John Sapienza

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Above Images: John, circa 1997

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Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: February 24, 1997 from St. Johnsville, New York
  • Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Date of Birth: May 6, 1934
  • Age: 62 years old
  • Height and Weight: 5'8, 135 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian male. Gray hair, brown eyes. John has blond highlights in his hair, which he wears in bangs. He may have a moustache. He wears eyeglasses.
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description: A watch and a wedding ring. Clothing unknown, but he normally wears blue shirt and flat sneakers.
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    Details of Disappearance

    John was last seen in Amsterdam, New York on February 24, 1997. He and his wife, Charlene, had separated more than a week earlier and Charlene moved in with a friend in the 400 block of Guy Park Avenue. They argued on February 21 and John allegedly told his wife she might never see him again. On February 23, Charlene called the police to complain that John was stalking her. On February 24 he went to the bank, angry that he hadn't been able to stop payment on a $10,000 check to Charlene. John planned to travel cross-country in a mobile home to visit his daughter in California. He never arrived in California and he has never been heard from again. His 1997 Chevrolet Astro van was located approximately thirty days after his disappearance at a grocery store parking lot in New Hartford, New York.

    On March 20, 1997, five days after John's van was found and seven days before a friend reported him missing, Charlene filed a power of attorney John had allegedly signed years earlier. The document gave her control over her husband's finances and real estate. Beginning in October of that year, she would withdraw what would total $480,000 from his investment accounts. In early 1998, she moved to Las Vegas with a boyfriend. The police stated Charlene didn't seem interested in locating her husband and refused to take a lie detector test. An unknown individual provided the Social Security Administration with a death certificate for John, giving the date of death as April 15, 1998.

    John is missing under suspicious circumstances. His daughter stated he cared very much about his money and material possessions and wouldn't have left them all behind to start a new life. John's daughter believes he was murdered, but his wife speculated that he left of his own accord, perhaps traveling overseas. His case remains unsolved.

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    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    New York State Police
    315-866-7275

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    Source Information
    The National Center for Missing Adults
    New York Missing Persons
    MySpace Page for John Sapienza
    Project Jason
    The Utica Observer-Dispatch

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    Updated 5 times since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated March 25, 2012; details of disappearance updated.

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