When a stage performance is going on, all eyes are on the stage. Could someone really disappear mid-show? It’s exactly what happened to Helen Mintiks.

It was the night of July 23, 1980. The Berlin Ballet was performing at the famous Metropolitan Opera House in New York City. At one point during the performance, recorded music was played instead of the orchestra, which was made up of talented freelance musicians. These musicians used this period as a break.

But 45 minutes later, around 9:30 p.m. the performers were supposed to be back — but a seat in the strings section was empty. Helen Mintiks, a 31-year-old violinist, was nowhere to be seen.

“In a high-profile orchestra like the Met, you get people who don’t miss their cues,” David Black, the author of “Murder at the Met,” told “New York Homicide,” airing Saturdays at 9/8c on Oxygen.

The performance ended, and still Mintiks was nowhere to be seen. Some friends looked for her, but were unsuccessful. They knew she wouldn’t have left behind her violin — an instrument that costs thousands of dollars. Authorities were contacted.

Mintiks was from a small town in British Columbia, the daughter of poultry farmers. Her passion in life was music.

“She told me her father used to drive her 40 miles in his truck to take violin lessons in Vancouver,” Mintiks’ friend Judith Olsen, who met her when they both attended the prestigious performing arts school Julliard in New York City, told producers.”She was friendly, she talked to everyone, she was constantly making cheesecakes for her friends … a world class giggler. … I also saw the serious side. She was hooked on music ands that was going to be her life.”

She was married to an artsy soul like herself: Janis Mintiks, a sculptor. He was contacted and explained he had actually been waiting for his wife at the Met so he could walk her to her apartment, but she never showed up. He had gone back home, hoping he had somehow missed her, only to realize she had vanished.

A search of her locker showed the street clothes she had previously worn were still there, leading investigators to suspect she was still in the building. Authorities combed the opera house, but it was a difficult process, as each floor was a massive labrynth.

“[Investigators] were warned by some of the stagehands: ‘Do not go anywhere by yourself because you can go somewhere, make a wrong turn, close a door, get lost, and realize you’re locked in,” Olsen told producers.

The following day, they made a horrifying discover. An investigator had gone to the roof and peered down a shaft.

“When they looked down, they discovered the body of Helen Mintiks — nude, bloody, and broken,” John Bruno, a retired detective with the New York Homicide Task Force, told producers.

Mintiks had fallen about 30 to 45 feet to her death. She was bound, gagged, and blindfolded, her purse and clothes near her. The only strong lead investigators had was a palm print on a pipe near where the body was thrown. There was no sign she had been sexually assaulted, and she died some time between 9 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., according to the medical examiner.

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