found only about 150 yards from his home. A photo of Hataway is posted with this case summary. He was arrested after Ocasio's disappearance when police searched his home and found drug paraphernalia in it.
Hataway has a criminal record for robbery, burglary, theft, criminal mischief and possession of drug paraphernalia. After he was linked to Ocasio's disappearance, another woman came forward to say he had attempted to sexually assault her. She didn't report the incident at the time it occurred. In August 2008, Rachael Clarke accused Hataway of choking her and slamming her head on the ground. She had to get a neck brace for her injuries. No charges were filed at the time because Clarke didn't cooperate with the investigation.
In June 2009, at Clarke's request, Hataway was charged with aggravated battery, robbery and burglary in connection with the incident; the battery charge was later upgraded to attempted murder. He admitted having caused Clarke's injuries but denied that he intended to kill her. He was convicted of all charges in April 2011 and sentenced to life in prison. Hataway has never been charged in Ocasio's case.
Ocasio attended high school in Fredericksburg, Virginia and moved to Florida with her parents in 1998. She worked a series of restaurant and retail jobs in the decade prior to her disappearance, and was considering enrolling in college to study radiology. She has two pet lizards, two pet scorpions and a pet cat, and her parents stated she was a big fan of the Orlando Magics basketball team. She was watching a Magics game at the bar the night she disappeared. Foul play is suspected in her disappearance, which it remains unsolved.
- Ocoee Police Department
Updated 5 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated July 13, 2013; picture added.