Launa Renee Merritt

1 AP
Left: Launa, circa 1983;
Right: Age-progression to age 44 (circa 2010)


Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: February 23, 1983 from Syracuse, New York
  • Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Date of Birth: October 10, 1966
  • Age: 16 years old
  • Height and Weight: 4'11, 130 - 145 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian female. Brown hair, brown eyes. Launa may use the first names Colleen, Lisa and/or Tina. She has a surgical scar on her abdomen.
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description: Possibly a brown rabbit fur coat, a t-shirt, jeans and brown boots.
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    Details of Disappearance

    Launa was last heard from on February 23, 1983, when she called her grandmother. She said she was calling from a pay phone at James and Townsend streets in Syracuse, New York. Launa said she was with some friends and would be home later. She has never been heard from again. She wasn't carrying her makeup, a toothbrush or any money with her at the time of her disappearance; she only had a grocery bag full of clothes.

    Launa formerly lived in Fremont, New York with her mother and attended East Syracuse Minoa schools. Prior to her disappearance, she dropped out of school and went to live with her grandmother. She is described as having a very trusting nature. Launa frequented the Eastwood neighborhood of Syracuse. She frequently ran away from home and was arrested for prostitution at least once, several months before she went missing. The day after her disappearance, she was scheduled to appear in court on the prostitution charge. Launa's grandmother stated she did not believe Launa was involved with drugs or alcohol in 1983. Prior to her disappearance, Launa had told her grandmother that if she ever went a month or more without contact, her grandmother should tell the police about one of the men she associated with.

    Launa wasn't reported missing until March 16, three weeks after her disappearance. Her case remains unsolved.


    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Syracuse Police Department


    Source Information
    The Doe Network
    Syracuse Police Department
    The National Center For Missing and Exploited Children


    Updated 5 times since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated December 19, 2011; age-progression added.

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