Not sure what to do with this information

While I was in Poland I got an email from the brother of a missing woman. He explained that he lived in Australia, and he knew his sister had gone missing in California a number of years ago, and he was visiting California in June, and did I have any information about her disappearance?

I did not. But the information in his email provided an answer to something I’d wondered about in relation to her case.

The woman had an unusual appearance to me. She had very dark skin and sort of looked like she was black, but I didn’t think she actually was. She certainly didn’t look white. The California Department of Justice had her classified as “other Asian” but that didn’t mean much to me. I wondered if she might be a Pacific Islander, but CDOJ actually has a “Pacific Islander” classification and they hadn’t put her in it.

When the man said he was Australian, it suddenly hit me: this woman is almost certainly aboriginal — the very first on the Charley Project if I’m not mistaken. I checked out photos of aboriginal Australians and she looks very much like them.

So now what do I call her? Should I perhaps list her as “Pacific Islander” and explain she’s of aboriginal descent?

This particular detail could turn out to be very important if her body is found — there can’t be that many aboriginal Australian UIDs in North America.

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5 thoughts on “Not sure what to do with this information

  1. Kat June 11, 2017 / 10:09 pm

    To start, I’d ask her brother what he’d like her to be classified as, and what he identified her as. If you have any contacts out there, ask them too. Or, you could just put her under the multiracial listing…IDK. You know more than I do!

    • Meaghan June 12, 2017 / 6:14 am

      I did ask. Turns out I was totally wrong: her family comes from the Indian subcontinent. Her father is Indian and her mother Sri Lankan.

  2. L June 12, 2017 / 12:28 am

    Was the lady missing from Northern California and she disappeared after having a nervous breakdown or something like that? If so, I remember that case and thinking that she looked mixed race too. But there are so many cases where I have read the race, age or even the gender and kinda wondered if it was a typo or something.

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