Archive for the ‘children’ Category

Is it just me, or…

April 18, 2014

Jeffrey Blankinship recently appeared on the NCMEC. They list him as having brown eyes and so does the Washington state clearinghouse, but if you look at this close-up photo of him, it looks like his eyes are blue. At least, it looks like that to me.

This just really makes me mad

April 11, 2014

On the first of this month, NamUs added the case of Emmanuel Birts, a five-week-old baby who’s been missing from Dallas, Texas since 1989. Their casefile provided no details about his disappearance. I did my usual info-checking and found a number of articles that mention the case. I found four or five from the time the abduction happened, and one from several months later that was about another missing baby but mentioned Emmanuel’s abduction in passing. This is my draft thus far of the summary that’s going to appear on Charley when I put up Emmanuel’s casefile:

Emmanuel was born at his grandmother’s Dallas, Texas home, but spent seven days at Parkland Memorial Hospital after birth. He was released from the hospital on August 11, 1989 and went to live with with his grandmother, Hermane Grady, and mother, Kisha Birts, in the 2900 block of east Ledbetter Drive. His abductor, who claimed to be a social worker and called herself Debra Manning, first visited the home on August 12, saying she was making a follow-up home visit from the hospital. She told them Emmanuel had an eye infection, which was in fact true.

Manning visited the family again on September 12, and claimed there was a possibility Emmanuel was infected with the HIV virus. Because Kisha had used drugs during her pregnancy, this was plausible. On the evening of September 13, Manning visted again, with a letter she claimed was from the Child Welfare Department. The letter said Emmanuel needed to go to the hospital and get tested for HIV. She said she needed to take the baby immediately, and Kisha wanted to come with them, but Manning made an excuse as to why she couldn’t, and said she’d come pick up Emmanuel for the test the next morning.

On the morning of September 14, Kisha went to Parkland Memorial Hospital to ask about her baby’s health. She left Emmanuel home with Grady. When Manning first arrived, she claimed she had to get a car seat for the baby and would be back in an hour. She did return and Grady let her take Emmanuel with her at 10:00 a.m. She promised to return by 2:00 p.m. Manning never returned with the baby and neither of them have ever been seen again. The family reported Emmanuel missing at 8:00 p.m.

The abductor is described as African-American, in her thirties, 5’6 tall and 145 pounds. Her hair appeared to be sandy brown, although it may have been a wig. She wore heavy blue eyeshadow and spoke with a foreign accent, possibly of African origin. She claimed to own a van, although none of Emmanuel’s family members saw any vehicle. The name Debra Manning was almost certainly an alias, although Grady actually did know a welfare worker by that name. Child Protective Services hadn’t authorized Emmanuel’s removal from his home for any reason. The abductor always wore a white lab coat and surgical pants; real social workers wore street clothes. Investigators believe the abductor may have a history as a con artist, given the nature of Emmanuel’s abduction. She apparently also had access to the baby’s medical information.

Both of Emmanuel’s parents subsequently tested negative for HIV. They also took polygraph exams and neither of them are considered suspects in the child’s abduction. The woman who called herself Debra Manning has never been identified and there’s been no sign of either her or Emmanuel since the day she took him away in 1989. His case remains unsolved.

What. The. Beep.

Where has this case been all this time? Why have I never heard of it before? Why hasn’t Emmanuel been listed with the NCMEC? Why hasn’t there been anything in the press about it since nineteen-fracking-ninety? Where has everyone BEEN?

Flashback Friday: Mary Louise Day

April 11, 2014

(Yes, I’m still here. I know some of y’all have been concerned at my uncharacteristic absence. I’m more or less okay, just preoccupied with other things. But I’m going to get back into the saddle.)

Sorry about skipping out on you guys last weekend. This week’s Flashback Friday is Mary Louise Day. Unfortunately this entry is going to be very short because I know almost nothing about this case. And that fact is very sad, given that she’s a twelve-year-old girl.

Mary disappeared from Seaside, California sometime in the spring of 1980. Exact date unknown. What the beep?

She was on the NCMEC at one point — I recognize the background from her age-progression photo, that’s theirs — but isn’t on anymore.

Oh, and she’s tall. 5’8.

That is the sum of my knowledge of this case.

My guess is that the police wrote her off as a runaway and then lost their file on her case, which would explain both the lack of press and the lack of available information.

