And then this happened the other day

So yesterday I got a call from a very confused man who worked in the Internal Affairs Bureau at the Harris County Sheriff’s Office in Texas.

You see, the HCSO has a section on their website devoted to missing persons. It has eleven pages of people listed, but due to some apparent errors in the code, you could only see the first page. There’s buttons at the bottom to click to page two, three etc, but they didn’t work. When you clicked, nothing happened.

I found a drop-down menu on the HCSO site labeled “contact us” and underneath that, a link to “online complaints.” So I filled in the complaint form explaining the problem and sent it in. And then the next day IAB called.

It turns out the complaint form is meant for filing complaints of police misconduct.

The poor guy didn’t understand at first what I was complaining about, and was asking if I’d like an officer to come to my house to discuss the problem. I was like “It’s probably just a typo, and also I live in Indiana.” But I was able to get my point across. He said he’d sent a note to IT asking them to correct the issue.

And lo, it has been fixed! You can now view eleven pages of missing people from Harris County, cases dating back to 2003.

MP of the week: Ashley Conroy

This week’s missing person of the week is really two people: both seven-month-old Ashley Nicole Conroy, whose name and photo are on the Charley Project’s frontpage, and her mom, Jennifer Lynn Conroy, who was only fifteen years old. They disappeared together from Kansas City, Missouri on December 14, 1993. Eleven days before Christmas.

There’s been very little said about this case from what I can find. Nothing in the newspaper archives. I wonder how long it took before the police finally stopped assuming Jennifer had just run away. Now, foul play is suspected in their cases.

Because so little information is available in the case, it’s hard to even speculate as to what happened. I do wonder about Ashley’s father, whoever he was. Jennifer was only fourteen when Ashley was conceived, and the age of consent in Missouri (at least at the present time) is seventeen. If Ashley’s father was older than seventeen, he could have gone to prison, which would have been an excellent motive for him to make both of them disappear. But I have no idea who the father was.

If anyone knew Jennifer, I’d love to have them post in the comments here. If still alive, Jennifer would be 42 today. Ashley would be 27.

Lauria Bible’s mom is in bad shape but still hoping they’ll find her daughter’s body

It was published today that Lorene Bible has liver failure. She’s at stage four, which Dr. Google says is end-stage; less than half of people with stage four liver failure survive a year after diagnosis. She’s on the transplant list, but if she doesn’t get a new liver she’s going to die, and probably soon.

To briefly summarize, Lorene’s daughter Lauria Bible disappeared in 1999 with her friend Ashley Freeman, after Ashley’s parents were murdered and their house was torched while Lauria was spending the night over there. We know what happened to the girls and it’s horrific, but they’ve never actually been found. I’ve written about the case numerous times before.

It’s likely Lorene will die without her daughter’s body being located, though she and her husband Jay are trying their best to ensure that doesn’t happen. I cannot imagine the mental torture those two have endured over the past twenty years. You let your kid spend the night with her best friend and it turns out to be the worst decision you ever made in your life.

As for me, I am feeling a bit better. I was able to do a small update today and I might add more as the evening progresses, depending on the time situation. Michael’s home from work now and I have to go and cook dinner in a bit. I’m trying to learn to cook all sorts of healthy, diabetic-friendly recipes for him now and to that end have ordered a bunch of cookbooks. Tonight it’s kasha, cooked in reduced-sodium chicken stock.

MP of the week: Byron Freeman

This week’s featured missing person is Byron Augustus Freeman, a 70-year-old man who disappeared on June 24, 2006. He is from the Los Angeles area, but disappeared while attending a class reunion in Palestine, Texas. That’s about 1500 miles away, or around 23 hours.

Freeman, who was possibly in the early stages of Alzheimer’s Disease, may have gotten a bit confused after his car ran out of gas and thought he was still in Los Angeles. I think it’s unlikely that he made it far, or lasted long, after he went missing. But if he is still alive he’d be 84 today.

I haven’t updated in a week and I’m sorry. Things have not been going well for me lately; everything sucks basically and I don’t see much hope of improvement.

MP of the week: April Wiss

This week’s featured missing person is April Susanne Wiss, a sixteen-year-old girl who disappeared from Wichita, Kansas on January 11, 2000. Her case was initially classified as a runaway, but the police have since said the circumstances of her disappearance are “unclear.”

She was going through a rebellious phase at the time of her disappearance and living away from home, but she left all her clothes and money behind, which is not characteristic of a runaway. I have to wonder if the felony statutory rape trial she was a witness in had something to do with it. Was she just a witness, or was she the victim in the case? It’s not clear.

If still alive she’d be 37 now.

MP of the week: Jeremy Ashley

I hope everyone had a good Labor Day weekend. Mine wasn’t the best; I’m anxious about the political situation and the pandemic situation and my coming wedding. At this point, planning this ceremony is basically trying to make the best of a bad situation: we can’t have the party we want because we don’t want to kill anybody, and it’s a matter of trying to salvage what we can. Which is awful, but there’s nothing to be done.

This week’s featured missing person is Jeremy Dewayne Ashley, a 29-year-old man who disappeared from the seaside town of Trinidad in Humboldt County, California on November 11, 2017. He was hiking with a friend when he slipped and fell into the ocean, and got pulled out to sea.

Ashley’s case isn’t exactly a mystery, but his body has never been found, and if it washes up somewhere it would be nice if it could be identified.

Ronnie Busick sentenced in Freeman/Bible case

So, last night I did a big update to the casefiles of Ashley Renae Freeman and Lauria Jaylene Bible, slipping them in under the bar just before midnight. I explain about what happened to them, and the witness statements from the court docs and so on.

I’d been putting this off for a long time but I just couldn’t anymore, now that Ronnie Busick, the only surviving suspect in the case, has been sentenced. I had been putting off the update because the details are just so horrible.

I may have said it before but I will say it again. I will never say that Danny and Kathy Freeman deserved to be murdered, because they didn’t. But I can’t help but think they bear some responsibility for what happened to the girls, even though by that point they were dead already.

When you get involved with using/selling illegal drugs and the kind of people who are deeply involved in that world, you are taking great personal risk. Danny and Kathy presumably knew this. They gambled anyway, and lost. Which is sad. However, Ashley and Lauria were just bystanders, children, innocent. They were NOT involved in the drug world, did NOT accept that personal risk, and wound up paying a far heavier price than the Freeman parents did.

I’m not sure which makes me angrier, that or the fact that Phil Welch and David Pennington died before they could face justice. (Though it’s said that Welch died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which is a horrible way to go, and if you ask me it couldn’t have happened to a better man.)

Or, maybe what makes me angriest is the fact that if the police hadn’t initially bungled the case so badly, it could have been solved in 2000, well before Welch and Pennington died. Who knows, perhaps the girls could have even been rescued. But instead two innocent young women died after being held captive and brutalized, and two vile men got away with murder. Four murders.

And Ronnie Busick will only serve ten years for his role in what happened, so he practically got away with it as well. But he is 68, and doesn’t appear to be healthy, and given what I know of his history (drug use throughout most of his life, and he got shot in the head and was left with brain damage) and what I know about prison health care, I wonder if he be alive ten years from now.

MP of the week: Aneshia Harris

This week’s featured missing person is Aneshia Chevon Harris, a nineteen-year-old black woman who went missing from Detroit, Michigan on April 3, 1993. She skipped school that day–whether high school or college I do not know–and decided to go to her stepbrother’s girlfriend’s place. I think she did arrive there, but that was the last time anyone saw her.

Unfortunately, that’s all I have on Aneshia’s disappearance. If still alive she’d be in her mid-forties.