MP of the week: Larkie Toups

This week’s featured missing person is Larkie Toups, who was found wandering around in an intoxicated state in Bogalusa, Louisiana on New Years’ Day, 2008. Rather than arrest him for being drunk in public, the police took him to a hotel and got him a room. Two hours later a hotel employee noticed he was missing and had left his door open and his ID and room key inside.

The police believe Toups may have been robbed and killed on the night of his disappearance. Certainly he would have been vulnerable. I did my usual check and, to my pleasure, found an article on the case from 2015 that provides a lot more information than I had before, and a new picture of Toups as well.


Me, I don’t know anything about the art of selling things. I have no idea whether “never take no for an answer” is standard part of a salesperson’s repertoire or not.

My website gets more and more visitors as time goes on. Last June the average number of visits was 8,000 and change. This month so far, it’s almost 12,000, with only day this month where fewer than 10,000 people visited.

With the increased traffic come increased solicitations from people who want to sell ads on my site. I’m getting several requests a week now. For the most part, I ignore them, and sometimes the person gets the hint and goes away. If that doesn’t work, I reply with a simple, “No, I’m not interested.”

Last November there was one woman who Would. Not. Stop. sending me emails about advertising on Charley. I ignored her at first. Then I told her no, I wasn’t interested. Then she was like, “Could you at least talk about it with me, and I can show you all the great things that could happen.” No, I said, I wasn’t interested. She asked why. I replied, “Personal reasons.” She still didn’t give up. Long story short, just to make her go away I wound up having to TELL HER what those personal reasons were. They’re personal enough that I am never going to blog about them, and I feel uncomfortable discussing them with people I don’t know well. But I told her, and was like, “There. Those are my personal reasons. Happy now?” And then she finally, finally stopped writing me.

Of course I do mention in my FAQ that I do not want to sell ad space, but no one ever seems to read that thing. I ought to do an experiment and take the FAQ page down and see long it takes before anyone realizes the link is broken.

I suppose this sort of complaint must be frustrating to people who have websites and DO want to sell ads on them. It’s kind of First World Problem-ish — “Gawd, I get so much traffic that I have to beat off ad companies with a stick!” I can’t help you there, but I’d love it if I could send those ad people your way and away from me.

Make-a-List Monday: Health care workers

This is a list of missing doctors, nurses, etc.; anyone who worked in the health field. Those people are heroes and often unappreciated.

I’m including only people who were working in the field when they disappeared, not students, retired people, or people who used to work in health care but had switched to some other career. Also, I’m not going to automatically list someone just because it says they worked at a hospital or nursing home; they could have been a cook or a clerk or had some other non-health job. I will only list cases where I know they had a specific health care job. The list, as you can see, is quite long enough as it is.


  1. Charles Lorainne Hollingsworth
  2. Margaret Mary Kilcoyne
  3. Cherryl Lamont Pearson
  4. Sneha Ann Philip
  5. Xu Wang


  1. Sandra Lorraine Andrews
  2. Barbara Elizabeth Cantu
  3. Susan Carol Cassell
  4. Catherine Chiang
  5. Libby Ann Dibenedetto
  6. Nonnie Ann Dotson
  7. Francine Frost
  8. Rupinder Kaur Goraya
  9. Michelle Louise Harley
  10. Audrey May Herron
  11. Donna Ann Lass
  12. Patricia Patterson Leventhal
  13. Nita Mary Mayo
  14. Melinda Wall McGhee
  15. Randi Jane Mebruer
  16. Mary Katherine Miller
  17. Karen Elizabeth Moore
  18. Thomas Anthony Nuzzi
  19. Renee M. Pernice
  20. Kathryn Marie Rahe
  21. Beverly Redmond
  22. Sandra Kay Randall Ross
  23. Kristina Marie Tournai Sandoval
  24. Jan Scharf
  25. Toni Lee Sharpless
  26. Brenda Starr Snouffer
  27. Herlinda Ann Soto
  28. Joan Marie Tetter
  29. Mary Louise Watkins
  30. Tamala Niecole Wells

Nurse’s aides/assistants:

  1. Judith Ann Ehmeke
  2. Adrianne Gilliam
  3. Laura E. Mason
  4. Hartanto Teguh Santoso
  5. Sandra L. Spoon
  6. Karen Denise Steed
  7. Micki Jo West
  8. Loida Gabon Wideman
  9. Bonnie Woodward


