Local News

Durham Police Search For Missing Cellist

Posted January 23, 2003

— Durham police are investigating the disappearance of a cellist with the Durham Symphony, who failed to show up for rehearsal Tuesday night.

According to police, 57-year-old Janine Sutphen was last seen by her husband about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, when she left their home to go to her 7 p.m. rehearsal. Her husband called police when she still had not returned at 3 a.m. Wednesday.

Police found Sutphen's car on the first level of a downtown Durham parking garage across the street from the Durham Arts Council building, where rehearsal was held. Her cello and keys were in the car.

Police said there were no signs of a struggle in or around Sutphen's car, and they do not suspect foul play.

Sutphen reportedly has been with the symphony for about two years and reportedly has been the orchestra representative for the Board of Directors.

Authorities say that last year, Sutphen spearheaded an effort to get a greater police presence downtown on Tuesday nights around 10 p.m. There had been problems with aggressive panhandlers approaching symphony members as they left practice late at night.

According to fellow orchestra members, Sutphen had a very good attendance record at rehearsal, and orchestra members noticed when she was not there Tuesday. According to the conductor, Sutphen would always call if she wasn't going to make it.

Police said that no witnesses have come forward. They have very few leads and no suspects.


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