YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Debra Bacor is a former soldier and she knows all about fighting.
But instead of fighting for her country, she is now fighting for her mother, Delores Donoghue, who has been missing since Jan. 3, 2000.
“I’ll keep fighting,” Bacor said last week from her home in Colorado, where she was getting together notes on the case she kept to give to investigators. “I don’t know what else to do.”
Donoghue, who was 46 at the time she was announced missing and would now be 65, was last heard from on a telephone call with her twin sister from a hotel in Girard. Bacor said the call ended abruptly and that was the last anybody ever heard of her.
“All of a sudden, the phone drops and no one hears from her again,” Bacor said.
Youngstown Police Detective Sgt. David Sweeney, who heads up missing persons investigations for the department, said he has taken DNA swabs from Donoghue’s relatives and submitted them to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, or NAMUS.
However, that DNA is useless unless there is other DNA to match against it, Sweeney said.
Sweeney also said he has interviewed relatives of Donoghue. He said he did not want to speculate on what might have happened to her.
“There has been no new information that has come in,” Sweeney said.
Bakor, who served in military intelligence in the U.S. Army, said her mother’s death came at a volatile time for her family. Just before her mother disappeared, Bakor’s parents were staying with her in Colorado.
But after a series of family disputes, Bakor’s parents went back to Youngstown, where her father died in November of 1999. Just before she went missing, Bacor said her mother was ill and wanted to come back to Colorado.
The night that she disappeared, Donoghue left the home of a sister who lived on the South Side, wearing only one shoe, Bakor said. Bakor said Donoghue went to another bar, called a taxi then went to a hotel in Girard and called her twin sister, who lived in Hubbard.
It was then that the phone went dead, and it was the last time anyone ever spoke with her mother, Bacor said.
Bacor, a Struthers native who graduated from the Mahoning County Career and Technical Center before she joined the Army, said the fight over the years to find out what happened to her mother has been a hard one, but she insists she will not give up.
“It’s my mom. You don’t stop,” Bacor said. “I don’t know what else to do. I don’t work on it as hard as I used to. I don’t want to make it about me.”
Anyone with information on the case can call Youngstown police at 330-747-7911.
This story is part of a series of cold cases that WKBN is examining.
Do you have a cold case that you’d like us to look into further? Submit a cold case to WKBN.