Here’s another murder-without-a-body case which I am, alas, unable to add to Charley due to lack of a photo of the victim.
I was randomly surfing MP sections of police department sites and noted Eli Sharclane listed with the Juneau, Alaska PD. Missing since 1977, a few weeks before his 20th birthday. Clothing description but no picture. I’d seen him on the Juneau PD’s website before, but this time I decided to Google him.
Well, it turns out he got thrown off a bridge on the night of his disappearance. This legal document tells all. The thrower, Peter Castillo, was charged with second-degree murder. He was acquitted of that, but convicted of ATTEMPTED murder.
This makes no sense to me: Sharclane apparently could not swim, he was drunk, and he got thrown 49 feet down to the river late at night. I looked up the temperatures in Juneau in 1977 and wasn’t surprised to learn that it’s cold there at night in late September. Sharclane, if he did not drown and he was not killed outright by the impact, would undoubtedly have frozen to death.
I did a look on Newspapers.com and found a Fairbanks Daily News-Miner article from 1959 that mentions Eli; it’s headlined “Two Infants Die in Flu Epidemic” and says eight babies, among them 15-month-old Eli Sharclane and his 1-month-old sister Donna, remained hospitalized. No articles about Castillo’s trial, though. I found Eli’s father’s obituary on Google; he died in 2003.
Eli’s listed on NamUs, btw, but the image provided is clearly not a picture of the victim.
I don’t know 100% what happened to Peter Castillo, but common sense would suggest he’s out of prison by now, and a records check turned up a 57-year-old by that name living in Juneau today.
My only hope is that someday Eli’s relatives will put up a Find a Grave notice for him with a photo. Just today I put up some pics on an MP I found on Find a Grave.