A bad photo is better than none at all (and other thoughts on recent updates)

Just added Amanda Elise Southern to Charley. The 28-year-old woman disappeared from a nightclub in Catahoula Parish, Louisiana 26 years ago. Unfortunately the only photo I could find of her is absolutely terrible, but what can you do?

Reading the articles about how her ex tried to SELL THEIR KIDS (albeit to their grandparents) after her disappearance, I was struck by how much confidentiality and privacy norms have changed in the past few decades.

I can understand publicizing the kids’ information because for awhile they were missing. (When Amanda’s parents refused to pay for custody of the children, the dad took off with them and was on the lam for over a month.) But then when in the articles talking about how they were found, there was all sorts of information about the children and what they had been through, including the fact that they were believed to have been sexually abused. That kind of thing would not be published in the newspaper today.

I hope the kids are all right. I think Amanda’s parents got custody of them after they were found with their father. It seems super unlikely that she would have just walked away, what with one of the kids having disabilities, her parents living out of state and the children’s father overseas.

Some other random thinking-out-loud stuff:

  • I am not sure that Courtney Corrinna Holden is really white. She is pretty dark-skinned and looks more likely to be Hispanic or maybe Native American. Certainly I’ve seen mistakes in this area before. She is adopted, but one article mentions that she was in touch with her biological brother, so it seems like this is something the police should know for sure. Shrug.
    In any case, her story is incredibly sad. Especially the details about her family nickname “Cinderella” and her son calling his grandmother “mom” and his uncle “dad.” The articles I read said her son even did this before Courtney went missing. I cannot imagine how sad and scared and trapped Courtney must have felt, and I doubt she’s alive today.
  • The guy Melissa Ann Jordon was last seen with is SERIOUSLY bad news. Judges see a lot of crazy stuff and I was stuck by that judge saying Mr. Nesbitt was one of the most violent and dangerous criminals she’d ever encountered in her career. The “felon in possession of a firearm” thing was something he pled down to, by the way; the original incident involved him breaking into his ex-wife’s house and holding her at gunpoint.
    Given how long his sentence is, I wonder if the authorities have ever tried to sit down with him since he was imprisoned, pointed out he doesn’t have much to lose, and asked him to tell what happened to Melissa. I’m sure he knows.
    (Melissa’s NamUs photo, btw, is a high school yearbook photo and almost ten years out of date. That’s why I didn’t use it, as I found a more current pic in Newspapers.)
  • I dunno what I would do without Facebook as a source for recent cases. Okay, I do know what I’d do, I’d put up the cases, but there would be a lot less info. The case of Melissa Rose Ann Garrett is a great example; her daughter posted a bunch of photos of her and more info about her disappearance. Sad story. The daughter seems to suspect Melissa’s boyfriend may have been involved. Anne Marie Hubbert is another case where most of the pictures and some of the other info came from Facebook; Anne’s page and her daughter’s.
  • Shakeeta Young disappeared just a few months after her nineteen-year-old son died. I found a few “RIP” posts on Facebook from some of the young man’s friends but no mention of a cause of death. I wonder if Shakeeta’s disappearance is in some way related. It’s very sad for their family, just bad luck all around there.

11 thoughts on “A bad photo is better than none at all (and other thoughts on recent updates)

    • Meaghan January 23, 2020 / 3:33 pm

      Sweet, thanks! Will update.

      • marsyao January 23, 2020 / 3:40 pm

        Some more information

  1. KT January 23, 2020 / 5:15 pm

    I found this when I was looking up Donta.

    “ANOTHER ACCIDENTAL SHOOTING IN BATON ROUGE. BRPD SPOKESMAN SGT. L’JEAN MCKNEELY SAYS SOME TEENS WERE PARTYING, AND GOOFING AROUND WITH A PISTOL SUNDAY AFTERNOON, AND WHEN ONE HANDED THE GUN TO ANOTHER, IT WENT OFF–STRIKING 19-YEAR-OLD DONTA YOUNG. YOUNG DIED FROM THE INJURIES. A 16-YEAR-OLD IS NOW IN CUSTODY, CHARGED WITH NEGLIGENT HOMICIDE.”

    Sorry for all caps, that’s how the website was.

    I lived in Baton Rouge for five years when I went to LSU. I just moved back to Pennsylvania this summer. The city is absolutely plagued with gun violence. Particularly in the northern part of the city, which historically and statistically is predominantly low-income African-Americans. Take a look at the 2019 Baton Rouge homicide map and you’ll see what I mean: https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/embed?mid=1oCDAbptvIhcSmjAJiQQo6jwEPj6BiMHF&ll=30.425496702972957%2C-91.12093683171997&z=12

    Plank Road in BR is also bad news. There are always shootings and murders. Definitely a place where you wouldn’t want your car to break down. “Frequenting” Plank Road makes me think she might have been into the drug scene or prostitution.

    _____________________

    Anyway! I actually came on the blog to comment about an update. I have been looking for the identity of this unknown Doe, “Mr. Bones.” http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/585umpa.html

    Obviously I started with Charley and was surprised to find that he was actually suggested to be someone, Charles Conner http://charleyproject.org/case/charles-conner

    However when I went on NamUS today, they’ve officially ruled out Charles being Mr. Bones. So back to the drawing board…

    • Meaghan January 23, 2020 / 5:39 pm

      Thanks for the info. I thought it was likely he had died a violent death, just because of his age, but this confirms it.

      I couldn’t find any arrest records for Shakeeta but I don’t know anything about her life prior to her disappearance. I hope she is alive.

