Detectives are gathering circumstantial evidence, hoping to get a judge's signature even though Cusano's body is still missing.
The 43-year-old mother of twin teen-agers disappeared from her Park Street home in Shelton Jan. 2. She had been working part time for a Branford-based escort service run by fugitive Gabriel Gladstone. She went to a rooming house on Prospect Avenue to see a client who turned out to be ex-convict Gregory McArthur.
Police believe McArthur was the last person to see her alive. Several searches for the woman have not turned up a trace of her.
Hartford police Lt. James Blanchette, who is heading the investigation, said Friday police are reviewing the evidence in the case in order to apply for an arrest warrant for McArthur, who is jailed in Boston on an unrelated rape charge. He declined to say what evidence police have to connect McArthur to the crime.
Blanchette said police are "moving forward" with the case even though police have not found Cusano's body and do not plan another search unless evidence points to a specific location. "We're compiling and reviewing all of our circumstantial evidence right now and we hope to go for an arrest warrant very soon," said Blanchette.
Police sources close to the investigation said that without a body, they will most likely have to use DNA evidence to make an arrest in the case because McArthur has been uncooperative with investigators and has not said anything about the Cusano case. DNA is a genetic material that some scientists claim can be used to identify people in criminal cases more accurately than fingerprints.
Blanchette declined to comment whether police will seek to link McArthur to the crime with DNA evidence.
During the investigation, police obtained samples of Cusano's hair from her brush and seized a bag of bloody clothes from McArthur's room. Sources said McArthur and Cusano may have struggled, and she may have cut him with a knife because his clothing was punctured with several large stab wounds. Cusano's 1991 Red Mazda 626 was found not far from McArthur's former rooming house, and police also removed some unidentified evidence from the car.
McArthur has a long history of sexual assaults and is considered a "sexual predator" by police. He is being held in jail after being arrested in Boston on Aug. 22 for allegedly raping a 37-year-old homeless woman. He had been released from jail on Sept. 27, 1997, after serving six years for sexual assault.
Shelton Detective Sgt. Joseph Kudrak said his department is still treating the case as a "missing person" until Cusano is found or her killer is brought to justice. "It's been frustrating for us. We'd like to see some closure on the case," he said.
Cusano was reported missing after she failed to pick up her daughters on Jan. 3 to take them to a doctor 's appointment.
DNA evidence helped to convict a man of the murder of one of Gladstone's female escorts in the 1980s.
Carmela Almeida, 22, formerly of Wallingford, disappeared on April 18, 1988, after calling the escort service from the home of Tevrik Sivri in Trumbull.
Sivri's case was noteworthy because he was convicted mainly on the basis of DNA evidence. DNA extracted from a blood spot in the trunk of Sivri's car matched Almeida's DNA.
Sivri was sentenced to 60 years in jail, and four years later Almeida's body was discovered in the woods off Route 111 in Monroe. She had been shot once in the head.
Police decided to search Keney Pond in the middle of the 700-acre Keney Park and Golf Course based on an anonymous tip, said Lt. James Blanchette of the Hartford Police.
Divers from Trumbull, Milford, Shelton and Berlin searched the murky waters most of the day. What they found was a stolen car that someone had dumped in the pond some time ago, said Blanchette.
He said police are suspending any further searches for Cusano, who was last seen at a Hartford rooming house on Jan. 3 where she went to answer a call as an escort. Cusano had worked as an executive secretary during the day and escort at night for a Branford-based service formerly run by Gabriel Gladstone, who is now a fugitive.
Last Thursday more than 60 police officers searched the park but turned up no remains or evidence. Tuesday's search was the third at the park.
Police have concentrated their search to park-like areas because the suspect in the case, Gregory McArthur, 37, was known to have raped women in parks and lived near Keney Park.
Police said McArthur may have been the last person to see Cusano alive. She went to his run-down rooming house on Prospect Avenue when he allegedly called the service for an escort.
McArthur is in jail in Boston after being arrested in August for allegedly raping a 37-year-old Dorchester woman.
Cusano, who was once married to Vinny Vincent Cusano, former guitarist for the rock band KISS, left her Park Street house in Shelton around 11 p.m. Jan. 2, went to Hartford and hasn't been seen since. Police recovered her 1991 Red Mazda 626 the next day near McArthur's former residence.
It was a day of pulse-pounding anticipation when bones were discovered, and then frustration when the remains turned out to be that of an animal.
More than 60 police officers from Hartford, Shelton and state police combed the 700-acre park for almost eight hours, assisted by seven dogs. The search has now been called off indefinitely.
Police searched just about every inch of the park and spent the day poking in holes and looking under mounds of leaves for any sign of Cusano, 43, the mother of twin teen-age girls. The search attracted media from all over the state.
Investigators thought they had their first big break of the day around 3 p.m. when a Hartford police recruit found some women's clothing and skeletal remains in the park woods about 11/2 miles off busy Tower Avenue. The dogs also alerted police to the bones by barking.
Shelton detectives looked at the clothing and determined that it did not match the clothing Cusano reportedly wore Jan. 2, when she disappeared.
Cusano had been working part-time as an escort and was sent to a rooming house on Prospect Avenue in Hartford to see a client who turned out to be ex- convict Gregory McArthur, 37, who in an unrelated case, is in a Boston jail for allegedly raping a woman in August.
In order to determine if the bones were human, Hartford police called in the state medical examiner, Dr. H. Wayne Carver, who said they were the partial skeleton of an adult dog, which weighed 60 to 70 pounds. He said the skeleton had been there for three to five years.
It was removed and taken to Carver's office for disposal.
"This (finding the skeleton) is testament to the quality of work that was done here today," said Carver.
After Carver released the news of the bones to the media, the search ended. The frustration was evident on the faces of the police officers as they packed up for the day and left the park.
Police will continue their investigation.
"We're all disappointed we didn't find her," said Hartford Lt. James Blanchette, who headed the search. "It would have been a relief for the family who could finally have some closure."
This is the second time the police have searched Keney Park for Cusano. On Jan. 14, police searched the park to no avail.
