Yet another set of disappearances from an institution

choolEarlier on this blog I wrote about three teenage boys who all disappeared (years apart) from the same treatment facility for troubled youths and were never found. Well, I have just discovered another set of disappearances from another institution, in this case a state-operated institution for retarded people.

Seventeen-year-old Steven Eugene Anderson and twelve-year-old David Williams disappeared together from the New Lisbon State School for Retarded Males in 1975 and were never found. Steven was moderately retarded (from his picture he looks like he might have Downs Syndrome). I don’t have any info on David’s mental condition, but I know he takes medication, and I listed him as mentally disabled since he did, after all, live at the school.

I just found the NamUs profile of 46-year-old Kenneth Arthur Schweighart, who disappeared from New Lisbon State School in 1982. From what little information is available, the circumstances look about the same: walked off campus and vanished without a trace, no evidence to speak of.

I think this is rather odd, to say the least.

The New Lisbon State School is now called the New Lisbon Developmental Center. According to the New Jersey Department of Human Services, it houses over 400 people. It’s coed now and only serves those 18 and up. I wish I could find info as to what the place was like in the seventies and eighties.

I wonder if anyone has looked really hard at the school and its employees? Were there any more links between the 1975 disappearances and the 1982 one, besides the location? I can see one retarded guy wandering off. But three? Were Steven and David supervised? It seems to me that a seventeen-year-old and a twelve-year-old with mental disabilities should not be able to just leave campus without someone with them. I would love to know more about these cases but I can’t find much. As ever.

Ulysses Roberson convicted of second-degree murder

Ulysses Roberson has finally been convicted of murder in the death of his four-year-old son, Alexander Olive. I say “finally” because the trial didn’t begin until eight years after charges were filed, and the trial itself lasted two months. Ulysses could have been tried in 2006, but he fired his public defender and everything ground to a halt again. I hope the delay of the trial won’t become an appeals issue later.

Anyway, he faces 15 years to life in prison for second-degree murder. Prosecutors had hoped for a conviction for first-degree murder (25 to life), but I don’t think it makes any practical difference. Ulysses is a monster with a criminal record for violent and sexual offenses. I don’t think any parole board is going to let him go. And judging from his photo, he’s getting up in years. He will most likely die in prison.