People the NCMEC list as runaways who probably weren’t

The NCMEC works in mysterious ways and sometimes I find myself shaking my head at their classification system and who’s classified as what. The following people are listed as “endangered runaway” on the NCMEC website, when in fact they probably didn’t run away at all. I’m not saying there’s not one person on this list who ran away, but in all these cases the runaway theory is doubtful at best:

James Robert Cooper, 16, disappeared from Monroe, Michigan in 1996. Left behind his wallet, ID, money and an uncashed paycheck, and never contacted his friends or family again. Most runaways usually at least drop a postcard in the mail or call someone from a pay phone or (nowadays) update their Facebook page.
William Charles Cordes, 15, disappeared from Auburn, California in 1984. He was in a group home, and he and his friends sneaked out to go to a party and their car ran out of gas. His friends went to get gas and when they came back he was gone. His family never believed he ran away, and the circumstances of his disappearance as well as the passage of time don’t point to a runaway theory.
Ivory Francis Green, 17, disappeared from Utica, New York in 2004. In 2007, the police said they believed she was the victim of a homicide, possibly drug-related.
Angela Rene Jaramillo, 16, disappeared from Dallas, Texas in 2010. Authorities found her cell phone in a local park, along with some evidence that she’d been injured.
Stacey Haunani Kelekoma, 14, disappeared from Anahola, Hawaii in 1986. Vanished from her boyfriend’s house, leaving the TV on, the door open and her slippers by the door.
Ayellah Gbo Dzata Marshall, 17, disappeared from Hawthorne, California in 2006. Her ID turned up in the home of Lonnie Franklin, the so-called “Grim Sleeper” who’s been charged in ten murders and suspected in a lot of others.
Carlee Jade Morse, 16, disappeared from Westland, Michigan in 2010. Her ex-boyfriend and a friend of his were charged with her murder, and one of suspects pleaded guilty and agreed to testify against the other.
Arkadiy Tashman, 17, disappeared from Staten Island in New York City in 2005. A strange case: he left a note saying “Sorry about this. No wake, no funeral.” There there were no indications that he was planning to run away and his family said they didn’t see signs that he was suicidal either, but it’s hard to interpret that note any other way.
Laura Lynn Thompson, 15, disappeared from New Castle, Pennsylvania in 1993. Left behind an infant son. In 2010, two suspects were charged with her murder. They’re awaiting trial.
Alissa Marie Turney, 17, disappeared from Phoenix, Arizona in 2001. She left all her belongings behind, including $1,800 in her bank account. The general consensus is that her psychotic stepfather, Michael, killed her, but he hasn’t been charged. He’s in prison for weapons violations now; he had planned to blow up a local union hall and kill himself in the process. The cops found 26 homemade bombs, 19 assault rifles and two homemade silencers at his house.

16 thoughts on “People the NCMEC list as runaways who probably weren’t

  1. Saffy February 26, 2012 / 11:23 pm

    well obviously some of them are dead but they haven’t found bodies.Arkady Tashman is likely a suicide.The girl in Hawaii either took off or was killed by her boyfriend.

    • Meaghan February 26, 2012 / 11:32 pm

      Or she was abducted from the apartment.

      • Saffy February 27, 2012 / 12:43 am

        yes or that….

    • Kauai Crime March 3, 2018 / 6:06 pm

      When you are local, you never leave your slippers when you leave. Except, only if you are murdered. Even if you are kidnapped, you take your slippers when you are leaving. Kidnappers know you need to walk around, unless you are make….dead. Hawaiians, locals, also turn off the tv and definitely close the door when you leave. Too many mosquitos and flies in Anahola. Even in an emergency going to the hospital..etc., you take your slippers, turn off the tv and close the door. Who is the boyfriend? Why was he never named? The innocent are always safe. It’s the guilty that hide their names. If I were the boyfriend, I would have searched forever for her. Who is he?

      • Kauai Crime March 3, 2018 / 6:11 pm

        Stacey Haunani Kelekoma from Hawaiian Homestead Lands, Anahola, on the Island of Kauai, Hawaii. Disappeared August 25th, 1986.

      • Meaghan March 3, 2018 / 6:26 pm

        I wasn’t aware that Hawaiians had such an attachment to their slippers.

  2. Justin February 27, 2012 / 12:52 am

    For a second, I confused Stacey Haunani Kelekoma with Sequoya Vargas and was all set to add a little more to the story. Until I realized that they were not the same person.

  3. forthelost February 27, 2012 / 1:26 pm

    In all fairness, it took a few years to realize Ivory Green and Alissa Tuney weren’t runaways.

  4. Jill Volker February 27, 2012 / 3:46 pm

    I grew up around Alissa although a few years younger, when her story was on the news it didn’t really seem like she was a runaway except maybe the first few days, atleast how her “father” acted about it.
    I just wonder what is next considering nothing really has happened in that area since.

  5. Princess Shantae February 27, 2012 / 6:45 pm

    Off topic, Meaghan, but I just wanted to point you to a website you might realy like. has thousands of killers from all ove rthe world and from all time periods. It just has males now but it’s being added to every day and I guess they’ll have a listing of females too.

    • Meaghan February 27, 2012 / 9:13 pm

      Very interesting. I like the “index by country.”

  6. Jaime February 27, 2012 / 8:47 pm

    The William Charles Cordes case makes me think of the Walter Atkinson case.

    • Jaime February 27, 2012 / 8:48 pm

      I meant Walter Thomas Ackerson Jr.

  7. adh13 February 28, 2012 / 12:25 am

    I can’t remember where I saw it now, it might have been on the NCMEC, but somewhere I saw a girl who was around 6-8 years old listed as a runaway. Really?

    • Justin February 28, 2012 / 3:07 am

      I don’t know if she was listed in the NCMEC as a runaway, but I remember the California Department of Justice had a webpage for Tracy Lynn Davenport who they had listed as a runaway when she was a month shy of turning six years old in 1973. It has since been changed to Suspicious Circumstances.

      Donna Lee Fowler was seven years old in 1980 when she told her grandfather that she was going to run away. The grandfather helped her pack her bags, thinking she was joking, but she wasn’t. Some guy confessed to her murder decades later

  8. Saffy March 2, 2012 / 11:10 pm

    I checked out murderpedia and looked at the Canadian murders…found some that I remembered, but had forgotten the names of the killers. Such as Sandy Charles…particularly disturbing. They are going to have to update it with the Shafia Family.

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