Archive for the ‘children’ Category

Flashback Friday: Melvin Horst

May 22, 2015

This week’s Flashback Friday case is one of the Charley Project’s oldest: Melvin Charles Horst, a four-year-old boy who disappeared from the small town of Orrville in northeast Ohio two days after Christmas in 1928. Melvin had gone out with some friends to play with one of his Christmas toys. Then he said he would be walking home. Melvin never arrived home but they did find the toy in his front yard.

They actually charged five suspects with Melvin’s abduction after he disappeared, and two of them were convicted, but were released after a few months when it turned out the key witness in the case, a neighbor boy, had lied about what he’d seen. That same child (who seems to have been quite the fibber) went on to accuse his own father and another man of killing Melvin, but that story didn’t hold up either.

In the extremely unlikely event he’s still alive, Melvin would be 90 or 91 years old today.

Flashback Friday: Patricia Wood

May 15, 2015

This week’s Flashback Friday case is Patricia Wood, who disappeared sometime in 1976 from the small town of Swanzey, New Hampshire. It’s a very sad case: we only have a baby photo of her, though she was three or four when she disappeared, and the police didn’t realize she’d vanished for over a decade. Her father and stepmother lied to everyone saying she’d died in a car accident.

We’ll probably never know for sure what happened here, but it’s not hard to guess.

Back from Toledo, will do a proper update tomorrow

May 14, 2015

So this morning I saw a neurologist at the University of Toledo about this incident. The appointment went reasonably well in that the neurologist was very professional and attentive, listened closely, took a lot of notes, etc. The bad news is the neurologist doesn’t know what happened. The good news is, whatever it was, it wasn’t a seizure, because people who are in the midst of a seizure can’t answer other people’s questions using clear, coherent, grammatically correct answers that indicate some kind of thought process is going on (even if those answers don’t make sense). The neurologist did not put me on any medicine or schedule another appointment for me to see her. She says what happened doesn’t seem to fit any diagnosis she can think of.

Best thing then is to eat my veggies (which I have been doing) and hope it never happens again. Chalk it up to “why does this always happen to me?”

Now, regarding those resolves I mentioned. I’ll do a real update tomorrow but in the meantime:

They have found the remains of Nilsa Arizmendi, Melanie Camilini and Daniel Whistnant (aka Janice Roberts). All of them, plus several others, are believed to be the victim of suspected serial killer William Devin Howell. He’s only been convicted of killing Nilsa thus far. All three of the victims vanished in 2003.

They’ve also found the body of Michael “Bradyn” Fuksa, who disappeared from Wheatland, Wyoming in 2009. This is a really sad case; his death was ruled a suicide. He apparently drove from his home in Olathe, Kansas to the middle of nowhere in Wyoming (actually I think the entire state is included in the middle of nowhere), got a flat tire, walked further into the middle of nowhere and shot himself. He was only 22 years old.

And they’ve found the body of Anne Josette Hill, a sixteen-year-old girl who disappeared from Edmond, Oklahoma last April. Two other teenagers have been charged with her murder. There was never much in the way of doubt as to the defendants’ guilt; both have confessed. But I’m glad her body has turned up.

And this is quite late in the day, but they found the body of Misti Whitfield, age 35, who vanished from Tampa, Florida on May 2, 2013. She left behind five children.

On a cheerful note, both Kyanja Vanwey and Alondra Diaz-Garcia have turned up alive and well. Alondra’s recovery made the news, She had been missing almost eight years and Kyanja for nearly ten.

Cracked features missing people again

April 21, 2015

In their recent photoplasty, 23 Creepy Unsolved Mysteries Nobody Can Explain, Cracked has talked about Charley Project MPs Garnell Moore, Amy Bradley, Zachary Ramsay, Tara Calico, and of course the Sodder children.

MP of the week: Lydia White

April 21, 2015

Last week’s featured MP was Caleta White. This week’s MP is also named White, but presumably not related: Lydia White, missing from Lawndale, California since the age of four months on August 1, 2004.

