"The Doe Network" : International Center for Unidentified & Missing Persons'
Case File: Michelle Marie Ashley Nicholaou 2355DFMA

 The Doe Network

November 1988 photo April 1987 photo December 1986 photo date unknown3 date unknown2 date unknown3
child photo child photo2 teeth
Top Row - Left to Right : Michelle, November 1988; April 1987; December 1986; unknown

Michelle Marie Ashley Nicholaou

  • Case Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Missing Since: November / December, 1988
  • Location Last Seen: Holyoke, Hampden County, Massachusetts
  • Physical Description
    ** Listed information is from the time of disappearance.

  • Date of Birth: October 18, 1966
  • Age at Time of Disappearance: 22 years old
  • Race: White
  • Gender: Female
  • Height at Time of Disappearance: 5' 4
  • Weight at Time of Disappearance: 100-160 lbs. (Usually weighed 120 lbs.)
  • Hair Color: Sandy brown, wavy, thick hair
  • Eye Color: Brown
  • Alias(s) / Nickname(s): Nicholaou, Nicolaou, Nicolau, Nicols, Nichols, Nicholno, Nickol, maybe Nichalaon.
  • Distinguishing Marks/Features: Possibly two piercings in each ear; She gave birth to three children
  • Dentals: Growing up, Michelle had a gap in her two front teeth. Sometime while she was with Michael Nicholaou, she had the gap fixed.
  • Fingerprints: Not available
  • DNA: Available(National Missing Person Data Base )
  • Clothing & Personal Items
  • Clothing: Unknown
  • Jewelry: Unknown
  • Additional Personal Items: Unknown
  • Circumstances of Disappearance

    Michelle was last seen in Holyoke, Massachusetts between November and December, 1988. At the time, she was living with her common-law husband, Michael Nicholaou. According to family members, Nicholaou kept close tabs on Michelle, and was very controlling - to the point, he would not even allow her to shave her underarms. They traveled a lot, between Louisiana, Massachusetts, Virginia, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Vermont.

    Sometime in the beginning of August 1988, Michelle took their two children, and ran away from Nicholaou. Nicholaou was furious and drove to her relative's homes in New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts, looking for them. When Nicholaou found Michelle and the children, he forced her to go back with him; three to four months later, sometime after her sister's November 1988 wedding, Michelle vanished.

    When her family went looking for her in December, they found the home abandoned, the refrigerator full of food, the Christmas tree up with wrapped presents underneath, and her children's baby books, all left behind. There was no sign of Michelle. Michael Nicholaou had run off with the children. Michelle's family filed a missing persons report on December 20, 1988.

    In 2000, Michelle’s mom asked Private Investigator, Lynn-Marie Carty, to help her find out what happened to Michelle, and to track down Nicholaou and the children. Ms. Carty traced Nicholaou's steps right after Michelle's disappearance to Virginia. He left the children with a former employee of his porn shop, stole her van, and ran again. Later, he came back for the children, and went to his brother's house, where he left the kids for a year. He also visited his mother's house, also in Virginia; some former Army buddies in Florida; and lived with the children, in the family car in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida in 1992. When people asked about Michelle, he repeated a story of her running off with a drug dealer, or he told others she was dead.

    Michelle grew up in Connecticut River Valley, and met Nicholaou in Virginia. Nicholaou grew up in Long Island, and enlisted in the Army, serving in the Vietnam War. He and Michelle moved to Charlottesville, Virginia, where Nicholaou opened a porn shop. When the business failed, they moved to Holyoke, Massachusetts. They had a daughter born in Virginia in 1986, and a son was born in South Hampton, Massachusetts in 1988. The two children have since reunited with their mothers family.

    In October 2001, Investigator Carty, tracked Nicholaou down in Lutz, Florida. She called him and his wife Aileen. He denied even knowing Michelle, but finally admitted he did, but said they were never married, and claimed she ran off with a Columbian drug dealer. At the end of the conversation, Ms. Carty told Nicholaou she was giving Michelle's mom his number and hung up. According to investigators, Nicholaou tore the phone from the wall, and again went on the run. He and his wife Aileen moved to Georgia, where it is alleged Nicholaou ran her over with a car after an argument, in November 2005. On New Years Eve, in 2005, Nicholaou went to Florida where Aileen was recuperating, and gunned down his estranged wife, and stepdaughter Terrin Bowman. Surrounded by police, he fatally shot himself.

    According to authorities, Michael Nicholaou is now a person of interest in the Connecticut River Valley Serial Killings, rapes, disappearances and murders of other women in New Hampshire, Virginia, Texas, Florida, Vermont, Massachusetts, and possibly New York and Illinois.

    Investigating Agency(s)
    If you have any information about this case please contact;

  • Agency Name: Holyoke Police Department
  • Agency Contact Person: Detective Jorge Monsalve
  • Agency Phone Number: 413-322-6940

  • Agency Case Number: 01-248-1V
  • NCIC Case Number: M882077090
  • NamUs Case Number: MP #N/A
  • Please refer to this number when contacting any agency with information regarding this case.

    Information Source(s)
  • Crime Shadows
  • St. Petersburg Times 1/08/06
  • The Family of Michelle Marie Ashley Nicholaou

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    Last Updated: 10/15/14 - By: BR / Webmaster

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