Thoughts on today’s updates

It’s 11:47 p.m. as I type this, so perhaps by the time it’s finished, “today” will be “yesterday.”

For all the updated cases today, except Jahi Turner and Donna Mezo, you can thank Mion, who kindly gathered together a bunch of old newspaper articles about cases I had and emailed them to me.

Regarding my Donna Mezo update, I hope it clarifies the situation with her boyfriend’s death. Earlier I had said there was a suicide note and his death was ruled a suicide in spite of the fact that the gun used was found in “a nearby lake.” Well, I have since learned that “nearby” was more like “a few feet away.” I think what probably happened is that Jeffrie either threw or dropped his weapon into the water during or after firing it.

I found quite a lot on for Marcell Byers‘s case. His NamUs profile includes a clipping about how the people charged with kidnapping him disappeared and their lawyer had been threatened and maybe it was foul play.

Well, the two suspects did disappear, leaving a van shot full of holes, but I guess it was all just an attempt to evade prosecution because they were alive, back in custody and well enough to cop a plea less than a year later.

It’s disturbing that Marcell was never found. All this over a gold chain. The Zuppos pleaded no contest to kidnapping, meaning they didn’t even admit they were guilty. They’d be out of prison by now and I’m not sure what they’re up to these days. I think Gerald Sr. may be dead; someone with the same name and birth year died in North Carolina in 2003.

Tejin‘s case is just sad. (Also, NamUs has him listed as a girl? I admit you can’t really tell from the pictures. If I hadn’t found some articles on his disappearance I’d have been none the wiser.) I found his Facebook page and one picture was of him holding a little turtle, whom Tejin called “my son.” This was just a few months before his presumed death.

Julie Davis‘s case is sad too. Judging from the Facebook page created for her, she was lost for awhile before she disappeared. They only have the one not very good quality and out-of-date photo of her, and from the Facebook page her family apparently wasn’t really clear on when they’d last heard from her. They mentioned getting a letter from her “around 1985 or 1986.” (I’m not sure where NamUs’s date of disappearance comes from.)

She was just sixteen years old and already out on her own, almost four hours from her hometown.  I know things were a bit different back in the eighties, but that’s still pretty unusual. I wonder if she was in foster care. Obviously her family cares about her or they wouldn’t be trying to find her. I hope she’s alive out there and doesn’t even know anyone is looking, and isn’t a Jane Doe somewhere, or worse, dead and never found.

For this case, normally I’d have listed her as just regular “Missing” but then I saw the detail about the track marks and thought “drugs” and upgraded her case to “Endangered Missing.” Question: do track marks ALWAYS mean drugs? There are some medical conditions that require a person to get frequent injections; do those people get similar scars?

Ashley Lynn Thomas has such striking eyes, so big and dark against her pale skin and hair. I hope she’s okay. I hope she and the baby are both healthy and being looked after.

Stuart Owen Collins got a big update today. (Thanks again, Mion!) It does sound like something bad happened to him, and one inevitably wonders about the woman he was with, and even more so about her husband.

With Paul Egan (another big update there) the whole rendering theory is just awful to contemplate. The police seemed to suspect Paul’s friend. They said his friend was not a suspect, but they also made a point of saying they couldn’t confirm the friend’s story.

It could have happened something like this: Paul and his friend got into some kind of argument at the plant after hours — his friend was a foreman, Paul a technician — and things got out of hand something went horribly wrong, and his friend is panicking and thinks “well, there’s this rendering machine, if I just chuck him in and keep my mouth shut, no one will ever know.” I doubt such places had security cameras in 1975. The rendering machine was designed to grind up horses; a human corpse would be easy.

Of course that’s all supposition. I did look up the friend in the Florida DOC database and on Facebook and couldn’t find anyone by that name. I did find a mention of a person by that name (and a photo of that person) from 1970, five years before Paul disappeared. Nothing since then. I wonder if I’ve got the spelling of his surname right.

