Black History Month: Stephen Beard

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 Stephen Christopher Beard, a fourteen-year-old boy who disappeared from Baltimore, Maryland on June 2, 2001.

He had a guardian at the time of his disappearance, and I wonder how well he was being guarded, since it says he liked to go to local nightclubs.

I wonder if he is still alive. It sounds like he knew how to take care of himself, so I’m hoping. It’s been close to twenty years now.

Black History Month: Mary Harrison

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 Mary Everette Harrison, a 31-year-old mother of four who disappeared from Hampton, Virginia on October 6, 1982. She vanished from her home during the night, while her children were asleep, leaving all her belongings behind.

It looks like she ever left with the intention of returning shortly, or left with the intentions of never coming back. Harrison was a single mom, had a drug problem and sometimes dropped out of sight for days at a time. Her sister thinks she might have just walked out because of the stresses in her life, but her daughters think she’s dead. Those two theories are not, of course, mutually exclusive.

I think she’s probably deceased, as there’s been no paper trail since 1982. If she is a Jane Doe somewhere, one distinctive thing about her is how tiny she is — well under five feet tall.

Black History Month: Terrence Haney

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 Terrence Lee Haney, age 36, who disappeared from Tulsa, Oklahoma on April 2, 2001.

I don’t have very many details, just that he apparently disappeared somewhere in the two-block distance between his sister’s home and his own. Foul play is suspected.

Terrence Haney is related by marriage to another missing black man, Edward Larnell Martin, who disappeared from Tulsa in 1999. No apparent connection, though. Just a lot of bad luck there.

Black History Month: Cherie Barnes

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 Cherie Nicole Barnes, a two-year-old girl who disappeared from Missouri in 1986/1987ish.

Cherie’s NCMEC poster notes that she “is biracial and is considered to be black and white.” This would match her appearance. I thought the “considered to be” thing meant her paternity was unknown, but a source I found said Cherie’s biological father is known and lives in Los Angeles.

I put Cherie’s height and weight on Charley as “unknown” because, regardless of what the NCMEC says, she was definitely not four feet tall and eighty pounds at the age of two and a half.

So Cherie’s story is a bit complicated. Her stepfather, Larry Vasser, and mom, Elizabeth Ann Turek Vasser, had custody of her, and in 1986 they moved from Nashville, Tennessee to St. Louis, Missouri. Larry was, I guess, a pimp, and Elizabeth was working for him.

Elizabeth disappeared on December 1, 1986, and wasn’t reported missing at the time. Cherie was reportedly seen with her stepfather in Kansas City, Missouri (a three-and-a-half-hour drive west of St. Louis) on January 7, 1987. But I don’t know how solid that sighting is, because the NCMEC has Cherie’s listed date and place of disappearance the same as her mom’s: December 1, 1986, from St. Louis. In any case, no one has seen Cherie since.

Elizabeth’s nude body was found two months later, washed up on the banks of the Mississippi River in St. Louis. It wasn’t identified for seven years, because the police didn’t know she was missing. They made the connection after Elizabeth’s family reported her and Cherie as missing persons.

Larry, who is in prison on unrelated convictions until at least 2028, said Cherie was being cared for by his relatives and is living under an alias in the Kansas City area. Who knows if that’s true, though. If it is, a publicity campaign in Kansas City might lead to her location.

Elizabeth’s murder, and her daughter’s disappearance, are still unsolved. If Cherie is alive today, as Larry Vasser claims, she’d be 34.

Black History Month: Tyran Reed

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 Tyran Jamal Reed, a 24-year-old man who disappeared from Fort Worth,Texas on October 28, 2012. He was last seen getting into a Chevy Suburban with an unidentified man.

As in KaRhonda Stringfellow’s case, this is one where I have almost no info on Tyran’s disappearance, but a little info on his life before then. It’s a pretty good bet that Tyran is the father of these twin boys, both also named Tyran Reed, who were either stillborn or died in the first hours of life in 2010. The obituary mournfully notes the survivors as “Mother, Victoria Jordan and Tyran Jamal Reed Sr.; other relatives; and the friends we never made.”

That obituary, and several prior arrests, are the only traces I can find of Tyran Reed. I wonder if he might be unidentified in some other part of Texas or the U.S. He has several distinctive tattoos.

Black History Month: Olynthia Harper

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 Olynthia Ann Harper, a 25-year-old woman who disappeared from Syracuse, New York on September 20, 1985.

That evening, she left her two kids with a babysitter. I’m assuming the kids were supposed to spend the night there, since it was eleven p.m. when she dropped them off. She never returned for them and there’s been no indication of her whereabouts since.

I haven’t been able to find any articles on the case and don’t know much about it, alas.

Black History Month: Kawan Pryor

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 Kawan K. Pryor, a 15-year-old boy who disappeared from Norfolk, Virginia on September 9, 1997.

He is listed as a runaway, but unfortunately I don’t have much on him. He’s been missing for 21 years now, considerably longer than he was alive before his disappearance, and would now be 37 years old.