Charges filed in missing teen case

Argh. This boy has been missing almost four years and I have never heard of him before, and he is not on the NCMEC website.

Seventeen-year-old David Wayne Beach III disappeared from Spencer, West Virginia on Mother’s Day 2006. According to the cops, William Albert “Seth” Denmark picked him up from home, drove him to his own house, walked him up a hill, had him unknowingly dig his own grave (“can you help me dig a big hole”) and shot him to death. Such is the story of a witness, Veronica Cottrill, who saw the whole thing and just came forward recently. She said Seth had taken her against her will and she didn’t say anything before now because she was afraid of him.

Seth’s been charged only with kidnapping at this point, not murder. His mom, Jackie, has been charged with aiding and abetting her son because she knew what happened and did nothing about it. Seth’s father, William Anthony Denmark, has been charged with with conspiracy to inflict bodily injury in a semi-unrelated case; he, Seth and David apparently conspired to shoot another man, Aaron Lloyd, whom Seth shot in the leg in April 2006. This was a month before David disappeared.

This is really bizarre and I wonder just what was going on there. I can’t find any pictures of David; maybe some will crop up later. Or maybe they’ll find his body and upgrade Seth’s kidnapping charge to murder.

The Charleston Daily Mail
The State Journal
The Metro News

Cops close Candace Clothier case

The Bucks County, Pennsylvania police are closing their homicide investigation in the 1968 death of Candace Clothier, according to this article. She was sixteen years old when she disappeared after leaving her home in Philadelphia. Her (partially clothed) body didn’t turn up for five weeks. Authorities believe she died of a forced drug overdose.

The reason the cops are closing the case is not because they’ve made an arrest but because they have three prime suspects in her murder and all of them have been dead for at least ten years, one for 35 years. I suppose I can understand that reasoning. They are not naming the suspects because it wouldn’t serve the public interest and would only cause their families pain.

Candace’s father, who had to be sedated after he identified her body, died of a sudden heart attack only three months after that. He was only 48 and his other daughter says whoever killed Candace basically killed her dad too. Even if he did have an underlying condition, the stress certainly would have made it much worse.

What else is there to say? May Candace rest in peace.

Border crossings

I just found this excellent CNN article on the 1993 disappearance of Jose Francisco Fuentes Periera. Before this I had known practically nothing about his disappearance.

Seven-year-old Jose, along with two older brothers, his sister and an aunt, disappeared shortly after sneaking over the US border in southern California. They were part of a large group of people being smuggled in and someone yelled “policia,” and then everyone freaked out and scattered. When they all calmed down and found each other again, Jose was missing. The smugglers, after escorting everyone to safety, went back with a search party, but he’s never been found.

The prospects of finding Jose seem pretty bleak. They’re not even sure exactly where he disappeared, since they were all out in the middle of nowhere. Further, Jose didn’t know his date of birth or his last name, and he might not have known his real first name, since everyone called him by the nickname Paquito. I suppose it goes without saying that he didn’t speak any English either. The family is originally from El Salvador. Jose and his siblings was going to join their mother, who had moved to the US four or five years before, leaving them to be raised by grandparents. They lived in a small, remote village and Jose had never attended school.

Quite a few people — no one knows how many — disappear or die trying to cross the border every year. Because more urban areas are harder to get through, they try to go through the desert, where conditions are treacherous and it’s easy to get lost. Then, naturally, people are afraid to report disappearances and bring themselves to the attention of the authorities, and it’s likely that the authorities themselves will squabble over jurisdictional issues. I tried to see how many others on Charley disappeared during a border crossing and came up with Melvin Cedillo, Sandra Aguilar-Granados, Delfina Guzman, Miguel Cisneros and Armando Rivera Noriega. I’m sure this barely scratches the surface of the problem, though. I also have a few illegal immigrants who disappeared within the United States.

Like sex trade workers, people who vanish or become crime victims while illegally crossing the border are seen as having brought this on themselves, and I’ve seen some people speculate as to why the cops should bother to look for them, since it’s not like there aren’t enough crimes to investigate already. I think that kind of behavior/thinking is disgusting. However you stand on the immigration issue, these people are people, and if they disappeared within our borders then our authorities have an obligation to try to locate them.