Archive for the ‘unidentified’ Category

The identification of “Baby Hope”

October 10, 2013

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.

Writing up the Paul Fronczak case

August 16, 2013

I’ve started writing up the story of the disappearance, recovery and un-recovery of baby Paul Fronczak. (Chances are, if you’re reading this blog, you know who he is already.) It’s going to take awhile. The Facebook page about his case has loads of articles from back in the sixties when this happened.

It’s a heck of a story, Bobby Dunbar all over again. With the difference that Bobby Dunbar’s parents died believing they had their son back, and Paul Fronczak’s parents are both still alive. I wonder how they’re taking it. He was their second child; the first had been born dead.

The chances of finding the real Paul Fronczak are remote. Even more remote are the chances of finding his abductor alive. If she was 35 to 40 years old in 1964, she’d be in her eighties now and very possibly beyond the reach of what justice humans can mete out. That woman sounds absolutely chilling. She hung around the hospital for at least four fracking hours, apparently baby-shopping. She had the hospital’s layout and staff routines down. And she stayed calm the whole time and fooled patients and staff alike. I think she must have been plotting for months.

The Fronczak parents are of Polish and Croatian descent; the boy they raised, according to his DNA, has Jewish ancestry. managed to track down a third cousin in their database, but that’s not much of a lead because people usually have thousands of third cousins they have no idea exist.

In the meantime, for me, writing up this case is troublesome because there are two Paul Fronczaks here: there’s Paul the kidnapped baby and Paul the adult who, it turns out, was not the kidnapped baby, but has no other name. How do I refer to them so there’s no confusion? Maybe call the kidnapped one “baby Paul” and the other just “Paul”?

Recent MP news

February 10, 2013

I’ve been idling these last few days, offline almost entirely. I’m back now but not sure if I’ll update today or not; I’m not feeling very well and have some distractions.

Recent news in the MP world:

Bill Crider, the husband of Joyce Crider, was killed in a car wreck a week ago. He was never ruled out as a suspect in her case and in the article I just linked to, Joyce’s mom openly accuses him of murder. In the comments section several people who knew Bill are quite indignant about her remarks.

A suspect, John Alan Mellquist, has been charged in the murder of Annelise Schweikardt, who disappeared from Sarasota, Florida in 2003. She had rented a room to him and was attempting to evict him at the time of her disappearance, and he tried to explain her absence by saying she had left the country. A lot of blood was found in her home, enough so that the police were pretty sure a homicide had taken place. But Annelise was a German citizen who had no immediate family in the United States, and it took a long time to create a DNA profile for her to test against the blood.

There’s an article about Herlinda Ann Soto, who vanished in 1993 and left behind an ex-husband, two kids and the bloodiest crime scene the police had seen in years. The article has a little more information than I had before. Herlinda’s ex-husband would be the obvious suspect, but he had an alibi. The police believe someone murdered her inside her home, transported her body in the trunk of her own car and then disposed of it — the body, not the car, which was abandoned — somewhere. They think more than one person was involved.

There’s been a spate of news about Kevin Collins, a ten-year-old who vanished from San Francisco in 1984. It was a very famous case at the time. The police have searched the former residence of a suspect, Wayne Jackson Dan Leonard Therrien, who died in 2008. (He apparently used several alias names.) He lived across the street from Kevin’s school, had a history of sex crimes against children, looked like the man with the dog whom witnesses saw talking to Kevin before his disappearance, and owned a similar dog. Alas, the search turned up zip, zilch, nada, except a few bones that are in all probability animal bones, though they got sent to a lab for analysis just in case.

And I don’t usually talk about unidentifieds, but this article touched me: three little girls and a young woman, murdered sometime in the late seventies or early eighties, stripped naked, stuffed into two metal barrels and dumped in the woods in Allenstown, New Hampshire. The barrels were found fifteen years apart. Two of the children were toddlers, but the other child was old enough to be in school. The woman and two of the children are related, but not the third child. The police don’t have the foggiest idea who any of them are. (Their NCMEC poster is here.) To me it looks like some man, probably husband and father of the victims, decided he didn’t want to have a family any more and killed them all. But who knows. It was a lot easier to hide that kind of thing back then.


