Real Names: Janice Marie and Alyssa Michelle Owen
Nicknames: No Known Nicknames
Location: Boonville, Missouri
Date: February 12, 2002
Details: Forty-three-year-old nurse's aid Janice Owen was a widow and hard working mother of two. On Monday, February 12, 2002, at the Riverdell Care Center in Boonville, Missouri, she finished her shift at her usual time of 2:15PM. She then headed for home, which was just a half block away. About an hour later, Janice's eight-year-old daughter Alyssa was heading home from school on the bus. She was described as a well-liked girl who got along with everyone and had a sunny disposition. She rode alone on the bus that day because her older brother had been dropped off earlier at the babysitter's house. The bus driver was the last person to see her; she walked into her house as he drove away.
Later that day, at around 5PM, Janice's mother arrived at their home, to find that neither her daughter nor granddaughter were there. Strangely, Alyssa's coat and backpack were on the couch. She wrote a note to them, saying that she had come to visit. At around 5:45PM, a neighbor reported unusual activity around the Owen home. She noticed two cars parked outside. She also noticed a woman and a younger man standing on the porch. The man was wearing a red baseball cap; she did not recognize them. About fifteen minutes later, the neighbor saw a white four door car parked on the wrong side of the street with a suspicious man next to it. She felt something was wrong.
The neighbor's intuition was right; Janice and Alyssa had apparently vanished into thin air. What happened that afternoon became the topic of great speculation. Authorities were completely puzzled and had no clues in the case. Then, the next morning, a discovery was made in Fayette, just twelve miles north of Boonville. Sawmill workers spotted something on the side of the road that they first thought was a mannequin. Tragically, it turned out to be the body of Alyssa Owen, who had died of suffocation. When police went to give the horrible news to Janice, she was nowhere to be found. She soon became the prime suspect in her daughter's murder. However, authorities could not figure out a motive for Janice killing her daughter. According to her family and friends, she loved Alyssa very much.
Authorities wondered if the woman seen on the porch was Janice. The neighbor was not sure because she didn't know her very well. After questioning other neighbors, they found that an older-model dark-colored pickup truck was seen near the Owen home on Monday afternoon. An employee of a local waste disposal company came forward and described seeing a similar pickup truck Tuesday morning just up the road from where Alyssa would be found a few minutes later. Although the man did not see what was in the bed of the truck, he is now certain that Alyssa's body was in there. He is also certain that she was not lying on the side of the road when he drove by twenty minutes before he saw the truck. Authorities believe that the truck was the same one seen by the Owen home the day before.
Detectives continued to search for clues, and for Janice. Then, on March 27, six weeks after her daughter was found, Janice's body was found in a creek bed, twelve miles away from where Alyssa was found. An autopsy determined that she had also been suffocated at around the same time her daughter was killed. Authorities still don't know why Alyssa's body was placed in a well-traveled and easily seen spot on the road while Janice's body was hidden in a creek bed twelve miles away. Authorities have plenty of theories in the case, but no suspects and the case remains unsolved.
Suspects: Initially, authorities suspected that Janice's fiancee may have been responsible for the murders. However, he was cleared after his alibi was proven. Janice had also talked to men online. However, these men were also cleared of any involvement.
The prime suspects in the case are the unidentified man and woman seen on the porch of the Owen home on the day they were murdered. The man was white and was wearing a red baseball cap, and appeared to be younger than the white woman with him. They have never been located. An older-model, dark-colored pickup truck was seen near the Owen home on the day of the disappearances. It was also seen near the site where Alyssa's body was later found.
Authorities believe that the killer(s) are local and are familiar with the back-roads to and from the dumping sites.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the August 21, 2002 episode. The case was also documented on Nightmare Next Door.
Results: Solved. In June of 2002, shortly after the story was completed, authorities received a major break in the case. A tipster contacted police, claiming that Janice's co-worker, twenty-five-year-old Angela M. Mize, had information about the murder. When questioned by police, Angela claimed that her husband, eighteen-year-old Eric D. Mize, had killed Janice and Alyssa. She initially claimed that she only witnessed the crime; however, she eventually admitted her involvement in the crime. They were both arrested and charged with two counts of first-degree murder.
When authorities searched their Boonville home, they found items that belonged to Alyssa, including a button missing from her dress and the buckles from her shoes. Authorities now believe that they were the couple seen at the Owens' house. Shockingly, the couple admitted that they killed Alyssa for sexual gratification and murdered Janice because she was a witness to the crime. Both Angela and Eric pled guilty to two counts of first degree murder and were sentenced to life in prison with no parole.
- Janice and Alyssa Owen on Unsolved Archive
- Missouri woman missing, daughter dead
- Teenager and wife charged with murder
- Man, Wife Plead Guilty In Deaths Of Woman, Child
- Boonville double homicide is subject of reality show
- Janice Owen on Find a Grave
- Alyssa Owen on Find a Grave
- Angela Mize Inmate Profile
- Janice and Alyssa Owen on Bonnie's Blog of Crime