Halloween mystery: Dad's bones positively ID'd

6:30 PM, Oct 31, 2012   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida - It is, indeed, a macabre murder mystery that is ironically receiving massive attention from law enforcement on the anniversary of the crime nearly two decades ago.

Beneath the murky water of Tampa Bay lies a mystery so deep, so sinister, that only bones remain to tell the story - a father gone missing, murdered on Halloween, 15-years-ago to the day back in 1997.

Michael Allan was working in Brooksville at the Nature Coast Chrysler Dodge dealership. The 44-year-old father had a home in Pasco County and was on his way to see his son for Halloween.

Tampa was his destination.

Turns out, that Halloween would be his last.  Michael was reported missing October 31, 1997.  His 1989 red Dodge Dayton was discovered nearly a month later on November 27, 1997 in a parking lot at 40960 on US Highway 19 North in Tarpon Springs. 

Sadly, Michael Allan would never make it to trick-or-treat with his son in Tampa.  Nearly a year after he was reported missing, his bones were found near the Howard Frankland bridge on July 14, 1998.

Michael's stepfather in Holiday, James Wallace, spoke exclusively with 10 news, begging the public for answers, asking anyone out there who knows anything to please come forward.

At his home in Holiday, Wallace spoke softly and with urgency.  "We've been waiting for years and years and years; we didn't think it would ever come to a close. We just want closure to it. If anyone knows anything, please help out. Give us some closure, that's all I can say," Wallace told 10 News.

So, this Halloween mystery remains, nearly two decades after it first started.

Here's the biggest question detectives are left with now - what happened to Michael Allan on his way to Tampa from Brooksville October 31, 1997? 

When the bones were found, they were autopsied at the medical examiner's office in Hillsborough County in Tampa, then sent to FBI headquarters in Quantico, VA where Michael Allan was ID'd through DNA.

Veteran homicide detective Lisa Schoenman from the Pasco County Sheriff's Office has been following the case closely, working diligently on every lead she comes across.  

"When I got the call that he had been actively identified, that was huge. That was definitely huge," said the detective.

Michael's killer is still out there.

But, this is a big break in the mystery - finding his bones, making a positive ID, more steps to solving this cold case.

Detective Schoenman told 10 News, "But, now that we have the body, I'm certain that we'll bring whoever did this to pay for what they did."

Since this case spans several counties, please call Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay at 1-800-873-TIPS.   You can remain anonymous with your information.

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