Molly Dattilo appeared to have vanished without a trace in July of 2004, as she was attending a party at her apartment complex. However, the investigation into what took place appeared to lead to very few clues and no explanations. Molly’s case is one of the two that are featured on the episode of “Still a Mystery: Indiana Unsolved” that airs on Investigation Discovery. Over the course of many years, the family has struggled mightily to achieve resolution, since they have been prevented from obtaining adequate information. So, in case you were curious about what became of Molly, here is what we know to be the case.
How Did Molly Dattilo Die?
Molly was the ninth and last child born into the family, and she spent her childhood in Madison, Indiana. The young woman possessed many skills, and she was an outgoing, gregarious, and dependable person. Molly was not only successful in the classroom, but also a talented athlete. As a result, she received a running scholarship to attend Eastern Kentucky University. Everything appeared to be going wonderfully well for the 22-year-old man. She attended Indiana University-Purdue University’s summer session in Indianapolis in 2004, with the intention of submitting an application for “American Idol” at a later time. Molly’s day on July 6, 2004, began with the same routine as any other day. She shared an apartment in Indianapolis with her brother at the time, and they both called that city home.
After getting some essentials and going to her lessons at approximately 7 o’clock in the evening, Molly went to a nearby fast food restaurant to hand in her application for a position there. After that, Molly attended a party that was held at her apartment complex. Molly called her pal from a pay phone located in a petrol station three miles away from her apartment at approximately 11 o’clock at night. Unfortunately, the call was cut off before the friend could finish their sentence. After that, no one ever heard from or about her again. After more than a decade had passed, Molly’s family finally got her death officially acknowledged in 2017. However, the reason for death cannot be determined at this time.
What Really Happened to Molly Dattilo?
Molly came into a familiar face as she was on her way to the fast food establishment, and that person jogged their memory about the fact that she was carrying her phone. After some time, the device was located inside of her flat. At the party held at her building on the evening of July 6, 2004, she became acquainted with John Shelton. She was introduced to him by one of her other close pals. Following their departure from the party, the two went on a boat excursion and then ate dinner at a Taco Bell, according to the findings of the inquiry. The call came in at approximately 11 o’clock at night and was made from a payphone, which was located three miles away in the other direction from the apartment.
When John was questioned later, he confessed that he was with Molly at the time that she made the call, but he claimed that he had dropped her off at home after the call was finished. He was the very last person who had seen her alive at any point in time. Nick, Molly’s brother, did not immediately report his sister missing because it was not out of the ordinary for Molly to embark on unplanned journeys. Nick believed that Molly had returned home safely. On the other hand, Nick became concerned when Molly still hadn’t returned home or been in touch with anyone by July 8, 2004. He contacted the authorities, but they didn’t take his report seriously because they thought she had left on her own volition.
However, all of Molly’s items, including her wallet, identity, car, and phone, were still inside the flat when the police arrived, which led them to suspect that foul play had been committed. However, the authorities lacked a significant amount of information to follow up on. The family continued to talk about Molly and her disappearance in the hopes that other leads would surface. According to the episode, two years after John’s disappearance, they decided to employ a private investigator in order to find out more information about him. He has been in and out of jail for a variety of offences throughout his life.
When the family decided to go public with John’s name, it was claimed on the show that his previous girlfriends confided in the family about how John made them feel uncomfortable and threatened. They claimed that John boasted about doing something to Molly and then threatened to do the same thing to them if they didn’t keep their distance. Some of the other ladies in the family described how, when he was drunk, he would choke them. The fact that there was neither a body nor any other proof made it impossible for the authorities to place John under arrest. In October of 2008, the police were given additional information.
According to the programme, the tipster asserted that John spoke to his father, Edward, on the evening of Molly’s disappearance and told him that he had inadvertently killed someone else. Allegedly in response, Edward asked him to find a suitable burial spot for the deceased. Not long after that, the investigation into Molly’s disappearance was changed to a homicide probe by the authorities. John has been the only person of interest in the investigation throughout all of these years. In 2010, the family prevailed in a wrongful claim brought against John and Edward, which resulted in an award of $3.5 million to Molly’s loved ones. The Sheltons, on the other hand, failed to appear in court, leading the family to assume that they would never see the money again.
On the show, it was revealed that John is presently serving time for drug trafficking and armed robbery-related crimes, and that he will become eligible for parole in the year 2038. Molly’s family decided to officially acknowledge her passing in September of 2017, assuming that she had passed away on July 6, 2004. Celestra Dewey, her sister, stated that “at this moment, we are operating under the assumption that she has passed away.” In light of this, I do not consider it to be a form of surrender. Even if someone has been declared legally dead, that does not mean that you will give up looking for them at any point.
The Mysterious Disappearance of Molly Dattilo
On the Tuesday, July 6, 2004, Molly followed her regular routine and went to her courses. She went shopping that day in the afternoon, primarily with the intention of purchasing a present for the forthcoming birthday of her young nephew, and she also wanted to drop off some job applications.
Later on in the evening, around 7:00 p.m., Molly made the decision to go on foot to a Wendy’s fast-food restaurant. She had a job application that she needed to drop off at Wendy’s, which was about a half mile away from her home. When Molly was out for a walk or possibly even at Wendy’s, she came face to face with a friend of her brother. They had a brief discussion for one minute before Molly parted ways with them to go back to her flat.
After she got home, she went to the apartment of one of her friends, where she saw a number of other individuals who were just lounging around. Molly started talking to a young man called John Shelton when she saw him walking down the street. John was successful in convincing her to go on a boat ride with him on one of the smaller ponds that are located inside the complex. It just so happened that John had the inside scoop on the apartments because his brother Benji worked there as a maintenance worker. Benji was able to aid John in collecting the boat, which had been stowed in a shed. Following the retrieval of the boat, John and Molly went for a brief trip in the boat.
After that, they pulled off at a Taco Bell for a speedy bite to eat.
After leaving Taco Bell, they did not go back to the apartments they had been staying at. They did not stop when they reached the apartments and instead pushed on for a few more kilometres in the opposite direction. Molly strongly suggested that John pull into the gas station owned by Thornton around eleven o’clock at night. No one knows why or where they were going at the time. Molly approached a pay phone in order to place a call to one of her friends.
Molly possessed a mobile phone, but she did not have it on her at the time. And there are many hypotheses as to why this is the case, despite the fact that it could be caused by a number of different things. To begin, there was the year 2004. Obviously, there were mobile phones back in the day, but they were not smart phones in the same sense that we understand the term now, and people did not always take them around with them. Second, given that she had been moving around all day, it’s possible that the battery on her phone was low and needed to be recharged. Third, it’s possible that she anticipated being gone for no more than a few minutes at most. It’s also possible that she simply forgot.
Despite this, Molly was only a few miles away from her apartment complex when she felt forced to pull over and use a payphone to make a call to a friend. After being questioned about this communication at a later time, the friend admitted that she had, in fact, received a call from Molly; however, the line was cut off before Molly could say anything. She only thought that they were turned off at the moment; there was nothing that seemed out of the ordinary about the situation.