Janice and Alyssa Owen

Real Name: Janice and Alyssa Owen
Nicknames: No Known Nicknames
Location: Booneville, Missouri
Date: February 12, 2002


Details: On Monday, February 12, 2002, at the Riverdell Care Center in Boonville, Missouri, 43 year old Nurse's Aid Janice Owen, a widow and hard working mother of two, finished her shift at her usual time, then headed for home, which was just a half block away, and the time was 2:15pm. 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, and saw her walk into her house as he drove away. Later, at around 5pm, Janice's mother arrived at their home, to find that neither her daughter nor granddaughter were there, although Alyssa's coat and backpack were on the couch. At around 5:45pm, a neighbor reported unusual activity around the Owen home: two cars were parked outside, and a woman was sitting on the porch with a younger man wearing a red baseball cap next to her; the neighbor 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, and she felt something was wrong and was soon interviewed by police after the Owens were reported missing. Janice and Alyssa had apparently vanished into thin air, and what happened that afternoon became the topic of great speculation. Authorities were completely puzzled and had no clues in the case; they had no idea what happened to either Janice or Alyssa. Then, the next morning just 12 miles north of Boonville, sawmill workers spotted something on the side of the road that they first thought was a mannequin, but tragically turned out to be the body of Alyssa Owen, who had died of suffocation. When police wanted to give the horrible news to Alyssa's mother Janice, she was nowhere to be found, and she soon became the prime suspect in her daughter's murder. However, authorities could not figure out a motive for Janice killing her daughter, and she loved Alyssa very much. Then, 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, and 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, twelve miles away from where Alyssa was found. An autopsy determined that she had also been murdered 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 found 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: 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.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the August 21, 2002 episode. This case was also featured on Nightmare Next Door.
Results: Solved. In June of 2002, shortly after the story was completed, authorities arrested 25-year-old Angela M. Mize, a co-worker of Janice, and her husband, 18-year-old Eric D. Mize and charged with the murders. They were later determined to be the couple seen at the Owens' house. Shockingly, authorities determined that the couple had 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.

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