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Dean and Tina Linn Clouse, with their daughter Holly Marie Clouse. Photo: Clouse family

Slain Texas couple’s missing baby girl found in Oklahoma 42 years later

  • Holly Marie Clouse was last seen by her family in 1980, shortly before her father and mother were killed
  • Their bodies were discovered when a dog found a human arm in the woods, and the mystery of their deaths has not been solved
Crime

The child of a slain Texas couple has been located 42 years after her parents’ violent deaths, state authorities confirmed Thursday.

The new Cold Case and Missing Persons Unit with the Texas Attorney General’s Office made the announcement on Thursday morning.

Holly Marie Clouse had last been seen by her family in late 1980. Her parents, Dean and Tina Linn Clouse, were found slain in rural Houston on January 12, 1981.

Dean was beaten to death and his wife was strangled. Their child was not found with their remains, state officials said.

Law enforcement in three states joined the search, and Texas investigators ultimately found the child, who is now a 42-year-old woman.

“Finding Holly is a birthday present from heaven,” her grandmother Donna Casasanta said in a statement obtained by USA Today. “I prayed for more than 40 years for answers and the Lord has revealed some of it … we have found Holly.

“Thank you to all of the investigators for working so hard to find Holly. I prayed for them day after day and that they would find Holly and she would be all right.”

After a whirlwind romance and a pregnancy, the Clouses, ages 22 and 18 when they disappeared, were married in June 1979. Investigators believe they were killed in 1980.

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In January 1981, a dog wandered into the woods and returned with a human arm in its mouth. Years went by without the bodies being identified and without progress in the missing persons case.

Their bodies were exhumed in 2011 and Identifinders International, a California organisation that performs genetic genealogy for law enforcement, decided to take on the case. The agency tested the pair’s DNA and linked it to the bodies of the couple.

Family learned the couple’s daughter was still alive and living in Oklahoma, the Houston Chronicle reported, after investigators walked into Holly’s workplace on Tuesday and told her who she was.

Holly Marie Clouse at the age of six months, shortly before her parents were killed. Photo: Clouse family

“After finally being able to reunite with Holly … I believe Tina’s finally resting in peace knowing Holly is reuniting with her family,” Sherry Linn Green, Holly’s aunt, said in a statement released by the family.

“I personally am so relieved to know Holly is alive and well and was well cared for, but also torn up by it all. That baby was her life.”

The investigation into the slaying of Holly’s biological parents remained open on Wednesday.

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