Delia Adriano was 25 years old when she disappeared on September 26, 1982. She was last seen walking towards her home’s side entrance in Oakville, Ontario, Canada.
The discrepancies in reporting start immediately. According to some articles she was dropped off around 930pm by a friend. According to other articles the one dropping her off was her fiancée, Danny Dutra.
Dutra was cleared by police however, reporting details correctly is key if we want to retrace out steps in a cold case from the 80s.
After the drop off, things become vague fast. You know that I’m a stickler for timelines so bear with me.
Various papers point out that Delia never entered the house after being dropped off. They also say that around 1030pm that evening, witnesses reported a woman screaming near Wildwood Drive and Slade Crescent. They said that she matched Delia’s description. The witnesses said a man forced a woman into a sedan. The struggle seemed to continue inside the car before the car drove off with the headlights off.
The gap in the time line
Here’s what irritates me:
Delia is dropped off around 930pm according to Dutra and as posted by Halton Police on their website. Dutra must have driven away without seeing her go inside. Did she ever enter the house? What happened between 930-1030pm? An hour is a huge gap in a crime’s timeline.
- Who was home to confirm that indeed Delia never entered the house?
- IF she never entered, where did she go?
- Who saw her in that one hour?
- IF she did enter the house, why did she go back outside? Did someone call the house and ask her to come outside? Did someone ring the doorbell?
- Is there any chance that the witnesses were mistaken about the time they heard screaming?
The lack of details about this missing hour are key to her disappearance and I cannot find anything in the public domain about it. If you have links to articles, please contact me so we can update this post.
Halton’s homicide Detective Keith Woudstra, who was then the lead investigator on the Adriano case, explained that “witnesses said they believed it was an argument between a husband and wife, girlfriend, boyfriend. It didn’t sound like strangers arguing. Witnesses also told police the verbal quarrel between the two continued in the car before they drove off, leading the detective to believe this was someone Adriano was familiar with.”
Two months later, on November 6, 1982, Delia’s remains were found in a wooded area in Milton, Ontario. She was identified by her dental records. Her autopsy failed to find the cause of her death.
The papers have a description of the suspect car: “a dark coloured Chevrolet Chevette (or similar type vehicle) two door, automatic transmission with three (3) stripes along the side of the vehicle. The vehicle had Ontario license plates.”
The person seen with the woman who was forced in the sedan was described as a white male, 5′ 7″ to 5′ 9″ tall, medium build with brown hair feathered back to the neck. I assume that means longer in the neck.
Delia’s digital footprint
Aside from the sources mentioned below, Delia hardly has a web presence. However, two authors used her case in their works.
Author Barry Ruhl discusses Delia’s case in detail in “A Viable Suspect.” On his Amazon author page, Ruhl states that he was an Ontario Provincial Police Officer for 30 years.
A man called Larry Talbot is on the police radar in relationship to Christine Prince’s murder. Ruhl wants to check out his whereabouts and compare information to the Delia Adriano murder. Ruhl goes over similarities between the cases. Unfortunately, Larry Talbot passed away in 2008. I have not read the book but if you have, please let me know what you think.
While researching the Christine Prince case, we came across Russell Williams. Toronto Police was going to check for possible connections in other cases such as Christine’s. Whether they also checked with Delia’s, I do not know.
If you have any information on this case, please call the Halton Regional Police Service Homicide Unit at 905-825-4747 ext. 8760 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).