Read a book about an old missing persons case

So the other night I read Pearl: Lost Girl of White Oak Mountain by Bill Yates, about the 1923 disappearance of three-year-old Pearl Turner from rural Arkansas. In spite of a widespread search and many false leads, she was never found. The book does a pretty good job telling the tale of her disappearance, and the author’s conclusions as to what happened are at the end.

Unfortunately I can’t add Pearl to Charley. I’m not sure I would anyway, given that the case is close to 100 years old and no one is investigating it anymore. (I mean, I did add the quite similar case of Hickle “Dick” Ware, but he disappeared fifteen years after Pearl did and I had a law enforcement agency for the case.) But I can’t because there are no photos of Pearl available. The little girl on the cover of the book isn’t her, only a child who strongly resembled her and was for awhile thought to be her.

I think Pearl just never had any pictures taken of her. She came from a sharecropper’s family and was one of several children. Portraits were probably an unaffordable luxury to them. (Sharecroppers were people who had no land of their own and farmed someone else’s land in exchange for a portion of the crop they produced. They were very poor.)

It’s not too bad a book anyway, especially if you’ve got Kindle Unlimited and can read it free with your subscription.

I haven’t been feeling very well. Right now my bipolar pendulum has got me in a depressive fit, and even knowing it’s just my brain not working right does not make it feel any better. I’m struggling to get much of anything done. Even standard activities of daily living.

MP of the week: Julie Englehart

This week’s featured missing person is Julie Danielle Englehart, a 47-year-old woman who disappeared with her husband, John Wade Roberts, also 47, and their daughter, 9-year-old Brooke Addison Roberts, from Hesperia, California in October 2019.

Julie called a relative on October 6 and said she’d found a job and the family was in the process of moving. She said she’d call back the next day, but never did, and no one saw or heard from her or her husband or child again. They weren’t reported missing until 2021.

That’s all the info there is to report, unfortunately. The family was just… gone.

If still alive, Julie and John would be fifty years old today and Brooke would be twelve. I hope they’re still alive.

Bits and pieces of things as I update

I make a lot of typos on the Charley Project, in particular leaving out words by accident. I’m sure you’ve all noticed. I don’t mind when people point them out to me, because that gives me an opportunity to fix the mistake.

It is kind of embarrassing though, when a news article quotes from the Charley Project and has to put in a typo correction in the quote. As happened today. *facepalm* Don’t worry, when I saw what I’d done wrong I immediately logged into the dashboard and added the missing words.

I am adding a case today where I found the missing teen girl’s Facebook page, and it had been updated multiple times after she went missing. Although not recently, at least as far as I can see; if you’re not “Facebook friends” with a person, what you can view on their profile is limited.

Just from the pictures I would have guessed the poor kid is being trafficked: the photos were very sexy and revealing, and none of the photos showed her face. Her face was always either cropped from the picture or covered with something, either that or she was looking away from the camera. The girl’s NamUs page confirmed my suspicion that this is a presumed case of sex trafficking. I called the NCMEC to tell them about the Facebook page, in case they didn’t know.

Michael Sewell‘s disappearance reminds me a lot of the Sodder childrens’ case. My guess is Michael died in the fire like his two friends. That cabin sounds like a serious fire hazard: made of railroad ties (which are of course wooden, and often coated with flammable creosote to keep the wood from rotting), with a wood-burning stove and a kerosene lantern, and with no windows and only the one door. It’s enough to give a fire marshal the vapors.

Articles report that they only found a few bones, and identified the dead boys based on their class rings. It’s not like they had DNA testing in 1971. The police, re-investigating the case in 2022, are going to exhume Michael’s friends’ remains to see if they didn’t accidentally bury some pieces of Michael in those coffins.

I added a case the other day of a missing twelve-year-old boy (he’d now be fourteen) who “may be in the company of an adult male.” When I was doing my research for the write-up I found some Facebook comments identifying the adult male in question by name, with a picture of him, and saying who the man is in relation to the missing boy.

But I can’t really rely on social media gossip for something like that, lest the Facebook comments are incorrect. If I did post the info and it’s wrong, it could muck up the investigation and I could potentially get sued into oblivion by the man in question for wrongfully accusing him of kidnapping a child. So on Charley it just says “adult male.”

But if I found those Facebook comments, you, dear reader, probably can too. I’m just saying.

