I hope everyone had a good Labor Day weekend. Mine wasn’t the best; I’m anxious about the political situation and the pandemic situation and my coming wedding. At this point, planning this ceremony is basically trying to make the best of a bad situation: we can’t have the party we want because we don’t want to kill anybody, and it’s a matter of trying to salvage what we can. Which is awful, but there’s nothing to be done.
This week’s featured missing person is Jeremy Dewayne Ashley, a 29-year-old man who disappeared from the seaside town of Trinidad in Humboldt County, California on November 11, 2017. He was hiking with a friend when he slipped and fell into the ocean, and got pulled out to sea.
Ashley’s case isn’t exactly a mystery, but his body has never been found, and if it washes up somewhere it would be nice if it could be identified.
This week’s featured missing person (which I forgot to add yesterday, sorry) is Miller Smith Harlow, a 62-year-old man who disappeared from Gordonsville, Virginia on August 28, 1991. He was last seen standing in front of a funeral home in town, possibly on his way to a local restaurant where his cousin was supposed to pick him up.
He was retired, lived alone, had never driven a car and would get around on foot, on his bike or by getting rides from people. He had very regular habits and because of this the police thinks something bad happened to him.
If still alive he’d now be in his nineties.
So I need to be vague about the details to protect the guy’s privacy, but the Charley Project helped find a live missing person the other day. It’s the first time that I know of that this has happened. The website has been used before to match missing persons to unidentified ones, who were returned to their families, but all those people were deceased.
A flight attendant wrote to me to say there had been a passenger on her plane who (she didn’t say why but I assume he was acting strangely) caused the entire crew to be worried about him. They took care of him as best they could during the flight and, when the plane landed, delivered him to the custody of an airline employee who promised to look after him.
Once the cabin crew and the passenger parted ways, the crew was still concerned about him and decided to Google him and see if they could find out more about him. And when they did, his name and face popped up on the Charley Project: he’s been missing for years.
They chased down the airline employee they’d left him with. The employee was still with him, so the crew explained the situation and the airline employee and the man agreed to go to the local police department and get the situation sorted. He’s over a thousand miles from home but presumably that police department will make contact with the ones in his hometown.
The situation the man left sounds awful and he may be better off now, but he also clearly needs help. I’m hoping the authorities can reunite him with his family and get him the services he needs.
This week’s featured missing person is Jerome David Robinson, a 21-year-old black man who disappeared from Tunis, Texas three days after Christmas in 2001. He’d won a lot of money gambling at a bar, the Team Club, and had some of his winnings already, and that night he went there to collect the rest.
It looks like he never emerged from the bar alive, but his body has never been found and no charges have been filed against anyone in his case.
This week’s featured missing person is Stratis Elias Elmore, a nineteen-year-old young man of Greek and Hispanic descent who disappeared from Roseville, California on October 19, 2017.
It’s unclear whether his disappearance was a suicide, or a faked suicide. He was facing criminal charges at the time of his disappearance and he had a record, and the police think he might just have done a runner, but his mom thinks he might be dead. In any case, three years is a long time for a teenager to drop completely under the radar.
This week’s featured missing person is Terrence Arthur Diaz, who disappeared from Palo Alto, California on either October 14 or November 14, 1999. (I’ve seen two different dates.) He was 45 at the time and would be 66 today.
There’s reason to believe he may be living on the streets, possibly making some money busking. It is strange, however, that after all this time he still hasn’t turned up. I mean, almost 21 years now.
This week’s featured missing person (which I didn’t change yesterday because I’ve been lazy and depressed) is Charles Jonathan Lawson, a 32-year-old man who disappeared from Tampa, Florida on February 12, 1988. He may spell his middle name “Johnathan” or just use the middle name John.
Unfortunately I don’t have any other details on this case, other than that he was last seen at his residence.
I hope everyone is in good health. Fortunately the number of positive coronavirus cases in my area and in the areas where my parents live have been pretty low, but I don’t expect it to stay that way, especially as Indiana has one of the lowest rates of public mask-wearing in the entire country.
Oh, and check out this article about Sean Wayne Evans‘s May 1984 disappearance, because it has some quotes from me. I was interviewed for it, like, months ago and didn’t even remember the interview until the article popped up in the news.
This week’s featured missing person is Kevin Lydell Maclin, a 32-year-old African-American man who disappeared from Unalaska, Alaska on November 19, 1997. A fisherman, he was last seen leaving the fishing vessel at the Unisea Docks at 9:30 in the evening, and may have gone to a local bar. The circumstances of his disappearance are unclear.
Unalaska is a small town of a little over 4,000 people on Unalaska Island and neighboring Amaknak Island in the Aleutian Islands off mainland Alaska. Given that the islands are not large, I’m surprised no trace has been found of Maclin. I can’t find any news articles on this case.
I’m sorry this is a day late. I’ve been feeling super depressed for over a week now and I’m not really sure why; in spite of what’s going on in the world, nothing terrible has happened to me. I’m thinking it might just be a bipolar downswing. That’s what I’m hoping, anyway. If it is, that means I’ll swing back up eventually.
In case you’ve been living under a rock these last several days, I’ll have you know that protests and riots, sparked by one too many horrific incidents of police brutality, have lately broken out all over the country. So I thought I’d make this week’s featured missing person Francisco Javier Sanchez, a man who disappeared during the Los Angeles riots of 1992. (The Los Angeles Riots were also sparked by police brutality, in this case the beating of Rodney King, and the acquittal of the four police officers involved.)
Sanchez, a 38-year-old immigrant from Guatemala, was last seen in Los Angeles on April 30, 1992, the second day of the riots. He had only recently arrived in the country and lived with relatives on Adams Boulevard. He vanished without a trace that afternoon, leaving his last paycheck uncollected, and was never seen again.
As to whether his disappearance is related to the riots, no one knows. But something happened to him and I don’t think it was anything good.
If still alive he’d be 66 today.
In the Bakersfield, California area in the spring of 2018, there were two men who were murdered: Micah Holsonbake, who disappeared in late March and whose arm was found in the river in December, and James Kulstad, who was shot in his mother’s car in early April. A Bakersfield woman, Baylee Despot, disappeared in late April that year.
They all knew each other and ran in the same circles, and there was talk that the cases must be connected somehow. The media, and the mothers of the missing/murdered individuals, called them “the Bakersfield Three.”
Well, there’s been a break in the case: it turns out the Bakersfield Three is actually the Bakersfield Two, as the police have decided Kulstad’s murder isn’t related to the other cases, and it turns out Despot and her boyfriend killed Holsonbake. She and the boyfriend, Matthew Queen, have been charged with murder, torture and conspiracy, and another man, Matthew Vandecasteele, has been charged with kidnapping and conspiracy in that case.
The police are still not sure what happened to Despot, though, whether she’s on the run or whether she herself met with foul play. With that in mind I’ve decided to keep her up on the Charley Project, murder charges or no. Despot’s mom seems to think Queen killed her, which seems likely to me.
What an awful mess. I feel so bad for the mothers of all involved.