Family still looking for clues to Penn Township woman, daughter missing since 1985 | TribLIVE.com
Westmoreland

Family still looking for clues to Penn Township woman, daughter missing since 1985

Paul Peirce
1364797_web1_gtr-coldcase003-070319
Submitted
Childhood photograph of Janet Marie “Palumbo” Shuglie (left) with sister, Nancy, and brother, Anthony, who used to live in Harrison City, Penn Township. Shuglie disappeared in 1985 with her 10-year-old daughter, Marisa, in Somerset County and state police are still investigating.
1364797_web1_gtr-coldcase002-070319
Submitted
Post-high school photograph of Janet Marie Shuglie, who disappeared in Somerset County in 1985. State police are seeking information on the disappearance of Shuglie and her 10-year-old daughter in Somerset County.
1364797_web1_gtr-coldcase006-070319
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Raymond Sartori (left), and Nancy Martinelli, talk about their sister Janet Shuglie, who went missing with her 10 year old daughter Marisa, near Somerset the week of June 30, 1985, during a press conference at Pennsylvania State Police Troop A Headquarters in Greensburg, on Tuesday, July 2, 2019.
1364797_web1_gtr-coldcase005-070319
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Raymond Sartori (left), and Nancy Martinelli, talk about their sister Janet Shuglie, who went missing with her 10 year old daughter Marisa, near Somerset the week of June 30, 1985, during a press conference at Pennsylvania State Police Troop A Headquarters in Greensburg, on Tuesday, July 2, 2019.
1364797_web1_gtr-coldcase001-070319
Submitted
Family photograph of Janet Marie “Palumbo” Shuglie, left, with sister, Nancy. Janet Shuglie, who went missing with her 10-year-old daughter Marisa near Somerset the week of June 30, 1985. State police in Greensburg are seeking information.
1364797_web1_gtr-coldcase004-070319
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Raymond Sartori (left), and Nancy Martinelli, talk during a news conference at Pennsylvania State Police Troop A Headquarters in Greensburg on Tuesday, July 2, 2019, about their sister Janet Shuglie, who went missing with her 10-year-old daughter Marisa near Somerset the week of June 30, 1985.
1364797_web1_Shuglie-Ring
Courtesy Pennsylvania State Police
Former Penn Joint Junior High School ring that belonged to Janet Marie “Palumbo” Shuglie, who went missing in 1985 in Somerset County with 10-year-old daughter Marisa. Family members hope discovery of the ring helps state police in Greensburg solve disappearance.

The family of a Penn Township mother who went missing with her 10-year-old daughter in 1985 hopes the recent discovery of a junior high school ring that belonged to the woman may jog some memories that could solve the mysterious 34-year-old disappearance.

“It would be wonderful to have some sort of closure. Our family would certainly appreciate any information anyone could provide state police,” said Nancy Martinelli of Greensburg, the sister of Janet Shuglie, who disappeared June 30, 1985.

No bodies were ever discovered after the double disappearance of Shuglie and her daughter, Marisa, Trooper Steve Limani said. They were last seen along Route 985 south of Jennerstown in Somerset County. Tips have been few and far between.

“We’ve never had enough information to develop sufficient information that would enable us to get an arrest warrant. We’re hoping that now that we’ve been able to positively identify this ring as belonging to Janet, who used to go by the name of Janet Marie Palumbo, that someone may step forward with information to help us and help us assist this family,” Limani said.

Shuglie and her daughter were last seen walking away from the Coleman Motel, which no longer exists.

According to a 1996 Tribune-Review article on the disappearance, Shuglie reportedly was attempting to borrow money to leave the area. Her home life at a rental property near Hidden Valley Resort had been strife-ridden, and her husband, Francis J. Shuglie, had relocated his wife and daughter to the motel.

Shuglie’s husband was tried and convicted in Allegheny County for soliciting two police detectives to kill his wife’s uncle and maim her aunt, according to the news report. He served a portion of his sentence at the former Farview Institution for the criminally insane in Wayne County and now lives in the Pittsburgh area, police said.

“I was Janet’s matron of honor at her wedding. In high school (at Penn-Trafford), she was a majorette and I was a cheerleader, and we had so many good times together,” said Martinelli, who was three years younger than her sister.

One of Shuglie’s brothers, Raymond Sartori of Mt. Washington, also spoke at the news conference in Greensburg.

“Although it’s been a tragedy, this has amazingly brought together Janet, me and our brother, Anthony, who lives in Florida. The only thing missing is Janet, and we would love to have her restored back into our lives,” said Sartori, who was 19 when his older sister disappeared.

Martinelli and Sartori said Janet and Francis, who used to live in Jeannette, had trouble through much of her marriage. Sartori said the family lost contact with Janet’s husband.

“She moved 12 times in 11 years,” Martinelli said.

“After the disappearance, her husband called me on the phone a few days afterward and asked whether I had seen Janet, saying they had had an argument at the motel, and she had walked away. I asked if he had called state police, and he said no,” she said.

The Shuglies had two sons, younger than Marisa, and Martinelli said the family has lost contact with them, too.

“To be honest, when it first happened I thought about the disappearance 24 hours a day, seven days a week. But it was consuming me, and I had two children to raise. I could not function at all like that,” Martinelli said.

“It’s still horrible during every holiday and her birthday. And her birthday is coming up July 28,” Martinelli said.

Sartori said the family is hoping that the discovery of their sister’s Penn Joint Junior High School ring is a sign that the family’s tragedy may finally be solved.

Limani said another family had the ring after finding it “many, many years ago.” They turned it over to troopers a few weeks ago after learning it could be that of a missing woman. He declined to release more information on where the ring was discovered or who turned it in, saying it remains part of the ongoing investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to call state police at 724-832-3288.

Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at 724-850-2860, [email protected]ribweb.com or via Twitter .

Categories: Local | Westmoreland
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.