Missing women found in Cleveland a reminder of women found in Dewitt years ago

John Jamelske

For Onondaga County Chief Assistant District Attorney Rick Trunfio, the news from Cleveland about three missing women found in a house was a reminder of a case from Dewitt 10 years ago.

"I saw the news this morning and my first thought was Jamelske," says Trunfio.

John Jamelske held several women captive in a concrete dungeon under his home, some for several years.

In 2003, one of his victims was able to get away just long enough make a phone call to a family member.

Jamelske was arrested and then several other former victims came forward.

Trunfio noted there are significant differences between Jamelske and the case in Cleveland, Jamelske never kept more than one captive at a time, but he says the cases are also disturbingly similar.

"In these particular cases, abduction cases where people are held for a long time, there are a whole new set of psychological factors that you have to consider and respect," says Trunfio.

Chief John Balloni from the Onondaga County Sheriffâ??s Office says he knows what a challenge it will be for Cleveland authorities to conduct a very sensitive investigation while under incredible public pressure.

"They need professional services, they need to be protected to whatever extent they can be in the system. We need their cooperation, their willing cooperation, and we don't want to further victimize them," Balloni says.

Balloni says that both cases are also a reminder that terrible crimes can happen anywhere.

"I think one of the things that struck me was that in both cases, neighbors living around had no idea what was going on," he says.

Trunfio says the Onondaga County District Attorneyâ??s Office would offer their assistance and experience with the Jamelske case to Cleveland prosecutors if they are asked.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off