This happens on a semi-regular basis and it’s not such a big deal anymore, but it always pleases me nevertheless. Particularly when the article doesn’t incorrectly refer to my site as “an organization” or say it “solves” or “tries to solve” MP cases or claims my site profiles “missing children.” This happens more often than not and it’s completely untrue, and a glance at my FAQ page, or for that matter the second sentence at the very top of the frontpage (“It does not actively investigate cases; it is merely a publicity vehicle…”) would show this, but good journalism, if it ever existed in the first place, seems to be long dead. (Lookin’ at you, Fox News.) One person does not an organization make, my site profiles people of all ages, and I’ve never attempted to solve a case. I’m not interested even in trying to match MPs with unidentified bodies. I only catalog missing people’s cases in hopes that this will help other people do the solving. For me, the important thing is the story.
I think I’ve said this before: I view Charley as a memorial website as much as anything. Many of the people listed on my website are dead. Many of them will never be found. But they existed once and had people who loved them, and I want everyone to know that and to know as much as possible about who they once were. That’s why I put in things like where the MP went to college, how many kids they had, what their hobbies were, even if those things have no bearing on how they went missing. I think it shows that they are/were a person with hopes and dreams and a favorite flavor of ice cream and all that, not just a name and photo on a poster.
But I digress. Charley has been quoted, and linked to, in this Concord, New Hampshire Patch article about Judith Ann Chartier, an attractive seventeen-year-old brunette who disappeared from Chelmsford, Massachusetts thirty years ago this June:
According to the Charley Project, the U.S. Secret Service was investigating a man named James Mitchell DeBardeleben for counterfeiting when they discovered he may have been connected to a number of murders. The U.S. Secret Service searched DeBardeleben’s car and found a map of the Chelmsford region where Chartier disappeared, and a receipt for a motel dated June 4, 1982 – the night before Judy disappeared. According to the Charley Project, however, “the leads never panned out.”
The reporter interviewed Judy’s brother Joe, and the article provides some more information about her disappearance. She was apparently going through a bit of a rebellious phase and hanging out with the wrong crowd, and had possibly gotten into criminal activity — Joe thinks she was being used as a drug mule, perhaps without her knowledge. He believes his sister was murdered but still hopes her case can be solved. He said she wouldn’t have run away, and if she had she wouldn’t have gone for this long without getting in touch with her family. She was very close to Joe and to their mother. Joe and Judy’s parents are both dead now, and no other siblings are mentioned.
I had a reasonable amount of info about Judy Chartier before, but I hadn’t found any news articles or anything about her in a long time. I haven’t updated her case in two years (if you don’t already know, you can look at the very bottom of a casefile to find out when I updated last and what was the update), and the last update was just a new AP. I’m glad I can put up this additional information now.