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Missing Josephine Carroll Chatraw new case information posted as of May 15th 2020

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.


Missing Josephine Carroll Chatraw

Chatraw, approximate date 1984

Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

Missing Since: July 29, 1984 from Syracuse, New York

Type: Endangered Missing

Date of Birth: March 9, 1948 Age at disappearance: 36 years old

Weight and Height: 5'3, 125 pounds

Distinguishing Characteristics: White female. Brown hair, brown eyes. Chatraw's nickname is Josie.

Details of disappearance and psychic work by Brian Ladd (login to view entire case as of May 2020)


Chatraw was last seen on July 29, 1984 in Syracuse, New York. She spoke to one of her three sisters at approximately 1:00 a.m. that day from her home in the 200 block of Seymour Street that day. She has never been heard from again. Her sisters reported her as a missing person on August 3. She left behind five children.
Philip S. Whaley Sr., her boyfriend of several years, was the last person known to have seen Chatraw. A photo of him is posted below this case summary. He lived in the 100 block of Seymour Street, a block from her apartment, and Chatraw visited him as his home on the day of her disappearance. Whaley told police he and Chatraw got into an argument and she accused him of infidelity. He went into the bathroom to shave and when he came out, Chatraw was missing from the apartment. He said he saw her walking alone on Seymour Street afterwards.
Chatraw and Whaley had a troubled relationship. Her loved ones frequently saw them fighting, but Chatraw disliked it when others intervened and tried to protect her. Whaley was charged with unlawful imprisonment and assault several weeks before her disappearance; he had allegedly held her inside his apartment against her will. (The charges were dismissed in 1988, in exchange for Whaley's testimony against another person.) Chatraw told her sister Whaley had threatened to kill her and hide her body so no one could find it. One of Whaley's neighbors reported seeing Whaley beat Chatraw at approximately 1:00 a.m. on the day of her disappearance, in the hallway outside her apartment. Her punched her several times and dragged her inside by her hair. This is the last time anyone besides Whaley saw Chatraw.
Whaley was eventually charged with Chatraw's murder and the murder of another woman, Margaret Reiley, who disappeared in 1992. He went to trial in 1996. One of his friends testified that Whaley admitted to causing Chatraw's death and burying her remains in a wooded area near Central Square. Several former girlfriends testified as to his violent behavior towards women. Whaley maintained his innocence, but was convicted of both murders and sentenced to 50 years to life in prison. He was the first person in Onondaga County history to be convicted of murder without the victim's body, and his trial was also the first where DNA evidence was presented.

Foul play is suspected in Chatraw's and Reiley's disappearances due to the circumstances involved. Their remains may not be recoverable.