Mikalena Nau

Nau, circa 2006

  • Missing Since 02/04/2006
  • Missing From Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Female
  • Race White
  • Age 37 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'4, 105 pounds
  • Associated Vehicle(s) 1997 Mercedes Benz sedan (accounted for)
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian female. Black hair, hazel eyes. Nau's birth name was Michelle and most accounts refer to her by that name. She legally changed her name to Mikalena Nau prior to her disappearance. She may also use the first name Rachel. Nau has a scar on her forehead. Her ears are pierced.

Details of Disappearance

Nau was last seen withdrawing $100 from an ATM near her home on the 1100 block of Elbridge Street in northeast Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on February 4, 2006. She lived alone at the Castor Gardens apartment complex in the Oxford Circle area. She has never been heard from again.

Her relatives became concerned when they didn't hear from her for a week, and one family member visited her home on February 15 and found the apartment in disarray and Nau's dog home alone. Nau was reported missing the next day.

On February 20, authorities found Nau's 1997 Mercedes Benz sedan in the 5700 block of Keystone Street about four miles from her home, near the Northeast Corridor tracks. Her purse was nearby, but her cellular phone was missing. Area residents said the vehicle had been parked there for weeks and some kids had broken into it and been chased away.

Nau's was trying to launch a career as an independent real estate agent, but for years she had been involved in prostitution. She has an arrest record including drug charges, theft and prostitution.

She had passed the real estate licensure exam, but her criminal record prevented her from getting a license or a job at an established agency. She was employed with an escort service at the time of her disappearance, and her family knew nothing about it.

Authorities discovered Nau had been at a party at George Conway's second-floor apartment in the 4200 block of Princeton Avenue on February 4.

She allegedly used cocaine at the gathering, became psychotic and threatened to set fire to the apartment. A witness stated he and Conway tackled her and held her down while trying to take a lighter away from her. Nau suddenly stopped moving and they realized she was dead. It's unclear whether she had a cocaine overdose or asphyxiated.

Conway and another person wrapped Nau's body in a rug, put it in a trash bin on Frankford Avenue and set it on fire. Firefighters extinguished the blaze early on the morning of February 16. The bin's contents were subsequently taken to a garbage plant and incinerated, obliterating any sign of human remains.

The story about Nau's death didn't become known until March 2006, and by then Conway was dead. He was shot to death in his apartment on March 1. A seventeen-year-old boy, Dominic Curcio, was charged with his murder two weeks later.

Conway, a drug dealer, had bragged to customers about killing Nau. He said he'd dismembered her body and dumped it in a river in southern New Jersey. Curcio became upset after hearing the story and shot him.

After his arrest, he admitted his guilt. He said he'd been at Conway's apartment on February 4 and saw Nau, and the next morning he saw her body, but he didn't witness her death. He pleaded guilty to third-degree murder.

As the prime suspect in Nau's disappearance is dead and police don't believe her remains are recoverable, her case is considered closed. Authorities will only reopen the investigation if they receive credible information as to the whereabouts of Nau's remains. She is still considered a missing person.

Nau is described as a "free spirit" who often left home for months at a time, but it's uncharacteristic of her to leave behind her dog and her car. Foul play is suspected in her case due to the circumstances involved.

Investigating Agency

  • Philadelphia Police Department 215-686-3153

Updated 2 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated April 12, 2016; distinguishing characteristics updated.