A judgment call

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.

5 thoughts on “A judgment call

  1. Annie September 25, 2015 / 6:10 am

    I wonder if the same thing happened with Abby Blagg?

  2. Diane September 25, 2015 / 9:22 pm

    I remember when my late mom and I used to be able to do day trips to Piedras Negras together, just driving in with our driver’s licenses or photo IDs and having a great time window shopping, dining, and exploring and the most trouble we encountered were some pushy street kids who sold boxes of chicle (small Tic Tac looking squares of gum). This was when I was a teenager a couple of decades ago. Now the border towns have really gone to pot, sadly enough, and I wouldn’t dare venture into Mexico anymore. 😦

  3. Jan September 27, 2015 / 12:30 pm

    When my mother passed away, I was listed in her obituary by my full name. Growing up, I always went by my full name. I didn’t start going by my nickname until college. Now I go by my nickname & most of my friends don’t even know my full one, whereas my family continues to call me by my full name. So Patsy’s situation could be like mine where both are accurate – her family called her by one name, her friends/associates by another.

  4. Suzie September 29, 2015 / 11:23 am

    Just a quick heads-up… you have Patsy’s age at the time of her disappearance as 76 years old. If she was born in 1948, she would have been 62 when she went missing.

  5. Suzie September 29, 2015 / 11:24 am

    Just a quick heads-up… you have Patsy’s age at the time of her disappearance as 76 years old. If she was born in 1948, she would have been 62 when she went missing.

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