Details of Disappearance
Vanessa was last seen in Ansonia, Connecticut on November 29, 2019. She lived with her mother, Christine Holloway, on Myrtle Street. On December 2, Christine didn't show up for work and no one was able to get in touch with her. The police were sent to Christine's home on Myrtle Avenue to do a welfare check, and found her body in the bathtub; she'd been beaten to death. There was no sign of Vanessa and she has never been heard from again.
Vanessa's father, Jose Morales, was dating Christine at the time of her death. Photos of Jose and Christine are posted with this case summary. He was arrested for an unrelated firearms charge on December 3, the day after Christine's body was found. Within two weeks he'd been named as a suspect in Christine's murder, and in February he was charged with murder and evidence tampering in her case. He has not been charged in connection with his daughter's disappearance, however.
Jose is the last person known to have been with Vanessa. She wasn't with him at the time of his arrest and he denies any involvement in her case or in Christine's death.
He told investigators he was in the bathroom at the Myrtle Avenue residence when he looked out the window and saw two men running towards the front door. Jose said he was under the influence of the drug PCP at the time and that he tried to call 911, but was punched in the face and knocked out. The next thing he remembered was driving to his residence in New Haven, Connecticut.
There was a call placed to 911 from Jose's phone at 1:52 p.m. on December 1; it pinged off a tower one street over from Christine's house. During the call, a slurred male voice said "Myrtle Avenue" but didn't give an exact address even after the dispatcher asked multiple times. When the audio recording was enhanced, a female voice could be heard in the background saying "Stop, hang up. Who are you calling?" The call was disconnected a short time later.
According to neighbors, Jose left Christine's home only about half an hour before the police arrived to check on her welfare and found her body. A day earlier, Jose's car had been seen on video surveillance footage near a clothing donation bin in Derby, Connecticut. Workers sorting items in the bin found several bloodstained items, including a puzzle, a man's shirt and a children's book. The blood was Christine's.
Some of Vanessa's belongings were never found, including a pink, purple, green and blue teething keyring, a white blanket with multicolored polka dots, a heather-gray Eddie Bauer First Adventure backpack-style diaper bag, a black Graco car seat. Photos of these items are posted with this case summary. Christine's phone, an iPhone 8 with a black case, is also missing; it last pinged in the Naugatuck, Connecticut area.
Authorities believe Vanessa may still be alive and still somewhere in Connecticut. Her father hasn't provided any information on her disappearance or Christine's murder. He is awaiting trial in Christine's death. Vanessa's case remains unsolved.