April L. Grisanti

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Above Images: Grisanti, circa 1985

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Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: February 1, 1985 from Norwalk, Connecticut
  • Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Date of Birth: May 1, 1964
  • Age: 20 years old
  • Height and Weight: 5'4, 120 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian female. Brown hair, brown eyes.
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description: A black rabbit-fur coat, a black shirt, blue (possibly striped) jeans, white sneakers, a plain silver ring, a thin silver ring with a turquoise stone, and silver earrings. Carrying a gray and beige clutch purse with a top zipper.
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    Details of Disappearance

    Grisanti was last seen leaving Anthony's Cafe, a bar on Main Street in Norwalk, Connecticut, on February 1, 1985. Shortly after midnight she went across the stree to use the phone to call for a ride, and never returned. She was accompanied by her boyfriend, James C. "Purple" Aaron Jr. A photo of James is posted below this case summary. A witness reported seeing a woman kicking and screaming in James's blue Cadillac as he drove away. Aaron drove north on Main Street and then turned left on New Canaan Avenue with Grisanti in the vehicle, still struggling. She has never been heard from again. Her car was later found near Ann Street, in the Norwalk River.

    Half an hour before her disappearance, Grisanti told the police she was having an argument with James. One of her fingers was bleeding, and she said he'd assaulted her. She refused to have him arrested, however, and left with James in his blue Cadillac at 12:30 a.m. He said she got out of his car at a stoplight three blocks away. Grisanti's mother reported her missing later that day. Her wallet with her credit cards, driver's license, and birth certificate was found abandoned in Norwalk a month later.

    James's estranged wife, Mary Frattalone-Aaron, disappeared from her husband's Norwalk residence in July 1981 and was found murdered in a wooded area behind a commuter lot on Route 123 a month later. They had been discussing divorce at the time of her disappearance. James was questioned in her disappearance, but no charges were ever filed.

    Later in February 1985, James was charged with kidnapping and unlawful restraint in Grisanti's case. He was convicted and served nearly six years in prison before his release in December 1991. Grisanti's mother filed a lawsuit against him for injuries her daughter suffered in the kidnapping; the suit was settled in 1992 for $50,000. Grisanti has never been located, and Aaron died in 2016 at the age of 65. He remains the prime suspect in her death.

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    Above: James Aaron

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    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Norwalk Police Department
    283-854-3000

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    Source Information
    The Doe Network
    NamUs
    The New York Times
    The New Haven Register
    Connecticut News 12
    The Norwalk Daily Voice
    East Haven Patch

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    Updated 7 times since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated June 11, 2017; details of disappearance updated.

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