I’ll be out of Facebook Jail in a week. Here’s some more news.

From California:

  • They’re still looking for Khrystyna Carreno, a twelve-year-old girl who disappeared from Bakersfield in November 2020. (The article spells her name “Khrystina” but the NCMEC and CDOJ spell it “Khrystyna” so I’m going to go with that.) I don’t have her on Charley but figure I should add her. Twelve is very young, obviously, and she’s been missing for a year and a half now. I hope she’s alive and hasn’t been trafficked. Here’s Khrystyna’s NCMEC poster.

From Florida:

From Georgia:

  • They have finally identified the little boy whose corpse was found outside Atlanta over 20 years ago. His name was William DaShawn Hamilton and he was six years old when he was murdered. William was never reported missing. His mother, Teresa Ann Bailey Black, has been charged with felony murder, cruelty to children, aggravated assault and concealing the death of another.

From Michigan:

  • They’re still looking for Kathy Sue Wilcox, a 15-year-old girl last seen in Otsego in 1972. She got into an argument with her parents over an older boy she was dating, stomped out angrily and was never seen again. Kathy would be 65 today. Kathy’s sister does not believe she ran away, and made reference to a “significant antisocial person who was in [Kathy’s] life,” whom she thinks could have been involved.

From Minnesota:

  • Remains found in Rosemount in 2014 have been identified as James Everett, a New York man who was not listed as missing. They do not know the cause or manner of death, but they believe Everett died sometime in the autumn months of 2013. I wonder if he died of exposure; Minnesota can get very cold, and I doubt a “decommissioned railroad utility shed” would have heat or insulation.

From New Hampshire:

  • They’re still looking for 15-year-old Shirley Ann “Tippy” McBride, last seen in Concord in 1984. Although there haven’t been any new developments, the article talks about the case in great detail.
  • They’re still looking for Maura Murray, and are searching an unspecified “area in the towns of Landaff and Easton.” This search isn’t based on any new info, though, they’re just shooting in the dark.

From New York:

  • They’re trying to find Judith Threlkeld, a 22-year-old woman who disappeared from Chautauqua County in 1976. She was last seen walking home from the library. I added the case to Charley yesterday.

From North Dakota:

  • Check out this awesome in-depth three-part series on the 1996 disappearances of Sandra Mary Jacobson and her son, John Henry Jacobson: part 1 | part 2 | part 3 (this last part is paywalled, but I was invested enough to fork over two bucks for a subscription). Very mysterious case. I feel terrible for Sandra’s older son, Spencer: he lost his mom and half-brother, literally, and later on his father was murdered, and neither of these cases have been solved. A few years after the murder of Spencer’s father, Spencer’s wife died tragically young at 24, from strep throat of all things, leaving him a young widower with three kids. Poor Spencer has had enough bad luck to last a lifetime.

From Ohio:

  • They’re still looking for Charles King Blanche, a 39-year-old man who disappeared from his Youngstown group home in 1991. Blanche’s cousin says he was a very talented musician who was recruited to tour in Europe in a marching band, but his life kind of cratered after he developed an unspecified severe mental illness. An all-too-common story on the Charley Project.

From Texas:

  • It’s being reported that sometimes when Texan foster kids run away, the agencies just wash their hands of them and end their guardianship over them. This sounds terrible, but given how often foster agencies fail their wards, and given as it’s Texas where they can’t even keep the lights on, I’m not entirely surprised.
  • Using genetic genealogy, they have identified a Jane Doe whose partial remains were found south of Midland in 2013. The victim was Sylvia Nicole Smith, who disappeared in 2000 at the age of sixteen. The case is being investigated as homicide.

From Virginia

  • Cory Bigsby, the father of four-year-old Codi Bigsby, has been indicted on thirty counts, the majority of them child neglect charges. Codi has been missing since January. None of the indictments are related to his disappearance; they’re connected to Cory’s allegedly terrible parenting from prior to Codi’s disappearance. Codi has not been missing long enough to go up on Charley, so here’s his NCMEC poster, and here’s another poster for him.

From Washington state:

  • There are forty known Native American people listed as missing from the Yakima area. And here’s a list of all the Native Americans listed as missing from the entire state.

