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Holly Marie Clouse Found Alive Four Decades After Parents Murdered, She Went Missing
Holly Marie Clouse, who has been missing since her parents, Harold Dean and Tina Linn Clouse, were murdered more than 40 years ago, is alive and well and living in Oklahoma.
More than 40 years after the gruesome murder of a young Texas couple, their missing baby has been found alive and well.
Holly Marie Clouse, now 42, lives in Oklahoma, according to several media outlets. Texas authorities have scheduled a press conference for later on Thursday.
The Houston Chronicle reports that authorities visited Holly at her place of work earlier this week on June 7 — her father’s 63rd birthday. She was later reunited with her grandmother and other relatives over a Zoom call.
“Finding Holly is a birthday present from heaven since we found her on Junior’s birthday,” Donna Casasanta, Holly’s paternal grandmother said in a statement according to the Houston Chronicle. “I prayed for more than 40 years for answers and the Lord has revealed some of it.”
Holly has been married for more than 20 years and has five children and two young grandchildren, the Chronicle reported.
She is still processing the news.
"Holly appreciates all of the support she has received," according to a statement released on behalf of Holly by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. "We request that you give her time and respect her privacy as she processes this very personal news about her biological family."
Until this week, Holly Marie Clouse’s biological family hadn’t seen her since 1980. Her parents, Harold Dean, 22, and Tina Linn Clouse, 18, went missing in 1980. Two bodies were found in January of 1981 in a wooded area of Houston, but were not positively identified as the Clouses until October 2021.
The Clouse murders were brutal: As previously reported by Oxygen.com, the couple had been bound and gagged, the man was severely beaten and the woman was strangled.
Earlier this year, Identifiers International announced it had positively identified the bodies as Harold Dean and Tina Linn Clouse.
The Clouses had left their home in Florida and relocated to Texas with their daughter in 1980. Several months after their move, however, family members stopped hearing from them.
Months later, Harold Clouse's mother, Donna Casasanta, got a call from a man claiming to have found the car that Harold borrowed from his mother to drive to Texas in California, the Houston Chronicle reported.
Later, three women dressed in white robes met Casasanta at the Daytona Speedtrack to return the car.
One of them, “Sister Susan,” told Casasanta that her son belonged to a cult. He was cutting off ties with the family and renouncing all his worldly possessions, according to the Chronicle.
“That was weird,” Casasanta told the newspaper. “We really got frightened, and we started searching and searching.”
“We pretty much thought they had joined this religious group and didn’t want to have contact with us,” said Les Linn, Tina Clouse’s brother, according to the Chronicle.
But another mystery remained after the Clouses' bodies were identified: Where was Holly Clouse, the couple's young child? Her remains were not found with her parents' in 1981.
It took 40 years for the families to get any answers.
To help find Holly, FHD Forensics created the Hope For Holly DNA Project, which housed the genetic profiles of Holly’s family members, and the Texas Attorney General's office took over the investigation into what might have happened to her.
Ultimately, they found her.
"My office diligently worked across state lines to uncover the mystery surrounding Holly’s disappearance" Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement. "We were successful in our efforts to locate her and reunite her with her biological family.”
“The whole family slept well last night. The Hope For Holly Project was a success thanks to the Texas Cold Case Unit,” Cheryl Clouse, Holly’s aunt, said according to KHOU.
“I believe Tina is finally resting in peace knowing Holly is reuniting with her family,” Sherry Green, another aunt, said according to the station.
“We are thrilled that Holly will now have the chance to connect with her biological family who has been searching for her for so long,” said John Bischoff, vice president of the Missing Children Division at the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children. “NCMEC applauds the collaborative effort of the Texas Attorney General’s Office Cold Case and Missing Persons Unit, the Lewisville Police Department and all the assisting agencies who came together to make today’s news possible.”
The investigation into the murders of Holly’s parents remains open.