MP of the week: Trenton Duckett

This week’s featured missing person is Trenton John Duckett, who disappeared from Leesburg, Florida on August 26, 2006, just two weeks after his second birthday.

This case is a fairly well-known one. Trenton went missing in the middle of his parents’ contentious divorce, and both parents publicly accused the other one of being behind his disappearance. The investigation quickly focused on his mother, Melinda, as Trenton was in her care when he disappeared. After her son went missing, Melinda apparently threw out his photos and some of his toys, which is odd to say the least.

Unfortunately, things ground to a screeching halt after Melinda’s suicide on September 8, thirteen days after her son’s disappearance. After getting aggressively grilled on national TV by Nancy Grace about her missing boy, Melinda hid inside her grandparents’ closet and shot herself.

Melinda’s family subsequently sued Nancy Grace and her network for wrongful death. The suit was settled out of court. It’s worth noting that Melinda had a history of depression, suicidal ideation and psychiatric hospital stays, so I don’t think her death can be put down to Nancy Grace’s interview, but that certainly didn’t help matters.

Trenton’s mother took whatever she knew to her grave. And since then there hasn’t been much activity in Trenton’s case. The cops seem to think Melinda probably killed him.

If still alive, Trenton would be 18 now. He would probably have no memory of his pre-disappearance life and, perhaps, no idea he’s listed as a missing child.

Trenton is half-white, half-Korean, with brown hair and brown eyes. I hope he’s still alive, but I think it’s unlikely.

MP of the week: Laurel Rogers

This week’s featured missing person is Laurel Lea Rogers, a 28-year-old woman who disappeared from Port Orange, Florida on February 1, 2010. She’s described as white, with light brown hair, blue eyes, pierced ears, several moles on her back, scars on her wrists, and scars and bruising on her arms and legs. She’s tall, somewhere bweetn 5’7 and 5’10, and weighed somewhere between 150 and 166 pounds at the time of her disappearance. The Charley Project page has a detailed description of her clothes and a photo of her wearing said clothes.

Unfortunately Laurel had a lot of problems in her life, most notably health problems which caused chronic pain. She had to take ten different prescription medicines each day, and she doesn’t have her medicine with her; without it she will eventually die. She would sometimes buy drugs on the street if her legitimate prescriptions weren’t helping out her pain.

Given her state of health, I think it’s unlikely she’s still alive, unless she’s somehow getting her medicine under another name. Which is possible I suppose. Whenever illicit drugs are a factor in a case you have to consider foul play.

I hope everyone is doing well. I’ve been really tired lately and feeling down on myself. I think I’ve got a bit of seasonal depression; I think things will pick up when the weather gets warmer and sunnier. February is such a terrible month in the midwest.

Patrick the office dog update

I thought I would put up an update on how the Charley Project’s latest employee, the official Office Dog, Patrick, whom I adopted in December.

Last week I happened to stumble across an article about the rescue of the specific group of South Korean meat dogs that Patrick was in. (I believe it was his group based on the fact that the location and dates of his behavioral evaluation papers the shelter gave me match the details in the article.) After I read it I started sobbing–not just out of sadness at what Patrick had endured, but out of happiness that he is so happy now.

Patrick is a beacon of joy and it’s difficult to imagine that he came from a traumatic background. He is ridiculously happy and enthusiastic about everything he does at home with us, and while out on walks with me. I think he must feel like the luckiest dog on earth, to have come from where he came from, and to now be an indoor dog with a family and toys and stuff. We are having private sessions with a trainer and the trainer thinks he’s making a lot of progress.

That said, there have been significant challenges. It is my fault basically: I was unprepared for the reality of having an adolescent dog. Patrick may be a year old but that’s young for a dog his size, and due to the fact that most of that year was spent crammed into a tiny cage, he never got a chance to stretch his legs (literally or figuratively) and start testing boundaries before.

When he gets super excited he’s a tornado and it’s a little bit dangerous because he’s a fifty-pound animal with impressive native athletic abilities in terms of jumping, etc. The other day my husband and I went out for two and a half hours and when we came home he was so happy to see us he ran the length of the house full tilt several times, ricocheting off of furniture and us, sliding across the laminate floor and crashing into walls. Patrick also still doesn’t get along with the cats because he violates their personal space and doesn’t understand that they don’t want to be his friends. Basically, the trainer says he’s immature and I need to guide him and give him the opportunity to make good behavioral choices.

I had not wanted to start crating him because of his background but have changed my mind. Now I am saving up money to buy a large and really sturdy crate, the kind for big dogs who are major chewers. Until then, Patrick wears his harness indoors to make it easier to control him, and he spends most of his time in either the office or the bedroom with me, the door shut, so the cats can have the main areas of the house to themselves without having to worry about being bothered.

MP of the week: Wayne Ausa

This featured week’s featured missing person case is Wayne Jason Ausa, a 16-year-old Filipino-American boy who disappeared from San Francisco, California on April 16, 2016.

We know exactly what happened to Wayne: he and another boy, Grisham Duran, were walking in the San Francisco surf with friends when the current grabbed the boys and carried Wayne and Grisham out to sea. The surf there can be horribly dangerous and this is not the only such case I have on Charley.

The casefile doesn’t say anything about Grisham’s remains being located and I can’t find any news articles to that effect but they must have been, because Wayne is still listed in the CDOJ missing persons database and Grisham is not.

If you wonder why I would bother to put Wayne on Charley when his fate is known and we know, more or less, what happened to his remains… the ocean might still give up its dead. Wayne may wash up on shore some day and if he does, someone has to be able to know that a boy matching that description is still unaccounted for, so that they can identify his remains. This happened in the case of Percy Carson, a drowned swimmer whose bones washed ashore months later and weren’t identified for over 20 years.

Wayne was a junior at Vallejo High School. If he were still alive today he’d be 23, perhaps a college graduate, perhaps a husband or father by now. The ocean took his future away.

I hope everyone is doing ok. I have been sick (the vomiting cycle again, they won’t quit) but hope to feel better soon and back to work.