Does anyone recognize this woman?

[EDIT: Mystery solved! And I feel slightly annoyed with myself. See the comments section for deets.]

The other day WTVM did an article about missing people from Columbus, Georgia area. It talks about five people, but there’s an accompanying montage of photographs that shows SIX people. Five of them are the missing people mentioned in the article, but the sixth, a young black or biracial woman with a blonde afro, is not mentioned and I do not recognize her. I checked on NamUs and she doesn’t appear to be on there either; at least no one by that description is listed as missing from Columbus, Georgia.

In case the article goes away, I have the image shown below:

wtvm

It’s the woman in the top middle photo. I wrote to the reporter who wrote the article to ask who she is, but he didn’t get back to me. Does anyone know who she might be?

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Facebook is so useful

I’ve lately found Facebook incredibly useful for missing persons related things lately. These days I’ll always check to see if the MP either had their own Facebook page, or has one set up for them to publicize their disappearance. Mostly it’s useful for finding photographs, but I often find other information too.

Tonight I was taking advantage of a burst of energy to write up cases for the next update. I had a bit of a conundrum with the first one I wrote up: NamUs said his middle name was “Donte” and the FDLE database said it was “Dante.” He’d been missing since 2002 so clearly he hadn’t been on Facebook, but I looked to see if his family had set up a page for him. Turns out they had. There’s not much on it, but I found out that NamUs and FDLE are both wrote and his middle name is “Dant’e.”

So there’s that, anyway. A middle name isn’t a whole lot, but I’d certainly not want to post incorrect info, and before I found the Facebook page it was basically a toss-up between “Dante” and “Donte.”

Dag nabbit, it’s guesswork again

Writing up a case and she’s got tattoos. Her NamUs page mentions several, including “Right shoulder: Tiger Lilly”. Which gives me pause.

Because several species of lily are sometimes called “tiger lily” (note the spelling difference). There’s also a character in the Peter Pan book and Disney animated movie called Tiger Lily (again, spelled differently), and this MP has a Mickey Mouse tattoo, and that’s also a Disney character.

I believe this MP’s tattoo is neither of those and “Right shoulder: Tiger Lilly” means the WORDS “Tiger Lilly”, probably someone’s name. But that’s only an educated guess and I wish people would be more clear.

[EDIT:] Orrrr perhaps not. See this photo of her.

A very sad conversation I wish I hadn’t had to have

Yeah, so I’m home again. I got a text from Mom saying she’d be home around noon and after I fed her cat I could just leave if I liked. So I did.

Last night I had to have a very sad conversation, via text, with the mother of a teenage girl who ran away years ago and is still missing.

You see, when I first added this woman’s daughter to Charley, I had written a blog entry about two runaways: one who had been found alive and well in Canada (whom I did not name, since she had never been on Charley and she was not missing anymore and I wanted to protect her privacy), and the other being this woman’s daughter.

Then yesterday the woman commented on my entry saying “I’m so-and-so’s mother and I had no idea she was even alive until I read this entry. Please text me at the following number and tell me everything you know.” (I have since deleted her comment, because it had her phone number on it.)

And I realized to my horror that she had misunderstood my entry and thought I had been referring to one person, not two: in other words, she thought I was saying I had located her daughter in Canada and she was alive and well.

So then I had to text her and explain that I was very sorry but she had misunderstood me and I didn’t have any more idea about her kid’s whereabouts and well-being than she did. I felt absolutely terrible for raising her hopes for five minutes and then having to break them.

It turns out that, unbeknownst to me, this woman’s daughter had left a note saying she was running away to Canada. That’s probably a good part of the reason why she misunderstood my blog entry.

The thing is, her daughter could very possibly be dead. It’s more likely than in the average runaway case. She suffers from a very serious medical condition which, even with treatment, still kills people. And of course, as a runaway, she doesn’t have her medication with her or access to her doctors.

Fortunately the girl’s mother wasn’t angry at me, but I felt really bad. We texted back and forth for awhile. I kept telling her how sorry I was that I couldn’t be of more help. She told me a little about her daughter. I think I’ll add this info to the girl’s Charley Project page.

Thinking aloud in today’s updates

  1. This may be setting some kind of record in how many murder-without-a-body cases were included in a single day’s update: there are seven here (or five if you want to get picky). I’ve got John Charles Cizek, Marcia Ann Forsberg, Hoggle siblings Jacob and Sarah, Donna Mae Jokumsen, and Lyon sisters Katherine and Sheila.
  2. The info I added to Marcia Forsberg’s page came from one of those “keep in touch with your high school class” type sites. In her profile on the page, Marcia talks about how happy she is in her marriage to her husband, described as her “soul mate and best friend” and “the love of my life.” Little knowing that the love of her life would, by his own admission, kill and dismember her a couple of years later. That’s hella depressing to read.
  3. Why is the NCMEC using Photograph 1 of Cynthia Bravo on their poster for her when Photograph 2 (via CDOJ) is so much better quality?
  4. I wonder if it’s significant that Cynthia disappeared just before her birthday. In Hispanic communities there’s something called the quinceanera or the fiesta de quince años, where there’s a massive party on a girl’s fifteenth birthday and she dresses up in a fancy formal dress, something like a prom dress or a wedding dress; it’s a rite of passage celebrating the girl’s transition from childhood to womanhood. Cynthia is Hispanic and vanished just one day before she would have turned fifteen. Just a thought.
  5. Another question/thought about Cynthia: who the heck runs away with no shoes on?

A happy announcement

I’m pleased to announce that Preston Winfrey, a Missouri father of three and founder of a remote software and web development company called Ready Launch (website | Facebook) has volunteered to redesign the Charley Project’s website and drag it into the 21st century. At present, technology-wise, it’s stuck firmly in the mid-1990s.

This has actually been on the books for awhile but I didn’t want to say anything because I wasn’t sure it would go anywhere. I can’t pay Preston for this, so this is a strictly volunteer project, and in the past I’ve had people promise to redesign my site and then lose interest and disappear. But now I’m confident that Preston will follow through.

Preston is, of course, a true crime enthusiast and said he wants to “help in any way I can bring visibility to missing persons and want to fight for justice for those who can’t fight for themselves.” One of my own personal mottoes (a quote often misattributed to Theodore Roosevelt) is: “Do what you can with what you have, where you are.” With his mad skillz at programming, Preston is doing what he can with what he has where he’s at, and that’s all you can expect from any of us.

He has already shown me a prototype of what the site might look like — with help from web designer Rick Brewer of S03 Creative.

He wants to make my website mobile-friendly, and searchable in all kinds of ways, and both more user-friendly and operator-friendly. I look forward to working with him.