  1. Joseph Michael Bushling
  2. David Eugene Lewis


  1. Richard Kirk Meyers

Dental hygienists:

  1. Kelley Louise Howard

Dental technicians:

  1. Diane Marie Kennedy

Medical technicians:

  1. Carolyn Ruth Killaby

X-ray technicians:

  1. Kathleen Ann Mohn


  1. Johnny Lee Baker
  2. Delmar Wayne Sample

Pharmacy technicians:

  1. Claranett Cooley
  2. Julie Ann Gonzalez

Select It Sunday: Karen Wells

Selected by Kat, this Sunday MP is Karen Denise Wells, a 23-year-old mother of one young son who disappeared from Carlisle, Pennsylvania 22 years ago, in the spring of 1994. She had apparently traveled to Pennsylvania from her home in Oklahoma to visit a female friend, and was staying in a hotel and told a hotel clerk she was going to have a quick meal at a nearby McDonald’s, then go to bed. She was supposed to meet her friend after midnight that night, so I’m not sure why she said she was going to bed. Maybe she was just planning to take a nap.

Anyway, when the friend she’d come to see couldn’t get her to answer her room door, the woman summoned a hotel staff member to unlock the door and they found the room deserted. On the morning after Karen’s disappearance, they found her car parked on a rural state road 35 miles away, mud-splattered, with the doors wide open. It had run out of gas and the battery was dead. According to the odometer, the car had driven six to seven hundred miles that couldn’t be accounted for.

The whole thing, especially the condition in which the car was found, looks extremely suspicious to me, and both police and Karen’s family think she was murdered. The fact that the car was parked right smack in the middle of the westbound lane isn’t too surprising, since it had run out of gas. The driver might not have had time to pull over before the engine went dead. But why would anyone — either Karen or an abductor — leave the doors open like that? You’d think they’d at least bother to close them. That sort of thing attracts attention.

If I was a passerby and found a car abandoned in the middle of the road with the doors open like that and no one around, I wouldn’t necessarily assume a crime had occurred, but I would think this was strange and I’d probably call 911. (Three years ago I wrote a long entry about the difference between “suspicious” and “odd” and how “odd” things often should merit the attention of the authorities, even if there’s nothing overtly threatening about the situation.)

The most recent news articles I could find on Karen’s disappearance were from 2009. (She is also listed on the FBI’s website but it doesn’t say much.) There’s a suggestion that drugs were involved in this case, since they found some marijuana in Karen’s car — but loads of people smoke pot.

Karen has since been declared legally dead. On the off chance she’s still alive she would be 45 now.

MP books

On the Charley Project website, I have a short list of recommended books about specific missing persons cases or about the phenomenon of missing persons in general. I thought I’d add some more books here.

Some of these books are self-published, out of print, or were only ever published outside the United States, making them difficult to track down in libraries and sometimes expensive to buy. Others are only available in Kindle edition. (Not a problem for me, since I have a Kindle Fire, but it would be a problem for people who don’t own Kindles.)

As far as editions go, I link to whichever hard copy edition on Amazon that is still in print, since I know not everyone owns a Kindle. It they are all out of print I will link to whichever is the cheapest at the time I created this list. If there’s no hard copy available at all, or if the only one costs a fortune, I’ll link to the Kindle edition. If you have a library card but your library doesn’t have a copy of the book you want, most libraries offer inter-library loan services for free, so you under most circumstances you can still get access to the book. How long you can borrow it depends on the lending library, and in my experience you’re not allowed to renew inter-library loan books.

I’m really fortunate because I can use my dad’s Ohio State University library account. The OSU library links to something called OhioLink, which connects to ever other college and university library in the state, so I have access to a LOT of books. (Though most of mine still come from OSU; with over 65,000 students total at present, it’s the biggest university in the state and one of the biggest in the country, and has a correspondingly comprehensive library.) If any of you attend an institute of higher education in Ohio and didn’t already know about OhioLink, I HIGHLY recommend it. It’s so useful. Checking out a book through OhioLink is just like checking it out from your own school; that is, unlike regular interlibrary loan books, you can renew it if you want.

Anyway, the list. These are only books I haven’t myself read yet, and only ones that sound good. If I haven’t read it and the summary of it makes it look bad or all the reviews say it’s terrible, I waste my time reading it and I won’t add it to this list. Feel free to make suggestions of more books in the comments section. (And yes, I’ve already read Matt Birkbeck’s A Beautiful Child and I’ve read Michelle Knight’s memoir.)

