I got my days mixed up; for some reason I thought Tuesday was Monday. That’s why my missing person of the week is a day late. Anyway, this week it’s Kayla Marie Welcome, a 23-year-old woman who disappeared from St. Cloud, Florida on May 7, 2015.
She’s of white and Puerto Rican descent and has several tattoos, though I don’t have any descriptions for them. I do have a photo of part of one of the tattoos, which is on Kayla’s thigh. I think it’s a word starting with C and the second letter is probably an H but I can’t guess any further than that.
I don’t know much about Kayla’s disappearance, but I do know she has a history of drug use and an arrest record for the same. She may have traveled to Uncasville, Connecticut after she went missing. If still alive, Kayla would be 28 today.
So I had thought I’d just power through this format change/deep cleaning thing and not update again till I’m through. But it’s taking a bit longer than I had thought, and missing persons stuff is starting to pile up. So I’ll do an update today.
This week’s featured missing person is William Ray Chapman, who disappeared from Wichita, Kansas on December 8, 2008. He was 24 years old.
William would definitely stand out in the crowd: openly gay, he sometimes wore makeup and wigs and went by the name “Vanity Vuitton.” (I’m thinking he went out in drag, though that’s not entirely clear.) He enjoyed going to LGBT clubs, video blogging, and making music. Some of the photos of him show him with his hair dyed bright red.
There is little information on Chapman’s disappearance, though one inevitably wonders about a hate crime; Kansas isn’t the most gay-friendly place in the world. He would be about 35 today, if he’s still alive.
So I heard from a lawyer today; they sent me an email regarding one of my cases. I am going to refer to the missing woman and her husband by the pseudonyms “Allison” and “Chad” because I don’t particularly want to hear from anyone else connected to the case, and don’t want this blog entry to turn up on a keyword search. However, this case should be pretty easy for viewers to find on Charley.
So Allison disappeared towards the end of a messy divorce from Chad. Her body has never been found. Chad was charged with her murder, and wound up being tried FOUR TIMES, which may be a Charley Project record. The result was this:
- Trial #1: Conviction, overturned
- Trial #2: Conviction, overturned
- Trial #3: Hung jury
- Trial #4: Acquittal
It was just a big mess. Chad is probably guilty, but “probably” does not equal “beyond a reasonable doubt.” And a person ought to get a fair trial the FIRST time, not the fourth.
So now he’s suing for wrongful prosecution or something-or-other. I wonder if it’ll go anywhere. He was a wealthy businessman, but his wealth has probably been drained considerably by four trials’ worth of legal expenses, and it would have been difficult for him to run his businesses from behind bars.
So back to the lawyer. They are representing the defense in Chad’s lawsuit, and wanted to know if Chad had ever donated to the Charley Project, and why was Allison listed on the site in the first place, and how long had she been up there. I replied that Allison is just one out of 13,000+ cases and there’s nothing special about her being on there, and that to my knowledge I have never either heard from Chad or received a donation from him, or from anyone else connected to the case for that matter.
So now that the search page includes drop-down menus for both sex and race, I am having to go back over every case and note their sex and race. This won’t show up on the casefiles from your point of view, but unless I’ve made a selection for the race and sex, that case won’t show up if you search by race and sex.
I am also doing a sort of “deep cleaning” as I go: going back and checking to see if the cases are still listed with the source, and purging those who aren’t, since those people have probably been found. I haven’t done a really big purge in forEVER. So far I’ve removed over 200 outdated cases!
Because there are so many cases, it’s taking forever. I would estimate it will take around 48 hours of work total. It is very boring. But it must be done.
This week’s featured missing person is Kelly Allison Whiddon, a 44-year-old woman who disappeared from Panama City Beach, Florida on April 8, 2016. She goes by her middle name.
It seems likely that Whiddon was murdered by her live-in boyfriend, William Daily. They were in the process of a breakup at the time of her disappearance, and Whiddon’s brother got a tape-recorded admission from Daily that he had caused her death. However, the police haven’t been able to file charges against Daily for lack of admissible evidence. (The tape recording is not considered admissible in court.)
Yeah, so you can FINALLY search for phrases in quotes on the Advanced Search Page.
You will also be able to search based on race, and sex. Though I’m still working on that. Because, you see, I have to go back over all 14,173 cases and specify their sex and race. I’m working on it.
There is also a new category of missing person: “Migrant.” By which I mean a person who disappears while traveling to the U.S. illegally. I’ve got quite a few cases like that on Charley and I never quite knew which category to put them in, so I decided to give them their own.
I have go back over the missing migrants and put them in the new category. I’m working on it.