Barbara Jean Monaco

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Top Row and Bottom Left and Center: Monaco, circa 1978;
Bottom Right: Age-progression to age 51 (circa 2011)

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Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: August 23, 1978 from Virginia Beach, Virginia
  • Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Date of Birth: August 19, 1960
  • Age: 18 years old
  • Height and Weight: 5'4, 110 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian female. Brown hair, brown eyes. Monaco previously suffered a hairline fracture to her left arm. She may go by her initials, B.J. She is blind in her one eye.
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description: A long-sleeved yellow shirt, blue jeans, a brown belt and clogs.
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    Details of Disappearance

    Monaco and her older sister lived in Derby, Connecticut in 1978. They took a vacation trip to Virginia Beach, Virginia on August 20, the day after Monaco's eighteenth birthday, and registered at the Aloha Motel on 15th Street. They planned to stay in Virginia for a week.

    Monaco and her sister went to the Country Comfort bar on Pacific Avenue on the night of August 22. A man there kept urging Monaco to go out with him, and told her he had a yacht, but she was uninterested. Monaco was last seen at 1:00 a.m. August 23, when she left her sister and began walking to a bar called Peabody's, where she had a prearranged a date with a bartender. The bar was six blocks away. Witnesses saw Monaco get into a car on Pacific Avenue; the vehicle reportedly contained four or five men. She never arrived for her date and has never been heard from again. Her sister tried to report her as a missing person later that day, but the police refused to take a report for 48 hours.

    Eight months after Monaco's disappearance, her family advertised a $10,000 reward for her recovery, dead or alive. In response to the ad, a man came forward claiming he had witnessed Monaco's rape and murder the night of her disappearance. He told investigators that Monaco's killers had abducted her as she walked along Pacific Avenue, put her in a sedan, drove her to a lakeside cottage near Oceana, Virginia, killed her and dumped her body in a lake. Authorities dragged the lake and found a cinder block with a rope tied to it, but they didn't find Monaco's remains. The informant reportedly passed a polygraph exam, but he ceased cooperating after authorities refused to offer him immunity from prosecution for his testimony.

    Other witnesses and suspects have been interviewed over the years. James L. "Jimbo" Moore Jr. spoke to the police in 2001 and reportedly gave them information he could only have known if he was with Monaco on the night of her disappearance. He agreed to take a polygraph to verify the authenticity of his story, but only hours after he made his statement, before he could take the test, took his own life outside his apartment.

    No arrests have been made in connection with Monaco's case. Her family held a memorial service for her in 2003, on the twenty-fifth anniversary of her disappearance. Monaco is a graduate of Derby High School; she was a drum majorette there. Foul play is suspected in her disappearance due to the circumstances involved.

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    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Virginia Beach Police Department
    757-427-4101

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    Source Information
    The Virginian-Pilot
    The Doe Network
    Virginia Beach Crime Solvers
    The Doe Network
    NamUs
    The National Center For Missing and Exploited Children

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    Updated 9 times since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated November 13, 2013; distinguishing characteristics and clothing/jewelry description updated.

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