  1. Hands Through Stone: How Clarence Ray Allen Masterminded Murder from Behind Folsom’s Prison Walls by James A. Ardaiz. I don’t know how much this book will talk about it, but Clarence Allen was the one responsible for the disappearance of Mary Sue Kitts. He got the needle in 2006 and I wrote an Executed Today entry about him.
  2. Searching for Anna by Michaele Benedict. This book is about Anna Christian Waters‘s disappearance and was written by her mother.
  3. Lost From View: Missing Persons in the UK by Nina Biehal. I don’t know much about this book but it appears to be some kind of sociological study of the missing in Britain, drawing from some 2,000 cases. It’s less than 100 pages long.
  4. Where’s Heidi?: One Sister’s Journey by Lisa M. Buske. Lisa’s account of her sister Heidi Marie Allen‘s abduction in 1994. Heidi was never found. Two brothers were charged with her abduction; one was acquitted, but the other was convicted. There is a lot of speculation online that there was a miscarriage of justice and the two men were innocent, or that they had accomplices who have not been caught. I don’t know enough about it to give any opinion on the matter.
  5. Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Dollar. One of only two novels on this list. This is meant for a young adult audience and is about a seventeen-year-old girl who learns she was abducted by her mother when she was young, and the difficulties she faces after she is reunited with her custodial father and his large family, whom she doesn’t remember at all.
  6. A Stolen Life: A Memoir by Jaycee Dugard. About her kidnapping and recovery, of course. A Charley Project reader actually gave me a copy of this. I haven’t read it yet because I am lazy and ungrateful.
  7. It Can’t Happen Here: The Search For Jacob Wetterling by Robert M. Dudley. About the 1989 kidnapping of Jacob Wetterling and subsequent investigation. The case remains unsolved, but there have been some exciting developments these past few months that might bring an edge to the Wetterling family’s agony of uncertainty.
  8. In Tina’s Shadow: The True Story of a Murder, a Husband’s Guilt and a Family’s 14-Year Vigil for Justice by Sharon R. Dunn. Details the disappearance of Kristina Sandoval, and her estranged husband’s trial for murder.
  9. Missing You: Australia’s Most Mysterious Unsolved Missing Persons Cases by Justine Ford. I can find this in only one library in the U.S. and that library is not part of the OhioLink network (see above). It is, however, available British, New Zealander and Australian libraries, and you get it from Kindle for a decent price. As is pretty clear from the title, it’s about several unsolved disappearances in Australia.
  10. We Is Got Him: The Kidnapping That Changed America by Carrie Hagen. About the Charley Ross case — that is, the little boy whom the Charley Project was named for. When reporters interview me they often ask “Why did you call it the Charley Project?” And I tell them Charley Ross’s story.
  11. In Search of Jeremy: A Mother’s Story by Melodye Faith Hathaway. A memoir about the unsolved 1977 disappearance of deaf toddler Jeremy Coots. Written by this mother.
  12. Where’s Sequoya? by Dove Johnson. This is a memoir of Sequoya Vargas’s life, disappearance, and the subsequent murder charges against three men. Her death was horrific: gang-raped and thrown off a cliff into the sea, still alive. Written by Sequoya’s mother.
  13. Memoir of a Milk Carton Kid by Tanya Kach and Lawrence Fisher. A memoir about Tanya’s disappearance, captivity and recovery.
  14. 3,096 Days in Captivity: The True Story of My Abduction, Eight Years of Enslavement, and Escape by Natascha Kampusch. Natascha was abducted from her hometown in Austria in 1988 and held by her abductor, mostly in the basement under his garage, for eight years. He allowed her to spend increasing amounts of time outside his cell, and in 2006 she was able to escape. Her abductor committed suicide the day she ran away from him, presumably because he realized the police would be coming to arrest him.
  15. A Case for Solomon: Bobby Dunbar and the Kidnapping That Haunted a Nation by Tal McThenia and Margaret Dunbar Cutwright. About the 1912 disappearance of Robert Clarence Dunbar and his later “recovery” which turned out to be no recovery at all.
  16. Missing by Rose Rouse. Focusing on missing persons from the United Kingdom, this is not so much about MPs as about the effect they have on the families they leave behind. Rouse interviewed a lot of MPs’ relatives about what they’ve been through and how they cope.
  17. The Man Who Never Returned: A Novel by Peter Quinn. The second novel on this list, reviews say this draws heavily on the infamous 1930 disappearance of New York’s Judge Crater.
  18. Finding Everett Ruess: The Life and Unsolved Disappearance of a Legendary Wilderness Explorer by David Roberts. About the mysterious disappearance of Everett Ruess, a young writer and artist with a lot of wanderlust, in 1934. They thought they’d found his body a few years ago, to the point that I actually listed his case as resolved on Charley, but it turns out the body wasn’t his after all.
  19. My Story by Elizabeth A. Smart. She hardly needs an introduction. I met her in 2012 and she passed out pamphlets about child abduction; I got her to autograph mine.
  20. Finding Runaways and Missing Adults: When No One Else is Looking by Robert L. Snow. This book offers advice on how the families of the missing  can best utilize tools like the internet to help find their loved one.
  21. The Color of Night: A Young Mother, a Missing Child, and a Cold-Blooded Killer by John H. Timmerman and L.C. Timmerman. Written by the father and uncle of Rachel Timmerman, who disappeared with her baby Shannon Dale Verhage,  in 1997 and was found murdered a month later. A suspect was convicted of Rachel’s murder and police think he killed Shannon too, but he has been never been charged in that case.

