Finally did an update

After a whole week of idleness (on Charley anyway) I finally added five cases and updated ten. I was prompted to do this because today is Tuesday and I was supposed to change my MP of the week. Among other things I finally added April Nicole “Niki” Williams, the kidnapped baby from 1983, who’s been waiting in my bookmarks folder since April. I was able to find a little about her in NewspaperArchive. (And I also found out that NewspaperArchive is free at the library. D’oh! I’ve been paying subscription fees for it for years!)

Anyway. Carry on.

Elizabeth Smart’s new job

It’s made news all over the country today that Elizabeth Smart has been hired by ABC to provide commentary on abduction cases. Apparently she’ll start in a few weeks. I’m not sure how regular this gig is going to be. I think she still has a year or so left to go in college. (It is my understanding that Brigham Young University degrees take longer than four years because students are required to do a mission trip.) Elizabeth will not talk about her own abduction, but will focus on current cases. She’s as photogenic now as she was nine years ago and I’m sure she’ll look great in the TV studio.

Detroit Free Press
The Associated Press

Google search function on Charley

Two people wrote to me today to say the Google search function on Charley’s frontpage isn’t working. I had actually noticed this sometime last week, but forgot about it entirely. I guess I assumed it was just a temporary glitch. You try to search for something and it says, “We’re sorry, your computer or network may be sending automated queries. To protect our users, we can’t process your request right now.”

I’ve written to Google about this. They have a special form to fill in about this error. How many other people are having the same problem?

Two MPs found deceased

A body found last July in New York City has been identified as Crystal Gray, age 20, who disappeared that same month from Syracuse, New York. Her family didn’t report her missing until January of this year. The cause of death is listed as undetermined, but it was probably a homicide, since the body was burned. The police aren’t releasing much beyond that.

Meanwhile, skeletal remains found in 2009 have been identified as Alexander Vasquez, a 21-year-old who vanished from Houston, Texas in 2002. The Houston Chronicle did some articles about how the police had gotten a federal grant and were trying to identify 400 John and Jane Does. Alexander’s mom read the article and contacted the cops about her son. She provided dental records and they matched. The police hadn’t had much to go on before as far as identifying that particular body; they had listed the UID as between 25 and 45 years old, of unknown race and sex. His mom says she had long believed he was dead, but she’s glad she has confirmation at last. She plans to have Alexander buried in Colombia, where he was born.

More details about Lula Cora Hood

Lula, who goes by her middle name, who disappeared in 1970, was found alive in Jacksonville, Florida last week. DNA testing has yet to confirm this but everyone is quite sure. When the cops interviewed her on the phone, Cora could “confirm facts about the family and life reasonably speaking no one else would have known.”

One of Cora’s daughters has called her on the phone and spoken to her. Cora actually didn’t remember this daughter at all — she’s had fourteen children, she had mental health issues throughout her adult life, and she’s 84 now, take your pick of reasons. But Cora wants to be reunited with her family and they want to be reunited with her.

Although Cora seems to have left of her own volition, it’s still not very often that you find an adult who’s been missing for this long — especially when their body was “identified” in 1998. They still don’t know whose body that was they found in the brickyard.

The Daily Mail
The Galesburg Register-Mail