Her Murder Led to Serial Killer 1
Fugitive Kidnapper Kills Himself 2
Unlikely Manhunt Leads to Tragedy 3

Micaela Costanzo, 16, Disappears After Leaving School, Found in Shallow Grave

By Pete Kotz in missing persons, unsolved
Thursday, March 10, 2011 at 11:27 am
Micaela-Costanzo_opt-1.jpg
UPDATE: Police say that 18-year-old Kody Patten has confessed to murdering Micaela "Mickey" Costanzo after school. He says they drove the country and had an argument, so he beat her to death with a shovel. See update after the jump...

Micaela-Costanzo-basketball.jpg
Police have tentatively identified a body found in a shallow grave as Micaela's.
Micaela "Mickey" Costanzo was one of West Wendover High School's best students, knocking down straight A's while participating in basketball and track. Last Thursday, surveillance tape caught the 16-year-old girl leaving her Nevada school after track practice at 5:15 p.m.

But she wouldn't arrive home. Nor would she be seen alive again.

Along with volunteers, police launched a ground search for any sign of the missing girl. It ended Saturday, when one volunteer driving along a road five miles out of town noticed that some dirt had been disturbed. It turned out to be a shallow grave.

Last night, police tentatively identified the body as Micaela's. They have yet to say how she died or release any other details in her death. They also say they have no suspects at the moment. But a murder investigation has been launched.

UPDATE: Macaela's former boyfriend was arrested this morning.

Kody-Cree-Patten.jpg
Kody Cree Patten
The school principal says a senior boy at the school was arrested at 2 a.m. this morning. Kody Cree Patten is being investigated in homicide charges and is being held without bail. Police aren't releasing any details about the murder. All we know is that Macaela dated the boy in the past.

West Wendover High, meanwhile, has canceled proficiency tests today and sporting events have been postponed. The school is said to be rather tight-knit, since it houses just 300 students.

Grievance counselors have also been brought in from surrounding schools.

UPDATE II: Kody Patten has confessed to Micaela's murder.


She was last seen on March 3 after track practice. Surveillance video from the school showed Patten talking to her right after school let out. It also showed him wandering the halls of the school after that. He repeatedly went past the girl's locker room, as if he was waiting for Micaela to finish practice.

He admits they went for a drive in the desert after practice was over. That's when they got into an argument. Kody says he pushed her down. Micaela smacked her head on the bumper of a truck Kody had borrowed from a friend.

Then he pushed her down a second time; she hit her head on a rock. According to the police report, Micaela went into "some sort of seizure; he became panicked, and swung a shovel, which he was apparently already in possession of, at her head."

We're not sure if his confession is the complete truth, but Micaela was soon dead. So he buried her in a shallow grave.

Since he was the last person to see her, police came to interview him. He initially said he didn't know anything about her disappearance.

But when her body was found, police matched tracks near the scene to tires from the truck he'd borrowed from his friend. Detectives went to him a second time. This time he claimed they'd driven to the country and had an argument. So he left her out in the desert to fend for herself.

But during that second interview, Kody suddenly paused, asking to speak to his father. It seems dad told him to man up. When that conversation was done, he confessed.

He's now in jail being held without bond.

See our last story from the Unsolved file: Pricilla Ristick, 12, Disappears From Georgia Mall, Phone Call Indicates Kidnapping.

Tags: Nevada

More links from around the web!

Email Print