MP of the week: Cecil Baker

This week’s featured missing person is Cecil O. Baker, a 47-year-old man who disappeared from Barbourville, Kentucky on May 1, 2011. He’s described as white with sandy brown hair and brown eyes, between 5’10 and 6’0 tall and 185 to 200 pounds. He had a few tattoos, one of which I have a photo of (though I don’t think that tattoo was finished in the photo; it isn’t filled in, it’s just an outline).

When Baker went missing he said he was going to visit his daughter in Michigan. He never arrived there and it isn’t clear whether he even made it out of Kentucky. His car has never been found. It’s a 1994 Geo Metro and would probably stand out due to its lime green color. It had the license plate number 474CDH.

I did find this 2020 article about Baker’s disappearance, but it doesn’t have anything new. It doesn’t look like there have been any leads in the case in a long time.

Theodore Kampf identified

So it’s been in the news in several places: Theodore Frederick Kampf, a 46-year-old man who was last seen in Oaklyn, New Jersey in July 1981, has been identified.

I was just talking to David Mittelman, the Othram Inc. guy, and he says it was in part cause of Charley that Kampf was identified. He was identified through DNA, but I guess Kampf wouldn’t have even been on the list of possibles except his Charley Project page notes he was road-tripping to Canada and was supposed to cross the border on July 13.

His body was found in the Yukon, you see. Specifically, “in a wooded area near the North Fork Dam and Dempster Highway in Dawson City.” Which is about as far away as it is possible for him to be and still be on the same continent. I looked it up and Dawson City, Yukon Territory is a 63-hour drive from Oaklyn, New Jersey — and that’s only if you take a direct route (which Kampf didn’t, since he was last known to be in Washington State). The direct route is 6,382 kilometers, or almost 4,000 miles.

After forty years I think it’s unlikely his murder will ever be solved. The killer could even be dead by now. But at least he’s coming home.

MP of the week: Kevin Persad

This week’s featured missing person is Kevin Anthony Persad, a 29-year-old man who disappeared while swimming off the coast of St. Petersburg, Florida on September 15, 2010. This case isn’t a big mystery. He’s presumed drowned, but they’ve never found his remains. I hope they are located someday.

Kevin is described as Asian (originally from Trinidad and Tobago, which has a high percentage of Indo-Caribbean people in its population) with black hair and brown eyes, 5’10 tall and 145 pounds. He was working in a customer service job but dreamed of being a fashion designer. Unfortunately his dreams probably ended in the Atlantic that day eleven years ago.

AP dump today, first in awhile

Today I updated what felt like about a million missing persons’ age-progression photos. As is the custom, those aren’t crowding up the Charley Project’s updates page; instead I’ll list them below

  1. LaMoine Jordan Allen
  2. April Dawn Andrews
  3. Bob Louis Richard Boyes
  4. Laronda Marie Bronson
  5. Gina Dawn Brooks
  6. Kellie Marie Brownlee
  7. Olivia Addison Edwards-Tuttle
  8. Randi Layton Evers
  9. Robert Joseph Fritz
  10. Jose Francisco Fuentes Pereira
  11. Izar Isaac Godinez Sanchez
  12. Royce Henson
  13. Ethan James Hernandez
  14. Melissa Suzanne Highsmith
  15. Mark Joseph Himebaugh
  16. Alice Fay Jefferson
  17. William Ebenezer Jones III
  18. Karen Beth Kamsch
  19. Dennis Lloyd Martin
  20. Laureen Ann Rahn
  21. Benjamin Melvin Roseland
  22. Aaron Cody Stepp
  23. Marisa Velasco
  24. Mary Anne Wesolowski
  25. Shawn White

MP of the week: Anthony Breedlove

This week’s featured missing person is Anthony Tyrone Breedlove, a 31-year-old man who disappeared from Mobile, Alabama on April 18, 2006. He is described as black, about 5’11 and 155 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes.

And that, unfortunately, is all I can tell you about him, or his disappearance. Even though he didn’t disappear all that long ago by Charley Project standards, I can’t find anything about him or the case in the news, archives, etc. In fact his case has never been updated, even once, since I added it to the database in October 2006. That’s really sad. He must have people who care about him. He must have had a mother. He might have a spouse, or kids.

So I thought I’d put him in the spotlight this week. Maybe someone who knows something will see him.

Two long-missing people turn up alive and well

Just another one of those “never give up hope” reminders: Nicole Denise Jackson, a Birmingham, Alabama woman who dropped out of sight in 2018, and Sajid Thungal, a man from Kottyam in the state of Kerala in India who was last heard from in 1974, have both resurfaced alive.

Neither of these people were ever listed on the Charley Project: Sajid because he didn’t disappear on American soil, and I’m not sure Nicole was ever officially listed as missing. They also have something else in common, in that both of them vanished after leaving their home countries.

Nicole stopped contacting her family after moving to Germany to be with a guy she met online. Her family finally hired a private investigator who was able to locate and speak to Nicole’s employer and landlord, and as a result Nicole went to the authorities with her ID and verified that she’s ok. She hasn’t gotten in touch with her family though. I don’t know if there were prior family problems, if she’s in a bad situation, if she’s embarrassed or what. But I’m glad to hear she’s alive and has a job and a place to live, anyway.

