I was contacted by the family of Darlene DeWolff Polizzi who disappeared from Lodi, New Jersey, April 24, 1967. She’s been missing for 50 years. Her family hasn’t forgotten her.
Darlene DeWolff Polizzi was a young woman, just 19, when she went missing from Lodi in Bergen County, New Jersey, April 24, 1967. Her nieces called her “Aunt Dee Dee.” Darlene has reddish brown hair and brown eyes, a small female at 5’ 3” and weighing 100 pounds. She was wearing a brown blouse and a skirt with polka dots, along with a brown suede coat with a fur collar, when she went missing.
She and her husband were looking at new apartments with her husband and had returned home to Westminster Place in Lodi, NJ. Her husband went out, leaving Darlene home alone. She was reported missing by her husband on April 25 and he believed she took several items of clothing, but left behind most personal belongings, including her jewelry. She was a waitress at the Hangar Restaurant in Paramus and known to frequent Tommy’s Diner on Paterson Avenue in Wallington.
There is some belief that Darlene might have been the victim of a serial killer. Raymond Alves worked with Darlene’s husband at a sheet metal plant and Darlene was friends with Alves’ wife. Some of the suspicion came about due to the highly suspicious move of the Alves family the day after Polizzi disappeared. Alves was convicted of raping a teenager in Fair Lawn and pushing another teenage girl off a bridge in Clifton in 1976.
He served 23 years of a 47-year sentence and was released from prison in 2000. Authorities suspected that the murders of seven teenage females whose bodies were found in Bergen County, NJ, might be laid at his doorstep, that he might be a serial killer. He has not been charges in these deaths nor in Polizzi’s disappearance but the concern is there.
Alves has been a controversial figure after being released without prosecutors being notified. He was locked back up after a nationwide manhunt after his release and being featured on America’s Most Wanted.
Prosecutors weren’t aware that Alves was being let go and never got a chance to seek to have him civilly committed as a sexually violent predator and had the arrest warrant issued. He also failed to comply with Megan’s law to register as a sex offender. The AP reported that he claimed to have raped and killed more than a dozen women. Law enforcement officials also say Alves remains a suspect in the unsolved slayings of six young women in Bergen and Passaic counties between 1966 and 1976.
Alves has been active in filing suit against the Department of Corrections for mental health treatment for inmates and other relief in New Jersey. I once had a perp who was a serial sex abuse offender and that is how he spent, and is still spending his time in prison, filing federal lawsuits over this and that.
There aren’t a lot of remaining family members of Darlene Polizzi, but they miss Aunt Dee Dee and have continued to look for her and urge that official channels remain open and looking for her. Maybe initially she was just another missing woman and authorities didn’t know if she’d been taken or left on her own, because the police didn’t get a statement from her sister, who had been looking for her. Her sister was 8 months pregnant at the time. The police also did not have DNA until they obtained it from the last surviving sister, who passed last year. One niece wasn’t born when her Aunt Dee Dee disappeared but she is among those who still wants to know what happened to her.
Was Raymond Alves responsible for her disappearance or was there another person responsible for her disappearance and the murders of other young women during that time period? If you have any information about Darlene or any of the other young women, now is the time to provide that information.
The family would appreciate that anyone with any information about Darlene contact:
The Bergen County (NJ) Prosecutor’s Office
Lt. Carmen Martino