Police receive letter about 34-year-old missing persons case

OLEAN, N.Y. (AP) — Police in Olean say they’d like to talk to the writer of a letter that arrived 34 years to the day after the disappearance of a young mother.

The letter, with no return address or name, arrived in the mail at the Olean police station Feb. 7. The Olean Times Herald reports it contained information about the unsolved 1984 disappearance of 26-year-old Josephine Cottone Despard.

Olean Police Capt. Robert Blovsky won’t reveal details but says it does not implicate the writer.

Despard, who had a 6-year-old daughter, was last seen leaving her family’s house in Olean to go to the home of a male acquaintance to exchange stereo equipment.

The man says they instead went to a mall. He died by suicide a few months later.

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