40 years after tragedy, family of slain couple discover what happened to their missing child
A couple was murdered in tragedy, but it was the mystery of what happened to their child that disturbed the family for years.
D.G. Sciortino

The death of Dean and Tin Linn Clouse was a tragedy in itself.

But what was even more unsettling was that their infant was snatched from them and lost to kidnappers.

Yet, 40 years later, that child named Holly Marie Clouse was found alive. The mother of five children was allegedly stolen by a nomadic religious group.

The Clouses were found murdered in a wooded area in Houston, TX in 1981.

However, their bodies were unable to be identified.

Genetic research was able to determine the identities of the couple decades later. However, their child’s whereabouts were unknown.

“The Linn and Clouse families have been searching for answers concerning the welfare of the Clouses and their daughter, Holly, since they were last heard from in 1980,” the Texas Attorney General’s Office said in statement, according to NBC News.

Prosecutors determined that Holly was dropped off at a church in Arizona by two barefoot women in white robes who claimed to be members of a “nomadic religious group.”

This group ate only vegetables and shunned leather products, First Assistant Attorney General Brent Webster said.

“The women had indicated they had given up a baby before, at a laundromat,” said Webster,

Authorities didn’t name the religious group and stated that the family that raised Holly aren’t suspects in their case.

Before the genetic discovery and subsequent investigation, the Clouses family said they received a phone call in December 1980 or January 1981 from a woman calling herself “Sister Susan.”

KFOR Oklahoma's News 4
KFOR Oklahoma's News 4

“They wanted to return Tina and Dean’s car to their family,” Webster said. “They were also giving up all of their possessions. Sister Susan asked for money in exchange for returning the car to Florida, where the family lived.”

KFOR Oklahoma's News 4
KFOR Oklahoma's News 4

The family agreed and met these people at the Daytona International Speedway.

There they interacted with two to three women and a potential male who were all wearing robes.

“The police reportedly took the women into custody, but there’s no record of a police report on file that has been found as of yet. Given the age of this case, that is common. We’re still in the hunt for that police report,” Webster said.

KFOR Oklahoma's News 4
KFOR Oklahoma's News 4

Holly ended up getting in touch with her biological family just hours after being made aware of the news that her parents were identified.

“The whole family slept well last night. The Hope For Holly Project was a success thanks to the Texas Cold Case Unit,” Cheryl Clouse, Holly’s aunt, told KHOU 11.

“I believe Tina is finally resting in peace knowing Holly is reuniting with her family,” Holly’s other aunt Sherry Green said.

Police, allegedly, haven’t revealed all of the details of their investigation since it is currently pending.

They are asking that anyone who may have information about the Clouse’s appearance to contact them at or 512-936-0742.

“I am extremely proud of the exceptional work done by my office’s newly formed Cold Case and Missing Persons Unit. My office diligently worked across state lines to uncover the mystery surrounding Holly’s disappearance. We were successful in our efforts to locate her and reunite her with her biological family,” Texas Attorney General Paxton said.

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By D.G. Sciortino
D.G. is a contributing writer in Shareably. She's based in Connecticut and can be reached at