Navajo-language missing persons posters and more stories

From the border states: the the Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains Act has been approved by Congress and awaits the President’s signature to be signed into law. The Act is designed to enhance the recording and reporting of missing persons and unidentified persons along the U.S./Mexico border and includes several measures towards that end.

From Arizona/New Mexico: the FBI has released some Navajo-language posters about unsolved missing persons and murder cases that occurred on or near the Navajo Nation. The missing persons include Anthonette Christine Cayedito, missing from Gallup, New Mexico since 1986; Laverda Sorrell, missing from Fort Defiance, Arizona since 2002; and Jamie Lynnette Yazzie, missing from Pinon, Arizona since 2019. Serious question, and I mean no disrespect to the Navajo Nation: is there actually anyone who can read Navajo who cannot also read English, or are these posters more of a public relations exercise than anything?

From Arkansas: this article details the murder-without-a-body case of Christopher Todd Armstrong, who went missing from Magnolia on March 7, 1998. Although Kenny Wayne Whiddon Jr. pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the case, served his prison term and was released in 2008, Armstrong’s body has never been found.

From California/Oregon: they’re still searching for Danielle Bisnell, who disappeared on December 10 last year, while traveling from Lebanon, Oregon to Redding, California.

From California: they’re still searching for Angela Marie Fullmer, a 34-year-old mother of three who disappeared from Mount Shasta, California on December 15, 2002.

Also from California: they’re still searching for Manuel Calderon, who disappeared from Hacienda Heights on September 8 this year.

Also from California: they’re released more info on a “few details” case I had, the disappearance of Amber Aiaz and her twelve-year-old daughter Melissa Fu from Irvine on November 22, 2019. According to Aiaz’s husband, a Chinese man and woman rendered him unconscious with an unknown substance and when he woke up his wife and daughter were gone. Very strange. If the police think this is a kidnapping, I don’t understand why this information didn’t appear in the news for over a year.

From Illinois: Angela Renee Siebke has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of a newborn girl whose body was found floating inside a trash bag in the Mississippi River in Moline, Illinois on April 11, 1992. Siebke lives in Ohio now, but in 1992 she was a resident of Orion, Illinois. DNA proved she was the unidentified baby’s mother.

Also from Illinois: they’re still looking for Requita “Aaliyah” Goff, who disappeared from Chicago on November 28, 2019.

Also from Illinois: they’re found remains believed to be of Kimberly Stewart-Whittington, who went missing from Harrisburg in September 2019.

From Montana: the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes are creating a tribal community response plan for missing Native American people.

From New Mexico: This article states the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Task Force, which was formed a year ago to address the problem of violence against Native American women, has made a “dogged but incomplete effort” in the face of the pandemic and incomplete data. The entire 64-page report is here.

From Texas: there’s an article about Rusty Arnold’s search for his sister Mary Rachel Trlica and her friends, Lisa “Renee” Wilson and Julie Ann Moseley, who all disappeared under strange circumstances from Fort Worth in 1974.

From British Columbia, Canada: They’re still looking for Randolph Quilt, a Xeni Gwet’in First Nation man who disappeared from Williams Lake on September 26. He wasn’t reported missing till November 29.

From Germany/the UK: two-year-old Emmanuel Biendarra, who was abducted from the UK by his mother in 2019, has been found safe in Germany and returned to Britain, where his searching father lives.

From Nigeria: the 344 abducted Nigerian boys mentioned in the last article dump have been freed. It turns out they were taken not by Boko Haram, but by bandits pretending to be Boko Haram.

From Singapore: A suspect, Ahmad Danial Mohamed Rafa’ee, has been charged with murder in the disappeared of Felicia Teo, a fine arts student who went missing in 2007. Teo’s body has never been found. A suspected accomplice in the murder, Ragil Putra Setia Sukmarahjana, has been named also, but the police haven’t located him yet; he is no longer in Singapore. This article has more info on the case.

