The Charley Project does not discriminate: if you’re have not physically turned up alive or dead, you’re missing for the purposes of this database, even if everyone knows perfectly well what happened to you.
Which brings me to the godawful case of the Hart family, of whom one of them, Devonte, has never been located. His sister’s foot washed ashore months ago, but not a tiny bit of Devonte has turned up, not so much as a single vertebra. I had been desperately hoping they’d find some of Devonte before the year was up so I would not have to start digging into this. I might as well be digging a grave.
And with a case as high profile as this, I feel obligated to put him up. Even though we all know, basically, what happened to Devonte and where he is — swallowed up in the Pacific.
And with a case as high profile as this, I feel obligated to do a detailed write-up. It’s just that there’s so much to look over (high profile ya know) and it’s all so absolutely and unrelentingly horrifying. I’ve been reading about the case for the past twelve hours and I feel the way I did when I visited Treblinka.
Even the photos of the kids. So many photos. And they’re so SKINNY. Knobby chins and cheekbones, their faces like skulls, stick arms and legs. And so SMALL. They were starved of food and love for so long, and under so much stress.
The inquest into the family’s deaths will be held next week. It will take two days, will be live-streamed, and is said to be releasing some shocking information, as if what is already known was not shocking enough already.
Those poor, poor children.
Just a word of warning: I’m going to be extremely busy all of next week and I don’t think I’ll be getting much of anything done on the website. I’ve mentioned before about a certain project I’m working on. I’ll be working on that project all next week. I can’t say anything more about it in public at this time.
And next weekend, of course, I’m going to Wisconsin. It will take pretty much an entire day just to get there. I’ll be leaving Friday. The event is Saturday, and I’m going to spend Saturday night in Green Bay and then return home on Sunday.
This week’s featured missing person is Charles Christopher Massey, a 29-year-old man who disappeared from Madisonville, Kentucky in the spring of 1997. He was last seen on March 30, when he went to give Easter baskets to his children, but last spoken to, presumably on the phone, on April 2. Then he was gone.
He’s got a pretty distinctive tattoo on his upper right arm; I wish I had a picture of it. If still alive, he’d be 51 years old today.
With the inclusion of Patricia Sue Tolhurst‘s page, the number of missing persons Facebook pages on this blog’s list has reached 700. Woo.
I can’t do it, but it would be really great, and make NamUs more user-friendly, if people would round up all the cases from each city (say, San Francisco, California) and make sure they’re listed under the city of San Francisco, California and nowhere else.
I decided, on a whim, to do San Francisco cases today. And this is what happens when I try to type “San Francisco” into the appropriate slot in the form:
I’m having to check all those misspelled ones and the ones in all capital letters or no capital letters see if there’s anyone listed under there. Sometimes there is, but sometimes there isn’t.
They really all ought to be listed under just “San Francisco” and nowhere else. I’m just sayin’. And other cities have the same problem. Here’s two other examples:
So in two weeks I will be attending the fifth annual missing persons awareness event in Green Bay, Wisconsin. I went to the first, second, and fourth ones.
This year, I will not have to stay in l’Hotel a la Sketchy or an Airbnb; due to the sponsorship of a certain person who shall remain anonymous for the moment, I will be staying in a respectable establishment for once.
I should have a blast. I always do.
This week’s featured missing person is Martha Jean Lambert, a twelve-year-old girl who disappeared from Elkton, Florida on November 27, 1985.
In 2009, Martha’s brother, David, confessed to the police that she had died in an accident the day of her disappearance and he had buried her body. David would have been fourteen at the time. Although the police never found Martha’s body and David later retracted his statement, investigators believed his story.
Martha’s mother believes her daughter was abducted by someone outside the family and hopes she is still alive. A friend of mine also believes David is innocent, and put up a Facebook page to draw attention to Martha’s case.