Make-a-List Monday: Teens with bipolar disorder

April 7, 2014

This is a list of MPs who suffer from bipolar disorder and are nineteen or younger. This condition usually manifests itself in the late teenage or early adult years, but can appear in childhood or early adolescence also. It’s estimated to affect about two and a half percent of the adult population and a list of every Charley MP who has it, I decided, would be too long — over one hundred names, I think — so I focused on the younger ones.

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depression, is characterized by periods of depressed mood alternating with manic states, where a person can become irrationally happy and/or irritable, have a greater sex drive and less need for sleep, and, in the more severe cases, become aggressive and develop paranoia and psychotic symptoms. People joke about it — “I’m was in a good mood this morning but now I’m feeling crappy, I’m just so bipolar today!” — but I wish they wouldn’t; this is a serious illness and isn’t to be taken lightly. Psychiatric drugs are pretty much essential for controlling the condition, but various forms of psychotherapy are recommended too.

I myself have a mild form of the disorder. For me it’s the depression that’s most noticeable, and at first I was diagnosed with depression only; years passed before my doctors realized I was also having manic episodes. I’ll become really happy, as in “bouncing around the house singing at the top of my voice” happy, and I’ll talk too fast for other people to understand, and often ambitiously start some project or other that I’ll never finish and didn’t have the ability to finish in the first place. Then, after two or three days or sometimes a whole week, I’ll be in the “I wish I was dead” mode, and that will usually last a lot longer than the happy period did.

(One time, for example, I got this idea to start a business selling a certain herbal appetite suppressant, and excitedly told all my friends about how I was going to corner the market on it and make loads of money. As far as putting my plan into action, all I actually did was order some seeds for planting. I never even bothered to plant them because by the time they arrived in the mail I was back in depression mode again. It was the wrong season anyway.)

Since I started taking a mood stabilizer in mid-2012 my mood swings have smoothed out a great deal, but my emotional pendulum still swings some and I have to keep an eye on myself. The mood stabilizer is a pain in the butt because I have to take it several times a day. But it works. And compared to many people with bipolar disorder, I’m very fortunate.

Diagnosed bipolar disorder:
Julian Carrozza, 13
Stacy Lynn Carson, 19
Mark Anthony Degner, 12
Virginia Anne Greene, 19
Bryan Andrew Hayes, 13
Juliandra Elizabeth Jones, 19
Ashley Renee Martinez, 15
Bianca Noel Piper, 13
Kyla G. Porter, 19

Honorable mention:
Kara Nancy Nichols, 19, listed as possibly having bipolar disorder

I wouldn’t be surprised if these were not the only teenagers listed on Charley who have bipolar disorder. To begin with, I rarely have much in the way of information on runaways, which comprise the majority of teenagers listed on the Charley Project. And also, often a person can have bipolar disorder for years or even decades before it’s diagnosed.

One of the most famous books on bipolar disorder is Kay Redfield Jamison’s An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness. I didn’t really like it very much, though I really liked her book Night Falls Fast: Understanding Suicide. I haven’t read that many books about bipolar disorder, but I would recommend A Mood Apart: Depression, Mania, and Other Afflictions of the Self by Peter Whybrow or The Pits and the Pendulum: A Life with Bipolar Disorder by Brian Adams.

Select It Sunday: Jamel Montrice Williams

March 30, 2014

This week’s Select It Sunday case was chosen by Orla: Jamel Montrice Williams, who (allegedly) disappeared from the back steps of his mother’s apartment at a Toledo, Ohio housing project on May 25, 1994. He was three and a half years old, going on four. If he’s still alive he’ll be 24 in August.

I say Jamel “allegedly” disappeared on May 25 for the following reasons:

1. None of the family’s neighbors reported seeing Jamel at all since he and his mother and her boyfriend moved into the complex on April 15, more than a month before his reported disappearance, and
2. The police could find no evidence of Jamel’s presence in the apartment.

To cap it off, Jamel’s mom and her boyfriend were uncooperative with the investigation, and the mother refused to provide a DNA sample for comparison with any unidentified remains that should turn up.

It doesn’t look good.

Although he’s of mixed black and white ancestry, Jamel had blue eyes and blonde hair in 1994 and from his (admittedly black and white) pictures, he looks white to me. If he’s still alive, I think people should be looking for a young white man. If he is still alive, he probably doesn’t remember his origins and thinks that whoever raised him are be his parents. I did my usual searches but couldn’t find any new info on this case since I wrote about it nine months ago.

