A scattering of missing persons news

Lee Evans has finally made bail while awaiting trial for five counts of murder. He and his co-defendant Philander Hampton are suspected of killing the still-missing Clinton Avenue Five in 1978: Melvin Pittman, Randy Johnson, Michael McDowell, Ernest Taylor and Alvin Turner. Bail was initially set at five million dollars, then lowered to $1.25 million, and now to just under $1 million, and Evans and his family were able to come up with property worth that much. It will most likely be years before this case goes to trial and I’m sure Evans is happy he won’t have to be in jail all that time.

Authorities have made an arrest in the 1999 disappearance and presumed murder of three-year-old Pilar Rodriguez. They’re not saying who, how or why, but promise to release more info this afternoon.

I found this article about Sarah Lee Murray, a fourteen-year-old who’s been missing since 1997. I don’t have much on her and I still don’t, but the article provides a little more info. She’s apparently an orphan who was living with relatives at the time of her disappearance.

It has now been nine months and then some since Ilya Lastovkin disappeared. He was 22 and suffering from depression, and he’d left home before, but never for longer than a day or two.

Lastly, in two days it’ll be exactly one year since Jaycee Dugard was found safe.

Home searched in Michaela Garecht case

The police aren’t saying, but the man whose home and yard were searched earlier this week says they were looking for Michaela Garecht, a nine-year-old who was abducted from Hayward, California in 1988.

In this article the man, David Jensen, says the search came because of a made-up story his adult son told about witnessing Michaela’s murder and burial. Jensen is upset because his backyard and house got pretty torn up during the search. The police aren’t saying if they found anything significant.

If you look at the comments section of the article there’s some interesting commentroversy going on.

Trying to identify living Does

I just found this really cool article about some people who are wards of the state in Las Vegas and have no identities. Either severely mentally ill or suffering from brain damage, they are unable to provide anything like birthdates or Social Security numbers, and their names, if they have them, don’t pop up on databases anywhere. The county keeps them in institutions and care homes, but they’re ineligible for benefits like Medicaid because no one knows who they are.

The article tells the story of Monika Jenkins, a woman with schizophrenia who was on the Charley Project. She was living on the streets in Las Vegas. Her parents would periodically go looking for her, find her and try to convince her to come home with them, but she didn’t want to go. Monika turned out to be one of those unknown people the county was looking after.

These are very sad stories. Probably these people have someone, somewhere, who cares about them and just doesn’t know where to start looking. I hope this article leads to identifying all the other unknown wards.

Misty and Tommy Croslin’s mother talks

I found this interview with Lisa Croslin, mother of Misty and Tommy Croslin and onetime step-grandmother of Haleigh Cummings. Lisa and her husband Hank were jailed on drug charges (unrelated to their children’s drug case) and Hank is still in jail, but Lisa has been released and is now living in an undisclosed location. Lisa’s statements, and Lisa herself, are only tangentially connected to Haleigh’s case, but I think they’re worth looking at anyway. This is apparently the first time she’s spoken to the media, and it’s only on the Blogger News Network, not on, say, Nancy Grace’s show.

In fact, Lisa seems to have joined the legion of Nancy Grace haters, saying Nancy unfairly targeted her kids: “Nancy Grace opens her mouth before she gets evidence and continually drags us to the ground.” I agree with that statement in principle, but as I am not blinded by mother-love, it seems highly unlikely to me that the younger Croslins are innocent of involvement (or at least guilty knowledge) in Haleigh’s disappearance.

Lisa says she has been unable to visit her husband or either of her children, she has no documents and she can’t even leave the county until her fines are paid. She says she was released from jail with nothing, not even any street clothes, which I can believe. She also thinks 15 years for non-violent drug offenses (that’s what Tommy got, and what Misty will probably get) is unfair when you can get that, or less, for killing someone. I would agree with that.

This editorial says Lisa and Hank aren’t drug dealers and were arrested because they were simply “in the wrong place at the wrong time.” That Hank, at least, is or was a user is a fact; he has said so himself. But a lot of people, including me, have used drugs, and that doesn’t make them bad people.

Lisa says wants to get out of her former life and the drug culture, but she needs help in order to succeed. Not knowing much about Lisa’s background and her skills (employment history, education, etc), I won’t comment on that other than to say I think people who’ve been in trouble with the law and genuinely wish to clean their act up should be given assistance.

