Sad news (but unsurprising)

I have written before about the mysterious disappearances of three boys from the same boarding school for troubled youths in California, the CEDU School. I don’t know much about the disappearance of John Christopher Inman, just that he was seventeen, had seizures, and listed as a runaway. He disappeared in 1993. Blake Pursley, a fourteen-year-old with physical handicaps that would make it difficult or impossible for him to survive on his own, disappeared from the school in 1994. Daniel Yuen, sixteen, ran away from the school in 2004. Since it’s verified that he did in fact run away and there have been sightings of him after his disappearance, I would think his case to be above suspicion. But as to the others…I just don’t know. Blake’s disappearance in particular looks suspicious to me. The boy had so many medical problems, I don’t think he was physically capable of running away.

What are the chances that so many children would vanish off the face of the earth from the same school?

CEDU filed for bankruptcy and closed down in 2005. This was in part because of lawsuits filed by parents of children who were physically, psychologically and sexually abused there. It appears that the school systematically abused its students and violated their rights, while conning parents into thinking they’d done the right thing to send their children there. The tuition ran to thousands per month.

Anyway, a Charley Project blog reader showed me this article about a convicted child molester and murderer who visited CEDU on a regular basis in the nineties as a psychiatrist’s “helper.” Both the psychiatrist and his helper, James Lee Crummel, were eventually convicted of sexually abusing one of the doctor’s teen patients. Crummel is now on death row for the murder of a teenager who was killed over twenty-five years ago. He was convicted of the murder in 2004. The article provides a long, sad forty-year litany of his crimes: molesting kids, killing or attempting to kill them, over and over and over again. I don’t understand why he wasn’t locked up long before this.

So now the cops are looking at him for Blake and John. And curiously, Crummel lived on the same street as nine-year-old Jack Daniel Phillips who disappeared in 1995.

I do hope something comes of this. Something happened to those boys, and their families deserve to know what became of them. I doubt either of them are alive today.

Syllania Edwards found deceased

I just got a recovery notice from the NCMEC saying Syllania Terene Edwards has been found dead. I knew nothing about it so I Googled it and found this article. She is the eighth mesa victim! This is very odd. All the other victims thus far have been white or Hispanic local prostitutes in their twenties or thirties. Syllania was black and a runaway from Lawton, Oklahoma. She was fifteen years old when she disappeared in August 2003. The article says she was in foster care and hadn’t seen her mother since she was five.

That’s eight down, three to go.

Two runaways

As I noted on Charley yesterday, Nicholas Francisco was found alive and well. Unconfirmed sources placed him in California. He was 28 and married with two kids and another on the way when he vanished off the face of the earth from Washington State in February 2008. Nicholas’s case got more attention than most missing men’s cases do, I think in large part because his wife was very vocal and active in the search for him. At first she insisted he would never have abandoned the family and must have been murdered. But four months later, she filed for divorce citing “willful abandonment.” She said she found evidence that Nicholas was living a double life, with secret bank accounts and such. Some comments I’ve seen online claim he was having sexual contacts with men he’d met on the internet. If so, how humiliating for the wife! She has already remarried.

As far as I’m concerned, that kind of behavior is inexcusable. A real man, gay or otherwise, does not walk out on his wife when she’s pregnant and unemployed. A real man doesn’t abandon his young children without a word. Nicholas apparently found his home life intolerable — okay, I’ll buy that. So find a lawyer, get a divorce, divide up the marital assets, set up a custody arrangement and pay child support. Don’t just leave. That’s the worst thing, the very cruelest thing you can ever do to those that love you.

Also, as I will put up on Charley today, Theresa Marie Meadows has been located. She was sixteen when she ran away from Mechanicsville, Virginia in September 2004. Her case was a bit unusual because, except for a letter her guardian got six weeks after her disappearance, it appeared that no one ever heard from her again, and she never used her Social Security number or anything like that, so there was no paper trail. Theresa was located in Florida recently, after over five years. She’d been living under an assumed name and without documents. I expect her life has been pretty hard. She’s talked on the phone with her mother but they haven’t met yet. Theresa’s mom was in drug treatment when her daughter disappeared, which is why Theresa was living with a guardian. I hope Theresa is happy and will be able to live an easier life now that she is now longer listed as a missing person.

I’m back!

My boyfriend was supposed to give the power cord to his parents for me to pick up, but he forgot. He offered to make a special trip so I could get the cord, but I decided it wasn’t worth that. So I went computer-less for five days. Now I’m back at his house, with the cord.

