Jersey Girl Vanishes Without A Trace – The Patricia Jane Wagner Story

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Photo courtesy of Facebook

She goes out for coffee with a long-time friend and never returns, and strangely, he doesn’t either. Investigators believe he met with foul play as well. What happened to Patricia Wagner and her unnamed friend?


Patricia Jane Wagner, 26 was last seen going out for coffee with a g named Dennis. Neither would return. Investigators believe they met with foul play, but very little information is available on this case. I have spoken with family members, browsed through hundreds of Jane Doe files, and scoured newspaper archives and I still came up with nothing. It’s as if this woman disappeared from the human record. If it weren’t for her family, this poor woman would have been long forgotten.

October 20, 1972, was the last time Patricia was seen leaving her home on Rutgers Avenue in Jersey City. The address of her destination is unknown. There are so many unanswered questions in this case, but we believe someone knows what happened to this beautiful young woman. Although I am not at liberty to release his last name, Dennis was never seen again either.

Patricia is 5′ 3″ tall, weighs approximately 120lbs, has brown hair, and has blue eyes. No one is sure about the clothes she was wearing at the time.

According to the NJSP website, New Jersey has 237 unidentified persons listed on their database, and after reading every one of them, I found two possibilities. The first one is less likely, but I will start with it.

On May 16, 1986, a skull was found only eight miles from Jersey City in North Bergen. The estimated death was 1985 or earlier, and the estimated birthdate is from 1937-1956. The NIC# is U212789648 and Case # J5241. Unfortunately, that’s all the information on that one. The date of death makes me unsure, but the location and the estimated birth year are close enough to warrant further investigation. Patricia’s birthdate was July 17, 1946, so it definitely falls within the same timeframe.

The second Jane Doe I found was a little more promising. She was found on May 17, 1974, in the river near the north tip of the Burlington Island. The island is a 300-acre spot of land in the Delaware River between Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The estimated height, death, and age all line up close to that of Patrica Wagner. In fact, they line up so well I sent an email to the investigator to check out Patty’s case. Patricia’s cousin is waiting on the DNA to come back, and then we’ll know for sure. Sadly, there’s no word on Dennis, and he doesn’t seem to have a NAMUS page. If he does, I couldn’t find it. His family has their own investigators on the case and asked that I not disclose his details. The police do not believe he was involved in the disappearance of Patricia.

What happened to this woman? Her sons were raised without their mother, and her parents went to their graves, not knowing what happened to Patty. One armchair sleuth commented on Facebook and mentioned the convicted killer, Robert Zarinski. He was a known killer in the area and could have up to ten murders to his name. He was sentenced to life in prison in 1975 for the murder of Rosemary Calandriello and was suspected in several other homicides. Could Patty have met this predator along the way? If so, where is Dennis? Did something else happen to them?

If you have any information on this case, please contact the New Jersey State Police at 609-882-2000.


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THIS LIST OF LINKS IS NOT AN ALL-ENCOMPASSING SOURCE CITING. ALL OF THE INFORMATION USED IN THIS ARTICLE CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE. THE SOURCE LINKS ARE PLACED WITHIN THE BODY OF THE TEXT.

This week’s Recommended Documentary:

Have You Seen Andy?

This week’s Recommended Reading:

On Chapel Sands: My mother and other missing persons


All information used to create this content is a matter of public record and can be easily found online. Any participation or alleged involvement of any party mentioned within this site is purely speculation. As the law states, an individual is innocent until PROVEN guilty. I do not own the photos used in this post. All photos are used under the fair use act. No copyright infringement intended.©2017-2019. All rights reserved.


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Synova Cantrell may be known for her fedora, but she wears many hats. Synova volunteers with the Missouri Missing organization by highlighting obscure cold cases on her true crime blog to help generate tips. She firmly believes together we can give grieving families answers, hope, and support. Synova works as the Production Editor of True Crime: Case Files Magazine. http://www.truecrimecasefiles.com As SWMO’s #1 True Crime Writer, Synova authored Unorganized Crime; a biography of the ex-gangster Sidney Heard of Chicago, IL. This thrilling tale of con games, bank robbery, and mayhem has recently been endorsed by a retired FBI agent. Her best-selling series, Seriously Stupid Criminals, is a fan favorite in both paperback and e-book formats. Her latest e-book, Grim Justice tells the story of a judge and his wife retired in Palm Beach, Florida in 1955. Her first case files book, Snatched was released on New Year's Day. Fans eagerly await her newest serial killer series set to launch late 2019. Synova has a passion for helping fellow authors and knows how overwhelming it can be to get started in this business, that is why she created Synova's Simply Biz. Synova breaks down the business of writing in a simple way. If you need help with your business check out her new page www.synovaink.com/simplybiz. To follow all her adventures and read her true crime blog, log onto www.synovaink.com Connect with Synova: Twitter: https://twitter.com/synovaink Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/synovacantrell Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/synovaink

2 thoughts on “Jersey Girl Vanishes Without A Trace – The Patricia Jane Wagner Story

  1. Why can’t the denis guys info be released why is there 2 seperate investigations when they disappeared together. And they were seeing together. Seems really fishy.

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