Brenda Cecelia Crowley

Left and Right: Brenda circa, 1980

Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

Missing Since: May 1, 1980

Missing From: Staten Island, Richmond County, New York

Classification: Endangered Missing

Date Of Birth: October 5, 1963

Age: 15 years old

Height and Weight: 5’5″ and 120 pounds

Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian Female, Blonde hair, Blue/Green eyes, Brenda has a small scar on her nose and she previously fractured one of her arms when she was a child, she might wear eye glasses or contact lenses to help correct strabismus aka cross eye, her teeth are crowded, Brenda’s blood type is believed to be O positive but it might also be A positive or negative, she might use the first name “Colleen” and the last names “Lee” and “Star”

NCMEC Number: 1059755

Details of Disappearance

Brenda was last seen in Staten Island, New York in May of 1980. She was reportedly last seen at 116 Harbor Road, a private house in Mariners Harbor that she shared with her mother, Theresa Crowley, and Theresa’s boyfriend, Joe Milius. She also lived with her several siblings at the time of her disappearance. She hasn’t been seen or heard from since then. Brenda wasn’t reported when she initially went missing that year.

Official reports state that Brenda hasn’t been heard from since about March of 1979. She was a special education student at Curtis High School but she stopped attending around February of 1980 and was expelled as AWOL (Absent Without Leave). Her home life was troubled at the time of her disappearance. Theresa was said to be abusive towards her children as she had an apparent jealousy towards her daughters. She also struggled with alcoholism as well.

Brenda’s sisters would later recall how Theresa would accuse them of wanting her boyfriend or “man” at the time. Due to the extensive amount of child abuse, Brenda’s siblings all ran away at some point and they all returned, all of them except Brenda herself. Investigators believe she ran away from home and chose not to return. After she went missing, Theresa claimed she did file a missing persons report with police.

On March 8th 1981, Theresa was found murdered on an intersection in the Castleton Corners neighborhood of Staten Island. She was initially considered a Jane Doe and wasn’t identified until shortly after the discovery. Theresa was killed by strangulation. A store clerk, Glenn Micieli, was arrested and charged with killing Theresa. He knew her from a local bar at the time of her murder. He pled guilty to attempted manslaughter and was sentenced to prison.

Brenda’s siblings attempted to locate her so they could inform her of her mother’s death, but they were unable to do so. They soon discovered that Theresa had never filed a missing persons report with law enforcement regarding Brenda’s disappearance and she had lied about doing so. Her siblings attempted to file a report with authorities soon after the murder of Theresa but the police wouldn’t accept the report.

Brenda’s family was able to formally report her as a missing child in 1994, approximately 14 years after she was last seen. In the years that would follow, it was believed that Brenda simply ran away from home and didn’t want to be found. However, in January of 2008, a family member of Brenda’s came toward to police and claimed that she had been murdered by her father, Peter Crowley, and was buried behind his residence.

The house in question was located in East Islip, Suffolk County, New York. Peter lived at the house with his new wife (Brenda’s stepmother) and her children. He was described by neighbors as a preacher who was often drunk and regularly used vulgar language. These neighbors also recall that Brenda lived at his home but it’s unclear whether this occurred before or after her disappearance in 1980.

The backyard of the residence was searched by authorities with shovels and backhoes throughout the entire day they were there. They only recovered dog bones and found no evidence that Brenda was buried there. It’s unclear whether Peter is a suspect in his daughters disappearance or if he indeed murdered her like the relative indicated to police in 2008.

Investigators believe Brenda may have been placed in a group home or foster care following her disappearance. Her siblings received tips that she might’ve been at a group home on Targee Street in Staten Island. They believe she might’ve been placed in foster care since they themselves also spent time in the foster care system as children. There are no indications that Brenda was killed or died after her disappearance. She might’ve changed her name following her disappearance.

At one point, one of Brenda’s sisters attempted to contact the Social Security Administration to check and see if Brenda’s social security number had been used at all over the years. The representative that she spoke with stated in regards to Brenda that “she isn’t dead.” The person would not reveal anymore information about the activity on Brenda’s social security number.

At the time of her disappearance, Brenda was known to frequently hang out in the Tompkinsville area as well as Stapleton and Mariners Harbor. Her disappearance remains an active investigation with law enforcement and Brenda’s siblings hope she’ll be located soon. Her case remains unsolved.

Investigating Agency

If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:

New York City Police Department 212-694-7781

Source Information

For The Lost

The Charley Project

The Doe Network




Genealogy Today


Daily News 03/13/1981