Important Notice: This page only contains basic information that publically available, to view my work on the case during for this year please follow this link.
Atwell was last seen at the Staten Island Developmental Center (formerly called the Willowbrook State School), the institution for mentally disabled children where she worked as a physical therapist's aide, in the New York City borough of Staten Island, on October 24, 1978. She arrived at 6:00 a.m. and parked behind Building 47. Before she could get from the parking lot into her building, Two female employees inside the building heard a male voice outside say "Come on, come on," and Atwell say "No, you'll beat me." Then she screamed.
The employees called the police after hearing the screams from the parking lot. When authorities responded, they found Atwell's tan pocketbook, one earring, one black shoe, three black coat buttons and half her set of dentures scattered on the ground at the left side of her car, which was locked. Her keys turned up in the woods about seventy-five feet away. An extensive search of the area turned up no sign of her; Atwell has never been seen or heard from again.
Andre Rand is considered a possible suspect in Atwell's disappearance. Photos of him are posted below this case summary. Rand, whose birth name is Frank Rashan, was convicted of the 1987 kidnapping of Jennifer Schweiger, a twelve-year-old girl with Down Syndrome who was murdered on the grounds of the Staten Island Developmental Center near his campsite, and sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. He was not convicted of her murder; the jury could not reach a verdict on that charge. In 2004, he was convicted of kidnapping seven-year-old Holly Hughes; the child disappeared in 1981 and was never found. He is also believed to be connected to the disappearances of Alice Pereia in 1972, Tiahease Jackson in 1983, and
It hasn't been proven that Rand was involved in Atwell's case. She lived in the 80 block of Schuyler Avenue in Newark, New Jersey in 1978. Her presumed abduction remains unsolved.
Left: Rand, approximate date 1987;
Right: Rand in 2004