California, Mexico team up to identify bodies

The Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office in California has established a partnership with the Mexican consulate to hopefully identify some of the forty-odd Jane and John Does lying around the county. Santa Cruz County is in central California, quite a distance from the border, but it seems there are a lot of Mexican immigrants there (perhaps there are a lot all over California) and there’s a very good chance that many of those unidentifieds were Mexican nationals.

I think this is a great thing. I wish more nations would cooperate like this to solve crimes.

Mitrice Richardson’s mom sues Los Angeles County

Earlier I wrote about the strange disappearance of Mitrice Richardson, who vanished into thin air shortly after being released from police custody. She had been arrested on a minor charge. It came to light later on that she was probably suffering from an episode of severe bipolar disorder. She had no history of mental illness and in fact was a high achiever, graduating from college with a 4.0 average. She had also won some beauty contests.

Well, since the beginning Mitrice’s family has blamed the police for letting her go. They say the cops should have seen how strangely she was acting and held her for a psych eval. She definitely was acting oddly in the restaurant where she was arrested, but the police claim she appeared sane enough in jail and they have a legal obligation to release arrestees as soon as possible. For Mitrice, that meant in the middle of the night. Supposedly they offered to let her stay until daybreak, but she refused and left the station a little after midnight.

Now, Mitrice’s mother, Latrice Sutton, has sued the county over her disappearance. According to this article, she’s alleging wrongful death, emotional distress, and civil rights violations. I thought Sutton had filed suit before but it seems she only filed a claim or something. She’s seeking unspecified damages, but mainly the ability to learn more about the circumstances of Mitrice’s arrest and disappearance. Sutton says: “This magical lawsuit will allow me to obtain every single document in the hands of the Los Angeles Police Department and to depose every officer and detective involved.”

A thought — Daisja Weaver now missing one year

I just remembered that nine-month-old Daisja Weaver was reported missing one year and nineteen days ago. Her mom claimed a man had broken into their apartment and tried to rape her, then ran off with the baby. The police were like, “Uh-huh, suuuure.” And very quickly the story fell apart. Daisja’s so-called father, Alandus, confessed that he “accidentally” drowned her while Daisja’s excuse for a mom, Tamaira Creagh, was out. Then he and Tamaira got rid of the body together and made up the kidnap story. They never found Daisja’s body and they don’t expect to. After a year, and given that she was an infant, there may be nothing left to find.

I did a search for more recent info and discovered that Alandus was found guilty of capital murder last month. At his trial he changed his story again, saying Tamaira had smothered the baby. He was sentenced to life in prison. Not sure how he escaped the death sentence. Tamaira gave birth to Alandus’s son a few months after Daisja’s murder. As far as I know she’s not in jail, I found her Facebook page which mentions “two kids daisja marie (RIP) and jayden my little man.”

I do not understand why women date dirt bags, have children by them and then let them abuse the children. Tamaira says she was a victim of long-term abuse at Alandus’s hands. I can buy that. He sounds like the abusing kind — he did kill his daughter after all. But if he was so horrible, why did she leave her helpless baby daughter in his care? I don’t understand that at all. Daisja looks like she was a beautiful baby. I’m sure plenty of people would have been willing to adopt her. Just luck of the draw that she got stuck with those two.

Lindsey Baum missing one year today

Today it has been one year since ten-year-old Lindsey Baum disappeared while walking home from a friend’s house in McCleary, Washington. Hopefully there will not be a second anniversary.

There is a good article about the anniversary, mostly an interview with Lindsey’s mom Melissa, whose troubles I have written about before. She is now staying with her sister in Olympia, Washington.

The police say they are seeking two possible witnesses in Lindsey’s disappearance, a man and a boy who were captured on a surveillance tape inside a gas station along Lindsey’s route home.

Well, it seems I worried for nothing.

Just back from municipal court. I pleaded guilty. $50 fine, $70 in court costs. That’s less than I got for speeding last fall!

Where I live it’s so rural we don’t have a specific court for traffic offenses; it’s all put together into one room. There were people there for all kinds of stuff, including three or four people who had been taken there from jail. It was actually kind of interesting. But I hope I don’t wind up in there again anytime soon.

Murder charge in Christine Blackburn-Wiles case

In April 2007, 39-year-old Christine Blackburn-Wiles disappeared from Belleview, Florida. Her former boyfriend, Billy Ashton, has just been charged with murder, less than 24 hours after he was sentenced to thirty years in prison for illegal weapons possession.

