Remains found in 1979 identified, and other stories

Today is National Missing Persons day. This article has some info about how the new Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains Act, which was signed into law on New Years’ Eve, will help communities along the Mexican border.

In Alabama: Skeletal remains have been found in Conecuh County, Alabama. Though they haven’t been identified yet, the police think they’re those of Brian Estrada, who disappeared last October. His ID was found near the bones.

In California: They’re still looking for Sydney West, a 19-year-old University of California, Berkeley student who disappeared from San Francisco on September 30. Her parents are offering a $10,000 reward for info leading to her return.

In Colorado: The murder trial of Donthe Lucas in the disappearance of his 21-year-old pregnant girlfriend Kelsie Jean Schelling from Pueblo has begun. Kelsie was last seen on February 5, 2013.

In Florida: They’re still looking for Lemuel Robert Hall, a 79-year-old man who disappeared from Escambia County in 2019. He was last seen in July, but wasn’t reported missing till September.

In Maine: They’re still looking for Jason D. Reil, a 33-year-old man who disappeared from Brunswick in January 2012. He had schizophrenia and was off his meds when he went missing.

In Mississippi: They’re still looking for William Brian McKenzie, a 21-year-old who disappeared in September 2019.

In Ohio: They’re still looking for Nylo Lattimore, a 3-year-old boy who disappeared from Cincinnati on December 4. His mother was allegedly stabbed to death in her home on December 5 and her body dumped, but it wasn’t found for a week. Desean Brown has been charged with Nylo’s mother’s murder, but Nylo has never been found and Brown hasn’t cooperated in the case.

In Pennsylvania: They’re still looking for Robert Scott Baron, who disappeared from his restaurant in Old Forge on January 25, 2017. It looks like he was probably killed in a robbery of the business; they found some blood in his car and a tooth in the restaurant’s sink.

In South Dakota: 9-year-old Serenity June Dennard disappeared from the Black Hills Children’s Home two years ago today. Though the case is still open, the police have suspended the search for now, for lack of any ideas where to look.

In Tennessee: They’re still looking for Shelley Lynn Mook, a 24-year-old woman who disappeared from Shelbyville on February 28, 2011. Her husband Tyler is a person of interest in her case, but has never been charged.

In Texas: They’re still looking for Joshua Jayvaughn Davis Jr., a one-year-old boy who disappeared from New Braunfels on February 4, 2011 — ten years ago tomorrow. The police seem to think his parents were involved or at least know what happened. I’m not sure. I am a firm believer in the axiom that there’s usually no smoke without fire. But one thing I will observe: Joshua’s parents have talked to the media a fair bit about his disappearance and tried to publicize it as much as they can, which in my observation is inconsistent with people who were responsible for their child’s disappearance.

In Oregon: They have identified remains found at the bottom of Multnomah Falls in September 1979. His name is Freeman Asher Jr.

In Washington: They’re still looking for Sofia Lucerno Juarez, who disappeared from Kennewick on February 4, 2003, the day before her fifth birthday. 18 years ago tomorrow.

In Australia: They’re still looking for Lisa Govan, a 28-year-old woman who disappeared from Kalfoorie, Western Australia in 1999. The police believe she was murdered.

Also in Australia: They’re still looking for Steven James Goldsmith, a 28-year-old arborist who disappeared from Toowoomba, Queensland in 2000. Authorities believe he was murdered. There’s a $250k reward out to help solve the case.

In Canada: They have identified a body that washed up on Gulf Island Beach in British Columbia in 1972. The name of the man, who was 41 when he disappeared from Coquitlam in 1967, has not been released.

Also in Canada: They’re still looking for Ben Tyner, a ranch manager who disappeared from Merritt, British Columbia in January 2019.

In Belgium: A car was found in a canal in Bruges; it turned out to belong to Ronny Lateste, a 39-year-old man who disappeared in 1990. His body was inside it.

8 thoughts on “Remains found in 1979 identified, and other stories

  1. Justin February 3, 2021 / 6:14 pm

    I read the article on Sydney West. She is considered to be at-risk due to struggles with anxiety and depression and was last seen near the Golden Gate Bridge in the area of Crissy Field during the early-morning hours on Sept. 30.

    It sounds like they’re all but saying they think she jumped off the bridge.

    • Meaghan February 3, 2021 / 6:14 pm

      Yeah, I had the same feeling about it.

      • NRM February 4, 2021 / 11:01 am

        Potentially silly question, but in that case, wouldn’t there be surveillance footage?

      • Meaghan February 4, 2021 / 6:11 pm

        Not necessarily.

  2. J. Leon February 3, 2021 / 7:42 pm

    “But one thing I will observe: Joshua’s parents have talked to the media a fair bit about his disappearance and tried to publicize it as much as they can, which in my observation is inconsistent with people who were responsible for their child’s disappearance.”

    Remember, however, that Aarone Thompson’s father and his girlfriend Shely Lowe did the same thing and were ultimately proven to have both been lying out of their short ends. Don’t know if that TV interview they gave is still online anywhere after all these years, but I’ve often thought it’d make a nice true-crime TV episode if a profiler like Candace DeLong-is she still around?-would analyze that performance given what we know now. Poor Joshua, I am afraid, is still one-and those closest to him know more than they’re telling as to why he never made it to two.

    • Meaghan February 3, 2021 / 8:06 pm

      I agree that he’s probably dead; I just wish we could find out what happened to him and there could be justice.

  3. Susan Connolly February 4, 2021 / 8:33 am

    Thank you Meaghan for all you do to keep the missing in the spotlight. Today is the perfect Day to give thanks! God Bless you!

  4. fluttergirl February 9, 2021 / 4:13 am

    Two of these cases hit close to home for me. The children’s home where Serenity Dennard disappeared is 7 miles away from the house I grew up in as a child. I know the area well. There are tons of rock formations in the hills where a little kid could climb into and get stuck. My mom had to pull me out of a few back in the day. The hill’s foliage isn’t dense, but those pine needles are like a blanket when they fall off the trees. If she’s deceased, her body is probably covered.

    When my family left South Dakota we moved to New Braunfels, Texas. Our house was exactly 6 miles away from the house Joshua Davis disappeared from. NB has grown a lot during the years, but Joshua couldn’t have gotten far. All those housing developments have fences around their backyards. I know it’s a missing person cliche, but I honestly think he could have wandered into the street and been hit by a car. The driver panicked and took his little body with them.

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