From Taiwan: they’ve found a woman, identified only as Hsieh, who went missing from Changhua County twelve years ago when she was only eleven years old. She was apparently abducted by her non-custodial mother and turned up in Kaohsiung in an “undernourished state” weighing only 36 kilograms, or 79 pounds. To keep Hsieh from being found, her mom had confined her to their apartment and not let her go to school or to the hospital. When she was reunited with her father and brother, she no longer recognized them, and she “appeared to be suffering from social behavioral disorders.” No wonder, after being imprisoned in an apartment for over half her life. Such an awful story.

“An Uncertain Future for a Key Missing Persons Program” and other stories

Another article dump (I’ve decided to make a regular thing of this, even after I’m out of Facebook Jail):

This article about the near-defunding of NamUs. Key highlight: “Meanwhile, according to a statement from NIJ, the program could be facing staffing and service cuts, at least in the short-term — and it remains unclear what exactly the longer-term future of NamUs may be.”

From Alaska: four Native people disappeared this fall after visiting the city of Fairbanks, and they are all still missing. Their names are Willis Derendorf, Frank Minano, Debbie Nictune and Doren Sanford. Police don’t think the cases are related.

From Florida: Ashley Lucas disappeared in September, a few months after traveling from her home in Texas to the Florida Panhandle for work. She was hospitalized and has not been seen since her release at the end of the month.

From Massachusetts: it’s coming up on the sixth anniversary of the disappearance of Sabrina Lee Hatheway from Worcester.

From Mississippi: they’ve installed Crime Stoppers kiosks in Walmarts in Biloxi, Gulfport and Pascagoula to help find missing people from the area.

From Nevada: A body found in 2004 has been identified as Aldo Araiza, who disappeared in 2000 at the age of 20.

From North Carolina: the police are still looking for two people missing from Shelby: Kenneth Jamison, missing since 2017, and Walter Vernon McCraw, missing since 2018.

From Ohio: Brian Rini, who surfaced in Cincinnati in April 2019 and falsely claimed he was Timmothy James Pitzen, who disappeared from Wisconsin in 2011, has been sentenced to two years in prison for identity theft as a result. But because he gets credit for 20 months of time served, he’ll be out in four months. A year of probation follows his release.

Also from Ohio: the police are still looking for Jeffrey Hayes Pottinger, who disappeared on Christmas Eve in 2009 from Warren County.

From Texas: the police are still looking for Orville Seaton, who disappeared from Navasota two days before Christmas in 1997. He was 71 at the time and would be 94 today.

From Virginia: Ronald Roldan, recently charged with the kidnapping of Bethany Anne Decker, has now been charged with her murder as well. Bethany has been missing since 2011.

From Wyoming: Angela Laderlich disappeared from Casper on September 25 and is still missing.

From England: they found some human bones in Solihull, which were thought to possibly be those of thirteen-year-old David Spencer and eleven-year-old Patrick Warren, who disappeared the day after Christmas in 1996. However, it turns out the bones are over a century old.

From Nigeria: in an all-too-familiar story, the terrorist group Boko Haram has kidnapped more than 330 boys from a government-run boarding school in Kankara.

From Pakistan: despite promises to end the practice, security forces are still regularly abducting, torturing and murdering people. Thousands of victims are still missing.

From Scotland: A review of missing people from Glasgow.

Article Dump IV

From Alabama: Fancie Eller disappeared from Marshall County just before Thanksgiving 2018, and her family is still looking for her. The police say they’ve run out of leads. The fact that she had no cell phone, debit card or permanent address means she doesn’t have much of a paper trail to pick up on. I had not previously heard of this case.

From Indiana: in Fort Wayne, my city of residence, the police are trying to find two different missing people who vanished this year. (The cases are unrelated.) Roger Henry, 60, disappeared on January 14, and Suprina L. Wayne, 48, went missing sometime in early November. Suprina actually went missing from Bluffton, Indiana, but may be in Fort Wayne.

