Phylicia Albina Thomas

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Above Images: Thomas, circa 2004

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Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: February 11, 2004 from Lake Township, Pennsylvania
  • Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Date Of Birth: January 5, 1982
  • Age: 22 years old
  • Height and Weight: 5'6, 110 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian female. Light brown hair, blue eyes. Both of Thomas's arms are laced with scars from dog bites. She has freckles on her face. Thomas is a cigarette smoker.
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description: A rust-colored wool fringed sweater, a blue collared polo shirt with "Pump and Pantry" written on it, white pants, gray Nike sneakers, a blue Pump-N-Pantry hat and a homemade beaded hemp necklace.
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    Details of Disappearance

    Thomas finished her shift at the Pump-N-Pantry at approximately 11:30 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. on February 11, 2004. Her co-workers say she was in good spirits when she left work. Afterwards, she went to her home in the vicinity of the 100 block of Route 118 in Lake Township, Pennsylvania. Her boyfriend, Ed Rudaski, says he was sleeping on the couch and woke up when she came in. They had a brief conversation and she asked him for a beer. He told her the beer was outside in his all-terrain vehicle (ATV), then he went back to sleep on the couch.

    When Rudaski woke up again an hour later and went to their bedroom, Thomas was not there. He drove his ATV to a friend's house, thinking she might be there, but she was not, so he went back to their home to wait for her return. She has never been heard from again. Rudaski believes Thomas left their residence of her own accord. There was no sign of forced entry to the house, and he heard no suspicious noises.

    Investigators believe Thomas's disappearance is suspicious. Rudaski has cooperated with the investigation and is not being called a suspect. The man who gave Thomas a ride home from work the evening of her disappearance has also been interviewed and cleared of suspicion. She was carrying her cigarettes with her at the time she went missing.

    Searchers found some mysterious notes while looking for Thomas. The notes alluded to a body which was supposedly behind the Mountain Fresh Supermarket in Pike's Creek, Pennsylvania. Police looked in that location but found nothing. The supermarket is only about a tenth of a mile from the Pump-N-Pantry where Thomas worked.

    Investigators searched the home of Steven Allan Martin, a friend of Rudaski's, for evidence relating to Thomas's disappearance. They would not say what, if anything, that they found. Martin claims he called the Rudaski/Thomas residence shortly after 11:30 p.m. on February 11 and spoke to Thomas. He says he asked to speak to Rudaski and she told him he was sleeping. This would corroborate Rudaski's version of events.

    Curiously, Martin is connected to the case of another missing young woman from Lake Township. He is the last person known to have seen Jennifer Barziloski, his girlfriend's eighteen-year-old sister, before she disappeared from Edwardsville, Pennsylvania in 2001. In April 2010, her skull was found in a forest in northeast Pennsylvania. Some media accounts suggested that Thomas and Barziloski's cases were connected, but authorities have found nothing to support this hypothesis beyond the fact that the two women were friends and Martin was the last person known to have contact with them. He is, however, considered a person of interest in both cases.

    One of Martin's associates was Hugo Selenski, who was charged with several counts of murder after human remains were found in his backyard. Selenski confessed to several killings, including the murder of Hyun Jong Song, a college student who disappeared from State College, Pennsylvania in 2001 and was never found. Selenski was never charged in Song's case and investigators are uncertain as to whether his confession in her case was accurate. He was acquitted of the murder charges against him but convicted of abuse of a corpse. Selenski has not been linked to Thomas or Barziloski, but he was known to be a friend of Martin's.

    Martin was involved in a police chase in December 2004 which resulted in the death of an innocent bystander. He was sentenced to ten and a half years in prison as a result. In August 2005, a month after arriving at the prison, he hung himself in his cell. Prison staff cut him down and he was taken to the hospital, where he died. He maintained his innocence in Thomas and Barziloski's cases until the end.

    Thomas's case is still under investigation. Police suspect foul play was involved in her disappearance.

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    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Pennsylvania State Police
    570-697-2000

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    Source Information
    Pennsylvania State Police
    The Child Seek Network
    The Times Leader
    The Citizens Voice
    WNEP 16 News
    Unsolved in the News
    Pennsylvania Crime Stoppers

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    Updated 6 times since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated October 8, 2015; two pictures added.

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