Yes, I know Larry Murillo has been located

Just about everyone has been texting, messaging and emailing me about the sad recovery of Larry Ely Murillo. His body turned up behind the coolers in the supermarket he used to work in. The business has been closed for years and a contractor was engaged in removing the coolers and shelving units when they found Murillo’s partially mummified remains in the eighteen-inch gap between the cooler and the wall.

Murillo was apparently having a psychotic break at the time of his disappearance. The day before, he had been prescribed an antidepressant, but his mental condition just deteriorated and he was paranoid and hearing voices. He ran out into the snow, coatless and barefoot, and vanished. Until now.

Per MANY the news articles about the finding, apparently workers at the supermarket would sometimes hide on top of the coolers when they wanted to take a break without the boss knowing. My guess is that Murillo, in his paranoia, went dashing for the familiar hiding space, only to slip into the space behind the units. The noise from the compressors would have drowned out his cries for help. And so he died a slow, horrible death.

The case reminds me of the tragic death of Joshua Maddux, whose corpse was found inside a chimney in a remote cabin in Colorado in 2015, seven years after he vanished. There was (and is still) talk of murder, but the most plausible theory is that he was trying to break into the cabin via the chimney and got stuck.

I am, not, of course, a psychiatrist or psychopharmacologist, but I don’t think the antidepressant was responsible for the mental breakdown leading up to Murillo’s death. He had been showing mental illness symptoms before taking the drug, and that’s why it was prescribed for him. And he had only been prescribed the drug the day before his disappearance.

Deaths like Larry Murillo’s remind me of just how lucky I am. As most of you readers know, I’ve got bipolar disorder. I’ve had psychotic breaks before. And one time, a common prescription painkiller I’d innocently taken interacted with one of my psychiatric meds and threw a party in my brain, resulting in very bad psychotic symptoms. This was not technically psychosis but delirium; however at the time everyone thought it was psychosis.

Anyway, that time I was hallucinating, delusional, and kept trying to leave the house at night in early March wearing only a shirt and underpants. The hospital refused to admit me, and the police wouldn’t help either, so Michael called his parents and they came over and stayed up with me all night to make sure I didn’t leave the house or do anything to harm myself.

If it weren’t for Michael and his parents, I might have died that night. I was lucky. Sadly, Larry Murillo wasn’t.

MP of the week: Charles Dart

This week’s featured missing person is Charles Christopher Dart, a fifty-year-old disabled veteran who disappeared from Fayetteville, Arkansas on March 25, 2012. The car he was driving turned up inoperable and abandoned in Florida. Dart apparently rented another vehicle afterwards, and never returned it.

There’s been no indication of his or the rented car’s whereabouts since then, and Dart hasn’t used his VA benefits either.

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: Hee Kim

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 Hee Chol Kim, a 61-year-old man who disappeared from East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania on February 25, 2013.

He left home that afternoon, apparently to go for a walk, and never returned. He had diabetes, had a history of becoming disoriented and wandering, and didn’t speak good English, so I don’t have a lot of hope for him.

If he’s still alive, which I think is unlikely, he’d be about 67 today.

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: Adam Li

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 Adam Li, a 26-year-old man who disappeared from San Francisco, California on September 15, 2016. He’s of Chinese descent; over twenty percent of San Francisco residents are Chinese-American.

Adam Li sounds like what they call a “dependent adult.” He’s got bipolar disorder/depression, has very poor social skills and is apparently very shy. He may still be in the San Francisco area, perhaps among the homeless population.

I hope he’s alive. If he is, he’d be 29 today.

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: Neal Boware

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 Neal Louis Boware, a 21-year-old man of African-American and Korean descent. He disappeared from Akron, Ohio on July 24, 2006.

Neal has schizophrenia and is supposed to take medication, but I don’t know whether he was on his meds at the time of his disappearance.

He ran away from his mom and jumped off a bridge; there were railroad tracks below the bridge, and a train was passing on them at the time. Presumably he landed on top of the train, though that’s not really clear. I’m not sure anyone actually saw this happen. No one has seen Neal since.

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: Aaron Bustamante

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 Aaron Bustamante, a Filipino-American man who disappeared from Honolulu, Hawaii on May 24, 2011, at the age of 35.

Aaron was adopted out of foster care at the age of three. He developed schizophrenia and spent some time in an adult group home, before deciding to live on the streets. He would meet with his father daily and his dad would give him food, but one day Aaron stopped showing up for the meetings and hasn’t been seen since.

He needs medication and if he’s still alive, he’s probably not doing well. He would be about 43 today.

Awesome two-part series on Gary Mathias and his four missing friends

Two years ago I blogged about the 1978 disappearance of Gary Dale Mathis and the mysterious deaths of his four friends, who went missing with him from Oroville in Yuba County, California. The comments on that entry are, I think, well worth a read.

I’m happy to announce that the Sacramento Bee has done a really good two-parter on the case.

Part one is titled: Out in the Cold: Four mentally disabled men died in woods. But what happened to the fifth? Part two is Were 4 mentally disabled men set up to die in the California woods?

The articles provide a lot more background information than I had had previously, regarding the disabilities all the men dealt with, and Mathias’s criminal history.

Most people with psychotic disorders like schizophrenia are not dangerous to anyone but themselves, but Mathias was a violent man with a history of attacks on both men and women. This probably had more to do with his drug abuse problem than his mental illness. It’s not clear to me whether Mathis was ever violent when he WASN’T under the influence of some illicit drug or other. But both mental illness and violence ran in his family.

The articles posit the theory, put forth by the families of the dead men and by others, that Mathias was in some way responsible for the situation that lead to their deaths. Certainly that’s possible.

Honestly, I don’t think anyone is ever going to find out what happened, and I don’t see any reason to believe Mathias is still alive. But it is an intriguing mystery.