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This article focuses on the criminal case.
For the character, see Eloise Gardener.
For the Season Seven episode, see "Eloise Gardener".

The Eloise Gardener Case,[1] officially File 12-559D,[2] is a criminal case featured on ABC's Once Upon a Time. It débuts in the second episode of the seventh season.


During Fifth Curse

In Officer Rogers' cursed memories, he remembers one of his first police cases was of Eloise Gardener, a missing girl whose disappearance he feels responsible for as he was drinking on the job instead of patrolling the neighborhood. A lead brings him to an alleyway, but he is shot from behind, though a blonde woman helps to hold his wound until an ambulance arrives for him. After Henry's arrival to Hyperion Heights, Rogers' reopens the case by reexamining what little information he has on Eloise, which comes primarily from her notebook of drawings and scribbles. One of these drawings is of a particular symbol[3] that Rogers later sees is a match for a tattoo that an arrested man, Sam Ochotta, has.[4] Sam claims he doesn't know anyone named Eloise and that while serving out a prison sentence, his fear of harassment behind bars led him to get the tattoo as a method of warding off evil. However, he does suggest to Rogers that if the girl did draw the symbol, whatever she was trying to get away from must have been something terrible. Later, Sam notifies someone through a phone call that they have a problem now since Rogers is looking for Eloise. ( "A Pirate's Life", "Greenbacks", "Eloise Gardener")

With Tilly's help, Rogers realizes he should speak with Sam again in an attempt to get more information from him, but he arrives at the man's house to discover Sam is already dead. Rogers, having the suspicion that Victoria doesn't want him finding Eloise, suspects his detective partner, Weaver, did it on Victoria's orders. Weaver denies this and instead suggests Rogers' personal feelings are clouding his judgment. Unknown to Rogers, Victoria's daughter Ivy is the actual culprit, as she poisoned the man intending for Rogers to believe Victoria was responsible. "Wake Up Call", "Eloise Gardener")

In truth, Eloise Gardener is the cursed persona of Gothel, whom Victoria keeps imprisoned on the top floor of Belfrey Towers. Victoria remains unaware that Ivy is secretly working with Eloise until she finds proof that her daughter is, in fact, awake, causing her to move Eloise to another building. Weaver then comes to warn her about Rogers getting very close to solving Eloise's case, but Victoria commands him to do as he must to stop Rogers or she will find someone else who will take care of the situation in a more permanent fashion. Tilly agrees to help Rogers obtain intel from the street kids about Eloise, however, she is persuaded by Weaver to give Rogers a fake story of Eloise's death and a forgery of one of the girl's missing drawings. Upon learning from Tilly that Eloise died in car accident and was not identified because she was going by a pseudonym, Rogers is crushed by the news, believing he failed Eloise in the worst way possible. Rogers eventually figures out it is a hoax after the missing page that Tilly gave him starts to run from being touched by liquid. When Rogers confronts him about the lies, Weaver admits he was acting on Victoria's behalf but the reason he did it was to protect Rogers from the truth and he insists Eloise is not who he is truly looking for. Rogers is now convinced Victoria has Eloise and, with Ivy's permission to use a tracking device on her mother's car, he catches Victoria red-handed and arrests her before rescuing Eloise from her grasp. ("Eloise Gardener")

Individuals Involved


Suspects Reasons Status
Weaver Was asked by Victoria to prevent Rogers from finding Eloise Accomplice; unarrested
Tilly Was asked by Weaver to lie to Rogers about Eloise's backstory and her current status Accomplice; unarrested
Victoria Belfrey Caught red-handed while moving Eloise Culprit; freed


Victim Reason Status
Eloise Gardener Was cursed to be Victoria Belfrey's prisoner in Seattle Freed


Witness Reasons
Sam Ochotta Had the notebook's symbol as a tattoo on his arm

Other Elements Involved

Element Reasons Status
Eloise's Notebook Used to compare with Weaver's fake page, as he and Victoria were hiding Eloise who was still alive Evidence
Victoria's car tracking system Indicated Victoria and Eloise's location Police Tool


Props Notes

  • When Rogers is working on the case at Roni's, a missing person document in front of him (some words are blurred or obscured onscreen but can be seen on a document prop auctioned off on eBay in February 2019; the missing text is set in fuchsia)[5] says:[6]


File #: 1-17343

Sex: Female
Height: 5'7"
Weight: 120lbs
Hair: Light brown
Eyes: Dark brown


Eloise Gardner [sic] was last seen leaving school on November 5th 2007.
Friends and family have not been able to contact her.

She has blue eyes, blonde hair and is approx. 100lbs. Eloise was known
to be a stable and normal girl and it is out of character for her to
have gone missing.

If you have any information concerning this individual, please contact
the Hyperion Heights Police Department at 555-0151.
("Wake Up Call", "Eloise Gardener")



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