And this week’s MP is….

Maleina Quitugua Luhk. Maleina was nine when she disappeared with her ten-year-old sister, Faloma, from the Northern Mariana Islands on May 25, 2011. I don’t have much on them; they were just gone. Authorities have said that a relative by marriage is considered a person of interest in the case. Maleina is short for her age and has a distinguishing birthmark on her cheek; it kind of looks like she smeared a bit of chocolate there.

Until I heard about those girls I didn’t even know the Northern Marianas, which are in the south Pacific, were part of the US. I think this may very well by the first MP of the week to come from a territory of the US, not a state.

Guy in South America claims to be Ruben Herrera

A South American organization emailed an El Paso newspaper claiming they’ve got Ruben Herrera, who disappeared in 1983 at the age of 14. From the article:

Marcel Ramirez Rhor, with FundaciĆ³n PapĆ” por Siempre (Father for Life Foundation) in Colombia, said in a May 21 email that Herrera is indigent and needs to fix his immigration status in a country outside the United States.

Ramirez said his organization wants to help Herrera and for that reason requested a street address for Herrera’s relatives in El Paso and a Social Security number for him.

He also said the missing El Pasoan was unwilling to provide further details that might help to confirm his identity. “He is not very sociable, and we are the ones who insisted on him regularizing his status, but so far he has not cooperated,” Ramirez said. “After he told us his story, we began to search on the Internet for information. We saw that everything he told us was true, and we thought it was necessary to contact his relatives.”

The man who says he is Herrera indicated in emails to the El Paso Times that he does not wish to return to El Paso, reunite with his Texas relatives or disclose where he lives. “I just want to find my two sisters,” he said.

Now, it would be really cool if this guy IS in fact Ruben, even if he doesn’t want to be in touch with his family. At least they can close the case and know he’s alive. From what little I know about his disappearance, he COULD be Ruben. But, frankly, this person sounds like a con artist who wants to get his hands on an American Social Security number at the expense of torturing Ruben’s family.

(Fun fact: Ruben might not actually have an SSN. I know they didn’t used to automatically give them out when babies were born, not back then, and often you didn’t get one until you got a job. When I was six years old and at the university with my father, some student of his kept asking me questions and was amazed that I could answer them all correctly. She finally said, “What’s your Social Security number?” I looked at her blankly and she laughed at me. Then Dad said, “Actually, she doesn’t have one.” He explained that I had not gotten one when I was born and as far as he was concerned, there was no reason for a six-year-old to have one. Maybe I didn’t get assigned one right away because I was born at home and not in the hospital. Of course I have one now. And no, I’m not telling you what it is.)