Cold Case Unit
The Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Office Cold Case Unit is a part of the Detective Division. The Unit is currently working on three cold case homicides and is seeking any and all information on these cases to help bring them to a successful conclusion. Anyone with information on any of these cases is asked to contact Cold Case Investigators John Ensell or Joey Magiera at 716-938-9191, extension 2261 or 2205.
Karen A. Damon
Ms. Damon, date of birth June 30, 1956, was from Salamanca, New York. She was reported missing from her home on April 13, 1980. Her 4 year old daughter was found in the apartment alone by members of the Salamanca Police Department who were alerted to the situation by a neighbor who occupied an adjoining apartment. Ms. Damon was not seen again until her body was discovered in a shallow grave on April 15, 1989 in the Town of Little Valley, New York, approximately 12 miles from her home. The cause of her death was consistent with "head trauma."
Deanna Sue Willener
Ms. Willener, date of birth October 22, 1959, resided at 485 Center Rd., Akron, Ohio. Ms. Willener's badly decomposed body was discovered on August 17, 1989 along the Allegany River in the Town of Allegany, Cattaraugus County, New York. Investigation revealed that she was last believed alive in Akron, Ohio on July 31, 1989 when she picked up a prescription refill for thyroid medication at a local pharmacy in Akron. The cause of her death was attributed to gunshot wounds to the head. She was approximately 5'5" tall, weighed 120 pounds, had blonde/brown hair and blue eyes. Her body supported two tattoos that were professionally done and ten non-professional tattoos that are believed to have been done with India ink on various parts of her body. She was described by a family member as a person who had been abusing alcohol and marijuana since an early age. She is also believed to have used a variety of other drugs, making alcohol her drug of choice. She is also known to have traveled cross country with truckers frequently, but always returning to her home in Akron, Ohio. Ms. Willener is also known to have kept company with numerous male companions immediately prior to her disappearance.
Kenneth Lawrence Tatar
Mr. Tatar, date of birth August 16, 1969, resided at 10363 Route 219 in the Town of Ashford, Cattaraugus County, New York. On July 18, 1997 at 10:22p.m., Andrew Tatar, Sr. and his wife Shirley returned to their home after an evening out and discovered the body of their son deceased and sitting in a chair in their living room. He was last seen alive at 5:30p.m. on that date. Cause of death is listed as multiple shotgun wounds. There was no evidence of any forced entry, no property missing or stolen, and no sign of any criminal conduct other than the homicide. Entry to the residence was believed to be through an unlocked side door in the garage attached to the residence. The victim was known to use drugs, primarily marijuana and "crack" cocaine as well as alcohol.