I think it’s just as well I didn’t have my computer this week. Work has been absolute hell — the worst work week I’ve ever had, and I’ve worked at that place for three and a half years. When I went home all I wanted to do was read and sleep without the stress of updating.

Anyway, I hope to resume normal updates soon.

A good idea

The author of the following letter sent this to me and I decided to post this on my blog because I think it’s an excellent idea:

To Whom it May Concern:

This is an idea I have for finding women and children who are believed to have been kidnapped and sold into the human trafficking / sex slave market of third world and other countries, including this one.

My name is Anna Maria. I am a 29-year-old woman. I am a born United States Citizen, and I currently live in Altamonte Springs, Florida. As a concerned US citizen, my heart goes out to the many families who have loved ones that have been kidnapped and are believed to have been sold into the human trafficking / sex slave markets, and I am writing out of a sincere desire to help.

I believe it may be possible to locate these victims by using the internet (particularly, search engine optimization) to specifically target potential, current, or past customers of the people holding these victims captive with information about each individual victim and each family’s individual search. This may be done by building separate websites providing full information on each victim individually, but optimizing the websites as if they were the same type of sex/adult friend finder/escort service/brothel/etc website that these customers would be searching for.

The websites would need to be optimized for any, and all, search terms that these customers would type into Google, or any search engine, in order to find the websites that provide these services in the locations they are looking for. The websites should be optimized and built in each of the likely languages that would be used when searching. For example: if it is possible that a victim may be held in a place where people may speak Spanish, English, as well as Portuguese, and if the potential customers would be persons who speak one or all of these languages, then that victim’s websites should be completely optimized in all three languages, for all of the differing search terms that someone would type in their own language.

In order to entice the potential customers to ‘click,’ the websites need to have URLs appropriate for what these customers would be looking for—example: http://www.best-brothels-in-south-america.com, or http://www.gorgeous-escorts-for-your-vacation.com, or http://www.exotic-girls-of-ecuador.net, etc.

The websites should also contain pictures of what the victim may look like now, with as many variations as possible in hair style and color, in facial expression, and in clothing, accessories, and makeup. Pictures or drawings of every single distinctive feature, such as tattoos, body piercings, and birth marks should appear as well. I believe that pictures speak louder, and faster, than words, and while full descriptions are important and should be provided, pictures and quick, easy-to-read bold statements must be prominent. This is especially important when considering that these customers would likely stumble onto these websites, and only remain for a matter of seconds or minutes.

I am a small business owner who has found search engine optimization to be key in targeting my own potential customers. I learned much of what I know about search engine optimization from another small business friend of mine, and from, believe it or not, Search Engine Optimization for Dummies by Peter Kent. It took me a year to finally digest the information and use it effectively, but once I learned to do this correctly, it has been very successful.

I know a lot about building websites, and search engine optimization, however, I am not a specialist. There are definitely people who are experts at web development and search engine optimization, however, not all web developers know how to optimize a website for search engines. If each individual family of these victims is able to employ a specialist in search engine optimization, I strongly encourage them to do so in order to best build, and optimize the sort of website I have mentioned in this letter. If they are not able to employ a specialist, and if they want to try to tackle this on their own, I encourage them to read Search Engine Optimization for Dummies, and any other search engine optimization book out on the market today for help and ideas.

This is a complicated process—especially for persons who are not used to thinking in terms of web development and optimizing pages for key words, but if the right people are targeted with the right keywords and phrases, the persons who actually have contact with the victims of kidnapping and human trafficking would very likely stumble onto these pages.

Usually, families of missing persons only build webpages that are targeted at the regular, law abiding, concerned US citizen—example: http://www.amybradley.net. This is a great site for providing information to people who know Amy Bradley, or for anyone who may have seen the Dr. Phil special which aired a few years ago and might be interested in reading up on her situation, but this website will in no way reach the people who could actually do anything about it! This site is not in any way optimized for reaching the would-be customers of various brothels in third world countries. Those customers are not going to type “Amy Bradley” or “Find Amy Bradley” into http://www.Google.com. They are going to type search phrases in their own languages that will help them to find the type of brothel or escort service they are looking for in their location, and whatever it is they type into Google, it will definitely NOT be “Find Amy Bradley.”

If possible, please forward this information to any families who have loved ones that have been kidnapped and lost to this industry.

Thank you very much, and best wishes to the grieving families of these victims.

Sincerely,
Anna Maria

© Anna Maria 2009 | This letter is posted here with permission by the author. For permission to write about this idea, or to reproduce this letter in part, or in full, please write for permission to Anna Maria here.