Blanchette said that at the time, the weather was cold and the ground was frozen, which could have contributed to police not finding anything.
He said they decided to try another search because McArthur, who police called a "sexual predator," had raped other women in parks and had lived near Keney Park on the night Cusano disappeared. He said that while police have talked to McArthur, he has been "uncooperative" and has not said anything about the Cusano case.
McArthur has an extensive background for crimes including robbery and rape. He had been released from jail on Sept. 27, 1997, after serving six years for sexual assault.
On Aug. 22, McArthur was arrested by Boston police after police heard screams coming from a van parked on a dead-end street in the Jamaica Plain section of the Boston. McArthur is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail, charged with rape and theft of a motor vehicle.
Police said McArthur had picked up a 37-year-old Dorchester woman who had solicited him for sex. However, police said McArthur got rough and began to choke the woman when she started to scream. Police patrolling the area heard the woman screaming and arrested McArthur Cusano had left her Park Street home in Shelton around 11 p.m. on Jan. 2, went to Hartford and has not been seen since. Police found her 1991 Red Mazda 626 near McArthur's former rooming house.
Her disappearance was discovered on Jan. 3, when she failed to pick up her twin daughters to take them to an eye doctor appointment. At first, police thought she had been abducted because she had left the radio and lights on and a half-glass of wine on the table.
Cusano, whose maiden name is Peters, grew up in the Huntington section of Shelton and apparently led a double life. During the day, she worked as an executive secretary for Executone Information Systems Inc. of Milford. By night, she worked part-time for a Branford-based escort service run by fugitive Gabriel Gladstone.
She was married to Vinny Cusano, who was the lead guitarist for the rock band KISS in the early 1980s. Vinny Cusano later changed his name to Vinny Vincent. He is the father of Cusano's two teen-age girls who are living with relatives in Shelton.
Police said Wednesday a suspect in the case, Gregory MacArthur, 37, of Hartford, is jailed in Boston on rape charges. Hartford detectives have interviewed MacArthur about the 43-year-old woman's disappearance, but have not charged him.
Police said investigators may now be close to solving the case.
Lt. James Blanchette, commander of the Hartford Police Major Crime Unit, said that while police do not have a warrant signed for MacArthur's arrest, they are still investigating him in connection with the Cusano case.
"We are working diligently on this case and hope to come to a conclusion very quickly," he said.
Blanchette said police will conduct a massive search today of Hartford's Keney Golf Course and Park with cadaver-sniffing dogs. He would not say whether MacArthur's arrest prompted the search of the park.
This will be the second time police have looked for Cusano's body in the park. On Jan. 14, two weeks after Cusano disappeared from MacArthur's rundown rooming house in Hartford, police searched for her body in the park but came up empty.
Sources close to the investigation said that without a body, police wouldmost likely have to use DNA evidence to make an arrest in the case.
Shelton Detective Sgt. Joseph Kudrak, who has been assisting Hartford with the Cusano case, declined comment.
Cusano, a mother of twin daughters, left her Park Street home in Shelton on Jan. 3 and went to MacArthur's room on Prospect Avenue in Hartford on a call for an escort service.
Police at first thought Cusano had been abducted because she had left her house with all the lights on and radio going. But phone records led police to MacArthur's rooming house. They did not find Cusano's body, but did find a bag of bloody clothes belonging to MacArthur.
Police suspect there was a struggle and MacArthur had been stabbed, apparently by Cusano.
MacArthur, who police describe as a "habitual sex offender," is at the Nashua Street Jail in Boston where he's being held for allegedly raping a woman and for stealing a car.
Boston police said MacArthur was driving a stolen van on Aug. 22 and picked up a 37-year-old Dorchester, Mass., woman and took her to a dead-end street in the Jamaica Plain section of the city.
David Falcone, a spokesman for the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office in Boston, said MacArthur started to choke the woman and "got rough" with her and then raped her. The woman started to scream and Boston police officers patrolling the area heard her screams and arrested MacArthur.
It may have taken Hartford police a while to catch up with MacArthur because he had been going under the alias of Daniel Dukes, authorities said. MacArthur was indicted for the rape on Sept. 17 and his pre-trial case was continued until Oct. 7.
Cusano was once married to Vinny Vincent, former guitarist for the rock band Kiss. He is the father of Cusano's twin teen-age daughters.
Register correspondent John Mongillo Jr. contributed to this story.
Detective Sgt. Joseph Kudrak said Wednesday they will use the services of the unit to help them in the case of Annemarie Cusano, who left her Park Street home Jan. 2 and has not been heard from since. She was last seen at a rooming house in Hartford where police later recovered her car.
"While there's still nothing new with the case, we will use the services of the state police. We hope it will assist us. We are doing whatever we can to solve this case," said Kudrak. Lt. Ben Pagoni, commanding officer of the unit, said Cusano's picture will be the the first picture that they fax with the new computer system called "Fast Track." Pagoni said that within seconds, the computer can fax a missing person's photo to specific police departments, post offices, airports or anywhere in United States that has a fax machine. "It's a brand new tool for local police departments to supplement investigations. We can get information out fast with this new system to get maximum exposure," said Pagoni, whose unit is the official law enforcement clearing house for missing persons in Connecticut.
Police are still concentrating their efforts on finding Gregory McArthur, 37, who may have been the last person to see Cusano alive. Cusano was apparently on a call for an escort service the night she disappeared. She had left her home shortly after 11 p.m. Jan. 2 and ended up in the North End of Hartford at a Prospect Avenue rooming house where McArthur had been living. Police found Cusano's car the next day a few blocks away from the rooming house.
Pagoni, who works with missing person's expert Detective Theresa Freeman, said they will be sending out Cusano's picture to departments around Hartford, where she was last seen. The picture will contain information about Cusano and asks people to call Shelton police if they have any information about her. "We're not promising the world here. We'll send out her picture and see what we can do to help out. The photograph may bring out more information about where she may be or additional information about the case," said Pagoni. Shelton and Hartford police are still following leads in the case, even though there has been little movement for the past four months. Kudrak said they may also ask the unit to send McArthur's picture out on the fax to see whether it will help locate him.
