Murder charges in Naum Rafael Mendez’s case

Juan Carlos Atenco-Camacho has been charged with murdering 33-year-old Naum Rafael Mendez, a gay transvestite waiter who disappeared from Boca Raton, Florida in February 2008. I found two articles about this and I’m not real clear as to whether the body has been found; one article just says Atenco-Camacho lead the cops to the body; another says he lead them to the dump site and the police hadn’t found the body yet but they were looking.

In any case, Atenco-Camacho sounds like a real prince. He claims he’s straight, but he’d had sex with Mendez a few times. He is also married. He has a young son with his wife, and was keeping a teenage mistress on the side. The girl, who was 14 when she started dating Atenco-Camacho, was 16 and pregnant with his child when Mendez disappeared. Oh, and he’s a “habitual traffic offender.” Apparently Mendez confessed to Atenco-Camacho that he was in love with him and begged him to leave his wife, and they got into an argument and Atenco-Camacho stabbed him to death and dumped the body.

When people try to juggle multiple romantic relationships it often ends in tragedy.

More details about Amber Nicklas

Yesterday I wrote about Amber Nicklas, a foster child abducted by relatives, being found after six years. She turned up in the care of an unrelated family in Phoenix. I found this article that gives more details about her disappearance and family situation. Her mother had given up parental rights and Amber was living with her grandmother when she was “forcibly removed.”

Amber’s three teenage aunts had a court-approved visitation with her when they took her to a restaurant and snatched. Two of them were caught and sent to juvy, but the third, thirteen-year-old Sabrina, was missing with Amber for the next six years. Police have located and interviewed Sabrina. They say they think Amber was living with this family in Phoenix where she was found since shortly after her disappearance. The family hasn’t faced any charges yet and may not be charged. They say they adopted her, which I guess is sort of true, but they obviously knew there was something not strictly kosher about this “adoption.”

This case has made huge news, even outside the USA. I’m not sure why, since this was a family abduction.

Article about Deanna Merryfield

I found this interesting article about the 1993 disappearance of thirteen-year-old Deanna Merryfield. Her twin sister was interviewed. The family had a lot of problems: alcoholic mother, sexual abuse of Deanna by a relative, they were passed back and forth among various members of the family. The twins were separated at the time Deanna went missing; she was with a grandmother, and her sister was with an uncle.

Deanna’s sister believes she ran away and is still alive, and from the sounds of it that’s a very real possibility. I hope she calls home. She may not want to be in touch with some of her relatives, but it would be nice if her sister could hear she was safe.

Rosa Lisowski’s husband commits suicide

I just found out that Henry, the husband of missing Rosa Lisowski, killed himself in March. This was shortly after he was convicted of Rosa’s murder. They were in the process of a divorce and Henry apparently killed her to avoid having to pay child support, though he claimed her death was an accident. Before he could be sentenced (he was facing life without parole), Henry ODed on the antidepressants Remeron and Tradozone.

The judge has quite sensibly just agreed to “abate” all court proceedings against Henry on account of the fact that Henry is dead.

I can’t say I’m sorry this waste of oxygen is deceased and California taxpayers will no longer have to pay for his food, housing and medical care. I wonder what the couple’s children think about it all, though, and what they will think later on. Are they glad of it, or is their father’s death just another blow? They are young and were, in any case, essentially orphaned even before Henry kicked it. I hope whoever is looking after them is a good person and I hope they’re getting the therapy and love and support they need.

Good riddance to bad rubbish.

Child missing for six years found safe in Phoenix

I found several articles about a foster child who was kidnapped out of foster care from Norwalk, California at the age of one, six years ago. She has been located safe in Phoenix, Arizona — curiously, living with a family not related to her. DNA tests confirmed her identity. None of the articles give the name of the child, but it has to be Amber Nicklas. She matches all the other particulars, including the exact date of disappearance.

While Amber was in good health when she was found, she had never been to school. Her name and birthdate had also changed. Fortunately as she is only seven, she won’t have much school to catch up on.


Los Angeles Times blog
MyFox Phoenix
San Francisco Chronicle
Pasadena Star News

Your latest edition of “Why does this always happen to me?”

I had known for the past several days that there was a bat in the house. I hadn’t paid much attention to it, actually. This is not the first time, nor will it be the last, that a bat has somehow made its way into the house. I can’t figure out how they keep getting in. None of the windows are open that I know of.

Anyway, last week I saw him flying around the living room. I knew it was hopeless to catch him so I just let it go. Last night he walked, crablike, across the floor in front of the fireplace and I saw him and marveled that he was still alive. I went away to get a box but when I came back he had vanished.

This evening I was asleep (finally!) on the couch when I woke up to the sensation of something crawling across my foot. This was not an insect — I could feel it through my socks and it was big. I instinctively shook my foot violently to get rid of whatever it was — I assumed a mouse. I got up and turned on the light and saw the bat clinging to the back of the couch.

The bat is outside now, thank goodness. I got a kitchen towel, pried him off the couch (he didn’t want to go, clung to the fabric with his little clawsies) and carried him in the towel onto the porch. I had the opportunity to get a close look at him under the porchlight. Bats are cute. They look like mice with wings. He had little tiny pinprick eyes and he made little clicking noises. I was actually tempted to pet him. I took some pictures with my cell phone camera, then went next door to fetch my neighbor the minister. But when we got back the bat had flown away.

Nice knowing you, little batty. Don’t come visit me again any time soon.

Pictures: Bat 1, Bat 2 and Bat 3.