A decade after her murder, her family hopes Allison Foy is remembered through acts of kindness

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Allison Foy's life will be remembered this weekend through "A Day of Inspired Kindness." Her family invites all to participate and share what acts of kindness have been done in her honor. Photos courtesy of Lisa Valentino.
Allison Foy’s life will be remembered this weekend through “A Day of Inspired Kindness.” Her family invites all to participate and share what acts of kindness have been done in her honor. Photos courtesy of Lisa Valentino.

WILMINGTON – A decade ago, Allison Foy, an energetic mother of two young girls, went missing from the Wilmington area. Nearly two years later, her skeletal remains were found in a wooded area off Carolina Beach Road near the remains of another missing woman. Both women had been brutally murdered.

This Saturday, Foy’s family will remember her life by bringing the community together, near and far, for “A Day of Inspired Kindness.”

Foy was just 34 years old when she went missing in July 2006. Besides a husband, she left behind two daughters, who at the time were 4 and 12.

Foy’s older sister Lisa Valentino said the family does something special for her every year around the time of her disappearance. This year, they wanted everyone who knew Foy — and even those who didn’t — to take part an individual act of kindness sometime on Saturday, July 30, which will mark 10 years to the day when someone forever took her from her family.

“She was murdered so violently. And the world we live in today is filled with so much hate. I really felt like we’re in need of so much more love,” Valentino said. “We wanted to do something good in her name, as we remember her …and that’s something that anyone can do.”

Foy’s case is one of two unsolved murder investigations that began in Wilmington on April 26, 2008, when a man doing yard work found human remains in a wooded area in the 3500 block of Carolina Beach Road. A second set of human remains were found nearby.

“She was murdered so violently. And the world we live in today is filled with so much hate. I really felt like we’re in need of so much more love.”

Allison Foy’s sisiter, Lisa Valentino

According to Wilmington Detective Cpl. Lee Odham, DNA testing confirmed the remains were those of two women — Foy and Angela Rothen, 43, who was reported missing in September 2007. The autopsy confirmed the women had been stabbed to death. Their killer has never been charged.

Foy was the youngest of four children, Valentino said. She grew up in Syosset, New York, and moved to the Wilmington area about a year-and-a-half before she went missing.

“She was looking for something more financially stable … and fell in love with Wilmington,” Valentino said.

Allison Foy
Allison Foy

Foy was a Gymnastics coach and had also taught dance back in her hometown. Her oldest daughter recently graduated from college in sports management and, following her mother’s love for the sport, would one day like to open her own gymnastics gym, Valentino said. Foy’s younger daughter will be going into high school as a freshman this year.

“Her children were her life,” Valentino said. “I know she would be very proud of her two daughters today and, unfortunately for them, they were robbed of their mother.”

According to Odham, Foy was visiting a friend at a local pub in the 5200 block of Carolina Beach Road the night she disappeared. When her remains were found on that same road two years later, Valentino said she and her family, at least, had some closure.

“I know for so many people that’s really the hardest part — the not knowing,” Vaneltino said. “We are far more blessed than those individuals because we know what happened. We got answers and a lot of families don’t have that benefit.”

Valentino described her younger sister as an easy going and bright woman who was full of life. Right before she went missing, Foy had landed a job as an assistant manager at a local hotel. Her sister said Foy was the type of woman who could get along with anyone.

“She just had a way with people,” Valentino said.  “She could connect with people. If you had just met her and came up talking to her … she just had a way that you felt you had always known her.”

Several leads in the case have developed over the last 10 years, Odham said. Some have led detectives to one suspect, 55-year-old Timothy C. Iaonne, a former Wilmington taxi driver who is currently serving time in prison for multiple felony convictions. Dozens of other suspects in the case — even some nationally identified serial killers — have been ruled out during the course of the investigation.

While Iaonne is a suspect in the case, Odham said he has not been charged. As detectives approach the 10-year mark on the case, Odham said some “new developments” in the case have taken place in the past 18 months.

“A review of the case is being conducted by prosecutors to evaluate if there is enough evidence in the case to meet the threshold of probable cause to make an arrest, and get this case in court,” Odham said.

Valentino said she and the rest of her family are looking forward to their day in court.

Allison Foy (left) and Lisa Valentino
Allison Foy (left) and Lisa Valentino

“We need our day in court. I can’t wait for the day I can look at the person who did this in the eye and tell him how he changed the course of our families’ life,” Valentino said. “That’s what I’ll keep fighting for. She deserves that.”

Valenino said the entire Wilmington community has been supportive over the last 10 years. She still believes there may be something more that could aid in bringing about charges in the case.

“Even though its 10 years later I still have a feeling that someone saw something or knows something that they have not shared … they may know something that could help them go to trial,” Valentino said.

But until that time, Valentino hopes the community will continue to support Foy by participating in a random act of kindness in her memory this year. It can include anything from as small as holding the door open for someone to an anonymous donation to charity in Foy’s memory.

“You don’t have to know Allison to participate,” Valenino said. “Do something in her name that’s good.”

Valentino said the family doesn’t want Rothen’s death to be overlooked. The kindness is extended for her memory as well, she said.

Valentino invites the public to share what they have done in honor of the two women The Day of Inspired Kindness Facebook page.