Wonderful news in my battle against the Headache

En route to my boyfriend’s place of work on Wednesday, I saw a massage therapy place. I had been thinking about “alternative” (non-drug) treatments for awhile, and so I stopped, went inside and explained my problem. They made me an appointment, and the following day I came in and got a full-body massage, from the feet all the way up to the scalp. I felt like jelly by the time it was over.

By the end of it, my head didn’t hurt anymore. And it hasn’t hurt since. A smashing success!

I have no illusions — this is going to wear off. But this is the longest period I’ve been without pain in months. And it may last a few weeks before I need to get another massage, who knows. Even if these massage treatments do start to yield diminishing returns, they might keep me going until the Cleveland Clinic finally lets me into the I-Match Program.

The Nephra Paynes, and Susan Powell

Gothamist has much better photos of the seven Nephra Paynes and their sister Nefertiti, who are still missing. According to unnamed sources, the children were taken into care two years ago because their father abused them and their mother neglected them (perhaps by simply allowing the abuse to occur?). They were initially split between two homes. Nefertiti, after she was born last year, was placed in a third.

And, Susan Powell’s father-in-law, Steven Powell, has been hit with some serious charges: possession of child porn, and filming women and girls, including Susan, without their knowledge. This is the same man who claimed Susan was throwing herself at him all the time, while her parents said that in fact HE was hitting on HER and Susan and Josh moved from their Washington home to Utah in part to get away from him. Susan’s sons had been living in Washington with Steven. (I hope they were not in the porn photos, but it seems Steven focused on females.) They are now in foster care and her parents want custody.

Lindquist said Utah police investigating Susan Powell’s disappearance found “thousands of images of females being videotaped without their knowledge, including Susan Powell,” on tapes and disks at his home in an Aug. 25 search.

The videos were found in Steven Powell’s bedroom. “The photographer focuses on the women’s buttocks, breasts,” Lindquist said in a statement. “Many images were of minor females.”

The images included shots of two girls who were as young as 8 and 10 years old at the time, the prosecutor said. Authorities determined that the girls lived near Steven Powell from June 2006 to August 2007.

At Powell’s arraignment, prosecutor Grant Blinn said detectives are still going through the seized items, but so far have found more than 1,000 video files. He said it appeared he had been secretly videotaping girls or women for at least 10 years.

Disgusting.

Meanwhile, Susan’s husband, Josh, remains the prime suspect in her disappearance.

8 NYC kids abducted by non-custodial parents with no imagination

There an Amber Alert out for eight siblings in foster care who were abducted by their parents, Shanel Nadal and Nephra Payne. Somehow the parents managed to sneak all eight of them out on what was supposed to be a supervised visit at Forestdale, a child services facility in New York City. (The agency is now in damage control mode.) They’re in care because of a “domestic abuse allegation.” Naturally they were split up; there’s no foster home to take eight kids.

What’s most unusual, however, is that seven of the kids — all boys — have the name Nephra Payne, like their father. The sole girl in the family is named Nefertiti. The NCMEC has to have two posters to fit them all, though the New York State authorities managed to cram them in on one page, albeit at the expense of accuracy.

The Nephras all have different middle names they use. Only the oldest, age 11, goes by Nephra. The others are Ceo, Shalee, Umeek, Yahmen, John and Rahsul. But still, it’s got to be an administrative nightmare. What happens when they’re old enough to get regular mail? What if several of them are enrolled in the same school at the same time? The case has gotten national attention for their names alone.

Nefertiti’s foster mother was quoted as saying the mother, Shanel, probably just thought she was doing the right thing when she took the kids. Another foster parent, the one who had Rahsul and John, said Shanel missed her kids a great deal and she personally wasn’t surprised they’d been snatched. That foster parent said that many parents whose kids are in care seem apathetic and don’t keep in touch with them, but Shanel always visited and often brought Nephra Sr. and they seemed desperate to have the kids back.

Of course I don’t know any of these people, but this situation — them all being fugitives — cannot last. Ten people trying to hide, the children all quite young, one of them not even a year old yet.