At first, police thought Cusano, who was once married to Kiss guitarist Vinny Vincent, had gone out for an errand because she had left on all the lights and a radio. Vincent is the father of Cusano's 15-year-old twin girls. The girls are now living with relatives in Shelton. Anyone who may have information about Cusano or McArthur should call Hartford police at 860-527-6300, Ext. 5232, or Shelton police at 924-1 544.
On Jan. 2, Cusano left her Park Street home to answer a call as an escort at a rooming house on Prospect Avenue in Hartford. Police have yet to find Cusano, a single mother of two teen-age daughters who also worked as an executive secretary for Executone Information Services in Milford. Police said chances are slim she is alive because she was a devoted mother and would have tried to contact her children and family if she could.
Hartford police said they are still following leads in the case of the 43- year-old Cusano, who left her Park Street home in Shelton Jan. 2 and has not been seen or heard from since. Hartford Lt. Jose Lopez Sr. has said police are still concentrating efforts on finding ex-convict Gregory McArthur. The 37-year-old McArthur may have been the last person to see Cusano, alive. Cusano, the mother of twin daughters, worked during the day as an executive secretary for Executone Information Systems Inc. of Milford and for an escort service at night.
On the evening she disappeared she had gone to a run-down rooming house on Prospect Avenue in Hartford on a call for the escort service. Police found a bag of bloody clothes belonging to McArthur in the rooming house. Police said it appeared there had been some type of struggle and that the clothing contained several slashes indicating that some type of weapon - like a box cutter - may have been used. Family members originally thought that Cusano had left her Park Street home to do an errand because all the lights were left on and her purse was found in the home.
The woman, Annemarie Cusano, disappeared from a rundown Hartford rooming house Jan. 2. Police said chances Cusano is still alive are slim, because they believe she would have come back by now to see her twin 15- year-old daughters. The girls are living with relatives in Shelton, and attending Shelton High School. On Jan. 2, Cusano left her Park Street home and went to a rooming house in Hartford, allegedly to meet a client for the escort service for which she worked. Her car was found a few blocks away. Police took samples from the car, but did not release any results. Hartford police also have characterized the case as a waiting game.
Lt. Jose Lopez Sr. said they are still looking for Gregory McArthur, an ex- con who is tied to the case. McArthur, 37, may have been the last person to see Cusano alive. At the rooming house, where McArthur was living, police seized bloody clothes believed to have belonged to McArthur. The clothes were blood-stained and slashed to indicate a struggle. Lopez said they have been following leads, but have not located McArthur. "There have been some sightings, but we don't have anything solid yet," he said.
Police thought Cusano, once married to KISS guitarist Vinnie Vincent, went on an errand the night she disappeared, because she left the house with the radio and lights on. Vincent is the father of Cusano's daughters.
Hartford Lt. Jose Lopez Sr. said police are still concentrating on finding ex-convict Gregory McArthur, 37, who may have been the last person to see Cusano alive. "Right now we're waiting to see if we find her or him," Lopez said. Police have been told that McArthur has been seen in various Hartford neighborhoods, but the leads turned into dead-ends. Lopez said police still enourage anyone with information about McArthur or Cusano to call them. Cusano apparently was on a call for an escort service the night she disappeared. She left her home shortly after 11 p.m. Jan. 2 and ended up in the North End of Hartford at a Prospect Avenue rooming house where McArthur had been living. Police found Cusano's car a few blocks away from the rooming house the next day and since that time police have not been able to find Cusano or McArthur.
Police originally thought Cusano, who was once married to Kiss guitarist Vinnie Vincent, had gone out for an errand when she disappeared. Vincent is the father of Cusano's 15-year-old twin girls. The girls are living with relatives in Shelton and attend Shelton High School. Hurliman said police are still waiting for test results from fibers and McArthur's bloody shirt, taken from his room at the boarding house. He said they also are waiting for tests taken on items found in Cusano's car. Anyone who may have information about Cusano or McArthur is urged to call Hartford police at 860-527-6300, ext. 5232, or Shelton police at 924-1 544.
Police last month connected her with a boarding house on Prospect Street in Hartford, and her car turned up several miles away in Hartford's North End. In a search of the boarding house, police reportedly uncovered bloody clothes. Those may have belonged to a former tenant at the boarding house, an ex-convict named Gregory McArthur. Police do not officially consider McArthur a suspect, but want to question him. He has a criminal history that includes sexual assault and robbery.
Sources say that Cusano, the ex-wife of former Kiss guitarist Vincent "Vinnie" Cusano, was secretly working for an escort service at the time of her disappearance. By day, she was an executive assistant at Executone Information Services in Milford. Cusano's disappearance is still considered a suspicious missing persons case, but police have not ruled out foul play. "We're following small leads, but nothing significant," Trabka said. Hartford police and the FBI have assisted in the case. And the "America's Most Wanted" television program has also expressed interest in the case, although it has not yet committed to airing a segment on it.
Police also are searching for Gregory McArthur, 37, of Prospect Avenue, Hartford. Both Hartford and Shelton police want to question McArthur in the disappearance. Police said Cusano had gone to the Prospect Avenue rooming house where McArthur lived on a call for an escort service. McArthur was released from jail in September after serving six years for violation of probation. He has a record that includes sexual assaults and robberies.
Detective Sgt. John Youd said police had hoped to find McArthur by now, but leads so far have fallen through. "We did get reports that people saw him, but they all turned into dead ends." Police said the case has become frustrating, but they continue to follow leads. They still are waiting for results of tests of materials found in Cusano's car, which was located in Hartford. "We had hoped to talk to certain people (McArthur) who can help us close out the case," Youd said. Lt. Jose Lopez Sr., spokesman for the Harford police, said it's a waiting game now. "We're looking for a guy who knows he's a suspect because of all the stuff that's been in the media. He could be anywhere at this point," Lopez said.
