National Hispanic Heritage Month: Gebar Byrd Jr.

In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month I’m featuring a Hispanic missing person every day from September 15 to October 15. Today’s case is Gebar Byrd Jr., a biracial Hispanic and African-American toddler who was last seen in University City, Missouri on March 22, 2010, a few weeks before his second birthday.

Gebar’s father, Gebar Byrd Sr., confessed to the murder of both little Gebar and his mother, Yasmin Rodriguez. He said he intentionally shoved her into the Mississippi River while she was holding the boy in her arms. Yasmin’s body was found in the river on April 9; Gebar Jr.’s never turned up. Gebar Sr. was convicted of second-degree murder in the mother’s death and involuntary manslaughter in the child’s, and sentenced to life in prison.

In spite of the confession and the convictions, there’s some hope among some of Gebar Jr.’s family members that he’s still alive, because his birth certificate and other papers disappeared. Me, I’m pretty skeptical of that theory.

National Hispanic Heritage Month: Ximena and Sergio Granados

In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month I’m featuring a Hispanic missing person every day from September 15 to October 15. Today’s case is the disappearances of siblings Ximena Paola Granados, 1, and Sergio Paul Granados, two and a half, who went missing from Pomona, California on July 30, 2008.

The Granados kids are classified as family abductions; authorities believe they were taken by their non-custodial mother and father, possibly to Mexico. However, I can’t find any info on the parents and I don’t know if any warrants were ever issued for them.

National Hispanic Heritage Month: Marco Cadenas

In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month I’m featuring a Hispanic missing person every day from September 15 to October 15. Today’s case is Marco Antonio Cadenas, a nine-year-old biracial black/Hispanic boy who disappeared from Miami, Florida on May 11, 1994.

I should note that Marco’s family background was troubled, to say the least. I’m not sure what role, if any, his biological father played in his life, but the man was killed in a police shootout in Ohio in July 1994, two months after Marco disappeared. There was some domestic violence between Marco’s mother and his stepfather, and some drug issues with the mom.

Marco, who called his stepfather “Daddy,” left on the day of his disappearance because he was upset that his mother had hit his stepfather with a bottle. His mother went into drug rehab later that year. I don’t know where his mom and stepfather are today, or if they’re still alive, or what other family Marco has.

So where is Marco? If this was an older child, the circumstances would indicate he left on his own: he was mad at his mother, they had an argument, and she threatened to punish him. He walked out the door and never came back.

But he was nine. Could a nine-year-old, even a streetwise one, have really managed to run away and never come back? And would he have done so without so much as a pair of shoes?

If he’s still alive, and I hope he is, Marco Cadenas would be 33 years old today.

MP of the week: Yousef Almetnawy

This week’s featured missing person is Yousef Almetnawy, who was four years old when he and his sister Iman, age one, were abducted by their mother from Euless, Texas on August 25, 1999.

Disturbingly, the children and their mother, Ghada Abdel Said, may be on the run with Ghada’s brother, Yaser Abdel Said, who is wanted for a double murder: he allegedly shot and killed his two teenage daughters, Sarah and Amina, in 2008.

National Hispanic Heritage Month: Jorge Acosta

In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month I’m featuring a Hispanic missing person every day from September 15 to October 15. Today’s case is Jorge Acosta, a twelve-year-old boy who disappeared on November 1, 1992 from Los Angeles, California.

I’ve wondered about Jorge’s case for a long time because he’s always been listed as a runaway, and continues to be listed as such, but he was only twelve years old, and he’s been gone for 25 years now. That is very unusual.

I wish I knew more details about his disappearance. If he’s still alive, Jorge would now be 38 years old.

MP of the week: Jose Padilla

This week’s featured missing person is Jose DeJesus Padilla, a three-year-old boy who was abducted by his non-custodial father from Sacramento, California on August 15, 2008. He would now be 13 years old. Jose may be in Mexico, where his grandparents live.

Sigh, this is just so sad and so common

Earlier this month, Anthony Tyrone “Burt” Woodson‘s uncle was charged with his murder. The five-year-old has been missing since 1981, and it’s likely that he will never be found.

Some good articles about the case:

I knew almost nothing about Anthony’s case before, and it turns out that the official story had been a lie. Anthony’s uncle Terry said they went to a 7-11 in the middle of the night and Anthony disappeared from the car at some point. Well, Terry DID go to the 7-11, but only after his nephew was already dead.

The police were suspicious of the 7-11 abduction story but couldn’t disprove it, until 2017 when his uncle cracked and admitted Anthony was dead. He’s changed his story a bit since then, but the gist has always been the same: Anthony’s aunt and uncle beat the crap out of him with an electric cord, he died, and they dumped the body and concocted the 7-11 story.

Two childhood friends of Anthony reported that he was beaten badly and often enough that they’d come to recognize the sound of the electric cord and the screaming and crying and would know when a beating was taking place. Even by “Texas in the early 1980s” standards, this level of “discipline” seems excessive to me. But apparently nobody bothered to call CPS.

Justice has come too late for Della Woodson, Anthony’s aunt. She’s dead. And from the sounds of it, Terry might not live to see his trial. His sister, Merlene, says he’s in very poor health with severe diabetes and kidney problems, and that he’s on dialysis.

And it looks like there’s probably nothing left to bury, according to one of the articles:

Authorities have searched for any remains of the boy but have so far found none.

Experts, including anthropologists from the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification, have told police the remains would have been dragged off and scattered by animals and likely may never be recovered.

Too little, too late.