The Case of Danielle Stislicki
Danielle Stislick, 28, of Farmington Hills, went missing Dec. 2, 2016. Here is a timeline of events since her disappearance.
The last time anyone saw or heard from Danielle Stislicki was Dec. 2, 2016 when she was leaving her job at MetLife in Southfield.
The 28-year-old woman has been missing for more than seven months. Police have arrested a person of interest in connection with her disappearance, but they don't believe that she'll be found alive.
Here's a timeline of events since Stislicki left her job that day:
Dec. 2, 2016 -- Stislicki last heard from
Stislicki was last seen leaving her job at MetLife in the 25000 block of Telegraph Road in Southfield. She was planning to meet a friend for dinner after work.
"That particular day she was scheduled to work longer. And because things were a little slow she asked, after getting a request from a friend, whether or not it would be OK if she left early," said Stislicki's father, Richard Stislicki.
Ann Stislicki, Danielle's mother, said she thinks the final text message she sent to the friend is that she was able to get off work early and that she was going to "swing home real quick, pack a bag" and meet the friend at dinner.
Stislicki left work about 5 p.m. that day. However, she never showed up to dinner and did not communicate to her friend.
She was last seen wearing blue jeans, a black zip-up shirt, a blue Eddie Bauer coat and burgundy boots.
"Her family said it's out of character for her to be missing, and they are concerned," Farmington Hills police said in the original missing person's report.
Dec. 3, 2016 -- Stislicki's Jeep found at her apartment
Stislicki's friend was worried, so she went to the Independence Green apartment complex where Danielle lived the next day. Stislicki's Jeep Renegade was found parked just 8 feet from her apartment door. Her purse was left in the SUV.
The Jeep was left at her home near Halsted Road and Grand River Avenue in Farmington Hills, even though Stislicki was last seen at her workplace in Southfield.
Dec. 7, 2016 -- Apartment complex offers $50,000 award
More than $125,000 is being offered as a reward to anyone who could help bring Stislicki back to her parents safely. On Dec. 7, the Independence Green apartments chipped in a $50,000 reward.
The reward was announced five days after Stislicki was originally reported missing.
The Independence Green apartments are located on Halsted Road between Grand River Avenue and 11 Mile Road in Farmington Hills.
Police announced the reward was offered for any information that helped find Stislicki or make an arrest in connection to her disappearance.
Dec. 10, 2016 -- Candlelight vigil held
Friends and family held a candlelight vigil for Stisilcki at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, which was eight days after she had been reported missing.
People gathered under the arch outside the Raleigh Office Centre at the MetLife office building on Telegraph Road in Southfield, where Stislicki had been last seen.
Candles with drop guards were donated by friends of the family for the event.
Dec. 19, 2016 -- Stislicki believed to be victim of crime
Police announced they believe Stislicki is a victim of a crime.
Stislicki had been missing for more than two weeks with no sign of her reported. Police and family members continued to search for her, and no information was given to police despite the hefty reward.
"All available information and evidence leads investigators to believe Danielle Stislicki was the victim of a crime," police said in a statement. "Investigators have worked tirelessly since Danielle was reported missing. Farmington Hills detectives and evidence technicians have received extensive assistance and resources from federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies."
Stislicki's parents had made it clear they believed their daughter's disappearance was the result of foul play.
"From our heart, help us bring Danielle home," Ann Stislicki said.
Sources told Local 4 that investigators were working tirelessly on the case, calling the search "intense."
"All of the investigating agencies want the Stislicki family and the public to know that the law enforcement community is determined and committed to finding Danielle and solving this case," Farmington Hills police said. "Investigators have collected evidence currently under analysis and examination. No information will be released regarding the specifics of the case in order to maintain the integrity of an active investigation. Investigators continue to follow leads in the case."
Dec. 22, 2016 -- Berkley home searched
Mattress removed from home
After more than two weeks with no sign of Stislicki, law enforcement searched a home in the 2900 block of Oxford Road in Berkley. Sources told Local 4 a mattress and other items were taken out of the home.
A former security guard who was contracted to work at the MetLife office where Stislicki worked lives at the Berkley home. The guard was not working at the office at the time of Stislicki's disappearance.
Farmington Hills Police Chief Chuck Nebus released this statement:
"Farmington Hills detectives and members of the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office Crime Lab were at a home in Berkley last night investigating the disappearance of Danielle Stislicki. Farmington Hills detectives and investigators from several other agencies have been involved in searches and the collection of evidence at numerous locations over the past three weeks. Detectives, evidence technicians and crime lab personnel from several law enforcement agencies have been working tirelessly and remain committed to finding Danielle and solving this case. The investigation has been progressing since day one. I understand a caring public and media are anxious for information. However, no information will be released regarding the specifics of the case in order to maintain the integrity of the investigation."
