Theresa A. Kawash

Kawash, circa 1982; Age-progression to an unknown age; Kawash's 1977 Datsun

  • Missing Since 07/04/1982
  • Missing From Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Female
  • Race White
  • Date of Birth 11/20/1945 (78)
  • Age 36 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'10, 125 pounds
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description A necklace with jade stones.
  • Associated Vehicle(s) Gold 1977 Datsun 280Z, with the vehicle identification number GHLS30065266 and the New Jersey license plate number 338GIY
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian female. Blonde hair, hazel eyes.

Details of Disappearance

Kawash was last seen at her home in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on July 4, 1982. Her husband didn't see her himself, but he heard her call her daughter into her room at 8:00 a.m.

At 8:30 a.m., Kawash's husband and their daughter left, leaving Kawash at home. Her gold 1977 Datsun 280Z, which had the vehicle identification number GHLS30065266 and the New Jersey license plate number 338GIY, was parked in the garage at the time.

When Kawash's husband returned at 11:30 p.m., his wife and her car were gone, although she'd left recently laundered clothes behind, and left the refrigerator full of food. She has never been heard from again and her vehicle has not been located; a photo of it is posted with this case summary. Her husband reported her missing on July 7.

Kawash had filed for divorce in January 1981. She and her husband were still living in the same house, but lead largely separate lives and were seeing other people. By the time Kawash went missing, the divorce was nearly finalized. She and her husband had agreed on a financial settlement, and she was going to receive more than $250,000.

She was looking forward to her new life; she was seeing a Norwegian man and planned to move to Norway with her ten-year-old daughter and get married again. Her husband, however, planned to challenge her in court if she tried to take their daughter out of the country. The child custody hearing was scheduled for about a month after Kawash disappeared.

In late March 1983, nine months after her disappearance, Kawash's divorce was finalized and she was given custody of her daughter, in spite of being missing.

There is no indication that Kawash traveled to Norway after her disappearance, and her passport was left behind. She is the oldest of eight children and is described as a responsible individual and a devoted mother. She worked as a beautician, and her hobbies in 1982 included antique collecting and designing and sewing Victorian-style clothing. She often wore heavy makeup and clothes that would range in style from Victorian-era to punk.

The circumstances of her disappearance are unclear, but Kawash's loved ones never thought she would have left of her own accord without telling anyone. Her case remains unsolved.

Investigating Agency

  • Englewood Cliffs Police Department 201-569-8300
  • Bergen County Prosecutor's Office 201-226-5677

Updated 4 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated June 16, 2019; picture added, details of disappearance updated.