Details of Disappearance
Janice was last seen leaving a friend's home in Smithtown, Long Island, New York at 10:45 p.m. on October 30, 1981. She stopped at her friend's and invited the friend to accompany her. The friend decided not to an Janice left the friend's home on Nesconset Highway alone.
She was en route to a local bar at Nesconset Highway and Hauppauge Road, where she planned to meet her brother Jimmy. Although Janice was underage, she had false identification to get into the bar. Janice and Jimmy were going to go to a nightclub in New York City. Janice never arrived to meet him and has not been heard from again.
Janice lived with her family in the 200 block of Mount Pleasant Road at the time of her disappearance. She had a naive, trusting nature and often hitchhiked. Her parents and teachers described her as a normal teenager who enjoyed rock concerts, was close to her siblings and got average grades in her classes at Smithtown High School West, where she was a senior.
However, she had both smoked and sold marijuana, and she had been arrested for selling LSD to an undercover police officer on three different occasions, twice at school and once at her home.
She pleaded guilty to one count as part of a plea bargain and faced the possibility of a year in jail, but disappeared five days before sentencing. Janice was reportedly frightened at the prospect of going to jail, but her lawyer believed she would get off lightly, since she had no prior criminal record.
Besides her legal troubles, things were apparently going well for Janice at the time of her disappearance. She had just been hired as a waitress at a local restaurant and was excited about it, and she had a good relationship with her boyfriend.
The police assumed she had dropped out of sight to avoid facing the possible jail sentence, and they issued a warrant for her arrest. Her family and her boyfriend, however, never believed she ran away, and they think foul play was involved in her disappearance.
Janice left all her belongings behind when she disappeared and had less than $1 in cash on her that night, which is inconsistent with the runaway theory. Her case remains unsolved; there's been no sign of her since 1981.