April L. Grisanti

Grisanti, circa 1985; James Aaron

  • Missing Since 02/01/1985
  • Missing From Norwalk, Connecticut
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Female
  • Race White
  • Date of Birth 05/01/1964 (56)
  • Age 20 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'4, 120 pounds
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description A black rabbit-fur coat, a black shirt, blue jeans (possibly striped), white sneakers, a plain silver ring, a thin silver ring with a turquoise stone, and silver earrings. Carrying a gray and beige clutch purse with a top zipper.
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian female. Brown hair, brown eyes. Grisanti's ears are pierced.

Details of Disappearance

Grisanti was last seen leaving Anthony's Cafe, a bar on Main Street in Norwalk, Connecticut, on February 1, 1985. Shortly after midnight she went across the street to use the phone to call for a ride, and never returned. She was accompanied by her boyfriend, James C. "Purple" Aaron Jr. A photo of Aaron is posted with this case summary.

A witness reported seeing a woman kicking and screaming in James's blue Cadillac as he drove away. Aaron drove north on Main Street and then turned left on New Canaan Avenue with Grisanti in the vehicle, still struggling. She has never been heard from again. Her car was later found near Ann Street, in the Norwalk River.

Half an hour before her disappearance, Grisanti told the police she was having an argument with James. One of her fingers was bleeding, and she said he'd assaulted her. She refused to have him arrested, however, and left with James in his blue Cadillac at 12:30 a.m. He said she got out of his car at a stoplight three blocks away.

Grisanti's mother reported her missing later that day. Her wallet with her credit cards, driver's license, and birth certificate was found abandoned in Norwalk a month later.

James's estranged wife, Mary Frattalone-Aaron, disappeared from her husband's Norwalk residence in July 1981 and was found murdered in a wooded area behind a commuter lot on Route 123 a month later. They had been discussing divorce at the time of her disappearance. James was questioned in her disappearance, but no charges were ever filed.

Later in February 1985, James was charged with kidnapping and unlawful restraint in Grisanti's case. He was convicted and served nearly six years in prison before his release in December 1991.

Grisanti's mother filed a lawsuit against him for injuries her daughter suffered in the kidnapping; the suit was settled in 1992 for $50,000. Grisanti has never been located, but she has been declared legally dead. Aaron died in 2016 at the age of 65, while serving time on unrelated charges. He remains the prime suspect in her presumed murder.

Investigating Agency

  • Norwalk Police Department 283-854-3000

Updated 8 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated February 23, 2021; picture added, details of disappearance updated.