I thought I’d pop in and refer readers to this awesome Los Angeles Times article on the Jahi Turner case, told from the point of view of Jahi’s mother, Tameka.
Tameka was only eighteen years old when her son went missing, and that was eighteen years ago–a lifetime. It took a long time for her to get out of denial and come to terms with the fact that her husband Tieray, her son’s caregiver, was almost certainly responsible for whatever happened to Jahi.
Now that the court case is over with and Tieray has nothing to fear due to double jeopardy rules, I wish he would just fess up to what happened to Jahi. It would at least give Tameka some peace.
I am proud that Tameka has been able to move on with her life and accomplish things after this awful event. She finished out her service in the Navy, is raising another son who’s now seventeen, and works for the University of Maryland.
I find myself wondering about the other teenage mothers of kids who have disappeared. Tanisha Watkins‘s mother was only sixteen when she disappeared. Donel Minor‘s mother was also a teenager. I don’t know what happened to the mothers. I hope they’re doing all right today.
Yeah, I haven’t updated in a bit and I’m sorry. The last week has been super busy, mainly with wedding stuff. Michael and I are getting married Saturday.
I picked up my dress at the alterations place yesterday and it fits me perfectly. In my completely unbiased opinion I’m going to be the most beautiful bride in the world. There’s not going to be any honeymoon because of Covid. Michael will go back to work on Monday and so will I.
So, in lieu of Charley Project updates, here’s a sample of the more interesting recent missing and unidentified persons news:
- A woman whose body was found off Interstate 5 in Sacramento, California in 1981 has been identified as 26-year-old Lily Prendergast, who was last seen when she left her family’s Texas home in late 1980.
- John Michael Carroll disappeared from Victor, Idaho in 2005. His skeletal remains were found “in the general area” where he lived in 2013, and were identified this month.
- Hollis Willingham has been arrested in the murder of Jim Craig Martin, who disappeared from Normangee, Texas on August 6, 2007. It doesn’t look like Martin’s body has been found, however.
- Thomas Drew disappeared from Salisbury, Connecticut in 2007. He used to be on Charley but then his daughter asked me to remove the case. She didn’t like what I’d written, I guess. Anyway, he is still missing, and his daughter has recently published a memoir, Searching for My Missing Father: An American Noir. It sounds very interesting and I added it to my wishlist.
- Blackfeet Community College, in corroboration with Montana’s Missing Indigenous Persons Task Force, has launched a website to help streamline missing persons reports of Native American people: “The website [linked here] allows families and friends to complete a Contact Information Form about the missing person online. In the past, missing persons’ loved ones have expressed reluctance to report missing individuals directly to law enforcement. The BCC reporting system will serve as the go-between for those reporting and all levels of law enforcement. Once the form is submitted on the website, an automatic notice will be sent to local tribal law enforcement.”
- A woman’s torso found washed ashore in the seaside community of Benicia, California in 1979 has been identified as Dolores Wulff, who disappeared from Woodland, California that year. Dolores’s husband Carl Wulff Sr. had actually been charged with her murder in 1985, but the charge was dismissed later that year and he died in 2005.
- A skull found on Mount Hood in Oregon in 1986 has been identified as that of Wanda Ann Herr, who had left a Gresham, Oregon group home a decade earlier at the age of nineteen. No missing persons report was filed at the time and the most recent photo available showed her at age twelve. The police are asking anyone who knew Wanda or has any info on her 1976 disappearance to contact them.
- The police have identified a new suspect in the 1973 disappearance of Barbara Jean Aleksivich from Bath, New York. The suspect, Richard W. Davis, is now dead, but he was recently identified through DNA as the killer of Siobhan McGuinness, a Missoula, Montana six-year-old who was kidnapped, raped and murdered in 1974. Barbara, who was 24, was way out of Richard Davis’s preferred age range for victims, but he did live in Bath at the time Barbara disappeared. A previous suspect in her case, who still lived in the Bath area last I knew, has been cleared.
