I was reading this very sad story that’s part of an award-winning Chicago Tribune investigative reporting piece on Illinois’s crappy group homes for troubled youth and thought the name “Mary Bohanon” rang a bell. I checked. And she’s missing. Again. For at least the third time. She has post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, and a history of running away and prostitution activity. Her mother gave her up to the state, apparently in order for her to get help for her mental illness. Obviously she didn’t get it.
This week’s Flashback Friday case is Audrey Lyn Nerenberg, who disappeared from New York City the day after Independence Day in 1977. She was eighteen, but she had schizophrenia and functioned more like a fourteen-year-old. Her case has more information on the internet than similar cases from that era. Audrey’s father actually wrote a book, called Give Me Back My Daughter, Audrey! I got it through inter-library loan, and there was NOTHING in it about Audrey or the search for her, other than a few photos. It was basically a history of the Nerenberg family.
My guess is that whatever happened to Audrey, she didn’t survive long after her disappearance. And I would also be willing to guess that her disappearance may have had nothing to do with her schizophrenia, and a lot more to do with her being a young and attractive teenager in a large city.
I was putting together Charley Project updates when I stopped to write this blog entry. I just had to make a judgment call again.
Now, quite a lot of the time I find my multiple sources of information contradicting each other. When this happens I just go with what I think must be true, and perhaps note that other people say something else. As a general rule, I think that law enforcement sources and family sources are most likely to be correct. When those two contradict each other, then I have a real problem.
I wrote up a case of a woman who disappeared in 2011. She had been staying at a hotel in the border city of Eagle Pass, Texas while trying to sell property in Eagle Pass’s sister city of Piedras Negras, Mexico. (I looked up Piedras Negras and it doesn’t look good for her.) Anyway, the woman was in a law enforcement database and her name was given as Patsy. I went with that and wrote up a basic casefile for her, then went to check other sources. I found her mother’s obituary. If a relative, particularly a parent, dies after the MP disappeared, I will usually note in the Charley Project casefile if the MP is listed as having survived or predeceased the parent.
Patsy’s mother’s obit said she was “presumed deceased.” I put that in the casefile. But the obituary also called her Patricia, not Patsy.
I was really uncertain about what to do with this one. It’s possible that the law enforcement database made a mistake and her legal name was Patricia. Perhaps she’s only listed in there as Patsy because no one ever called her Patricia. And it’s possible that her legal name was Patsy and they made a mistake with the obituary.
I am going with Patsy. I hate these kind of situations. I want everything to be correct and it makes me very uncomfortable to list a case when I’m not 100% sure I’ve gotten their name right. That’s kind of an important detail, don’t you think?
Anyway, blog entry over, back to the salt mines I go.
This week’s case is Cherice Maria Ragins, a young woman of 24 who disappeared from Catonsville, Maryland on February 21, 2010. I pulled her file pretty much at random and noted it hadn’t been updated at all since I first posted the case four years ago. So here she is. Another one of those “few details are available” cases, although there are in this case a few details as opposed to none.
As for the rest of today’s updates, you’ve got your five, though none of them have much info attached. You could argue that it is those cases that have the most pressing need for coverage. Last night I mined the Texas database and found a lot of ones to put up. Vitia’s case concerns me. I normally don’t post runaways that are not on the NCMEC (basically, because they would be hard to keep track of; the NCMEC sends notices when they’re found but no one else does) but I made an exception for Vitia because, well, she was fracking TWELVE and with a man ten years older, and she’s been missing for over a decade. My guess is she’s somewhere in Mexico, probably with a couple of kids.
I haven’t updated any of the social media in over a week. To say nothing of adding updates to the Charley Project itself. Some stuff happened, and then I had to watch Mom’s wretched cat again. For nearly a week, while she’s off camping once more. She says this will be the last time, that she will ask the neighbors to do it the next time she goes camping. She had better. I am the most logical person she could ask to feed her cat while she’s away, but that doesn’t mean I have no life or obligations of my own.
She did leave the router this time, so there’s internet access. And she left a laptop, but I decided not to bother using it since I couldn’t do much on it, website-wise, anyway. I haven’t been altogether unhappy. I’ve been reading lots of books which I hadn’t had time for before.
Today I decided to come back to Michael’s house and surprise him. He was surprised. In fact, he had already made plans for the evening, plans he couldn’t change, plans that had no room for me. Now, before I arrived I had vowed I wasn’t even going to step inside my office if I could help it, that I was going to show Michael that this visit was for him and not for the Charley Project. But he’s gone and won’t be back for hours and here I am.
August was a complete wash. September is turning out to be that as well. I wish the whole stupid month was over with already.
I have read all 193 emails I had waiting for me. Most of them were posters sent automatically by the NCMEC — of which, exactly two had any use for me. I don’t have time to get a proper update done, because when Michael comes back later tonight we’re going to do something together. I think I’m going to use this time to do some behind-the-scenes work, purging and stuff like that.