Some things

  1. Michael was released from the hospital today, having dumped 25 pounds of fluid that was backed up around his heart. (No wonder he was having trouble breathing.) He will have to make some dietary and lifestyle changes and take some medications and maybe ease up on working so many hours, but he is expected to make a full recovery.
  2. June 16 was the tenth anniversary of the rape. And I… forgot about this entirely. It wasn’t until like two days later that suddenly that fact popped into my head. For me, that’s recovery.
  3. I’m thinking of making a new category of missing persons listed on the Charley Project: migrants who disappeared while trying to cross the border illegally through the desert. Most of them are kind of assumed to have died out there, but a lot of times there’s no hard evidence of that.
    I would like some feedback from Charley Project users: should I make this new category for the migrants, or should I just keep putting them in “endangered missing” or “lost/injured missing” like I’ve been doing? (Part of the reason I was thinking of making a category just for them is because I’ve never made up my mind whether they should be in endangered missing or lost/injured missing.)
    I’d like it if you put your about this opinion in the comments.

19 thoughts on “Some things

  1. Becky June 24, 2019 / 7:35 pm

    Good idea! It might be helpful to have its own category so these cases don’t get buried in all the other cases. Then it would be easier/more likely for someone looking for a missing migrant on Charley to find their match. On another topic, I’m not sure if I fully understand the distinction between the lost/injured and the endangered missing cases. I guess lost doesn’t = missing and injured doesn’t = endangered but they are somewhat similar.

    • missingmysteries June 25, 2019 / 1:59 am

      My impression is that the “lost/injured” label is for someone who was last seen in a place/circumstance where the most likely cause of their absence is due to an injury that prevents them from returning, or a sudden act of nature, or getting lost in a place that likely would result in that person not being able to get to safety. Such as a flash flood, camping in the wilderness and their car was found at the trailhead, etc. In other words, the circumstances mean that they were “lost” or last seen in a place or circumstance in which survival would be gravely unlikely.

      I think “endangered” missing covers other circumstances where it seems the missing person might not have disappeared willingly, but that evidence of a natural issue or catastrophe (like what we see in the lost/injured cases) isn’t present. And also in any case where there is a possibility that the person did not leave of their own free will.

      For example, a lost/injured missing would be a guy who went hiking, told his loved ones he’d be gone for three days, then never comes back home and his car is found parked at the trailhead from where he started his trek. He’d be presumed injured or lost in the wilderness…

      On the flip side, an “endangered” missing might be a single mother who went to work and left her kids at the sitter, but never picked them up and was never seen again, without any concrete proof to explain her having left willingly. She’d be “endangered” due to concern about the unlikelihood of her wanting to leave her kids. But she’s not labeled as “lost/injured” because nothing points to any specific place or circumstance where she had gone willingly and then had become lost or injured; I guess it comes down to semantics: a lost/injured person is missing because they became lost or injured; an endangered missing person could be missing due to foul play and not from being lost or injured in a way that they couldn’t find safety.

  2. Sally Birkam June 24, 2019 / 7:43 pm

    Re: 1&2. I am happy for both Michael’s and your recovery!! #3. I think a separate category would be appropriate and more useful when searching.

  3. Sydney June 24, 2019 / 7:43 pm

    Yes, I like the idea of a separate category. I think these cases would and could fall under both endangered and lost/injured, so a separate category makes sense to me.

  4. Kristi Hearn June 24, 2019 / 9:54 pm

    I like the separate category for statistical reasons.

  5. Sonya June 24, 2019 / 10:37 pm

    1. Wow! That’s a lot of fluid. Bet Michael is glad to be back home. 🙂
    2. Congratulations on the recovery. Good for you.
    3. I don’t know on the list, since I’m Canadian and all, I don’t know a lot about the illegal border crossings. I think it’s a good idea for the separate category since they are in danger or perhaps passed away, but I would hate to see any government entities using such a list to try to locate and deport anyone. (Which may not even be possible to happen, I mean no offense to anyone by saying so, I just don’t really know how it all works since I’m from another country.) But at any rate, they are missing and in danger, and noone knows if they made it over or not, so having the migrants in their own category can’t really hurt anything…, yeah, probably a good idea.

