Stanina Ignjatovic

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Above: Ignjatovic, circa 1999

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Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: April 15, 1999 from Brooklyn, New York
  • Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Age: 54 years old
  • Height and Weight: 4'9, 135 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian female. Brown hair, brown eyes. Ignjatovic is a Serbian national. She speaks poor English and is hard of hearing. Some accounts give her first name as "Stanica."
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    Details of Disappearance

    Ignjatovic was last heard from on the morning of April 15, 1999 when she called a relative from her apartment on Conselyea Street in the New York City borough of Brooklyn and said she was going to the borough of Manhattan to visit her sister. She never arrived and has never been heard from again. No signs of a struggle or forced entry were found at her apartment, and there was no note.

    Ignjatovic had been having problems with her landlord, Marion Okuniewski, at the time of her disappearance. In 1997, an electrical fire badly damaged her apartment building and forced the tenants to move elsewhere. Ignjatovic sought help from a tenant advocacy organization, the St. Nicholas Neighborhood Preservation Organization, saying Okuniewski was not making repairs fast enough. A tenant advocate accompanied her to Housing Court to ensure that Ignjatovic would be able to move back into her rent-controlled apartment once it was repaired. Both Ignjatovic and the tenant advocate claim Okuniewski threatened them; the advocate says Okuniewski said he would burn her house down. On the morning of March 13, 1998, someone did set fire to some benzine-soaked rags at the entrance to the advocate's building. The arson remains unsolved. The following month, the Housing Court ordered Okuniewski to provide Ignjatovic with accomodation in a building he owned near the one that was burned, and to repair Ignjatovic's old apartment and let her move back in by April 3, 1999.

    After Ignjatovic moved into the temporary apartment, it was burglarized and ransacked three times. On January 31 and March 10, the burglar(s) slashed Ignjatovic's clothes and furniture and stole court documents relating to the housing case. The burglaries remain unsolved. When Ignjatovic was supposed to move back in to her old apartment, Okuniewski said he would only allow her to do so if she agreed to a 40% rent increase. In response, Ignjatovic's attorney asked the Housing Court to cite Okuniewski for contempt. A hearing on the matter was scheduled for April 20, but Ignjatovic disappeared on April 15.

    Okuniewski denies having threatened or bothered Ignjatovic and stated she paid her rent on time and he had no personal issues with her. It is unclear whether the housing dispute had anything to do with Ignjatovic's disappearance. She is considered to be missing under unclear circumstances.

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    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    New York Police Department
    212-694-7781

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    Source Information
    New York City Police Department
    The New York Daily News

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    Updated 1 time since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated April 26, 2008; distinguishing characteristics and details of disappearance updated.

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