REVEALED: Murders of missing Baby Holly’s parents were unknown for decades because a group of religious women ‘in white robes’ told their families they had joined a cult and wanted to disappear – as police launch probe to find the killers 40 years later
- ‘Baby Holly’ is the daughter of Harold Dean Clouse and Tina Gail Linn, a couple who were murdered in Texas and dumped in the woods in 1980
- For decades, their remains were unidentified and their families in Florida thought they were alive
- Two months after their murders, their killers – believed to be women in ‘white robes’ – contacted Harold’s mother Donna Cassanta
- They said the family had joined a cult and didn’t want to be found
- It wasn’t until 2021 that genealogists finally ID’d the bodies as those of the couple
- Their families then asked cops to track down ‘baby Holly’ – who is alive, well and living in Oklahoma
The murders of missing Baby Holly’s parents 40 years ago went completely known to the rest of her biological family because a mysterious group of religious women in ‘white robes’ told them the trio had joined a cult and didn’t want to be found, DailyMail.com can reveal.
Holly was miraculously found alive living in Oklahoma, 40 years after going missing.
Her parents were Harold Dean Clouse and Tina Gail Linn, who were brutally murdered in 1980 in Houston, Texas, but whose bodies went unidentified until last year.
Holly is now in touch with her biological aunts and uncles who thought for years she and her parents didn’t want to be reached or found.
The extraordinary sequence of events began when Harold, Tina and Holly, then a baby, moved from Florida to Texas for his job in the early 1980s. The last time their relatives heard from them was in a letter in late 1980.
A few months later, Harold’s mother Donna Cassanta received a phone call from a woman in California who said she had the car that she had given her son to move to Texas with.
The woman called herself Sister Susan and offered to drive it back to Florida in exchange for $1,000.
Once she was there, she told Donna that Harold, Tina and baby Holly were all alive and well but had joined a religious cult and didn’t want to be contacted.
Harold Dean Clouse, 21, and Tina Gail (Linn) Clouse, 17, (pictured together with their one-year-old daughter Holly Marie) were found in dead in a wooded area in Houston, Texas, in January 1981 – at the time, their identities were unknown
Holly – who is now a mother living in Oklahoma – was tracked down after by ‘old fashioned police work’ once authorities knew that Harold and Tina had a child. What specifically led cops to her is unclear; she was not identified using genealogy as her parents were
Harold had been involved in a cult before he met Tina so the family believed what the women said.
In reality, Harold and Tina had been savagely murdered and dumped in a wood in late 1980 and Holly had been taken alive.
She was dropped off at a church in Arizona by the religious women, and was raised safely and happily by an adoptive family.
She discovered what happened to her biological parents this week as the result of an investigation by the Texas Attorney General’s Office and its newly formed cold case unit, which picked up the case at the request of genealogist Allison Peacock.
Peacock and her colleague Misty Gillis had successfully identified Harold and Tina using genetic sequencing.
They contacted Harold’s family, who asked them immediately: ‘What happened to baby Holly?’
Baby Holly is shown at eight months old, before she and her parents moved from Florida to Texas
Holly Marie Clouse (pictured as a baby) was an infant when her parents Harold Dean Clouse and Tina Gail Clouse disappeared in late 1980 while moving from Florida to Texas
In an interview with DailyMail.com on Friday, Peacock revealed her shock at learning the couple – who had been referred to as ‘The Houston Does’ – had a child who was missing.
‘These evil people that killed them brought Dean’s car back to Florida and tried to extort $1k from Donna – so not only did the kill him, they erased him.
‘They said, “don’t even look for him”
‘On one hand, I’d answered a prayer for her but the next words out of her mouth were “what about the baby?” I said, “what baby?”
‘The implications hit my brain so hard. You immediately understand they have a baby so the implication that the murderers must have taken the baby,’ she said.
The Texas Attorney General’s Office is still investigating the murders and are eager to find the people responsible – even if they are dead.
Holly has not spoken out publicly since being identified but she is in contact with her biological parents’ families, and they hope to meet in person soon.
Harold and Tina had not been long married when they welcomed Holly. They then moved to Texas for his job
The Texas Cold Case and Missing Persons Unit began looking for Holly (pictured as a baby) after officials confirmed the identities of Harold and Tina earlier this year
Dean’s mother Donna is shown to the site where her son and daughter-in-law were found dead in 1981
Harold’s mother Donna with genealogist Allison Peacock and Tina’s brother Les at The Paupers’ Cemetery in Houston, Texas, where they are buried
It is unclear how much she knew about her upbringing.
She was tracked down after by ‘old fashioned police work’ once authorities knew that Harold and Tina had a child.
What specifically led cops to her is unclear; she was not identified using genealogy as her parents were.
‘The chances of finding the baby seemed grim because it had been 40 years. I started campaigning – I knew they were putting together a new cold case unit and we were lucky because they needed a first case. They took it and they ran with it.
‘How they found Hollie was not DNA – it was such a fluke. It was strictly on an investigative level. I couldn’t have ever predicted it,’ Peacock said.
The Texas AG’s office has not specified how they found her for fear of jeopardizing the investigation into who killed her parents and took her.
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