Some recommended reading for you

I’ve just updated their cases so you can read about the sordid story of missing stepdad and stepdaughter Gary McCullough and Liehnia Chapin on Charley.

However, I highly recommend you check you the really wonderful two-part series on the case: After 10 years missing, is Lena Chapin still alive? and Cover-up, confession and what remains of Lena Chapin.

It is an absolutely awful and somewhat convoluted tale, and an excellent piece of investigative reporting on the part of the Salem News. Good job, guys!

Poor Lena. Poor Gary. I had kind of a deer-in-the-headlights feeling as I read what what down.

As of yesterday

From now on, if you go to the updates page and see, say, 15 updates listed for today’s date, do not assume that that number will remain the same all day.

Because of the way the new system works, it makes more sense for me to add my updates one by one rather than in a big chunk.

If you don’t want to have to keep going back and checking the page, you’re better off just checking at like 11:30 p.m.

Black History Month: Tageana Griffith

In honor of Black History Month I’m profiling one African-American MP every day on this blog for the month of February. Today’s case is Tageana Elizabeth Griffith, who was abducted by her non-custodial mother from Niagara Falls, New York on June 13, 2010, at the age of five. She is now 13 years old.

Tageana was born in Jamaica, but lived in the U.S. at the time of her disappearance. Her parents had joint custody. The court confiscated Tageana’s passport after her mother, Patricia, took her to Jamaica for a “vacation” without permission. Pretty much right after the passport was returned, Patricia took Tageana back to Jamaica again and this time came back without her.

(Incidentally, most major airlines in the U.S. now have a rule that if a minor child is traveling out of the country with only one parent, not both of them, this parent has to produced signed and notarized permission for the trip from the other parent, or proof that they have full custody rights, in order to fly. That’s to prevent stuff like Tageana’s abduction from happening.)

Patricia was sentenced to 18 months for parental abduction. The authorities believe Tageana is living with her maternal grandmother in Jamaica, but they can’t find them. Meanwhile her father has been looking for her for almost eight years now. All he’s got are some pics of her taken on her tenth birthday, five years after she was kidnapped.

MP of the week: Andreas Marts

This week’s featured missing person is Andreas Marts, who disappeared from Leavenworth, Kansas on July 16, 2010. He was 25 years old.

He’d probably be pretty easy to recognize if still alive, as he suffers from progressive hemifacial atrophy, aka Parry–Romberg Syndrome, a disorder that causes shrinkage of the tissues on the side of his face. He’s had multiple surgeries with all kinds of hardware installed to mitigate the damage, but his face does look kind of different.

Alas, the police believe Marts probably drowned. He had schizophrenia and he told people he was going to “cleanse himself for God” in the Missouri River, which was in flood stage at the time of his disappearance.

Black History Month: Dwayne Martin

In honor of Black History Month I’m profiling one African-American MP every day on this blog for the month of February. Today’s case is Dwayne Edwin Martin, a Marine Corps veteran and diner employee who disappeared from North Little Rock, Arkansas on December 11, 1987. He was 23 years old.

There isn’t a lot of evidence available in this case, but foul play is suspected. Martin had just cashed a paycheck and may have had the money on him when he disappeared, but it wasn’t much, just $148. The inflation calculator says that would be about $317 today.

It’s uncharacteristic of Martin to leave without warning and he may have been involved with drugs. This case is being investigated as a possible homicide.

Black History Month: Jaquilla Scales

In honor of Black History Month I’m profiling one African-American MP every day on this blog for the month of February. Today’s case is Jaquilla Evonne Scales, a four-year-old girl who disappeared from her family’s Wichita, Kansas home during the early morning hours of September 5, 2001.

There hasn’t been a great deal of press about Jaquilla’s disappearance. It doesn’t help that she was born to a teen mother in a poor African-American family, but I think whatever media attention her disappearance would have gotten was eclipsed by the terrorist attack on September 11.

I was fifteen years old, and I was on vacation in New England when 9-11 happened. I remember, flying home just a few days later (my mom and I had the plane practically to ourselves), hoping to find out more about Jaquilla’s case when I got home. I never did find out much.

It’s entirely possible that she was abducted — there were no signs of forced entry, but there was a door to the house that didn’t lock. I wish there had been more media attention when she disappeared; she might have been recovered if there had been.