MP of the week: Ashok Ankam

This week’s featured missing person is Ashok Ankam, a 27-year-old engineering student who disappeared from Cleveland, Ohio on Valentines’ Day, 2008. He was depressed at the time of his disappearance, and there was talk that he may have been headed to Atlanta, but as far as I can tell there hasn’t been any sign of him in a decade.

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Thoughts on today’s updates

It’s 11:47 p.m. as I type this, so perhaps by the time it’s finished, “today” will be “yesterday.”

For all the updated cases today, except Jahi Turner and Donna Mezo, you can thank Mion, who kindly gathered together a bunch of old newspaper articles about cases I had and emailed them to me.

Regarding my Donna Mezo update, I hope it clarifies the situation with her boyfriend’s death. Earlier I had said there was a suicide note and his death was ruled a suicide in spite of the fact that the gun used was found in “a nearby lake.” Well, I have since learned that “nearby” was more like “a few feet away.” I think what probably happened is that Jeffrie either threw or dropped his weapon into the water during or after firing it.

I found quite a lot on Newspapers.com for Marcell Byers‘s case. His NamUs profile includes a clipping about how the people charged with kidnapping him disappeared and their lawyer had been threatened and maybe it was foul play.

Well, the two suspects did disappear, leaving a van shot full of holes, but I guess it was all just an attempt to evade prosecution because they were alive, back in custody and well enough to cop a plea less than a year later.

It’s disturbing that Marcell was never found. All this over a gold chain. The Zuppos pleaded no contest to kidnapping, meaning they didn’t even admit they were guilty. They’d be out of prison by now and I’m not sure what they’re up to these days. I think Gerald Sr. may be dead; someone with the same name and birth year died in North Carolina in 2003.

Tejin‘s case is just sad. (Also, NamUs has him listed as a girl? I admit you can’t really tell from the pictures. If I hadn’t found some articles on his disappearance I’d have been none the wiser.) I found his Facebook page and one picture was of him holding a little turtle, whom Tejin called “my son.” This was just a few months before his presumed death.

Julie Davis‘s case is sad too. Judging from the Facebook page created for her, she was lost for awhile before she disappeared. They only have the one not very good quality and out-of-date photo of her, and from the Facebook page her family apparently wasn’t really clear on when they’d last heard from her. They mentioned getting a letter from her “around 1985 or 1986.” (I’m not sure where NamUs’s date of disappearance comes from.)

She was just sixteen years old and already out on her own, almost four hours from her hometown.  I know things were a bit different back in the eighties, but that’s still pretty unusual. I wonder if she was in foster care. Obviously her family cares about her or they wouldn’t be trying to find her. I hope she’s alive out there and doesn’t even know anyone is looking, and isn’t a Jane Doe somewhere, or worse, dead and never found.

For this case, normally I’d have listed her as just regular “Missing” but then I saw the detail about the track marks and thought “drugs” and upgraded her case to “Endangered Missing.” Question: do track marks ALWAYS mean drugs? There are some medical conditions that require a person to get frequent injections; do those people get similar scars?

Ashley Lynn Thomas has such striking eyes, so big and dark against her pale skin and hair. I hope she’s okay. I hope she and the baby are both healthy and being looked after.

Stuart Owen Collins got a big update today. (Thanks again, Mion!) It does sound like something bad happened to him, and one inevitably wonders about the woman he was with, and even more so about her husband.

With Paul Egan (another big update there) the whole rendering theory is just awful to contemplate. The police seemed to suspect Paul’s friend. They said his friend was not a suspect, but they also made a point of saying they couldn’t confirm the friend’s story.

It could have happened something like this: Paul and his friend got into some kind of argument at the plant after hours — his friend was a foreman, Paul a technician — and things got out of hand something went horribly wrong, and his friend is panicking and thinks “well, there’s this rendering machine, if I just chuck him in and keep my mouth shut, no one will ever know.” I doubt such places had security cameras in 1975. The rendering machine was designed to grind up horses; a human corpse would be easy.

Of course that’s all supposition. I did look up the friend in the Florida DOC database and on Facebook and couldn’t find anyone by that name. I did find a Newspapers.com mention of a person by that name (and a photo of that person) from 1970, five years before Paul disappeared. Nothing since then. I wonder if I’ve got the spelling of his surname right.

As far as the note Elsie Elsinga left behind — and her daughter’s poo-pooing the significance of that note — I don’t know. Her daughter said something like “How could someone of that age have done anything to mess up their life?” But perhaps Elsie’s “possible mild depression” was more significant than her daughter thought.