Also from Indiana: they’re still looking for Shannon Orton, a 37-year-old mother of two who disappeared from Hobart in July. She wasn’t actually reported missing until September 30, as she’d previously been out of touch with family for as long as a month at a time.

From Michigan: D’Wan Christian Sims disappeared from Livonia on December 7, in 1994. His mother, D’Wanna, has not been named as a suspect in his case (and neither has anyone else) but she said he disappeared from the mall and not only did no witnesses see him there, but he didn’t show up on any of the surveillance cameras either. Anyway, D’Wanna died in North Carolina recently. Per this article, cause of death was a heart attack.

From New Mexico: this article about how there’s a serious lack of resources and coordination when it comes to looking for Native American women who’ve gone missing.

From North Carolina: They’re still looking for Daniel Allan Price, aka Danny, who disappeared on January 23, 2019, after leaving a “very long, but disturbing” voice message for his mom. His two roommates, Natasha Myers and Christopher Burgess, went missing at the same time but returned home without Price a few days later, saying they’d taken a short trip out of state and didn’t know where Price was.

From Ohio: The police announced they were trying to identify this guy in the 2009 disappearance of a seventeen-year-old girl from Alliance, last seen on June 2, 2009. They didn’t call him a suspect, they just said they thought he had information. A day after they initially published their appeal and his photo, the man was identified. Though the article doesn’t identify the girl, the details it does give make it easy to determine that she is Glenna Jean White, who is listed as a runaway and needs medication. It hasn’t been said whether the alleged witness provided anything helpful in the case.

From Pennsylvania: Eric Wayne Pyles, age 12, disappeared twenty years ago yesterday from Union Township. He had some emotional/behavioral issues and a history of running away, but the police no longer believe his December 2000 disappearance was voluntary.

From South Carolina: Brittanee Drexel‘s disappearance is going to be on CNN’s Headline News channel show “Real Life Nightmares” at 10:00 p.m. this evening. The 17-year-old was last seen on April 15, 2009, when she took a spring break trip to Myrtle Beach without her parents’ knowledge and vanished, possibly abducted by human traffickers.

Also from South Carolina: the remains of Aeron Buchanan Young, a 58-year-old woman, were found in a wooded area on South Gregg Street in Columbia. Young had gone missing in February 2019. Her death is under investigation.

From Texas: in my previous article dump I’d listed an article about the disappearance of Scott Andreas “Andy” Sims, an eleven-year-old who went missing from Wichita Falls on December 9, 1961. Well, there’s another article, which has more info on the case including a photo of Andy that I’d never seen before.

From Washington State: the true crime podcast Hide and Seek, which I had never heard of, will be covering the 2016 disappearance of Logan Drew Schiendelman from Tumwater for their second season. The first season covered the 2009 disappearance of Nancy Kareen Moyer from Tenino. The podcasters hope to release the first episode of Season Two sometime this month.

From Australia: They’re re-opening the long-since-cold investigation into the disappearance and presumed murder of Sharron Phillips. She was last seen on May 8, 1986 in Brisbane. There’s new evidence and an inquest will begin in March.

Also from Australia: this article about the disappearance of Kim Hoa Tran, who disappeared from South Australia on August 23, 1985. She had gone to Lyell McEwin Hospital in north Adelaide to be treated for a migraine. She called her father and asked him to come and get her, as she’d been discharged, but when he arrived she wasn’t there. Her younger sister, now 40, is offering a $20,000 reward for information. Kim was a Vietnamese immigrant with no papers, and the private detective her sister hired says he doesn’t even know her exact age or if “Kim Hoa Tran” was her legal name. The Daily Mail says she was somewhere between 16 and 18.

From Canada: The police have arrested Joseph Thauberger for the murder of his brother Patrick Thauberger, 53, who went missing from Regina, Saskatchewan in September 1997. His body has never been found.

From South Africa: There is a podcast on the unsolved disappearance of nine-year-old Matthew Ohlsson from Mitchells Plain. He was last seen on March 24, 1997.