- The body of Ethan Bert Kazmerzak, who disappeared from Hampton, Iowa in 2013, has probably been found. At least they found his car submerged in a local pond, with human remains inside. The remains have been sent to the state medical examiner to be identified, but it’s highly unlikely it’s anyone but Ethan.
The other day, Netflix’s Unsolved Mysteries episode on the possibly linked abductions of Shane Anthony Walker and Christopher Milton Dansby dropped, and I watched it on my browser this morning. Unfortunately Netflix won’t let me screenshot them so I wasn’t able to get the previously unavailable pics of Shane and Christopher that were on the show. Sigh. I did find a few on other sources.
There wasn’t a whole lot I didn’t already know, but a few things stood out to me.
Christopher’s mom mentioned he had a figure-eight birthmark on his right leg. All the other sources I’ve seen say it was on his back, and those sources also mention a scar on his thigh. I wonder if the info on those got switched around somehow over the years, that the birthmark is on his thigh and the scar is on his back. But that’s just supposition. On Chris’s casefile I did change the birthmark info to say it was on his leg.
Also, Shane’s mom, Rosa Glover, said he wasn’t yet talking at the time of his disappearance. I don’t know whether Ms. Glover meant he wasn’t talking AT ALL, or just that he wasn’t talking MUCH. He nineteen months old at the time. I looked it up and most children can say at least ten words by eighteen months and start acquiring language rapidly after that. If Shane truly couldn’t talk at all, that suggests he might have been developmentally delayed. But I don’t have enough info to say one way or another.
I wonder if it would be possible for the police to track down the kids the boys had been playing with, and ask them again what happened. Maybe there’s something they remember, which didn’t seem significant at the time but stands out in hindsight.
Yesterday was the 27th anniversary of the disappearance and presumed abduction of Stephanie Lyn Crane, a nine-year-old girl from the tiny, rural town of Challis in central Idaho. I found multiple articles that commemorated the anniversary: this one from KVIV TV, this one from Idaho News 2, and this one from East Idaho News. None of them really have anything new, though I did add a new photo to Stephanie’s casefile, courtesy of The Abyss Podcast.
Stephanie’s family has had more than its fair share of tragedy. Her parents divorced after she disappeared and just a few years later her mother died of a blood clot. I think she was only in her thirties.
Per this article, her father took Stephanie’s younger sisters out of state to raise them “as normal kids” in a place where people didn’t automatically associate them with their sister’s abduction. He passed away in 2012 of a heart attack, nineteen years to the very day after Stephanie went missing. You can’t tell me that stress and grief wasn’t a factor.
Stephanie still has her sisters, though, and members of her extended family, who hope for answers in her case someday. It sounds like somebody just grabbed her. Imagine living in that tiny town wondering every day if it was one of your neighbors who did this. No wonder her dad moved.
We are almost the same age, her and I. If still alive, Stephanie would be 36 today.
Last night and today I did a bunch of updated age-progressions and some added pictures. If the only update I make on a page is more photos of the missing person or an updated (as opposed to new) age-progression, I don’t list it on the site updates page. But I put up a list here. So here goes. Unless otherwise noted, these just have an updated age-progression; if they have new pictures instead, I say so.
- Teresa Armanda Alfonso
- Yareli Marlem Barajas
- Tonita Michelle Brooks (two pictures added)
- Lee Sterling Cutler
- Evelyn Louise Davis
- Eva Gerline DeBruhl
- Jason Wayne Dennis
- Melissa Lynn Eck
- Ryan Jacob Esparza
- Christian Glen Hall
- Justin Phillip Harris
- Joseph David Helt
- Charles Arlin Leon Henderson
- Timothy Johnson III
- Christina Lynn Lewis
- Benjamin Lund (four pictures added)
- Suzanne Gloria Lyall
- Angela Christine Mack (one picture added)
- Gabriela Medina
- Caleb Joseph Powell (four pictures added)
- Sandy Pathresa Rea (three pictures added)
- Marcia Estelle Remick
- Alejandra Rivera-Romero
- Monserrat Rivera-Romero
- Wesley Rivera-Romero
- Adele Marie Wells
This week’s missing person of the week is really two people: both seven-month-old Ashley Nicole Conroy, whose name and photo are on the Charley Project’s frontpage, and her mom, Jennifer Lynn Conroy, who was only fifteen years old. They disappeared together from Kansas City, Missouri on December 14, 1993. Eleven days before Christmas.
