In 1981, two apparant murder victims were discovered in a wooded area in Houston, Texas. Their identities could not be determined at that time. In 2021, Identifinders International, through the use of genetic genealogy, was able to finally put names to the couple as Florida residents Tina Gail Linn Clouse and Harold Dean Clouse Jr. But another mystery remained: the couple had an infant daughter named Holly, who was not found with the remains of the Clouses.
The Linn and Clouse families have been searching for answers concerning the welfare of the Clouses and their daughter, Holly, since they were last heard from in 1980. Last year, when the families learned that the two bodies found in Houston in 1981 were, in fact, Tina and Dean Clouse, the families were faced with further questions about what had happened to baby Holly and the circumstances surrounding the deaths of the Clouses.
Incredibly, Holly has now been located, alive and well. She is now 42 years of age and has been notified of the identities of her biological parents and has been in contact with her extended biological family. They hope to meet in person soon.
On Thursday (9th June 2022), the Texas Attorney General’s Cold Case and Missing Persons Unit made the announcement that she had been tracked down.
Mr Webster said it turned out she had been left at a church in Arizona by “two women who identified themselves as members of a nomadic religious group”.
He went on: “They were wearing white robes and were barefoot. They indicated the beliefs of their religion included the separation of male and female members, practicing vegetarian habits and not using or wearing leather goods.”
After they left Holly in the care of the church, she had eventually been taken in and raised by a family.
Mr Webster added: “Out of respect for Holly and her family, we won’t have any further comments or details regarding that.
“The family that raised Holly are not suspects in this case.”
Through the collaborative efforts of the Texas Attorney General’s Office Cold Case and Missing Persons Unit, the Lewisville Police Department, the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office in Florida, the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. This investigation highlights the hard work and collaboration of multiple law enforcement divisions across the country and demonstrates the importance of working cold case and missing persons investigations.
“I am extremely proud of the exceptional work done by my office’s newly formed Cold Case and Missing Persons Unit. My office diligently worked across state lines to uncover the mystery surrounding Holly’s disappearance. We were successful in our efforts to locate her and reunite her with her biological family.”
Attorney General Paxton
“At the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, we know that with advancements in technology and the hard work and dedication of law enforcement, we can get answers, even after four decades. 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. We hope that this is source of encouragement for other families who have missing loved ones and reminds us all to never give up. 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.”
John Bischoff, vice president of the Missing Children Division at NCMEC
“Finding Holly is a birthday present from heaven since we found her on Junior’s birthday. I prayed for more than 40 years for answers and the Lord has revealed some of it… we have found Holly. Thank you to all of the investigators for working so hard to find Holly. I prayed for them day after day and that they would find Holly and she would be alright. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to Mindy Montford. We will be forever grateful.”
Donna Casasanta (Holly’s grandmother)
The investigation into the murders of Holly’s biological parents, Tina and Dean Clouse, is ongoing and, if anyone has information about their deaths, please contact the Texas Attorney General’s Cold Case and Missing Persons Unit at [email protected] .
Picture: Holly Clouse holds a photo of her sitting on a couch in her parents’ arms. (Photo: Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s Office)