October 16, 2012

Remember “John D108 Doe” that I mentioned yesterday? Well, he now has a real name! His cousin saw the article I’d linked to and recognized him. His real name is Maurice Williams (he’d told the foster care people that was his name, but they weren’t really sure if that was accurate). He’s 46 years old and disappeared in 2008 a few months after his mother, who’d cared for him all her life, died. He’s got two sisters and like 30 cousins.

I don’t understand why he wasn’t identified sooner, since it says his family filed a missing persons report for him. They’re going to reunite with him but he may not recognize them. Maurice was diagnosed with schizophrenia after he was found, but his family says he’s autistic. He’s almost mute now, but apparently he talked more when he was a child.

I’m very glad for a happy ending to this story.

A bit of general MP news

October 15, 2012

I finally finished writing up the resolved cases — well, almost all of them. They can go with the next update.

Two non-profits in Europe have started this thing where 404 Not Found pages become missing children posters. They’ll say “Page not found, neither is ____ _____” with a photo and vitals. I think that is an impressively clever idea and hope it catches on.

Bianca Jones‘s dad has been found guilty of killing her, in spite of the fact that her body hasn’t been found. Barely two years old at the time of her disappearance, she’s been missing less than a year. The authorities believe her father, D’Andre Lane, killed Bianca in anger after she had a potty accident. He says she was kidnapped during a carjacking.

Also in Detroit, they’ve put out an appeal to identify John D108 Doe, who was found wandering around the streets and has been living in a group home since 2008. He may actually have been homeless in Detroit as far back as 2004. John Doe isn’t violent, but he can’t take care of himself and needs constant supervision. He has schizophrenia and is nearly mute. From his picture I’d guess he was in his late thirties or his forties. His state guardian says if his family is identified but can’t or won’t take care of him, she’ll continue to do it.

Idling again and feeling down

October 9, 2012

As all of you have noticed I’m sure, I haven’t done much either Charley-wise or blog-wise. I’ve got like 25 cases to resolve and I don’t want to do them. Ugh. I’m not feeling good, either physically or mentally. Every year, for a day or so, hay fever kicks me flat on my butt — and that’s today. The mental thing is, I think, partly on account of how I’ve been playing fast and loose with my crazymeds lately. That tends to put me in an Emil Dorian kind of mood. But this too shall pass.

And, in the latest in very old MP news. (And yes I will update today, though it may not be much.)

Missing: Montana woman hopes to close one of Rawlins’ darkest cases: this is about Carlene Brown and has a much better version of Charley’s photo of her. Carlene and a friend disappeared from Rawlins, Wyoming way back in 1974. (Michael would have been about six weeks old at the time.) The following month, Deborah Meyer and another girl vanished — separately — from the same town, which Wikipedia says has a current population of about 10,000. Two of the missing girls were found, but not Carlene or Deborah. They are presumed to be victims of a serial killer.

This is about a Jane Doe rather than an MP, but anyway, forensic testing has determined that the long-unidentified Princess Doe, who was murdered in New Jersey in 1982, was probably from Arizona originally but spent time in the Northeast for several months prior to her death.

There’s also this detailed article about Norine Boyd, who disappeared from Idaho in 1988. I hadn’t seen much press on her before. There’s a little bit there that I didn’t already have.

And there’s an article plus a video about Donella “Jeannie” Coultas, missing 33 years in December. Her family thinks her husband did it. He says they had an argument and she just left. As per usual.

Some very cold cases

August 7, 2012

They’re still trying to find Eileen Williams, a nineteen-year-old girl from Ontario, Canada who disappeared while hitchhiking to Prince Edward Island in 1962:

Police all but rule out the possibility Williams either committed suicide or simply chose to deliberately disappear on her own to never be found by friends or family. The most practical assumption, a former detachment commander for Montague RCMP told The Guardian a few years back, is that the young woman was picked up while hitchhiking and met her untimely end some point thereafter at the hands of the driver and/or other occupants of the vehicle.

