That wretched Hart case

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.

23 thoughts on “That wretched Hart case

  1. Valerie March 29, 2019 / 11:22 am

    Yes, the pictures break my heart.

  2. Rose March 29, 2019 / 5:56 pm

    RIP Hart Family

  3. Sonya March 29, 2019 / 11:26 pm

    Yeah, that is a truly horrifying case. Poor kids. 😦

  4. Patrick Kerrigan April 3, 2019 / 6:06 pm

    There is a story on-line that the FBI and other law enforcement agencies are investigating a report that a Timothy Pitzen, who was 6 years old when he disappeared, may have been found in Cincinnati, Ohio.

    He was taken by his mother in May 2011, in Aurora, Illinois. She then took him to a zoo, and then a water park in Wisconsin. She then committed suicide in a Rockford motel.

    I did not see if they have confirmed it, but investigators from Aurora, Illinois are headed to Cincinnati. It would be great news if it is him.

  5. Patrick Kerrigan April 3, 2019 / 6:40 pm

    It appears the boy was seen by a woman in her neighborhood and appeared nervous and out of place. He claims to be Timmothy Pitzen, and was held by two male whites, with body builder shape. He escaped from them while they were at a Red Roof Inn, and ran across a bridge to Kentucky.

    Also, that held him captive for seven years, and were driving a vehicle with Wisconsin plates. This would match that he and his late mother were seen in Wisconsin. So far authorities have been able to find anyone matching the description of the two white males. The other thing is how many young people would known that name, maybe except us and those Websleuther’s that who keep up with this stuff.

    His DNA is being tested to verify that it is him. Let’s us say a prayer that it is him, and that he is returned to his family. However, how many other families, are still hoping that they loved ones will be found alive.

  6. Diamond Lil April 4, 2019 / 12:26 am

    Thanks Patrick for the news on this possible break in Timmy’s case. I’ve followed that one since the beginning. Prayers that it will be him.

    • Vincent April 4, 2019 / 10:31 am

      Hmmmm. Very interesting. If Timmothy was being held against his will for all these years, that probably means that his mother did NOT leave him with relatives or friends. She didn’t even leave him with nice people. What she DID do, though — if the boy really IS Timmothy — is leave him with people who were much more difficult to trace…. probably strangers.

    • Elena April 4, 2019 / 5:10 pm

      The mother has never been missing. She was found dead of suicide in a motel room.

  7. Elena April 4, 2019 / 5:13 pm

    I watched In Pursuit last night, they had a case of Gordon Machek who was murdered in Michigan in the 2001. His body has never been found. I am wondering if you were going to profile him on your site.

  8. Patrick Kerrigan April 4, 2019 / 5:14 pm

    I agree. It’s not like his name was in the public media recently. Also, the vehicle they were using had Wisconsin plates. Also, he was last seen in Wisconsin, most likely at the Dells. Also, his mother committed suicide. She had issues with depression.

    So, it most likely is him. But we have to wait on DNA to confirm it’s him. I seem to remember her note supposedly saying that he would never be found.

    But, it would be interesting to find these two guys and who knows who else they may have held hostage.

    • Meaghan April 4, 2019 / 5:15 pm

      They just announced the DNA is back. It’s not him.

  9. Patrick Kerrigan April 4, 2019 / 5:29 pm

    What a letdown. He is either 23 or 24 year old from Medina, Ohio. He needs to spend some time in jail or whatever, for this elaborate hoax. I wonder how he came up with the name of a boy who has been missing from the Illinois/Wisconsin area. I like I said earlier, Timmothy Pitzen name was not in the public domain for awhile.

  10. Alexis April 4, 2019 / 10:04 pm

    Hi, my name is Alexis, and I’m doing a podcast on unsolved disappearances in Northeast Ohio. I have recently come across Jonni Clemett on your website. If you have any information that you think would be helpful to me, please reach out to me. I’ll get you my email. Thank you!

  11. Patrick Kerrigan April 5, 2019 / 10:37 am

    The phony guy Timothy Pitzen, supposedly has mental health issues. However, I would be interested in knowing how he came up with the boy who disappeared almost 8 years ago, from here in Illinois. There has been no recent news media coverage of his case. Unless something has come up on Investigative Discovery, or something other program.

    Who knows maybe something might have come up on the anniversary of his disappearance. But it would be something geared to us here in northern Illinois and Wisconsin, not in Southern Ohio.

  12. Patrick Kerrigan April 5, 2019 / 9:11 pm

    According to one news account the young man claimed he learned about Timmothy Pitzen, from seeing an episode of “20/20”. It would be interesting to see if and when an episode on him. Maybe it was a rerun.

  13. Patrick Kerrigan April 6, 2019 / 6:33 pm

    Yes, they will charge him with lying to federal investigators. I used the same charge to convince a patient, to tell us the truth, while a detective with the Veterans Administration Police, at a Medical Center, in Chicago. I knew he was lying about his military background. He actually used information from his brother, who served in the military. All veterans can tell exactly where they went to basic training, and where they were stationed. He could only provide some information about a fort in Kentucky and being in Germany. It confirmed my suspicions

    What we also needed was verification of our suspicions about his partner in crime, who got admitted to another VA Medical Center in the area. We ended up charging both of them through the now famous Cook County State’s Attorney Office. The only problem was dealing with their Felony Review, since we were looking at felony level charges. We did the paperwork for one charge and later had to rewrite them for another charge.

    The investigation started at about 3:00 p.m., and we turned both of them to the Chicago Police at about 3:00 a.m, the next day. I arrived for work one morning at 7:30 a.m, and left work to go home the next day, at 5:00 p.m.. I also was the acting chief of the department, because of the Christmas holidays.

  14. J. Leon April 7, 2019 / 3:01 pm

    With regard to the Pitzen poseur, it’s a shame we can’t bring back public horsewhipping. Hope he gets time and a half notwithstanding.

    And with regard to cases where the fate of the missing party is obvious, might you consider looking into the cases of those still missing from the 1944 Hartford, Connecticut circus tent fire? Came across this fascinating story the AP picked up from the Hartford Courant re recent movement in one of those cases:

    Frankly I had never heard of the little boy who apparently survived and THEN disappeared. How can you account for his parents deciding NOT to continue searching for him out of fear they’d bereave another family who’d mistakenly (and how can you mistake someone else’s 6-year old for your own?) claimed him? Weird, just weird.

    And reading all this reminded me of another case you’ve apparently never put up-that of four-year-old Joan Gay Croft, who was reported to have survived the 1947 Woodward, Oklahoma tornado and then been abducted from the hospital she was taken to:

    Hope you had a nice trip and are feeling better.

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