It’s been awhile since I did my last “Let’s Talk About It” case, but I haven’t given up on them. This week is a double disappearance: Diamond Bynum and her her two-year-old nephew, King Rajan Walker, who disappeared on July 25, 2015.
Diamond was 21 and suffered from Prader-Willi Syndrome, a genetic condition characterized mainly by mental disability and a constant feeling of hunger. If not kept supervised, people with this condition will just eat and eat and eat until they get sick. At 4’10, Diamond weighed well over 200 pounds, and she had the mental capacity of a five- to seven-year-old.
She had recently moved with her parents to Gary, Indiana, and her nephew, King Walker, was visiting. Apparently the two of them slipped out while Grandma was taking a nap. Diamond regularly walked in the neighborhood in the town where she used to live, but that was safer because she’d lived there all her life and the locals knew her and knew she was disabled and looked out for her.
But she wasn’t familiar with Gary, and, well, Gary is an awful place. It’s regularly ranked as one of the ten most dangerous cities in the country and something like one-fifth of the population lives under the poverty line. The city is a swath of urban decay, with all sorts of ramshackle abandoned buildings — it’s really sad.
I think this case would have gotten more media attention if Diamond and King had been white, or more affluent, or at least disappeared from a more affluent area. But I do have to wonder what happened to them.
Foul play seems like an obvious answer…but why? The family seems to be in the clear. An extensive search of the neighborhood, all those abandoned buildings, turned up doodly squat. No one seems to know anything. I can’t think of a kidnapper or a serial killer or a human trafficker who would want BOTH a very overweight, mentally disabled young woman AND a two-year-old boy. It seems like one or the other should have turned up.
So what caused these two to disappear? Let’s talk about it.
OFF TOPIC, and I’m sure you’ve already heard, odd her case was just posted….
My bad. For the first time in forever I did NOT check updates first. Sorry!
Poor parents, That girl gave them more than one year of hell, did her parents do something so wrong to her that they deserve this ?
We don’t know what was going on with Myra so I don’t think it’s right to judge. I just hope she and her family can reconcile and she can get whatever help she needs. Her mom said something on Facebook about Myra having had some trauma when she was younger, and some problems that her family didn’t know anything about.
Incredibly bizarre story, to say the least….and now I wonder if Maura Murray did exactly the same in 2004
I have absolutely no basis for this thought, but I wonder if they fell down a hole, or got lost/injured somehow and died. Mid summer maybe they succumbed of heat exposure? Of course, seems like their remains would be found in that case. I just never put much stock into “possible sightings”. Very perplexing and so sad!
It seems like as likely a theory as any. Maybe at a construction site, or at one of those derelict buildings.
I’m kind of leaning towards “misadventure” on this one. She may not have had good judgement about getting into a dangerous place. Like the dumpster idea from one comment, I think that’s plausible. They just needed to be supervised and weren’t. I doubt foul play was involved, even though you’re right, Gary is a nasty place.
Are there rivers in the area? Sorry, I’m not being lazy–I’m looking at a map and I can see that Gary is on a lakeshore and that there are some creeks, at least, within the city limits, so I know that there *is* water in the general area, but are there bodies of water within plausible walking distance of her home? I suppose it’s not terribly likely that they wouldn’t have found her, at least, if not the little boy, if they fell in, but bodies do seem to turn up in unexpected places when moving water is involved.
This is on a different topic, but I wanted to let you know about a person’s name profiled today, Evelin Valibayova. I think it should be spelled as Valibayeva.
Nope, all the sources say Valibayova.
I’ve heard of people with prader Willis that dumpster dive for food because their need to eat is so strong. I wonder if they were in a dumpster looking for food when it was emptied into a compacter or garbage truck?
I also wonder if there are any bodies of water in Gary? It was the middle of summer and maybe they wanted to cool off with a swim and drowned?
Kidnapping is also a possibility, some criminals are opportunistic and act when they see vulnerable people…they don’t necessarily need to conform to a “type”. Although many serial killers do have a “type” I don’t think all do.
Gary borders Lake Michigan. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary,_Indiana
Michael Jackson was from Gary, IN…just a cool tidbit of trivia. 🙂
I agree with Lexi that Diamond and her nephew certainly could have been kidnapped. Being mentally challenged can make a person extremely vulnerable.
They could easily have wound up in a dangerous, even deadly situation.
I just know (though not much) about Prader-Willi because of a local family. They have at least a couple kids and at least one of their daughters suffers from it and we went to a Prader-Willi fundraiser at the “local” (i.e. closest) zoo when I was younger. From what I saw of the girl, I could tell that she was “slow,” But she was a lot younger than me, so I couldn’t really judge HOW slow she was,
I wonder if they somehow got a ride to her old neighborhood. It’s not really that far at all, but what would they have done once they got there? And what would they still be doing there after all of this time?