  6. Mion June 24, 2019 / 11:15 pm

    25 pounds of fluid is crazy. Did his chest ever look swollen at all before they drained it (curious because it sounds like you guys didn’t see anything *visibly* wrong before he got medical treatment)? He’s super lucky that he made it out alive AND without any long-term issues.

    Also, great job on your own recovery. I know that your blog barely scratches the surface of how difficult it’s been for you, but I’ve been reading for years and I’ve always been impressed by how well you’ve dealt with that trauma. You forgetting the anniversary is a milestone and it means you’ve made incredible progress.

    And yes, I think you should add a separate category for migrants who disappeared crossing the border. Lost/Injured Missing covers them pretty well, but that category makes me think of people who got lost doing outdoors activities for fun, or committed suicide and their bodies were lost to nature, so migrants don’t quite fit. It’s also good for statistical reasons, as Kristi said. Do you plan to add migrants who are believed to have gone missing attempting to cross into the US from Mexico, or only the ones who were last seen on US territory?

    • Meaghan June 25, 2019 / 7:32 am

      His chest looked normal but his feet and ankles were swollen some. (Excess fluid tends to collect there cause gravity.) I remember for at least a week before he was hospitalized he kept asking if they looked swollen to me and I couldn’t tell. Well, they were. They made him wear compression socks at the hospital.

  7. Alexis Neff June 25, 2019 / 12:00 am

    Great news regarding Michael! And congratulations on your own recovery! May you have many more anniversaries wherein the day passes quietly, momentarily unnoticed. Regarding creating a separate category for missing migrants, yes, I absolutely think you should. Doing so would help with site searches.

  8. missingmysteries June 25, 2019 / 1:35 am

    That’s a really good question about the migrants, and it goes to your credit for having considered how to categorize their cases. I have a few ideas, though they might fall outside of the Charley mission (which, as I gather from your statements on here, is that Charley is not meant as a tool for matching missing persons to unidentified remains, but rather to solely provide a list of the missing), so here goes:

    I think they can still have varied categorizations, in that those who were supposedly last seen (by someone like a fellow migrant) in a remote area, alone, and without survival supplies could be categorized as lost missing…and those who were last seen by their loved ones in another country and were known to have attempted entry into the US but whose last known sighting did not place them alone in a remote area without gear, etc, would fall under the “endangered” heading. I think “lost/missing” is only for those who are known to have been last seen in a dire position in a remote area of border crossing.

    My idea about sharing these cases is for someone (a Charley Irregular, perhaps) to have a blog or site that links these cases to Mexican/South American social media in the hopes of getting the info to the possible family members, AND that also links NAMUS and Doe Network entries in the same way. Without publicity in the areas from which these migrants come, they’ll keep going unidentified/missing.

  9. Heather June 25, 2019 / 2:45 am

    Living on the NewMexico/Texas/Mexico, I do believe there is a need for a ‘Migrant’ list. There are so many people that loose their lives coming over, and if there was a place for family members to search maybe it would help. Even a translation capabilities would be nice. (That might not be possible)
    Glad Michael is better. Gladder that you’re better as well.

  10. Julia Rose June 25, 2019 / 10:02 am

    It’s wonderful he is home. Hope he heals well. As for your tenth anniversary, bravo to you that you are also healing and recovering to a point of not recognizing the actual anniversary day itself. I agree with you that that is recovery. I am coming up on the 30 year anniversary of my sexual assault. There has been so many events (marriage, jobs, children) in my life since then that I rarely recognize the actual day. Is it still there in the back of my mind? Yes, but not like the first few years. We are survivors. We are strong!

  11. Catherine June 25, 2019 / 1:56 pm

    I think lost/injured fits well for the migrants, but I support a different category because of easier searches, like others have said.
    Very glad to hear about Michael. Carmen must be so relieved!😉🐾

  12. Ivana Lucy June 25, 2019 / 4:02 pm

    Hi Meaghan, I am very happy to hear about Michael getting better!!!
    Considering the migrants, I think that it would be good to create a category for them. In my opinion, they would belong under Lost/Injured except for the children. However, there is one doubt I have here: Migrants can disappear wherever on their journey( in Mexico, for example) , and as per my understanding, Charley only features USA missing. How do you exactly know at what point they got missing?

