Left and Center: Ilene circa, 1989
Right: Age Progressed to age 43
Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: January 30, 1989
Missing From: Dublin, Alameda County, California
Classification: Non-Family Abduction
Date Of Birth: March 12, 1975
Age: 13 years old
Height and Weight: 5’3″ and 115 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian Female, Brown hair, Brown eyes, Ilene has a small lump on the inside of her left ankle, she wore braces on her teeth at the time of her 1989 abduction, she has freckles on her cheeks and the bridge of her nose, and her ears are double pierced
Clothing/Jewelry Description: A charcoal gray colored pullover Espirit polo sweater, A pink/charcoal gray skirt with horizontal stripes, black low top Keds sneakers, Ilene was last known to be wearing two earrings in each ear, she was carrying a dark blue backpack and a black plastic flute case
NCMEC Number: 719556
Details of Disappearance
Ilene was last seen in Dublin, California on January 30th 1989. She was last seen walking home at approximately 3:00 pm after she finished her classes at Wells Intermediate School. She was witnessed by several school mates as she walked alone on Amador Valley Boulevard. She was planning to use a shortcut to reach her home.
Ilene was going to go through a wide alley behind a shopping center store called Sawmill, a furniture store and Gallagher’s Pub. She would then cross the boulevard and then through John Mape Park sling a dry creek bed.
Ilene had plans of practicing ice skating at a local skating rink. She never made it home or to the rink and was never seen or heard from again. An extensive search of the area produced no signs of Ilene or what happened to her.
Investigators later uncovered Ilene’s key fob near the entrance to John Mape Park. The backpack that she was carrying was recovered soon after she went missing. It was found in the creek bed at John Mape Park. It was found there after the area had already been searched. Investigators suspect that someone placed it there after the initial search.
Investigators suspect that Ilene was abducted by person(s) unknown. Many suspects have been named in relation to Ilene’s presumed abduction. Her case may be linked to the abductions of other girls in the Bay Area.
In 1979, Tara Cossett Cossey vanished while going to get her mother sugar from a store in San Pablo, California. In June of 1988, Amber Jean Swartz Garcia was abducted from the front of her house as she played with a jump rope in Pinole, California. In November of 1988, Michaela Joy Garecht was abducted from the outside of a market as she was retrieving a scooter in Hayward, California. In December of 1991, Amanda Nicole Campbell was abducted from the road as she rode her bike to a friends house in Fairfield, California. Authorities have not conclusively linked the cases but believe that they may be connected.
A man named Timothy Binder has been treated as a suspect in Michaela’s abduction for years. He’s suspected in the other cases of kidnapped girls as well. He was described as weird and odd and may have been playing mind games with the families of the abducted children. He may have been manipulating them into believing he was involved in the kidnappings. Binder came to be suspected after he sent girls of the Bay Area cards because they were “lonely”.
Investigators asked Amber Swartz-Garcia’s mother, Kim, to maintain a friendship with him in order to see if he knows the whereabouts of the missing girls. She agreed that he seemed to be playing mind games and was manipulative. He did not reveal anything of significance in the cases. Binder strongly resembled a man sought in Ambers disappearance. It should also be noted that his van had pictures of young children in it. There were also posters of Ambers disappearance were on the sides of his van.
Binder would frequently visit the grave of Angela Bugay, she was 5 years old when she was kidnapped and murdered in Antioch, California on November 19th 1983.
Angela’s body was found buried in a shallow grave a few days after her disappearance. Tim was considered a suspect in her unsolved murder for years until it was solved in 1995. Her mothers ex boyfriend, Larry Graham, was charged with killing her in April of 1996 after his DNA was found to be a match to a semen sample found on her body. He was convicted of killing her in 2003. He took his own life in his jail cell in 2009.
Investigators traced the scents of Amber and Amanda to Bugay’s grave. He has not been connected to the girl’s disappearances. He sent various letters and odd things to police and the FBI. Prior to Michaela’s abduction, he told the FBI that he beloved the next child to be taken would be 9 years of age. Michaela’s kidnapping took place shortly after he told them this. She was 9 years old when she was taken.
In 1990, Binder sent a holiday card to a FBI profiler. The card depicted a child holding up 4 fingers. Amanda Campbell’s abduction took place in December of 1991. She was 4 years old when she disappeared. He also sued Amanda’s hometown of Fairfield for defamation of character and won a $90,000 settlement.
Another suspect in Ilene’s case is James Daveggio. He is a convicted rapist along with his wife. He along with his wife, Michelle Michaud abducted, raped, and murdered Vanessa Swanson in 1997. They were convicted of the crime in 2002 and sentenced to death. James was known for committing crimes in the Bay Area so it’s possible he abducted the other missing girls but he has never been charged. He remains a prime suspect in Ilene’s case. He was known to have a girlfriend in the Dublin area at the time she was kidnapped.
In 1991, an 11 year old girl named Jaycee Lee Dugard was abducted by an unidentified couple as she waited for the school bus near her home. Much like Michaela’s abduction, Dugard’s abduction was witnessed. She was never seen or heard from again. Daveggio and Michaud were considered suspects in her kidnapping as well but they were later found to not be involved.
On August 26th 2009, Jaycee was found alive and well. She had been taken by sex offender and convicted rapist, Phillip Garrido and his wife Nancy Garrido.
They held her captive for 18 years and in that time, Dugard gave birth to two young girls. Dugard was questioned in the cases of Ilene Misheloff and Michaela Garecht because Garrido was out of jail when they were abducted. Phillip resembles the sketch of Michaela’s abductor and he owns a vehicle which is similar to the one used in her kidnapping.
He is still considered a possible suspect in their cases. Authorities searched his backyard and surrounding areas to see if he buried Michaela or Ilene anywhere. Bones were found but were found to be ancient Indian remains. It possible the property was built over an old Indian burial ground. Investigators have stated that Garrido owns a vehicle that is similar to one that was seen speeding away from the area that Ilene disappeared from.
A man known as Curtis Dean Anderson has also been mentioned as a possible suspect in Ilene’s case. He is also considered a possible suspect in the 1999 disappearance of Karla Rodriguez. In 1999, he kidnapped 7 year old Xiana Fairchild from Vallejo, California and held her captive for several weeks before he murdered her. He’s also bragged of kidnapping 11 other girls.
In 2007 he confessed to abducting and killing Amber Swartz Garcia. He died a month after his confession while he served prison time. He stated that he forcefully abducted Swartz as she played in front of her home and took her with him to Arizona. He stated that Amber was sedated until he murdered her in a motel room near the Tucson area of Arizona. He allegedly disposed of her body near Benson, Arizona.
No evidence was found by investigators to corroborate his confession. They initially closed the investigation into her case but it reopened in 2013. He was not been charged in Ilene’s case before his death and investigators are unsure of his involvement in the case.
At the time of her disappearance, Ilene was described as a great student and an accomplished figure skater who won medals locally. She had dreams of becoming a pediatrician when she went missing. Her mother passed away from cancer in 2020 but her brothers and father are still alive. Her case remains unsolved and she’s presumed abducted.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Dublin Police Department 925-833-6670