In 1993, two men disappeared from Merced, California on the same day. Their names were Paul Armstrong and Steven Lombard. They didn’t disappear together and they weren’t friends or anything, but they both worked for the same company which seems like an awfully strange coincidence. Both of them remain missing to this day.
The owner of the aforementioned company was a guy named Randal Wright. In 1983, a decade before his employees’ disappearances, Randal’s six-year-old stepson Aaron Larson Wright drowned in a neighbor’s pool while Randal was babysitting him. Then, last February, Randal’s wife Karen disappeared from their vacation home in Mexico. The couple were in the process of a messy divorce and Randal had threatened her life. Karen has never been located. I don’t have her on Charley because she went missing in Mexico, but I can post her due to her US citizenship and now I’m sorely tempted.
Boy, is Randal unlucky. Trouble seems to follow him wherever he goes. He’s tied to one suspicious death and three disappearances all presumed homicides. And now it seems little Aaron’s death is coming back to haunt him, because the cops are exhuming the body:
Sheriff Mark Pazin says he made the decision to exhume Aaron’s body because of other suspicious circumstances surrounding his step-father, Randal Wright.
“It seems like everybody he comes in contact with is gone,” said Sheriff Pazin.
In another article, the sheriff says, “I just felt strongly about this, and there is a common denominator — and I think it’s pretty obvious that all the numerators are gone.”
I should emphasize that Aaron isn’t being called a “suspect” in any of these cases. However, police have suspects all the time that aren’t officially designated as such. This is because official suspects have certain rights that mere “persons of interest” do not. And I kind of doubt the exhumation is going to reveal much. Forensic science is awesome, but it’s been 27 years and, if the kid really did drown, it’s damn near impossible to differentiate between homicidal and accidental drownings even on fresh bodies.
Still… What I want to know, if there are any statisticians out there, is what is the probability that one man could be tied to so many disappearances/deaths and not be involved somehow?