The Stuart family revisited

One of my regular informants located this article about the 1977 cases of little Fannie and Jessie Stuart and their mother Mary, whom I just added to Charley yesterday after finally obtaining her picture. As ever, the husband/father, Byron Stuart, is the prime suspect. Unfortunately for the case, he’s dead. He died in 1996 at age 48.

I was curious to see what caused Byron to die at such a young age, so I looked for and found his obituary. He apparently never remarried or had any other children, though the obit does mention a girlfriend. The obit does not mention Mary, Fannie or Jessie at all. Byron was an alcoholic and a drug addict. He was diagnosed with AIDS in 1991 and went off substances after that, and become a local community activist for AIDS sufferers. He died of hepatitis in 1996.

Anyway, with Byron dead, at this point all the police can really expect is to maybe find the mother and children’s bodies. It’s the children that particularly horrify me — why harm them? A one- and two-year-old could not be expected to be witnesses, even if they did see what happened to their mother.

Well, I’ll be darned

On a completely unrelated note: I was browsing through my mother’s library (former guest room) today and saw a familiar-looking garment hanging in the closet. It was a gorgeous dress Mom got me when I was about twelve. It is actually the kind of dress you could marry in — cream satin, with elaborate lace braid and trimmings and gauze and pearl beads etc. It is truly a sight to behold.

And I tried it on and IT STILL FITS. A few inches shorter than it had been, perhaps (knee-length now), but it zips all the way up and I can move without even worrying about busting the seams. It fits like I bought it yesterday.

No wonder people keep mistaking me for a high school freshman.

Haleigh Cummings vs. Adji Desir

Haleigh Cummings and Adji Desir were both children about the same age (she was five, he was six) who disappeared from southern Florida early this year. Adji disappeared while playing outside on January 10. Haleigh disappeared from her bedroom in the middle of the night on February 9. Haleigh’s case has got a ton of publicity, Adji’s very little.

A lot of people, bloggers etc., are saying it has to do with race. Haleigh was a blonde, blue-eyed white girl. Adji was a black, Haitian boy. An Amber Alert was issued in Haleigh’s case, but not in Adji’s, even though in neither instance did the police have any hard evidence that they were abducted. Some people are saying the only difference is that Adji was black. I don’t think so, though. There are in fact significant differences between the cases which go a long way towards explaining why Haleigh got an Amber and more publicity.

To begin with, Haleigh disappeared from her bed in the middle of the night. Adji disappeared during the daylight hours as he played outside. A kid who vanishes from her bed overnight is much more likely to have been abducted than a kid who disappears during the day while outside. Couple that with the fact that Adji is pretty seriously mentally disabled, and I can see why the police thought there was a good chance he just wandered off. (What I want to know is why his grandmother let him play outside alone, given that he has the mental capacity of a two-year-old and can’t talk. Oh well. Too late to do anything about that now.)

Adji lived in a primarily Haitian community. Both his parents are Haitian and his dad actually lives in Haiti. I think that would be a barrier as far as press attention is concerned. If Adji’s loved ones didn’t speak English well, or if they were simply uncomfortable with American reporters prying into their lives, there’s going to be less information about him, and thus, less articles. The Cummings family has been very open to the press — maybe a bit too much so, even, as they seem to use the news against one another. Also, their soap-operaish antics (custody battle and nasty allegations between Haleigh’s parents, Dad’s underage girlfriend, Dad putting a decapitated rat in his brother-in-law’s mailbox) make for interesting reading, though they detract from Haleigh herself.

So you see it’s not just skin color.

Some activity in the Haleigh Cummings case

The police now believe Haleigh Cummings was kidnapped by someone she knew, according to this Orlando Sentinel article. They haven’t ruled out her father’s girlfriend, Misty Croslin, as a suspect and they think she may be withholding information. Misty, who was only seventeen years old, was watching Haleigh and her brother the night the little girl disappeared. Both the girl’s parents have been ruled out as suspects though. Her dad was working and her mom was living in Georgia.

I think Haleigh is probably dead, but beyond that I haven’t a clue what happened to her. Her parents sound like they tried to do the best they could for their kids, which doesn’t make them good parents, but I don’t believe they harmed her. I don’t know about Misty. I suppose time will tell.

Additional articles:
Fox News
Palatka Daily News
WOKV
WJXT Jacksonville
First Coast News
The Gainesville Sun

Runaway vs. non-family abduction

It often happens that a young girl chooses to run off with an older (usually of age) boyfriend. In most cases, when this occurs the NCMEC lists the girl as a runaway and says she “may be in the company of an adult male.” Not always, though. Some of these girls are classified as abducted, and I’m not sure why. It seems to be like a completely random thing.

I thought it might have to do with age. Not so: Janet/Janeth Munoz, who wasn’t even twelve and a half, is listed as abducted on the California DOJ database but as a runaway with the NCMEC. Nor do the authorities have had to issue a warrant for the girl’s boyfriend: there is apparently no arrest warrant out for Reyna Alvarado-Carrera‘s boyfriend. Chioma Gray is listed as endangered missing, neither abducted nor a runaway, in spite of the fact that her boyfriend has a slew of warrants out for him connected to their flight. On the other hand, Diana Gonzalez, who is missing under very similar circumstances, is listed as a non-family abduction. What gives?

