Girly Chew Hossencofft
Missing since September 9, 1999 from Albuquerque, New Mexico
Circumstances of Disappearance
Girly Chew Hossencofft was last seen on September 9, 1999. When she failed to show up for work at Bank of America the following day, concerned coworkers contacted the Albuquerque Police.
They entered Girly's apartment and found evidence of a struggle with blood spatters on clothing, the couch and the carpeting. Girly was nowhere to be found.
Within hours, her bloody clothing, blouse, shorts and panties, along with a bloodstained tarpaulin, was found along U.S. Route 60, just west of Magdalena, and her purse was found in the middle of an Albuquerque street.
Police have scoured the area, 100 miles southwest of Albuquerque and also have searched the foothills of the Sandia mountains east of Albuquerque. The area, on both the north and south sides of U.S. 60, were mined in the 1950s and '60s for copper. Most of the shafts are only 35-100 feet deep, but they are sufficiently deep enough to hide a body. These old mine shafts became the focus of the search for Girly Hossencofft's body, since it was a short distance from where Girly's bloody clothing was found.
Girly told friends and an FBI agent in the weeks leading up to her disappearance that if anything happened to her they should immediately focus on her estranged husband, Diazien Hossencofft.
Diazien Hossencofft was arrested September 21, 1999 in Charleston, South Carolina. Girly had left her husband in February 1999, filed for divorce, and obtained a restraining order against him.
Girly Hossencofft's coworkers told police that her husband had beaten her and threatened her life.
Chew apparently met Hossencofft while vacationing in California. She had worked at two banks in Malaysia and often visited America as a tourist. She married Hossencofft about a year before she began working in Albuquerque.
A special state grand jury into her disappearance charged Diazien Hossencofft and his friend Linda Henning with murder, kidnapping, conspiracy, evidence-tampering and numerous other counts in November 1999. On January 2, 2000, Diazien was returned to New Mexico to face the murder charges. Diazien pleaded guilty to murdering Girly on January 9, 2002, to avoid the death penalty should he be found guilty by a jury. He was sentenced to life in prison plus 61 years, and sent to the State Penitentiary in Los Lunas.
On October 26, 2000, the jury found Henning guilty of pre-meditated first-degree murder. She was sentenced to 73 years in prison.
On February 12, 2001, Bill Miller was arrested in his Albuquerque home for his role in the murder of Girly. Evidence surfaced that Miller had been hired by Diazien to dispose of the body. During the investigation of Miller, it was learned he was an avid hunter, owned a cabin in Socorro County and had several favorite campgrounds in the region where he preferred to hunt. All of these areas, including his cabin and mines near Kelly, were searched. No solid evidence linking Miller to the Hossencofft murder was found. On July 16, 2003, Bill Miller pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence — he was sentenced to 10 months supervised probation.
Diazien signed a plea agreement to reveal the location of Girly's body in exchange for serving his life sentence in Wyoming, which does not have the death penalty. Diazien identified an area along I-40 near the Rio Puerco where Miller supposedly buried Girly's body. Police were unable to find the body and Diazien refused to reveal any further details. Shortly thereafter, he was transferred to Wyoming to serve his life sentence.
This was the first murder case in New Mexico that resulted in convictions without a body. It was solved and tried primarily through DNA and trace evidence.
Although two people are serving time in prison for Girly's death, the Hossencofft case remains a cold case in that the exact nature of her murder and the whereabouts of her body remain a mystery.
Investigators Albuquerque Police Department
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Albuquerque Police Department
El Defensor Chieftain
Associated Press Archive
The Albuquerque Journal
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