Frankly, I don’t have a lot of hope that he’s alive, but this case is certainly solvable. Chances are multiple people know what happened to little Jamel. It’s not too late for them to come forward with information.

This case needs all the coverage it can get, so…

March 29, 2014

I noticed that News One for Black America did an article on Jeremiah Huger‘s disappearance. The article quotes his grandfather, but contains precisely nothing new. Nevertheless, I thought I should make note of it on my blog because poor Jeremiah has gotten so little media attention over the past 28 years.

Select It Sunday: Beverly Potts

March 23, 2014

Selected by Christina S.: Beverly Rose Potts, one of Charley’s oldest cases. She disappeared from Cleveland, Ohio on August 24, 1951 — that is, sixty-two years ago. In the unlikely chance that she’s still alive, Beverly would be 73 years old next month. Her Charley Project casefile is quite long with over 1,000 words about the case history, with its many twists and turns and dead ends. She was last seen walking home from a nearby park. She almost made it home safe. But she didn’t.

Author James Jessen Badal wrote an excellent book, Twilight of Innocence, on the Potts case. I highly recommend this book to MP buffs, and if you have a Kindle you can buy it for less than eight bucks. From what I recall from the book, Badal believes Beverly was probably killed on the night of her disappearance, and that her body might very well be buried on her own street.

Beverly’s parents and sister are dead, and the person(s) responsible for her disappearance is probably dead also. I highly doubt this case will ever be solved. The best we can hope for is maybe her body being found.

Just noticed

March 19, 2014

Today is Michael J. Woodward‘s birthday. He was only nine years old when he vanished over forty years ago; he would be 51 today, if still alive.

MP of the week: Andrew Skelton (and, by extension, his brothers)

March 18, 2014

This week’s featured missing person is Andrew Ryan Skelton, age 9, who disappeared along with his brothers Alexander, 7, and Tanner, 5, from Morenci, Michigan the day after Thanksgiving in 2010. The boys are all adorable and remind me of my nephews when they were that age.

This case is an exceptionally sad one, even by Charley Project standards. The boys’ father made off with them and was later located alone. He made a half-hearted suicide attempt and was hospitalized, then charged with kidnapping in connection to his sons’ disappearances. John Skelton pleaded guilty to lesser charges of false imprisonment was sent to prison for a ten- to fifteen-year term. He claims the boys are safe but refuses to reveal their whereabouts — in my opinion, because he knows he’ll be facing a lot longer than ten to fifteen years if the three children are located. I’m pretty sure they’re dead.

As I’ve said before, this case remains me very much of the still-unsolved Campbell case from over 50 years ago. It also makes me think of the disappearances of Sarah and Philip Gehring, murdered by their father, whose remains were recovered in 2005. And the Porter case, another homicide by a parent; Sam and Lindsey Porter’s bodies were located in 2007, after they’d been missing more than three years. All of the aforementioned children are or were featured on Charley.

If you ask me, John Skelton should remain in prison until he discloses the boys’ location, one way or the other. (Alexander, Tanner and Andrew’s mother hopes they’re still alive.) But he’s been in jail since shortly after they disappeared, over three years, and seems to show no signs of cracking. He seems to be a man so full of hatred and despair that he doesn’t care what happens to him anymore.

Plea deal in Andrea Parsons disappearance

March 16, 2014

Chester Price, one of two suspects in the presumed murder of Andrea Parsons, has dropped his plea of not guilty of murder and changed it to no contest of reduced charges of kidnapping and manslaughter. (Always a chicken-guano plea in my opinion, “no contest” means the person doesn’t admit guilt but acknowledges there’s enough evidence to convict him of the crime.) In exchange, Price gets…ten years in prison. For the death of a little girl.

From this article, the prosecutor explains why: “If we went to trial on a case that has issues because of age, lost witnesses, death of witnesses, you could look at the possibility of a not guilty verdict which would mean there’d be no justice, not even a drop of justice for Andrea.”

This article provides further information on why the state’s case was so weak: It’s twenty years old, there’s no body, the star witness is not credible and he also happens to be dead.

The star witness is Claude Davis, the other suspect in Andrea’s disappearance. He was actually charged in her case, but they screwed that up and had to let him go and because of double jeopardy they couldn’t charge him again. Check out Andrea’s Charley Project casefile for details. I was unaware until now that Davis had died.

All of Andrea’s family has left the area and none of them were in court for the sentencing, but her mother submitted this letter.

Very sad.


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