Go figure.

Okay, this is nauseating

I have read about a lot of horrible things and gotten pretty used to it, but even I am shocked and sickened by the story told in this article. In summary: Ian Richardson started a “sexual relationship” with John Taylor in 1989, when he was thirteen. He went to the police in 1991 and told them about the abuse and Taylor was charged, but Ian later retracted is statements and Taylor walked. In 1992, Ian told the cops he’d gotten drunk with Taylor, passed up, and woke up missing his foreskin. He said Taylor admitted to circumcising him. Taylor claims Ian did it himself. Ian was subsequently charged in juvenile court with punching Taylor during an argument. Then he disappeared without a trace. He was sixteen.

The whole thing sounds straight out of Running with Scissors.

What I want to know is: where the hell were Ian’s parents? We know he had a mother, at least. At minimum, his mom should have kept him away from Taylor after the first time Ian claimed he had been abused. But Ian kept hanging out with Taylor, and getting abused, and getting CIRCUMCISED WHILE PASSED OUT DRUNK for crying out loud, and even after that incident he was still around Taylor quite a bit. (Which goes to show how much he was under Taylor’s thumb.) What was his mom doing, if anything, to keep her son away from this monster? I understand you can’t watch a sixteen-year-old twenty-four hours a day, but…

I wouldn’t be surprised if Taylor wound up facing a murder-without-a-body trial.

“Derogatory information”

I was just looking at the discussion section of an article about a certain young woman who’s been missing for several years. Foul play suspected. Her family has a website out for her and talk about the person they think killed her. Anyway, the commenters are talking about this woman and one of them said the woman was “a mess” and her lifestyle was high-risk so a lot of people could have killed her. Someone else started talking about the “derogatory” and “victim blaming” information posted on certain websites. They linked to Charley’s casefile as an example.

The Charley file for this woman notes that she was employed as an exotic dancer. (She disappeared after leaving the strip club when her shift was over.) It also says she suffered from bipolar disorder and had a history of abusing cocaine. These things are quite true, as far as I know. I have actually heard from this woman’s family and they didn’t tell me anything on the page was inaccurate.

Am I wrong to post these things, since they might make people less sympathetic to the missing woman?

I think not. I am certainly not “victim blaming” when I post things about an MP’s criminal record or mental illness or whatever bad things were in their lives. I refuse to judge people — an MP is missing and needs to get found, no matter who they are or what they did. Certainly, if this woman was murdered, she did not deserve her fate no matter what her lifestyle was like. I try to be as inclusive as possible because the less-than-perfect aspects of an MP’s life could well be a factor in their disappearance. I can understand it would be upsetting and embarrassing to some to have it posted online that your missing daughter or whoever has, say, a criminal record a mile long and has spent time in mental hospitals. But I don’t want to whitewash things. That doesn’t get anyone anywhere.

Soldiers from mass grave in Turkey identified

Back in 2006, officials from the United Nations Committee on Missing Persons located a mass grave of nineteen people in northern Turkey. According to this article, five of the bodies have been identified as Greek Cypriot soldiers. 35 years ago Turkey invaded Cyprus (which, for the uninitiated, is an island nation in the Mediterranean sea, which is bilaterally divided into the “Greek side” and the “Turkish side”) and about 1600 people disappeared without a trace, not just soldiers either: there were over a hundred kids under seventeen and over three hundred old people sixty and over. (These numbers come from the Missing Cypriots website.) Very few of them have ever been found. The last sign of those particular five disappeared people was when they were photographed upon surrendering to the Turks and becoming prisoners of war. The oldest man was thirty years old, the youngest only nineteen. I’m not 100% sure but it looks like the other fourteen people in the grave are still unidentified.

That Turkey has committed war crimes (the Armenian genocide of the nineteen-teens also comes to mind) is not shocking to me. Many countries have done so — not that that doesn’t make a terrible thing, but what I’m saying is that Turkey is hardly alone in having committed atrocities. But they should at least admit it. Turkey has maintained a stony silence as to the 1974 invasion and what happened to the missing Cypriots. And they won’t even acknowledge the existence of the Armenian genocide. I am not holding present-day Turks responsible for what their fathers and grandfathers did, but the government should do the right thing and fess up and try to make amends, rather like Germany has. Revealing the ultimate fate of all the missing Cypriots, uncovering more mass graves if necessary, would be a good start.

Having a relative who is missing for political reasons or war-related reasons has got to be at least as stressful as having a missing relative of the kind listed on the Charley Project. You don’t know where they are, if they’re hurt, if they have enough to eat, where they lay their heads at night, even if they’re alive at all. The people of Cyprus deserve this closure.

Tracy Lynn Davenport

I found this article about the 1973 disappearance of seven-year-old Tracy Davenport. Previously I had zilch on her disappearance except for the curious fact that the California Department of Justice database at first classified her as a runaway. (Now she’s listed as missing under suspicious circumstances.) Now I still don’t have very much info, but a few details are better than no details, and it sounds like the police don’t have much either.

I dream about getting info on a little missing black girl, and a few days later I get info on a missing black girl, but not the same one. Huh.