Car, floorboards also removed
Defenders sources said a car and floorboards were also removed from the Berkley home.
"We're moving in the right direction of positive developments," Nebus said. "It's like putting together the pieces of a puzzle, and every day it seems like there's another piece that goes into the puzzle."
More than 11 weeks since Stislicki went missing, officials removed a car and floorboards from the home of the security guard. Police said mounting evidence had been gathered in the case.
Neighbors told Local 4 the security guard hadn't been seen in Berkley since police searched the home.
The floorboards confiscated by authorities were sent off for additional testing, while the car was removed from the house's garage.
Jan. 12, 2017 -- Vigil held in Redford Township
Hundreds attended a vigil at the VFW in Redford Township more than a month after Stislicki went missing.
The Stislicki family moved out of Redford more than a decade ago, but the community remembered the family and poured out support for them.
"We don't know what happened to Danielle. What we do know is there is an incredible base of wonderful people like you," Ann Stislicki, told the crowd.
Stislicki graduated from Redford Union High School.
"It's a homecoming of hearts," Richard Stislicki told everybody.
The community made burgundy ribbons to wear and to put up. The family chose burgundy because Danielle had worn a dress that color to her brother's wedding and looked beautiful in it.
Family members said they hoped the ribbons would be a conversation starter and jog memories.
Jan. 27, 2017 -- Fundraiser makes money for search
A women-only self-defense fundraiser to raise money to help find Stislicki was held from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Jan. 28 in Plymouth.
Second Nature Self Defense of Plymouth taught the class, which was part one of a two-part class on women’s self-defense. It was held at The Inn at St. John's on 5 Mile Road.
All proceeds went toward helping find Stislicki. A minimum $20 donation is required for the class.
Feb. 2, 2017 -- Stislicki's parents talk about search
Stislicki's parents spoke with Local 4 Defender Karen Drew about the case, their thoughts and the latest on the investigation.
"It's that lighthearted smile, the silliness," Ann Stislicki said. "We talk about her as if she's still living in the apartment. Having that hope is why you have the energy to work at the pace, to only get a couple hours of sleep because we want to make it happen as fast as we can. We want to be able to get Danielle back."
They said not knowing what happened to their daughter shatters their souls, but also inspires them to keep searching for answers.
Rich and Ann Stislicki
At the time, they spent their days distributing missing fliers, updating social media on the case and having conversations with the Farmington Hills police.
"Texts anytime we have questions, concerns -- they're addressed immediately at any time of the day," Ann Stislicki said. "When another body is found, they let us know without calling, (saying), 'We didn't want you to hear it from the news. We know that that is not Danielle.'"
"That hope of her being alive, even though it's scary to think (about)," Richard Stislicki said. "It's winter time. It's been two months. How would she be cared for? So my logical mind would be predisposed to think that it was not going to turn out well."
Feb. 21, 2017 -- More learned about Berkley home search
The Local 4 Defenders learned more details about the Dec. 22 search of a home in Berkley. Neighbors said the security guard hasn't been seen in Berkley since police searched the home.
Officers carried a mattress out of the home, and the Defenders learned that some floorboards were confiscated by authorities and sent off for testing. Sources told Local 4 that police also removed a car from the garage.
"It's like putting together the pieces of a puzzle, and every day it seems like there's another piece that goes into the puzzle," Chief Nebus said.
May 2, 2017 -- Stislicki missing for 5 months
There have been no updates to Stislicki's case. Police said the case is centered in Oakland County, and 12-15 police agencies are working on it.
The total possible reward money in the search for Stislicki is $125,000, including money from Independence Green Apartments ($50,000.00), MetLife ($50,000.00) and a family friend’s GoFundMe account ($25,000.00), police said.
Family members and friends continued the search, holding a car wash to raise money and creating the hashtag #FindDani to use on social media.
Anyone with information on the case is asked to call the Farmington Hills Police Department at 248-871-2610.
May 24, 2017 -- Parents talk about coping with pain
Nearly six months after their daughter's disappeared her parents talked to the Local 4 Defenders again, this time revealing how they cope with the pain.
"You cannot just vanish off the face of the earth," Ann Stislicki said.
Her parents are still waiting for answers as their hope fades. They opened up about their struggles as they search for justice.
