10 years later, questions linger about Debra Melo’s disappearance

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Normal 10 years later, questions linger about Debra Melo’s disappearance

Post by lisette on Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:12 am


WEYMOUTH —
Debra Melo and her husband Luis Melo were in the middle of an argument on the afternoon of June 20, 2000, when she asked him to stop the car and let her out.
Luis Melo says he pulled onto the side of Route 18, near the old South Weymouth Naval Air Station, and watched the 30-year-old wife and mother walk away.
No one has seen her since.
Ten years later, the Taunton woman’s disappearance remains an open case in Bristol and Norfolk counties. The Bristol County District Attorney’s Office is investigating it as a homicide.
But no fresh leads have turned up since Bristol DA Samuel Sutter revived Melo’s case in 2007. With little more than Luis Melo’s account to go on, Sutter is again urging the public to call his office’s tip line at 866-765-8307.
“Any little piece of information can break open a case, even if it’s 10 years old,” Sutter’s spokesman Gregg Miliote said.
Miliote noted that the office has solved nine cold cases since 2007, one of them from 1986.
Norfolk County District Attorney William Keating’s spokesman David Traub said the county’s investigators check all new leads, and share any information with Bristol County and with Taunton and Weymouth police.
The Melos together managed a Dunkin’ Donuts franchise in Braintree. At the time of Debra Melo’s disappearance, Luis Melo told police they were arguing about money and that he let her out of the car and drove off believing she would return home later. He told police that he changed his mind and returned to the spot, but she was nowhere in sight.
Police said Melo did not report his wife missing for 24 hours. Along with extensive air and ground searches in Weymouth, Taunton and other locations, police also searched Melo’s house and car.
Questions about Luis Melo lingered, especially after he failed a lie detector test, but police stopped short of calling him a suspect.
Debra Melo’s mother, Marilyn Gagnon, said the couple’s 14-year marriage had been “rocky.” Debra had filed a restraining order against her husband in 1996, but withdrew it after 14 days.
Luis Melo didn’t join Debra’s family and friends for any of their vigils, Masses and informal searches. He hasn’t made public comments about his missing wife in years, and couldn’t be reached this week by The Patriot Ledger.
Debra Melo’s mother, Marilyn Gagnon, couldn’t be reached this week, either. Melo’s brother, Richard Whalley, died in 2008. He had led an awareness campaign about his sister’s disappearance.
Luis Melo moved on with his life – though not without further incident. In 2003 he was arrested for domestic assault on his then girlfriend, Samira DeOliveira, and was given one year’s probation.
In 2006 he divorced Debra on grounds of abandonment and married DeOliveira.

Read more: http://www.patriotledger.com/topstories/x1372401132/10-years-later-questions-linger-about-Debra-Melo-s-disappearance#ixzz1yUoWZRux
avatar
lisette

Join date : 2009-05-29

Back to top Go down

Normal Re: 10 years later, questions linger about Debra Melo’s disappearance

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:16 am

Questions about Luis Melo lingered, especially after he failed a lie detector test, but police stopped short of calling him a suspect.
Wonder why.
Debra Melo’s mother, Marilyn Gagnon, said the couple’s 14-year marriage had been “rocky.” Debra had filed a restraining order against her husband in 1996, but withdrew it after 14 days.
Again, wonder why.

_________________
Prayers for our little HaLeigh Cummings, wherever she may be!!

Nine-tenths of wisdom is appreciation. Go find somebody’s hand and squeeze it, while there’s time.
-- Dale Dauten--

Thank you RAINE for all you ARE!! I will ALWAYS hold you in my Heart!!
avatar
Wrapitup
Founder
Founder

Join date : 2009-05-28

http://victimsheartland.forumotion.com/forum.htm

Back to top Go down

Normal Re: 10 years later, questions linger about Debra Melo’s disappearance

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:17 am


_________________
Prayers for our little HaLeigh Cummings, wherever she may be!!

Nine-tenths of wisdom is appreciation. Go find somebody’s hand and squeeze it, while there’s time.
-- Dale Dauten--

Thank you RAINE for all you ARE!! I will ALWAYS hold you in my Heart!!
avatar
Wrapitup
Founder
Founder

Join date : 2009-05-28

http://victimsheartland.forumotion.com/forum.htm

Back to top Go down

Normal Re: 10 years later, questions linger about Debra Melo’s disappearance

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:23 am


_________________
Prayers for our little HaLeigh Cummings, wherever she may be!!

Nine-tenths of wisdom is appreciation. Go find somebody’s hand and squeeze it, while there’s time.
-- Dale Dauten--

Thank you RAINE for all you ARE!! I will ALWAYS hold you in my Heart!!
avatar
Wrapitup
Founder
Founder

Join date : 2009-05-28

http://victimsheartland.forumotion.com/forum.htm

Back to top Go down

Normal Re: 10 years later, questions linger about Debra Melo’s disappearance

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:34 am

Family marks 12th anniversary of Taunton woman’s disappearance

By Marc Larocque
Taunton Gazette Staff Reporter
Posted Jun 19, 2012 @ 11:35 PM
Last update Jun 20, 2012 @ 10:58 AM

Taunton —
One of the city’s most distressing unsolved mysteries is being revisited today by family members of Debbie Melo, a 30-year-old Taunton woman who has been missing since June 20, 2000.

It is the 12th year anniversary of Melo disappearing, vanishing after a visit to a doctor’s office in Weymouth, supposedly left on the side of the road and then never seen again. Today, Melo’s sister and nieces, along with family of her brother and their friends, will be holding pictures of her and signs with information about her disappearance while wearing yellow T-shirts emblazoned with her image this morning and afternoon at the site in Weymouth where her husband said he last saw her.

