The Disappearance of John Sapienza

By Elise Haley aka Crime Shark


In the parking lot of a grocery store in New Hartford, New York sat a red 1997 Chevrolet Astro van, it had been there for about a month when it was finally reported to law enforcement. The year was 1997, the month was March. The van belong to John Sapienza, a 62 year old man from St. Johnsville, New York.
John had been planning to travel across the country to California to visit his daughter, Teresa. He never made it to California. Almost two weeks after John’s van was found, a friend reported him missing. John had recently separated from his 32 year old wife Charlene. Interestingly, Charlene filed a power of attorney with the Montgomery County clerk’s office that had been signed by John a few years prior. The power of attorney granted Charlene control of her husband’s financial and real estate holdings. The POA was filed five days before John’s Astro van was reported, almost two weeks before the friend reported John missing.
On February 24, 1997 John went to a Smith Barney branch in Utica, New York in an attempt to cancel a $10,000 check he had written his wife.

This was the last time anyone would see John Sapienza. Although they have no record of who, someone filed a death certificate with the Social Security Administration that stated John’s date of death was April 15,1998. John would be 84 years old now. He is described as a caucasian male with grey hair and blonde highlights and brown eyes. He was 5’8” tall and weighed about 135 pounds. He also wore glasses.
If you or anyone you know had any information about the mysterious disappearance of John Sapienza please contact the New York State Police at 315-866-7275.
The Charley Project CNY Central
Utica Observer Dispatch

2 thoughts on “The Disappearance of John Sapienza

  • I met John around 1974, He had a live in relationship with my sister for over 10 years. I was 15 when we met, he was my hero so to speak. Every thing his daughter said of him is very true. Unmentioned is the fact that John once worked with legendary photographer Bert Stern, Bert came up to the farm and I was introduced. John taught me what marshal arts he knew and endeared me with his world view. He was a stand up, no shit guy. My father thought his future wife Charlene was a good match for me, but, she had her eye on a bigger prize, PS I like your story

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