By Courtney Hibler
This is the story of what police commonly call a “cold case,” an unsolved missing persons case.
This is the story of a wife and mother of two who went missing at 27-years-old and is still missing 24 years after she disappeared from her Girard home.
This is the story of Charlotte Nagi Pollis and the family that aches to find out what happened to her.
“It’s been 24 years since she’s been missing,” Ali Nagi, Charlotte’s brother and a retired reserve deputy from Trumbull County, said. “As a family, we haven’t given up hope that the truth will be revealed one day.”
Girard Police were assigned to the case and could not be reached for comment. There is no information on Charlotte’s possible whereabouts and there have been no arrests of any suspects in the case.
“It seemed like they could only investigate so far and the detectives always told me their hands were tied,” Ali said. “Ever since then, I started working on Charlotte’s case in 1994 and continue to do so.”
Charlotte’s case is somewhat unusual, but not rare. People in the age group 25 to 35 years old don’t go missing as often as others, according to an analysis of 14 years of data provided by the Youngstown Police Department. They account for about 10 percent of the cases. Ryan Curry, a Youngstown police officer, said a lot of missing persons are usually teenage runaways.
“Runaways and missing persons cases happen frequently,” Curry said. “I usually see younger kids, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it doesn’t happen to older folks too.”
According to the Charley Project, a website profiling cold cases to remember those who are missing, Charlotte was diagnosed with an acute ear infection and was taken to the hospital by her husband, Paul Pollis, then 27, the day before she disappeared. While the couple was at the hospital, Paul’s parents watched the couple’s two children at their Girard home.
The next morning at 8:50 a.m., Charlotte’s mother called her daughter only for Paul to answer and say she was still asleep.
Later in the day, Paul told authorities he took his two children to run errands with him while Charlotte stayed home to rest. Witnesses said they saw Paul driving around that morning, but his children were not with him.
Paul said he and his children returned to their home around 4 p.m. and discovered Charlotte was not there and believed she had gone out because she was feeling better. At 7:30 p.m., Paul became worried and reported her missing.
“I remember listening to my answering machine at the message Paul left,” Ali said.
Charlotte had asked Ali and his wife to take care of her children if anything were to happen to her and this caused confusion for the family.
“I asked her what was going on and she said everything was fine,” he said.
Amriah Nagi, Charlotte’s sister, told authorities that she saw two sets of footprints in the snow leading from the side door of the house to a small shed in the yard.
She said the shed was her main concern as the doors appeared to bulging out. When she wanted to look inside, she was denied access by Paul.
When Ali returned to Charlotte’s home the next day, he said the doors of the shed looked normal.
“We came back with cutters and the doors were not bulging at all,” Ali said. “All of the tools were pushed to one side of the shed which seemed odd.”
According to the Charley Project, Authorities soon searched the Pollis residence and found the home was thoroughly cleaned shortly before the disappearance.
Ali said he found a blood-splattered blanket as well as two bloodstained pillows in the house.
“They were turned over to the Girard Police Department,” he said. “It all just confirmed to me that Charlotte was murdered.”
As the investigation progressed, the Charley Project said authorities found a human blood stain in a vehicle belonging to Paul and Charlotte Pollis. When trying to get the blood stain tested, it was found to be too small to be analyzed.
“In order to analyze something such as blood, you need a decent sized sample,” Heather Erme, registered nurse at Trumbull Regional Medical Center, said. “Unfortunately, many times a small sample is all that is available and it can’t be used.”
Ali said three days after Charlotte’s disappearance, Paul agreed to take a scheduled polygraph test but didn’t show up. He soon disappeared from town and left a note claiming he loved Charlotte and would never harm her intentionally, Ali said.
“According to Paul, he left town to get his thoughts in order because everyone was driving by his home and looking at him,” he said.
According to a story in the Tribune Chronicle, Paul returned to Trumbull County several months later and was charged with obstructing official business after failing to be available for questioning and skipping his polygraph test. A judge soon dismissed the charges because the Fifth Amendment states Paul had the right to remain silent.
Paul was contacted and could not be reached for comment.
Investigators said they believe they know who is responsible for Charlotte’s disappearance, but have never gathered enough evidence to prove it.
With no one being charged in Charlotte’s death or disappearance, Ali hopes the truth will come out.
“The family needs closure and she needs to be put to rest in a proper spot,” Ali said. “Somebody knows what happened and hopefully they will one day come forward.”
Ali said he loves Charlotte and prays he finds her and prosecutes whoever harmed her.