The Park Slope woman whose disappearance has stunned the neighborhood for more than a week was last seen at a deli near her 14th Street home a full day after she allegedly vanished after a fight with her boyfriend.
Mike Haden, the owner of La Dolce Vita deli at the corner of Seventh Avenue, told Marion McCleneghan’s mother this morning that the 40-year-old woman was in tears when she came into the shop on Feb. 8 at around 7 pm.
“She said to him, ‘Goodbye — you won’t be seeing me anymore,” McCleneghan’s mother, Barbara Sullivan, told The Brooklyn Paper. “She said she was headed to Long Island.”
That testimony is contrary to reports that McCleneghan was last seen leaving a party at her boyfriend’s 14th Street home at 2 am on Feb. 7, just a few doors down from her own apartment.
The boyfriend, Richard Eric Sosa, has been unreachable.
Sullivan said that Sosa and her daughter were “drinking buddies,” and that McCleneghan had intended to spend the night of Feb. 7 at Sosa’s place. But the two quarrelled and McCleneghan left the party “in a huff,” Sullivan said.
That explains why initial reports suggested that Sosa had been the last person to see McCleneghan. The Post reported that Sosa had a scratch on his face and that he was initially cooperating with police, but has since gotten a lawyer.
Sullivan said that Sosa and her daughter were in the process of breaking up — the latest trauma for McCleneghan, who is undergoing therapy for anxiety.
“She was having a rough year — first she lost a friend, then her father and two aunts,” said Sullivan, who also mentioned that McCleneghan had been regretting her decision to separate from her husband, Benjamin Soto.
Sullivan said she doesn’t know what McCleneghan’s somber “goodbye” implies, but she remains suspicious about several factors in the disappearance. Her daughter left two packs of unopened cigarettes and $300 at home before she vanished, and hasn’t used or answered her phone since. Plus, the only person McCleneghan knows in Long Island is her brother, who hasn’t heard from her, Sullivan said.
Soto and other members of McCleneghan’s family admit McCleneghan was having some emotional issues, but said her condition and medication didn’t affect her “extremely smart, alert, well-spoken” demeanor.
Soto noted that the two were in consistent, friendly contact despite the separation, and can’t believe that she might run away.
“She just got a new job, she’s extremely happy, and she wouldn’t just pack up and leave,” he said.
A detective on the case said the search for McCleneghan is a priority. Sullivan’s talk with deli workers revealed that her daughter was last seen wearing jeans, a bright-colored shirt, a baseball cap and a “big pocketbook.” She had her hair down.
Anyone with information on Marion’s whereabouts is asked to call NYPD Det. Gibbons at (718) 636-6483. Give case number 109 for reference.