  2. Ashley January 23, 2020 / 8:27 pm

    I’ve always wondered: when there ARE lots of photos of a missing person available, how do you decide how many and which ones to include on their page?

    • Meaghan January 23, 2020 / 8:30 pm

      These days I have a maximum of nine photos of the MP plus whatever age progressions and accessory images (tattoos etc) are available. I try to use the photos that are most recent, the best quality and show the face the best, and include a variety of hairstyles/colors and facial expressions if available.

  3. Patrick Kerrigan January 25, 2020 / 11:21 am

    I came across this morning while reading some other articles from this neck of the woods. Maybe we can find this guy or the car.

    Teekah Lewis: 21 years later, witness account could be key to solving case of missing girl
    By Olivia LaVoice, Q13 News, and Washington Most Wanted, posted January 23, 2020, by

    TACOMA, Wash. — It has been 21 years since 2-year-old Teekah Lewis vanished from a Tacoma bowling alley. For the first time, a witness from that night is telling his story publicly about a man he saw with Teekah.

    Detectives feel this could be the lead that might break the case wide open. The witness, who Q13 News is calling John, was 17 when he and his family spent their Saturday night at New Frontiers Bowling Alley in Tacoma. “We’d gone to that bowling alley plenty of times. It’s the kind of place where people can go with their families and kids just roam,” says John.
    New Frontiers was often crowded, especially on weekends, but in a sea of people, one was memorable to John.

    “I had to use the restroom, so I went towards where the restrooms were. This rude guy bumped into me, with this little girl, and he was white – the little girl was mixed … I just thought it was a father rushing his daughter to the restroom.”

    John says the moment stuck with him because the man bumped into his shoulder hard but didn’t apologize. He seemed to be in a rush. The rest of the night went on and seemed normal until John and his family walked out to leave and noticed police in the parking lot.
    But John says officers didn’t disclose what, or who, they were looking for.

    A couple of days later, John saw the little girl from the bowling alley plastered all over the news. That was when he realized the man, he’d seen with the child he’d later know to be Teekah Lewis was not her father.

    Now the 2-year-old was gone and John felt helpless, but he knew he had to say something. He was interviewed by police in January 1999 but never heard anything after that.
    He often wondered if his information was irrelevant or not useful to law enforcement.
    It wasn’t until two decades later that a cold case investigator combing through thousands of pages in the case file came across John’s information and instantly knew it was significant.

    “This witness actually describes an encounter with Teekah by this individual and the description of the individual is not generic. It’s specific and it’s detailed and unique enough that the description can maybe identify the last person who maybe had contact with Teekah,” says Detective Steven Reopelle.

    When Reopelle contacted John, his memory of the man’s face remained the same.
    “A gentleman with pockmarks … he was holding this little girl’s hand when he bumped into me and I was thinking ‘this is the rudest person in the world,’” says John.
    Pockmarks could be the key.

    “I was unfamiliar with this individual with the pockmarked face, so as I was reading through the file and I saw that I did think it was important right away and I thought maybe this is the one piece of information that could break this case open,” says Reopelle.

    And when the detective kept combing through the file, he found another tip that stuck out to him. This one came in while a news crew was out at the bowling alley.

    “About a week after Teekah’s disappearance they were filming a reenactment down at the bowling alley and someone who was standing there watching noticed a person with a pockmarked face who was also watching the reenactment, and the witness who called in thought he was acting strangely,” says Reopelle.

    At that time there would’ve been no way for the caller to know a man with pockmarks had come up in the investigation.

    Det. Reopelle says the man they’re looking to identify is white, 5 feet 11 inches tall with a husky build. He’s described as having shoulder length curly brown hair with a thick mustache and a heavily pockmarked face.

    The night of Teekah’s disappearance he was wearing a blue plaid shirt and faded jeans.
    When asked where he gets his determination on a case that’s already been worked by many of his predecessors, Reopelle’s answer is simple: Teekah’s mother Theresa Lewis.
    “It really makes it easy to try to keep the case alive for her and try to find her some answers,” he said. “She has never given up on her daughter, finding her daughter, and I really admire that.”

    Theresa Lewis says she finally feels she has a detective who will get answers, but she knows the answers may be darker and more earth-shattering than she’s ever before allowed herself to consider.

    “Nobody will know the pain that I’ve felt when he told me this, nobody,” she said.
    For decades, Theresa has held onto hope that whoever took Teekah took her to raise her and lover her. She says the information Reopelle has shared with her about the witness account of the pockmarked man has forced her to confront a horrific reality.

    “That man went in to find somebody – to find a child and harm that child,” she said. “And that man took my child, my everything. That was my world right there.” Twenty-one years later, Theresa’s world is still shattered. Memories — Teekah’s coat that she wore to the bowling alley that night, the Pooh bear she was so attached to — are all she has left.

    “I’ve lived 21 years in a nightmare, and I think it has to come to an end,” she said. “I want to bring her home, regardless of if she’s here or not, it’s time to bring her home.”

    In addition to identifying the man with the pockmarked face, investigators are still trying to find more information on a ’90s Pontiac Grand Am that was maroon or purple in color with a spoiler on the back. It was seen speeding out of the bowling alley parking lot around the time Teekah disappeared.
    Investigators have never been able to find the car or tie anyone to it.
    If you have information on this case, contact Crime Stoppers for a $1,000 cash reward. Use the P3 Tips App on your smart phone or call the hot line at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

  4. AM July 17, 2020 / 10:18 pm

    Hi There,

    Just saw this update and can provide you with a better picture of Amanda Southern.

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