The now-adult daughter of a couple found slain decades ago in Texas is "alive and well" after she disappeared as a baby and ended up in the care of a "nomadic religious group," officials said Thursday.
The cold case centered around the bodies of two people discovered in a wooded area of Houston in 1981. The remains were left unidentified for decades until last year when genetic research determined they were Tina and Harold Clouse Jr.
Texas prosecutors said the couple lived in Lewisville, Texas, when they were last heard from in October 1980. Investigators believe the two died from an apparent homicide later that year or in January of 1980, but their baby, Holly Marie, was never found.
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WHERE WAS BABY HOLLY?
In a news conference Thursday afternoon, First Assistant Attorney General Brent Webster said Holly was eventually brought to a church in Arizona by two barefoot women in white robes who said they were part of a "nomadic religious group" that was separated by gender, ate only vegetables and rejected things made out of leather.
The religious group, which Webster did not name, was known to have traveled throughout the Southwestern United States including Arizona, California and possibly Texas during the early 1980s.
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Webster noted that the people who raised Holly were not suspected in the deaths of her parents.
WHERE IS "BABY HOLLY" NOW?
Holly, now 42, is "alive and well," prosecutors said in a news release, which added that she has been notified of the identities of her biological parents and is in contact with her extended biological family.
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children says Holly "realizes that so many people are interested in hearing more about her and her story" but "is asking for privacy at this time."
The organization released the following statement on Holly's behalf.
"Holly appreciates all of the support she has received. We request that you give her time and respect her privacy as she processes this very personal news about her biological family. We know that the public is anxious to hear directly from Holly but for now we ask for patience and time."
"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 alright," said Donna Casasanta, Holly's grandmother."
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said he was "extremely proud of the exceptional work done" to unite the family.
The case of the murders of Holly's parents remains unsolved but investigators hope the latest development leads to a break in the case.
Anyone with information about their deaths is asked to contact the Texas Attorney General's Cold Case and Missing Persons Unit at email@example.com.