There’s some DNA evidence — Christine’s blood in the trunk of Ashton’s car — but it looks like most of the case will rest on the testimony of informants who say they heard Ashton confess. He does have a history of violence to women and once served six years for kidnapping and assaulting another girlfriend.

Michael Reapp located

Back in Vermont in 1978, a woman named Grace Canto Reapp and her five-year-old daughter, Grace Noel “Gracie” Reapp, vanished off the face of the earth. The husband/father, Michael, was a suspect in their cases for a long time. He remarried and moved to Florida. Then in 1996 he walked out of his life. He left after the police began searching his former property in Vermont for Grace and Gracie’s bodies, and a Vermont reporter called his home in Florida to interview him about it. The last known trace of him was an ATM withdrawal in New Orleans.

In 2006, Michael was finally charged with the murders of Grace and Gracie. The theory was that he killed Grace cause she found out he was having an affair, and Gracie witnessed her mother’s murder so he killed her too. (Reminds me very much of the murder of Jennifer Blagg and the disappearance of her daughter Abby, but there was a conviction in that case.) Unfortunately the authorities were no closer to finding Michael than before, so the case stagnated again.

Well, they finally got a break, and it’s not an altogether happy one: Michael has been identified as a John Doe out of Yuma, Arizona. Thus he is beyond the reach of earthly justice.

The circumstances of his death are unusual. On January 10, 1997, he kidnapped a man at gunpoint and stole his money and car. His victim escaped and Michael, driving the man’s car, was in a high-speed chase down the highway. The police caught up to him and forced him to pull over, and they were trying to get him to get out of the car so he could be arrested, but instead he shot himself in the head. And he had no ID or anything and remained unidentified for thirteen and a half years.

Grace and Gracie’s loved ones may be relieved that Michael has been located and is no longer a danger to society, but now he will never be held accountable for what he did and will never get a chance to tell whatever it was that he knew (assuming he would have done so). This was not the only tragedy in the family; one of the couple’s sons died young in 1996. Natural causes, the flu I think.

Brother of missing man tried to sue Los Angeles

I saw here that Louis Francis, the brother of Eddie Francis, sued the city of Los Angeles over Eddie’s disappearance. Eddie has been missing from LA since 1992. Before now I knew zilch about his disappearance.

This is what I can decipher from the legalese here:

Louis filed a claim against the government in June 2007, saying the city deliberately neglected to look for Eddie. He sought $2.3 million for emotional distress, but his claim got dismissed in September. Louis attempted to file a summons and complaint in December 2007, but his paperwork wasn’t adequate and his complaint was returned. The same thing happened when he tried against in January 2008, and in February. Fourth time’s the charm: Louis’s complaint was finally filed in March. Then he amended it in June. But his complaint was dismissed for the time lapse — he should have filed it sooner, apparently. So Louis appealed, citing his prior attempts to file, but it’s a no-go. The appeals court upheld the dismissal because Louis took too long to file his initial claim.

I wish this document would reveal more about Eddie’s disappearance. All that I can tell from this is that he has some kind of mental impairment.

Goldie Thornsberry identified, two arrested

This just in: skeletal remains found in Little Rock, Arkansas in 2000 have been identified as Goldie Thornsberry, a 65-year-old woman missing from Fayetteville, Arkansas since January 1996. Two suspects have been arrested for her murder: her own daughter, Rita Flowers, and Rita’s former husband, Raymond Douglas. They lived with Goldie and have been suspects in her disappearance since March 1996, when investigators discovered they’d forged her name to get access to her bank accounts. They pleaded guilty to the forgeries, but the missing persons case didn’t go anywhere until now.

To hinder identification, Rita and Raymond apparently pulled her teeth and cut off her hands and one leg. No wonder Goldie’s body took so long to identify!

Shame…her own daughter…her own son-in-law… and for nothing but greed.

Brittanee Drexel to be honored at high school graduation ceremony

I found this article that says Brittanee Drexel, who’s been missing for over a year now, will be honored at her high school graduation ceremony on June 23. She was a junior at Gates-Chili High School in Rochester, New York when she went missing, meaning she would have graduated this year. She was enrolled in a vocational cosmetology program and also played on the soccer team.

At the graduation ceremony, Brittanee’s mom will attend and accept an honorary diploma in her stead. I think that’s a really sweet gesture made by her school and her class. I suppose they could have set up some kind of monument for her at the school or planted a tree in her honor or something, but that would seem to imply that they think she’s dead, which is by no means certain.