On July 27, 1998, 20-year-old Sylena Jo Dalton was found on a couch in her own Strasburg, Virginia, apartment, brutally stabbed to death. The murder has never been solved — but in a shocking development that only added to the horror, Sylena’s 10-month-old baby, Allyson Kathleen Dalton, was missing from the home. Now, nearly two decades later, Virginia State Police say they have never given up on the search for the little girl, who would now be a 19-year-old woman, and they hope someone can help them by providing a new tip or clue as to where she might be.
Investigators recently released a new age-progression sketch showing what Allyson may look like today, in case any members of the public recognize her. At the same time, they are keeping up the search for the killer of the baby’s mom, who has also never been identified. In fact, the weapon used to kill the young mom never turned up, and several baby bottles were also taken from the scene of the murder.
The last time anyone saw the mom and baby alive was at about 7:45 a.m. in the second floor apartment on that July day 19 years ago, according to a report by WSET TV News in Virginia. Police believe that Sylena was murdered and Allyson abducted about two or three hours later, sometime between 9:15 and 10:30 that morning.
— VA State Police (@VSPPIO) October 11, 2017
In 2001, Selena’s mother, Angela Stover, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against her daughter’s boyfriend, Daniel Pompell, believed to be Allyson’s father. But the outcome of that lawsuit, if any, has not been made public. Police have named no suspects in the case, but they also say that Pompell was never exonerated. The man’s family maintains a Facebook page for him, titled Justice For Daniel E. Pompell, which can be seen at this link, and on which they contend that Pompell has been “wrongly accused” of the Dalton murder.
Though police note that Pompell has not been exonerated, they have also said they have no evidence to tie him to the crime, though his home was searched in the immediate aftermath of the murder, and Pompell has never been charged in connection with the killing of Sylena or the abduction of Allyson Dalton.
In 2016, a private investigator took up the cold case and claimed to uncover a new witness who lived on the floor beneath the Dalton apartment, according to a report by WHSV TV News in Virginia.
“We recently developed (and) found out that there was a person that lived underneath the apartment when it happened,” private investigator Christopher Borba told the station. “(The witness) heard a noise, whatever it was it was loud enough it caught their attention and the guy looked outside (and) saw a white male placing a baby in the passenger seat of a truck.”
Pompell had told police that he visited Sylena’s apartment on the morning of the murder, but left without entering after she failed to answer when he knocked on the door. But other neighbors told investigators that they neither heard nor saw anything out of the ordinary around the Dalton apartment that day.
According to a police warrant to search Pompell’s home served shortly after the murder, Pompell — then 29 years old — was “angry about the possibility of additional financial obligations on him if paternity of the child was proven,” according to a story on the case in the Washington Post.
“We do believe little Allyson was abducted by whoever murdered her mother,” Virginia State Police Captain Gary Wilson said on Thursday. “We are hopeful that someone will feel safe enough to come forward now, after all these years, and help bring a murderer and kidnapper to justice.”
[Featured Image by Justice for Sylena and Allyson Dalton Facebook Page]