"It's terrifying to think that I would even have to go another month waiting to find answers," Ann Stislicki said.
The Stislickis attended the Missing in Michigan event to share their story and help comfort other families who are missing someone.
"We needed to educate ourselves and be involved and support those people," Richard Stislicki said. "Missing is the broad category for the many reasons that people go missing."
What was different from early December to May in terms of how they dealt with the pain?
"This could, unfortunately, last a long time," Ann Stislicki said. "So how do you survive it? How do you ... get up every morning?"
"I think the biggest thing is to always be doing something beyond us, because I don't feel we can turn back the clock," Richard Stislicki said.
June 27, 2017 -- Person of interest named
Livonia police arrested a man who was also a person of interest in the Stislicki missing person's investigation.
Floyd Russell Galloway Jr., 30, was arrested in connection with a sexual assault case in Hines Park, but police also named him a person of interest in connection with Stislicki's disappearance.
Police said Galloway was arrested in Oakland County for his connection to the Hines Park incident. A prior DNA test linked Galloway to Stislicki's case, which led to him being named a person of interest once he had been taken into police custody.
Galloway was identified as the former security guard at Stislicki's workplace who lived in the Berkley home where police removed evidence during the February 2017 search.
June 28, 2017 -- Galloway charged in Livonia case
Galloway charged in Hines Park assault
Galloway was charged with kidnapping, criminal sexual conduct with intent to commit penetration, and assault with intent do great bodily harm by strangulation in connection to the attack at Hines Park on Sept 4, 2016.
A 28-year-old woman told police she was attacked around 7:30 p.m. while jogging on the bike path west of Levan Road.
The woman told officers that a man wrapped his arms around her neck and struck her on the side of her face. She struggled with the attacker as he attempted to drag her toward the Rouge River.
READ: Who is Floyd Galloway?
Police said the man attempted to remove her clothing and told her that he wanted to have sex with her.
The woman was able to fight off the man and run away. She flagged down a motorist and used his phone to call police. Officers weren't able to find the attempted rapist, but an artist's sketch led to Galloway being taken into custody.
Galloway investigated in Allen Park assaults
Allen Park police revealed they are investigating similarities between Galloway's sexual-assault case in Livonia and one from June 10 in Allen Park.
Police said the Livonia police sketch that helped lead to Galloway's arrest is similar to one made by a different sketch artist after the incident in Allen Park.
Allen Park police said they believe the two cases could be connected.
June 28, 2017 -- Stislickis speak about Galloway's arrest
The Local 4 Defenders spoke to Stislicki's parents after Galloway was named as a person of interest in her disappearance.
Rich and Ann Stislicki were careful with their words, but they hope this could be the break in the case they've been praying for.
"Our biggest focus is to keep Danielle's name in the public, and you get yanked back again in the media frenzy," Ann Stislicki said. "My initial reaction is scared. The outcome of the description of the jogger could be the fate of my daughter, and my daughter didn't get a chance to get out and get help. It's also a reality, the bravery of this person to be strong enough to fight him off and come forward."
The Stislicki's said there was an important reason they didn't attend Galloway's arraignment.
"It's not about Danielle at this time," Rich Stislicki said. "There will be that moment, but this time it's about that person from Hines Park who made it out alive and was able to talk."
The Stislickis are well aware of who Galloway is.
"Floyd was very friendly and approachable to many, many people in that building," Anne Stislicki said. "Absolutely (I would talk to him). Floyd would watch many folks who would work late at night, would watch you walk to your car to make sure you were OK."
July 19, 2017 -- Officials search Hines Park
Nothing found during search
Officials said 155 law enforcement officials used 14 K-9 units, cadaver dogs and metal detectors to look for evidence connected to Stislicki.
They said nothing was found, and no further search is planned at Hines Park. They were searching for a key new piece of evidence: a tan- and brown-striped comforter. Investigators believe Stislicki's body may have been wrapped in that comforter.
"We can't tell you why or how that fits with the case, but yes, that is something new we added to the case today -- this tan, striped comforter," Nebus said.
Investigators also are searching for a blue Eddie Bauer 3-in-1 jacket, jeans, burgundy boots and a black zip-up shirt.
Stislicki not expected to be found alive
As the search in Hines Park began, Nebus said police do not believe Stislicki would be found alive.
"Law enforcement authorities have expressed since day one that Danielle Stislicki was a victim of a crime," said Farmington Hills Police Chief Chuck Nebus. "The facts of the case lead us to believe she is not alive."
