Wondering if they’re still missing

I was going through an archived 1972 issue of the Philadelphia Daily News that has an article about missing persons cold cases in the city. Almost all of them are people I have never heard of and I inevitably wonder if they are still missing.

Beverly Sharpman is still missing, as is Dorothy Forstein (though she’s not on Charley). Lydia Zayas had been missing for five years by the time the article ran. Minnie Seeds had been missing for seventeen years, William Molan for six years, and Domenick Caruso for ten years, and I have no idea whether any of them have been found.

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29 thoughts on “Wondering if they’re still missing

  1. kh February 24, 2020 / 8:13 pm

    I found some other articles about the Zayas case in the Philadelphia Daily News on newspapers.com. The child’s name is actually Guillermina Zayas. The last article I found was from 7 May 1974, saying she was still missing. Then I found an interview with an FBI agent associated with the case in the Village Voice from April 2009. The interview was about other things, but he mentioned Guillermina’s case and said “To this day, I ask myself what happened to her. I still feel ashamed. It’s a failure that has been with me ever since.” So I think she is probably still missing 😦

  2. KH February 24, 2020 / 9:03 pm

    I also found an article in the Philadelphia Daily News from 7 April 1990, page 5, saying Domenick “Reds” Caruso was murdered. It appears to be a Mafia related murder. The case is also discussed on a Mafia Wikipedia page (link below, they spell his name Dominick.) I don’t think Domenick’s body was even found.

    https://mafia.wikia.org/wiki/Nicodemo_Scarfo

  3. Patrick Kerrigan February 25, 2020 / 12:00 pm

    In regards to the Beverly Sharpman case. It appears she was working in Philadelphia prior to her disappearance.

    Also, someguy sent her family a letter claiming she had been working in another state. So she would have been issued a Social Security number.

    So, Social Security, should be able to provide some information, as if she is still alive and the name on her account.

  4. Madyson D. February 25, 2020 / 8:58 pm

    Have you seen on the Doe Network where Erika Brown has been located? I have been trying to find more information and there is none. None at all. Does that usually mean they’re deceased ?

    • forthelost February 26, 2020 / 12:27 pm

      Honestly, being found deceased makes the news more often than a runaway being located alive. (Note: I do not know which is the answer in Erika’s case.)

  5. Patrick Kerrigan February 26, 2020 / 5:02 pm

    In regards to Erika Brown, she most likely has been found or returned home. It appears that authorities never provide any details on how juveniles were found. It seems they alert the media, that the juvenile is missing, asking for our help.

    But, when they are found alive and returned home or whatever, they don’t release any details. Which, is sort of a let down in my way of thinking. But, it could be that they are protecting the juvenile and or the family.

    I look at the incident where two juveniles set fire to a library in California, that led to the deaths of two firefighters. They can’t be charged as adults, and their identities are protected.

  6. Patrick Kerrigan February 27, 2020 / 1:06 pm

    I came across a nice story. The authorities picked up a female white, 29 years old, in Las Vegas. She was wanted back in Indiana. However, they don’t extradite there, so they dumped her off on the Las Vegas strip. She also has mental health issues.

    Now, she has been missing for over two weeks. I just love that they now are trying to find her. I would love to see if they have the motto “To Serve and Protect” on their squad cars. So, if you commit a crime you can hideout in Las Vegas. They won’t extradite you.

    Her family can’t afford the cost to fly out there and comeback. Her mother is trying to raise money, to drive out there. If it was my family member, I would sing them for millions, and demand they eliminate the police.

    Just to think if the U.S. Marshal’s had picked her up, she would not be missing and back in Indiana. I will not be visiting Las Vegas anytime soon, since some homicidal maniac wanted for killing innocent people will be free to run the streets.

    • Meaghan February 27, 2020 / 3:20 pm

      It may have actually been Indiana’s choice not to extradite. I think the state that is extraditing the fugitive has to pay for transport.

