The population at large was made aware of internet sleuths searching for the truth in murder or missing persons cases when Netflix released their very popular docu-drama series Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel.
The documentary highlights the efforts of those who search the internet and review public records to assist investigators to seek justice for Elisa Lam, who went missing from the hotel and was later found dead in a water tank*.
At first glance, the arrest in Albuquerque of Dane Kallungi on first degree murder charges has the makings of a similar story. While murder is not itself unusual to the Duke City (we are on track to set a new homicide record), Kallungi’s capture may make national news.
Kallungi was booked into the Metropolitan Detention Center at 2:54 a.m. on June 17, 2021 on felony murder in the first degree. Kallungi was arrested on Kirtland Airforce Base, though it is unclear why he was there. It was not apparent at first that the first degree murder charge Kallungi is facing was related to the 2019 disappearance of Jepsy Kallungi; however, it has been confirmed via Colorado authorities and local authorities the murder in question is tied to the disappearance of Jepsy.
A quick look under the surface via Google shows that this individual appears to be attached to the alleged disappearance of Jepsy Amaga Kallungi, who was living in the Philippines before moving to Colorado Springs, CO, in July 2017 to pursue her relationship.
Much like the story with Elisa Lam and the Cecil Hotel, the internet is full of volunteer sleuths investigating the disappearance of Jepsy. It was presumed early on by the volunteer sleuth community that Dane was directly involved.
Margie Amaga, Jepsy’s mom, lived in Hong Kong. She knew something was wrong after a couple days of not hearing from her daughter because the two spoke frequently.
When she tried to contact Jepsy’s husband, Dane, he said that he thought she had gone to Chicago, the Philippines, or Mexico to visit friends. Soon after Jepsy went missing, Dane moved to California to live with his father.
He later told Margie Amaga that he and Jepsy had actually recently separated and she was seeing a new man named “Travis”. Furthermore, he said that he hopes she,” didn’t get into any trouble with him”. Jepsy’s friends and family, however, denied knowing anything about either “Travis” or their alleged separation.
Dane deactivated his social media soon after Jepsy’s disappearance. A news report from April 11, 2019, claims that court records show that Dane and Jepsy divorced in January, 2019.Reddit
KOAA News 5 from Colorado has stated the following:
Jail records show that 38-year-old Dane Kallungi was arrested in New Mexico, charged with murder for the death of his wife Jepsey Kallungi, who went missing two years ago.KOAA News 5
Updates will be made as they develop.
Note from the author: I want to state that prior to today I had not heard of the case involving Jepsy. After doing very surface level searches on the internet, it became apparent that she was cared for by many individuals and that many digital sleuths became invested in trying to help find answers. I hope that in any way this article can be a piece of closure woven into the tapestry along with the other articles out there. I will continue to follow this case as it navigates through the judicial system and provide pertinent updates as appropriate. To the friends and family, I am genuinely sorry for your loss.
*An early version of this story stated Elisa Lam was “ultimately found murdered.” While she was assumed murdered, the Los Angeles County coroner ruled the death an accidental drowning.
Categories: Crime Beat