AUSTIN, Texas, June 30, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- The families of two Texas murder victims found in 1981 are celebrating the return of the couple's missing daughter after more than 40 years. While giving her the time she needs to adjust before a planned media-free reunion later in the summer, they are already turning their joy at her discovery into good. The Clouse-Casasanta and Linn families have joined with FHD Forensics to establish a fund to help other families like theirs.
In what may be the oldest missing child reunion ever, Holly Marie Clouse, the child of slain New Smyrna Beach, Florida couple Dean and Tina Linn Clouse was discovered alive and well by Texas law enforcement on June 7.
The couple's identification using genetic genealogy was announced earlier this year on the 41st anniversary of their discovery. That identification might never have happened if not for a grant from true crime podcast company audiochuck.
"Approximately 4,400 unidentified bodies are recovered each year," informed Allison Peacock, founder of FHD Forensics. "Dean and Tina's identification highlights the gap in funding for this kind of cold case."
Peacock was the genealogist that identified Tina Gail Linn Clouse. Her new company has one client with 15 John and Jane Doe identifications that need funding.
"As the New York Times outlined in their article on this topic in March, the public is being called on to fill the gap for expensive DNA testing," she continued. "Crowdfunding and philanthropy are doing this right now while governmental agencies try to catch up to the availability of this new, expensive technology."
"The families believe that this project will bring some sense of justice to the horrible loss of their loved ones," Peacock pointed out. "While they await the murder investigation and specific justice for themselves, they feel a sense of purpose in their mission to help others."
Tina Clouse's sister Sherry Green explained why the family is embarking on this new quest. "We will never be able to express our gratitude and our feelings about finally knowing what happened to my beautiful sister," she said. "But if that miracle can be extended to others awaiting word, then we want to help do everything that can be done in their names.
The family's project, formerly called The Hope for Holly DNA Project has been renamed the Dean and Tina Linn Clouse Memorial Fund on GoFundMe. Initially established to look for Holly, FHD tested and ruled out several women with compelling similarities to Holly, but who were afraid to work with law enforcement on DNA testing.
The fund will be seeded next month with proceeds from certain media activities that Holly's grandmother wanted to use to help identify the nameless.
"My Junior remained unidentified for more than four decades," she lamented. "We want to pay it forward…be someone else's miracle."
The premiere season of Peacock's Family History Detectives® podcast launching in July will also feature exclusive family stories and interviews in an effort to raise money for the fund.
The Clouse-Casasanta and Linn families' greatest hope now is to raise enough money to help return five John, Jane, or Infant Does to their families. And of course, one day, to get word that the couple's murderers have been caught.
"The recent publicity around Holly's return has generated an amazing number of leads for the Texas Attorney General's new Cold Case Unit," said Peacock. "Sometimes the attention of true crime fans truly pays off!"
Isabel de la Luz
Cold Case Liaison
SOURCE FHD Forensics / Family History Detectives®