Black History Month: Kael Johnson

In honor of Black History Month I’m profiling one African-American MP every day on this blog for the month of February. Today’s case is Kael Johnson, a 36-year-old dental student who disappeared from Las Vegas on February 15, 2013.

Johnson had gotten straight A’s and told his roommate he was going out to celebrate. He was last seen withdrawing some money from an ATM at a 7-11. He never returned home and never registered for more classes at the dental school. Thirteen days later, his truck was found abandoned on the 210-acre Wetlands Park Nature Preserve in Clark County.

This case intrigues me and I really wish I knew more about Johnson’s disappearance. He doesn’t seem to have had any reason to walk out of his life. The possibility that he went for a walk on the nature preserve’s trails and got into some kind of mishap also seems remote; he left his wallet and phone inside his truck, and it seems like he would have taken at least the phone along with him.

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Black History Month: Laronda Bronson

In honor of Black History Month I’m profiling one African-American MP every day on this blog for the month of February. Today’s case is Laronda Marie Bronson, an eighteen-year-old who disappeared from Portland, Oregon on November 19, 1982.

I know very little about this case, but Laronda was a prostitute, she disappeared while the Green River Killer was active, and the King County Sheriff’s Office in Washington is investigating her case, which suggests she may have been one of Gary Leon Ridgway‘s victims. If she was, he hasn’t admitted to it.

I hope that Laronda is still alive out there somewhere and perhaps she just decided to move elsewhere and put her past behind her. I would love to hear from anyone who knew her. She may use the alias name Michelle Marie Hall, or the date of birth July 29, 1964. (She was actually born on September 9.) If still alive, Laronda would be 53 today.

Black History Month: Joseph Edwards

In honor of Black History Month I’m profiling one African-American MP every day on this blog for the month of February. Today’s case is Joseph “JoeEd” Edwards, who disappeared from Vidalia, Louisiana on July 12, 1964, at the age of 25. (In the circumstances section of his NamUs page it says he was 21, but all other sources I can find list his age as 25.)

After his disappearance, they found his car abandoned behind a bowling alley, with bloodstains inside and a necktie, tied in the shape of a noose, draped over the steering wheel.

Because of the noose thing, and because JoeEd had dated white women, the prevailing theory is that he was killed by the Ku Klux Klan. The FBI have gotten tips to that end; some stories say he was covered in concrete and thrown in the Mississippi, others that he was skinned alive.

In any case, over 50 years after JoeEd’s disappearance, it’s likely that anyone who was involved in his case is dead now.

Black History Month: Naomi Wilson

In honor of Black History Month I’m profiling one African-American MP every day on this blog for the month of February. Today’s case is Naomi Wilson, who disappeared from Cedar Rapids, Iowa on April 12, 1981, at the age of 32.

Naomi seems to have had life pretty well in hand. She had a good job and she had recently purchased a new car and a house. Her car was found abandoned in the local K-Mart parking lot two days after she was last seen.

It’s worth noting that her boyfriend moved into her house after she vanished and never made any of the mortgage payments, staying there until it got foreclosed, which is weird at best and frankly a bit sketchy, but the police haven’t named any suspects in her case. The boyfriend is now in his sixties, and as far as I know he’s still alive and still in Cedar Rapids; I found this article about a fire at his home in 2009.

So what happened to Naomi? I don’t know but I don’t think it was anything good.

Black History Month: Zaden McKnight

In honor of Black History Month I’m profiling one African-American MP every day on this blog for the month of February. Today’s case is Zaden Alexander McKnight, a four-year-old boy who disappeared from Dayton, Ohio on March 25, 2014. Zaden went missing with his mother, Nichelle. Nichelle’s body was found near the Stillwater River two and a half weeks later. She’d been murdered.

Zaden is presumed murdered too, and the police are pretty sure what happened and who did it. Antwan Anderson, Nichelle’s ex-boyfriend, and Tonisha Harris, another woman Anderson had dated, are the prime suspects in the cases.

Neither of them have been charged in connection with the actual homicides, but Harris was imprisoned for using Nichelle’s bank card and later for evidence tampering, abuse of a corpse and failure to report a crime.

Black History Month: Shirley Gladney

In honor of Black History Month I’m profiling one African-American MP every day on this blog for the month of February. Today’s case is Shirley Anne Gladney. This 20-year-old woman disappeared from Okolona, a small town in northern Mississippi, on April 9, 1999. She was last seen walking away from her home to go pay an electric bill. She never returned and sadly that’s all I’ve got.

Black History Month: Jesse Edwards

In honor of Black History Month I’m profiling one African-American MP every day on this blog for the month of February. Today’s case is Jesse Curtis Edwards Sr., aka J.C. Edwards, an elderly man in the early stages of Alzheimer’s who disappeared from Holly Bluff, Mississippi on November 4, 2007.

Edwards may have been seen walking down the road thirty miles outside of town shortly after he disappeared from his home. His daughter believes he may have been murdered, but I don’t have much on the case.