• Back Road Mysteries Staff

Mississippi Mystery: School girl went to restroom in 1973 and was never seen or heard from again

Updated: Aug 2, 2020

There are seventeen cold cases currently listed on the Mississippi Coast Crimestoppers website, and the oldest one is also one of the most baffling ones listed there.

Thirteen year-old Rose Marie Levandoski was abducted February. 1, 1973, some time after she got permission fro her teacher to go to the restroom at St. Martin Junior High School in Ocean Springs, Mississippi..

The teen vanished shortly after noon, leaving behind her purse and a brown reversible cape her mother had made her.

No one, they said, other than their daughter’s best friend, Diane Jones Guiterrez, seemed to think anything was wrong when Rose, a quiet and reserved young lady with a love of horses, failed to return to class.

Guiterrez repeatedly asked the teacher if she could go check on Rose, but the requests were denied. At the time, the school district was using temporary buildings and to get to the restroom, Rose had to go outside and into another building. Guiterrez said she knew something was wrong.

Rose’s teachers marked her present for the rest of the day, though she wasn’t there. One of the teachers later told her parents she listed Rose as present so she wouldn’t get into any trouble. Rose, after all, was a good student who didn’t cause problems.

It wasn’t until school let out for the day that Rose’s parents would learn their daughter wasn’t coming home.

Three weeks later, an off-duty Biloxi police officer fishing in the Tchoutacabouffa River just east of Corso’s Bridge in Biloxi found the eighth-grader’s body lying near some brush. She’d been stabbed in the back and had lacerations to her face.

Her clothes -- a brown skirt, a bulky white sweater and a pair of white boots -- have never been found.

A tip had come in the day she disappeared from a trucker using the CB handle 'Yellow Bird' claiming she was at a ballgame.

Other people have come forward with information, but nothing that leads to her killer.

A week before her body was found, one woman remembers hearing a "blood-curdling scream" near her house.

Other incidents include a girl calling the family and saying that she knew where Rose was and a man who threatened to do the same thing he did to Rose.

The threat was made to a female working in a Gulfport office.

Larry Eugene Mann

According to officials, the only suspect in the case at the time was a man named Larry Eugene Mann, who was executed in Florida on April 10, 2013 for the 1980 murder of 10-year-old Elisa Vera Nelson.

Mann had a history of pedophilia and psychotic depressions.

Although this case is over 47-years-old, it is still considered an open and active investigation by several law enforcement agencies in Mississippi.

If you have any information that might shed some life on the tragic disappearance of Rose Marie Levandoski you are asked to contact the Jackson County Sheriff Office at (228) 769-3063.

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