Twenty-one years ago this month, Lakewood-Busti police began searching for 26-year-old Lori Ceci Bova.

It’s a cold case that remains baffling to police.

Bova was last seen June 7, 1997, leaving Red Lobster in Lakewood after having dinner with husband Tyrone and her sister.

Tyrone told investigators Lori left their apartment after an argument around 2 a.m. and never returned. No arrests were ever made and Tyrone later moved to North Carolina.

"He knew the answers to where she was and what happened to her. He was our person of interest in the case and he still is, even though he is now deceased,” said Lakewood-Busti Police Chief John Bentley.

Last week, Tyrone was killed in a head-on collision, along with his wife and 11-year-old son, while vacationing in Utah.

Their 17-year-old son was left in critical condition. They were all victims of a driver in the wrong lane.

"It's a tragic accident. It made it more frustrating,” Bentley said. “Our link to our missing person, the last link to our missing person is now gone, and it just makes it that much more difficult."

Bentley continues to work with the FBI to see if a search of Bova's North Carolina home might lead to Lori's whereabouts.

"Maybe we could take a look but that becomes extremely difficult at this point because of their estate and different state issues that are involved with this. It does dim some of the hope that we're going to solve this,” he said.



Pam Olson, a long-time family friend, and owner of Perfect Pizza, says Tyrone, Lori and her sister had lunch there the day she disappeared. She recalls witnessing tension between the couple.

While she says she feels bad for family of those lost in the crash, she's not overly confident Lori will ever be found.

"I wish it was resolved for the family. The family comes in here so often and as soon as you see their faces you know that's the first thing that you think of is, where is she," Olson said.

Members of Lori's family wished not to appear on camera or discuss the case, but said in a statement "we have all our friends and family praying for the boy in critical condition."

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Lakewood-Busti Police Department at 716-763-9563.