Latisha Frazier’s mom wants police to find her body

Eighteen-year-old Latisha Frazier disappeared in August of last year. Five people have been charged with her murder; they beat and tortured her to death because she’s supposedly stolen money from one of them. It looks like it could be one of those mob mentality things. One of the defendants (the one Latisha had allegedly stolen from) said he never intended her to die and things just got out of hand. On the other hand, it’s hardly in his interest to admit to premeditated murder.

Unless the suspects lied about where they disposed of the body, Latisha’s body is in a landfill outside of Richmond, Virginia. The police have refused to search for it, saying it would be too difficult and dangerous and even if they did find the body, it wouldn’t help the case much.

According to this article, Latisha’s mother is really upset about this and wants a body to bury. I feel deeply for the woman and her grief and uncertainty. She is rather desperately poor and is raising Latisha’s daughter, who was three when Latisha disappeared.

That said, I think I’m siding with the police on this one. From the article:

Authorities say the container most likely would have been emptied into a landfill in Chesterfield County, Va. But if [the suspect] Gaither is lying about his involvement, or incorrectly recalling the date of Frazier’s death or the trash bin where the body was placed, then the corpse might be in a different location altogether. […]

The Frazier decision followed the recommendation of experts from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which has assisted in other landfill excavations but in this case said the risk of chemical poisoning coupled with the sheer enormity of the Shoosmith Landfill in Chester, Va. — about 800 acres in surface area and roughly 100 feet deep — made the undertaking all but impossible.

The article talks about how the search for 9-11 victims in New York City was very dangerous and cost untold millions. The implication being, perhaps, that the police care less about Latisha because she was poor, black and an unwed teenage mother. But I think their reasons for not searching are very sensible and pragmatic.

Matthew Albrecht found dead

A thighbone found last December has been identified as Matthew Albrecht, a 26-year-old who’d been missing from Mantako, Minnesota since April 2010. From this article:

When the bone was found, two different searches were launched in the Sleepy Hollow subdivision area — the first in early December of 2010 and the second on May 6, 2011. During the May 6th search, investigators found a pair of tennis shoes, which family members identified as Albrecht’s.

A thorough search of the immediate area where the shoes were found lead to the discovery of additional human bones, partial clothing remnants and a cell phone.

The death is under investigation. It could be an accident, suicide or homicide. It could also, I suppose, be natural causes, although I doubt it. I hope the police have found enough remains to at least establish a cause of death. If one of my loved ones died and the police couldn’t say how or why, I think that would make me feel all the worse.

Rest in peace, Matthew.

Missing woman’s family gets $1.8 million settlement

I have written one or two times before about Mouy Tang, who disappeared from a nursing home in North Carolina in 2008 and was never found. The nursing home pretty much defines substandard and it got shut down in the wake of Mouy’s disappearance — talk about closing the barn door after the horses have already been stolen.

Unique Living had faced several issues, including two residents that had passed away due to neglect, according to Cleveland County Social Services.

The facility also faced concerns with having several of their utilities in jeopardy of being disconnected, limited food supply in the kitchen, verbally abusing the residents, and improperly using restraints.

Mouy had a lot of mental and medical problems, including schizophrenia, and she was an insulin-dependent diabetic. She is almost certainly dead; she needed those insulin shots four times a day to live. She survived the killing fields of Cambodia only to die of neglect and stupidity in the grand old US of A.

Anyway, Mouy’s family sued the company that owned the nursing home and have just won 1.8 million dollars. Another article has a more precise number: $1,844,000. With interest of 8% until the money is fully paid — I didn’t know you could charge interest for lawsuit winnings. You can view the settlement as well.