I found this article from a month ago where I’m quoted in several places. I was doing several interviews at the time because of Kyron Horman. I talked to this interviewer for like an hour or something and had a lot of fun, then I promptly forgot the name of the publication, which is why I didn’t find the article till now.
Anyway, this article is about Jamie Mejia and Ubaldo Sanchez-Mejia, who went missing from Portland, Oregon just two weeks before Kyron Horman did. They didn’t get any media attention because they were family abduction kids, taken by their mom. The article talks about the problems with getting the news to run stories on family abduction and runaway cases and also missing kids that are from minority and/or immigrant populations.
Meaghan Good of the Charley Project, an online compilation of missing persons from around the country, said that cases where it’s presumed that a family member abducted a child get far less attention.
“It’s sad,” said Good, who explained that people assume that because children are with family members they are safe, which is far from true.
Good said that they aren’t given as much attention because it’s assumed the person ran on their own free will, when runaways may be running towards dangerous situations.
Good added that missing children cases involving white people tend to get more attention.
“White kids tend to get more attention; let’s face it,” she said.
Good said that missing children in immigrant communities is actually a “fairly huge” problem, but don’t get much attention because the cases often involve children being moved across borders. These make for complicated stories that the media is reluctant to follow, if they are aware of them at all, she said.
Good said that more attention is also given to families with a higher social status.
Good points to a case late last year that involved Viola Brown Martin, the mother of Angela Martin, a contestant on the television show American Idol. The case got national attention, but had it not had the connection to the popular television show, it’s unclear how it would have been handled.
I must remember to send this to my mom. She’ll probably print it out and put it in a scrapbook or something.
Bobbi Parker, an Oklahoma prison employee’s wife, disappeared in 1994 along with Robert Dial, an inmate at the prison who’d been convicted of murder. In 2005 they both turned up alive and well on a chicken farm in east Texas. It was very exciting news for me and Charley got a boatload of hits that day. Well, Bobbi is back in the news; she’s about to go to trial for assisting a prison escape. She maintains her innocence always said she wasn’t with Dial voluntarily and she only stayed with him because he threatened to kill her family. Dial himself supported this claim. Prosecutors say Bobbi actually fell in love with Dial and ran away with him. The case kind of reminds me of the Patty Hearst story.
Cases like Jaycee Dugard and Shawn Hornbeck make Bobbi’s story seem more believable. Dial was, after all, a convicted murderer, so he had a proven track record for violence. The prosecution claims they have evidence of a sexual relationship, love letters, etc. I suppose the defense might argue Stockholm Syndrome in that case. But I don’t know what happened. I suppose it will come out at trial. Dial won’t testify. He was sent back to prison and he died in 2007, age 62.
I wonder what happened with Bobbi’s family, whether she got back together with her husband or what. They had a couple of kids if I recall.
Dallas Morning News
The Enid News
I found this article that gives a detailed account of the events leading up to the disappearance of Toni Sharpless, a 29-year-old nurse who went missing just over a year ago. Toni was bipolar, but very high-functioning — none of her friends even knew she had the condition. Unfortunately right before she disappeared, she was drinking heavily and she had been up for 36 hours straight. That’s not good for anyone but it’s especially bad for someone with a mental illness. And the article says she wasn’t taking her meds regularly. This probably contributed to her disappearance.
The private detective Toni’s family hired to investigate her disappearance has talked to me. The detective’s theory is that she is alive and was forced into prostitution. I’m wondering though, since her car was never found, if she isn’t in a lake somewhere. Drunk and upset, she may well have accidentally driven off the road.
One thing I’m sure of is that she didn’t leave on her own. Toni is described as a devoted mother to her young daughter, whom she was bringing up alone, and her job shows that she was a responsible person.
I found this article about Gregory Howell, about whom I knew nothing until now. It’s a very sad story. He disappeared in 2005. The man was a drug addict and would rob drug dealers to get money to support his habit. He was poking death with a stick. But he was a human being and his life meant something, especially to his loving family.
Most of the comments on the article are vicious. Why are we wasting tax dollars looking for a missing druggie, his disappearance was his own fault, etc. One person blames his family, saying they enabled his habit. And this commenter knows that how? Maybe Gregory’s family tried to get him help and he refused it. He was a grown man and nobody could stop him using drugs but him.