Sajid left home to make his fortune in the United Arab Emirates, taking a job managing a group of entertainers who were also Indian nationals. At some point in the ensuing few years he lost touch with his family. Then a plane with the entertainers he’d been managing crashed in Mumbai with the loss of all onboard. His family thought, given the circumstances, that Sajid might have died in the crash as well. However, that wasn’t the case.

The truth was that Sajid hadn’t made his fortune after all and was embarrassed by his poverty, and didn’t want to return home with his tail between his legs. And I suppose the more time passed without him writing his family, the more difficult it became to get started, and he just never did it. Until now. His father had passed away in the intervening years but his mom, wife and brothers are still alive.

When a person vanishes voluntarily like that, and then reappears after years have passed, re-integration into the family unit is often difficult. This Washington Post article from 2019 (which I’m quoted in) talks about several real-life cases of a missing person resurfacing and encountering bumps along the way.

The family members, though delighted that their loved one is back in their lives, may also be very angry at the them for causing them so much pain by not picking up the phone. Often, whatever problems that led the no-longer-missing person to go missing in the first place (be it mental illness, family issues, etc.) are still there when they return, and the person might have picked up some new problems along the way while they were missing. Furthermore, they may have built another life for themselves in the meantime, a life which didn’t include their family, and now they have to find a way to fit their family into that life.

It’s a big adjustment and I recommend individual and family therapy in such cases.

MP of the week: Richard Bendele

This week’s featured missing person is Richard Willis “Rick” Bendele, a 29-year-old man who was last seen hunting pheasants in Blaine County, Idaho, in the Laidlaw Park area, on November 17, 1996. He called his mom at six o’clock to say his pickup had stalled on a remote road and he thought someone had tampered with it, and this is the last time anyone saw or heard from him.

His mom and girlfriend tried to find him, but weren’t able to and reported him missing in the early morning hours the next day. The next day a search party found the truck, abandoned and apparently vandalized. No sign of Bendele.

I’m not sure what happened to him, but the fact that his coat was found in the truck and searchers later found one (and only one) of his shoes is not a good sign. I think he probably died the same day he disappeared or maybe a day or so later, but it’s not clear whether foul play was involved. The police are open to that possibility.

MP of the week: Javier Rivera

This week’s featured missing person is Javier Florenzio Rivera, a 22-year-old man who disappeared from Los Angeles, California on October 12, 1988.

He was last seen at his workplace, wearing a light gray t-shirt, black stonewashed jeans and white sneakers. He’s Hispanic, with brown eyes and brown curly, frizzy hair. I’d say his hair is probably his most distinguishing characteristic, though he also has a half-inch scar on his left arm just below the elbow.

His is one of the “few details are available” cases. If still alive, Javier would be 55 today.

MP of the week: Tyriq Pope

This week’s featured missing person is Tyriq Jaquan Marlon Pope, a 21-year-old man who disappeared from his home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on March 28, 2014. He traveled to Hot Springs, Arkansas after he went missing and was sighted there on May 4, then vanished again. He may have been seen at the Mexican border area in Texas sometime after that. It doesn’t look like there’s been any indication of his whereabouts since that spring, however.

Tyriq’s family said he was using drugs and they were afraid he might harm himself. It is odd that this young man hasn’t resurfaced in seven years. I wonder if he was at all equipped for life in Mexico; did he speak any Spanish, for example? I also wonder about the possibility of a drug overdose.

Tyriq is described as black, 5’5 and 130 pounds. He would be 28 years old today. Both Wisconsin and Arkansas police are investigating the case.

MP of the week: Ira Yallup

This week’s featured missing person is Ira Kennedy Yallup Sr., who disappeared from the Lone Pine fishing site on the Columbia River near The Dalles, Oregon on May 20, 2010. He was 47 years old at the time and would be 57 or 58 today, if still alive.

Because Yallup was last seen at a “fishing site” I initially assumed he probably drowned and listed him in the Lost/Injured Missing person category. However, when I decided to make him MP of the week I thought I’d look up more info on the site and discovered more than just fishing happens there: people actually live there, some year-round, some just during the fishing season, which lasts from spring to fall.

Although one resident described Lone Pine as a “close-knit community” in this article, the residents of the site live in some pretty bad conditions as this 2021 article makes clear:

At Lone Pine, blankets and boards cover broken windows on trailers and campers, some of which don’t even have doors. There is only one bathroom and two outdoor water spigots. One picnic shelter has been walled off and is being lived in, but two other picnic shelters have burned down. There is no fire hydrant at this encampment, and only one rutted lane, in and out.

It’s an extremely sad story involving the Columbia River dam and a bunch of broken promises to the Native Americans whose original villages and fishing sites were drowned when the dam was built.

Ira Yallup’s case is one of those “few details are available” ones and I don’t know if he was a year-round inhabitant of Lone Pine, was just there for the fishing season, or was visiting or what. Perhaps he drowned, or perhaps something else happened to him. I really can’t say.