Police searched the area where Galloway is accused of attacking the jogger in Livonia. FBI profilers said predators often return to the same area of a prior crime, which prompted officials to search Hines Park in the area where the jogger was attacked.
"Hines Park is being searched as the result of a recent Livonia and Farmington Hills joint investigation. This investigation has led to criminal charges in Livonia against Floyd Galloway, a 30-year-old resident of Berkley. Because the Livonia incident occurred in Hines Park, it is a location that requires searching. There is no specific information or evidence that leads us to believe Danielle’s remains are in the park."
Stislicki's parents released a statement after the search concluded.
"We would like to thank all of the law enforcement agencies and volunteers that participated in today's search," Rich Stislicki said in a statement. "We know their efforts one day will bring justice to our family and Danielle."
July 20, 2017 -- Berkley home searched in Hines Park case
Galloway's home in Berkley was searched again July 20, this time by Livonia police in connection with the Hines Park sexual assault case.
Police arrived at the home with a search warrant in hand.
Sources told the Defenders that there were certain items they wanted to find in relation to the attack, but when police went inside, they found that everything had been cleared out.
The house was empty with a home surveillance system left.
After searching the Berkley house, headed to a house in Royal Oak, where Galloway had lived with his wife and her mother the past few months.
Police asked Galloway's wife for other items they were searching for and she gave them to officers.
An image of the Royal Oak home is below. Livonia police said Galloway's wife was "pretty uncooperative" overall during the search, but handed over the items after leading them to the Royal Oak home.
Nov. 14, 2017 -- Stislicki's friends break silence about her disappearance
Nearly a year after Stislicki's disappearance, her friends opened up for the first time about their friend and the person of interest in her case.
Stislicki was raised in Redford, and that's where she built some of her closest relationships. The girls know Stislicki, her secrets, her fears and her hopes.
Since she went missing, they said they have cried, hugged and searched for Stislicki, but they haven't spoken publicly about the case until now.
They have quite a past from elementary school, to attending each others' weddings, to going on vacation. In photos of the Friendsgiving of 2015, Stislick is front and center, but she's not at this year's event.
"That was the last time we all saw Danielle," Megan Fischback said.
"It was the Sunday before she went missing," Thompson said. "She came, like, busting in, and she was supposed to bring bagels."
After Stislicki disappeared, her friends weren't ready to talk about the case, but on the 2017 Friendsgiving, they said it felt fitting to talk about their childhood friend, who they call a free spirit.
"I jumped out of bed," Frederick said. "Her sisters were posting (that) they were going to start searching at her apartment, and I was, like, 'We've got to go. Let's go. We're going.'"
"I walked inside her apartment and, like, the realization just came crashing down on me, like, 'Oh wow. This is happening,'" Wannamaker said. "I walked into her family. Her mom was there, her aunts, her uncles, her sisters. ... We all wanted to say a thousand things, but nobody wanted to say anything at all."
"Her apartment complex is kind of sprawling, so there's lots of ditches and swampy areas and cars everywhere, and dumpsters," Holme said. "It's terrifying. Every car that you peek in, right, to think, 'What if I find something?' But, to think, 'What if I don't?'"
A woman had been attacked while jogging in the park, and police arrested a man named Floyd Galloway.
"When his name came up for that Hines Park case..." Rachel Perell said.
Because of DNA obtained, Galloway was also named a person of interest in Stislicki's disappearance.
"If he did this to this woman, your mind then goes to, 'What if this happened to Danielle?'" Holme said.
Stislicki's friends had heard Galloway's name before. He was a security guard at Stislicki's work, the last place she was seen.
"(He) was very friendly with her, and maybe more than you would expect from just a security guard who worked with you," Holme said.
Nov. 21, 2017 -- Galloway takes plea deal in Hines Park case
After rejecting a pair of plea deals in the Hines Park assault case, Galloway accepted a plea deal Nov. 21.
Galloway originally was charged with kidnapping, criminal sexual conduct-assault with intent to commit sexual penetration, assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder by strangulation and assault with intent to murder.
He could face 16-35 years in prison after pleading guilty to the kidnapping, criminal sexual conduct and assault with intent to do bodily harm charges. The intent to murder charge will be dropped and he also will have to register as a sex offender for life.
The deal was offered by prosecutors about two weeks prior. Galloway rejected it at two different hearings before accepting it in court Tuesday.
This case was expected to go to trial during which about 40-45 witnesses were expected to testify. The trial could have last three weeks.
Galloway was being held on a $750,000 bond, cash only. However, Judge Mark Slavens agreed to lower the bond to $350,000, cash surety and no 10 percent.