There’s been very little said about this case from what I can find. Nothing in the newspaper archives. I wonder how long it took before the police finally stopped assuming Jennifer had just run away. Now, foul play is suspected in their cases.
Because so little information is available in the case, it’s hard to even speculate as to what happened. I do wonder about Ashley’s father, whoever he was. Jennifer was only fourteen when Ashley was conceived, and the age of consent in Missouri (at least at the present time) is seventeen. If Ashley’s father was older than seventeen, he could have gone to prison, which would have been an excellent motive for him to make both of them disappear. But I have no idea who the father was.
If anyone knew Jennifer, I’d love to have them post in the comments here. If still alive, Jennifer would be 42 today. Ashley would be 27.
I hope everyone had a good Fourth of July weekend. Mine was kind of terrible. We had a tiny party, four guests (Michael’s parents and two of his coworkers), and I wound up spending a lot of time hiding in the bedroom because I was so stressed by it all. And I was feeling like a failure in general, and wondering how I was going to pull off an entire wedding in October if I was freaking out from anxiety over four guests in my own house.
Of course, who knows if there will even BE a proper wedding in October the way COVID-19 is blazing through this country. I might wind up having to have a Zoom wedding ceremony because of the stupid government not listening to experts and not doing its job to contain the pandemic, and stupid people refusing to wear masks in public because mah rights and mah freedum. We could have been on par with Europe right now as far as flattening the curve goes, but nooooo, people have to be idiots.
(Of course I realize that my wedding is a very small thing in the grand scheme of things, and there are a lot of people out there who are suffering more than me as a result of COVID-19. That doesn’t make me any less angry.)
So some news from the missing persons world:
- Later this year, once Americans are allowed to travel to the EU again (assuming that ever happens), a private investigator, a former FBI agent and Annie McCarrick‘s uncle are going to Ireland to make another stab at solving Annie’s 1993 disappearance. (She is on the Charley Project because she was an American, though she disappeared on Irish soil.) They have a new theory about what happened, and have a suspect in mind. I don’t think it’s the same suspect the gardai (Irish police) have had their eye on. Neither person has been publicly identified.
The gardai think a former IRA member may have killed Annie. He sounds like a nasty character and allegedly raped a twelve-year-old girl, and possibly other victims, and the IRA sent him out of the country so he wouldn’t get prosecuted. He went to the US; I’m not sure where he is now.
I have wondered before why on earth the IRA would have assisted this man. To begin with, the twelve-year-old he allegedly raped was the daughter of another IRA member. And, though I don’t know much about the IRA, I know they had broad support among the ordinary people of Ireland, and it seems like that wouldn’t be the case if they routinely did things like try to help their child-rapist members escape prosecution. If any of you guys can provide some enlightenment on this, I’d appreciate it if you posted in the comments.
- They’ve created a park in Albuquerque, New Mexico in memory of the twelve victims of the still-unsolved West Mesa murders. I’ll say their names again: Jamie Caterina Barela, age 15; her 25-year-old cousin Evelyn JesusMaria Salazar; Monica Diana Candelaria, 21; Victoria Ann Chavez, 24; Virginia Cloven, 22; Syllannia, Terene Edwards, 15; Cinnamon Elks, 31; Doreen Marquez, 27; Julie Nieto, 23; Veronica Romero, 28; Michelle Valdez, 22; and Michelle’s unborn baby. All of the women, except Veronica, were on the Charley Project.
There are quite a few young women still missing from Albuquerque, and some of them fit the same profile as the women whose bodies were found on the Mesa. I’ve got Nina Brenda Herron, Vanessa Reed, Christine Julian, Leah Rachelle Peebles, Anna Love Vigil and Shawntell Monique Waites, and possibly others.
