Ilonka Cann

Ilonka, circa 1970

  • Missing Since 05/26/1970
  • Missing From Huntington Mills, Pennsylvania
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Female
  • Race White
  • Age 22 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'6, 130 pounds
  • Medical Conditions Cann was pregnant at the time of her disappearance.
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian female. Blonde hair, blue eyes. Cann's nickname is Tootsie. Her hair was long at the time of her disappearance.

Details of Disappearance

Ilonka was last seen at her home in Huntington Mills, Pennsylvania on May 26, 1970. Her husband of two years, Charles Cann II, saw her at 7:20 a.m. before he went to his teaching job at the Berwick Junior High School.

When he returned home at 3:30 p.m., Ilonka was gone and the couple's fifteen-month-old son was alone in the house, crying in his crib upstairs. She has never been heard from again. Charles reported her missing the next day. An extensive search of the area, including a dive team checking a nearby pond, turned up no indication of Ilonka's whereabouts.

Charles Cann's father, a teacher, abruptly quit his job on the morning on May 27, 1970, the day after Ilonka disappeared. He also made inconsistent statements after she went missing. At one point he said only his grandson had been with him when he visited his house in New Jersey in the days after Ilonka's disappearance; he later said Charles had been with him too and he'd misspoken earlier.

In 1971, the year after Ilonka's disappearance, Charles began seeing another woman, Grace Page Brown. Grace moved into the home he'd formerly shared with Ilonka and took Charles's last name, and the couple lived together until 1987, without Charles ever filing for divorce from Ilonka or trying to have her declared legally dead.

In 1987, Grace filed for divorce, saying her cohabitation with Charles made him her common-law husband. Charles claimed they had never been legally married and he was still married to Ilonka; Grace said they were presumed married in 1972.

Ultimately, the court ruled that Grace and Charles had entered into a common-law marriage on June 1, 1982 and that Grace could proceed with her divorce action. The divorce was granted in 1990. Charles appealed, and the appeals court ruled that, even though he had never tried to have her declared legally dead, Ilonka was presumed deceased as of 1977, seven years after her disappearance.

In the summer of 2022, authorities searched a pond and a wooded area near Cann Road for evidence in Ilonka's case. This location was on the property where Ilonka went missing. Ilonka's presumed death was investigated at a two-day coroner's inquest in 2024. Charles was called to testify and refused, citing his fifth amendment right against self-incrimination. Grace testified, saying that at one point during the early 1970s, Charles put a gun to her head, leaving a bruise, and told her he had killed Ilonka. Ilonka's sister said Charles had a temper and a controlling personality.

The coroner's jury declared her death was a homicide, of undetermined means. There has been no indication of Ilonka's whereabouts since she went missing, and no one has ever been charged in her case.

Investigating Agency

  • Pennsylvania State Police 570-542-4117

Updated 9 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated March 13, 2024; details of disappearance updated.