Slavens said the Stislicki case had no impact on his bond decision. However, the judge said he does consider Galloway a danger to the community due to the strangulation accusations.
Stislicki's parents were in the courtroom to hear Galloway accept the plea deal.
"We will not give up," Ann Stislicki said. "We are here, and we are not going to give up."
It was a difficult day for the Stislicki family. Ann Stislicki said she had to be in court Tuesday to see the face of the man named a person of interest in her daughter's disappearance.
"It was, for us, the opportunity to go ahead and let him know we are still here," Ann Stislicki said.
"When he spoke, how did you feel?" Local 4 Defender Karen Drew asked Ann Stislicki.
"It was unnerving," she said. "That is the Floyd Galloway I know, so I was glad he was advised to admit the guilt.
"We are grateful that the results of today's hearing means the Hines Park survivor does not have to go through and testify to a jury and relive that situation. ... Now it will give us an opportunity, for all the resources that have been on Dani's case, too, to go ahead. An opportunity to spend the time on what we need to do."
Nov. 30, 2017 -- Farmington Hills police discuss new clues in investigation
Just days before the one-year anniversary of Stislicki's disappearance, Farmington Hills police spoke with the Local 4 Defenders to update the case.
"You start with a police report that doesn't contain much in the way of evidence," Nebus said. "The year has gone on (and) we have made remarkable progress."
Nebus said police have executed 74 search warrants through the year, but he can't say what was found during the searches.
"We have to keep that confidential," Nebus said. "I don't want to give the perpetrator any advantage of knowing all the things we are gaining."
Galloway had just pleaded guilty in the case of the Livonia jogger and was set to be sentenced the following week. How will that affect Stislicki's case?
"Probably too soon to tell," Nebus said. "But we are grateful the investigators on the Stislicki case were able to give some of the finds we found in our case to Livonia. It's probably too soon to know the impact it will have."
Where have police searched, and how recently?
"We have been all over Southeast Michigan, where tips have led us," Nebus said. "We continuously do searches. In the past 3-4 weeks we also have been to several locations, although under the radar."
He said the hardest part of the investigation is the difficulty it brings to Stislicki's family.
"(We want) to give the Stislicki family closure in the case and (get) someone charged," Nebus said. "There is not a day that goes by we don't think about them and think about Danielle."
Will the case be solved?
"We feel very strongly we are going to solve this case," Nebus said. "We are very optimistic."
Dec, 8, 2017 -- Galloway sentenced in Hines Park case
Galloway, 30, was sentenced to 16 to 35 years for the attack and attempted rape. He declined to comment before Judge Mark Slavens handed down his sentencing.
The victim, who was 28 at the time of the attack, read a statement addressed to Galloway. She told him she is a "smart, independent, stubborn woman" and that he ruined her day but couldn't ruin her life.
"I want you to think about me and how I am living and enjoying my life while you sit there alone because you thought you could take advantage of me," the victim said in her statement.
Stislickis in court for sentencing
"It was almost like Danielle's spirit was in (the Hines Park victim)," Rich Stislicki said. "She carries the same kind of spirit as Danielle. I was totally blown away by the spirit.
"I'm relieved that this victim was able to survive and doesn't have to go through the ongoing court situation of being grilled; of being reminded of that terrible experience."
"We have an extraordinary case," Ann Stislicki said. "We have extraordinary people involved in law enforcement and in our community."
She offered a direct message to Galloway.
"Floyd, my message to you at this point is no longer, 'We're going to be here,' because you already know that," Ann Stislicki said. "We know things. Danielle had spoken to me about you, and the police know that as well.
"So when you're in that cell, and you're thinking about what you did and what you should do, you need to do the right thing."
"(Galloway) will not know what we have, but we will pounce," she said.
Danielle's sisters, best friend speak for first time
Danielle Stislicki's sisters and best friends spoke exclusively to Local 4 for the first time after Galloway's sentence in the Hines Park case.
"I'm happy that he's finally behind bars," Danielle's best friend, Sarah Pollack, said. "I just want him to talk and tell us where Danielle is."
Pollack and Stislicki's sisters, Jillian Stislicki, 21, and Holly Stislicki, 23, got tattoos in her honor.
"It's nice to know that he's behind bars, and he can't do it to somebody else," Jillian Stislicki said.
Pollack was supposed to meet Danielle Stislicki after work the night she disappeared.
"It's not enough yet," Pollack said. "To have her home would be closure. The constant wonder of where she is and when we're going to be able to say goodbye."
Stay with ClickOnDetroit for more information as it becomes available.