Details of Disappearance
Allyson was last seen at approximately 7:45 a.m. on July 27, 1998, at her mother's second-floor apartment in the 100 block of Charles Street in Strasburg, Virginia. She was with her mother, Sylena Jo Dalton, at the time. A photo of Sylena is posted with this case summary.
At 2:25 p.m., one of Sylena's coworkers found Sylena's body on a couch inside the residence. She had been stabbed five times in the chest. Allyson was missing and so were several of her baby bottles. She is presumed to have been abducted by the murderer(s).
Authorities believe Sylena was killed between 9:15 and 10:30 a.m. Her neighbors stated they did not hear screams or any disturbance that morning, although one reported seeing a man putting a baby in a truck. The murder weapon had been taken from the scene.
At the time of the murder, Sylena was seeking child support from her sometime boyfriend, Daniel E. Pompell, and he was supposed to take DNA tests to determine paternity. Pompell told police he'd been at Sylena's apartment at about 9:00 a.m., shortly before the murder. He said he knocked on the door and no one answered, so he left.
In 2000, Sylena's mother filed a suit against Pompell, seeking $1.5 million in damages for Sylena's wrongful death. The suit was later dismissed for lack of evidence, and Pompell has never faced criminal charges in connection with Sylena's death or Allyson's disappearance, although authorities did search his home after the murder. He has cooperated with the investigation.
Allyson's whereabouts remain unknown and Sylena's homicide remains unsolved.