FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. – It’s been nearly four years since Danielle Stislicki disappeared, and Local 4 spoke one-on-one with investigators of the case about some key pieces of evidence they found that day.
Stislicki, 28, of Farmington Hills, walked out of her office in Southfield on Dec. 2, 2016, and was never seen again.
“Just the fact that Dani did not show up for dinner that night -- that alone was completely out of character for her,” Michigan State Police Lt. Sarah Krebbs said.
“From the way the vehicle, the apartment -- some of the pieces of evidence we began noticing -- that could have been something,” Farmington Hills police Chief Jeff King said.
ORIGINAL STORY: Police seek missing 28-year-old Farmington Hills woman
It was a cold Friday night when Danielle walked out of her Southfield office. According to eyewitnesses, she stopped to help someone, and then she was never seen again.
Witnesses said that person she stopped to help was Floyd Galloway, a security guard at her MetLife office on Telegraph Road.
In the time since, Galloway has been charged in her murder and is awaiting trial, while Danielle’s family waits for answers.
“(He was) one of the few security guards that would extend himself,” Danielle’s mother, Ann Stislicki, said. “YOu don’t suspect someone like that.”
Ann Stislicki worked at the same Southfield office as her daughter, and they both knew Galloway.
“Her and I would meet in the cafeteria on her floor, and we would have lunch together and he would appear there,” Ann Stislicki said.
She admits she thought it was strange, and that Danielle told her she felt uncomfortable with Galloway. At one point, Danielle even said something to him.
“The point of being very pointed, saying, ‘I don’t think you should be up here,’” Ann Stislicki said.
The family thought the issue was solved, but soon afterward, Danielle went missing from work.
“I was the operations lieutenant of the investigative section,” King said.
King is the Farmington Hills police chief now, but four years ago, he was one of the first investigators to arrive at Danielle’s Farmington Hills apartment.
“Putting the job aside, the amount of family support that the Stislickis fathered that day to assist us in doing an area search (struck me),” King said.
He’s limited on what he can say because of the impending trial against Galloway, but he shared some of the evidence that caught his attention that day.
“There were certain aspects of the car that caused immediate concern,” King said.
Her car was parked just eight feet away from her apartment door.
“So, one of the first things we did was, in processing the vehicle, we impounded the vehicle and brought it here,” King said.
“Usually there is some distance put between the victim and their vehicle, on purpose,” Krebbs said. “That also added a very mysterious twist to it -- that her car was there.”
Krebbs has worked with family members in long-term missing person’s cases for 20 years. She was brought in to help the family during this investigation.
“When they went into her apartment and knew that she had left behind her belongings, her cat -- they knew that day that this is very wrong,” Krebbs said.
Tips started coming in to the Farmington Hills Police Department. Officers worked overtime on the case.
“The last known place that we could kind of start back to -- and we went back to there and we really started there,” Krebbs said. “As we started and spoke with people, that is where we started to gain that insight into, ‘OK, now we are getting a better picture into what transpired that day.’”
Police searched Galloway’s home in Berkley, removing many items, including a mattress. The former private school student who went to Shrine and played sports was named a person of interest in Danielle’s disappearance.
Then, there was a major twist in the case when Galloway admitted to sexually attacking a jogger at Hines Park in Livonia. The attack happened three months before Danielle’s disappearance.
The jogger described her attacker to Krebbs and. She drew a sketch, and that, along with DNA collected at Galloway’s home, took him from a person of interest in the Stislicki case to being charged with premeditated first-degree murder.
“Honestly, this case, in doing this 25 years -- this is some of the most phenomenal police work I have ever seen,” King said.
Jessica Perry, Danielle’s cousin, said they are just a few years apart in age and they grew up together.
“There is not a lot of closure where people have peace,” Perry said. “I don’t think that has been found in everyone.”
Perry said her cousin was considerate and effortlessly kind. Her memories of Danielle revolve around the holidays -- which are now very different for the Stislicki family.
“There are certain memories you want to keep kinda holy,” Perry said. “Just still filled with that joy that she had, and I think when you get to talking, it just evidently ends up a conversation about her last hours, and it’s difficult. It really is.”
Perry is a mother and admits that after Danielle’s disappearance, she is more cautious and has had to teach her children difficult lessons.
“That was really hard, because you teach them there are not monsters,” Perry said. “There is nothing in their closet. There is nothing under their bed. But there are monsters. There are people who are out there who very easily could take a lot away from you.”
Investigators are still actively searching for more clues in the case.
“We like to say that people get closure, but they never really do,” King said. “What they get is answers. We need answers for them.”
Galloway’s trial was supposed to begin next month, but it has been moved to 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
You can see some photos of Danielle Stislicki in the gallery below.