As far as the note Elsie Elsinga left behind — and her daughter’s poo-pooing the significance of that note — I don’t know. Her daughter said something like “How could someone of that age have done anything to mess up their life?” But perhaps Elsie’s “possible mild depression” was more significant than her daughter thought.

For Helen Robinson, I wonder if she decided to take a plane to visit one of those CB radio friends she had, and maybe something happened that prevented her from coming back. It was two solid years before her van turned up; by then, the weeds might have grown over the flight records. Robinson is definitely dead now; I don’t think she would have lived long in any case, because of her emphysema.

I added 27 updates and I’m very pleased with my work output today. I hope y’all have noticed how much more productive I’ve been ever since the site got redesigned. It takes less time to add/update stuff, since I don’t have to write all the code by hand, or hand-add case names to the lists.


Make-a-List Monday: People with diabetes

Quite a long list. Both Type I and Type II are included. It’s worth noting that diabetes can make a person really loopy and even cause amnesia if their blood sugar goes haywire.

  1. David Jonathan Allen
  2. James Edward Amabile
  3. Latrice Shay Armstead
  4. Larry Richard Baker Sr.
  5. Jon Clair Barrett
  6. Janice L. Beck
  7. Terrance Paul Beghin
  8. Gerald Leroy Bingham
  9. Billie Bob Black
  10. Brian Richard Bleyl
  11. Lori Ann Boffman
  12. Maria Senorina Bolanos-Rivera
  13. Kevin Ray Boney
  14. Mary Elenor Wolf Brenion
  15. Brent Dewayne Brooks
  16. Michael Ralph Brougham
  17. Gary Lee Brumley
  18. William Kelly Buntain
  19. Shirley Elizabeth Butler
  20. Paul Ward Cain
  21. Chip Michael Campbell
  22. Willie Charles Carswell
  23. Richard Lee Clark
  24. George James Contos
  25. Joseph Paul Cordova
  26. William Scott Currier
  27. William Andre Davcev
  28. Arthur P. Deering
  29. Donald Richard Delaney
  30. Marie Chantal Delly
  31. Ruby Estelle Dorman
  32. Lloyd Edward Downey
  33. Devonne Dubose
  34. Robert F. Duerr
  35. Julie A. Earley
  36. Nicholas Jonathan Echols
  37. Jonathan Wayne Edmond Jr.
  38. Demetrius Jermain Elder
  39. Elsie M. Elsinga
  40. Thomas Kern Fleming
  41. Mark Duane Folz
  42. Earnest Edward Francis
  43. Herman Matthew Gamble
  44. Randal Paul Gary
  45. Richard Gary Jr.
  46. Stella Vera Gies
  47. Valerie Glenn
  48. Jose Gonzalez
  49. Yu Chin Chang Goodson
  50. Rupinder Kaur Goraya
  51. Howard V. Gratteau
  52. Adela Guzman-Mendoza
  53. Johnathan Lee Hamilton
  54. Scott Douglas Hamilton
  55. Charles Floyd Hanlon
  56. Ralph Edward Healey
  57. Thomas J. Hearn
  58. Mary Alice Helm
  59. Una Mae Herd
  60. Samuel Lee Hernandez
  61. Wendy Hiehle
  62. Charles Franklin Huff
  63. Rochelle Maria Ihm
  64. Tiahease Tiawanna Jackson
  65. James Jamison
  66. Sherline Johnson
  67. Tammy Lee Jovaag
  68. Ali Kamhaz
  69. Deward R. Killion
  70. Hee Chol Kim
  71. Marcella Krulce
  72. Earl Kuhl
  73. Heather Nicole Kullorn
  74. Emmett Earl Kyzer
  75. James Charles Layne
  76. Sandra Lee Lemire
  77. Nancy Lewis
  78. Richard Mark Linse
  79. Robert Charles Livers Jr.
  80. Joe Max Long
  81. Robert J. Long
  82. Amparo Lopez
  83. Thomas Edward Manizak
  84. Godofredo R. Masangya
  85. Beverly Lofton Meadows
  86. Francisco Solano Mendez
  87. Marta Alicia Michel
  88. Kimberly Bumbalough Mimmovich
  89. Robert Gordofredo Mino
  90. Lark Loraine Montague
  91. John Edward Morgan
  92. Rolf Neslund
  93. Tammy Lorraine Niver
  94. James Randolph Olsen
  95. Nydia Oyuki Ortiz
  96. Glinver Keith Osborne
  97. Gabriel Ovando
  98. Richard Gary Parker
  99. Cherryl Lamont Pearson
  100. Janel Irene Peters
  101. Robert Mark Peters
  102. Diane Christine Pierce
  103. Harry Eugene Plyler
  104. Shirley Gertrude Pullen
  105. Verna Marie Richardson
  106. Isaac Joseph Riley
  107. Juan Rivera
  108. David Paul Ruggiero
  109. Barbara Kettell Rushton
  110. Michelle Lee Rust
  111. Scott Anthony Sartain
  112. David Wayne Schroeder
  113. August Richard Schwabenland
  114. Xavier Sepulveda
  115. Marsilene Smith
  116. Tammyetta Michelle Spaulding
  117. Dennison Clark Stookesberry
  118. James Joseph Thompson
  119. Shirley Ann Carpenter Trapp
  120. Larry Franklin Trent
  121. Cordell Eugene Piere Turnage
  122. Joseph D. Vanderhouwen
  123. Luis M. Vargas
  124. Kara Enid Vaughn
  125. Antonio Vega
  126. Robert Lee Vendrick
  127. Leonard Coleman Williams III
  128. Katherine Sybil Worsky
  129. Mickey Wright Sr.
  130. Barbara Zakon

