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Carol was last seen in Boca Raton, Florida at approximately 7:00 p.m. on November 22, 1980. She has never been heard from again. She left her clothes, jewelry, keys, checkbook and $750 in cash at her home, as well as her car parked in the driveway. Her family stated it would be uncharacteristic of her to abandon her children. She lived in the 1300 block of southwest 14th Street at the time of her disappearance. One of her children was at college, one had moved out of the family home and married, and the two youngest ones were still at home.
Carol had been separated from her husband of 21 years, Giacomo "Jack" Arcuri, for about a year and a half. They were in the process of a divorce, and Jack was living with a girlfriend, but Carol still worked for him at A&B Auto Parts in Delray Beach, Florida. The business was co-owned by Jack and Carol's brother. Carol allegedly told friends and her daughter that Jack had bound her hands, threatened her with a gun and tried to strangle her several days before her disappearance, and her daughter noticed red marks around her neck and wrists. Carol visited a doctor on November 17 with yellowing of the eyes, bleeding from the nose, headaches and a cough, and he diagnosed an iron deficiency, but these symptoms could also be caused by attempted strangulation.
Jack denied the allegations and said he had never attacked his wife and had nothing to do with her disappearance. He claimed he'd seen Carol on the day she went missing and she went out with another man, who used to work at the auto parts store. He refused to cooperate with the investigation into his wife's disappearance and hired an attorney, who told investigators not to approach him.