For Helen Robinson, I wonder if she decided to take a plane to visit one of those CB radio friends she had, and maybe something happened that prevented her from coming back. It was two solid years before her van turned up; by then, the weeds might have grown over the flight records. Robinson is definitely dead now; I don’t think she would have lived long in any case, because of her emphysema.

I added 27 updates and I’m very pleased with my work output today. I hope y’all have noticed how much more productive I’ve been ever since the site got redesigned. It takes less time to add/update stuff, since I don’t have to write all the code by hand, or hand-add case names to the lists.

Song about Kay Kanaki

Per the person who runs the Missing in California Twitter account, a local singer/songwriter composed a song about Kay Kanaki (who, incidentally, is male), who disappeared in 1986 and is one of my “few details are available” cases.

You can listen to The Ballad of Kay Kanaki here, or buy the mp3 for 99 cents on Amazon here. The lyrics seem to imply foul play may have been involved. I wish I knew more.

Make-a-List Monday: Filipinos

MPs of Filipino descent. There are quite a lot of them in the US; for the uninitiated, the Philippines were an American colony between 1898 and 1946. Wikipedia says that Filipino people were in what is now the United States as early as the 16th century — as sailors, I would guess — and over 40,000 Filipinos have moved to the U.S. annually since 1979.

  1. Richard Paul Agor
  2. Annad Arkangel
  3. Rebecca Arellanosa
  4. Wayne Jason Ausa
  5. Christopher M. Bacsain
  6. Gloria Berreth
  7. Lynda Lee Bronaugh
  8. Aaron Bustamante
  9. Chester Caluya
  10. Karen Cardenas
  11. Joseph Paul Cordova
  12. David Samuel Cortez Jr.
  13. Glizer Dallago
  14. Rosemary Rivas Day
  15. Marilou Medina Dunlap
  16. Jeanette Gomez Espeleta
  17. Maria Pomona Cruz Estrada
  18. Keoni Alexander Fernandez
  19. Lance Sterling Fernandez
  20. Mason Christopher Fernandez
  21. Ann Marie Shaw Godbey
  22. Ann P. Hay
  23. Edgar Cruz Jamias
  24. Peter J. Kema
  25. Julie Aquisalas King
  26. Raymond Guy Kung
  27. Jerome Maeth
  28. Anna Jovita Mallari
  29. Maricel Tolentino Marcial
  30. Godofredo R. Masangya
  31. Michael Omas Masaoay
  32. Robert Gordofredo Mino
  33. Noah Pomaikai Montemayor
  34. Paul Henry Munoz
  35. Arnel Nagal Narvaiz
  36. Pamela Ann Pedro
  37. Manuelita Dejos Pierce
  38. Elizabeth Alfonso Pulido
  39. Diana Raquel Rojas
  40. Stacy Lee Sabal
  41. Daniel Borje Santiago
  42. Noel Borje Santiago
  43. Victorio Abueg Santiago
  44. Maria Theresa Santos
  45. Lulaida Morales Sejalbo
  46. Federico Ventura Supnet
  47. Melchor Tabag
  48. Alex Talosig
  49. Rachel Aquino Thomas
  50. Antonio Crebillo Torres
  51. Loida Gabon Wideman
  52. Rhonda Lynn Yocom

Thinking aloud on updates, 10/30/2017

I had a bit of a burst and spent all night and into the morning working on today’s updates. I raided Facebook, as I have said, finding additional pictures and sometimes a lot more.

