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Missing Irene Silverman
Missing Since 07/05/1998
Manhattan, New York
Classification Endangered Missing
Date of Birth Used 04/17/1916 (104)
Age 82 years old
Height and Weight 5'0, 115 pounds
Clothing/Jewelry Description A nightgown.
Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian female. Red hair, brown eyes. Silverman has pierced ears and she wears eyeglasses. She has previously fractured her left hand. Her maiden name is Zambelli.
Details of Disappearance Silverman was last seen at her townhouse on east 65th Street in the New York City borough of Manhattan on July 5, 1998. She was a wealthy former ballerina who often rented out apartments in her mansion to business people.
Silverman has never been heard from again. Her disappearance brought to light a myriad of bizarre events that ultimately led to two convictions for her presumed murder.
Authorities arrested the mother and son on the day of Silverman's disappearance. The initial charges stemmed from a fraudulent check written in Utah for $14,900 for the purchase of a Lincoln Town Car earlier in 1998; they were charged with Silverman's murder in December 1998.
The Kimeses' trial brought out many colorful stories about other possible motives and suspects from their defense attorneys, including one claim that Silverman operated a bordello from her mansion. That story came from Sante and was quickly proven as a lie by Silverman's friends.
In the end, the Kimeses' attorneys attempted to point out that there was not any blood or DNA evidence to connect their clients to Silverman's disappearance, nor did authorities locate the woman's remains. Silverman's home had no signs of blood or other signs of foul play.
However, the prosecution produced Sante's notebooks during the trial and managed to sway the jury in their favor. In her writings, Sante detailed plans to learn Silverman's Social Security number in the notes, among many other passages about the crimes.
Prosecutors also produced evidence and witnesses that Sante disguised herself and posed as a notary in order to obtain Silverman's signature on the fraudulent deed to her mansion.
While there are similarities between her case and Silverman's disappearance, no link between the two cases has been established.
Investigating Agency / Department