Cusano left her house sometime after 11 p.m. Jan. 2 and apparently drove to the rooming house in Hartford on a call as an escort, police said. Originally, police thought Cusano had disappeared while doing an errand. Cusano, a Shelton native, had worked as an executive secretary for Executone Information Systems in Milford and once was married to Vinnie Vincent, who in the late 1980s was lead guitarist for the rock group Kiss.
McArthur is not considered a suspect at this time, he said, but police want
to question him about the disappearance. McArthur is described as
5-feet-10 inches tall, 160 pounds with brown eyes. He has an extensive
criminal background that includes robbery and sexual assault. He is
originally from Georgia but has ties to the Hartford area.
Anyone who may have seen McArthur or has information about Cusano is urged to call Shelton police at 924-1544 or Hartford police at 860-527 -6300, ext. 5232.
Convict Linked To Missing Mom's Car
[By Edward Crowder of the Connecticut Post] via KISSJawa@aol.com
Hartford police Tuesday reportedly were questioning two men apparently seen driving Shelton resident Annemarie Cusano's Mazda 626 shortly after her disappearance. The men, who police say are not suspects in the case, told police that the car was given to them by Gregory McArthur, an ex-convict and former resident of a Hartford boarding house who is also wanted for questioning in the case. The two men questioned Tuesday by police are Corey Brown, 23, and Darrell Wilson, 29, according to television station WVIT, Channel 30 in Hartford. No hometowns were given for the men. Police apparently determined sometime last week that the two had been seen driving the car and had sought them for questioning. No further details were available concerning the questioning.
Police still want to talk to McArthur, who disappeared around the same time as Cusano, the 43-year-old mother of two who has been missing almost three weeks. While Cusano's disappearance is still officially classified as a suspicious missing persons case, police haven't ruled out foul play. McArthur, a convicted rapist, has not been labeled a suspect in this case, but at the time of Cusano's disappearance had been renting a room in a boarding house on Prospect Street in Hartford that police believe is tied to the case. Police have not commented on bloody clothes they reportedly found in the apartment McArthur had been renting.
Cusano was last seen Jan. 2. She apparently left her Park Street house in her car that night and never returned to her home or her twin 15-year-old daughters. Her car turned up nearly a week later in Hartford's north end, and police said a tip led them to the boarding house on Prospect Street. Police sources say that Cusano may have been employed with an escort service, but have not been able to say whether that played any role in her disappearance.
Right now, police said, their efforts are focusing on the search for McArthur, 37. He has been missing since the weekend Cusano disappeared. "We're assuming he can offer us a lot of information that can help us solve this case," Shelton police spokesman Sgt. John Youd said. McArthur may still be in the Hartford area, police said, although he is reported to have family in Georgia. Police are still seeking any information that could lead them to McArthur. He is described as a black man, about 5-feet-9 and 160 pounds. He is thought to have ties in the Muslim or Nation of Islam communities.
Anyone with information about McArthur or Cusano is asked to call the Shelton Police Department at 924-1544.
Cusano left home shortly after 11 p.m. Jan. 2, allegedly answering an
escort service call at a rooming house in Hartford, according to police.
When Cusano failed to pick up her twin 15-year-old daughters the next day,
family members reported her missing. Shelton police are coordinating their
efforts with Hartford police after Cusano's car turned up on Pliny Street
in Hartford. Last week, both police agencies conducted a massive search
with dogs around Keney Park and Golf Course in Hartford.
Shelton police are asking anyone with information to call 924-1544, or Hartford police at 860-527-6300, ext. 5232.
On Thursday, state, Shelton and Hartford police held a massive search with police dogs and cadaver-sniffing dogs around Keney Park and Golf Course off Tower Avenue in Hartford, but did not turn up anything. Police also scoured an area surrounding Pliny Street in Hartford where Cusano's 1991 red Mazda 626 was found. Youd said the snow, sleet and rain that fell Thursday and was to linger today should not hamper the investigation. "We'll still be out there looking. She's still considered a missing person under suspicious circumstances." Cusano left her home shortly after 11 p.m. Jan. 2. and went to Hartford to apparently answer an escort service call, police said. The mother of 15-year-old twins was reported missing Jan. 3 when she failed to pick up her daughters, who were staying with a friend in Waterbury.
Police are also searching for ex-convict Gregory McArthur, 37, of 550 Prospect Ave. in Hartford, who may have been the last person to see Cusano. Youd said he is wanted for questioning by Shelton and Hartford police in connection with the disappearance. According to police sources, police found a bag of bloody clothes in McArthur's apartment in a rooming house he was staying in. They believe the clothes, ripped as if there had been a struggle, belonged to him. Police had looked in abandoned houses in the Pliny Street area after receiving tips that McArthur was seen in the area Tuesday. "When we get to talk to him, we will have a solid lead," Youd said. "We're looking everywhere for him and we're sure that we will catch up to him." McArthur, who has an ex-wife and three children who live in the Hartford area, has a long criminal record including sexual assault with a weapon and robbery. McArthur recently served a six-year sentence for violation of probation. He was released from jail in September.
Anyone who may have any information about the case should call Shelton police at 924-1544 or Hartford police at 860-527-6300, ext. 5232.
Cusano left her home after 11 p.m. on Jan. 2 and drove to Hartford to answer a call for an escort service, police said. On a tip, police went to a rooming house at 550 Prospect Ave., Hartford, where police sources said they found a bag of bloody clothes believed to belong to Gregory McArthur, 37, an ex-convict who had been released from prison just three months ago. McArthur spent six years behind bars for violation of probation, but has a lengthy record, including sexual assault and robbery charges. Police are looking for McArthur to talk to him about Cusano's disappearance, but have refused to say if he is a suspect. Police have so far been unable to track him down. Sources said the clothing found in the rooming house was torn, as if a struggle had taken place, and that McArthur may have sought medical help somewhere.
Cusano's disappearance has puzzled police from the outset. At first, police thought Cusano disappeared while running a quick errand. She failed to show up the next day to pick up her twin 15-year-old daughters, who had been staying with friends in Waterbury. Police later learned Cusano allegedly was working for an escort service. During the day, Cusano, who was once married to former Kiss guitarist Vinnie Cusano, worked as an executive secretary for Executone Information Services in Milford. Vinnie Cusano later changed his name to Vinnie Vincent.