MP of the week: Andreas Marts

This week’s featured missing person is Andreas Marts, who disappeared from Leavenworth, Kansas on July 16, 2010. He was 25 years old.

He’d probably be pretty easy to recognize if still alive, as he suffers from progressive hemifacial atrophy, aka Parry–Romberg Syndrome, a disorder that causes shrinkage of the tissues on the side of his face. He’s had multiple surgeries with all kinds of hardware installed to mitigate the damage, but his face does look kind of different.

Alas, the police believe Marts probably drowned. He had schizophrenia and he told people he was going to “cleanse himself for God” in the Missouri River, which was in flood stage at the time of his disappearance.

MP of the week: Elissa Martin

This week’s featured missing person is Elissa Rachel Martin, who left her dad’s Campbellton, Florida residence on May 15, 2004 to go for a walk and never came back. She was 34 years old. Aside from the fact that Elissa has schizophrenia and left her meds behind, I don’t have much on this case.

I wasn’t able to post this yesterday because I spent Christmas with Michael and his parents and didn’t return home till this morning. I hope everyone had a good Christmas. Mine was okay, minimal drama.

Flashback Friday: Natasha Shanes

This week’s FF case is Natasha Marie Shanes, a six-year-old girl who was apparently abducted from her mother’s Jackson, Michigan home on May 8, 1985.

Although they never identified the abductor or found any bloodstains or the like, I’m pretty confident Natasha died around the time she was taken, because of her medical problems. She had a seizure disorder and needed medication for that. She was also slightly intellectually disabled and she had scoliosis, though to what degree I don’t know.

In the very unlikely event that Natasha is alive, she’d be 38 today.

A cluster of resolves

Sometimes it seems like I don’t get a resolved case for a month and then suddenly get hit with a dozen at once. This next update will have five. So far. I’m linking to their casefiles but they won’t be up for much longer.

