Go home winter, you’re drunk

With the polar vortex turning the entire Midwest colder than Antarctica, I worry about the many missing people out there who may be wandering around the country homeless.

I know homeless people tend to be pretty self-reliant and lot of major cities have taken all sorts of initiatives to protect their homeless communities, but it is never going to be entirely enough. I mean, where I’m at, the wind chill is like -30 or so and I’m afraid to even take Kinsey out to pee, never mind try to spend the night outside.

I’ve already read of one case of a missing man apparently dying of hypothermia.

I wanted to mention a really good Facebook group, Missing and Homeless, which is specialized for missing and vulnerable people who are believed to possibly be somewhere among the homeless community.

Stay warm tonight, everybody.

Series from the Oklahoman on the Logan Tucker case

I wanted to call the reader’s attention to this excellent (and very sad) special series called Looking for Logan Tucker, about the disappearance and presumed murder of six-year-old Logan Lynn Tucker eighteen years ago at the hands of his sorry excuse for a mother, Katherine Rutan.

Most homicides of children by their parents are unintentional, a situation where the parent is frustrated and unable to cope with child care, loses control and kills the child in a rage. Although there are no witnesses to Logan’s murder and Katherine isn’t talking, his death doesn’t appear to have been one of those kinds of homicides. She thought Logan was a burden to her life, and decided to get rid of him, so she killed him. Period.

She sounds like a stone cold psychopath. There was evidence of disorder in her life long before Logan’s death — she was married four times by her mid-twenties, for example — and she had repeatedly told people that she considered her two sons a burden to her and wanted to get rid of them.

In the final days of Logan’s life, Katherine made increasingly frantic attempts to offload Logan, and the Oklahoma Department of Human Services did plan to take him within the next several days, but Katherine didn’t want to wait that long, I guess.

She is in prison and will probably die there, but continues to maintain her innocence.

Anyway, it’s a great piece of journalism, that series, and I wanted to recommend it to y’all.

Darron Glass revisited

So I just finished reading this book about the unsolved 1980 disappearance of Darron Glass, the only presumed Atlanta Child Killer victim who is still missing. I’ve written about Darron on this blog twice before.

The book is self-published and more of a booklet than a book, only 28 pages long in large type. Normally I wouldn’t have bothered with it, but it was written by Thomas Bailey, who was Darron’s foster care caseworker at the time of his disappearance, so I thought it might have some insights. It did.

Bailey says much of what has been reported about Darron is wrong. His foster mother, Fannie Mae Smith, was interviewed by the media and described him as “immature but streetwise.” However, Bailey says Darron was in fact mentally disabled, and that his IQ had tested at 65, and he “was in no way streetwise.” Smith claimed Darron, or someone claiming to be him, called her on the day of his disappearance, but Bailey doesn’t believe Darron called or even knew his foster home’s phone number.

I’m not sure what to make of this information. Certainly I’m going to put the info about Darron’s mental disability on his Charley Project profile, but I don’t think his low IQ necessarily means Smith didn’t know what she was talking about.

An IQ in the 60s indicates a mild mental disability. According to some research I did, most people with IQs in that range function relatively normally. They can take care of themselves in terms of stuff like bathing and dressing and keeping their living area clean and so on. They can conform socially and they can acquire reading and math skills up until around the sixth-grade level. With some support, they can usually work a job and live independently as adults.

With this in mind, and given that Darron grew up in inner city Atlanta and had a rough life (per Bailey, Darron’s father murdered his mother in front of him), I can totally see him presenting as “immature but streetwise” to most people. If anyone is in a position to speak about children with mild mental disabilities, I’d be happy to hear it.

Bailey has more to say. Fannie Mae Smith’s foster home, he says, was very unsuitable, both for a mentally disabled child and for kids in general; in fact, he says, “How this home became certified is a mystery to me.” He says there were often “people of questionable character” in the home, and suspicion of drug use and even drug selling. Bailey says he had raised concerns about the placement with his supervisor but was ignored.

Per Bailey, he was informed of Darron’s disappearance on September 15, the day after it happened. That same day, he got a call from a woman who identified herself as Darron’s sister. Darron did have a sister whom he wasn’t in contact with, and Bailey wasn’t sure how she would have gotten his number.

The caller said she lived out of state and wanted to adopt Darron. Bailey told her Darron was missing, and she ended the conversation without leaving any contact info, and did not call back.

Bailey started getting anonymous calls saying if he would give the caller money, the caller would disclose Darron’s whereabouts. He says it was always a child’s voice, “maybe a young boy with adult voices in the background.” He told the police about the calls and they put a tap on his phone. Nothing seems to have come of it.

Bailey does not believe Wayne Williams was the Atlanta Child Killer, or at least that if he was a killer, he did not kill all the victims lumped under the Atlanta Child Killer case. (I agree.) He also thinks Darron was probably not murdered at all.

Bailey’s theory is that Darron’s sister was in contact with Fannie Mae Smith and that there was some kind of plan for the sister to take Darron, and that she did so on the day Darron disappeared, and that Darron is alive and well today.

He has a lot of criticism for both the Department of Family and Children Services, and the Atlanta Police Department, and thinks the police were too quick to dump Darron in the pile of serial killer victims instead of actually looking for him.

MP of the week: Austin Renshaw

This week’s featured missing person is Austin Jerrel Renshaw, a 22-year-old man who disappeared from Spring Glen, Washington on October 27, 2003. His car was found abandoned with a partially eaten fast food meal inside it. He was last seen purchasing the meal and apparently vanished shortly thereafter.

Foul play is suspected in his case.

Height/weight uncertainties

I’m never too sure about a missing person’s height and weight, since most people don’t know it for sure about themselves, never mind about other people. I think a lot of times the police go off of whatever’s on the person’s driver’s license, but it’s not like the BMV measures you; they go off by what you say, and people fudge that all the time.

This came to my mind today. I had a gentleman who was on my site already, and I decided to look him up and see if he’d ever been arrested. It turned out he had been, less than a year prior to his disappearance, and the arrest record gave his height as 5’9 and weight as 154 pounds. Which is a significant difference from what NamUs said; they had him listed as 6’2 and 189 pounds.

So which is correct? And how could anyone think a 6’2 guy is 5’9, or vice versa? In these cases I try to include a range obviously, but a five-inch range is quite a difference.

It’s something to think about when you’re trying to decide whether a particular MP might be a particular UID.

Articles about other kids in the wake of Jayme’s recovery

As often happens when a high-profile missing child is found, especially when they’re found safe, news agencies are dusting off their local missing kid cases and being all like, “Hey, you know how Jayme Closs was found? Here’s some kids missing in YOUR area and their parents hope they’ll get found too.” So far we’ve got:

I highly doubt Adji or Diana is alive. Adji is a special needs child and if he was abducted, I don’t think the abductor could have kept him long without attracting some attention. As for Diana, a suspect has been charged with her murder.