Mary T. Kushto

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Above: Kushto, circa 1998

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Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: May 5, 1998 from St. Cloud, Florida
  • Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Date Of Birth: August 18, 1954
  • Age: 43 years old
  • Height and Weight: 5'6, 120 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian female. Brown hair, brown eyes. Mary has a tattoo of a parrot on her right shoulder blade.
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description: A white blouse, blue jeans and black boots.
  • Medical Conditions: Mary has a history of drug and alcohol addiction, but she was clean and sober at the time of her disappearance.
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    Details of Disappearance

    Mary was last seen at Cindy's Lounge in the 1000 block of Pennsylvania Avenue in St. Cloud, Florida at approximately 1:30 a.m. on May 5, 1998. She got into an argument with her boyfriend, left the lounge and has never been heard from again. Her husband, Guy "Tuck" Kushto Jr., reported her missing on May 29, when he went to Cindy's Lounge and told the bartender his wife was missing and "had probably been raped or is somewhere dead." Guy is a card-carrying member of the Ku Klux Klan and admitted he had mistreated Mary. By the time of her disappearance, she had left him, was seeing another man and moved in with friends at a motel near Alligator Lake. Guy passed a lie-detector test and was cleared of involvement in Mary's disappearance.

    Investigators suspect Christopher J. Below was possibly involved in Mary's case. A photograph of him is posted below this case summary. He is a suspect in several murders and disappearances of young brunette women, including Shaylene Farrell, Kristina Porco and Heather Teague. Below pleaded guilty to attempted involuntary manslaughter in connection with the shooting of his mistress, Kathern Fetzer, whose body was never found. He is currently incarcerated in an Ohio prison. Below is known to have been in St. Cloud at the same time that Mary disappeared. It should be emphasized that he has not been charged in connection with any case other than Fetzer's and only conjecture links him to Mary's case.

    Mary left behind her parents, her children and her first husband in Pennsylvania. She usually called them at least once every three weeks. Her family realized there was something wrong when she didn't call home during the week of her son's senior prom and high school graduation. The circumstances of Mary's disappearance are unclear, but foul play is suspected.

    Below
    Above: Below

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    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    St. Cloud Police Department
    407-891-6700

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    Source Information
    The Orlando Sentinel
    The Akron Beacon Journal
    Florida Department of Law Enforcement
    NamUs

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    Updated 1 time since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated March 21, 2012; casefile added.

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