Anyone with information about Cusano or McArthur is asked to call Shelton police at 924-1544, or Hartford police at 860-527-6300, Ext. 5232.
Police in Hartford and Shelton want to talk to McArthur about the whereabouts of 43-year-old Annemarie Cusano, who police said had gone to the rooming house on a call Jan. 2 for an escort service. McArthur recently got out of jail after serving six years for violation of probation. Shelton Detective Sgt. John Youd would only confirm Wednesday that police did seize evidence from McArthur's apartment, but declined to say what was taken. "I can say that we did take evidence for testing, but I cannot confirm what was taken," he said. "We're hoping someone notifies us as to the whereabouts of Gregory McArthur, so that we can speak to him about this incident," said Youd, who said McArthur is still not considered a suspect at this point.
Cusano left her house sometime after 11 p.m. on Jan. 2 and apparently drove
to the north end of Hartford to the rooming house. The following day she
was reported missing by her family when she did not show up to take her
daughters to an eye appointment. The two 15- year-olds had been staying
with friends in Waterbury on the night their mother disappeared.
Investigators have been working around the clock to try to solve the
woman's mysterious disappearance. They found her 1991 red Mazda 626 last
Thursday parked near the apartment in Hartford. took some samples found in
the car but said they did not see anything out of the ordinary.
Cusano, a Shelton native, had worked as an executive secretary for Executone Information Services in Milford and was once married to Vinnie Cusano, former lead guitarist for the rock group Kiss. He later changed his name to Vinnie Vincent and lives in Tennessee. Originally, police thought that Cusano had disappeared while doing an errand, but police sources have linked her to an escort service operated by Gabriel Gladstone, who has been accused of promoting prostitution and is awaiting trial on the charges. Gladstone has declined comment on the case.
Anyone with information about Cusano or McArthur are asked to call Shelton police at 924-1544 or Hartford police at (860) 527-6300, ext. 5232.
Police are continuing to look for Gregory McArthur, 37, whose last known address was the rooming house at 550 Progress Ave., Hartford. Although Youd would not say McArthur is a suspect, he is wanted for questioning in the case. Police again asked the public for information about McArthur. He is described as 5 feet 10 inches tall, 160 pounds, with brown eyes. He has an extensive criminal background. According to court records, McArthur's record includes robbery, sexual assault and issuing bad checks cases. Most recently, he served time in jail. In 1984, he was convicted on two counts of first-degree robbery with a firearm. In 1991, he was convicted for fourth-degree larceny and in 1991 he was convicted and put in jail on a charge of violation of probation. He had been in jail for six years on the violation of probation charge and was released from prison in September. Police said reports showed that he had been working for a doughnut shop in Hartford.
Cusano may have gone to the rooming house on a call for an escort service, said police. Police sources said Cusano may have been working for an escort service operated by Gabriel Gladstone, who has been accused of running one of the largest prostitution rings in the state. He is now awaiting trial on charges of promoting prostitution. While some escort services entice women with promises they can earn six-figure incomes, police say that this career move can put women at risk. Lt. Sam Haurilak, commander of the Valley Street Crime unit, said some escort services may be legitimate, while others may be masking a prostitution operation. "Anyone thinking about entering this kind of business should know that there is an ingrained risk," said Haurilak. Youd said women should be warned that if they are thinking about working for an escort service they should be very careful. "In this type of job, a person has the potential of running into someone who has a violent nature. It's not such a glamourous job and there's more to it than just being someone's escort on a dinner date."
On Jan. 2, Cusano left her Park Street home and at first police thought she had just gone out for an errand because she left all the lights on and left her purse at home. Her disappearance was discovered Jan. 3 when she failed to pick up her daughters around noon from a friend's house in Waterbury. She was supposed to have taken them to buy eyeglasses.
Anyone who may have seen McArthur or has any information about Cusano can call Shelton police at 924-1544 or Hartford police at (860) 527-6300, ext. 5232.
[By Edward Crowder of the Connecticut Post] via KISSJawa@aol.com
The search for answers in the baffling case of a city mother missing since Jan. 2 focuses on the elusive convicted rapist sought for questioning. "We're still looking to talk to Mr. Gregory McArthur regarding the disappearance of Annemarie Cusano," Shelton police spokesman Sgt. John Youd said. McArthur, a 37-year-old with a history of arrests, including at least one for sexual assault, vanished about the time Cusano disappeared. McArthur is not considered a suspect, but at the time of Cusano's disappearance he'd been renting a room in a Hartford boarding house police believe is tied to the case.
Cusano, 43, was reported missing after she failed to pick up her twin 15-year-old daughters from a friend's home on Jan. 3. Cusano, the ex-wife of former Kiss guitarist "Vinnie" Vincent Cusano, apparently led a double-life. She worked in the day as an corporate secretary at Milford's Executone Information Systems Inc. By night, however, she apparently earned extra money by working for Andre's Escort Service. Its owner, Gabriel Gladstone, has been accused of running a prostitution ring.
A tip Wednesday led police to the Hartford boarding house, Youd said. They found Cusano's Mazda 626 blocks away on Pliny Street in Hartford's north end. After their search of the car, police sent unspecified samples to the State Police crime labfor testing. Police would not comment on reports they discovered bloody clothes Thursday in the apartment McArthur had been renting.
In the late evening hours on Jan. 2, the same night Cusano disappeared, a neighbor reported he'd seen McArthur coming into his apartment holding a towel to his eye. McArthur reportedly told the neighbor he'd been in a fight. The neighbor also allegedly saw McArthur on Jan. 4, the day Cusano was reported missing. The next day McArthur failed to pay his weekly $80 rent and hasn't been seen since. McArthur was released in September after six years in prison. He had been working at a Dunkin Donuts on Albany Avenue in Hartford until mid-December ‹ about the time he began renting the room on Prospect Avenue. He was apparently fired from the job, though.
