This week’s featured missing person is Michael Lanyette Fauntleroy Jr., a 25-year-old man who disappeared from Trenton, New Jersey on February 25, 2011. He left behind a young son with a daughter on the way. Although his disappearance is a suspected homicide, I don’t have a lot on it, and the police haven’t named any suspects in his case.
A relative asked me to profile the disappearance of Darwin Kenneth Vest, who disappeared 18 years ago as of June 2. He sounds like a really interesting guy, an internationally known entomologist and expert in hobo spiders and poisonous snakes. He testified about them in court and even worked with the FBI and the CIA sometimes.
Whether Vest’s work had anything to do with his 1999 disappearance seems to be up in the air, though personally I doubt it. The man, who was unmarried and childless but had a loving extended family, vanished off the face of the earth while walking home late one evening after his weekly trivia game with friends.
Vest had been drinking that night and it’s possible he simply stumbled into the Snake River — he vanished from Idaho Falls, Idaho. But his family doesn’t think so cause that’s not on his usual route home, and they think foul play was involved.
If he is ever found as a John Doe, his distinctive belt buckle and watch — both with spider decorations — might help identify him.
I’ll do a big writeup of what happened in Poland, with pictures, and post it in PDF format later. That way anyone who wants to read it can and anyone who does not can easily skip it.
I visited a milk bar, ate pierogies, ate kasha, got stuck twice in train station toilets (once having to climb over the top of the stall door to get out), and bought 18 books at the Auschwitz gift shop for just $140. The exchange rate is great. Having to lug the 18 books around (plus three others I bought elsewhere) for the rest of the trip was not so great. Michael magnanimously offered to carry them in his suitcase at first. But the Airbnb we stayed in on the last night before we left for home was a fourth-floor walkup (that was really the only thing wrong with it) and it took him fifteen minutes to haul his suitcase up the four floors, cursing me and the books the entire time. After that we put half the books in my suitcase and half in my backpack, and thus I was able to get them home.
A lot of things have inevitably happened in the missing persons world in my absence. That’s for my next entry. In the meantime, check out today’s Executed Today entry: Sally Bassett, an elderly Bermudian slave roasted alive on this day in 1730 after she tried to poison her master and mistress with “white toad” imported from Africa.
I landed at Chicago O’Hare this evening and just arrived home a little bit ago. The cats were utterly indifferent to our arrival, didn’t even greet us at the door.
I had a marvelous time but I’m dead on my feet right now. More tomorrow.