Memorial Day is a time to remember the dead, officially the war dead but in practice for everyone. Certainly there are a lot of dead to remember this year: almost 100,000 have been lost to COVID-19 in the U.S. alone, and they can’t even have proper funerals due to the public health recommendations.
I don’t even know what to say about it. This is a war, albeit not against a traditional enemy. This virus has no pity for anyone.
Yesterday was the 30th anniversary of the disappearance of Teresa Lynn Lawyer Wisner, a 24-year-old woman from Anderson, Indiana, the mother of a toddler-age son. She was a responsible person who had just started a new job and had no history of instability, and foul play is suspected in her case.
Teresa had planned to seek a divorce from her husband, James, who didn’t want it. He is the prime suspect in her disappearance, but he has never been charged in her case and I don’t know if that is ever going to change.
As the Clarion-Ledger pointed out in this article, today it’s been four years since toddler Myra Lewis disappeared from outside her Camden, Mississippi home. If still alive, she’d be six years old, probably in kindergarten by now.
I blogged about Myra’s case last year. I still wonder if she simply wandered away and perhaps drowned, but there was a pretty extensive search and they presumably checked the local ponds. I hope she’s still alive.
Ilene Rebecca “Becky” Scott disappeared on this day in 1980 from her Carson, California home. I wrote about her for Flashback Friday two years ago and a guy named Marshall commented, saying he was Becky’s next-door neighbor in 1980 and he thinks he actually saw her roller-skating the morning of her disappearance. It was Marshall who asked me to mention her on the blog again today, the 36th anniversary of her disappearance. (The FF entry has some other interesting comments in it too.)
There’s a Websleuths thread about Becky and Marshall’s been there too:
My wife Marcia and I lived right next door to the Scott family when Becky disappeared. We had seen her out roller-skating when we left to do some shopping that Saturday morning, and returned to the mobile home park to find the place crawling with L.A. County Sheriff’s deputies.
It would sure be great if Becky could be found. I know there is one gal who has posted on another missing person’s forum or two that she thinks she might be Becky, but seems to be afraid to follow up.
I do think about this sad case from time to time. One thing I was wondering – what if Becky went ‘exploring’ and perhaps got knocked unconscious / trapped underneath one of the mobile homes? I know the Sheriffs looked under some of the mobile homes (including ours), but did they search under all of them in the immediate area? (Might have been 10 units within 100′ or so……)
I updated Becky’s case back in October with additional info I dug out of the newspapers.com archive. Unfortunately I still know very little.
I got an email from a reporter today about Joan Risch, asking if he could use one of my photos with attribution. It was only then that I realized this was the anniversary of her disappearance. I sort of forgot about it quickly, but I was just on Wikipedia and she’s on the front page today, in the “did you know” section:
(I realize these last few days I’ve posted a lot of images on my blog entries. I think this is just an anomaly and not the start of a trend though.)
It’s a most mysterious case, one that will probably never be solved.
Twelve years ago yesterday, I officially launched the Charley Project. I had spent all summer and early autumn constructing the website. Michael was the one who suggested I name it after Charley Ross. At the time the site went live, I was living in a college dormitory room in Conway, Arkansas, I had just turned nineteen, and NamUs didn’t exist yet.
How time flies. Since then, in terms of the number of cases, the database has about tripled in size. I’m not sure whether, at nineteen years old, I thought I’d still be running the site solo at thirty-one. I think I probably never asked myself that question.
Courtesy of the Unfound Podcast‘s Twitter feed and my own checking:
- Colleen Vanita Simpson, 14, missing since 1975 from Clearfield, Iowa. Disappeared from her home at night, classified as a non-family abduction, but I’ve got nothing on her. Wish I did.
- Karen Lee Kohls, 31, missing since 1982 from Maumee, Ohio. Her car turned up parked at a nearby lake with chairs and fishing tackle locked inside it. Foul play is suspected.
- Daniel A. Naylor, 14, missing since 1982 from Fremont, California. Although his case was classified as a runaway for decades, foul play is now suspected.
- Babette Nadine Alberti, 23, missing since 1983 from Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. I don’t have much on her, but she might have gone to Mississippi after her disappearance.
- Michelle Doherty Thomas, 17, missing since 1985 from Santa Fe, Texas. She was a young wife and mother (she was last seen the day before her son’s first birthday), and had been a police informant prior to her disappearance. Two men were later indicted for her kidnapping but never brought to trial.
- James Jamison, 75, missing since 1987 from Burlington, Iowa. He was last seen getting into a cab with suitcases; he’d planned to go to Chicago. His disappearance was seen as completely out of character, though.
- Amanda Marie Rivera, 14, missing since 1990 from La Mesa, California. She was a recent MP of the week. I don’t have much on her.
- Zeta D. Gordon, 43, missing since 1992 from Atchison County, Kansas. There’s speculation that her husband was involved in her case; he took his own life in 1998. She was MP of the week in 2004. Two months ago someone posted a comment on the blog entry: I was in Atchison for a friends wedding, I met the daughter of Wayne and Zeta. It was shortly after she went missing. There is a lot not being told in this story. The daughter pulled out a scrapbook of all the articles written about this story. They did I fact have 3 kids together, the daughter and oldest son believed there dad had everything to do with the mothers disappearance, the oldest son would no longer have anything to do with Wayne and the daughter who was barely out of high school who was still living at home was visibly scared of her dad when he walked in while she was showing us the scrapbook. She absolutely believed her dad was guilty the younger brother was to young to understand. The daughter said she thought that her mom and dad were meeting somewhere later to talk and that’s where her car was found. Her dad accused mom of having an affair with someone and was trying to shift the blame onto someone else. From everything the daughter said I believe he was to blame
- Barry Paul Duncan, 38, missing since 1994 from Phoenix, Arizona. Eleven days later his truck turned up abandoned at the Gila River Indian Reservation. Foul play is suspected.
