June 2, 2006

Police Consider Escort Case Closed: Michelle Nau’s Body Has Not Been Found, but Officials Say They Know Who Killed Her

By Julie Shaw, The Philadelphia Inquirer

May 31--Nearly four months since Michelle Nau was last seen, her body has yet to be found. The escort and aspiring real estate agent may have vanished into thin air, if indeed her remains ended up at a trash-to-energy plant in Chester. Or they may be littered over South Jersey, as one of the last people to see her alive has testified.

But Nau's body may never be found.

Police said yesterday they consider Nau's case closed. They say they know who her killer was -- George Conway, a 48-year-old bouncer from Mayfair who was himself killed on March 1, about a month after authorities say he killed Nau in his apartment after a night of drugs and partying.

Conway was shot to death by Dominic Curcio, 17, of Frankford, who has said he was so distraught over the way Conway murdered Nau and got rid of her body that he killed Conway. According to testimony at his preliminary hearing, Curcio said Conway sectioned Nau's body and threw out the pieces in South Jersey.

Police, though, say they did not have enough credible evidence to search South Jersey.

"The stuff in Jersey, there was no basis that is real," a homicide investigator said yesterday. "We had no idea where in South Jersey. I wish we could recover the body -- that way the family can put it to rest."

Police said that unless new, credible information surfaced about where Nau's body is, authorities would not actively search for it.

Nau's family, meanwhile, has accepted that she is dead but hasn't given up hope of finding her remains.

Janet Jaslow, Nau's mother, said yesterday that the family would not plan a funeral until her body was found.

"I'm looking for her body," Jaslow said, without elaborating. "It's so upsetting. It's just that we want to find her... . We're waiting to find her body to get some closure to this."

Nau, 37, of the Oxford Circle section of the Northeast, was last seen Feb. 4 on a surveillance tape withdrawing $100 from an ATM. At the time, she worked for the Full Moon escort service and had told people, including her family, that she was a real estate agent.

Nau's sister, Gabrielle Jaslow, reported her missing on Feb. 16.

Police have said they believe Nau was killed after partying and taking cocaine with Conway in his Mayfair apartment Feb. 4. A witness has told police that she became violent and threatened to burn down Conway's place. That's when, the witness told police, he and Conway held her down. She died, possibly of asphyxiation.

In March, police -- acting on a tip from a man who said he helped Conway dispose of Nau's body -- searched a Dumpster in Fishtown for her remains. They also searched Covanta Holding Corp.'s waste-to-energy facility in Chester, where the contents of the trash bin went. Police have declined to identify the man who helped Conway dispose of Nau's body, and he has not been charged.

Police said that Curcio, who was also involved in drugs, was in Conway's apartment on Feb. 4 and saw Nau alive. He was not present when she died, but he saw her body the next morning, police said.

The only person expected to face trial is Curcio, who was charged in Conway's death.

Curcio's defense attorney, Brian McMonagle, said yesterday that his client was undergoing psychological evaluations.

"He was significantly affected by Michelle's death," McMonagle said. "He's been battling it ever since he was a witness to the crime scene."

Contact staff writer Julie Shaw at 215-854-2917 or [email protected]


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