Case of the Month: Iwona Mogila-Lisowska

From the Dziennik Lodzki Online, photography Krzysztof Szymczak, grid AdS

From the Dziennik Lodzki Online, photography Krzysztof Szymczak, grid AdS

Case of the Month: Iwona Mogila-Lisowska hardly has a web presence and if there is any information, it is in Polish.

I found an October 2015 article in Polish in which her father Adam Puzio was interviewed. I used Google translate. It gave me the gist of the article but some details were not well translated. I asked a friend from Poland to read the article too and to fill in any gaps. She gave me very interesting details that I used in this post.

Iwona Mogila-Lisowska(31) disappeared from Lodz, Poland, on November 11, 1992. She was born on August 22, 1961, in Wroclaw (Breslau). Her full name was Iwona Maria Mogila-Lisowska. She was white, dark brown hair, grey/green eyes, and was 5’5″ (165 cm.) Foul play is suspected.

Adam Puzio, her father, is the man in the newspaper picture sitting at the table with documents and pictures from his daughter in front of him. The pain is clearly etched on his face and in his eyes.

According to the article, he does not believe that Iwona is still alive. He still wants to learn the truth and hopes one day to properly bury his daughter’s remains.

Adam always carries his daughter’s pictures with him. He describes Iwona as a clever, serious woman with an interest in culture. He wanted her to become a doctor but she could not stand the sight of blood. She became a journalist instead. In the documents on the table you can see a diploma, a grade book, and a European driver’s license.

My friend explained that the diploma in the picture is from the University of Lodz. Iwona received a degree of magister (master) in Culture Studies with a minor in Film Studies on July 1st 1991 from the Department of Philology. Her overall grades were at the top of her class and she had met all formal criteria.

The little book below the diploma is her grade book. In the 90s, every university student was issued a grade book. After the final exams, professors wrote their grades in that book. Now everything is done electronically, but back then students would submit their grade books and exam cards to the department office for processing after their term finals. A lot of graduates kept these grade books after graduating for sentimental reasons.

Adam dreams about his daughter. In one of those dreams she is smiling and urges him to go back to work and possibly to go on with life.

What does Adam remember about Iwona’s last days? He returned from a business trip to Yugoslavia on November 10, 1992 and saw Iwona around 8pm. She had lit the fireplace. They drank champagne. Iwona was fond of it. They discussed some house renovations and then Adam went back home.

On November 10, 1992, around 4pm, Iwona visited her mother at work in a fish shop. She took her mom’s key to the parental home, grabbed some items for dinner, and returned the key to her mom. Her mom saw her in the car (the article does not specify who was driving or whether her husband was in the car as well). However, her mom didn’t say good-bye to her daughter (‘didn’t wave’) because she was sure that Iwona would come to visit her later. It was the last time she saw her daughter.

The next morning (November 11, 1992), Adam visited Iwona’s house but only his son-in-law was home. He told Adam that Iwona had not come home that night and thought she was still at work as she sometimes did. The day after (November 12, 1992), the son-in-law told Adam that Iwona had left for Germany and would be gone for about a week. She had traveled to Germany before. Iwona was reported missing on November 19, 1992.

According to the son-in-law, she had taken her passport and a large amount of clothes. This was never confirmed according to the Doe Network. They state that she did not take any documents nor her car. We indeed see some documents in the picture with Adam. During a search of the house a bag of clothes was found buried in the yard. Inside the bag were items that Iwona supposedly had packed for Germany. They also found a carpet. The Doe Network’s page says that the carpet came from under the fireplace. However, the article from Dziennik Lodski said that the carpet came from a room where a tennis table stood. In any case, if these items are still properly preserved the bag handles and the carpet should be examined with the M-Vac for touch DNA.

My friend noted that Iwona used a double last name. “When women in Poland get married, they can keep their maiden name and add the husband’s name next. Her maiden name was Puzio (her father’s last name – according to the article, she is his biological daughter) so she would rather be called Iwona Puzio-Lisowska.” This is curious indeed.

Over the years, Adam remained active in Iwona’s case. He tried to get the Ministry of Justice involved but without luck. He stayed in touch with several journalists to keep his daughter’s case in the news. He even went to Germany to look for Iwona.

He does not believe that his daughter disappeared out of her own free will to such as to escape her past life. She apparently turned down a marriage proposal that would have enabled her to become a permanent resident in Germany.

Adam feels guilty for not having been able to prevent his daughter’s fate. He enlisted the help of psychics to find answers. Nobody has been able to tell him whether Iwona is still alive. A psychic thought Iwona might be in a lake so Adam hired divers. They found nothing. Adam followed up on every tip and financed more searches. Nothing.

The article mentioned that there was a septic tank in Iwona’s garden. Adam found bones in a cesspool and was convinced that they were his daughter’s remains. Alas, court experts determined that the bones were not human. In the comment section below the mentioned article one person says that repairs were made to the house after Iwona disappeared and another mentions that the son-in-law should take a lie detector test. I agree that ground penetrating radar should be used to search the walls and concrete slabs below the house. I hope that her husband indeed took a polygraph test however, I have not been able to find that online.

In 2013, Adam filed a request with the District Attorney’s Office to resume the suspended investigation into his daughter’s disappearance. The office responded that unless there are any new leads, they will not. His next step was to ask the courts to declare Iwona dead. The court granted that request. Iwona’s adopted date of death is December 31, 2002. Adam explains that he did this to reach some sort of peace but he still hopes for a discovery.

Iwona was his second daughter. His oldest, Ursula, is impaired from birth due to nerve damage. Her parents care for her at home. She is three years older than Iwona. Iwona has a younger sister and according to the article, she stated that since Iwona went missing things have not been the same in the family. Adam acknowledges that. He has no grave to visit. He has no resting point where he can sit and talk to his child. So he bought a grave however his wife and youngest daughter do not accept it as Iwona’s last resting place.

Adam is encouraged when missing people show up alive decades later. If alive, Iwona would be 55 years old and she might have children. Maybe even some grandchildren. Her house remains vacant. Adam takes care of it. He keeps hoping.

This case needs more media attention especially in Europe. Let’s help Adam and share his daughter’s case online.

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The pictures used are from the Dziennik Lodzki Online and the photographer is listed as Krzysztof Szymczak. I just placed the pictures in a grid.

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Resources:

Dziennik Lodzki online magazine (translated)

Doe Network

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In the series “Case of the Month” I highlight old cold cases. These posts are not an in-depth analysis and of course, sometimes more information can be found online and in newspaper archives. The goal of these posts is to get the cases back in the spotlights, to get people talking again, and if anything to make sure that we do not forget the victims. Just because their cases are cold does not mean that we can forget about them.

If you have any thoughts about this case then I encourage you to post them on your own social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, etc. Every time that we mention Iwona’s name online we enhance her digital footprint.

We must make sure that Iwona gets a better web presence if we ever wish to find answers in her case. You can help by linking to or sharing this post.

Thank you for remembering Iwona Maria Mogila-Lisowska with us.

H/T KS.