And they’re searching for a girl who’s been missing from Oroville, California since 1973. She was fifteen at the time and lived in a group home. She was listed as a runaway, but the cops got a tip that her body was buried in the foundation of a local home, and they’re digging. I wish they would release the MP’s name. I have no idea who she is and I’m quite sure she’s not one of my cases.

And they’re still trying to identify Princess Doe, a teenage girl who was found brutally murdered in a cemetery in Blairstown, New Jersey in 1982. For awhile they thought it was Diane Dye, who ran away from California in 1979, but she’s been ruled out. They have a pretty good idea who Princess Doe’s killer is, but no idea who she herself is. I’m confident they can give a name to her. After all, they were able to identify Dorothy Gay Howard 55 years after her death.

Back to work

May 15, 2012

I spent last week, and the week before that, sulking. Then the computer went up in smoke and I got a new one and had to set it up and everything. (Oh, and play the old Oregon Trail game that I just rediscovered.) But I promise you, I will update today. And get back on to regular updates again. Pinky swear.

And, in the meantime, some international MP news:

They’ve opened up a mobster’s tomb looking for the remains of Emanuela Orlandi, a teenager who was kidnapped from the Vatican City in 1981. (The mobster was killed in 1990.) Her disappearance is all spooky and mysterious: “Various theories have tied the presumed kidnapping to intrigue involving the Italian secret services, organized crime, even the attempt to assassinate John Paul II — or possibly all three.” Though what organized crime, the Italian secret service, etc., would want with a fifteen-year-old girl is a mystery to me.

A dumbass travel agency used a photo of Madeleine McCann in an ad. Of course her parents are appalled and everyone else wonders how these people could be so tasteless. More to the point, I wonder why on earth the ad people thought this would be appealing to potential customers. “Go to Europe! Visit beautiful resorts where children get kidnapped!”

They found Gerald Twibey, a man who disappeared from a British mental hospital in 1985. Actually, they found him back in 1985 in the River Colne, but he’s been unidentified all this time and lying in a pauper’s grave. Now (although the DNA tests were inconclusive) they’re pretty sure the dead body is Gerald, sure enough to return the remains to his family. Some funeral home did the service for no charge. Nice of them.

A body found in Fox Lake in Ontario Nova Scotia, Canada has been identified as Ray Peter O’Connell, a 32-year-old who had been missing for almost eight years. The cause of death hasn’t been determined but it isn’t being treated as suspicious.

Sad story: Jeanne Overstreet found at last

April 17, 2012

Jeanne Geneva Overstreet, a nineteen-year-old girl who’d been missing from Tucson, Arizona since 1982, has finally been located. Or, rather, she was located only fourteen months after her disappearance, and it wasn’t until now that they identified her body. Her skeletal remains turned up near a highway in Pima County, Arizona.

The cause of death couldn’t be determined and I suppose the case will be closed now that identification has been established. It’s a shame, because there’s a good chance this poor girl was murdered. At least Jeanne’s family knows what happened now. They had a memorial service for her yesterday.

Article about unidentified DeKalb County, GA boy

December 23, 2011

Found this article about a five- to seven-year-old boy whose body was found in DeKalb County, Georgia back in 1999. They still have no idea who he is, but have named him Dennis.

Toxicology reports found acetaminophen and anti-nausea medicine in Dennis’ system.

“This child appeared to be well cared for,” said forensic investigator Greg Johns said. “And for him to just be dumped out like that and all these years with nobody coming by, it just makes it that much more unusual.”

I should note here that the kid was wearing Timberland boots. Timberland is not a cheap brand. Their website says kid-sized boots cost about $80 a pair, depending on the model — and this for a shoe the child will outgrow in six months or a year.

The medical examiner’s analysis in 1999 found no signs of trauma and no cause of death could be determined. Investigators believe the remains were in the woods for three to six months before they were found, putting the possible date of the death late in 1998.

It reminds me a lot of the Boy in the Box case. I think chances are “Dennis” was never reported missing. As I’ve noted before, it’s sickeningly easy to conceal a child’s disappearance for years.


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