http://investigation.discovery.com/blogs/criminal-report/missing-person/shelva_jean_rafte.htmlThe Missing -- A Weekly Exposé of Lost Souls -- Issue #15
In this week's edition of "The Missing," we revisit the mysterious disappearance of Shelva Jean Rafte, a 44-year-old resident of Pittston, Pennsylvania, who went missing in May 2006.
"We are all baffled as to what may have happened, and the police have given up," Shelva's daughter, Janelle Brant, said in a recent email. "I am contacting you to possibly get her story out more so we might get an answer as to if she is still alive or not. Please help. We are running out of ideas."
According to Janelle, her mother has not been seen since May 28, 2006, at Janelle's college graduation party. At approximately 10:30 p.m., Shelva left the party with her boyfriend, John Para, and together they drove off in Para's blue Chevy pickup truck. When Shelva's friends went to visit her the following day, she was nowhere to be found. Concerned, Shelva's family reported her missing to the Pittston Police Department.
"Her boyfriend [John Para] stated that they had a fight and she left to walk home at around 1:00 a.m.," Janelle said, adding, "Her house was left exactly as it was when she left to come to my party. Her car was in the driveway, and her IRS tax refund was still in the mailbox."
Shelva's house is on Cleveland Street in Pittston, approximately one mile away from Para's Market Street home. After questioning Para, local investigators asked the FBI for assistance in the search. Together they combed the route between Shelva and Para's houses with tracking dogs, while the Pennsylvania State Police used a helicopter to search the surrounding area from above. Unfortunately, no clues were found, and the investigation quickly came to a standstill.
Shelva has four children ages 11, 16, 21, and 26. Prior to her disappearance, she worked in Scott, Pennsylvania at the Scott 60 truck stop. During media interviews, her neighbors said she appeared "stressed" in the days leading up to her disappearance.
Pittston police Assistant Chief James Noone later told Thetimes-tribune.com that his department was not classifying Para as a suspect. Noone told the Web site that his department did not have any suspects. However, he did say there were "points of interest" that the department was investigating. What exactly those "points" are remains unknown, and efforts to reach Noone for a comment were unsuccessful.
"No one has seen or heard from her," Janelle said. "We are all baffled as to what may have happened, and the police seem to have given up. My mother has been featured in The Trucker magazine, on Project Jason, and various other missing person Web sites, but to date we are still no closer to finding her."
Shelva's family is offering a $3000 reward, in addition to a $2000 reward that is being offered by Pennsylvania Crime Stoppers, for any information leading to Shelva's whereabouts.
The family also maintains a Web site devoted to the case, located at www.findshelva.com
, and also a MySpace page, located at www.myspace.com/missingsincemay
Shelva Jean Rafte is described as a white female, 5'3" tall, 120 lbs., with blonde hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a powder blue shirt, denim capri pants with rhinestones on the back pockets, sandals, and a pink purse. Anyone with information is asked to call the Pittston Police Department at 570-654-2424 or Pennsylvania Crime Stoppers toll free at 1-800-4PA-TIPS.