It’s been a bit since I did a Select It Sunday. Sorry. This one was chosen by one I. Can’t-Remember, someone who contacted me on the Charley Project’s Facebook page (which hit 10,000 likes this week! Wee!) This person asked me to write about Myra Lewis, a Camden, Mississippi who disappeared on March 1, 2014, at the age of two.
There’s very little information about Myra, although the Clarion-Ledger did do an anniversary article about her disappearance last month. She just disappeared from her front yard on Mount Pilgrim Road in Camden, a rural unincorporated community. Myra’s mom was going to the grocery store and told Myra and her sisters to go inside, where their father was. This was between 10:30 and 11:00 in the morning.
Myra apparently never made it inside, or if she did, her father never saw her. Because each parent thought she was with the other one, she wasn’t missed for hours.
Me, I have to wonder if she didn’t just wander off. I was trying to get a better idea of what the Camden area was like — the Wikipedia entry doesn’t say much — so I looked at Zillow, a real estate website. Their listings for Camden have a lot of “lots” for sale, with trees and ponds and such. It would be easy for a two-year-old to disappear in such an environment.
For what it’s worth, the police are saying there’s no reason to believe Myra isn’t alive. I hope she is. She wasn’t even two and a half when she disappeared and would probably have no memories of her home and parents.
This just in: Peter Kema‘s father, who pleaded guilty to manslaughter earlier this month, has lead police to where he says he put his son’s body. This location is, of course, as yet undisclosed, but it’s somewhere in the district of Puna.
Here’s to hoping there’s actually something recoverable there, and this 20-year saga can finally be over.
This week’s featured missing person is Barry James “Bucky” Kephart II, an eleven-year-old boy who disappeared from Albuquerque, New Mexico on August 22, 1981. This is an exceptionally sad case, an all-but-confirmed child abuse homicide at the hands of his father, Barry Kephart Sr.
Unfortunately, charges can’t be filed in this case because at the time of Bucky’s disappearance, New Mexico had a fifteen-year statute of limitations on that type of crime. The statute of limitations no longer exists, but for Bucky it expired in 1996.
It’s been awhile since I did my last “Let’s Talk About It” case, but I haven’t given up on them. This week is a double disappearance: Diamond Bynum and her her two-year-old nephew, King Rajan Walker, who disappeared on July 25, 2015.
Diamond was 21 and suffered from Prader-Willi Syndrome, a genetic condition characterized mainly by mental disability and a constant feeling of hunger. If not kept supervised, people with this condition will just eat and eat and eat until they get sick. At 4’10, Diamond weighed well over 200 pounds, and she had the mental capacity of a five- to seven-year-old.
She had recently moved with her parents to Gary, Indiana, and her nephew, King Walker, was visiting. Apparently the two of them slipped out while Grandma was taking a nap. Diamond regularly walked in the neighborhood in the town where she used to live, but that was safer because she’d lived there all her life and the locals knew her and knew she was disabled and looked out for her.
But she wasn’t familiar with Gary, and, well, Gary is an awful place. It’s regularly ranked as one of the ten most dangerous cities in the country and something like one-fifth of the population lives under the poverty line. The city is a swath of urban decay, with all sorts of ramshackle abandoned buildings — it’s really sad.
I think this case would have gotten more media attention if Diamond and King had been white, or more affluent, or at least disappeared from a more affluent area. But I do have to wonder what happened to them.
Foul play seems like an obvious answer…but why? The family seems to be in the clear. An extensive search of the neighborhood, all those abandoned buildings, turned up doodly squat. No one seems to know anything. I can’t think of a kidnapper or a serial killer or a human trafficker who would want BOTH a very overweight, mentally disabled young woman AND a two-year-old boy. It seems like one or the other should have turned up.
So what caused these two to disappear? Let’s talk about it.
This list is of people who are biracial and of African-American and Hispanic descent. On this entry I wrote about a missing young girl who was listed as Hispanic but “looked” black to me. Someone posted the following comment:
I just wanted mention that being Latino and looking Black are not separate cultural states. There are many Latinos who are of Afro-Caribbean heritage given that a great deal of Latin America takes place in the Caribbean and historically much of the African slave trade took folks to Latin American islands and nations on the Caribbean and near-Atlantic.
This list isn’t that long; I expect there are probably more people on Charley that meet the requirements, that I just don’t know about.
- Patrick Kennedy Alford Jr.
- Osvaldo Baro
- Terrance S. Bonilla
- Michael James Borges
- Devin Janelle Brown-Bousetta
- Kamyle Stephanie Burgos Ortiz
- Gebar Lynon Byrd Jr.
- Marco Antonio Cadenas
- Keyla Contreras
- Natasha Paula Corley
- Pinkie Mae Davis-Herron
- Nadia Lynn Drummond
- Acacia Nicole Duvall and Jon Pierre Duvall
- Sarah Raquel Elsafi and Tariq Ahmed Elsafi
- Youssef Nabil Elsayed Hassan
- Kristopher Bryan Lewis
- Gustavo Machado
- Natanalie Marie Perez
- Victor Leonard Richardson III
- Rolando Salas Jusino
- Abigail Smith and Isabell Lena Smith
- Irwin Yafeth Stewart
- Jocelyn Emilia Turcios
- Elyssa Marie Vasquez