MA NADINE JOYCE MENDONCA: Missing from Fall River, MA - 12 July 1991 - Age 25


Well-known member
Nadine Joyce Mendonca

NamUs #MP42348 The National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs)

Age last seen: 25
Race: White female
Hair color: Brown
with some reddish highlights
Eyes color: Hazel
Height: 59.0 to 63.0
Weight: 95.0 to 130.0
Scars and marks:
tattoo of a flower on her shoulder
Clothing and accessories: wore prescription glasses for visual
Transportation methods: Chevrolet Monte Carlo Sedan 1980, color brown, type commercial; The vehicle was impounded at the Massachusetts State Police barracks in Middleboro, and was fingerprinted back in 1991
Dental: Is not available
DNA: Sample available - not yet submitted
Fingerprints: is not available


Nadine went to Jake's Saloon on Pleasant St in Fall River to shoot some darts. She was said to have left the bar to go to New Bedford with a male companion. No one one heard from her in 24 hours so family went to her house to check on her. The following Monday a missing persons report was filed. Two weeks later on July 28, her vehicle was found in Weld Square. Nadine has not been seen or heard from ever again.

edited by staff to add media com link

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Search for justice continues decades after disappearance of Nadine Mendonca
Monday, November 21st 2022

The date is July 12, 1991, a warm summer night in Fall River.

Nadine Mendonca, 25, is seen getting into her car and driving to one of her favorite hangouts on Pleasant Street, a bar called Jake’s Saloon.

“She just left a wake, and she went to go shoot some darts at Jake’s,” Nadine’s brother, Shawn Mendonca, said.

It's a bar she frequented often, but what started as an ordinary night out for her suddenly took a dark turn.

“She met a gentleman, and I can only assume about closing time they left Jake’s and she was never found again after that,” Shawn said.

That night was the last time Shawn spoke to his sister, a memory that has haunted him for the past 31 years.

“It’s hard to explain because it just gnaws you right inside your stomach, right in your heart,” he said. “You got something taken away from you and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

Nadine was extremely close to her family, particularly her parents.

When they didn't hear from her after the wake, they feared the worst.

News articles from the early 90s show police interviewed the man Nadine left with that night but ruled him out as a suspect.

While that person’s name has never publicly been released, detectives said there were able to corroborate his alibi that Nadine drove him home to Fall River from the bar that night, but they didn’t have any contact after that.

A major piece of evidence was discovered two weeks later, when Nadine’s vehicle was found in Weld Square in New Bedford.

The driver's window of the 1980 Monte Carlo was smashed in and blood was found in the trunk.

Police took a sample of the blood, which DNA testing later confirmed belonged to Nadine.

The discovery sent shockwaves through Nadine's parents, who NBC 10 interviewed back in 1991.

“I'm afraid I have to accept whatever is to come,” Nadine’s mother, Rita Mendonca said. “I’m preparing myself for the inevitable.”

Weld Square was in the headlines for all the wrong reasons at the time.

“I think the Weld Square aspect is concerning because it was connected to the highway killings, which remain unsolved at this this point,” Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn said.

In the early 90s, police ruled out a connection between those murders and Nadine’s disappearance, but to this day, Shawn is convinced his sister was the victim of a crime.

“She was murdered,” he said.

While police have never been able to prove that, DNA was in its infancy when Nadine vanished.

Now, new advancements are giving investigators renewed hope.

“That’s another case that we are focusing on, again potentially to bring closure, at least an identification and determine potentially if a criminal activity was involved,” Quinn said.

Investigators in the Bristol County DA’s Cold Case Unit are uploading all the evidence into a database, in hopes it’ll someday give them the answers they’ve been searching for.

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