This week’s featured missing persons case is Constanteen David “Gus” Hamden, a 43-year-old man who disappeared from Bourbonnais, Illinois on December 7, 2017. He’s described as white, with graying black hair and brown eyes. He has a couple of scars, and is between 5’7 and 5’9 in height and 220 to 230 pounds.
Gus was experiencing “extreme highs and extreme lows” in mood prior to his disappearance, which sounds like bipolar disorder to me, but the word “bipolar” wasn’t mentioned and I don’t know if he was ever actually diagnosed with it. He was last seen wearing a black lightweight jacket. He left his job and said he was going across the street and would be back in half an hour. He never returned.
One of Gus’s siblings made a post about him on Facebook on December 7, 2021, the fourth anniversary of his disappearance. The post said, among other things:
Please share… someone out there knows something. My brother is not the type to lose connections with family, and people in general. Please share his picture and reach out even if it’s a question, a statement, or a hunch. Any information can be helpful, I refuse to settle, I still have hope and faith that my brother is out there somewhere.
I hope the holidays were good for everyone. I was away for several days visiting relatives for Christmas and it went okay, I think. Just hope this coming year sees an improvement in the covid situation.
A year and a half ago I wrote on this blog about a Supreme Court decision that I was pretty sure was going to wind up affecting some of the Charley Project missing persons cases. And, lo and behold, it has.
I just started writing up Faith Lindsey‘s a murder-without-a-body case. Charges were filed against her boyfriend, then dismissed because of this Supreme Court decision that meant the state of Oklahoma did not have jurisdiction, then charges were refiled in federal court and the murder case is pending there.
Now, I might have a slight interest in reading about legal rulings of this kind, but I am not sure the average Charley Project reader has the same interest. It seems to me that a paragraph about the McGirt ruling and its significance would probably just clog up Faith’s casefile.
My husband suggested I say “dismissed on jurisdictional grounds and then refiled in federal court”, and then add the McGirt info in a footnote or something. Hmm.
This week’s featured missing person is Celina Janette Mays, who was last seen in Willingboro, New Jersey on December 16, 1996. She was twelve and a half years old, and nine months pregnant; the baby was due on the 29th. She’s biracial, with black hair, brown eyes and eyebrows that tend to grow together. At the time of her disappearance she was 5’0 and 120 pounds, but she might have grown since then.
It appears that she sneaked out of the house in the night, with the intention of returning; she’d left behind all her things, including her purse and prenatal vitamins. There’s speculation that she’d gone out to meet with the father of her baby, but the problem is no one except Celina knew who the father was. She didn’t even tell her obstetrician.
Celina’s father, CJ, was threatening to have paternity tests done to determine the identity of the father, and whomever it was could obviously have faced serious criminal charges.
When a child as young as Celina becomes pregnant, one tends to suspect incest (or at least I do). Per this article, the father of Celina’s baby could not have been CJ, as he’d had a vasectomy. But there were rumors implicating one of Celina’s cousins.
I don’t think she lived long after leaving her house that night. It seems like, if she had run away, she would have resurfaced at age 18, if only to collect the inheritance due her from her mother’s life insurance. (Celina’s mom had died a few years earlier.)
But if Celina is still alive, she would be 37 today, and her baby would be about to turn 25.
So today was a Charley Project first: the database’s first example of a Florida Man.
By Florida Man, I am not speaking merely of a man who happens to live in Florida. I am speaking of the headlines that begin with the words “Florida Man” (or sometimes “Florida Woman”) and tell a story of some absolutely INSANE, often drug- and alcohol-fueled mess that the person got themselves into.
While researching the life of a gentleman I added today, I learned that, several years prior to his disappearance, he had a naked run-in with some alligators.
And that this was his SECOND naked run-in with alligators. And that the first time this happened, said alligators attacked him and he lost his arm. He nearly lost both arms in fact. He was in the hospital for months recovering.
I didn’t put this information in the casefile because I didn’t consider it to be relevant, but based on the reports of what had previously occurred I thought it might be a good idea to mention in the distinguishing characteristics that he might have scarring on his back, buttocks and thigh — it said the gators bit him in those areas too.
This week’s featured missing person is Troy Spencer Marks, a 39-year-old man last seen in New Orleans, Louisiana on June 6, 2006. He is described as as white, 5’10 and 175 pounds, with blond hair, blue eyes and a goatee. He has three tattoos, all described in the casefile, and scars on his shoulder and chin, and his nose was broken once between his toe has a protruding bone which might be an indentifier if someone finds skeletal remains.
Marks was driving his company vehicle at the time of his disappearance. It later turned up in Baton Rouge, an hour and a half from New Orleans, in an apartment complex parking lot.
The most recent article I can find out Troy Marks is from 2011. It has some more details that aren’t (yet) in his Charley Project casefile, such as the fact that Troy was living in a halfway house when he disappeared and when his truck turned up, the windows had been shot out.
Marks was a recovering addict and it seems likely that he relapsed and something bad happened to him. His wife said he’d relapsed before but never disappeared without a trace; he’d always keep in touch even through the addiction throes.
I was writing up a case today and I discovered NamUs had the wrong information about the MP’s tattoos. This often happens when people are just going off by what they remember the tattoos looked like or said, without using photographs to verify.
Fortunately in this case the MP had a Facebook page with loads of public photos of himself and he liked to post photos where he was wearing practically nothing but his ink and (sometimes) boxer shorts. In fact I think he was doing sex work, or at least used to, unless the screenshots he put up of Backpage ads for his services were a joke. Unfortunately most of the tattoos blended with his dark skin and it was hard to tell from the photos what they were supposed to be.
So far I’ve put the clearest three images I could find on his casefile and hope someone will recognize the tattoos. I’ve got two super clear images where you can clearly tell what the tattoo is, and one faded design that has me scratching my head. There were more tattoos than that but most of them looked like just blurs in the pics.
This kind of thing matters a lot, at least to me, because I know of at least one Charley Project case where the guy was identified because I’d posted a picture of his tattoo (cropped from a photo he’d put on social media) and somebody recognized the tattoo. I don’t want someone to spend unnecessary years on a John Doe list because I was lazy.
It was pointed out to me that, as I’ve had this awful fatigue lately, lasting for like a month now, and as my husband has had the same, that we might have gotten covid. I’m getting tested tomorrow. If I’m positive we’re going to assume he has it too. Wish us luck.
[UPDATE: I found MP’s second Facebook page with much better quality pics! Yay!]