Rene Albero Romero identified

Four-year-old Rene Alberto Romero is one of those particularly awful cases where the parents abused the child to death and his disappearance wasn’t noticed for some time. He disappeared from Las Vegas, Nevada and the official date of disappearance was given as November 28, 1994; I don’t know if that’s the date he was last seen, or a guesstimate, or the time he was reported missing, or what. It’s always been a kind of special case with me, since I found out the details of what happened to him. His three-year-old brother may have witnessed his murder. Both Rene’s mother and his mother’s boyfriend — who blamed each other for the homicide after they were caught — are serving time for his murder. [EDIT: Actually, it would appear the mother is out now. Sigh.]

Well, I just got word from authorities at the Utah Missing Persons Clearinghouse: a body they found in that state in 1996 has been identified as little Rene. The person who sent me the notice didn’t include any more details, and I have replied asking if there was anything else she could tell me about the UID — just out of curiosity.

I’m so glad Rene has been found. RIP, little one.

Foul play NOT suspected in Oklahoma deaths

In a very puzzling and information-deficient release, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation has said they don’t believe foul play was involved in the deaths of three people whose skeletal remains were found over the weekend. They are presumed to be Bobby, Sherilynn and Madyson Jamison although this hasn’t been confirmed as yet.

So what happened then?

Jamisons probably found too

Earlier today I got word that they’ve found the remains of three people not far from where Bobby Jamison, his wife Sherilynn and their six-year-old daughter Madyson disappeared from in 2009.

From a Facebook page run by a friend of the family:

“ITS WITH A BROKEN HEART THAT I REPORT, SPOKE WITH AN OSBI AGENT EARLIER WHO WANTED CONTACT INFO FOR COLTON, SHERILYN JAMISONS SON. HE LATER CALLED TO TELL ME THAT HE DID MEET WITH COLTON AND HIS FATHER AND TOLD HIM OF THE TWO ADULT AND ONE SMALL CHILD REMAINS FOUND YESTERDAY JUST 2 MILES NORTH OF WHERE THIER TRUCK WAS FOUND 4 YEARS AND ONE MONTH AGO, TODAY.”

News on 6 says it’ll be awhile before DNA confirms the identification, but who else could it be really? This poor family AND the McStays in the same week.

McStay family maybe found?

I have gotten a bunch of emails with links to articles saying Joseph McStay, his wife Summer and their kids Joseph Jr. and Gianni have been found buried in the desert near Victorville, California.

They DID find four bodies, and some news orgs are quoting sources that it’s the McStay family, but it hasn’t been confirmed yet so I’ll leave it there. Though I’m pretty sure it’s them.

Select It Sunday: Johnny Lee Mills

After a month’s silence, another Select It Sunday, as selected by Princess Shantae: Johnny Lee Mills.

This is a pretty peculiar case, out of a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri, of someone who’s both an MP and a John Doe. The cops picked “Johnny” up in August 1990. They assumed he was a runaway and placed him in a shelter while they tried to figure out what to do with him. He told him he was thirteen. On September 21, he ran from the shelter and was never seen again. All the information he provided — name, date of birth, etc. — turned out to be false. The only trace we have of the real Johnny is two black-and-white photographs of a sullen-looking kid with his hair hanging in his face.

The police closed Johnny’s case in 2003. I can’t say I blame them; they’ve got nothing to go on. Johnny may be lying dead in a potter’s field somewhere, perhaps the victim of a local serial killer who preyed on young male prostitutes. Or he may have gone back to his family, grown up, and is now a soldier or a corporate lawyer or whatever with kids of his own. I doubt this case will ever be solved.

I suppose I ought to mention

During this recent episode, while I was incommunicado, a Spanish-language TV station wanted to interview me through an interpreter. They actually interviewed me once before (I think about the Cleveland girls case) but actually never used my interview. This time I declined. The subject of the requested interview was Baby Hope and her recent identification and the arrest of her presumed killer.

I was not in the mood to talk to anyone, the media least of all, and more importantly, I had nothing to say about Baby Hope. I have never been interested in unidentifieds and leave that work up to the many people who comb the Charley Project’s casefiles looking for matches. The only things I knew about Baby Hope came from articles I’d read after the case broke, and I’d only read a few of those. I just didn’t think I was the person to go to.

This is the first interview request I’ve ever declined, except for a few I wasn’t able to do because of time constraints.

The identification of “Baby Hope”

As many of you must know by now, the unidentified child formerly known as “Baby Hope” now has a name: Angelica Ramirez. I applaud the cops for not giving up on this case over the years.

I would also note that Angelica was reportedly the victim of a family abduction. So many people assume that if the child is with a parent, it must be more or less okay. Not so.