The four-year-old case of missing Eastern Kentucky University student Molly Dattilo is now being investigated as a homicide.

The new information was released Friday at 9:40 a.m. by a family member at www.dattilofamily.org, which has been the family’s way of communicating information and updating news surrounding Dattilo’s disappearance on July 6, 2004.

The man who Dattilo allegedly was last seen with on the day of her disappearance had not been publicly named until Friday.

John E. Shelton recently provided the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department with information that coerced police to change the classification of the case from a missing persons to a homicide, based on information reported Friday by the Dattilo family.

“Shelton, who is currently incarcerated on unrelated charges, has offered the information about Dattilo in exchange for a plea bargain,” according to information posted at www.dattilofamily.org. “Police aren’t releasing what that information is, but it was enough to move her case from a missing person to a murder.”

At the time of her disappearance, Dattilo, a Madison, Ind., native, had completed four years at EKU on a track and field scholarship and was enrolled to begin her fifth year at the college.

Dattilo, then 23, vanished from the vicinity of her Westlake Apartments residence in Indianapolis, Ind., where she was living while taking summer classes at Indiana University Purdue University at Indianapolis.

On the day of her disappearance, all of Molly’s personal items were left behind, including her identification, money, ATM card, cell phone, clothes and her car, at her apartment, said Molly’s brother, Ben Dattilo, during a 2007 press conference in Indianapolis.

Molly allegedly met the man at a woman’s residence in the same apartment complex in which she was staying.

She then accompanied the man for a rowboat ride on the apartment property before the two ate dinner at a Taco Bell restaurant, according to Ben Dattilo.

Following the dinner, Molly and the man are believed to have arrived at a nearby Thornton’s gas station in Indianapolis.

“We have every reason to believe that Molly placed her last phone call in (the man’s) presence from a pay phone at this location around 11 p.m.,” her brother said. “This call was disconnected when her friend picked up to answer.”

Three of Molly’s sisters asked the national audience of “The Maury Show” in October 2006 for help finding information about her disappearance.

“It’s very difficult for me to believe that there are people out there that can handle living with such a terrible secret,” Kendra Skidmore, Molly’s sister, said during the show.

“The Dattilo Family applauds the decision of IMPD to step up its investigation of Molly’s disappearance and once again asks that anyone with useful information please come forward immediately.”

A $100,000 reward from Dattilo’s family remains in effect.

The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department can be reached at 1-317-327-3811.



Ronica Shannon can be reached at rshannon@richmondregister.com or 623-1669, Ext. 234.

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