Even though she’s noted to be “slow,” she’s big enough that it would be hard to take her on. Even if she wasn’t violent or resisting. Also related to her size, if she did indeed wind up dead, how could her remains not be noticed?
Her nephew, I could see possibly becoming lost or hurt somewhere without anyone noticing. But not her. Not even if they wound up in Lake Michigan, since they’d eventually have to float to shore at some point. Wouldn’t they?
Interesting points, Brian…you asked “how could her remains not be noticed?” Assuming that she met with foul play, the person(s) involved most likely disposed of her remains in a way that makes them hard to find.
I’m thinking that could happen, but that they’d have to be targeted somehow. They suspect that they could have waked to the store.
I wonder if they habitually went to the store each morning. That’s the only thing that would make sense… If someone was waiting specifically for them to pass by at a certain time.
And it mentions “behavioral problems,” which I assume means that if someone tried to do anything to her or her nephew, that she’d throw one hell of a fit. With her size, that doesn’t seem like something that wouldn’t be noticed by everybody on the block.
What Orla said below this post is something else I thought about. We don’t know much about the family dynamics, so has the stepmother been looked into? What about her nephew’s parents? I don’t know enough about them to suspect their involvement or rule them out..
I don’t know if King had a father in his life. Mom lived in Chicago and dropped him off at his grandparents’ every weekend. From what I’ve seen on Facebook, he was her only child and she writes about missing him and how he was the greatest thing that ever happened to her.
I Googled “Prader-Willi behavior problems” and found this: http://www.pws.org.nz/challenging-behaviours/ which indicates Diamond might not necessarily be protective of her nephew. The problems are mainly food-related and anxiety- and frustration-related, with sudden and unpredictable meltdowns.
Perhaps a hate crime against someone ” handicapped or disabled or God forgive me – retarded?” White supremicists would have seen the murder of such a girl as a cleansing of society. The young boy could have been collateral damage, murdered or sold into slavery, sex trafficking. Doesn’t seem any scenario is encouraging.
This story is very sad. I think someone had seen her before, and knew she was mentally disabled. It says that the family has been cleared, but what about friends, or even friends of friends?
I think the falling in one of the the old dilapidated buildings is very plausible. If her mentality was that of a 5-7 year old, toddlers get awfully curious. Even if surrounding homes were searched, it could be easy to miss. We had an incident not to long ago…
Police supposedly searched this home at the time he went missing.
I don’t usually put too much stock in the reported sightings either, but this wouldn’t be a pairing you’d see often – a very short, very overweight young woman and a toddler.
Other than that, an accident seems like the most likely scenario to me.
@Mia…funny, because I see short and overweight young women with toddlers all the time! It’s a fairly common sight in places like Walmart, for instance. 🙂
If it was indeed an accident, that would be horrible…but I think even that would be better than them being victims of a crime.
What does that Wal-Mart comment have to do with anything?
Anyway, this case is so sad, but I have to ask, did she have a habit of wandering off? Why was no one walking with her and did anyone ever go with her when she went walking in their old town?
No one was walking with her cause the only other person at home was Diamond’s mom, and she’d fallen asleep.
@TT…clearly you are easily offended by an innocent comment. Maybe you missed the 🙂 that I added?
I was replying to Mia on the subject of how unusual it would be to see a young woman of Diamond’s size with a small child. My response was that it wouldn’t be all that unusual, because that is a common sight here in America.
No need to be defensive when no harm was intended.
Maybe it was a “wrong time, wrong place” type of thing. They run into the wrong people, got bullied or beaten up, killed more or less accidentally. In a dangerous neighborhood it doesn’t seem impossible and they were an easy target.. Or maybe someone wanted to lure one of them away, and ended up with the two. .
@Medea…now this could definitely be a possibility. I really hope they will be found at some point.
Speaking generally and not specifically about this case…… I hate when the step parent is the last one to have seen the MP.
Red flag for me.
Maybe someone was targeting the boy to sell. I actually have a theory that some of the pregnant women you mentioned a long time ago on a list were actually taken because someone wanted the child and they held the woman until she reached full-term and sold the kid. You have to admit, it’s not out of the question.
To be more clear, I was replying to Mia’s comment about how it wouldn’t be likely to see a very short, overweight young woman with a small child.
My comment referring to Walmart was really just to show that it’s not unusual. Obviously somebody (TT above) misunderstood. I apologize if anyone was offended, but that wasn’t my intent.
Please, let’s not be so quick to assume the worst when an innocent comment is made. I care very much about the missing persons on here, and I would never disrespect anyone. Sensitivity is important. At the same time, let’s not read too much into a comment that was in no way intended to be hateful or demeaning.
I’ve been posting on here for a while now and there is no meanness in ANY of my posts. I’m sorry you couldn’t see that, TT.