From Washington DC:

  • They’re still looking for Relisha Tenau Rudd, an eight-year-old girl who disappeared from a Dickensian homeless shelter in 2014. I’ve blogged about Relisha several times, as recently as earlier this week when they put up a new AP for her. If still alive, Relisha would now be 16. Here’s another detailed article about her case, with links to the earlier series of articles the Washington Post did about it.

And in general:

  • Although they don’t drop kids from the guardianship rolls when they disappear, in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Illinois, most missing foster kids who resurface are not screened to see if they were trafficked during the time they were gone. The article says Texas actually has a better record in this regard, with over 80% of missing-and-then-located foster kids being screened. But the number should ideally be 100%.
  • My husband has persuaded me to finally turn the Charley Project into an official registered nonprofit organization. Right now we’re saving up the money to pay a lawyer to file the paperwork to do this though it’s going to be awhile at this rate; money is super tight right now. If the Charley Project is a registered nonprofit, all donations will become tax-deductible and also the organization could become the recipient of grants. I’d use the grants to travel to more missing persons events, and pay the subscription fees for more databases to use in researching cases, and maybe hire an editor or something.

New age-progression for Relisha Rudd just dropped

So I just put up a new age-progression for Relisha Tenau Rudd, last seen in Washington D.C. in 2014 at the age of eight. The AP shows her as she might appear at her current age of 16.

I don’t normally make whole new blog entries just for one AP, but I have a particularly soft spot for Relisha as it seems every adult and every institution she came across in her short life, failed her miserably.

MP of the week: Rachel Anderson

This week’s featured missing person is actually a triple disappearance, or maybe a quadruple one depending on your point of view. Rachel Marie Anderson was last seen in Fulton, Mississippi on April 11, 2000, at the same time her brothers, Cameron and Kyle Anderson, and mother, Lesley Allen, also went missing.

Rachel was 13 at the time, Cameron was 12 and Kyle was 9. I don’t know Lesley’s age or description, though I do have some photos of her. Lesley was not reported missing.

Supposedly the family just vanished one day, leaving behind Lesley’s two older children, who both have mental disabilities. There’s been no sign of them since. In 22 years. No school or medical records transfers, no activity on any of their Social Security numbers, etc.

I think something terrible must have happened to them, but I have no idea what.

Rachel would be 36 today and her brothers would be 34 and 31. All the children are white, blonde and blue-eyed. Rachel has a strawberry birthmark on the left side of her face, Cameron wears glasses, and Kyle has a scar on his upper lip.

It’s a bizarre case and I wish it had gotten more attention.

Since I’m in Facebook Jail again, here’s the news

Facebook didn’t like a meme I posted — despite the fact that it’s elsewhere on Facebook — and gave me 30 days in jail. But then they changed their minds and decided the meme is okay after all, but forgot to remove my 30-day sentence. Shrug. It is what it is. Facebook is broken.

In California:

  • The biological parents of Classic and Cincere Pettus, later known as Orson and Orrin West, have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the state of California, alleging the state wrongfully removed the Pettus boys from a safe home and placed them with the people who have since been charged with their murders.

In Massachusetts:

In Michigan:

In Minnesota:

  • There’s a new podcast about the disappearance of Joshua Cheney Guimond, a St. John’s University student who disappeared from the university’s Collegeville, Minnesota campus in 2002.

In New Hampshire:

  • They’re still looking for Harmony Montgomery, and her father Adam’s lawyers have asked for police body cam footage of his arrest. Adam is charged with abusing Harmony prior to her disappearance, and with failure to report her missing. A little over a week ago the police searched Harmony’s old apartment and removed items, including a refrigerator. My guess would be they’re checking anything large enough to conceal a five-year-old child’s body.

In New York:

  • On this coming Saturday, the New York City Medical Examiner is holding an event to publicize missing persons in NYC. At the event, the ME’s office will accept “will accept any voluntarily shared information, like photos and DNA samples to help identify missing people.”

In South Carolina:

  • They interviewed the lead investigator in Shelton John Sanders‘s disappearance and presumed murder, asking him why they were unable to get convictions in that case. The investigator still thinks the suspect in guilty.
  • They have identified remains found at a recycling plant as Duncan Gordon, a missing man. He was last seen sitting on top of a shredding machine, and “a substance that looked like ground up flesh” was later found in that machine. Sounds awful; I hope it was quick. I’m predicting Gordon’s family files a lawsuit and OSHA hands out fines for this.