  7. Patrick Kerrigan February 28, 2020 / 5:08 pm

    Meaghan, quite often the judge issuing warrants, will enters a geographical limitation if they are not interested in paying for extradition. This information, will normally be entered into NCIC, with the warrant information. So, it would be available to the officer either through the dispatcher, or the officer pulls it up on their mobile display terminal.

    While a police officer and later detective, I attended LEADS school here in Illinois. The geographical limitations on warrants is stressed. When I listen to some of the Chicago Police calls, you will hear the dispatcher notifying the officers whether the warrant is serviceable in this neck of the woods.

  8. Patrick Kerrigan February 29, 2020 / 2:13 pm

    I tried to look up Minnie Seeds on Ancestry.com. I did not find anything or interest. I checked the newspaper story, to verify her age, when she disappeared. I assumed she was 70 years old, but was not clear. I would have expected a few entries such as a birth and maybe a marriage record. Too bad we don,t have more information to go on

  9. Patrick Kerrigan February 29, 2020 / 2:13 pm

    I tried to look up Minnie Seeds on Ancestry.com. I did not find anything or interest. I checked the newspaper story, to verify her age, when she disappeared. I assumed she was 70 years old, but was not clear. I would have expected a few entries such as a birth and maybe a marriage record. Too bad we don,t have more information to go on

  10. Patrick Kerrigan March 1, 2020 / 9:22 pm

    Doc, I was reading about forensic testing of cold case material last year in California. It appears that that material was not a priority for crime labs out there, so it sat for 5 or more years on average.

    I would assume that authorities would have figured it out by now. However, I read recently that sometimes the DNA. Is not good enough for testing. This has come up in some rape kits.

    I get online emails from Forensic magazine. Some quite interesting stuff going on out there. I am not an expert, but love to read about what is going on.

    Also, it’s important to keep up with what’s going on in the investigation field on a way. When, I was still with the VA, it was important to network, to develop useful contacts. I subscribed to Police Chief magazine, Law Enforcement Technology magazine, and also subscribed to what was called an online listservs called Police-L.

    I loved the material that was posted on there, that covered numerous important areas in law enforcement. The neat part was that police officers were willing to share good practices with fellow officers.

    The one thing that bugs me with cold cases, is that law enforcement, has a tendency of not keeping the family informed about where their at. There is cold case of a 17-year young man, that was murdered in 1979. The victim and his sister were real close. All, these years later the Fresno County Sheriff,’s office, sott of blew her off after telling her were going to test some DNA a number of years ago.

    • DOC March 4, 2020 / 1:11 pm

      I’m waiting to hear back from Siskiyou County. Since an unidentifed person was seen with RTMcNutt during the time he strayed from his expected routine that day, only to go missing, it makes me very curious about the remains found in his truck.

      And while it isn’t a priority to satisfy the curiosity of a lowly bystander like me, I understand, it’d be good of Sherriff Lopey to take a moment to do that.

  11. Okiku Saji March 2, 2020 / 6:41 pm

    About William Molan:

    -I did some research on FamilySearch and found that his full name was William Francis Molan. Per his birth record, he was born March 8, 1892.
    -According to the Philadelphia Daily News, court hearings were held in March-May 1973 about his estate. He was presumed deceased.
    -The Social Security Death Index lists him as dying in March 1973 (until the 90s, they didn’t provide the day of the month for deaths), but this is clearly a case of them closing the file and using the month of closure as the death date.

    Anyway, as far as I can tell, Molan’s disappearance remains unsolved.

    • DOC March 4, 2020 / 1:38 pm

      A bit more info, in case anyone else wondered about this:

      Apparently, several designers use “Kay” to describe certain sandals in their line. So “Kay” does designate something in womens’ footware (sandals, at least) and that may explain the word in this case.

      • Justin March 8, 2020 / 3:02 am

        I was unaware of that. When the LA Coroner’s website said one of the sandals has “Kay” written on it, I assumed that mean’t handwritten, which led me to believe the owner wrote it. Thanks again.

      • doc March 8, 2020 / 6:32 pm

        Yes, I agree that “written” versus “printed” says a lot. In any event, your matching the unidentified body with the similarities from the missing person case is very impressive.

