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 actually three rolled into one: sisters Monique Rae Smith, one month old, and Sidney Keara Smith, one year old, and their mother, eighteen-year-old Jennifer Dawn Lancaster. They all disappeared together from Topeka, Kansas on May 12, 2000. The children are biracial, black and white, and their mother is white.
The family’s car was found at an apartment complex a week later, and that doesn’t look good to me at all. However, I have been able to find very little information on this case, no articles, nothing.
If Sidney and Monique are still alive, they’d be 19 and 18. Jennifer would be 37.
This week’s featured missing person (sorry about last week, it wasn’t a good week) is Deklon Ford, who disappeared on May 6, 2015. He was only six months old at the time, and would be four years old now.
He and his mom, 28-year-old Brittany Anne Ford, disappeared together, and although the place of disappearance is given as Columbus, Ohio, they were “last known to be” in Hardin, Montana. Brittany’s car (which had Georgia plates, incidentally) was found abandoned on Highway 87 between Billings, Montana and Sheridan, Wyoming, but I’m a bit hazy as to which state it was in.
I’m not sure under what circumstances they’re missing, but they have a Facebook page set up for them, and Deklon’s dad set up a GoFundMe for search funds.
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 Ta’Niyah Monique Leonard, an eleven-month old baby who disappeared from Bartow, Florida on October 19, 2002.
Sadly it’s not likely that Ta’Niyah is alive today. The police have two main suspects: her parents, Michael Lewis and Miranda Jones. The couple often had violent arguments, sometimes involving weapons. The cops think one or both of Ta’Niyah’s parents was responsible for her death.
This is a problem in terms of the prosecution, as I note in her casefile, since the parents are blaming each other:
Investigators believe either Lewis or Jones is responsible for Ta’Niyah’s disappearance and probable death, but they cannot proceed with charges against either of them due to a lack of evidence and due to the two suspects’ conflicting stories. Prosecutors offered both of them immunity from any charges if they would return Ta’Niyah alive, but neither Lewis nor Jones accepted the offer.
This love-hate relationship between Lewis and Jones continued after Ta’Niyah’s disappearance. Even as they both blamed each other, they conceived another child, a girl, who was immediately taken away after birth and adopted. Last I heard, in 2006, Jones had had a son (not by Lewis; the father might have been this guy) and she was about to lose her parental rights towards this baby as well.
I don’t know what Ta’Niyah’s parents have been up to since 2006; with surnames like “Lewis” and “Jones” it’s hard to trace their movements. If Ta’Niyah is alive, she’d be 17 now.
I added eight cases today and two of them are pretty messed up, for lack of a better description.
The Roberta “Bobby” Snider disappearance / murder (which I had never heard of until today) is baffling. The husband’s behavior is so strange and I wonder if he’s got a touch of dementia. He’s in his seventies after all. If it’s not dementia I wonder what it was that made him kill his wife in cold blood in her sleep like that, especially as she was supposed to be dying of cancer anyway. Perhaps he was her primary caregiver during her illness and was tired of doing it.
I can refer interested readers to this very detailed article about the case if you want to know more about it.
The cops don’t even plan to look for her body, as they think it’s in a landfill. I wonder just how sure they are about that, though, given that the landfill thing is only one of many stories Phillip told.
The Setina and Ren Weddles case is just incredibly sad. There are shades here of the Fowler kids — Ivon and Inisha are even twins as well. I don’t hold out much hope that either of the Weddles twins is still alive, though I guess it’s remotely possible that Setina is.
All the children clearly should have been removed from their parents sooner than they were. I don’t understand why the nurse’s recommendation after they were born was not acted on.
I definitely don’t advocate removing kids from the home just because of poverty/homelessness, but Aaron and Princess were both drug addicts and Princess has serious mental health issues (she’s been locked up in Napa State Hospital since last summer as they try to make her competent to stand trial), and the family was living in absolute squalor in a van.
I wonder if the twins had some health problems, perhaps because of Princess’s drug use during the pregnancy, and if one or both of them didn’t just die from health issues and/or neglect during the many months the family was living in that van.
And we may never know.
In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month I’m featuring a Hispanic missing person every day from September 15 to October 15. Today’s case is Mariah Chavez Carter, a biracial Hispanic and Caucasian girl who disappeared from Biscoe, North Carolina on October 8, 2001. She was almost two months old.
Mariah was the victim of a family abduction; her non-custodial mother, Porfria Salmeron Chavez, took her, possibly to Mexico. There’s a warrant out for Chavez’s arrest, although for some reason it wasn’t issued until six years later.
Mariah would be seventeen today. She may not even realize she is a missing child.
You’ll recall that last year (almost exactly one year ago, July 28), I got an NCMEC notice that Aleacia Stancil had been found alive. No details. I had blogged about the case in 2009.
Well, almost a full year later there is finally news about it! See this: Missing Phoenix girl found alive nearly 24 years later.
It is about what I expected. I’m sorry Aleacia’s life has not been a happy one, though she might still be better off than she would have been if raised by her biological mother. I hope she has a happier existence going forward and can at least get ID now.