What Happened to Amanda DeGuio, Missing Since June?
On May 27, 2014, 24-year-old Amanda DeGuio, her two young daughters, her sister, and her mother returned to Drexel Hill from a fun family trip to Disney World. Less than three weeks later, on June 12th, Amanda disappeared from her mother’s home, where she lived with her girls, who were staying with their father that day. Amanda didn’t take her cell phone, credit cards or any extra clothing, and the family hasn’t heard from her since.
There are some complicated reasons for hope: Police have a warrant for her arrest — she’s a suspect in a crime allegedly committed a week after her family last saw her. And a witness says she saw Amanda a few months ago. But her family is impatient.
“It’s been eight months, and we have nothing,” says Nicole DeGuio, Amanda’s sister. “Her daughters want their mommy back. They keep asking when she’ll be coming home.”
“We’ve done everything we can possibly do,” says Upper Darby Police Superintendent Mike Chitwood. “In fact, I have the file sitting right in front of me on my desk. I just reread it last night.”
Chitwood says that after eight months, his department has had exactly zero leads in where the missing woman might be at this time. And he points out that there is no evidence of foul play. Amanda was known to frequent Upper Darby, Clifton Heights and Overbrook. Her tattoos include an Italian boot, lipstick marks on her lower back, a name under her breast, and a ring inked onto one of her fingers.
Nicole says that her sister suffers from drug and mental health issues, explaining that she became addicted to Percocet following complications from the birth of one of her daughters. After the disappearance, a friend of Amanda’s told Nicole that he had seen her shooting up heroin shortly before she went missing.
“But I don’t know if that’s true,” says Nicole. “All I know is that she was 100 percent sober at Disney World, and she seemed fine and happy when we got back. She was talking about a new job she was hoping to get, and she said she wanted to start dressing nicer and get her teeth fixed.”
A few weeks prior to the Disney World trip, Nicole discovered an escort ad featuring Amanda on Backpage.com. She says she confronted her sister about it, and that Amanda told her it was “just talk.” Nicole’s not so sure.
“If she was working for a man then, I don’t know if she’s being held against her will now,” Nicole worries. “She fell off the face of the earth.”
But maybe not completely. The Upper Darby Police Department has a warrant for Amanda’s arrest for an incident that occurred in a pharmacy on June 18th, about a week after Amanda’s family last saw her. Police say it was Amanda who picked up Oxycontin in someone else’s name, and she is wanted for identity theft and receiving stolen property, among other offenses. She previously pleaded guilty to retail theft in a separate case.
And earlier this week, with a missing-person flyer making the rounds on social media, a woman contacted Nicole to say she had seen Amanda in a second floor apartment in Swarthmore in September, living with an older man.
We spoke with the woman, who says she had been friends with Amanda for a few years and that on the day in question, Amanda called her because she needed a ride. She hadn’t heard from her in months prior to that and hasn’t since, but says that she appeared to be OK. “I think she was living with the guy, who was in his 40s,” says the woman. “She said she was working for him, too, but I am not sure what that meant.”
Nicole says she’s bringing the woman’s story to Chitwood when she meets with him on Monday. She’s not sure that the tip is real. But it’s something, which is more than she’s had until now. Nicole also says that she has access to Amanda’s Gmail account and that there hasn’t been any activity at all since the day her family last saw her.
“I am just praying that she doesn’t want to be found,” says Nicole. “I’m praying that’s all it is and not that she’s dead or being held against her will. My family knows a lot of people in Delaware County, and the fact that she hasn’t turned up yet is just weird.”
As far as the Upper Darby Police Department is concerned, the case is still open. “But, as tragic as it is, she has everything going against her,” says Chitwood.