In Virginia:

In Washington state:

  • Othram has identified two more unidentified bodies: they are Blaine Has Tricks, who disappeared in 1977, and Alice Lou Williams, who disappeared in 1981. I know with Alice they got some help from the Charley Project; I know because the guy who owns Othram told me so.

In Canada:

  • They’re still looking for Vernon George Martin, who disappeared in 2009 after a fire at the airport hangar he co-owned. He could be missing or he could be on the run, as he’s wanted for sex offenses.

In New Zealand:

In the UK:

  • The father of Claudia Lawrence, who disappeared in 2009, died in February, and in his will he left £10,000 to a charity for missing persons.
  • They found Michael Anthony Lynch, a man who had been missing for 20 years. It appears he drove his car into Lough Erne, near Corradillar Quay, in Northern Ireland.

MP of the week: Tavish Sutton

This week’s featured missing person is Tavish Sutton, missing from Atlanta, Georgia since March 9, 1993. He was abducted from a hospital at the age of one month (less one day), while admitted for minor surgery. There are two possible suspects in the case, neither of whom have been identified.

There’s an excellent chance he’s alive and well out there and doesn’t know who he is or that he’s missing. But there are no actual photographs of him, and I have no idea how accurate the age-progression done in 2010 is.

One thing that might be used to identify Tavish (who would now be 29 years old) is a quarter-inch surgical scar on his buttock.

(Sorry this is a day late. Been sick.)

MP of the week: Solomon Rose

This week’s featured missing person is Solomon Gomile Rose III, a three-and-a-half-year-old boy who disappeared from a Baltimore, Maryland shopping center on April 1, 1972. His mother took him and a seven-year-old cousin with her to the shopping center, and Solomon disappeared when his mom left the kids unattended while she was cashing a check. He was never seen again.

Solomon’s nickname is Poon. He was last seen wearing a dark brown fake fur coat, a navy blue turtleneck, blue and white checkered pants and tan shoes. If still alive, he’d be 53 today.

I wonder what his cousin has to say about it all. She probably remembers the incident. I wonder if she remembers anything that could be useful in finding him.

Where There Is Evil

I wanted to drop a book recommendation: Sandra Brown’s memoir Where There Is Evil. Sandra’s dad, Alexander Gartshore, is the prime suspect in the notorious 1957 disappearance of Moira Anderson. It’s one of the most notorious child disappearances in Scottish history.

Sandra is the one who turned him in after he made suspicious comments about Moira’s disappearance to her in 1992. She was already somewhat aware by then what sort of man her father was, and when she investigated his background she learned he molested numerous young girls, including all her girl cousins. She already knew he molested her friends when she was little, because he wasn’t very discreet about it and would do it right in front of her. She was too young to know what she was looking at, at the time.

Mind you, Sandra shouldn’t have had to turn in her dad. The police should have been onto him from the start. Alex Gartshore was, at the time of eleven-year-old Moira’s disappearance, out on bond awaiting trial for the rape of his children’s thirteen-year-old babysitter. Furthermore, Alex was a bus driver on the job on the night Moira disappeared, and Moira was last seen (as far as anyone knows) at a bus stop.

The fact that the police did not investigate him, didn’t so much as interview him one time, is suggestive of either corruption, or incompetence so extreme it might as well be corruption. The only thing Sandra can think of is that her dad belonged to a certain social club whose local membership was 90% cops, and so they covered for him.

Others covered for him as well. Sandra found out, post 1992, that her grandfather had suspected his son in Moira’s case and gone so far as to search various places associated with Alexander, ripping up floorboards even, trying to find Moira’s body. But he never went to the police with his suspicions. Or if he did, they were not noted down in the file due to the previously mentioned corruption/incompetence.

And when Sandra told her family she thought Alex had killed Moira Anderson and she was going to police, many of them were not exactly thrilled about it and some of them got extremely angry at her. Not because they thought Alex was innocent really — they all knew what sort of man he was, like I said he wasn’t discreet — but because of being embarrassed and not wanting the public to connect Alex with them. It was a small town, you see, and Alex and his relatives were the only people in it with his highly distinct surname.

The book is about Sandra’s childhood with such a father, then the 1992 revelation and search for answers and justice. It is well worth a read.