Article Dump III

The Washington Post has done a three-part feature, called Indifferent Justice, on the serial killer Samuel Little. He is confirmed to have had over fifty victims, including former Charley Project missing person Mary Gertrude Brosley, and claims he’s killed as many as ninety-three. Part One: The Perfect Victim. Part Two: Through the Cracks. Part Three: Still Unsolved.

Discover Magazine has done this article that isn’t about missing persons may be of interest to y’all: What Explains the Decline of Serial Killers? Me, I have noticed a rise in mass murders in the past few decades and wonder if perhaps some of the people who might have been serial killers have decided to become mass murderers instead. Elliot Rodger, who killed six people and injured fourteen others near the campus of the University of California at Santa Barbara in 2014, comes to mind as the sort of person who could have turned into a serial killer if he hadn’t taken the mass murder route instead.

Dateline is now honoring seven years of doing their Missing in America thing. 156 of the people featured on Missing in America are still missing.

From California: Woman Missing Out of Arcata since January; Mother and Law Enforcement Seek Information. The woman is named Jennifer Lynn Dulin and was last seen January 10.

Also from California: Missing Pico Rivera Woman Carolina Martinez Found After 5 Months. She was found alive (I think), but no other info is available.

From Colorado: Glenwood Springs teen Daniela Trejo-Noyola reported missing since September. She is 16 and was last seen on September 8. She will be 17 soon.

From Florida: Brevard County deputies search for missing woman last seen more than 1 year ago. Tara Coppola was last seen in West Melbourne on September 12, 2019.

From Iowa: Person of interest in missing-girl case set for trial on unrelated charges. The missing girl in question is Breasia Terrell missing from Davenport since July 10. She was ten at the time and would be eleven now, if still alive.

From Missouri: Missouri woman desperate to find mother Echo Lloyd who has been missing since Mother’s Day. Echo has been missing since May.

From North Carolina: Fayetteville police looking for woman missing since September. Heather Nichole Holmes was last seen on September 28.

From Ohio: Youngstown police seek info on man they just found out has been missing since 1969. The man is named Frank Cerimele and he was 21 years old when he went missing.

From Pennsylvania: Family & Friends Of Missing 22-Year-Old Tonee Turner Hold Silent Walk. She disappeared from the Squirrel Hill area of Pittsburgh on December 30, 2019.

From South Carolina: Human remains found in Murrells Inlet park in 2018 identified as missing man. The man, David Scott Woolslayer, is listed on the Charley Project; I’ll resolve his case.

From Tennessee: Retired homicide investigator taking on two missing persons cases out of Dunlap. Tiffany Diane Holbert, missing since June 13, 2018, and Matthew Tyler Henry, missing since April 15, 2018. Though they both disappeared from the same town just a few months apart, the cases aren’t believed to be related.

From Texas: 33-year-old veteran missing from Houston home since October, mother says. The man, Marshall Powell, was last seen on October 23.

Also from Texas: Crime Of The Week: Cold case missing person last seen in 1961. Eleven-year-old Scott Andreas “Andy” Sims was last seen in Wichita Falls on December 9, 1961 — that’s 59 years ago tomorrow.

From Wisconsin: MPD: Plea for help in search for woman missing since Oct. 2016. Jamie Lee Hoaglan was last seen in Milwaukee on October 20, 2016.

From Australia: Missing kids campaign: “We’re frozen in time”. About the 1968 disappearances of sixteen-year-old Maureen Braddy and seventeen-year-old Allan Whyte, who disappeared after going out together to a dance at the YMCA in Bendigo, Victoria.

Also from Australia: Human remains found in bushland believed be missing NSW woman. Allecha Boyd has been missing from Coolamon, New South Wales since August 10, 2017; they found remains in the woods near Wagga Wagga, New South Wales and think they’re hers.