  1. Autumn Starr Cerenil-Lee: It’s eerie and sad to find traces of my MPs’ pre-disappearance lives online. I found Autumn’s Facebook page. Less than a month before her disappearance she wrote she was getting a divorce, after a marriage that had lasted under a year. Her husband posted a comment saying she was to blame for what had occurred. Autumn also wrote about her daughter, who had some chromosomal anomalies that caused severe health problems.
    I can only hope that she decided to walk away from her life — and the evidence does seem to indicate that she did walk away, at least for awhile, since she was allegedly sighted in Wyoming. But did she intend to stay gone this long, almost four years now?
  2. Kelsey Emily Collins: I finally found out the name of that scumbag who was pimping her. I wish I could have found his picture too, and that of his woman accomplice. It seems like a massive failure on the authorities’ part that they didn’t offer Kelsey witness protection, but they claim they didn’t know it was needed, and that if she had told them about any threats they would have helped her.
  3. Georgia Nadine Kirk: Shades of Walter Dunson here; they were the same age too, almost. Ted Kirk sounds like a snotrag. I read that he lives on a huge property with something like 20 vehicles on it, and friends reported the place smelled pretty bad. I’m not sure if the cops have searched for Nadine’s body there yet; they asked for permission to go over it with cadaver dogs but Ted said no. It seems like there should be enough evidence by now to get a warrant.
  4. Irma Mkrtchyan: I found Irma’s Facebook page too. She often wrote posts in Russian, and she posted photographs of herself visiting Armenia. She was born there, graduated from a polytechnic there and moved to the U.S. sometime after 1996 (that’s when she got her degree). I found her children’s Facebook pages as well and it says her son was born in Yerevan.
    Irma’s disappearance appears to have torn her family apart. I found a vicious character assassination of her brother Davit (aka David), which accused him of fraud, laziness, dishonesty, and generally being a slimeball. I think it must have been written by Irma’s ex-husband. The horrible statement said Davit had dishonored his sister’s legacy, lied to the police, and started fights within the family, and that Irma’s daughter had a restraining order against him. I hope that anyone who reads it would take it with a grain of salt. Davit appears to be the only one in the family who is actively trying to solve his sister’s disappearance.
    I wonder how Irma’s surname is pronounced. It needs a serious infusion of vowels.
  5. Noah Pomaikai Montemayor: A very sad case — a bright, talented, promising kid who, it appears, cracked under the pressure to live up to that promise. It reminded me of the Matthew Wilson case from ten years ago. Matthew did eventually turn up alive, if not well, and I hope Noah will do the same. They say that the longer you’re gone, the harder it is to call home. But it seems odd that he hasn’t been found by now, especially given he had nothing with him and there was an extensive and well-publicized search. I mean, it’s an island.
  6. Nancy Paulikas: My God Alzheimer’s is scary. Especially in someone as young and smart and successful as she was. Recently I read a book I liked and looked the author up on Facebook, hoping to contact her; I found her page but it hadn’t been updated since 2013 and the last post said she had Alzheimer’s. I concluded there was no point in messaging her because she probably could no longer read. Hopefully by the time I’m old enough to worry about getting it, they’ll have found a cure.

Not sure what to do with this one

CDOJ has got a case in their database that puzzles me: one “Anuradha Fnu“, missing from Fremont, California on March 24, 2015.

The thing is, I’m quite sure that’s not her name. The letters “FNU” are used on official documents in this country to stand for “Family Name Unknown.”

I Googled “Anuradha” and that seems to be a common first name in India. That makes sense for this woman; CDOJ says she’s Indian.

I tried Googling “Fnu India” in hopes of discovering that “Fnu” was also a real Indian name, but nope. Instead I found this page written by this poor sap who moved from India to the U.S. only to have his surname mistakenly listed as Fnu on all his documents. (His real surname was listed as part of his first name.) He wrote his story to tell other people in the same situation how to correct the mistake.

I don’t know whether I should just put this woman up on Charley as “Anuradha Fnu” or whether I should just list her as “Anuradha” and explain that her last name isn’t available.

Thoughts, anyone?

Missing Person of the Week: Uma Sewpersaud

Yeah, I was going to do a Make-a-List Monday yesterday of people who disappeared on the fourth of July, but life intervened: I got more and more manic over the weekend and as a result I was awake for two and a half days in spite of lying quietly in bed most of the time. I developed an ear infection and due to the holiday weekend, no outpatient clinics were open, so I had to go to the hospital for treatment. I was bouncing off the walls by this point and they outright asked if I was on drugs. (I was not. Except the ones I’m supposed to be taking.) Then on Monday I finally crashed and slept. all. day.

Anyway. Today’s missing person of the week is Uma Davi Sewpersaud, a thirteen-year-old girl who disappeared from Orlando, Florida on January 28, 2002. Uma is either from Guyana or at least of Guyanese parentage. Guyana is in South America but culturally, it’s Caribbean, and almost half the population is of Indian (that is, Asian) descent, including Uma.

Anyway, the cops think Uma ran away. I hope she really did and hasn’t met with foul play. I mean, it’s been 15 years now. But if she went to Guyana, as the police believe she might have, maybe that’s why she’s fallen off the map.

Oh, and I would like to note (for people who want to identify bodies) that she was tiny, even for her age, when she disappeared. Less than four and a half feet tall and just 70 pounds. (At the same age I was 5’1 or 5’2 and around 90 or 100 pounds.) Maybe if she died shortly after her disappearance and her body was found, they might have thought it was of a younger girl.