Patty Lisa McDaniel
Patty, approximately 1979; Age when reported missing: 58 (approximately 2020)
Date reported missing : 09/15/1979
Missing location (approx) :
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Missing classification : Endangered Missing
Gender : Female
DOB : 02/06/1962 (59)
Age at the time of disappearance: 17 years old
Height / Weight : 5'4 - 5'6, 120 pounds
Description, clothing, jewerly and more : Size 6 1/2 shoes.
Medical conditions : Patty suffers from a mild mental disability due to oxygen deprivation at birth.
Distinguishing characteristics, birthmarks, tattoos
: Caucasian female. Brown hair, blue eyes. Patty is blind in her right eye. She has poor vision and wears eyeglasses. Her upper right front tooth is chipped and her lower right arm has previously been fractured.
Information on the case from local sources, may or may not be correct : Patty disappeared with her fraternal twin sister, Peggy, in 1979. Their parents were divorced and the girls grew up with their mother, Joyce Rivituso, in New Jersey.
Rivituso decided to separate them so they could become more independent of one another, and sent Peggy to live with her father and his new wife in Live Oak, Florida. The girls missed each other so much, however, that in early 1979, Patty went to live with her father and stepmother as well.
During the summer of 1979, Peggy and Patty got to know a 19-year-old man named Marvin Warren. They ultimately left with Warren and his friend, 36-year-old Eddie Gross, to Pompano Beach, Florida, 365 miles from Live Oak. The twins got jobs there, and Gross rented an apartment for everyone to live in.
A few weeks after their move to Pompano Beach, Peggy and Patty sent a letter to their mother asking for their help to move back to New Jersey. They didn't include a phone number to reach them, only a mailing address.
Rivituso wrote back telling them to go to the airport and call her collect as soon as possible. Her daughters didn't call or write her, so she sent a second letter with the same instructions, but she still didn't hear back.
Rivituso then called Pompano Beach Police Department to ask them to perform a welfare check on Patty and Peggy. Officers with the Lauderhill Police Department told her the twins may have witnessed a homicide, and Rivituso immediately went to Florida.
When she arrived, the police told her Peggy had filed a missing persons report for Patty on September 13, saying she had been missing for two days, but Patty went to the police station the next day and canceled it.
Afterwards, a 25-year-old man named Nelson George Johnson confronted Gross and accused him of hiding Patty during the time she was missing. Johnson then went home to his family and told them he was going to take Peggy and Patty to a disco club called The Plank.
That night, September 15, Peggy, Patty and Johnson all disappeared. Four days later, Johnson's body was found in the trunk of his car behind a tire store. He'd been shot to death. His vehicle had been wiped clean of fingerprints and a briefcase containing $1,100 in cash was missing; it was never located. Johnson's murder has never been solved.
When questioned by police, Gross claimed Patty and Peggy had left their apartment with a man in a white Chevrolet Vega a week before Johnson's murder. Police checked the apartment and could find no sign of the twins or any evidence that they'd ever lived there. Their bicycles were later found at Warren's mother's home.
A year after the twins disappeared, someone broke into their father's home and took only their clothes. Rivituso doesn't believe the burglar was either of her daughters, since they had keys to the house and wouldn't need to break in. She speculates that whoever committed the burglary wanted to make it look like Peggy and Patty were alive and had left of their own free will.
There was a possible sighting of Patty and Peggy at a truck stop on the Florida Turnpike after they disappeared. A woman working there allowed the two girls to stay with her for some time because she was concerned for their safety; they told her they were being stalked.
The two girls told the woman they were thinking of going to their uncle's home in Vero Beach, Florida; the McDaniels did have an uncle in Vero Beach. The woman stated the twins simply vanished from her home one day, taking their belongings with them.
Patty and Peggy's mother believes her daughters witnessed Johnson's murder and were killed as a result. There has been no sign of them since 1979.
Other information and links : ncy
Lauderhill Police Department
September 2021 updates and sources
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 Orlando Sentinel
Interactive Missing Person Search Map