From Canada: Remains found in 2009 identified as missing Penticton man. James “Jim” Neufeld disappeared from Penticton, British Columbia in January 2009. His remains were pulled from the Salish Sea about half a mile north of Orcas Island off the Washington coast a few months later, but not identified till now.

From Ireland: Ireland’s missing people: 823 cases remain ‘open’ with the Garda.

From Mexico: The Search for the Disappeared Points to Mexico’s Darkest Secrets. Apparently as a result of the drug war, Mexico now has more missing persons than Guatemala, El Salvador and Argentina do.

From the UK: Fears of rise in Christmas missing people rates due to lockdown.

Also from the UK: Mum of missing Saltdean teen Owen Harding prepares for Christmas. Owen was sixteen when he went for a walk on March 26, three days into the UK’s national coronavirus lockdown, and never returned. This was in Saltdean, a coastal village in the city of Brighton and Hove, England.

Another article dump, stuff I would normally have posted on Facebook

Madeleine McCann investigators to keep searching for missing girl until ‘all possibilities have been exhausted’

Authorities end search in river for missing Columbia woman (Mengqi Ji Elledge, who disappeared from Missouri in October 2019)

Three suspects charged with murder after remains found of missing woman (Melanie Steele, who disappeared from Savannah, Georgia in September 2019)

FBI asks for information on missing Iowa girl’s birthday (Breasia Terrell, who disappeared from Davenport, Iowa in July this year)

Missing man last seen at Orlando bus station months ago, police say, (Stanford Knight, who disappeared in August)

HLN Special Examines Case of Timmothy Pitzen, Missing Boy Whose Mom Wrote Taunting Suicide Note (Timmothy’s case on Charley is here, he went missing from Wisconsin in 2011)

Final Sentencing Set For Ohio Man Who Claimed To Be Long-Missing Child From Illinois (he pretended to be Timmothy Pitzen, see above)

Cops seek help finding woman missing for nearly 2 years (Robin Best-Bey, who disappeared from Buena Borough, New Jersey in February 2019)

Police search for Houston woman who went missing nearly 4 months ago (Micaela Helene Roberson, last seen August 15)

Friend says woman found dead at Fort Myers apartments disappeared 2 years ago (Cassandra Clermont)

Missing kids campaign: “I used to talk to her picture on the mantelpiece” (Joanne Ratcliffe and Kirste Gordon, missing from Adelaide, Australia since 1973

B.C. couple in final bid to bring children of their missing daughter back to Canada (kids are not named, but their mother is Kimberlee Kasatkin, missing since since 2016; this is a murder-without-a-body case in Peru)

Daughters still desperate for answers 20 years after mother disappeared from Florida home under suspicious circumstances (Geanna Jones, missing from Jacksonville since 2000)

Officials identify Baby Jane Doe found dead in 1982; suspect is deceased (the baby was also called Delta Dawn, her body was found in Mississippi; her real name is Alisha Ann Heinrich, she’s from Missouri, and her mother, Gwendolyn Mae Clemons, has not been seen since Alisha’s body was found)

WC toddler identified in MS cold case (same case as above)

Delta Dawn and her mother identified as Missouri woman, child missing since 1982 (same case as above)

Reminder: DPS Seeking Information in Refugio County Cold Case Homicide (unidentified woman whose remains were found in Texas in 1992)

Outstanding Indigenous Woman: Meet Cheryl Horn, advocate for families of MMIW victims

Brother of man missing for 73 years still ‘bewildered’ (James “Jimmy” O’Neill, who disappeared from County Waterford, Ireland in 1947)

National Missing Persons Day: ‘You don’t ever give up hope’ (more about missing people from Ireland)

Searching for the disappeared: the challenges facing Mexico’s search commissioner

Spalding authorities excavating wells in missing persons case (Spalding County, Georgia, but they haven’t said which case)

Son Determined To Find What Happened To Mother Who’s Been Missing For 34 Years (Rogene “Jeannie” Annette Helm, missing from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma since October 1986)

Family, missing persons group offers $5,000 reward in missing Florence man case (Tracy Herion, missing from Florence, South Carolina since January 2020)

The missing persons articles I would’ve shared on Facebook if I could have

Yeah, for the uninitiated, Facebook is mainly where I share missing persons related news. But as I addressed in my previous entry, that’s not an option right now. So I’m sharing them here:

From Joliet, Illinois: 17 Missing In Will County: One Joliet Case Dates To 1957. Includes a photo of Sarah Elizabeth Avon which I hadn’t previously seen; I have added it.

