State Police Seek Public’s Help In Cracking Cold Case

June 1, 2018 GMT

HUNTINGTON TWP. — State police think someone local may know something that could help them solve a 1970 cold case regarding the disappearance of a Huntington Twp. woman.

Investigators have launched a renewed effort to find out what happened to Ilonka Cann, 22.

Cann vanished one day in May 1970, leaving behind a 15-month-old son and her husband. She was believed to be pregnant at the time.

“We realize this disappearance was some time ago; however, we believe that there are those in our community that have knowledge or are unaware they have some information related to Ilonka’s disappearance,” state police at Shickshinny wrote in a news release.


Cann’s case was highlighted during a missing persons event Thursday at Wilkes University, hosted by the state police and the Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office.

Thursday would have been Cann’s 70th birthday.

“I would like to know what happened. I would like to find her,” said Cann’s sister, Anita Harless, 62, who traveled from Killeen,Texas, to attend the event. “It may be almost 50 years, but with the advances in technology there is always that hope.”

State police said Cann went missing around May 25 or 26 in 1970. Her husband, a Berwick school teacher at the time, reported he arrived home and she was gone.

“Ever since that day, Ilonka has not been seen or heard from again,” state police said.

The Canns lived on a farm on Cann Road in Huntington Twp.

After she went missing, local emergency responders searched the farm and surrounding areas. A scuba dive team from the Scranton Police Department searched a pond on the couple’s property. There was no sign of Cann.

Police said an aggressive investigation into the case was “quietly undertaken” over the past few years and new information has been developed.

They obtained DNA samples from “the victim’s relatives” and those samples were put in a missing persons database to help identify Cann if and when her remains are found.

State police are encouraging anyone with information about Cann “regardless of how insignificant” to contact them at 570-542-4117.

Contact the writer:; 570-821-2055; @cvbobkal