Detective Sgt. John Youd declined to say McArthur is a suspect in the case, only that police want to question him in connection with the "suspicious" disappearance of Cusano, who may have gone to the rooming house on a call for an escort service. McArthur is described as 5 feet 7 inches tall, with an extensive criminal background that includes robbery and sexual assault. He was released from prison September 27 after serving more than six years. It is unclear on what charges he served prison time. McArthur also is being sought by police for violation of probation.
On January 2, Cusano, the mother of 15-year-old twin girls, left her house on Park Street sometime after 11 p.m. Police originally thought she disappeared after a short errand, because she left all the lights on and a pocketbook behind that contained more than $200.
Her disappearance was discovered last Saturday when she failed to pick up her daughters around noon to take them to get new eyeglasses. The girls had been staying with friends in Waterbury and had unsuccessfully tried to contact their mother several times that day on her beeper. The girls returned home briefly on Thursday to pick up their clothes, but have been staying with relatives at an undisclosed location in Shelton.
On Thursday, Cusano's car, a red 1991 Mazda 626, was found on Pliny Street near the rooming house where McArthur lived. Youd said police searched the car Friday and took samples from the trunk.
Youd declined to say if police found anything significant. He would not confirm that police found a bag of bloody clothes in an apartment at the rooming house, only that they took samples for testing.
A tip led police to Hartford, where Cusano apparently had gone to meet a client at the rooming house, police said. Neighbors in the area said they had seen Cusano enter the rooming house. Police sources said Cusano may have been working for an escort service operated by Gabriel Gladstone, who has been accused of running one of the largest prostitution rings in the state.
Neighbors and friends were shocked when they learned that Cusano apparently was living a double life: During the day she was an executive secretary for Executone Information Systems in Milford. She had worked for the comapny for about four years and was considered a model employee.
Relatives described Cusano as a loving parent who was having a hard time making ends meet. Cusano grew up in Shelton on Sunrise Circle but had moved around; in October, she had moved back to Shelton from Waterbury. Divorced, Cusano once was married to former rock star Vinnie Cusano, who is the twins' father. Vinnie Cusano later changed his name to Vinnie Vincent and in the 1980s went on to become the lead guitarist for the group KISS. He later formed his own band, the Vinnie Vincent Invasion.
Police No Closer To Finding Woman
[By Joanne M. Pelton of the New Haven Register]
Police spent Sunday interviewing people and following leads but were no closer to finding out what happened to Annemarie Cusano, who disappeared eight days ago. Detective Sgt. John Youd said police are still looking for 37-year-old Gregory McArthur of Hartford who is wanted for questioning in the Cusano's disappearance Jan. 2. McArthur, a known sex offender, lived in the rooming house at 550 Prospect Ave. in Hartford, where Cusano allegedly went on a call as an escort, police said. McArthur has a lengthy record and got out of jail in November for violation of probation. While police did not give any details regarding his arrest record, Youd did say McArthur never served time for manslaughter or murder and declined to say if he was a suspect in the case.
Police are now treating the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of the 43-year-old mother of twin teen-age girls as suspicious. "We do have some leads we are following," said Youd. He said they have not yet located Cusano, although police are now conducting tests on materials taken from Cusano's red 1991 Mazda 626, found abandoned on Pliny Street in Hartford's North End. "It doesn't look good at this point and every day she is missing it gets tougher and tougher, but we have to hope for the best," said Youd. Cusano was reported missing after she failed to pick up her daughters on Jan. 3. The 15-year-old twins had attempted to reach her by beeper several times that day.
Police said Cusano, an executive secretary for Executone Information Services in Milford, left her house on Park Street shortly after 11 p.m. Jan. 2. Police first thought she had stepped out to do an errand because the lights and radio were on and she left her purse containing $200. Cusano, who was once married to Vinnie Vincent Cusano, guitarist for the rock group Kiss, allegedly worked for an escort service operated by Gabriel Gladstone, who has been accused of running one of the largest prostitution rings in the state.
Anyone who may have seen McArthur or has information about Cusano should call police at 924-1544.
Phone records from Cusano's home led police to a Hartford rooming house and police are looking for a tenant who lived there. Police say Gregory McArthur may have come into contact with Cusano. Her car was found this week in Hartford and phone records led police to a boarding house on Prospect Avenue. Thats where McArthur was staying. He has a long criminal record including sexual assault and robbery. Investigators say they consider McArther to be a suspect.
Cusano's red 1991 Mazda 626 was found in front of 65 Pliny Street in the city's North End around 5:00 Thursday morning. It was then towed to the department's garage, where investigators spent the day combing it for clues. Police have not revelaed what, if anything, they found in their search of the vehicle.
43-year-old AnnMarie Cusano was reported missing last Saturday morning after she failed to pick up her twin 15-year-old daughters at a relative's house in Waterbury. She had last been seen at her home Friday night and family members say there was no indication that she was going anywhere. Wednesday marked Cusano's 43rd birthday, but instead of celebrating, relatives and her daughters, Jessica and Elizabeth, were praying for her safe return. Brother-in-law Rich Chaco, who works with Cusano at Executone in Milford, is asking for the public's help. He says there's no way in the world that Cusano would leave the girls without telling them where she was going.
Normally, Cusano would talk to her twins up to three times a day, family members said. The girls tried reaching their mother on her beeper last Saturday, but she never returned their calls. They called their uncle, Chaco, when they became worried. Chaco said he was completely baffled when he heard about the situation. She was supposed to bring the girls to pick up their new eyeglasses, and it's just not like her not to show up; he said.
Connecticut News 30 was told that Cusano was entertaining a male friend at her home on Park Street in Shelton on Friday evening. Police say she left the house alone around 11:00pm, driving away in her car. Chaco says when he arrived at his sister-in-law's house Saturday, after getting the phone call from the twins, he found the inside and outside lights on, a half of glass of wine on the dining room table and Cusano's purse hanging on the door. Police say it appeared as though Cusano was stepping out for just a minute.
Cusano is 5'4"; tall and weighs about 135 pounds. She has red hair below the shoulders and was last seen wearing a black, waist-length leather jacket with a hood. If you have seen her or if you know anything about the case, investigators urge you to call the Shelton police station at (203) 924-1544 or the Hartford Police Department. All calls will be kept strictly confidential.