Melo’s heartbroken younger sister Patricia DeMoura said that she and others continue to spread the word about the suspicious disappearance to keep her memory alive and to draw attention to the case.

“I think about her every day, she comes up in my mind,” said DeMoura, of Taunton. “I don’t think she is living, due to the fact she would have never left her kids and her family. They were very close. We feel that something happened to her... We are hopeful about the case being solved. Somebody might say, ‘You can’t hold onto these things.’ But we have to keep hope.”

Getting the word out

DeMoura said members of the family fear that investigation of the case has stalled, but she said the more exposure the unsolved disappearance gets the more likely that there could be new tips about what happened to her. DeMoura and about a dozen others also held the signs and pictures on Tuesday at the Taunton Green, spreading the word about Melo’s disappearance to motorists passing by.

“The more we get her name out there, the more chance there will be for someone to come forward who might have seen her,” DeMoura said. “Maybe there’s a vacationer from out of state who was driving by and saw her but didn’t know the story. Someone might be like, ‘Oh my God, I did see something.’ We try to get the word out, but we can only do so much.”

Ongoing investigation

The case has been investigated by both the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office and the Norfolk County District Attorneys Office along with local police. DeMoura and other members of Debbie Melo’s family have expressed concerns that the case has been forgotten.

Bristol County District Attorney Sam Sutter, who met with the Melo family after he took office in 2007 and re-opened her case along with many others after years of inactivity, said that the “suspicious disappearance” remains under investigation.

“The file does not sit on a shelf gathering dust,”Sutter said. “It is an ongoing investigation. ... I think anytime there is a disappearance of somebody, that’s troubling. It’s incumbent upon the District Attorney’s Office and local law enforcement to do as much as we can to solve what happened. That’s what’s taking place here. It’s an ongonig investigation and we are trying to move forward with it.”
Sutter said it was against policy to discuss any developments in the case, but Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office spokesperson David Traub confirmed there has been recent action in the investigation.
“I spoke to State Police, they have been in contact with authorities in another jurisdiction about movement in the case,” Traub said. “And there are very recent things that have been done, but we are not disclosing what they are at this moment. ... The case is still getting the attention of law enforcement in region.”


The disappearance
Melo had a brilliant smile and was admired by friends and family for her kindness and beauty. She was married to Luis Melo, and the two managed a Dunkin’ Donuts together in Weymouth.

Luis Melo told police that he dropped her off on the side of Route 18 in Weymouth after an argument around 3 p.m. on the day she went missing before circling back to the location unable to find her. That was the last place she was reportedly seen, after coming from a doctor’s office in Weymouth, her family said.

Luis Melo — who since faced one year on probation after an arrest for domestic assault on a new girlfriend in 2003, before marrying the victim of that case in 2006 — was never declared a suspect by law enforcement,

Debbie and Luis Melo had two children together, now in their early 20s. The couple had had a troubled relationship — at one point, Debbie Melo filed for an emergency restraining order against her husband.

Luis Melo reportedly did not report her missing until more than 24 hours after her disappearance, and did not participate in any of the searches or vigils for his wife. Relatives on Debbie Melo’s side of the attempted to reach Luis Melo for comment but were unsuccessful. A woman who answered the phone at his house on Tuesday said he was not available and added, “I don’t think he would like to say anything.”

Friends and family
Patricia Eberle, a Taunton native and friend of DeMoura who knew Melo since they were young children, said the case is frustrating.

“I see that it bothers the family so much,” Eberle said. “They need answers. It’s been quiet for answers. I’m mad about it. Debbie was just a genuinely good person and always was.”

Eberle said she hopes today’s demonstration “drums up more attention” around the case and “breathes new life into a new investigation.”

Robin Whalley is the sister-in-law of Debbie Melo. Until he died in 2008, her husband Richard Whalley kept a shrine in honor of his sister while also organizing annual vigils.
“I just can’t believe the family still hasn’t gotten closure yet,” Robin Whalley said. “That’s the reason I’m going out to hold signs and pictures of Debbie to keep her name out there to let people know she is still missing. I used to go out with my husband who did this for years. It’s hard every year when it comes around this time. For years on end, you thought for sure something would come through but it’s always the same thing. It’s hard to comprehend. It’s just hard for everyone.”


Read more: http://www.tauntongazette.com/news/x1805319806/Family-marks-12th-anniversary-of-Taunton-woman-s-disappearance#ixzz1yUtHVGy2

_________________
Prayers for our little HaLeigh Cummings, wherever she may be!!

Nine-tenths of wisdom is appreciation. Go find somebody’s hand and squeeze it, while there’s time.
-- Dale Dauten--

Thank you RAINE for all you ARE!! I will ALWAYS hold you in my Heart!!
avatar
Wrapitup
Founder
Founder

Join date : 2009-05-28

http://victimsheartland.forumotion.com/forum.htm

Back to top Go down

Normal Re: 10 years later, questions linger about Debra Melo’s disappearance

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:35 am


_________________
Prayers for our little HaLeigh Cummings, wherever she may be!!

Nine-tenths of wisdom is appreciation. Go find somebody’s hand and squeeze it, while there’s time.
-- Dale Dauten--

Thank you RAINE for all you ARE!! I will ALWAYS hold you in my Heart!!
avatar
Wrapitup
Founder
Founder

Join date : 2009-05-28

http://victimsheartland.forumotion.com/forum.htm

Back to top Go down

Normal Re: 10 years later, questions linger about Debra Melo’s disappearance

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum