Diane K. Van Reeth
Van Reeth, approximately 1995; John Kalhauser
Date reported missing : 08/10/1995
Missing location (approx) :
Missing classification : Endangered Missing
Gender : Female
DOB : 11/16/1959 (61)
Age at the time of disappearance: 35 years old
Height / Weight : 5'7, 140 pounds
Distinguishing characteristics, birthmarks, tattoos
: Caucasian female. Brown hair.
Information on the case from local sources, may or may not be correct : Van Reeth was last seen during the morning hours of August 10, 1995 in Tucson, Arizona. She departed from her family's residence in the 2800 block of east MacKenzie Street in the Winterhaven area and was en route to her job at Tucson Electric Power, where she was a research coordinator in the tax services office, at the time of her disappearance. Van Reeth never arrived as expected and has never been heard from again.
Van Reeth's Ford Aerostar minivan was discovered abandoned on August 12, two days after her disappearance. The vehicle was parked in the 2800 block of east Fort Lowell Road in Tucson. Van Reeth's keys were inside the minivan, but there was no other evidence of her at the scene. Authorities stated no indication of foul play was discovered.
Van Reeth's husband's fingerprints were located on the vehicle. He had been going by the name Don Stecchi. Investigators learned that he had been residing in Arizona under an assumed identity for years.
His real name was John Joseph Kalhauser and he was wanted in Massachusetts on aggravated assault and attempted murder charges stemming from a 1979 incident; he had allegedly tried to kill his former girlfriend's new boyfriend. He fled to avoid a trial and relocated to Arizona.
Authorities also learned that Kalhauser also pleaded guilty to manslaughter when he was 17 years old; he had shot and killed a man in Massachusetts. A photo of Kalhauser is posted with this case summary.
Investigators do not know if Van Reeth was aware of her husband's actual identity or had any knowledge of his criminal past. She was in the process of divorcing Kalhauser at the time of her 1991 disappearance, and was seeking custody of their two sons.
Kalhauser was extradited back to Massachusetts shortly after his wife disappeared and was sentenced to 29 years in prison for the 1979 attempted murder charges. Authorities classified Van Reeth's case as a probable homicide afterwards.
Kalhauser pleaded no contest to Van Reeth's homicide in 1999 and was sentenced to 20 additional years in prison, to be served concurrently with the established Massachusetts jail time. In 2015, he was identified as a person of interest in the murder of 20-year-old Brenda Gerow.
She'd left Nashua, New Hampshire with Kalhauser in 1980. Her body was found near the fairgrounds in Pima County, Arizona in April 1981, but it wasn't identified for 34 years. Kalhauser was carrying a photograph of Gerow when he was arrested for Van Reeth's murder.
Van Reeth's remains have never been located. Her cousin ultimately adopted and raised her two children.
Other information and links : ncy
Tucson Police Department
Pima County Sheriff's Department
September 2021 updates and sources
The Tucson Weekly
The Arizona Daily Star
The Lowell Sun
Interactive Missing Person Search Map