From Rice County, Kansas: Five years after she disappeared, the search for Megan continues. The Megan here is Megan Renee Foglesong.

From Tarboro, North Carolina: Cold case investigators offer $15K reward in case of missing Edgecombe County man. The missing man, Stephen Frederick MacGray, has been missing for nearly a year — not quite long enough to be eligible for listing on the Charley Project.

From San Luis Obispo, California: This coach last saw his mother in Woodland in 1979; his DNA helped find her body. About the Dolores Wulff case; she disappeared in 1979 and was identified recently.

From Texas: Congressmen introduce bipartisan missing persons bill.

From Valdosta, Georgia: Valdosta police still seek missing mother, son. This is the disappearance of three-year-old Brandon Lee Wade and his mom, Paula, eighteen years ago.

From Mobile, Alabama: Cold Case Mystery: Mobile mother missing for 20 years. That’s Lisa Ann Pierce, who went missing in 2000.

From Battle Creek, Michigan: Amber Griffin remains missing after months of failed searches around Battle Creek. She’s been missing since June.

From Montana: Officials discuss missing persons cases in Montana national parks.

From San Luis Obispo, California: Can new info help solve the case of missing college student Kristin Smart? Also: Was the beeping in a backyard coming from Kristin Smart’s watch? Kristin disappeared in 1996; it’s one of those cases where it’s pretty obvious what must have happened but the cops are having a hard time proving it.

From the Crow Indian Reservation in Montana: BIA, FBI Seeking Missing Child Mildred Old Crow. I added her the other day.

From Sonora, Mexico: Sonora mayor’s gift to mothers of missing persons: shovels and buckets.

Sorry for the recent silence

Yeah, I haven’t updated in a bit and I’m sorry. The last week has been super busy, mainly with wedding stuff. Michael and I are getting married Saturday.

I picked up my dress at the alterations place yesterday and it fits me perfectly. In my completely unbiased opinion I’m going to be the most beautiful bride in the world. There’s not going to be any honeymoon because of Covid. Michael will go back to work on Monday and so will I.

So, in lieu of Charley Project updates, here’s a sample of the more interesting recent missing and unidentified persons news:

