Details of Disappearance
Ilene was walking home in Dublin, California on January 30, 1989 at 3:00 p.m., after her classes concluded at Wells Intermediate School. Several classmates reported seeing Ilene walking alone on Amador Valley Boulevard near Village Parkway and the Shamrock Shopping Center in the afternoon; she vanished shortly afterwards. She was taking a shortcut home, going through a wide alley behind a shopping center, a furniture store called the Sawmill, and Gallagher's Pub, then across the boulevard and through John Mape Park along a dry creek bed.
Ilene has never been seen again. She was carrying a dark blue backpack at the time of her disappearance. The backpack was later found abandoned in the creek bed in John Mape Park near where she was last seen. It was located after the area had already been searched; authorities believe someone may have placed it there after Ilene's disappearance.
One possible suspect named in Ilene's disappearance is Timothy Bindner, who was also investigated for possible connections to the disappearance of Amanda "Nikki" Campbell
. For many years Bindner was also considered a suspect in the 1988 disappearances of Amber Swartz-Garcia
from Pinole, California and Michaela Garecht
from Fremont, California. He was never charged in any of the cases, maintains his innocence and successfully sued Amanda's hometown of Fairfield in 1997 for defamation of character.
Bindner approached many of the mothers of missing girls from the East Bay area offering his assistance, including Amber and Michaela's families. Investigators asked Amber's mother to maintain a quasi-friendship with Bindner in hope of learning if he was connected to any of the girls' cases. She and authorities agreed that Bindner appeared to playing mind games with victims' loved ones and law enforcement. He has been ruled out in Michaela's case, and in 2020, David Misch was charged with her kidnapping and murder. Misch is a suspected serial killer. He is awaiting trial in Michaela's case and in the 1986 double murder of two women.
Curtis Dean Anderson, who was convicted of the 2000 kidnapping and molestation of a young California girl, was also mentioned as a possible suspect in Amanda's case. Investigators searched Anderson's mother's residence in June 2001 for evidence linking him to other missing girls' cases, but nothing was located.
In 2009, however, police said they believed Anderson was responsible for Amber Swartz-Garcia's disappearance. He had confessed to Amber's murder a month before he died in prison in 2007. Police spent eighteen months investigating his statement and couldn't find any evidence to refute it, and they said they were ending the searching for her. Many remain skeptical of Anderson's claims, however, and Amber's body was never found. In 2013, after an online petition campaign, the Pinole Police Department reopened the investigation into her disappearance.
James Daveggio has been considered as a possible suspect in Ilene's case. He and his former girlfriend, Michelle Lyn Michaud, were charged with the 1997 abduction, rape and murder of Vanessa Lei Sampson. Photos of Daveggio and Michaud are posted with this case summary. They were also charged with additional counts of sexual assault in unrelated cases in the mid-1990s. In 2002, Michaud and Daveggio were convicted of Sampson's murder and sentenced to death. They are awaiting execution.
Ilene remains missing and her case is unsolved. She was a good student and dreamed of becoming a pediatrician, and she was an accomplished figure skater who won medals locally.