A mother searches for her daughter who may be suffering from drug-induced delusions.

Star Palumbo

Missing:

Gender: Female
DOB: 3/29/75
Height: 5’4”
Weight: 125 lbs.
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Brown
Defining Characteristics: Birthmark on the right side of her neck, her ears are triple pierced
Remarks: Last seen 4/26/00

CASE DETAILS

In the early morning of April 26, 2000, a young woman was spotted wandering in a restricted area of the Reno, Nevada, airport. She appeared disoriented and frightened. When an airport police officer was called in, he found her hiding behind a truck.

Star

She said her name was Star Palumbo, and she claimed she was trying to find her younger sister, who was running loose on the tarmac. The airport police officer felt that Star’s story might not be true. But, according to Barry DeBoor of the Reno/Tahoe Airport Police, the officer also believed that she had no criminal reason for being out on the runway:

“He had no idea why she was out there. She could give no logical explanation. But instead of arresting her, he decided to release her.”

Star was dropped off near a hotel. The next day, an illegally parked car was discovered at the airport. Barry DeBoor ran a check on the license plate:

“The registered owner came back to Star Palumbo. It appeared to be loaded with all her personal possessions.”

Star

In the car were Star’s cell phone, her purse, and $600 in cash. But other items caused more concern. There were copies of three e-mails sent to the White House. It seemed Star felt the government was trying to murder her. Police also found a morbid drawing that depicts a woman bound and gagged. And finally, they found two books on how to change one’s identity. According to Reno Police Detective David Jenkins, Star never showed up to claim her car:

“There are two very likely possibilities. The first is that she is suffering from some type of either organically caused or drug-induced psychosis and is a sick woman and doesn’t know who or where she is. And the second possibility is that she’s been the victim of a serious crime and has either been murdered or she can’t contact her friends and family.”

There was a time when Star Palumbo was once full of hope and promise. But authorities believe that she fell into a world of dangerous and addictive drugs that threatened to end her life. Star’s mother, Gail, is convinced Star is alive and may one day come home:

Star lived a very happy childhood. She’s very dependable and she’s a very trusting person. She’s a very happy person, sociable person, and I guess she trusted people too much.”

Star left behind all her possessions

One year before she disappeared, Star left her home in Arizona and moved to Reno. It was here, Det. Jenkins believes, that her life took a tragic turn:

“In this particular case, Star seems to have fallen in with a very bad crowd and had been involved with methamphetamine at a level that could only be disastrous.”

Star worked as a cashier at a pawnshop, but according to her friends, her drug habit cost more than she made. Det. Jenkins said police believe she began to look for other ways to make money:

“There is an indication that Star had been dabbling in prostitution. In her phone books, there were references to a number of men. We really don’t have a good feeling for the extent of the relationships with a number of those men. However, certainly, prostitution is a high-risk occupation and one of the factors that causes us concern about what has befallen Star.”

Drawing found in Star’s car

Star lived with her grandmother and called her mother every week. Gail Palumbo says
in her final phone call, Star sounded anxious and paranoid:

She said that she felt somebody was following her and when she talked on the phone, she thought maybe the phones were tapped and somebody was listening. And she mentioned how something was going on and she was afraid for her life. And she wouldn’t discuss it any more than that.” 

According to her mother, Star wanted to turn her life around. She talked about flying home to Tucson and starting over. But Gail Palumbo has not heard from her daughter since that call.

Star’s parents began a massive search. Star’s picture was posted throughout the state of Nevada. Det. Jenkins spoke to a casino owner, Linda Fields, who claimed to have seen Star in her Elko, Nevada, casino in December 2000, eight months after she disappeared:

“Miss Fields described seeing a young woman who had come into the bar one evening, had looked frightened, was alone, and that the young woman had volunteered to her that her name was Star and that she was being chased or was trying to escape from a pimp.”

Linda says that Star became extremely upset when she saw a man looking at her through the bar window. Star quickly left with another young woman. There have been no additional sightings.

The disappearance of Star Palumbo is still an open investigation.


Watch this case now on Amazon Prime in season twelve with Robert Stack and in season one with Dennis Farina. Also available on YouTube with Dennis Farina. Various seasons available now on Hulu.

SUBMIT A TIP

 

36 Comments

  1. Just Wondering

    Any updates?

    Reply

  2. Anonymous

    I live in ceres, ca and volunteer at the homeless shelter in my area. I thought I saw her in line to eat.

    Reply

  3. Anonymous

    I Get She is Still alive, in a basement of a huge house, changed up, she also, can hear the air Plaines, a big rectangle was blue, was green now white shingled House, near the Airport, up on a hill.

    Reply

  4. Justme

    Does that psychic live in Reno? Because there are these new triangles that are built on to the hwy and at night they change colors. I think between the Neil and moanna exit . Weird coincidence maybe. Also the picture she drew to me seems like maybe she doesn’t want to cry anymore but she feels like she is trapped? And yeah who is Angel?

