Two days after 19-year-old Tina Foglia went missing from a Long Island music venue in 1986, her dismembered remains were found dumped near the route to Gilgo Beach. Still unsolved, could her murder be connected to the Long Island Serial Killer?
At the young age of 19, Tina Foglia was adventurous, social, and enjoyed immersing herself in fun. Tina especially loved the Long Island music scene and going to Hammerheads music club, which was famous at the time for launching alternative and indie music bands like Twisted Sisters, Zebra, and Cintron.
Although Tina loves going out to music venues and attending concerts, any parent would have dreamed of having a child like Tina. Joseph Fogilia, Tina’s father, said specifically that “every parent will say their kid is the best, but she was really a good kid.” Tina was a lover of music, patron of the arts, a creative and free spirit, and the kind of child that parents knew were taking advantage of what life had to offer.
The day before Tina went missing was busy
On Sunday evening, January 31, 1982, Tina’s father saw Tina leaving their home in a white, waist length hooded jacket, black slacks, and brown suede shoes to spend the evening at Hammerheads nightclub on Sunrise Highway. Tina’s family tell police that Tina wanted to go to Hammerheads that night to see the band “Equinox” because she had a friend who was in the band. However, Tina’s family tell her that they didn’t have a car that she could use to go to the concert, so she would have to find a ride there and back, and Tina’s family tell police that she had hitchhiked to the bar. Tina was last seen alive at 3:00am on Monday, February 1, 1982 leaving Hammerheads. Tina’s last sighting at Hammerheads was the last time she was seen alive and her last known location before her remains were found.Her passion for music shined through her love for singing. Tina was remembered for having a fantastic singing voice, occasionally blessing her family’s ears with her vocals, and even wanting to pursue singing school to actualize her dream. Tina’s family reported her missing on Wednesday, February 3, 1982.
The crime scene was incredibly disturbing
On February 3, 1982, Tina Foglia’s partial remains were found by state highway workers who were picking up trash, in several plastic bags along an exit ramp from the Southern State Parkway to the Sagtikos State Parkway in the North Bay Shore of Suffolk County, NY. According to a senior investigator, the department of transportation worker suspected the bags contained a body because of their shape, and as he got closer he saw human hair.
Police add that the location where Tina’s remains were found, just a few miles north of the Robert Moses Causeway that leads to Gilgo Beach and Oak Beach, is the route that leads to the locations where victim remains of the unidentified Long Island Serial Killer were also found. Interestingly enough, the remains of at least 4 victims of the Long Island Serial Killer were also found in this general area and also contained dismembered limbs and/or torsos. However, police say that connecting Tina’s murder and remains to the Long Island Serial Killer is not an active route of her investigation, but it isn’t impossible to rule out. Could Tina’s case be connected to the Long Island Serial Killer?
State police shared a picture with media sources that showed a footprint the killer left behind in the mud, and a diamond ring that Tina was known to wear. The ring belonged to her sister and was not found with her body, but police reiterate that the motive in the case is not robbery or theft. Police think the motive of the killer was a sexal assault and subsequent homicide to cover up the crime.
On February 6, 1982, four days after Tina’s remains were found, Michael Baden, the Suffolk’s chief deputy medical examiner, says that Tina died by asphyxia from smothering– Tina died from oxygen deprivation that resulted from the blocking of her nose and mouth. The next day, an unnamed source close to the investigation tells the media that Tina’s body was dismembered with an instrument “more precisely,” as if with a stroke of a butcher’s knife, than possible with instruments like a hatchet or a knife; unlike this source, police and the examiner refused to comment on the details of Tina’s death.
Where the case stands today
In a 2017 interview with PIX 11, Tina's sister Amy Gagliardi mentions that before Tina’s death, she recently met a doctor at Hammerheads that she really liked. The two saw each other a few times before her death. Tina brings up this fact in a letter but never mentions the doctor's name. Gagliardi also tells media sources that investigators questioned several male friends that Tina knew in the 1980s and band members that played at Hammerheads the night Tina went missing.
In the same 2017 article, state police tell the media that Tina’s case is a great candidate for early DNA familial searching, a program that police hope to launch in the fall of 2017. Familial searching involves looking at Y chromosomes that are common among brothers, fathers, uncles, and sons, and the male DNA retrieved from Tina’s case has not had a successful hit on CODIS, the national database containing DNA samples of convicted suspects.
If you have any information in relation to Tina Foglia’s case, please contact New York State Police at (631) 756-3300.