    • Meaghan June 25, 2019 / 6:55 pm

      I’m referring to the migrants who are presumed to have disappeared in the remote desert areas of southern Texas, Arizona etc after crossing.

  13. sarahdirks June 26, 2019 / 8:43 pm

    I am so glad to hear Michael is doing better!!!!! I am sending all the good wishes your way.
    To address the other part of your post, missing migrants is an issue I care deeply about and am involved in, and I would love to see their cases included on Charley. As you probably know, there is no national or even border-state linked database for missing migrants or remains of assumed migrants found in the US (even in border states, they are only searchable county by county if at all; I know this is more NamUs than Charley, but the point is the lack of something like what you have created).
    However, there are organizations like the Colibri Project for Human Rights who help to organize DNA testing of remains and reunite families with their loved ones, and many facebook pages who also seek to find missing migrants or reunite remains.
    My friend Sandra Sandoval reminds me a lot of you- she runs a facebook page dedicated to missing migrants/remains out of her own empathy and compassion while she works as a seafood processor in the southeastern US. Other facebook pages, like “desaparecidos en la frontera”, or “personas desaparecidas en usa” are also independently run by caring people who seek loved ones missing while crossing the border or last heard from in the US; morgue photos, tennis shoes, id cards, belts- all types of things have facilitated family reunification with only individual volunteer-run facebook pages. I do not think it needs to be separate from Charley- that already exists in many linked and disparate ways, but in no way with the national reach, credibility, and power of the Charley Project.
    I have wanted to message you about this on numerous occasions but never have, as I assume your plate is so full already, and I am always so thankful to you when I see you include migrants on Charley. I am a fluent Spanish speaker and translator who is always willing to help at any moment, if you needed any type of language liason services. I am also currently working on a collaboration with a university in my area to create a simple database of comparable descriptions and remains, but it is slow going and would not address the missing, only remains of deceased persons.
    Now, as only 3% of the migrants and asylum seekers attempting to cross are from Mexico, the situation has become even more complex (as I am sure you know, the other 97% are from the Northern Triangle of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador; these migrants and asylum seekers are fleeing the violence of the drug trade destined for the US ((which obviously is linked to the disappearances of so many Americans afflicted by drugs)); global warming which has made centuries of farming unsustainable due to torrential rains, mudslides, and topsoil erosion; and more restrictive US border policies of the past 15 years which restricted crossing to deadly and dangerous places).
    Latino families are desperately seeking their loved ones, and to be included in the Charley Project would be a gift without price, not just for efficacy but for acknowledgement. The Facebook pages focused on migrants also share US missing persons cases, Amber Alerts, “runaways”, all types of US cases, because they know the pain of missing loved ones. I would love to work on this with you, or help in any way I can. You are my hero, and my heart is with you whatever decision you make, but if there is any way to submit cases to you for consideration of inclusion on Charley, or help with any language issues, I am here and beyond willing. I want to note also that “endangered missing” seems sufficient for me when the people are not actually known to have been last seen while drowning or left behind in the desert, as human trafficking of migrants- men, women, boys, and girls- is a real thing, and while the Sonora Desert claims thousands of lives every year, many other missing migrants may have met a myriad of other fates within the U.S., intensified by the inability to seek help from law enforcement.
    I apologize because this message is disorganized and I am at work, but I will send you an email tomorrow if you are interested with the more than 20 groups I am a part of regarding missing migrants and asylum seekers. You have all my respect!!! Please let me know if there is any way I can help. Thank you again and again for all that you do.

  14. Patrick Kerrigan June 28, 2019 / 10:54 am

    Glad to hear that Michael is better. Yes, that was a lot of fluid. The swelling of his feet and ankles were a sign. I had a friend who delayed getting treatment for what turned out to be A-fib. We drove to Connecticut, and had to take him to an urgent care facility, and then he was admitted to a local hospital. I told him that A Fib, was better then B Fib or C-Fib, the E.R. staff thought I was crazy.

    Then someone got concerned when a female prisoner was brought in for evaluation. I told the women volunteer in the E.R., that I was a former police officer and knew how to deal with the situation.

  15. laurenthian June 30, 2019 / 2:01 am

    I think including a person’s migrant status makes sense. Would you delineate between people who were lost in the desert and people who might have been victims of crime (human trafficking, e.g.)?

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