Real Name: Claudia Ann Kirschhoch
Nicknames: No known nicknames
Location: Negril, Jamaica
Date: May 27, 2000
Date of Birth: February 9, 1971
Weight: 105 lbs
Marital Status: Married
Characteristics: Caucasian female. Brown hair, brown eyes.
Details: Twenty-nine-year-old travel guide editor Claudia Kirschhoch was a last-minute replacement on a travel junket to the Sandals' new resort in Havana. She arrived with three other travel writers in Montego Bay, Jamaica, on the morning of May 24, 2000, but they soon learned that they would not be traveling to Cuba. They basically became stranded in Jamaica because their flights back to New York were booked through June 1. On May 25, she and Tania Grossinger were sent to the Sandal's resort in Negril. They had meals together and talked over drinks in the evening. While there, Claudia also became friends with bartender Anthony Grant and she went dancing with him at the resort.
The next day, she told Tania that she and Anthony smoked dope and went skinny dipping. On May 27, Tania was able to get a plane back to New York for later that day and called her room at 8AM, and they went to breakfast and then said their goodbyes. The two planned to meet again in New York when Claudia returned. That afternoon, she was seen by a lifeguard in a bathing suit and t-shirt with a portable radio walking away from the resort on the beach; this was the last confirmed sighting of her.
The next day, Anthony called in sick and was out of work for four days. On June 2, when Claudia did not show up in New York for work, her parents were contacted and they called Sandal's officials. Hotel maids had reported her missing after she did not sleep in her bed for several days. The officials apparently mishandled the investigation and they made mistakes and lied several times to the Kirschhochs.
A search through her room showed that nothing except for a bathing suit was missing. The rest of her clothing was found neatly packed in her room. Her passport, $180 in cash, credit and ATM cards, cell phone, and camera were also retrieved from the hotel safe. Subsequently, her belongings were taken out of her room and it was rented out, contaminating the possible crime scene and destroying any possible links to her whereabouts. Her cell phone then disappeared, as did the log book that took the license plates of all the cars in and out of the resort. Also, the video surveillance had been taped over, which may have videotaped something that could tell what happened to her.
Without strong evidence of foul play, Jamaican authorities investigated the possibility that Claudia had drowned. This was strengthened by the fact that only her bathing suit was missing and that she was last seen at the beach. However, authorities determined that the beach where she was last seen did not have deep water and the current was not very strong.
As news spread about Claudia's disappearance, several witnesses came forward, claiming that they had seen a woman matching her description. This led some to believe that Claudia disappeared voluntarily and live in the hills with a Jamaican lover. Her family did not believe this because she seemed to be enjoying her life, as she had good friends and had finally landed her dream job. Authorities questioned several people who lived in the hills, but no trace of her was found.
A search dog was brought in by the FBI. The dog tracked Claudia's scent to the home of Anthony Grant. It also found her scent on some of his boots, gloves, and a knife. In subsequent searches by the FBI, a hair of hers was found in the backseat of Anthony's white Toyota Corolla and the search dog found her scent in the back seat and the trunk. Finally, the knife that was found in his house had blood on it, but DNA tests were inconclusive. He was given a lie detector test but the result were also inconclusive, and he is not yet considered a suspect in her disappearance. The Kirschhochs hope that one day they will learn what happened to her.
Suspects: Sandals bartender Anthony Grant befriended Claudia before she disappeared. Interestingly, the day after she vanished, he called in sick to work. He also did not show up to work for the next four days. A police search dog tracked her scent to his room. The dog also tracked her scent to the back seat and trunk of his car, a pair of his boots, a pair of his gloves, and a knife, which had a small amount of blood on it. In his car, investigators also found one of her hairs. They also discovered that he had changed the seat covers in his car. When questioned, he initially denied knowing Claudia. However, he later admitted to knowing her and going on a date with her. He was given a polygraph, but the results were inconclusive. He is not yet considered a suspect in her case. However, her friends and family believe that he knows something about her disappearance.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the August 31, 2001 episode.
There are similarities between Claudia's case and the 2005 disappearance of Natalee Holloway.
Results: Unsolved. Claudia was declared legally deceased in May of 2002 after a judge declared that she would not have left on her own accord, but she has never been found.
- Claudia Kirschhoch on Unsolved.com
- Claudia Kirschhoch on the Charley Project
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