So it’s true

Jaycee Dugard really HAS been found — albeit living in horrific circumstances. Her abductor, a convicted rapist named Phillip Garrido, along with his wife, Nancy, kept Jaycee locked up in a shed in the backyard. She gave birth to two daughters during her time in captivity. They are now 11 and 15 years old and were also raised in the shed. It’s like something out of a bad movie — or the Elizabeth Scott novel Living Dead Girl, which is about a teenage girl who was kidnapped by a man when she was a child and has been forced to be his live-in rape victim ever since. Jaycee and the children are in good physical health apparently, but mentally it’s got to be another story altogether. That poor woman. Those poor kids.

I hope there will be an outpouring from the community like there was with Shasta Groene, and Jaycee and her kids will get the therapy they need and be able to set up a new life for themselves. The kids have never been to school. It wouldn’t surprise me if they too were sexually violated by Garrido.

On the bright side…Jaycee is ALIVE! Who would have thought? I certainly never believed this was a possibility. I believe the longest known time a child was held captive in a stranger abduction case is nine years. Well, Jaycee has DOUBLED that record, and it gives new hope for all the other children out there who have been missing for decades.

She and the kids are young yet. I only hope they can salvage their lives.

I’m sure everyone and their podiatrist knows this, but…

…just in case, it looks like Jaycee Dugard may have been found alive and well. A woman walked into a police station claiming to be her, anyway, and the police say they have two suspects in custody and will disclose more at a press conference today. If this is true, then Jaycee, who was abducted in 1991, sets a new record for the longest time a stranger abducted child lived in captivity.

I refer you to the Google news search for more.

My first radio appearance

So, as I wrote about earlier, this evening I appeared on the Peas in their Pods radio show. I have never been on the radio before and was a bit nervous, but I think it went okay. They mainly asked stuff like how did Charley get started, how do I research my cases, etc. A listener asked about NamUs and I told them about all the resolved cases on there. Then at the end, on a lighter note, one of the hosts asked me about my pet rats. The rats were very happy to learn that they have become famous.

Catching up

After much strenuous effort I am just about caught up on all the backlog that accumulated over the last two months while I was post-traumatically stressed. I now have less than thirty cases to my “to add” folder, down from over sixty. And about the same amount of cases in my “to update” folder. Yay!

Not that this is any time to relax, though. I know if I turn my back for five minutes I’ll wind up with 350983409 cases waiting to post again.

In other news, I am writing a play. It’s an adaptation of a book, meaning I don’t have to think up (most) of the stuff on my own, but it’s still a demanding project, more difficult than I had anticipated. I don’t have much hope of seeing it performed anywhere, but it’s a good exercise anyway.

NCMA rescued?

A lot of my readers are aware that the National Center for Missing Adults has been facing severe financial problems for the past three years, through no fault of their own. What I understand happened is this: The federal government asked NCMA to help find people scattered by Hurricane Katrina. NCMA guessed it would take $50,000 to do this, so this is what the government gave them. In fact, the project (which was a great success by the way) cost loads more than that, but the feds refused to give NCMA any more money, so they’ve been in the red ever since.

NCMA has been appealing for the federal government to pass a law that would fund them the way it funds the NCMEC. They only wanted about a million dollars, in comparison to the NCMEC’s $40 million. But what with the economy as it is now and everyone trying to cut on domestic spending, it just wasn’t happening. NCMA would have shut down long ago if it weren’t for the dedication of their founder, Kym Pasqualini, who sold her own property and stuff to keep the organization afloat. It’s a real shame, too, because NCMA provides an excellent and irreplaceable service to missing adults and their families.

However, it looks like a solution has been found. NCMA is going to merge with another missing person organization, Let’s Bring Them Home. They’re scheduled to re-launch on October 10. (Just in time for the Charley Project’s fifth birthday on October 12!) According to the article, “The merger, effective immediately, will allow NCMA financial stability for the first time since 2006… Employees at both former organizations will be retained.”

I hope this merger turns out to be as good as it sounds and NCMA can get back on its feet and expand its valuable services.

Clark Handa Article

There’s an article about Clark Handa, who was abducted for ransom twenty-five years ago and never seen again. I’m really glad to see the article, as I really didn’t have a lot of information about Clark’s disappearance. His family hadn’t talked to the media before this.

As the article notes, the crime is “bizarre.” Offhand I can’t think of any ransom abductions of children in the United States past 1950 or so, besides Clark’s. It occurs very frequently down in Mexico — in fact, kidnapping is a huge and growing problem there — but almost never in the United States. I have to wonder if the ransom note wasn’t a ruse, a la Jon Benet Ramsey.

Article about Monica Carrasco

I found this article about sixteen-year-old Monica Carrasco, who’s been missing nearly six years now. The article doesn’t really say much but at least it gets her name back in the news again.

Monica was an absolutely gorgeous girl; in her pictures she looks like a model. It’s not really clear what happened to her. She had recently been released from the hospital where she was treated for depression and anorexia, and she was mad at her mom for some reason so she went to live with her aunt and uncle. She got up and left the house in the middle of the night, wearing only her nightgown, and never came back. Some theorize her medications caused her to become disoriented and that’s why she wandered off, but if so, what happened to her after that? I’m a little surprised her case did not get more publicity than it did, given the mysterious circumstances and Monica’s good looks.

I think she must be dead. Who runs away in only a nightgown?

Another for the ???? Category

I’m writing today’s updates and recorded the case of Wojciech Fudali, who disappeared from Rhode Island last December after a late-night party with friends. Sounds typical on the surface, except that Fudali was stark naked when he vanished. He left his shoes and every stitch of clothing behind. In New England. In December.

This article says, “While police interviewed some of his friends at the East Shore Road house Sunday afternoon, a friend arrived and said he saw Fudali running nude near the Galilee Escape Road around 11:30 a.m. Saturday but did not report it to police.” What’s going on there? If I saw any of my friends running in the buff down the road at any time of year, never mind the dead of winter, I’d probably call 911 on the spot. At the very least I’d be yelling, “Hey! What’s going on? Why are you naked? Are you okay?”

Other articles say Fudali was a “nature lover,” so perhaps he dabbled in nudism before. But being naked in public in suburban Rhode Island IN DECEMBER is not normal, even for nudists.

I think he’s got to be dead. A naked person could not survive more than a couple of hours outside in below-freezing temperatures. What caused him to leave the house in that condition, I wonder? Was he depressed and trying to commit suicide by hypothermia? If so, why didn’t he go off somewhere where no one could see him, not lounge around in public places? Was he whacked out on some kind of drugs or something, did he have a psychotic episode? That poor guy. He had just gotten his college degree, too.