Jilly Todaro

Jilly Todaro

Johnstown police detectives say they’ve found a clump of human hair inside a Franklin Street apartment, and they believe it belongs to a woman missing since December.

Jilly Todaro, 43, went missing Dec. 12 from the apartment she shared in the 500 block of Franklin Street with then-boyfriend Brian Giles, 45.

When police searched the apartment, they found human hair in a plastic bucket, women’s clothing, cleaning supplies and other evidence indicating the place had been “thoroughly cleaned and scrubbed,” according to court documents. They found no purse or wallet.

Investigators did find a letter Todaro apparently wrote to Giles telling him she had found a new lover.

“It was a handwritten note, but we can’t confirm it was her handwriting,” police Det. Cory Adams said.

Physical evidence is being tested at the police crime lab.

Although no one has been charged in connection with her disappearance, Giles remains a prime suspect, Adams said. 

Giles is in Cambria County Prison, charged with assaulting Todaro one day before she disappeared. He has denied knowing her whereabouts.

Detectives continue piecing together Todaro’s movements before her disappearance.

“The last time we can confirm any sighting was downtown on Dec. 12, via surveillance footage,” Adams said.

Detectives have made unsuccessful attempts to reach Todaro by phone. Her cellphone has either been turned off or the battery has died. Records show Todaro last used her government Electronic Benefit Transfer card on Dec. 11 at Sheetz on Haynes Street. 

Detectives also contacted employees at places Todaro was known to frequent, including the Women’s Help Center, the CamTran bus terminal and St. Vincent de Paul Family Kitchen.

Crime investigators are operating on the premise that Todaro is no longer alive.

“We’ve thoroughly searched the Kernville section of the city with no results,” Adams said. “We are still searching for Jilly.”

Giles remains at the center of another missing person case.

Giles’ wife, Nancy Giles, 40, was reported missing in October 2018 after she walked way from the couple’s residence and never returned.

Her skeletal remains were found in May 2019, buried about two feet deep along a trail on the Inclined Plane hillside near Roosevelt Boulevard in downtown Johnstown, not far from the Stone Bridge, by a man using a metal detector. The death was ruled a homicide. No charges have been filed.

Patrick Buchnowski is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at 532-5061. Follow him on Twitter @PatBuchnowskiTD.

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