- According to a private investigator, the authorities have a suspect in the 2001 disappearances of of ten-year-old Tionda Z. Bradley and her three-year-old sister, Diamond Yvette Bradley. (The girls disappeared 19 years ago today.) The article says there’s a solid circumstantial case against the suspect (who hasn’t been publicly identified) but prosecutors want some physical evidence, preferably a body, to bolster their case before they file charges against the person.
Oh, and although this isn’t strictly missing persons related, I highly recommend y’all check out this article about the woman who invented the rape kit. Hers was a fascinating and tragic story.
This week’s featured missing person (which I didn’t change yesterday because I’ve been lazy and depressed) is Charles Jonathan Lawson, a 32-year-old man who disappeared from Tampa, Florida on February 12, 1988. He may spell his middle name “Johnathan” or just use the middle name John.
Unfortunately I don’t have any other details on this case, other than that he was last seen at his residence.
I hope everyone is in good health. Fortunately the number of positive coronavirus cases in my area and in the areas where my parents live have been pretty low, but I don’t expect it to stay that way, especially as Indiana has one of the lowest rates of public mask-wearing in the entire country.
Oh, and check out this article about Sean Wayne Evans‘s May 1984 disappearance, because it has some quotes from me. I was interviewed for it, like, months ago and didn’t even remember the interview until the article popped up in the news.
I first complained about the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s search engine back in 2013, and things got even worse with later versions of it. However, when I checked today, they’d made yet another version, which is slightly better than the last. Like, you can now search based on how old the child was when they disappeared. That’s kind of nice, I guess.
You still don’t have the ability to search by category, which they axed in 2013. As far as I can tell it’s because the NCMEC decided to phase out categories. They did this because when people saw “Family Abduction” or “Runaway” they just automatically tuned it out. I can understand the logic of the NCMEC’s thinking there.
I added Duke Flores‘s case today. It’s pretty awful. Probably not as bad as Noah McIntosh‘s (I blogged about his case in March), but it’s still pretty bad.
The whole story about Duke’s murder being prompted by his attempt he was trying to kill his infant cousin looks a little sketchy at first glance. However, both women gave the police the same account of the alleged attempted murder, and I wonder if Duke, who had autism, was just unable to deal with the baby’s crying. Most people with autism (including me) are very sensitive to noises.
They tried to cover up his disappearance by saying they’d taken Duke to a psychiatric hospital. If he was indeed trying to kill his cousin, this would have been a perfectly appropriate action to take. Certainly much more appropriate than strangling him.
We’ll never know if he really tried to smother the baby or not; the only two people alive to tell the story aren’t exactly credible witnesses. But no matter what he did there’s no excuse for murdering a six-year-old child with a disability.
The thing about his mom and aunt taking the other kids along while they disposed of his body is horrifying. Though the alternative would have been leaving them alone at home, and they were both really little. Hopefully too little to remember this later.
I hope these women get what’s coming to them. They are probably not very popular in jail; most of the women prisoners are mothers too.
Corey James Edkin was two years old when he disappeared from New Columbia, Pennsylvania on October 12, 1986. If still alive, he’d be 36 today.
His mom, Debbie S. Derr aka Debbie Mowrey, said she went to a nearby store shortly after midnight, leaving her roommate, her roommate’s two kids, Corey, and his sister asleep in the house. When she returned half an hour later, Corey was gone and the door was open. No one else in the house recalled having heard or seen anything unusual.
The case is still unsolved, but the police have said they’ve made “significant progress” in the case:
Tpr. Brian Watkins, the lead investigator in the Edkin case, said that investigators have made “significant advances in the Corey Edkin missing persons case” and “the individuals who caused this tragedy will be brought to justice.” […]
Troopers said they do not believe that the child walked away from the home, nor that he was abducted by any other person, according to a press release.
Watkins said that criminal investigators were recently able to make significant advances. Watkins said individuals with information on the case and advances in forensic technology have helped investigators piece together what may have happened to the child.
So the police aren’t saying much, but it’s easy to read between the lines here, isn’t it?