Police are looking for Gregory MacArthur, 37, who lived in the rooming house. Police would not say if he is a suspect, but they want to question him. Police said MacArthur has a previous criminal record but would not provide details. Cusano's disappearance was discovered when she failed to pick up her twin daughters last Saturday. They had been staying with friends in Waterbury but are now with relatives in Shelton. Police first thought Cusano disappeared while doing a short errand because she left all the lights on and a half-empty glass of wine was on the table. She also left her pocketbook behind. It contained several hundred dollars.
Cusano may have been working for a man who has been accused of running one of the largest prostitution rings in the state. Police sources said Friday that Cusano had been working as an escort for Gabriel Gladstone, who is now awaiting trial for allegedly promoting prostitution.
When asked Friday if Cusano worked for him, Gladstone said, "I have no idea, but I wouldn't be able to comment on this." He said he would have his attorney comment, but he would not say who the attorney was, and the lawyer did not contact the New Haven Register. When the Register dialed a telephone number listed in an advertisement in the "adult" classifieds of the New Haven Advocate, Gladstone answered. The ad is headed, "Pale Horse, Pale Rider, Escort-Massage." It promised "slender, beautiful, merry young women," seven days a week, 24 hours a day. The ad also said the service was "now hiring slender, refined beauties who require six-figure incomes to live the life they like."
According to police, Gladstone has been running escort services along the state's east shore and in the Hartford area for the past 20 years. He was arrested in Branford two years ago and accused of operating a prostitution ring. That case still is pending in Superior Court in New Haven and could come to trial within the next month. Gladstone's escort service has been known by many names, including Andre's Massage in the late 1980s and Pale Godiva. In the late 1980s, one of his female escorts was murdered. Carla Almeida disappeared on April 18, 1988, after calling the escort service from the home of Tevrik Sivri in Trumbull. Her body was not discovered until four years later - in the woods off Route 111 in Monroe. She had been shot once in the head.
Sivri had been convicted of her murder about six months earlier and is currently serving a 60-year prison sentence. Sivri's case was noteworthy because he was convicted mainly on the basis of evidence from DNA tests. DNA extracted from a blood spot found in the trunk of Sivri's car matched DNA samples of Almeida investigators had obtained from her parents.
Cusano's neighbors and co-workers apparently knew nothing of her double life. During the day she worked as an executive secretary to the chief executive officer of Executone Information Systems in Milford. Cusano was described as a model employee who hadn't taken a day off the last four years she was with the company. Relatives also described her as a devoted and loving mother. Gretchen Jankura, who lives across the street from Cusano's Park Street home, said they are good neighbors. "I never saw anyone visit the house except friends of the girls. They were a normal family, and I never saw anything odd," she said. On Friday, all the lights were on inside the house, including a string of Christmas lights along the front porch. There was mail in the mailbox and two rugs hung on a rod-iron railing. Neighbors said they often saw the lights on at all hours. Billie Morosko, 17, who lives nearby, said she saw the twins at Shelton High School. "They were nice people who kept to themselves," she said.
Cusano, whose maiden name is Peters, grew up on Sunrise Circle and graduated from Shelton High School in 1973. Her yearbook said she planned on college and was a staff member of the High Echo in her freshman and sophomore years. The Echo was a newsletter that students wrote and distributed in the 1970s. Cusano married Vinnie Cusano, the twins' father, who changed his name to Vinnie Vincent and in the 1980s went on to become the lead guitarist for the rock group Kiss. He later formed his own group, the Vinnie Vincent Invasion.
The owner of the boardinghouse said the tenant has lived there about three weeks. Television stations reported that blood was found in his room. While Shelton police were in the apartment, Hartford police found Cusano's red 1991 Mazda 626 not far away on Pliny Street, in the city's North End. Police have impounded the car. Youd said detectives will search the car today, but nothing appeared unusual about the vehicle. Investigators reportedly probed Cusano's phone records and found calls from her Shelton home to the Hartford apartment. Lights were on in the three-story boardinghouse early Thursday evening, but nobody answered any of the three doorbells. It is on a busy boulevard with houses mixed with professional offices.
A neighbor said he had seen Cusano entering and leaving the boardinghouse a number of times the past several weeks. "We've seen her a couple of times and we'd say, 'What is she doing at a place like this?' " said the neighbor at 544 Prospect Ave. He said that during the past several days, her car was parked in the driveway. He said he saw a man working on her car. The man and at least one other were driving the car, often not returning until late at night, he said. "They were loud," he said. "There was yelling, loud talking, slamming doors." He said he did not believe Cusano was living in the boardinghouse.
Shelton police said they're getting closer to finding out what happened to Cusano. "We're closing in on finding out what happened," said Youd, who said Hartford police are assisting in the investigation. "We were on the cold track, but these leads are putting us back on the warm track." It was news to Cusano's boss at Executone Information Systems Inc. of Milford that she worked for an escort service. Cusano has been employed there for the last four years as an executive secretary. "I never, ever heard that," said Executone CEO Alan Kessman. "I'm in shock," he said. Kessman said Cusano is a model employee, who helps purchase products and arrange travel accommodations for company employees. "She was one of our outstanding employees. She was hard working, dedicated and responsible and just a wonderful person. We could rely on her. She was an outstanding employee in every respect," said Kessman, 51, who Thursday announced he is retiring from the company. He is staying on the board of directors.
Cusano's family, which had been in contact with the press since the disappearance, was not available for comment. Youd said the family was notified that police had found Cusano's car and that the woman's two children, Jessica and Elizabeth, were very upset. "It's still hard for them because it still has them wondering what happened to their mother." Family members have said Cusano is a loving and devoted single mother. Cusano, whose maiden name was Peters, grew up in the Huntington section of Shelton. She was married to Vinnie Cusano, originally of Bridgeport, who was the lead guitarist for Kiss for a year or two in the early 1980s. Vincent Cusano changed his name to Vinnie Vincent and made two albums with the group: "Lick It Up" and "Creatures of the Night." He later formed his own band, The Vinnie Vincent Invasion. Police said Vincent now lives in Tennessee and has been informed about his ex-wife's disappearance. He was on his way back to Connecticut, they said.
