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  • Writer's pictureSarah Turney

The Clouse Family

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In this episode, I discuss the murders of Dean and Tina Clouse as well as the disappearance of their child, Holly. In 1980, Dean and Tina packed up their car and moved their family from Florida to Texas for Dean to pursue a better career prospect. By all accounts the small family was happy and thriving. During this time Tina would often send letters and pictures of Holly back home to their families in Florida. But in October 1980, the letters stopped.

By January 1981, Dean’s mother received a phone call from a woman who identified herself as Sister Susan. Sister Susan explains that Tina and Dean decided to join their group and give up all their worldly possessions, so she’d like to return their car to her for a monetary donation of $1000. Dean’s mother agrees, gets the vehicle back and spends the next 40 years agonizing over what really happened the young family.

What she didn’t know was that Tina and Dean had been found deceased just weeks within in getting this phone call. And while it was obvious that Tina and Dean had been murdered, they remained unidentified for decades while no one knew that baby Holly was still missing.

In this episode you will hear two parallel timelines. You will hear about the life and disappearances of Tina, Dean, and their baby Holly. But you will also hear the timeline of when Tina and Dean were found deceased and the County’s timeline of trying to identify them. Only intersecting over 40 years later when Tina and Dean are finally identified, and baby Holly was found alive.

Tina and Dean Clouse were found murdered in Houston, Texas in January 1981 off Wallisville Road. Tina was 18 and Dean was 22 years old. Both were white with brown hair with Tina’s hair having more of a red tint to it. The family would have been traveling in a 1978 red burgundy AMC Concord before it was returned to Dean’s mother in 1981.

Anyone with information should contact the Texas Attorney General’s Cold Case and Missing Persons Unit at 512-936-0742 or email


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Barned-Smith, St. John, and Alexandra Kanik. “DNA Testing Puts Cold Cases in the Spotlight. but in Houston, Hundreds of the Dead Remain Unidentified.” Houston Chronicle, 3 Feb. 2022,

Barned-Smith, St. John. “42 Years Later, a Murdered Texas Couple's Missing Baby Has Finally Been Found.” Houston Chronicle, 14 June 2022,

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FHD Forensics / Family History Detectives®. “Family History Detectives Launch Hope for Holly: Missing Daughter of Texas Murder Victims Sought, Inspires an Effort to Help Stolen Children.” Family History Detectives Launch Hope for Holly: Missing Daughter of Texas Murder Victims Sought, Inspires an Effort to Help Stolen Children, 21 Jan. 2022,

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Olsen, Lise, et al. “Who Killed Texas Couple Dean and Tina Clouse-and Where Is Their Baby?” The Texas Observer, 23 Mar. 2022,

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Pantaleo, Diane. “An Infant Missing in Texas for 41 Years Was Found Alive. Hundreds in Texas Remain Missing.” Statesman, Austin American-Statesman, 9 June 2022,

Pelisek, Christine. “Inside the Investigation That Found Holly Marie Clouse 40 Years after She Vanished and Parents Were Murdered.”, 16 June 2022,

Riess, Rebekah, and Dakin Andone. “The Missing Daughter of a Couple Killed in 1981 Has Been Found Alive More than 40 Years Later.” CNN, Cable News Network, 9 June 2022,

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