Flashback Friday: Barre Monigold

This week’s FF case is Barre Kallan Monigold, who may go by his middle name. He was 23 years old when he disappeared from Tyler, Texas on June 17, 1979. I don’t really have much info on this case; I just know he realized he’d left his car dome light on and, at 1:00 a.m., went outside to turn it off, and never came back. It’s like he vanished into thin air.

The first question that comes to my mind is: when they started looking for Barre, was his car still there, and if so, did was the dome turned light off, or still on? This could be an important clue. Also, if the car disappeared with him, was it ever found? If so, where, and in what condition, and was it found abandoned or was someone driving it?

If the car was parked on the street (and this also applies to parking lots etc., to a lesser extent) and Monigold opened the door and bent over and reached inside to turn the dome light off, that position would make him pretty vulnerable for a few seconds — his back turned, not able to use his hands and arms to defend himself since they were in the car, not able to really see what was going on outside the car. Any cries for help would be somewhat muffled since they’d be coming from inside the car.

In such a situation, Barre could have been attacked/kidnapped by someone and dragged into the suspect’s vehicle, or even into his own, and driven away. It would have taken only a few seconds, and given that it was late at night, it’s quite possible that no one else was in the vicinity at the time to see whatever it was that happened.

I wonder how long took for Monigold to be missed. Some person or persons besides the missing man must have been inside his house at the time, or maybe he was on the phone with someone just before he left, because otherwise the authorities wouldn’t have known why he’d gone outside in the first place.

That is, assuming the witness(es), whoever they were, were telling the truth about Monigold disappearing under those circumstances. That’s a wild card. I have to assume the account is truthful since I haven’t found anything to the contrary and because if I assume it is not, I pretty much have absolutely nothing to base any theories on.

(Michael and I, we have a kind of running joke between us. We get our mail through a mailbox that’s across the street and several doors down. Usually I’m the one who gets it. It takes like three minutes or so. But I occasionally tell Michael, “I’m going out to get the mail. If I’m not back in a couple of hours you should probably call the police.” Of course, if I told Michael that, and I DID get kidnapped while I was out getting the mail, Michael would have nothing other than his own statement as evidence I’d really said that and that it was only a joke and I hadn’t  actually felt unsafe and worried about being kidnapped. The police would think it all was really suspicious.)

I found an obituary for Monigold’s uncle, also called Barre Monigold, who died in 2014. The obit says his nephew survived him. I also found a Topix thread about Monigold. People were talking about various rumors they’d heard about his disappearance: that he’d met with foul play, that he was in Mexico working as a bartender, etc.

If he did disappear of his own volition, it seems like he chose an awfully risky and inconvenient way to drop out of sight. He went outside to do something that should have only taken a very short time, and so probably within a matter of minutes so the witness(es) began wondering what was holding him up. Especially if it was late at night. Maybe the police wouldn’t be notified right away (especially given it was the 1970s), but if it were me who had a friend or relative who’d stepped outside like that and was supposed to return in a few minutes and didn’t, I would give it half an hour, max, before I went outside to look for him and, failing that, started making calls to find out if anyone had seen him.

