Viola Findley (Courtesy NamUs)

Viola Marie Findley

Missing Person

Viola Marie Findley
Age at Report:
Date of Birth:
December 17, 1954
5′ 04″ – 5′ 05″
175 to 200 lbs.
Eye Color:
Hair Color:
Case Number:
NamUs MP Number:
Reported Missing From:
Daytona Beach, Florida
Headed To: Waterloo, IA
Black Hawk County
Unknown where Ms. Findley disappeared between IA and FL
Last Seen Alive:
September 6, 1983


Case summary compiled by Jody Ewing

Viola Marie Findley, a 28-year-old mother of three, left Waterloo, Iowa with a friend in the summer of 1983 to pay a visit to Ms. Findley’s family in Florida. Findley’s young children remained in Iowa, and in early September, Findley left her mother’s home in Daytona Beach to head back to Waterloo.

Black Hawk County in Iowa

Black Hawk County in Iowa

She was never seen again.

Ten days later, when Findley still hadn’t arrived in Iowa, family members in Florida were notified. Findley’s mother contacted Daytona Beach authorities to report her missing daughter.

The National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) database states Findley was last seen alive on September 6, 1983.

Twelve years after her disappearance, her mother had a Presumptive Death certificate issued. The police closed her file and put it into storage, where it eventually was destroyed by a flood in the records room.

According to a sibling, the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office in Bunnell, Florida was looking into a Jane Doe found there in 1993. The sibling reported to NamUs that Cpl. Kim Davis — who’d told the family what happened to the missing records — was looking into the possibility that Jane Doe might be Viola Marie Findley.

Viola Findley in younger years (Courtesy NamUs)

Viola Findley in younger years (Courtesy NamUs)

NamUS collected DNA from Findley’s son and daughter as well as Findley’s sibling, and procured a DNA profile to see if a match could be made between Findley and Jane Doe.

According to the victim’s sister, Betti Findley Schuster, Jane Doe was not a match, and the family is still unsure what states should be checked for unidentified remains because no one knows the location between Florida and Iowa where Viola disappeared.

Schuster said she’d learned Jane Doe wasn’t a match after she’d called NamUs. She said she also called the Waterloo Police Department, who told her they had a police report from September 6, 1983 that her sister had filed, so believed the actual missing date may have been closer to October 1.

Viola Findley had brown shoulder-length hair, brown eyes, a bad nail on her pointer finger and a broken front tooth. She went by the nickname “Vi.”

Her middle daughter, Vicky, was just three years old when her mother went missing. At age 15, Vicky died in a car accident. Findley’s brother and mother have also since passed away.

Her sister lives on, Betti Schuster told Iowa Cold Cases in 2012, through her son and daughter and four grandchildren.

Fingerprint and DNA information for Viola Findley has been entered into NamUs.

Viola Findley (Courtesy NamUs)

Viola Findley (Courtesy NamUs)

Information Needed

If you have any information regarding the unexplained disappearance of Viola Findley, please contact Investigator Kim Davis at (386) 586-4877 at the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office in Bunnell, Florida.

You may also contact the Waterloo Police Department at (319) 291-4340 ext. 3 or Cedar Valley Crime Stoppers at 855-300-TIPS (8477). Tips may also be sent with TipSoft or by texting the word CEDAR plus the information to CRIMES (274637). Message and data rates may apply. Text STOP to opt out at any time. Text HELP for more information.

Anonymous tips may also be sent through the Cedar Valley Crime Stoppers Confidential Web Tip Information System.


21 Responses to Viola Findley

  1. Samantha Stevens-Clay says:

    I hope for the sake of her children and the rest of her family that the DNA is a match. Must be so horriable for them not to know what has happened to their mother/family member.

    • Betti Findley Schuster says:

      I just found out the DNA results that my niece,nephew and myself submitted are now complete and entered in CODIS hoping that somewhere some day we will find my sister…

  2. Betti Findley Schuster says:

    We are still waiting on the DNA but we hope that one day the people she came down here with say someting to someone as to what happened to her. Since my sister disapeared Her middle daughter vicky was killed in a car accident she was 15 she lost her mom when she was 3. It is my hope that my sister was there to greet her and vicky now knows her mom didn’t leave because she wanted to. Our brother and mother have passed since that time but my sister lives on through her Son and Daughter and her four grandchildren.
    Thank you

  3. LuAnn says:

    I was just wondering who Violas friend was that accompanied her on the trip to see her mother in Florida?? Did this friend ride back with her enroute to Waterloo, Iowa.?? Who drove Viola or her friend???

    Wonder if Viola may have stopped somewhere enroute to Waterloo & if anyone seen her….She could have met with foul play on her way back to Waterloo, because I’m assuming she made stops along the way……but you don’t know..

    I hope that this will be resolved someday and her family and friends will be able to find closure…………………………..

    • Betti Schuster says:

      we never knew the peoples names that she came down here with she was helping a girl that was being abused by her husband by getting her out of the state of Iowa somewhere along the line there was an argument and they left my sister according to them down here so who knows also I just recently found out I have a genetic birth defect that may help identify her body if it’s found and so I am trying to get ahold of fdle here in Florida to let them know about it and maybe t
      hat will help him a little more

  4. I see in the comments it’s been over a year since they had been working on DNA testing…anything new?? Praying her family gets some kind of closure <3

  5. My prayers are all the way with the family. My heart is with them

  6. Kelsey, a family member posted today that the DNA info has been obtained and entered into a nation-wide system. Now they are waiting to see if something pops up. Sure hope it does!! Kerry at ICC

  7. I made a group called Finding Viola Marie Findley today thank you for your interest. I also updated so info with NAMUS.

  8. Merlyn Sanchez says:

    Beth – I’ve been reading about your sister’s case and I’m so sorry for you and your family. Not knowing has to be the worst kind of torture. You mentioned that your sister filed a police report on 09 October, was this another sister that reported Viola missing? It’s a shame that you never knew who she came down to Florida with. Do you know how many people? Were they all female or men and women? I’m a member of a group called Websleuths and we try to help bring attention to unsolved crimes. I’m going to check and see if your sister’s story is on there. Good luck!

  9. Ashlea Kelly says:

    Find my aunt please

  10. I have a Facebook group called Finding Viola Marie Findley .

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