  1. A woman whose body was found off Interstate 5 in Sacramento, California in 1981 has been identified as 26-year-old Lily Prendergast, who was last seen when she left her family’s Texas home in late 1980.
  2. John Michael Carroll disappeared from Victor, Idaho in 2005. His skeletal remains were found “in the general area” where he lived in 2013, and were identified this month.
  3. Hollis Willingham has been arrested in the murder of Jim Craig Martin, who disappeared from Normangee, Texas on August 6, 2007. It doesn’t look like Martin’s body has been found, however.
  4. Thomas Drew disappeared from Salisbury, Connecticut in 2007. He used to be on Charley but then his daughter asked me to remove the case. She didn’t like what I’d written, I guess. Anyway, he is still missing, and his daughter has recently published a memoir, Searching for My Missing Father: An American Noir. It sounds very interesting and I added it to my wishlist.
  5. Blackfeet Community College, in corroboration with Montana’s Missing Indigenous Persons Task Force, has launched a website to help streamline missing persons reports of Native American people: “The website [linked here] allows families and friends to complete a Contact Information Form about the missing person online. In the past, missing persons’ loved ones have expressed reluctance to report missing individuals directly to law enforcement. The BCC reporting system will serve as the go-between for those reporting and all levels of law enforcement. Once the form is submitted on the website, an automatic notice will be sent to local tribal law enforcement.”
  6. A woman’s torso found washed ashore in the seaside community of Benicia, California in 1979 has been identified as Dolores Wulff, who disappeared from Woodland, California that year. Dolores’s husband Carl Wulff Sr. had actually been charged with her murder in 1985, but the charge was dismissed later that year and he died in 2005.
  7. A skull found on Mount Hood in Oregon in 1986 has been identified as that of Wanda Ann Herr, who had left a Gresham, Oregon group home a decade earlier at the age of nineteen. No missing persons report was filed at the time and the most recent photo available showed her at age twelve. The police are asking anyone who knew Wanda or has any info on her 1976 disappearance to contact them.
  8. The police have identified a new suspect in the 1973 disappearance of Barbara Jean Aleksivich from Bath, New York. The suspect, Richard W. Davis, is now dead, but he was recently identified through DNA as the killer of Siobhan McGuinness, a Missoula, Montana six-year-old who was kidnapped, raped and murdered in 1974. Barbara, who was 24, was way out of Richard Davis’s preferred age range for victims, but he did live in Bath at the time Barbara disappeared. A previous suspect in her case, who still lived in the Bath area last I knew, has been cleared.
  9. The body of Ethan Bert Kazmerzak, who disappeared from Hampton, Iowa in 2013, has probably been found. At least they found his car submerged in a local pond, with human remains inside. The remains have been sent to the state medical examiner to be identified, but it’s highly unlikely it’s anyone but Ethan.

Thought I’d give a shout-out to this article

The other day Vox came out with a fascinating article called “The Man Without a Name“, subheading reading: “Robert Ivan Nichols simply disappeared from his average, 1960s Midwestern life — until, using DNA, sleuths uncovered the truth. But were they digging where they shouldn’t have been?”

It is quite fascinating, and I think you guys would enjoy it. Though contrary to what the URL would have you believe, Robert Ivan Nichols was not the Zodiac Killer.

I cannot emphasize enough how incredibly sheepish I feel right now

So forget everything I said a little bit ago. Turns out the “device for detecting DNA in soil” is a lot of hooey.

Had it NOT been a lot of hooey, it WOULD have been a game-changer, and I’m afraid I got so excited about the possibility that I didn’t actually bother to investigate what this thing consisted of.

This is me right now:

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Gina Hall’s sister clearly believes in it, and posted a comment (at the bottom of this page that I linked to before) defending Dr. Vass and saying he found Gina. But now I wonder if that scrap of bone that they found and said was Gina’s was ever actually scientifically confirmed to be hers. Based on what I’ve read about this device, it probably was not.

And I’d already resolved her case and everything.

I cannot emphasize how much of a game-changer this is

So, I found out today that Dr. Arpad Vass, a forensic archaeologist I’d heard of, has invented a nifty little widget that detects buried human DNA.

I have no idea how much it works, but it’s already proven its effectiveness: they found Gina Renee Hall‘s DNA in EIGHT PLACES along a river valley FORTY YEARS after her disappearance, as well as a piece of Gina’s bone (making her Charley Project case resolvable, which I have done), as well as DNA from someone else entirely: Angela Mae Rader, a girl who disappeared with her friend Tammy Lynn Akers in 1977. The girls (who were fourteen at the time) have been missing even longer than Gina.

Rather than thinking this means the guy who killed Gina (whose identity is known; he’s Stephen Epperly and he’s serving life in prison for her murder) must have also killed Angela, I think it’s more likely that both girls’ bodies coincidentally ended up somewhere in the same river valley and probably the same body of water. (DNA from Tammy was not found, but it seems likely that she’s somewhere in the same river valley.)

I haven’t resolved Angela’s case, since they only found DNA, not an actual body or even a piece of bone like with Gina. But I’m hopeful that her and Tammy’s cases can still be resolved, even after 43 years.

Dr. Vass’s invention could wind up leading to answers in a LOT of missing persons cases. This is really exciting.