Janet Marie Shuglie
Janet, approximately 1985; Janet's junior high school class ring
Date reported missing : 06/30/1985
Missing location (approx) :
Missing classification : Endangered Missing
Gender : Female
Age at the time of disappearance: 35 years old
Height / Weight : 5'2 - 5'4, 110 pounds
Distinguishing characteristics, birthmarks, tattoos
: Caucasian female. Brown hair, brown eyes.
Information on the case from local sources, may or may not be correct : Janet was last seen in Somerset, Pennsylvania on June 30, 1985. She disappeared with her ten-year-old daughter, Marisa Alexandria Shuglie.
The family had been living at a rental property near Hidden Valley Resort, then they moved to the now-defunct Coleman Motel on Route 601. Janet had been going to a priest at St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church for counseling on a regular basis, and had made arrangements to meet the priest the morning she and her daughter disappeared.
According to Janet's husband, Francis J. "Frank" Shuglie, that morning he and Janet fought about Marisa. Janet spit in his face, and he slapped her. Janet and Marisa then left the motel and walked across the highway to Dan's Auto Sales.
Janet told the owner she was trying to find a ride to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where her relatives lived. He tried to use a CB (citizens band) radio to get her a ride, but was unable to find one. Janet said they were going to see the priest, and she and Marisa walked off towards the turnpike interchange. They never been heard from again.
Janet and Frank have two sons who were four and five years old in 1985. The boys later told police their father didn't return to their motel room until late that night, and that when he did, his clothes were muddy. The next day, Frank thoroughly cleaned the room, even washing the walls. Then he checked out of the motel and went to Jeanette, Pennsylvania where he's originally from. After a day or two there, he took his sons and moved to an apartment in Pittsburgh.
Frank reported his wife and daughter missing to the Pennsylvania State Police on July 3. Between that time and August 10, he contacted local media outlets, women's shelters, the Salvation Army, the Pittsburgh police, the FBI, and the CIA, asking for assistance in locating Janet and Marisa.
On August 31, Frank met Theodore Shanefelt and another man while they were fishing at a Pittsburgh park and offered them $2,000 each and round-trip tickets to Hawaii if they would kill his Janet, injure her aunt and uncle, and kidnap Marisa. He said he thought Janet was hiding Marisa from him with her relatives' assistance. Shanefelt played along with Frank's plan for several meetings, then told the police about it. He introduced two undercover police officers to Frank as hitmen, and the officers secretly recorded Frank's solicitations.
In mid-September, Frank was arrested for solicitation to commit murder, kidnapping and assault. While he was in jail, he allegedly told three other inmates he "got rid of" Janet and Marisa. One inmate told investigators Frank had asked him whether he could be convicted of murder in the bodies were never found.
Frank chose to go to trial before a judge rather than a jury. He was convicted of all charges. According to investigators, he has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, suffers from delusions and lives "in a fantasy world." He served part of his sentence at a hospital for the criminally insane in Wayne County, Pennsylvania. He now lives in the Pittsburgh area.
Foul play is suspected in Janet and Marisa's disappearances, and Frank remains the prime suspect in their cases. Authorities think his attempt to hire people to kill Janet and kidnap Marisa after their disappearances may have been an attempt to divert suspicion from himself.
In 2019, Janet's Penn Joint Junior High School class ring was turned over to the police. A photo of the ring is posted with this case summary. A family had found it more than twenty years earlier, and after they tried to find the ring's owner and discovered it belonged to a missing person, they told the police. Authorities haven't disclosed the location where the ring was found, but they hope this new clue might lead to answers in Janet and Marisa's disappearances.
Photos of Marisa are unavailable. She was 5'0 and 92 pounds in 1985, and has brown hair and brown eyes. Her and her mother's disappearances remains unsolved.
Other information and links : ncy
Pennsylvania State Police
September 2021 updates and sources
A missing person is a person who has disappeared and whose status as alive or dead cannot be confirmed as their location and condition are not known. A person may go missing through a voluntary disappearance, or else due to an accident, crime, death in a location where they cannot be found (such as at sea), or many other reasons. In most parts of the world, a missing person will usually be found quickly. While criminal abductions are some of the most widely reported missing person cases, these account for only 2–5% of missing children in Europe.
By contrast, some missing person cases remain unresolved for many years. Laws related to these cases are often complex since, in many jurisdictions, relatives and third parties may not deal with a person's assets until their death is considered proven by law and a formal death certificate issued. The situation, uncertainties, and lack of closure or a funeral resulting when a person goes missing may be extremely painful with long-lasting effects on family and friends.
Several organizations seek to connect, share best practices, and disseminate information and imAge at the time of disappearance: s of missing children to improve the effectiveness of missing children investigations, including the International Commission on Missing Persons, the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC), as well as national organizations, including the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children in the US, Missing People in the UK, Child Focus in Belgium, and The Smile of the Child in Greece.
The Somerset Daily American
The Pittsburgh Tribune
The Alton Telegraph
Interactive Missing Person Search Map