“Missing” wanted criminals

Every once in awhile I come across a case where someone is listed as a missing person, when they are actually on the run because they’re wanted for a serious crime. I just found another, a young man listed as missing on NamUs. I started to write up his case and, as is customary, Googled his name — and lo, this man is wanted for murder and considered armed and dangerous!

Another young woman who is listed on the NCMEC site (though not as an NCMEC case, but rather a Maryland Center for Missing Children case) was on the MPCCN and I think the Charley Project for years before I found out she’s wanted for attempted murder. There is a man who was (and probably still is) listed on NCMA who fled after being charged with sex offenses. I think he set up a hidden camera in a girls’ locker room and watched them change clothes. He is also on America’s Most Wanted. A further case I remember is a man listed with the Nebraska State Patrol as a missing person — quite an old case. After looking up information on him I found out he killed his parents when he was fifteen and “went missing” after he escaped from prison nine years later. I admit that it’s a bit odd that no one has seen or heard from him since 1967, but guys, this man is a double murderer and prison escapee! Wanted! Not missing!

There may be more to the story than I know — there probably is — but from what information I do have it seems ridiculous. I do not understand why such people are listed as missing persons when they’re really wanted criminals. It strikes me as extremely irresponsible. Suppose, say, someone sees the person listed as missing and they think he might be someone they know. So they confront him: “Is that your real name? Aren’t you you actually so-and-so? Cause I saw this poster and you look an awful lot like him.” And the missing/wanted person, thinking the jig is up and he’s about to get arrested and sent to prison, becomes violent. Again. It’s a remote possibility, I admit, but it could happen.

Thoughts, anyone?

Martha Jean Lambert’s case closed

A Charley reader sent word of this to me, prompting me to do my own searching. The disappearance of Martha Jean Lambert, a twelve-year-old girl who disappeared from Elkton, Florida in November 1985, has been closed although her body has never been found. Martha’s brother David, who was fourteen years old at the time, got into a fight with his sister and pushed her, and she fell back onto a piece of steel which punctured her skull (ew) and killed her. David panicked over what his parents might think, buried her in a shallow grave and kept his mouth shut for the next twenty-five years. The best article I can find about this is with the St. Augustine Record.

David made his confession in September, but it hasn’t been made public till now. The police looked for Martha’s body but couldn’t find it and don’t expect to, because the abandoned college where she was buried has been bulldozed and the area completely rebuilt. No charges will be filed against David, due to his age at the time and the fact that the statute of limitations for manslaughter has expired. The Lamberts’ father is dead, and their mom is still in denial, insisting that David could never have killed his sister.

This reminds me a lot of the Robert Mayotte case. He was about twelve, I think, and was missing for over ten years and presumed abducted. Then his friends finally admitted he’d died in an accident, I think a shooting accident, on the day he disappeared and they freaked out and hid his body. I don’t remember whether any charges were filed against them. Probably not. It’s a dreadful, horrible thing to try to hide it and make the missing child’s family wait and worry and wonder all those years, but I was suppose it’s better to come forward late than never.

Rest in peace, Martha.