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Latest Missing Person Video for patricia-marie-gifford
Latest Missing Person Photos for
Missing Patricia Marie Gifford
Gifford, circa 1982; Gifford on the night of her disappearance; Dennis Sochor on the night of Gifford's disappearance
Missing Since 01/01/1982
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Classification Endangered Missing
Age 18 years old
Height and Weight 5'4, 130 pounds
Clothing/Jewelry Description An off-white sweater with multicolored threads, blue jeans, three gold chains with heart- and apple-shaped charms, an opal and diamond ring, and possibly a "Happy New Year" crown. A photo of Gibson on the night of her disappearance is posted with this case summary.
Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian female. Blonde hair. Gifford's nickname is Patty.
Details of Disappearance Gifford was last seen at the Banana Boat lounge on State Road 84 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on January 1, 1982. She had gone there with a female friend to celebrate the holiday. While at the lounge, she met Dennis Michael Sochor and his brother Gary; they had never met before. According to witnesses, Dennis kept trying, unsuccessfully, to buy Gifford drinks for most of the night.
At 2:00 a.m., Gifford's friend got sick and was helped to her car by Gifford and the Sochor brothers. She fell asleep there, and when she awakened at 5:30 a.m., Gifford was gone and she has never been heard from again. She was last seen when she paid her bar bill at 1:30 a.m.
On January 5, four days after Gifford's disappearance and shortly after his photograph was shown on a television news broadcast, Dennis left South Florida and caught a flight to Michigan.
At first, Gary claimed he and his brother had parted ways at 2:00 a.m. and he had no idea where Gifford was. He later changed his story and told police that he'd seen Dennis rape and kill Gifford after she refused his sexual advances. He stated Gifford agreed to go out to breakfast with them, and on the way, Dennis stopped at a secluded spot and raped and strangled Gifford. Gary said he had wanted to help her but he was too frightened of his brother because "he had the devil in his eyes." He later recanted this story.
The 1981 Datsun pickup truck Dennis was driving on the night of Gifford's disappearance, which had been issued to him by his employer, was found in Tampa, Florida on January 22. The interior was bloodstained.
He was convicted of Gifford's kidnapping, rape and murder in 1987 and sentenced to death, although his defense tried to argue that Gifford had never been held against her will and her murder was not premeditated. He remains on Florida's death row, awaiting execution.
Gifford's body has never been found; Dennis stated he could not remember where he had left it.
Investigating Agency / Department