    Reply

  5. Anonymous

    I also wonder if anyone followed up on the post about her being chained up near an airport was that post made by a psychic or someone who may have credible information?

    Reply

  6. Scott

    My biggest problem is the story about the government being after her. Why would they want this pretty young woman who as far as I know didn’t work for the government? My uncle had said similar things but he has a lot of problems and has no reason to fear them coming after him. The ONLY thing that I can think of in her case is maybe a man she solicited died in her company and he had something to do with the Fed’s. I hope she is found and is okay poor thing. Btw what about the gentleman on here who seems to think she is in a place where she can hear airplanes? Did anybody ask him why he thinks that?

    Reply

  7. Marie

    Any updates?

    Reply

  8. Kesha mathews

    Star I pray for your safe return my friend. I posted pics of all of us on your Facebook page. if you are in hiding, please remember that we all love you

    Reply

    • Sharon G

      Pimps throw girls away all the time ..they are very Cold blooded did they at least check that lead out…..take that lead serious

      Reply

  9. Matthew

    I have not gotten any update as to if the contact info I submitted was actually investigated tor followed up on at all. It would be good to know someone followed up even if it wasn’t the same Star Palumbo.

    Reply

    • unsolved

      Hi Matthew – we sent the information on to the law enforcement agency working on Star’s case on April 28, 2016.

      Reply

  10. Matthew

    I sent the number and town location I found into Unsolved’s staff and they let me know they passed it on to law enforcement working the case.

    I hope it’s her.

    Reply

  11. Matthew

    I just saw the rerun of Star Palumbo’s Unsolved Mysteries case.

    I did a few records searches on one of the small records sites has a phone number listed for “Star Palumbo” in the midwest. That page was last updated in 2016.

    I did not call it, because I am not a trained professional or legal officer.

    Is anyone still working this case on here? I hesitate to post the number here, because I suppose there could be another Star Palumbo, though it’s certainly not a common name.

    Please post here to let me know. I saved the number I found.

    Reply

  12. Jen

    I suspect that she’s met with foul play but I hope that’s not the case. Her mother deserves some answers,

    Reply

  13. Mrs. James

    My husband watched a rerun of her story today. He remembers talking to someone with her Stsr. She attended church in Brookhaven, MS. He remembers she would only go by star and only by star.

    Reply

  14. Jackie

    Thought I seen her in bayside queens NY today actually. On the q31 going to Jamaica can’t be to sure but I remember her because I thought she was really pretty and nice she had a travelers energy.

    Reply

  15. Anonymous

    Dang Star where are you?? I pray everyday since I found out your missing… I think of you all the time.. My childhood friend EAFB days we went to AJH together.

    Reply

    • Amber

      I also knew Star in high school at ASH. The reports are heartbreaking!!!

      Reply

      • Rebecca

        I went to school at Alexandria Senior High with her in 1990. My daughter is named after her, but in Spanish-Estrella. She is the only person I know with the name Star and was the sweetest girl. I was new in school and she took me in 🙂 I just found out she was missing and pray for her safety. Her Dad looks so familiar too, was he a teacher?

        Reply

  16. mike

    i meet a girl in las vegas that resembled her she ran around with us dranking going arund freemont street she was homeless she said but didnt dress homeless she told us she wanted to get out of vegas and wanted to come back to tenn with us we told her we flew there and didnt drive we offered to by her a ticket but she said she cant fly she had no i d every time i went back to vegas i would see if she was there but never seen her any more i dont remember the exact year we went but ill ask the rest of the guys and see what year and see if anyone had took pics of her

    Reply

    • Dionne

      I know her family was military and I think they may have lived in Tennessee? In Tucson az we hung out and she loved to drink and party that may have been her?

      Reply

  17. leon

    Just saw this and realized that star was in my six grade class. Very sad

    Reply

  18. Anonymous2

    Re: 2/25/15 0935 post. Interesting about Angel… had not heard that B4. Was Angel her roommate and did Angel have a brother that ran w/them? I would like to discuss another couple of points. If we could find a way to be in contact. I have questions about a guy named Preacher or Priest!

    Reply

  19. Anonymous

    Star was not a cashier at the pawn shop. She was a jewelry sales person and did very well (better than average), but not enough for buying drugs if that is what she was doing. Just before she disappeared she had what she called a very important date at the El Dorado. She wanted to look really nice and she asked to borrow a full length mink coat from the store, which she did return. Something happened on that date that really freaked her out and she said that her date had died. We heard from other sources that there was a death there and it was being investigated. The police came into the store and talked to her a couple of times. Then, all of a sudden, Star and her friend Angel both disappeared.

    Reply

  20. Will

    I love these programs but I can’t get with all the technology and what nowadays nothing still can be done for her where abouts

    Reply

    • Bill

      Unless her “pimp” killed her (according to the episode, ).Technology can’t solve everything. I like the original version of this series with Robert Stack and creepy music. Scared me as a kid.

      Reply

  21. hanley

    I just watched this on sky tv CBS reality in the uk. I thought with all the CCTV these days,would be easy if she was still alive no?

    Reply