National Hispanic Heritage Month: Augustine Moreno

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 Augustine Moreno, a 35-year-old man who disappeared after crossing from Mexico into the U.S. on May 20, 2000. I’m not sure why he went to the U.S.; whether it was just a day trip or if he intended to stay there or what.

Moreno has schizophrenia, and sometime after he went missing his brother got a call from someone saying Moreno was in Stockton, California (that’s around five hundred miles north of border). There’s been no indication of his whereabouts since.

National Hispanic Heritage Month: Brenda Ovalle

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 Brenda Eli Ovalle, a sixteen-year-old runaway from Naples, Florida. She’s been missing since February 3, 2004.

It is very unusual for a teen runaway to be missing for fourteen years, but the last indication was that Brenda was safe and sound, living with family in Mexico. I hope that’s correct, and I hope if it is, she will contact the police in Florida to get herself taken off the books.

This is from December, but I didn’t see it till now

I wanted to blog about this story because it’s so awesome — a girl who vanished at the age of TWELVE has turned up alive and well eight years later — and at the same time, extremely sad.

The headline: Juárez girl found after missing for 8 years.

From the article:

[Viridiana] Santillan had been reported missing by her mother on March 2, 2010, officials said.

The girl’s mother at the time told authorities that she had last seen her 12-year-old daughter when she left home in late July 2009, the attorney general’s office said.

The mother said that she took eight months to report that her daughter was missing because the young girl would sporadically run away and always returned, but that this time she didn’t come back, officials said.

After she was located, Santillan told Morelos state investigators that she ran away from a hostile and abusive environment at home in Juárez, officials said.

That’s absolutely horrific, that a twelve-year-old girl had it so bad at home that she had to run away and never come back. And Viridiana’s story about a bad home environment is borne out by the fact that her mom didn’t report her missing for the better part of a year. Remember, she was only twelve.

Fortunately, although life on the run was initially very hard for her, it sounds like she’s in a much better place now:

Santillan told investigators that she spent several days as a vagrant in the streets of Juárez before ending up in a shelter with the help of a government social assistance program, known as DIF…

Santillan later got the opportunity to study in [Cuernavaca] and ended up staying in that old colonial city located south of Mexico City, officials said.

Santillan told investigators that she wants to remain in Cuernavaca and has no plans to return to Juárez, officials said.

I hope she has a good life from now on.

Thinking aloud on one of today’s cases

From what information I have (which isn’t very much), the disappearance of Brian Lee Drew is pretty puzzling. He went missing three years ago from his home in Tucson, Arizona.

Drew’s NamUs page makes it look like he could have left of his own accord; he “mentioned going to Mexico to help feed the hungry.” But if he did, he left his vehicle and most of his stuff behind. I don’t know how he would have gotten to Mexico without those things.

If he did indeed cross the border there should be a record of that. NamUs said his wallet disappeared with him, but what about his passport? He should have needed one to cross the border — although I’m aware that American border officials are much more concerned about keeping people out than keeping people in.

His Facebook page is puzzling. In one of his last posts, less than a week before he went missing, he writes:

drewfacebook

I don’t know if he really was at risk or if he was just paranoid.

As is often the case, his Facebook was a rich source of photos of him, and photos of his tattoos as well. He had a bunch of them.

I hope he is alive and well and decides to contact his family soon.

Make-a-List Monday: Irish people

So it’s March, and St. Patrick’s Day is soon, and I thought I’d do this list of Charley Project MPs who are from Ireland. There are a lot of Irish immigrants to the US, even now.

  1. Kieran Burke: not an immigrant but a tourist who disappeared on a trip to Yosemite National Park
  2. Patrick J. Fitzpatrick: assume he’s an immigrant because it says he has an Irish accent
  3. Micheal Fergus Griffin
  4. John Lawrence McMeel: again, it says he has an Irish accent so I assume he’s from there
  5. Kieran A. Murphy and his wife Ornaith Murphy
  6. Hugh Martin Nolan
  7. John Patrick Rowan Jr.
  8. Daniel Gerard Ryan

Bonus cases:

  1. Stephen Joseph Davaris traveled to Ireland AFTER his disappearance and probably met his death there. A sad case.
  2. Annie Bridget McCarrick was an American who emigrated to Ireland and disappeared there. A former IRA member is actually a suspect in her disappearance.