Who is Patricia Newsom? - Unveiling a Cold Case Mystery

Patricia NewsomDetail
Age18 years old at the time of death
FamilyParents: Don and Betty Newsom. Siblings: John, Peter, Maryann Newsom Collette
EducationAttended a boarding school in Sullivan County, New York
CareerNot specified
Place of DeathEast Haven, Connecticut
Cause of DeathStrangulation
Suspects in DeathNot specified; investigation ongoing
Podcasts Which Cover the StoryCrime Junkie Podcast

Early Life

Patricia Meleady Newsom was born on June 20, 1957, into the family of Don and Betty Newsom. Growing up, Patricia experienced several family relocations due to her father's work, which eventually led her to attend a boarding school in Sullivan County, New York, in 1972. The Newsom family faced a significant tragedy when Betty, Patricia's mother, died of cancer in 1968, leaving Patricia and her siblings - John, Peter, and Maryann - without their mother at a young age.


In 1974, Patricia, known for her adventurous spirit, ran away from her boarding school with a friend, aiming to hitchhike to Maine. This decision marked the beginning of a mystery that would remain unsolved for nearly five decades. Patricia's sudden disappearance left her family in a state of despair, with her sister Maryann Newsom Collette particularly affected. Despite the family's efforts to find her, Patricia's whereabouts remained unknown, and she was never heard from again.

Identification and Closure

The breakthrough in Patricia's case came in 2022 when her body, which had been found bound, gagged, and wrapped in a tarp in a drainage ditch in East Haven, Connecticut, on August 16, 1975, was exhumed. Advances in forensic genetic genealogy allowed investigators to match DNA samples from the exhumed body to Maryann Newsom Collette, who had submitted her DNA to GEDmatch. This identification ended the decades-long mystery of Patricia's fate and provided her family with some measure of closure.


Patricia Newsom's life and untimely death have been covered in various media, including the Crime Junkie Podcast, bringing attention to her case and the broader issue of cold cases. Her sister Maryann remembers Patricia as a loving and caring individual, a budding hippie with a love for singing and a favorite band, Simon & Garfunkel. Despite the tragic circumstances of her death, Patricia's family chooses to remember her for the joy she brought into their lives and the closure her identification has provided.

The ongoing investigation into Patricia's death offers a glimmer of hope that justice may eventually be served, highlighting the importance of never giving up on cold cases. Patricia's story, from her vibrant life to the mystery of her disappearance and the eventual resolution of her case, serves as a poignant reminder of the enduring impact of loss and the power of perseverance in seeking truth and justice.