Skelton case brings back memories of older one

I’m sure everyone knows by now about the disappearances of Alexander, Andrew and Tanner Skelton. Their parents were in a custody battle and their father had abducted them before. Last week Dad took them for a visit and, he says, dropped them off with a lady friend so they wouldn’t see him kill himself. His suicide attempt failed, the boys are missing now and the police don’t think Skelton’s lady friend exists. This article provides a good summary.

This case reminds me very much of a 52-year-old one recently put on the NCMEC: Myrisha Campbell, age 3, and her 11-month-old brother, A.J. The children’s father, A.J. Sr., also took them for a visitation and then tried suicide — successfully in his case. Before he died he made statements to the effect that he had killed the children, and he said as much in his suicide note. In spite of an extensive search the two children’s bodies were never found. I suppose the NCMEC posted them in a last-ditch hope that the bodies might turn up and need to be identified. Their poor mother. I don’t know if she’s still alive. I can’t imagine how she managed to survive such a tragedy.

Nothing new under the sun.

Those poor kids — the Skelton boys and the Campbell children — look so cute and contented in their pictures. Sigh.

Eugene Losik found dead

Eugene Losik, a 25-year-old Massachusetts man who’d been missing since February, has been found dead near the Rowes Wharf in Boston. This isn’t too far from where he disappeared from. Eugene lived in Lawrence, but on the night of his disappearance he and his girlfriend were staying in a waterfront hotel in Boston. Eugene stepped out for a smoke in the wee hours and never came back.

The cause of death is unknown, but it seems to me that he probably just drowned. He had been to a party on the night of his disappearance and may have been drinking. Even if he hadn’t been, if he slipped and fell in the water, hypothermia would set in very quickly.

Boston Herald
Boston Globe
Nashua Telegraph
The Merrimack Valley Eagle Tribune

People’s names

I just saw this online posting where someone was talking about my site and said they wished I wouldn’t always refer to MPs by their last names, but adopt a more personal approach and use the first name.

I actually kind of agree with the person. If any of you are wondering why I use the last names, it’s a very simple reason: Jennifer Marra did it. And when I inherited the MPCCN from her, I tended to follow her practices on a lot of things because it would be a big pain in the butt to change everything. The larger the site grows, the bigger pain it would be. That’s the problem with trying to implement any kind of innovation to Charley.

That is all.

Article about Juane Johnson

I found this article about Juane Johnson, who disappeared from Piscataway, New Jersey in 1998. She was 23 at the time and had a daughter, who is now 18. The daughter was raised by Juane’s parents and will soon graduate high school.

There isn’t a whole lot of information about Juane’s disappearance — it looks like she was just gone. She was having some personal problems, but there doesn’t seem to be any evidence that she just took off. No evidence of foul play either.

I wish I knew how her name was pronounced. Maybe like Juan, or maybe like June, or Joo-on, or Joo-ann, or what?

This is what she heard

Today Michael, his parents and myself went out to lunch and to run errands. His mother went into a store and left us in the car. When she came out about twenty minutes later, this is what she heard me say as she got into the car:

“But how do you determine whether or not a clam is gay?”

This was actually part of a fairly serious scientific discussion between Michael, his dad and me, but I’m not going to tell you about it. Just leave you to wonder.

Another message from a family member

The cousin of a young man missing since 2004 (very few details) wrote to me to ask why he was on my site “besides the fact that he is a missing person.” Which made me feel kind of sad for some reason. Yet it’s true enough that oftentimes an MP must be “special” in some way to get media attention.

Anyway, I wrote back to say I didn’t discriminate what cases I posted and the young man was on my site precisely because he was missing, along with nearly 9,000 other people.

Article about now-adult kidnapped kids in China trying to find their families

Justin sent me this excellent and insightful article about some of the older victims of China’s child trafficking problem. The man featured in the story is about 27 and he thinks his name was Zhou Chengliang. He remembers his abduction when he was six or so (this would have been in 1989-ish), but he can’t remember enough details to identify his family or even what part of the country he was from. There are a lot of men and women out there like him.

It’s so sad. I cannot imagine buying a child, knowing he must have been stolen from some other family. Why would a person do that? It’s not like there aren’t any real orphans to adopt. In fact, a Time Magazine article linked in the first article says that more and more Chinese couples have chosen to adopt, while the rules for international adoptions have gotten stricter and more exclusive.

I hope Zhou Chengliang, if that’s who he is, succeeds in finding his birth family. I wish the same for all the other trafficking victims inside China and out of it.

Finally, some news on Marc Allen

A lot of people know that two boys named Johnny Gosch (age twelve) and Eugene Martin (age thirteen) disappeared from Des Moines, Iowa in the 1980s and were never found. But there was a third boy, thirteen-year-old Marc James-Warren Allen, who also vanished mysteriously from Des Moines during that time period, and for whatever reason he never got any media attention.

Well, I have finally, finally, finally found an article about his case. It doesn’t say much, though there doesn’t seem to be much to say. Marc was just gone. Nobody saw or heard anything. No evidence that he ran away. The police refused to investigate for two days — you’d think that from the previous two disappearances they would have learned that time is of the essence, but no.

Marc, if he is still alive, would be 38 years old today.

Who am I thankful for?

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, a holiday I’d much rather do without, since it involves eating and spending time with my family, two of my least favorite activities. However, in honor of this auspicious occasion, I would like to thank the following people that make the Charley Project possible. I may be ultimately responsible for every word that appears on the website, but I do get a lot of behind-the-scenes help. I would like to thank:

Michael, for adding untold strength and sweetness to my life. I live for you. I will love you forever.
Jenni, for starting it all. We’re no longer in touch and I don’t know where you are or what you’re doing or if you will ever read this, but I wish you well.
Dad, for paying for a five-year contract for my birthday.
Jeff, for being like the brother I never had, and for having sponsored the site for a number of years when I was a poor college student. (Hey, wait, I’m still a poor college student…)
Carl, for correcting me every time I calculate the MP’s age wrong.
Justin, for everything he passes my way, and for many long stimulating phone conversations.
Annie, for all the family abduction work that she does so I don’t have to.
Jaime and that person who calls him/herself Anonymous Anonymous, for the articles and pictures they send.
Lauran, for her friendship and for founding Porchlight International.
Gaelle, for her Unsolved in the News blog which I check every day.
Kelly, for making some good come out of a tragedy, founding Project Jason whose forums are invaluable to me.
And everyone else, all those who read my site and my blog and make it all worth doing.


Hear ye, hear ye! It has been settled by webmasterial decree that all forms of athletic footwear mentioned on the Charley Project, which are often referred to in terms such as “athletic shoes” or “tennis shoes” or “running shoes” or suchlike will henceforth be dubbed “sneakers.” This is because, in the webmaster’s opinion, tennis shoes look like this and athletic/running shoes can mean a lot of things, but sneakers is a convenient catchall term. In the near future the webmaster shall go through the site and locate all alternative terms and change them to “sneakers.”

*rolls up scroll, puts away trumpet and walks off*