Eighteen-year-old Lisa Anne Mowrey, a cosmetology student, disappeared on her way to class in Tampa, Florida on February 6, 2004. Well, last week her skeletal remains were found along Interstate 75 in Florida. The bones were identified today. There’s no indication of a cause of death or foul play or anything at this point; they may never know what happened. A salon smock was found with the remains. Lisa was wearing one the day she disappeared; she probably died within a short time after that.
She was probably the victim of a homicide, simply because she was only eighteen and didn’t have any medical conditions that would cause her to drop to dead. It may be worth noting that she was mentally ill: she had ADD, bipolar disorder and OCD, but those conditions were being controlled with medication.
The Northeast News and Tribune
The Miami Herald
The St. Petersburg Times
ABC Action News
Two suspects have been convicted of killing Darryl Miller, who’s been missing from Spartanburg, South Carolina since 2005. Miller had a troubled past; he shot a man to death when he was a teenager and served ten years in prison. But after he got out he kept his nose clean and didn’t get in trouble again. He was apparently killed during a robbery attempt. The murderers will both serve 30 years in prison with no chance at parole.
Last I knew, a suspect in the Yolanda Baker disappearance — her boyfriend, the father of her children — is currently on trial. However that article is over ten days old. I don’t know whether he’s still being tried, or if there’s been a verdict or what. Anyone who does know, please pass it along my way so I can update her case. From my reading, the case against the guy looks flimsy — not only no body, but no weapon, no witnesses, only a few drops of blood. But you can get a conviction on that. The Reiser case in California comes to mind.
Earlier I posted that, per Project Jason, Katesia Weathers had been found dead. Not so, apparently; it’s just that her family now considers her deceased and her case done with. What has happened is that her killer (yes, the boyfriend again) pleaded no contest to murder earlier this month. He got twenty-five years, this on top of twenty-two years he got for attacking Katesia earlier. I don’t know about the assault sentence, but the murder sentence is without parole, so chances are he’s never going to see the light of day again. He could have faced the death penalty if it had gone to trial. No contest pleas are, excuse my French, chickenshit — basically, they’re a way to plead guilty to get reduced time and all that without actually admitting you did anything wrong. A guilty plea usually requires adjudication, meaning you have to stand up in court and say yes, you did what they said you did.
Tad DiBiase, a prosecutor who’s done no-body cases before, has put up a tip list of how to successfully prosecute such cases.
As promised, the police have released more info. The suspects are the aforementioned Lee Anthony Evans, as well as Philander Hampton, both in their fifties. A third suspect, Maurice Woody-Olds, died in 2008. The three men are all cousins. As to motive, this article says: Police say Evans routinely hired teens to help with odd jobs, and they believe the boys broke into one of the suspects’ apartments and stole marijuana. Drugs. I suspected as much. Getting involved with drugs is like poking Death with a stick.
And here’s how it happened:
The five teenagers were led into an abandoned house on Camden Street in Newark, where they were locked inside at gunpoint, authorities said at the conference. The house was then burned to the ground.
God, what a horrible way to die.
This has made a big splash in the news, making headlines as far away as Malaysia. Here are some articles:
The New Jersey Star-Ledger
The Associated Press
The Alternative Press
One of the more puzzling cases on Charley was the disappearance of five teen boys from Newark, New Jersey on the night of August 20, 1978: Randy Johnson, Michael McDowell, Melvin Pittman, Ernest Taylor and Alvin Turner. All of them black, between 16 and 17 years old. All of them good kids; only McDowell had a record, and that was just one arrest for getting into a fight. They were hanging out that night, playing basketball, cramming a little bit more fun into the last days of summer…then they were gone.
It wasn’t for a long time that I was able to get photos of the boys to put them on Charley — and the photos are not very good quality. Their cases did not get anywhere near the attention they deserved. Their disappearances mystified me. Why would someone snatch five teenage boys? And how would they do it without there being a fierce, noisy struggle? No one saw anything. The kids just disappeared into thin air.
Well, there’s been a breakthrough: two men have been arrested and charged with murdering all five of the boys — and arson as well. One of the suspects, according to an unidentified law enforcement source, is Lee Evans. Evans is the last person known to have seen the boys alive, but previous reports stated he’d been ruled out as a suspect. There will be a news conference later this morning with details.
I think this just goes to show that, even if it’s not in the news, you shouldn’t assume the cops aren’t doing anything to find someone. There had not been anything about these boys in the news since the summer of 2008, but it seems the police were quietly plugging away, and now they have results. I just hope they can make a case after over thirty years.
Justice delayed is still justice.
The New Jersey Star-Ledger (this one has pictures of the suspects)
The Associated Press
The Los Angeles Daily News