This story was published in The Modesto Bee on Oct. 18, 1999.
Modesto police are offering a $10,000 reward to encourage anyone who may know what happened to Dena McCluskey to come forward. The 36-year-old Modesto woman mysteriously disappeared Oct. 10, and investigators admit they have few clues. The reward, to be announced this morning at the Carole-Sund Memorial Reward Foundation office in Modesto, will hopefully "add power to the search," McCluskey's aunt said.
The foundation is sponsoring the reward.
Worn family members and volunteers briefly gathered late Sunday in Central Modesto before continuing their search for McCluskey, also known as Dena Raley.
"I'm running out of energy," said Linda Bookman, McCluskey's aunt. "I'm tired and frustrated . . . We just want her back."
Bookman was the last person to see McCluskey before she disappeared. McCluskey had helped Bookman move the day before and had stopped by Bookman's home to chat. She often would call her aunt up to four times a day.
"She was my little pest," Bookman said smiling. "I miss her phone calls."
McCluskey's mother, Barbara West of Riverbank, recalled taking her daughter shopping two weeks ago. She wanted to buy her a dress to wear to a relative's wedding.
"In the dress I picked out, she looked like a little Barbie doll . . . We just had a really good day," she sobbed.
Relatives said McCluskey is close to everyone in her family and are concerned that foul play may have had a role in her disappearance. Police had no new clues Sunday night.
McCluskey's boyfriend reported her as missing Wednesday. On Thursday police found her abandoned 1987 Nissan Stanza in the 2000 block of Oakdale Road. McCluskey's keys and purse were missing from the unlocked car.
"This is something you see on television . . . it happens to other people," West said. "I remember talking to friends and co-workers about the Sund tragedy a few months ago, and I said I wouldn't know what to do if something like this happened to one of my kids . . . It happened."
The Carole Sund-Carrington Memorial Reward Foundation provides reward money on behalf of financially strapped families whose loved ones have disappeared or have been murdered. The fund was established by Francis and Carole Carrington in the aftermath of the February slayings of their daughter and granddaughter, Carole and Julie Sund and family friend Silvina Pelosso.
In another missing persons case, police are searching for a 38-year-old Modesto woman and her two children who disappeared Saturday night.
Fierial Moshekh, also known as Fieral Dawood, was last seen wearing a white T-shirt and a long maroon skirt with beige flowers walking with her 4-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son in tow near Floyd Avenue and Oakdale Road in north Modesto. Police said she was taking the children to visit with their father, Edison Andri Moshekh, 46.
The son's name is Abraham Moshekh. He is 2 feet, 6 inches tall and 35 pounds and has brown hair and brown eyes. The daughter is Marlene Moshekh, about 3 feet tall, 47 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. Fierial Moshekh is 5 feet, 2 inches, 130 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. She is Assyrian.
Investigators would like to speak with the father. Andri Moshekh drives a silver blue 1977 Mercedes Benz with California license 4EXT501.
Authorities are asking anyone with information on either of these cases to call (209) 572-9500.