I have very, very little information about this case, other than that she was under CPS supervision and was “last seen by her father.” Oh, and “suspicious circumstances.” Shrug. If she’s still alive she’d be eleven years old on Friday, but frankly it doesn’t look good for her.

I’d love to hear from any relatives or anyone else who knows about this case.

Yay, George Barksdale has an AP

April 17, 2015

Per the NCMEC: George Barksdale finally has an age-progression, to 48 years (although right now he would be fifty). Now if only they could get a better quality photo of him. I was able to enhance the picture somewhat for his Charley Project casefile but it still leaves a lot to be desired. It looks like it got scanned from a newspaper.

The 46th anniversary of George’s disappearance is on April 21, four days from now.

Flashback Friday: Royce Henson

April 10, 2015

This week’s Flashback Friday case is Royce Henson, a year-and-a-half-old baby who disappeared together with his mother, Kathleen, from Tulsa, Oklahoma on March 23, 1979. It’s a strange case: it’s like the two got abducted by aliens or something, just vanished into thin air. Kathleen left behind an older son.

Royce shares my birthday. If still alive, he’d be 37 years old today. I suppose he could still be alive and have no idea he was kidnapped as a child. Kathleen would now be 66.

Okay, finished writing up Relisha Rudd

April 7, 2015

I had dreaded doing Relisha Rudd‘s case because I knew it would take a long time to do and it would be very depressing. It did take a long time to do — around four hours, all told — and it was one of the saddest stories I’ve had to write in a very long time. Not her disappearance but her entire life. I praise the Washington Post for their excellent series of articles on her disappearance and the circumstances around it; they were the main source for my writeup.

Of course the Charley Project database is meant to be written in a journalistic style without passing judgement one way or another, but I hope the reader will be able to feel the outrage that I felt, reading what that poor girl went through.

Now I’ve got to find a few other cases to write up so I can reach my minimum number of five cases for the day’s update. I think I’ll pick easy ones. “Few details are available.”

God, I’m tired.

[ADDENDUM: I give up. Today’s updates will number only three.]

Tania Murrell’s brother has died

March 29, 2015

Per this article: Tania Marie Murrell‘s brother, John, has passed away. The 37-year-old, it says, “had battled drug addictions through most of his adult life.” He was living in a halfway house when he took an overdose of methadone and was taken to the hospital. He convinced a friend to sneak him out so he could make it back to the halfway house by curfew time. They found him dead in his bed the next morning.

Obviously it’s very sad. Drug and alcohol addiction is caused by a lot of complex factors, both genetic and environmental, but I’m sure the disappearance of his sister when he was a child was a great trauma. It may not have caused his later problems but it certainly didn’t help. He was the one who was supposed to have walked home from school with Tania that day. She went the other way instead, and never came back.

I happened to speak once to a psychologist who, I think as part of his PhD, studied one particular family who had lost a boy when he was a child — literally lost, the boy was kidnapped and is listed on Charley. (I’m not going to identify the psychologist or the boy because I don’t want to upset anyone or get anyone in trouble. I’m not sure it was appropriate for the person to have confided this knowledge to me.) Anyway, the psychologist told me the boy came from a very large family and, in spite of having had a good upbringing with loving working-class parents, the kids were all pretty troubled and several of them became addicted to drugs and alcohol later in life.

John and Tania’s sister has her brother’s ashes and hopes to scatter them at Niagara Falls. If only she knew where Tania was.

Flashback Friday: Pamela Mayfield

March 27, 2015

This week’s Flashback Friday is Pamela Mayfield, a five-year-old girl who disappeared with her six-year-old brother, Michael. They were last seen on January 10, 1985 walking to Betsy Ross Elementary School in Houston, Texas; they were kindergarten students there. Both kids look adorable in their pictures; Pamela in particular looks like a doll. Unfortunately I don’t know much about their disappearances and the police haven’t said much, other than that they think it was a relative or family acquaintance who took them.

Michael and Pamela would both be in their thirties today.


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