'We're this close.' Norwalk woman shares update in own investigation to find sister's body 37 years later
A Norwalk woman thinks a social media post could be the key to unlocking her sister's whereabouts.
"We're this close. We are this close," Gina Grisanti told News 12.
Gina Grisanti has taken on her own investigation to find the body of her sister, April Grisanti, who disappeared this month in 1985 and is presumed dead. The then 20-year-old was last seen outside a bar on Main Street following a fight there with a man she'd previously been involved with, James "Purple" Aaron. Witnesses told police Aaron forced April Grisanti into his car and took off.
Her wallet later turned up near a Norwalk school and her car was recovered from the Norwalk River, but police never found any sign of April Grisanti.
Aaron was convicted of her kidnapping but with no body, couldn't be charged with her suspected death.
"We want to give her a burial. We want to make sure she is resting in peace," Gina Grisanti said, tearing up. "There are no words to describe the pain that we have been in for 37 years. There are no words."
Aaron died in 2016, but Gina Grisanti believes he had accomplices.
She was recently alerted to a post on Facebook from June 2020 that she calls "a smoking gun." It's a screenshot of a conversation between two people and reads in part, "They said they knew I murdered April and it was just a matter of time until they found the body. The only two people who know are you and my brother." That person goes on to say, "They won't find her body unless you said something, and you know what's up if I find out you did."
"This is a confession," Gina Grisanti told News 12. "And he's telling people to keep your mouth shut."
She said she took it to Norwalk police immediately, but it's gone nowhere with them.
"We were brought information, and our detectives vetted it and determined it wasn't credible," explained Chief Thomas Kulhawik.
Kulhawik said April Grisanti's case remains open in the cold case unit and has been transferred to different investigators over the years to give it a fresh look.
"Everyone has been interviewed and re-interviewed and re-interviewed again, and nothing new has been gleaned. So at this point, it's really a matter of if someone brings forward some type of information that's credible," Kulhawik said.
Gina Grisanti told News 12 she's given up on that approach, which is why she's taken on the search herself. She said she believes the social media post is relevant despite investigators' conclusion, and she asked the people from it to reach out to her directly.
"I will forgive you if you had anything to do with it. You will be a hero for helping us find her, and there is a reward. So please come forward, please bring her home," Gina Grisanti pleaded emotionally.
You can reach Gina Grisanti at 203-838-9009. She also has a GoFundMe campaign to help with expenses in her investigation.