Gail Ann Russell
Russell, approximately 1995
Date reported missing : 09/04/1995
Missing location (approx) :
Bayonet Point, Florida
Missing classification : Endangered Missing
Gender : Female
DOB : 02/11/1965 (56)
Age at the time of disappearance: 30 years old
Height / Weight : 5'5 - 5'8, 135 - 145 pounds
Description, clothing, jewerly and more : Blue jeans, a blue or yellow t-shirt, white socks, white sneakers and a gold wedding ring with a small imbedded diamond.
Distinguishing characteristics, birthmarks, tattoos
: Caucasian female. Brown hair, brown eyes. Russell has scars on her left wrist and abdomen. She wore contact lenses in 1995, but did not have them on at the time of her disappearance. Some Age at the time of disappearance: ncies spell her last name "Russel."
Information on the case from local sources, may or may not be correct : Russell was last seen inside her family's trailer in the vicinity of the 7100 block of Oakley Avenue in Bayonet Point, Florida on September 4, 1995. She and her live-in boyfriend, Larry Podolski, went to bed at midnight.
Podolski told authorities that they woke up to tapping on their windows at approximately 1:00 a.m., and Russell got up to investigate. Podolski fell back asleep shortly afterwards and when he woke up later in the morning, Russell was gone. She has never been heard from again.
Podolski stated that $245 in cash disappeared from the residence that night; the couple had planned to use the money to pay bills.
Podolski claims he called the police to report Russell's disappearance at 1:00 p.m. the same day she vanished, but was told he had to wait 48 hours, so he did not report her missing until 7:27 p.m. two days later. The Pasco County Sheriff's Office does not have a record of his phone call, however, nor do they have a policy of waiting two days to take a missing persons report.
Russell's family told authorities that it was uncharacteristic of her to abandon her children and not share any travel plans with loved ones. She left behind her contact lenses, driver's license and other belongs.
Podolski, who was the father of her two sons, had asked her to marry him. He claimed she said yes and they were planning on a February 1996 wedding, but Russell's mother said her daughter was planning to leave Podolski and take their children.
Russell's family describes the couple's relationship as troubled, and they openly accused Podolski of murder after her disappearance. He admitted that he had problems with drugs and alcohol in 1995, but said Russell also had substance abuse issues.
She and Podolski had a violent, drunken argument in July 1995 and he was arrested, but the charges against him were dropped after Russell recanted her story, and she was charged with filing a false police report. Podolski said they were not having any problems by the time of her September 1995 disappearance.
Russell is considered endangered, but the circumstances surrounding her disappearance are unclear. Podolski died of a drug overdose in 2008. He was never charged in connection with Russell's case, but is still considered a suspect. Her disappearance remains unsolved.
Other information and links : ncy
Pasco County Sheriff's Office
September 2021 updates and sources
Pasco County Sheriff's Office
The Tampa Tribune
A missing person is a person who has disappeared and whose status as alive or dead cannot be confirmed as their location and condition are not known. A person may go missing through a voluntary disappearance, or else due to an accident, crime, death in a location where they cannot be found (such as at sea), or many other reasons. In most parts of the world, a missing person will usually be found quickly. While criminal abductions are some of the most widely reported missing person cases, these account for only 2–5% of missing children in Europe.
By contrast, some missing person cases remain unresolved for many years. Laws related to these cases are often complex since, in many jurisdictions, relatives and third parties may not deal with a person's assets until their death is considered proven by law and a formal death certificate issued. The situation, uncertainties, and lack of closure or a funeral resulting when a person goes missing may be extremely painful with long-lasting effects on family and friends.
Several organizations seek to connect, share best practices, and disseminate information and imAge at the time of disappearance: s of missing children to improve the effectiveness of missing children investigations, including the International Commission on Missing Persons, the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC), as well as national organizations, including the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children in the US, Missing People in the UK, Child Focus in Belgium, and The Smile of the Child in Greece.
The St. Petersburg Times
5 October 12, 2004. April 21, 2012; Information on the case from local sources, may or may not be correct : updated.
Interactive Missing Person Search Map