Details of Disappearance Kelly left a female friend's residence at approximately 9:30 to 10:00 p.m. on June 12, 1984 in her hometown of Lynbrook, New York. She was last seen walking west on Earl Avenue and Merrick Road shortly thereafter. She is believed to have been destined for Captain Video, a now-defunct video parlor half a mile west of Merrick Road, but she never arrived there.
Kelly has never been heard from again. She had a part-time job at a shade and venetian blinds packaging factory at the time she disappeared. She lived with her mother, stepfather, siblings and stepsiblings, and rarely saw her biological father.
Authorities do not believe Kelly left of her own accord. She had laid out the clothes she was planning to wear for the next day, she never picked up her last paycheck and she left all of her money and personal belongings behind. She disappeared the day before she was supposed to take an important final exam in her summer school social studies class.
Kelly had been experimenting with alcohol prior to her disappearance, was associating with older men, and sometimes broke her curfew, but her loved ones say she was no more rebellious than most teenagers.
One of Kelly's friends, Theresa Fusco, disappeared on November 10, 1984, almost five months after Kelly. Her body was found three weeks later, on December 5, about five blocks from her home.
On March 26, 1985, several months after Fusco was found, another area teenager, Jacqueline Martarella, 19, disappeared after she left a friend's Oceanside home to go to her workplace at Burger King. Martarella's body was found on April 22 on a golf course. Police are looking into the possibility that Martarella's, Fusco's, and Kelly's cases are all related.
All three women were Caucasian teenagers who were last seen walking alone in the evening hours. Both Martarella and Fusco were sexually assaulted and strangled and both were found naked, their bodies dumped in open fields. Their clothing was never found.
Dennis Halstead, John Restivo and John Kogut were convicted of murdering Fusco and served seventeen years in prison for the crime before they were released and their convictions vacated after DNA testing cast doubt on their guilt. The DNA found on Fusco's body didn't match any of them.
Kogut, who had confessed to the murder, was the only one of the suspects to be tried again after the conviction was overturned. He was acquitted by a judge. Kelly had dated Kogut at one time, and she also knew Halstead and would occasionally visit his apartment with her friends.
Fusco's and Martarella's murders are unsolved. Photographs of Kogut and the two murdered teens are posted below this case summary.
Foul play is suspected in Kelly's case; she is presumed dead by both law enforcement and her family. Her mother now lives in Vermont. Kelly's case remains unsolved. Authorities are not sure if it has anything to do with the two murders.
- Nassau County Police Department
Updated 8 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated September 22, 2018; picture added.