  • Runaway Sualee Jeseenia Gonzalez Castro has been found alive, per NCMEC. She had been missing for two years and almost two months and is now 19 years old.
  • Runaway Alondra Hernandez-Trujillo has also been found alive, per NCMEC. She had been missing for almost three years. She is now 18.
  • Convicted murderer Thomas Riffenburg has confessed to the killings of his girlfriend, Jennifer Anne Walsh, and their son, Alexander Mitchell Riffenburg, who had been missing from Palmdale, California since January 9, 2009. Jennifer was 23 and Alexander was only a year old. This article provides a lot of background info about their cases, more than I have on Charley. Thomas provided hand-drawn maps to where he’d buried their bodies, and the cops found remains and are awaiting DNA confirmation of their identities. I think I’ll resolve their cases now; it’s highly unlikely they’re anyone but Jennifer and Alexander.
  • A skull found in the woods 2001 has been identified as Ella Mae Williams, an 80-year-old woman with Alzheimer’s Disease who wandered from her Gainesville, Florida home on March 25, 1990. (The article incorrectly gives her age as 78.)

Thinking aloud on updates, 10/30/2017

I had a bit of a burst and spent all night and into the morning working on today’s updates. I raided Facebook, as I have said, finding additional pictures and sometimes a lot more.

  1. Autumn Starr Cerenil-Lee: It’s eerie and sad to find traces of my MPs’ pre-disappearance lives online. I found Autumn’s Facebook page. Less than a month before her disappearance she wrote she was getting a divorce, after a marriage that had lasted under a year. Her husband posted a comment saying she was to blame for what had occurred. Autumn also wrote about her daughter, who had some chromosomal anomalies that caused severe health problems.
    I can only hope that she decided to walk away from her life — and the evidence does seem to indicate that she did walk away, at least for awhile, since she was allegedly sighted in Wyoming. But did she intend to stay gone this long, almost four years now?
  2. Kelsey Emily Collins: I finally found out the name of that scumbag who was pimping her. I wish I could have found his picture too, and that of his woman accomplice. It seems like a massive failure on the authorities’ part that they didn’t offer Kelsey witness protection, but they claim they didn’t know it was needed, and that if she had told them about any threats they would have helped her.
  3. Georgia Nadine Kirk: Shades of Walter Dunson here; they were the same age too, almost. Ted Kirk sounds like a snotrag. I read that he lives on a huge property with something like 20 vehicles on it, and friends reported the place smelled pretty bad. I’m not sure if the cops have searched for Nadine’s body there yet; they asked for permission to go over it with cadaver dogs but Ted said no. It seems like there should be enough evidence by now to get a warrant.
  4. Irma Mkrtchyan: I found Irma’s Facebook page too. She often wrote posts in Russian, and she posted photographs of herself visiting Armenia. She was born there, graduated from a polytechnic there and moved to the U.S. sometime after 1996 (that’s when she got her degree). I found her children’s Facebook pages as well and it says her son was born in Yerevan.
    Irma’s disappearance appears to have torn her family apart. I found a vicious character assassination of her brother Davit (aka David), which accused him of fraud, laziness, dishonesty, and generally being a slimeball. I think it must have been written by Irma’s ex-husband. The horrible statement said Davit had dishonored his sister’s legacy, lied to the police, and started fights within the family, and that Irma’s daughter had a restraining order against him. I hope that anyone who reads it would take it with a grain of salt. Davit appears to be the only one in the family who is actively trying to solve his sister’s disappearance.
    I wonder how Irma’s surname is pronounced. It needs a serious infusion of vowels.
  5. Noah Pomaikai Montemayor: A very sad case — a bright, talented, promising kid who, it appears, cracked under the pressure to live up to that promise. It reminded me of the Matthew Wilson case from ten years ago. Matthew did eventually turn up alive, if not well, and I hope Noah will do the same. They say that the longer you’re gone, the harder it is to call home. But it seems odd that he hasn’t been found by now, especially given he had nothing with him and there was an extensive and well-publicized search. I mean, it’s an island.
  6. Nancy Paulikas: My God Alzheimer’s is scary. Especially in someone as young and smart and successful as she was. Recently I read a book I liked and looked the author up on Facebook, hoping to contact her; I found her page but it hadn’t been updated since 2013 and the last post said she had Alzheimer’s. I concluded there was no point in messaging her because she probably could no longer read. Hopefully by the time I’m old enough to worry about getting it, they’ll have found a cure.