The latest MWAB news

I thought I’d do a run-down in the latest news in murder-without-a-body cases:

  • Per everybody, Antolin Garcia-Torres has been found guilty of the murder of Sierra Mae Lamar, a fifteen-year-old girl who disappeared from Morgan Hill, California five years ago. Her abduction and killing is of the most terrifying kind: she was just snatched off the street in a random act of violence.
  • In Iowa, Tait Purk has been found guilty of murdering his girlfriend, Cora Ann Okonski, who disappeared from the town of Tama on April 16, 2000. Unlike in Sierra Lamar’s murder, there wasn’t anything in the way of physical evidence here. However, Purk supposedly confessed to at least two other people that he had killed Cora and buried her body.
  • No charges have been filed as of yet, but Dale LaFleur‘s grand-nephew, Philip, has confessed to murdering him and the police are looking for the body. Philip is currently in jail for the 2015 murder of another man. He’s only 23 now, and Dale disappeared in 2011, so chances are Philip was a minor when he (allegedly) killed his great-uncle. (Not that it’ll matter.) He says he put Dale’s body inside his (Dale’s) car and dumped it in the Atchafalaya River. Police have said they’ve found an “object” in the river that might be the car. Fingers crossed.
  • And as for Peter Kema, alas, I don’t know anything more than I did three weeks ago: namely that Peter Sr. has led police to the alleged disposal spot. I seem to recall some article that claimed the remains were cremated and dumped at sea. If that is so, they’re almost certainly unrecoverable. But I don’t know if that information is correct. There’s a big difference between outright cremating a body and merely setting it on fire. I think if the cops had found something, they would have said so by now, but who knows?

MP of the week squeaked in: Nigel Jay

This week’s featured MP (added at 11:26 p.m., whew!) is Nigel Shervanti Jay, a 33-year-old African-American man who disappeared from Oakland, California on April 7, 2013. I don’t have a whole lot on his disappearance, other than that it’s considered suspicious. Nigel has two tattoos, one of which is of a spatula — perhaps related to his job as a cook.

A word about Shannon McCullough

The Charley Project is designed for missing people and is not an appropriate place to put up fugitives, so I really wasn’t sure about whether I should add Shannon Dion McCullough to my site or not. In the end I made a judgement call and decided to do so. I wanted to explain my reasoning.

I’ve got plenty of people listed on my site who had charges pending against them when they went missing. Usually it’s minor charges. McCullough’s charge was pretty major, as you can see in his casefile, and he was facing 15 years or possibly even more if convicted. That made me hesitate about posting him, because I wondered if he was running from the law. If I was facing 15+ years I might be tempted to run.

(For what it’s worth, I saw a post on a web board from one of McCullough’s family members saying he’s really not a bad guy or a violent one and the man he beat half to death was a big bad dude who was in a biker gang and had threatened McCullough with a knife. But moving on…)

However, I ultimately decided to post him for the following reasons:

  1. He’s already listed as a missing person on multiple perfectly reputable databases.
  2. His vehicle was found abandoned — wouldn’t he have taken it with him if was trying to get away?
  3. I couldn’t find any evidence that he had a habit of running, and he’d been in court for a lot of things, including at least one prior felony.

So Shannon McCullough was obviously not a model citizen but he does seem to be genuinely missing.

Sigh… my old friend Contradictory Sources reappears

Tonight in my updates, for Emmanuel Cornelius Quarles, the various sources I found were giving his age as anywhere from 24 to 28 and claiming he was last seen in either a red car or a white truck. I think the vehicle discrepancy may be related to the unconfirmed sighting after he left Pendleton but I’m not sure. I’d love to get his actual date of birth from somewhere. NamUs said he was 26 to 27 years old, and I picked 27, because of the age of his older son, who was eight years old when he disappeared. Though it is by no means unheard of or even terribly uncommon for 24-year-old to have an eight-year-old child. Who knows? Not me.

Meanwhile, for Cynthia Ramirez Rico, her NamUs page says she disappeared on June 30, 1987, but the Abilene Crime Stoppers page listed the year as 1983. That issue was settled when I looked at the “investigating agency” section on NamUs and it said her case got entered into the computer on February 23, 1987 — that is, before her alleged date of disappearance. 1983 it was, then. But her age was a bigger mystery, because Crime Stoppers said she was 20 but NamUs said she was 25 to 26. Even given the date discrepancy that didn’t make sense. However, both NamUs and Crime Stoppers give her current age as 53, which would make her year of birth 1963 or 1964. To this end I decided to list her age as 20, because that would make sense with the 1983 year of disappearance.

Cynthia Rico disappeared from a group home for mentally disabled adults. It’s likely that she lived there, meaning it’s likely she was mentally disabled, but because I don’t know that for sure, I didn’t say she was. I just explained about the group home and left readers to draw their own conclusions.

Make-a-List Monday: Black/Hispanic

This list is of people who are biracial and of African-American and Hispanic descent. On this entry I wrote about a missing young girl who was listed as Hispanic but “looked” black to me. Someone posted the following comment:

I just wanted mention that being Latino and looking Black are not separate cultural states. There are many Latinos who are of Afro-Caribbean heritage given that a great deal of Latin America takes place in the Caribbean and historically much of the African slave trade took folks to Latin American islands and nations on the Caribbean and near-Atlantic.

This list isn’t that long; I expect there are probably more people on Charley that meet the requirements, that I just don’t know about.

  1. Patrick Kennedy Alford Jr.
  2. Osvaldo Baro
  3. Terrance S. Bonilla
  4. Michael James Borges
  5. Devin Janelle Brown-Bousetta
  6. Kamyle Stephanie Burgos Ortiz
  7. Gebar Lynon Byrd Jr.
  8. Marco Antonio Cadenas
  9. Keyla Contreras
  10. Natasha Paula Corley
  11. Pinkie Mae Davis-Herron
  12. Nadia Lynn Drummond
  13. Acacia Nicole Duvall and Jon Pierre Duvall
  14. Sarah Raquel Elsafi and Tariq Ahmed Elsafi
  15. Youssef Nabil Elsayed Hassan
  16. Kristopher Bryan Lewis
  17. Gustavo Machado
  18. Natanalie Marie Perez
  19. Victor Leonard Richardson III
  20. Rolando Salas Jusino
  21. Abigail Smith and Isabell Lena Smith
  22. Irwin Yafeth Stewart
  23. Jocelyn Emilia Turcios
  24. Elyssa Marie Vasquez