HOUSTON — Forensic genetic genealogists are following new leads in the search for Hollie Marie, a baby girl last seen more than 40 years ago, whose parents were murdered in Houston back in 1980.
Hollie Marie's parents are Harold Clouse Jr. and Tina Linn. Their remains were discovered in 1981. However, they weren't identified by authorities until late 2021.
"I used to tell myself he's still out there somewhere," said Donna Casasantas, Harold Clouse Junior's mom. "I thought, he'll ring the doorbell and say, 'Hey mom!'"
Harris County's forensic artist, Mary Mize, drew pastel reconstructions of the murder victims based on photos from the scene. Authorities say the couple had been brutally murdered. It took some 40 years for anyone to figure out who they were. The couple just moved to Houston a few months before they were murdered.
"I really can't describe it," said Casasantas. "It's so hurtful and you're angry and you're upset and sick. Just plain sick."
As Donna and her family continue healing from one wound, another opened.
"We're chasing rainbows again trying to figure out if she's alive or not," said Casasantas.
If Hollie is alive, she'd be turning 42 years old on January 24th.
Forensic genetic genealogist Allison Peacock played a big role in identifying the couple's remains. Now, she's searching for their little girl.
"I immediately started hearing stories," said Peacock. "'Oh, I recognize Tina. I know she babysat me when I was a little girl.'"
"Somebody reached out to you after they saw the story and said, 'Hey, Tina babysat me,'" said KHOU 11's Xavier Walton.
"Right,' responded Peacock. "And she had horror stories to tell about her childhood. And about her parents and about all the times they moved in the middle of the night. Things they saw happen to Tina around their parents. And the fact that they had a little sister a year or so later that nobody ever remembers their mom being pregnant with."
"When you see messages from people, from women, saying 'I think I might be Hollie,'" said Walton. "How does that make you feel?"
"The last thing I want to do is get excited and think one of these women could be Hollie," said Peacock. "It's been so long. We're looking at such old photographs. We don't even know if her eye color is the same."
Peacock shared a newly unearthed photo of Linn with a 3-week-old Hollie Marie. She sent the same photo and many more to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The nonprofit is working on an age progression picture of Hollie Marie.
"There's one woman whose phenotype is fairly similar to Hollie's," said Peacock. "Her chin shape, her eyes, her nose. The way her genetics express themselves."
"What's your gut telling you, Allison?" asked Walton.
"There's a gut feeling you get and there's one girl I get the gut feeling with that chin and those eyes her face and that smile," said Peacock.
Peacock believes this mystery will be solved by science. Three women who claim to be Hollie Marie have bought Ancestry DNA tests.
"We're just going to screen every person that shows up that has a compelling connection in some way to Hollie's story," said Peacock. "And we wait, mostly we wait, unfortunately."