Pride Month: Tirrel Santiago

In honor of Pride Month I’m featuring a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer missing person every day for the month of June. Today’s case is Tirrel Santiago, a sixteen-year-old who disappeared from Brooklyn, New York on August 20, 2005.

It’s noted that Tirrel “may dress in women’s clothes.” I have very little information on his disappearance, so I don’t know if he’s transgender or gay or just gender-nonconforming. The photos show someone who could be either male or female.

He was last seen at 306 Rodney Street, which is in the Williamsburg neighborhood. Google Street View shows a church at that address, specifically St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church. It seems unlikely that Tirrel was attending religious services — August 20, 2005 was a Saturday — but perhaps there was some other event at the church that day.

I wish I knew more. Tirrel must have parents, siblings, friends, people who care about him, and it’s been almost thirteen years.

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MP of the week: Shauntay Gilliam

This week’s featured missing person (sorry about missing last week) is Shauntay Gilliam, an eighteen-year-old girl who disappeared from Pleasantville, New York, a small town outside of New York City, on September 1, 2015.

Unfortunately, the info that was put on her NCMEC poster is all the info I have on Shauntay. One photo: big eyes, hair hidden under a scarf. Although she is missing from Pleasantville, the police in the nearby city of Mount Pleasant are investigating Shauntay’s case.

That is all.

Pride Month: Barry Block and David Rhodes

In honor of Pride Month I’m featuring a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer missing person every day for the month of June. Today’s case is actually two people, Barry Alan Block and David George Rhodes, who disappeared together.

The two men, both 24, lived together in the Drake Towers apartments in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and both were gay, but I’m not clear on whether they were lovers or merely roommates. I’m guessing the former but I don’t know for sure. They also co-owned a boat.

Curiously, Mark Douglas Jackson, who disappeared in 2004, also lived in Drake Towers. The police are pretty sure Jackson was the victim of a serial killer, but I think it’s unlikely that Block and Rhodes’s disappearances are related to Jackson’s, because Block and Rhodes disappeared in 1988, a full sixteen years earlier.

I don’t have much on the Block/Rhodes cases by themselves. Rhodes’s cell phone (in 1988!) disappeared with him; I wonder if the cops bothered to track it.

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: Diane Suzuki

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 Diane Yayoe Suzuki, a 19-year-old of Japanese descent who disappeared from Aiea, Hawaii on July 6, 1985. She was a student at the University of Hawaii and a part-time dance instructor, and apparently disappeared from work. Some blood was found in the dance studio bathroom.

The suspect in her disappearance is Dewey Hamasaki, a photographer at the dance studio who knew Diane. There was never enough evidence to charge him, and the case remains unsolved after over 30 years.

Much ado about nothing?

So I wrote earlier about how they were digging up a suspected mass grave in Michigan, and thought as many as five missing girls might be there. I’ll list them again:

  1. Cynthia Coon, 13, missing from Washtenaw County since January 19, 1970
  2. Nadine Jean O’Dell, 16, missing from Inkster since August 16, 1974
  3. Kimberly Alice King, 12, missing from Warren since September 16, 1979
  4. Kim Marie Larrow, 13, missing from Canton since June 8, 1981
  5. Kellie Marie Brownlee, 17, missing from Novi since May 20, 1982

Well, after a solid week out there with shovels and relatives pitching in (!), the dig is finished and they found…nothing. No human remains.

Obviously this is a profound disappointment for everybody and I have to wonder if there’s anyone out there at all. The police haven’t given up, at least not officially; they stated they quit in part because of weather and in part because they were “evaluating today what our next step is.”

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: Patrick Tanouye

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 Patrick Keoni Tanouye, a 30-year-old man who disappeared from San Francisco, California on September 28, 2012.

I can’t find much on him, other than a note that he may be driving a black 1999 Dodge Dakota pickup. I did find his Facebook page; it says he moved to San Francisco in May, five months before his disappearance. An earlier post indicates he might have spent some time in rehab or a psychiatric facility in late 2011:

tanouye

The last posts were from May 30, just after his move:

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I wish I knew more about the details of Patrick’s disappearance. If anyone who knew him finds this blog, feel free to comment below.

Well, this is absolutely terrible

So I’m trying to ease back into things, still not feeling the greatest, and I ran Nelda Louise Hardwick‘s name through Newspapers.com and came across an awful story.

Nelda may have been killed along Interstate 10 in Hancock County, Mississippi on May 10, 1998, four and a half years after her disappearance from Lake Charles, Louisiana on October 14, 1993.

The unidentified woman was a pedestrian who was struck by a vehicle on the interstate. In 2013, Nelda’s family identified the dead woman as her based on photos of the body.

The coroner was quoted as saying there was just “one chance in a thousand” that the body wasn’t Nelda, and speculated she was held captive the entire time and somehow managed to finally escape, only to be killed on the road.

An exhumation was duly ordered, but when they dug up the Jane Doe’s grave in St. Joseph Cemetery, they found a MAN in the coffin, not a woman. The judge ordered the proceedings stopped, writing, “Unfortunately, it appears that the remains at the Jane Doe headstone were not those of Jane Doe. Further, the chief medical examiner advises it is obvious that the location of her grave is unknown.”

So Nelda is still listed among the missing, and this Jane Doe is now missing as well and will probably NEVER be identified now.

I cannot imagine how devastating this must have been for Nelda’s family.