      • Justin March 9, 2020 / 8:17 pm

        Thanks. I had a lot of hope that they might extract DNA from the sandals because of the sweat and skin cells and was that they would find some there. But for some reason (which I hope isn’t budgeting), I got the “there isn’t enough evidence to make a comparison” with no explanation. That’s the part I really hate: when they offer no explanation.

      • DOC March 10, 2020 / 2:50 pm

        Agreed, completely. Lack of explanation guarantees the problem will continue.

        Also, if (as you suspect may have happened) the remains were cremated, it raises yet another question as to why samples weren’t first preserved. Even in 1980, it could be expected that technology would soon make use of that material – as it has, of course, now turned out to be with extracted matter from bones, teeth, hair, etc.

        I understand if a person isn’t directly related to a case that it may be figured the person isn’t owed an explanation – but the answers to the overall questions at hand (that you raise, and that Patrick raised in this thread) are definitely owed to us.

        Anyway, Justin. I appreciate your work and look forward to seeing more posts from you on Charley Project.

  12. Okiku Saji March 2, 2020 / 7:05 pm

    Heee’s an article from 1955 about Minnie Seeds’s disappearance: https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/174577628/

    I note that coverage of the court case that declared her deceased in 1963 refer to her as Minnie Ireland Seeds.

    I wasn’t able to find an SSDI entry.

    I can’t find anything indicating this case was ever resolved.

  13. Justin March 3, 2020 / 1:10 am

    I’ve talked to law enforcement about Kimberly Ann Kahler http://charleyproject.org/case/kimberly-ann-kahler and there is a strong suspicion that her remains were recovered in 1980 at at https://mec.lacounty.gov/unidentified-person-detail/?caseNumber=1980-11186 who is also on NamUs at https://www.namus.gov/UnidentifiedPersons/Case#/4368 . Not just because of her physical description is a close match, but one of the sandals of the unidentified decedent had the word “KAY” and I’m thinking the the “Y” could be a lopsided “K”, which would stand for her initials. I got a response from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and they said there’s not enough evidence to make a comparison between the two. Kimberly didn’t have dental records and I believe the unidentified decedent was either cremated or the DNA has deteriorated to where it can’t be tested. They were hoping that there might be some touch or contact DNA from the clothing recovered from her to test against her relatives, but I don’t think anything came of it.

    • DOC March 4, 2020 / 1:27 pm

      Interesting case, Jason. And very interesting information you bring up, for sure.

      It does sort of seem like a sure bet, in many ways, I must say. No question it’s enough to ring alarm bells, and that the “condom” and “condom wrapper” found nearby might present a certain direction to follow.

      • DOC March 4, 2020 / 1:29 pm

        Justin, I’m sorry. Those two names always get me!

  14. Patrick Kerrigan March 3, 2020 / 3:59 pm

    Okiku Saji, in regards to the SSDI, it would match up with the court decision to have him declared dead. I have a problem, with that. I Australia, in 1987, a guy called home and told his wife, he was coming home for lunch. He never made it, and his vehicle was found burned. Almost 23 years, in preparation to declare his deceased, an investigator decided to make one more check of all the various databases available. It would be nice, if we actually found him or his remains,

    They got lucky and found that he had filled for their version of Medicare. It appears he developed a version of amnesia called “Dissociative Fugue”, which is somewhat rare, but there are a number of people who have disappeared with this condition. I am aware of two people in the U.S., who have two or more episodes of this. The supposed first documented case of this was a guy by the name of Ansel Bourne. Supposedly, this is where a certain author got the name for a character in several books, that were made into movies.

  15. DOC March 8, 2020 / 6:56 pm

    I’ve been listening to Ed Dentzel’s podcast recently (Unfound), and he has a unique approach. He interviews someone close to the person, usually a relative, and the show is built around that.
    It’s extremely interesting to gain that insight.

    Then, at the end, he’ll give his own editorial – which, from the shows I’ve heard, offer the most likely path toward solving the case. Very good stuff. He delivers probable answers, in other words.

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