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1980s

Debra Vanessa Townsel, 21, Disappeared From Florida In 1980

The young mother had a three-year-old son when she went missing.

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Debra Vanessa Townsel Missing

There hasn’t been movement on the puzzling missing person’s case involving Debra Vanessa Townsel. Once again, we’re faced with another case where information is scarce, but I’ve included what I could find about the 21-year-old missing woman.

It isn’t clear where Debra Vanessa Townsel was living when she went missing on July 1, 1980, but it’s reported that she disappeared from Deerfield, Florida. The Charley Project reports that she had a young son named Damion, and during my investigation of Debra’s case, I learned that his birthday is February 4, 1977, making him three-years-old when his mother disappeared.

Debra Vanessa Townsel Missing

On TCP‘s blog, a person commented a quote from a relative who claims to be Debra’s niece. This person stated that Debra Vanessa Townsel was at a nightclub in Ft. Lauderdale the evening she went missing. She was reportedly scheduled to be picked up by the niece’s mother, Dorinda; however, when Dorinda arrived, she learned that Debra had already left the venue. No one has seen or heard from Debra since then and who she left with remains a mystery.

Various agencies have a few minor conflicting reports about Debra Vanessa Townsel. Some list her birthday as February 4, 1959, while others state it is February 8. Additionally, some reports claim that Debra went missing on July 1 while others say September 27.

At the time of her disappearance, Debra Vanessa Townsel stood 5 feet 5 inches tall and 130 pounds. She had black/dark brown hair and brown eyes. The clothing she was last wearing or any distinguishing marks is unknown. She may go by the alias “Denese Thompson.” The Doe Network reports that Debra’s DNA is on file.

Anyone with information regarding this case is urged to contact Broward County Sheriff’s Office at 954-321-4735 or at 954-493-8477, or their local authorities.

Please share this story about Debra Vanessa Townsel to help reignite the investigation into her case. She is our sister and her life matters.


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1980s

Lorraine Snell: Cousin’s Husband Arrested For Murder 40 Years Later

DNA finally connected the prime suspect to the slaying.

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Lorraine Snell James Burrus

It took 40 years for the family of Lorraine Snell to receive an update about the status of her murder case. It was on September 25, 1980, when the newly-engaged Lorraine met up with her cousin’s husband, James Burrus, at the Midwood Terrace catering hall on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn to reserve the space for a party for her fiancée. The two were seen leaving the location together at 11:00 p.m. and that was the last time Lorraine Snell was seen alive. (more…)

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