The Haleigh Cummings clusterbomb continues

I found a good article giving the latest news on Haleigh Cummings. Everyone is hoping that, now that all the persons of interest are behind bars, maybe someone will provide actual evidence as to the little girl’s fate instead of more lies. Quote from the article, from a law professor: “Some people take their secrets to the grave. Some people, when those cold steel doors close behind them, start singing like a magpie.” Another quote from a different source: “Once reality sets in and they say, oh boy, 15 years is a long time and 25 years is a long time, I think that will be a great motivator to try to rehash their plea agreement.”

The latest story is that Misty’s cousin Joe Overstreet came to the home that night looking to steal a machine gun that wasn’t there, and when he couldn’t find it he got mad and took Haleigh instead. He and Misty’s brother Tommy drove to the St. John’s River and threw Haleigh in the water.

The story makes no sense. Why would Overstreet take Haleigh just because he couldn’t find a gun? Why would he kill her? Why would Misty and Tommy wait so long to come forward with this information? Why didn’t the police find anything when they searched the river for Haleigh’s remains?

Ronald has agreed to testify in any future criminal proceedings about Haleigh’s disappearance. However, of the lot of them, Ronald is the one person whom I think might actually not know anything. He definitely wasn’t there the night Haleigh disappeared, and as dysfunctional as he is, it does look like he loves his children.

One missing Japanese centenarian located

In the latest news on the Great Search For The Japanese Centenarians, an alert blog reader sent this in: one of them has been found inside her 64-year-old son’s backpack. He said she died in 2001 and he couldn’t afford a funeral, so he just kept her in there. Methinks it must have been either a very large backpack (like a frame one) or a very small woman. But Japanese people tend to be small, don’t they?

Surely Japan has some mechanism for burying poor people whose relatives can’t afford it? I’m just sayin’.

Gah, wretched illness

I have been sick these last several days. My boyfriend, bless him, was ill and now he’s passed his illness on to me. After two days my fever disappeared, but there’s still the putrid throat, the coughing and the fact that my nose feels like concrete and I keep having to jam toilet paper up the nostrils to stop it leaking. Just my luck to get some severe summer cold or what have you. I’ve been gulping various nostrums (NyQuil/DayQuil, etc) but they haven’t had any effect. I’ve thought about going to the doctor but I don’t think there’s much he can do for me.

Anyway, I will probably not be updating for a bit.

Misty Croslin pleads no contest in drug case

Eighteen-year-old Misty Croslin, girlfriend-then-wife-now-divorcee of Ronald Cummings and person of interest in the disappearance of Ronald’s daughter Haleigh, has pleaded no contest to seven counts of drug trafficking. Misty, Ronald, Misty’s brother Tommy, Ronald’s cousin and another person were charged after undercover cops filmed them selling $3,900 worth of prescription drugs.

Each of the counts carried a maximum of 30 years in prison, so Misty could potentially face 210 years. But all the other suspects have gotten 15 years and I expect Misty will get the same, or less, since she is only 18. But to someone that young, 15 years is a VERY long time. Perhaps her attorney will play the “bad childhood” card. There is some substance to that; I think you might have to start figuring out the members of the Croslin family who are NOT in jail. Misty and Tommy’s parents are also locked up for drug offenses. It’s all extremely sad.

As to what this means for the investigation into Haleigh’s disappearance, your guess is as good as mine.

Moira Anderson article

I found this good article about Moira Anderson, an eleven-year-old girl who’s been missing from Scotland for over half a century now.

There are some cases, like Moira’s, which I would like to be able to profile on Charley if I could. Genette Tate is another. I actually read one of the two books her father wrote about her disappearance, which is available in only two libraries in the US. (The second book isn’t available at any library in the US.) It was written in 1979 and I reflected on how much thinking seems to have changed between now and then. A person quoted in the book said he looked at Genette’s missing child poster photo and thought no one could have kidnapped her for sex because she was so obviously a child, but then he found out it was an old picture (at age 10) and Genette (who was 13 when kidnapped) was actually considerably more developed than the photo showed, and he changed his mind. Apparently it never crossed the man’s mind that someone would want to have sex with a child. 😦

But if I listed those cases, I would have to do the same for them all, and I have a hard enough time keeping track of American cases.