A Charley Project Irregular let me know about how the San Francisco Examiner had been added to the Newspapers.com archives, so I went and ran all my old San Francisco cases through to see if they had articles in that paper. Then when that was done, I decided to do with the same with Santa Cruz cases, because I knew the Santa Cruz Sentinel was in the archives. And presto, 29 cases updated.
Some thoughts/info on individual ones:
- I wonder if Erwin Ernest Bunge‘s car was ever recovered. I also wonder if his disappearance had anything to do with him being a high profile trainer. Henry Martinez was only seventeen years old in 1988 and it seems unlikely that he could have been involved. I wasn’t able to find out much about him; he retired from boxing in 1994 and drifted into obscurity.
- Not really a thought, but a piece of trivia: Harry Weldon Kees is not the only person presumed to have jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge on July 18, 1955. The police found TWO cars abandoned there that day, leading to speculation as to which person went first. At the time, they were keeping a record of how many people died. I don’t think they’re keeping track anymore though. (Oh, and here’s a 2011 rant of mine about Golden Gate Bridge suicide victims.)
- I looked up Walter Christopher Kuchanny‘s wife, and she has remarried and seems to be doing well. She returned to England after his disappearance. I do believe he was a suicide victim and didn’t just leave. Her description of his behavior, being all anxious and depressed and then suddenly happy and relaxed, is pretty typical of people who take their lives.
- Is anyone else wondering if Michael Omas Masaoay‘s disappearance was just an accident? I wonder if it went something like this: he sets off for the day, realizes school is actually closed, and then decides to chill out at his favorite fishing spot, and then gets dragged out to sea by surf, just like Noel Annette Marcotte and countless others have been. That would explain why Michael’s bag was found where it was. Will anyone who’s familiar with the geography of that location care to voice an opinion in the comments?
- The SF Examiner article I found about John Dolan Phillips‘s disappearance was mainly about the sale of his car and how it was very sketchy. His family was never notified the car had been found in the parking garage. The mint-condition rare classic car was sold to an employee of the garage for just $200, a tiny fraction of both its actual worth AND the amount of accrued parking fees owed. Apparently when objects worth over $500 are put for sale in these circumstances, the public is supposed to be notified and given a chance to buy them, but the car was sold for an a lower amount, so the garage didn’t have to notify anyone. And then the new owner refused to even let the car get inspected for clues. Whether any of this has something to do with Phillips’s disappearance is anyone’s guess.
- Given the circumstances of Carlos Benjamin Urruela‘s disappearance, it’s likely he died by suicide. The article I read said his addiction was very bad — he’d gone from snorting to freebasing to shooting cocaine — and was ruining his life and his appearance.
This week’s featured missing person is Toby Ray Coleman, who disappeared from New Caney, Texas on May 19, 1997, a month after his eighteenth birthday. He was last seen after he came home from a party, bleeding from a fight he’d gotten into. After his parents cleaned and bandaged his injury, he left home again and never came back.
Foul play is suspected in Coleman’s disappearance. Unfortunately, the police refused to accept a missing persons report for over three months, by which time I’m sure the case was already cold.
Yeah, so I had written earlier this month about how I was really depressed again and I was going to seek help for it. I am very touched by the kind, supportive comments I got from everyone about that, and I wanted to thank you for that. I also wanted to update everyone on the situation.
My psychiatrist and I decided to drop one of my antidepressant meds, which I had been taking since mid-2008, and replace it with a different antidepressant. I’m still titrating upwards on it: I am supposed to take 10mg daily for a week, then go up to 20mg. I’ll start the 20mg on Wednesday.
My mood has improved but I am still constantly, incredibly tired. I’m sleeping fourteen, sixteen hours a day sometimes. Last night I went to sleep around midnight and didn’t really get up till 3:00 p.m., except to take the dog out.
Some people have suggested the tiredness is due to some kind of deficiency or maybe just to the season, the fact that it’s been cold and gloomy and dreary for the past several months. Either way it’s obviously no way to live. If it is still going on when I have my next psychiatrist appointment late in the month, I’ll bring it up with him.