- Kenneth William Harker, 34, missing since 1996 from Sioux City, Iowa. He was disabled due a head injury, although capable of living independently. Investigators believe he was murdered.
- Ronald Leonard Farrell, 62, missing since 1999 from Hemet, California. He left on foot to go to the pharmacy several miles away and and fill a prescription, and never returned. Farrell was a retired Air Force veteran.
- Andrea Michelle Reyes, 1, missing since 1999 from New Haven, Connecticut. A family abduction; her mother took her. Mom is from Mexico and well-experienced at crossing back and forth across the border.
- George Boardman, 70, missing since 2000 from Bingham, Maine. Because he often left for weeks-long trips without telling anyone, his family didn’t notify the police he was gone until they failed to hear from him at Christmas. Foul play is suspected.
- Tristen Alan Myers, 4, missing since 2000 from Roseboro, North Carolina. His story is exceptionally sad. Even before he disappeared, this poor little boy never had a chance.
- Bedriye Sayrun, 33, missing since 2001 from Chicago, Illinois. Last seen at a restaurant in the early morning hours. She suffered from mental illness.
- Eric M. Apatiki, 21, missing since 2004 from Nome, Alaska. He didn’t live there; he lived in a tiny village on St. Lawrence Island. He’d traveled to Nome to see his girlfriend, who was pregnant with his child.
- Janita Gay Sites, 60, missing since 2005 from Las Vegas, Nevada. A murder-without-a-body case; her husband was convicted. He claimed self-defense but given that Janita was mostly wheelchair-bound, that didn’t exactly go well.
- Christie L. Wilson, 27, missing since 2005 from Rocklin, California. This was also a murder-without-a-body case; Mario Flavio Garcia, a man she met at a casino the night she disappeared, was convicted in her death and sentenced to 59 years to life.
- Uvaldo Moises Anaya, 64, missing since 2007 from Denver, Colorado. He was living with relatives at the time of his disappearance and was drinking and using hard drugs. For some reason at the time of his disappearance his left eye was painted over with white shoe polish.
- Barbara D. G. Sears Frears, 56, missing since 2008 from Reno, Nevada. She had schizophrenia and lived in a group home for mentally ill people. Apparently she hopped a bus to San Francisco after she left the home.
- Eric Lawrence Brown, 23, missing since 2009 from Tucson, Arizona. I don’t have much on him, but he did associate with a local street gang.
- William Cameron Brown, 66, missing since 2010 from Monroe County, Florida. He lived in a houseboat and was traveling to shore in a dinghy but apparently never made it; the dinghy never turned up either.
- David Christopher Allor, 56, missing since 2011 from Enterprise, Alabama. He may have tried to hitchhike to his previous hometown of Detroit, Michigan.
- Catherine Marie Tornquist, 56, missing since 2011 from Hot Springs, South Dakota. Another murder without a body. Her own son, Matthew, is serving LWOP in this case.
- Citlalli Perez-Coronel, 13, missing since 2012 from Louisville, Kentucky. A runaway; she had previously run to Nashville, Tennessee and may have done so again.
- Jason Lee Lovelady, 38, missing since 2013 from Whatcom County, Washington. He disappeared while gathering pinecones in the Mt. Baker Wilderness in the northern part of the state.
- Melissa Dawn Eagleshield. 42, missing since 2014 from Becker County, Minnesota. She apparently left a friend’s rural home, shoeless, in the early morning hours and it’s possible she accepted a ride from a passing motorist.
I noticed that Arkadiy Tashman, a seventeen-year-old from New York City, disappeared eleven years ago today. He left behind a note which I can’t interpret any other way but as a suicide note, but there was no other sign. He seems to have vanished without a trace.
If Arkadiy is still alive, he’d be 28. This is a very mysterious case.
The aforementioned Kelly Murphy brought this to my attention: Elizabeth Gill vanished fifty years ago today. This appears to be a case of stranger abduction. Elizabeth could well be alive today, a middle-aged woman, maybe a mother, perhaps even a grandmother by now, who doesn’t know who she really is.
Just realized it’s been 14 years this day that Jason Jolkowski walked out of his Omaha, Nebraska house into the void. His mother, Kelly Murphy, founded Project Jason in his honor. Project Jason is a great organization; I refer a lot of MP families to it. Kelly is an amazing woman and I admire her ability to bring something good out of this tragedy in her family. I hope this year is the year that Jason gets found.
Ilya pointed out that today is the 9th anniversary of Jennifer Kesse‘s apparent abduction from her apartment in Orlando. This case seems so solvable and I know the cops are still investigating leads, and she got more publicity than most — even her own Wikipedia entry — yet there’s been no trace of Jennifer since her disappearance and no suspects have been named in her case.
She was a bright young thing, with a shining future ahead of her, before something dark came into her life and now she’s gone.