Do you have any information? Families seeking answers in nine Okaloosa missing persons cases
It’s been almost four months since Michaella Brunner last spoke to her 50-year-old mother Kathleen Ialeggio, and still little is known about her whereabouts.
A mother to six children who have had many of their own, Ialeggio always has been there for her family, Brunner said. Her disappearance has left them very concerned, and they have become one of several families in Okaloosa County still seeking answers.
“We all are looking for her and we miss her,” Brunner said. “She is a mother and a grandmother. That’s kind of all I use to describe her because that’s all she’s ever done is be a mom and a grandma. She’s very sweet and very outspoken.”
The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office and other law enforcement agencies in the area are working multiple active missing persons investigations, including that of Laleggio.
Numerous cases have been publicly brought back to light after 22-year-old Gabby Petito went missing on a cross-country road trip with her boyfriend in August.
Petito’s disappearance captured the nation’s attention, and many families hope the same focus can be brought to their cases to help get answers after months and, for some, years of silence.
Nine Okaloosa County families are looking for their missing loved ones
Sorita Annis, 24, would call her mother, Bonnie Campbell, multiple times a day before the calls suddenly stopped July 12 last year. She was reported missing out of Crestview.
Campbell said it’s never easy for a child to understand when their parent goes missing. Annis left behind three young children under the age of 10 who are now in Campbell's care.
“A 4-year-old doesn’t understand why his momma hasn’t come to see him or talked to him or anything,” Campbell said. “And her 3-year-old, Sorita didn’t even get to see her walk before she went missing.”
Some cases have gone unsolved for more than 20 years.
Kristy Rogers, who was 16 at the time of her disappearance, has been missing since 1997. She returned home from her boyfriend’s house early one Saturday morning, then wasn't seen again. Some of her belongings were found behind a building, but she was never found.
Calandra Stallworth was 28 when she disappeared in 2017, leaving behind two young daughters. Stallworth's family reported her missing after she stopped contacting them for a few days.
Police were able to contact her, and Stallworth reportedly informed the police department that she had taken a getaway trip to Alabama with her boyfriend and had a poor cellphone signal. Afterward, she dropped out of contact again and has not reappeared.
Read more about Calandra Stallworth:Mother of missing woman: ‘Time is slipping away’
Linda Kay Carroll’s family also has been left with questions after she disappeared at the age of 24 in 1984. She had a 4-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son at the time. The young mother of two was last seen at her home on Kingston Road.
Investigators found the bedsheets missing on her bed and human hair on a striker plate of a doorjamb. Dennis Carroll, her husband, was the primary suspect in the case, but investigators never found enough evidence to charge him. He died of cancer in 2014.
Andrea Durham was 13 when she disappeared from her family’s apartment near Fort Walton Beach in 1990.
The day she went missing, Andrea was vacuuming the apartment at the Royale Apartments while her mother and sister left to go to a meeting. When they returned, the vacuum was in the middle of the floor and Andrea was gone.
Jacob Lyon, of Niceville, was 19 when he was last seen in October 2015. In 2017, officials got a lead from an inmate at the Walton County Jail who allegedly admitted to helping dispose of Jacob’s body in a wooded area off U.S. Highway 331 North near DeFuniak Springs. An exhaustive search of the area turned up nothing.
Nicholas Nelson was 24 at the time of his disappearance in August 2017. Friends and family members say they had not had contact with Nelson for weeks and were concerned for his well-being. He was last seen in the Niceville area.
Chris Heth, a 28-year-old from Florosa, went missing in May and is considered endangered.
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Kathleen Ialeggio is one of Okaloosa County's most recent disappearance cases
Not long before Ialeggio was reported missing June 26, she spent a week receiving treatment for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in a hospital's intensive care unit.
The chronic lung disease can make it difficult for her to breathe, said Brunner, who added that Ialeggio also has such known medical conditions as congenital heart disease.
The last time Brunner saw her mother she was bringing her medication for her nebulizer, a device which changes medication from a liquid to a mist to inhale into the lungs.
“She is very, very thin," Brunner said. "I think when they weighed her in the hospital the day before she went missing she was only 105 pounds."
Brunner said she would talk with her mother over the phone once or twice a week and would stop by Ialeggio's Fort Walton Beach home to help her with her medication and groceries.
Ialeggio's disappearance has been especially concerning, knowing no one has picked up her medication at any local pharmacies, Brunner said. Her family, like many others, is struggling not knowing what might have happened.
“It’s super concerning. We’re all nervous and worried about her,” Brunner said. “At this point, it’s almost like we’re looking for closure because it’s been so long and she hasn’t had her medication and nobody’s heard anything.”
Anyone with information on Ialeggio’s disappearance or another missing persons case is asked to contact the OCSO at 850-689-8477 or Emerald Coast Crime Stoppers at 850-863-8477.
Further contact information and details also can be found on missing persons flyers listed above.