Cold Case Solved: Missing Daughter of Texas Murder Victims Found After 40 Years

Holly Marie Clouse Reunited with Extended Family Thanks to Texas Attorney General’s New Cold Case and Missing Persons Unit

Missing for more than 40 years, the daughter of two Texas murder victims has been found alive and well by the Office of the Texas Attorney General’s brand-new Cold Case and Missing Persons Unit.

Holly Marie Clouse was last seen by her family in late 1980. Her parents Dean and Tina Linn Clouse were found murdered in rural Houston on January 12, 1981 with no sign of the infant. The couple’s identification using advanced DNA techniques underwritten by podcast producer audiochuck was announced earlier this year on the 41st anniversary of their discovery.

Aided by counterparts in three states, a search for records of the child born Holly Marie Clouse by Texas investigators resulted in her surprising discovery.

The Clouse and Linn families would like to thank Texas Attorney General’s Office Cold Case and Missing Persons Unit, Lewisville Police Department, Harris County Sheriff’s Office, Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, Arizona Attorney General’s Office, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children for the collaborative and coordinated efforts that resulted in their reunion with Holly.

“It’s one of the most meaningful things I’ve ever been a part of,” affirmed Detective Steve Wheeler of the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office. “It’s a once in a lifetime thing to play even a small part in reuniting a family after 40 years.”

OAG Senior Counsel Mindy Montford and Detective Craig Holloman of the Lewisville Police Department, where the young family went missing, arrived at Holly’s place of employment Tuesday, on what would have been her father Dean’s 63rd birthday. Just hours later, the Oklahoma mother of five was reunited online with her family on both sides.

Holly Marie Clouse in a 1980 photo a few weeks before she and her parents went missing from Lewisville, Texas.

In an effort to help locate Holly after her parents were identified, FHD Forensics launched the Hope For Holly DNA Project in her honor and became the custodian of the genetic profiles of several of Holly’s family members.

“The whole family slept well last night! The Hope For Holly Project was a success thanks to the Texas Cold Case Unit,” said Holly’s aunt, Cheryl Clouse.

“I believe Tina is finally resting in peace knowing Holly is reuniting with her family,” assured another aunt, Sherry Green. Green dreamed of her sister Tina after meeting her long-lost niece in the video meeting hosted by Montford and her team.

Founder of FHD Forensics and one of the genealogists involved in identifying Holly’s parents, Allison Peacock praised her family for never giving up.

“They’ve spent the past six months with me digging through records, gathering photos for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s age progression portrait, and documenting memories of Holly and her parents in an effort to help law enforcement,” Peacock commented.

“Allison is forever our angel in helping us through this whole heartbreaking experience,” said Dean’s mother, Donna Casasanta.

Due to the sensitive nature of the ongoing criminal investigation, additional information about Holly’s childhood and separation from her parents is not available at this time.

“What matters,” exclaimed Peacock, “is that Holly was found happy and alive and now knows that she has a huge extended family that has loved her for decades.”

Anyone with information about the disappearance and murder of Dean “Junior” Clouse and his wife, Tina Linn Clouse is asked to contact Sergeant Rachel Kading at the Texas Office of the Attorney General’s Cold Case and Missing Persons Unit at or 512-936-0742.

A special thank you to FHD Forensics / Family History Detectives® for this story

Basil & Salt quick bite note: We hope to bring you more success stories like this one more often.

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