It seems like a person who has decided they wanted another life would chose a way that would keep people from realizing they were gone for as long as possible. For example, that person might call in sick to work, then leave home in the at the usual time he did on every workday. (There are a few MPs on my site that have done just that.)  Therefore the person’s absence probably wouldn’t be noticed until after he didn’t return home from work at the usual time. The MP would have a decent head start, several hours at minimum, maybe even like twelve hours or so.

If Monigold is still alive, he would be 61 in September. I’d love it if a relative or friend or someone else who knows more details about the case or Monigold himself would contact me, either by email or by commenting on this blog, so his casefile will no longer have the dreaded phrase “few details are available.”

A new rule

As longtime readers of this blog and Charley’s Facebook page know, although I do moderate comments I’m pretty permissive about what can be posted. I allow people to criticize me and my methods, for example, even if they’re rude about it. I’ve even allowed plenty of nasty personal attacks towards me to stay on my blog. Fortunately I haven’t had any  of those lately.

Really, the only type of comments that will definitely not get approved, or will get removed if they got automatically approved by WordPress, are ones with a whole bunch of cuss words on them, and ones that are really, really vicious towards the MP. As far as personal attacks directed towards people other than me, like towards other commenters for example, those are be decided on a case-by-case basis.  But I am probably more likely to remove them than otherwise.

(I will sometimes also remove comments months or years after the fact, or indeed an entire blog entry or entries, if a relative of the MP or a police officer requests it. But that’s another story.)

However, something came up today for the first time that I want to address: I will not allow any discussion about possible paranormal explanations for a disappearance (i.e. aliens, ghosts, etc). I won’t allow any discussion of things like the “Illuminati” either. Probably blaming “Satanists” would also merit deletion, unless there’s some actual evidence to support this theory. (Samuel Ray Rawls would be a rare example where such discussion on that topic might be warranted.)

I think such discussions as these are not helpful to an MP case and they have a strong propensity to get off-topic quickly, like people just debating whether aliens etc. exist in general. There are many places online where it’s appropriate to discuss those topics, but those places do not include the Charley Project’s blog or Facebook page or Twitter account.

MP of the week: Tarasha Benjamin

This week’s featured missing person is Tarasha Benjamin, a seventeen-year-old girl missing from Selma, Alabama since June 26, 2010. I don’t have a lot of detail on this case but the circumstances look suspicious to me: they found her car parked on the roadside, facing the wrong way, and it had been broken into.

I know it’s been awhile since I updated. I hope to resume today.

Make-a-List Monday: College or University Clothes

This list is for people who disappeared while wearing clothes or jewelry with college or university logos, whether they were students or not. I attended both Hendrix College and Ohio State University (and my father still teaches at OSU), so I have a lot of their sweatshirts and stuff. I have also bought clothes from colleges I’ve got no affiliation with. I am, for example, the proud owner of a Vilnius University sweatshirt that was made to commemorate their 400th (!) anniversary in 1979. It’s still in great shape in spite of its age. Anyway:

  1. Tina Louise Bowen: Duke University
  2. Amy Lynn Bradley: unspecified college
  3. Kayla Mae Croft-PayneCentralia College and Washington State University
  4. Joseph Wayne Daggett: Uvalde Junior College (which I believe has been renamed South Texas Junior College)
  5. Stella Anastasia Evon: Georgetown University
  6. Joshua Cheney Guimond (maybe), St. John’s University in Minnesota. (Not to be confused with the St. John’s University in New York City.)
  7. Della Marie HillardHouston Baptist University
  8. Kenneth Wayne Hilscher: Texas A&M University
  9. Kimberley Kay KerseyUniversity of Paris
  10. Kevin Mitchell Kulek: University of Michigan
  11. Mary Shotwell LittleWomen’s College of the University of North Carolina (Which is no longer extant; it’s been absorbed into the University of North Carolina.)
  12. David Michael Martin: University of Oklahoma
  13. Cody Scott Matney: University of Florida
  14. Peter John McColl: University of California at Berkeley
  15. Benjamin Matthew McCullers: Georgia Southern University
  16. Thomas James MixonGeorgetown University
  17. Kristi Lynn Richardson (maybe): University of Wyoming
  18. Sheryl Lyn RucciCanisius College
  19. Edwin Collins Smith: Lester Junior College (no longer extant; I’m not sure what happened to it)
  20. Karen Jo Smith: Indiana University
  21. Lauren Susann Smith: Longwood University
  22. Angie Denise Tucker: Oklahoma State University
  23. Elizabeth Veloz: Georgetown University