Police & Fire

Anonymous Letter Prompts Olean Police to Seek Information on Woman Who Disappeared 34 Years Ago

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098eb29c2c13c03a0c59_missing.jpg

OLEAN, NY—Police are seeking information about a woman who disappeared in Olean over 30 years ago. An anonymous letter that was recently sent to the Olean Police Department prompted the request.

The woman, Josephine Doris (Cottone) Despard, was last seen Feb. 7, 1984. According to police, Despard left her family home in Olean at 5 p.m. with a male acquaintance from Franklinville. They were reportedly going to his home to swap stereo components. The man, who police have not identified, told police they instead went to the Olean Center Mall for coffee and he last saw her at 6 p.m.

According to police, the man said Despard met with friends while at the mall, and he left alone. Police said the man committed suicide in 1984, and his mother committed suicide a few years later.

The Olean Police Department's Criminal Unit is seeking information on Despard's disappearance. Police said meetings can be arranged anywhere and can be kept confidential. Individuals with information should contact Captain Robert Blovsky at 716-376-5673 or the Olean Police Department at 716-376-5677.

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