Theda Gonzalez-Smith

Thanks to Annie for sending me this article on Theda Gonzalez-Smith, a toddler abducted by her mother in 2009. She was listed on Charley and is now in the resolved section. The article is very informative and also encouraging. Although it took Theda’s dad, Raul Gonzalez, a long time to get her back from Germany, he did succeed in doing so, using legal channels, and Theda’s abducting mother and stepfather are now facing felony charges. This is all the more encouraging because Theda’s left-behind parent was her father. Fathers have an even harder time than mothers in retrieving their children who were abducted and taken abroad.

Unfortunately, Theda now speaks only German, and Raul doesn’t know that language. But they’re managing to communicate anyway, and in the pictures they look really happy.

Note that Theda’s mother simply abandoned her at a social services office in Germany and fled rather than face the charges. She sounds like quite the avoider — she broke up with Raul via text message!

The first time this month…

…I’ve got updates two days in a row. But that’s not too difficult, seeing as how before those two days I had just ONE update. Of the ten new cases I added, nine were just past the six-month mark and one was a new-old from the 1960s that I just couldn’t resist.

One case in particular that I added today, Marizela Perez, intrigues me. She seems to have just vanished off the face of the earth. Nobody seems to know what happened, but my guess is it wasn’t good. She’s a remarkably attractive young girl, and so stylish, I had wondered at first if she was a fashion student at U Dub. But I can’t find anything about what her major was, and since she was a freshman, she probably hadn’t declared yet.

Marizela’s cousin is Michelle Malkin, a noted journalist and commentator who has done her part to publicize her disappearance. That fact may be the only reason Marizela’s disappearance got any publicity at all. Unfortunately, college students disappear into thin air all the time.

Acquittal in Swedish murder-without-a-body case

I found this English-language article about a case I’d never heard of before, the August 2010 disappearance of Marina Johansson from Sweden. Her ex-boyfriend was charged with her murder two days after the disappearance was reported. There was some blood evidence located, but they never found Marina’s body and the suspect (who wasn’t identified in the article) was just acquitted.

Grief study

A blog reader sent this link to me: about a study suggesting that grief shortens the lifespan. This is in relation to my noticing the ages of missing persons’ parents when they die, and my own speculation that having a missing child shortens the lifespan. Certainly there’s grief there. As well as uncertainty.

I don’t know if my brother’s death has had an impact on my parents’ health or not. (He was killed in a car accident 23 years ago, at the age of seventeen.) Obviously it’s impossible to predict what my parents would be like if were still alive, but they’re both in their sixties and quite healthy, physically. Dad’s got some asthma-related problems, but he’s always had them.

Article about 43-year-old cold case from Australia

I found this article about the disappearance of 16-year-old Maureen Braddy and her 17-year-old boyfriend, Allan Whyte, from a town named Bendigo in Australia. The article contains a picture of Maureen but not many details. There is, however, a link to this other article that has some more info about the case. Allan is one of of 14 children. Fourteen!

At the time, it seems, the police just assumed Maureen and Allan ran off together, e.g. Mitchel Weiser and Bonnie Bickwit. But now the case is classified as a homicide.

Human remains NOT found in Susan Powell search

It was reported that human remains were found in the latest search for Susan Powell, a mother of two who disappeared from Utah in December 2009. The next day, however, the police issued a denial, saying that no remains have been found. I’m not really sure how the miscommunication happened, but it seems they’re still looking at the search site.

Susan Powell’s case has been in the news, particularly in her area, a great deal. She is a young, attractive white Mormon woman, which I’m sure helps. Her husband, Josh Powell, doesn’t seem to be too bright. The alibi he gave the police for the night of her disappearance — as a friend of mine said, a chimpanzee could have come up with a better story. Josh and his father have been trying to do everything they can to discredit Susan’s family and smear Susan’s reputation in the media, to the extent that they were going to publish her diaries from when she was 15 years old to show what a filthy-minded person she was. (Susan’s parents got a court order to stop the publication.) I didn’t know Susan and I don’t know Josh, obviously, what they’re doing is in very bad taste at minimum and if they’re trying to distract the police and the public from looking at Josh as a suspect, it’s not working.

Another Utahn, Steven Koecher, disappeared mysteriously at the same time Susan did and from the same general area. Josh has suggested that Susan and Steven ran off together, but there’s no evidence that they even knew each other at all.