Cusano had been living in Waterbury until moving back to Shelton with her twins in October. Her disappearance was discovered when she failed to pick up her daughters as planned Saturday. They had been visiting in Waterbury and are now staying with relatives. There was no sign of trouble at her home, where lights and Christmas decorations were left on, and a half-empty glass of wine was found. A pocketbook with several hundred dollars also was left in the house. It had been speculated that Cusano disappeared while running a short errand.
Police Locate Car, Search a Home For Clues About Missing Shelton Woman
From: Boston Globe Online via Tuck Watts
Phone records from the home of a missing Shelton woman led police to a boarding house here, where a tenant is being sought for questioning.
Annemarie Cusano was reported missing Saturday morning after she failed to pick up her 15-year-old twin daughters at a relative's home in Waterbury. Cusano is a secretary and former wife of a one-time member of the rock band Kiss. Her 43rd birthday was Wednesday.
Cusano's red Mazda was found abandoned on a street in the city's North End, a few miles from the boarding house and some 45 miles from her Shelton home. The owner of the boarding house said the tenant, who was not identified, has lived there about three weeks. Television stations reported that blood was found in his room. Police said there was no indication of foul play at Cusano's home. They have said previously that it looked as if she left for a brief errand.
Shelton police said they're closing in on finding out what happened to Cusano. Hartford police are assisting. "We were on the cold track, but these leads are putting us back on the warm track,'' said Shelton Detective Sgt. John Youd.
Cusano works at Executone Informations System, Inc., of Milford. She has blond hair and is 5-foot-4-inches tall and weighs about 135 pounds. She was married to Vinnie Cusano, the lead guitarist for Kiss for a short time in the early 1980s. Vincent Cusano, formerly of Bridgeport, changed his name to Vinnie Vincent and lives in Tennessee. Police said he was on his way back to Connecticut after learning of his ex-wife's disappearance.
Cusano was close to her twin 15-year-old daughters, Elizabeth and Jessica, and was in close contact with them up to three times a day. Cusano was supposed to pick them up from a friend's house in Waterbury at noon Saturday, but never did and never answered her pager. "It's a mystery what has happened because it was unusual for this woman not to be in contact with her children. She was continually in contact with them," said Youd. "At this point, we're not ruling out anything, including foul play." Members of Cusano's family have been putting up posters around town asking for information and the FBI reportedly is assisting Shelton police in its investigation. The FBI did not return phone calls seeking comment.
Cusano's brother-in-law, Richard Chaco, said the family does not believe she went very far because she only had about $15 in her wallet. "While I'd like to think she's on some beach somewhere with a pina colada, she only had a small amount of cash with her and how far can you go on $15." Cusano's two girls are staying with relatives in Shelton and have resumed classes at Shelton High School although they are upset. "They just want their mother to come home," said Chaco. Cusano moved to Shelton in October from Waterbury. She has been divorced for several years and is the executive secretary to the president of Executone in Milford, where she has worked for several years. Officials from the company could not be reached for comment.
Chaco said the family - including Cusano's brother, who is a priest in Latrobe, Pa. - are all praying. "We just don't understand how Annemarie and her car could just vanish. If this could happen to her, it could happen to anyone and single women and mothers living alone should be very careful," he said. Chaco said he received "hundreds" of calls from people wanting to help, so he said he set up a fund for the twins. He said donations can be made at any Fleet Bank location and checks should be made out to benefit Annemarie Cusano children.
Cusano is described as 5-feet-4, about 135 pounds, with red hair below the shoulders. She has a tattoo of a sun on her left wrist and was last seen wearing a black waist-length leather jacket with a hood. Youd said police still are following some leads but urged people to call the station if they have seen Cusano or her car. People can call the police at 924-1544.
Search Is On For Shelton Mother
[By Joanne M. Pelton of the New Haven Register]
Police are looking for a 43-year-old mother of twin 15-year-old daughters who went out to run an errand after 11 p.m. Friday, and hasn't been seen since. Detective Sgt. John Youd said the red four-door 1991 Mazda 626 owned by Annemarie Cusano of Park Street also is gone. "At this point, we do not know what happened to her, and we're asking the public to call us if they have seen Annemarie or her vehicle anywhere," Youd said. Cusano is 5-feet-4 and 135 pounds, with red hair below the shoulders. She was last seen wearing a black waist-length leather jacket with a hood.
Youd said according to relatives, Cusano was a devoted mother, and her disappearance is odd because she has never missed a day at work. He said she is an executive secretary to the president of Executone in Milford. Officials at Executone could not be reached for comment late Tuesday. Cusano's family is sick over her disappearance. Today marks her 43rd birthday, said her brother-in-law, Richard Chaco, who also works at Executone. He said Cusano's daughters were staying with friends over the weekend, and she was supposed to pick them up at noon Saturday. "She was supposed to bring the girls to pick up their new eyeglasses, and it's just not like her not to show up," he said.
The twins, Elizabeth and Jessie, tried reaching their mother on her beeper Saturday, but she never returned calls. They called their uncle when they became worried. Normally, Cusano would talk to her twins up to three times a day, family members said. The girls are staying with relatives. Chaco said he went to Cusano's house and found the lights on, including the lights on the Christmas tree. He said there was half a glass of wine on the table and his sister-in-law's purse hanging from a door. It contained her credit cards and several hundred dollars in cash. He then went to the police to report her missing. "It looks like she got in her car to go on an errand, maybe to buy some milk, because she just took her wallet and not her purse," Chaco said.
Chaco said Cusano, who is divorced, has not been depressed or experiencing any problems, and was talking about taking a summer vacation a few days before she disappeared. He said she always donated her time, and headed projects at work, such as blood drives and Toys for Tots.
"We're hoping someone finds her," Chaco said. "She's the most generous person and the most loving mother I've ever met, and this is totally out of character for her." Youd said police are following some leads, but urged people to call the station at 924-1544 if they have seen Cusano or her car.