Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: Troy Le

In honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, I am profiling one Asian or Pacific Islander MP for every day of the month of May. Today’s case is Troy Le, a 19-year-old student at San Diego Mesa College who disappeared on March 20, 2010 and is presumed dead.

Troy and his girlfriend were at the beach and after she ran into some trouble in the water, he tried to save her but wound up in trouble himself. The girlfriend was rescued, but Troy disappeared and he’s presumed drowned and pulled out to sea by the riptide.

Black History Month: Debra Stewart

In honor of Black History Month I’m profiling one African-American MP every day on this blog for the month of February. Today’s case is Debra Kay Stewart, a 19-year-old UT-Austin communications major who disappeared on May 21, 1976. She felt sick and left work early to go to a doctor’s appointment, but never arrived.

Her car turned up abandoned with the keys locked inside. Witnesses saw a black man getting out of the car.

There’s some speculation that Debra’s case is related to the disappearances of Jennifer Barton and Brenda Moore. They’re all young black women who disappeared from the same city in the same time period and were never found.

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: William Gu

In honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, I am profiling one Asian or Pacific Islander MP for every day of the month of May. Today’s case is William Gu, a 22-year-old City University of New York student who disappeared from Brooklyn on March 7, 2013. I’m not sure of his ancestry but Wikipedia says his surname is either Chinese or Korean.

William was supposed to meet a friend on Staten Island, but never showed up, and his car was found wrecked and abandoned in Somerset, New Jersey. His disappearance is especially worrying because William had a traumatic brain injury (TBI) which causes “depression, paranoia, minor hallucinations and psychotic behaviors.”

William’s disappearance reminds me a lot of the disappearance of Sean Sidi, another young Asian man with a TBI who disappeared just two and a half months later, albeit on the opposite coast.

Black History Month: Marcus Daniel

In honor of Black History Month I’m profiling one African-American MP every day on this blog for the month of February. Today’s case is Marcus J. Daniel, a University of Missouri student who disappeared from Columbia on December 6, 2002. I don’t know what he was studying or whether he was last seen on campus or what. He was 25 years old and would be 40 today.

Marcus apparently left of his own accord; he wrote a goodbye note to his dad, and a few days after his disappearance he sent his mom a letter postmarked Chicago. Perhaps as a result, he wasn’t reported missing until 2005.

He may believe he has good reasons for staying under the radar these past 15 years. In which case I recommend he contact the police and verify his identity and well-being. That way they can close his case and his family will know he is safe, but whatever new life he’s carved out for himself does not have to be disrupted.

Flashback Friday: David Sampson

This week’s Flashback Friday case is David Robert Sampson, a 21-year-old student at the University of Washington who disappeared from Seattle on March 1, 1977. I don’t know his major, but he was interested in “botany, hiking and environmental issues,” so perhaps it was something like biology.

Indications are Sampson left of his own accord; he took several possessions, including survival gear, a Bible and other religious materials, but no ID or cash. He may have joined some kind of cult; his case reminds me a bit of Robert Spurlock‘s. (I ought to do a Make-a-List Monday of cases where the MP is thought to have joined a cult.) It’s worth noting that Sampson disappeared at the tail end of the hippie era, and it sounds like he might have found that lifestyle agreeable.

But if he did join a cult, where has he been since 1977? Canada maybe? But if he left the country, how’d he cross the border without any identification?

I was able to get Sampson’s date of birth today from the Washington State Missing Person Search database. The anonymous author of the excellent Whereabouts Still Unknown blog has an entry for him as well. I couldn’t find anything about his disappearance in the newspaper archives, though, which isn’t surprising giving it was 1977 and he was a college student and a man at that. That profile of missing person is rarely covered in the news even today.

If he is still alive, and he may very well be, David Sampson would be 62 today. There’s a good chance his parents would be dead by now, but perhaps he has siblings or cousins who are still hoping for resolution in his case.

MP of the week: Alexis Dillard

This week’s featured missing person is Alexis Dillard, who is male. A KU senior, he vanished on December 11, 1992, after a night out drinking with his fraternity brothers in North Lawrence, Kansas. There’s a theory that he drowned in the Kansas River, possibly while trying to swim across. He was 22.

And yes, I’m aware that suspect Pedro Hernandez was convicted of Etan Patz’s murder and I’m aware I have to re-write his entire casefile. That’ll be my task for tomorrow.