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.
In 1971, the year after Ilonka's disappearance, Charles began seeing another woman, Grace P. 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.
There has been no indication of Ilonka's whereabouts since she went missing, and the circumstances surrounding her disappearance are unclear.
- Pennsylvania State Police
Updated 6 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated August 10, 2021; distinguishing characteristics updated.