I hope everyone had a good Fourth of July weekend. Mine was kind of terrible. We had a tiny party, four guests (Michael’s parents and two of his coworkers), and I wound up spending a lot of time hiding in the bedroom because I was so stressed by it all. And I was feeling like a failure in general, and wondering how I was going to pull off an entire wedding in October if I was freaking out from anxiety over four guests in my own house.
Of course, who knows if there will even BE a proper wedding in October the way COVID-19 is blazing through this country. I might wind up having to have a Zoom wedding ceremony because of the stupid government not listening to experts and not doing its job to contain the pandemic, and stupid people refusing to wear masks in public because mah rights and mah freedum. We could have been on par with Europe right now as far as flattening the curve goes, but nooooo, people have to be idiots.
(Of course I realize that my wedding is a very small thing in the grand scheme of things, and there are a lot of people out there who are suffering more than me as a result of COVID-19. That doesn’t make me any less angry.)
So some news from the missing persons world:
- Later this year, once Americans are allowed to travel to the EU again (assuming that ever happens), a private investigator, a former FBI agent and Annie McCarrick‘s uncle are going to Ireland to make another stab at solving Annie’s 1993 disappearance. (She is on the Charley Project because she was an American, though she disappeared on Irish soil.) They have a new theory about what happened, and have a suspect in mind. I don’t think it’s the same suspect the gardai (Irish police) have had their eye on. Neither person has been publicly identified.
The gardai think a former IRA member may have killed Annie. He sounds like a nasty character and allegedly raped a twelve-year-old girl, and possibly other victims, and the IRA sent him out of the country so he wouldn’t get prosecuted. He went to the US; I’m not sure where he is now.
I have wondered before why on earth the IRA would have assisted this man. To begin with, the twelve-year-old he allegedly raped was the daughter of another IRA member. And, though I don’t know much about the IRA, I know they had broad support among the ordinary people of Ireland, and it seems like that wouldn’t be the case if they routinely did things like try to help their child-rapist members escape prosecution. If any of you guys can provide some enlightenment on this, I’d appreciate it if you posted in the comments.
- They’ve created a park in Albuquerque, New Mexico in memory of the twelve victims of the still-unsolved West Mesa murders. I’ll say their names again: Jamie Caterina Barela, age 15; her 25-year-old cousin Evelyn JesusMaria Salazar; Monica Diana Candelaria, 21; Victoria Ann Chavez, 24; Virginia Cloven, 22; Syllannia, Terene Edwards, 15; Cinnamon Elks, 31; Doreen Marquez, 27; Julie Nieto, 23; Veronica Romero, 28; Michelle Valdez, 22; and Michelle’s unborn baby. All of the women, except Veronica, were on the Charley Project.
There are quite a few young women still missing from Albuquerque, and some of them fit the same profile as the women whose bodies were found on the Mesa. I’ve got Nina Brenda Herron, Vanessa Reed, Christine Julian, Leah Rachelle Peebles, Anna Love Vigil and Shawntell Monique Waites, and possibly others.
- According to a private investigator, the authorities have a suspect in the 2001 disappearances of of ten-year-old Tionda Z. Bradley and her three-year-old sister, Diamond Yvette Bradley. (The girls disappeared 19 years ago today.) The article says there’s a solid circumstantial case against the suspect (who hasn’t been publicly identified) but prosecutors want some physical evidence, preferably a body, to bolster their case before they file charges against the person.
Oh, and although this isn’t strictly missing persons related, I highly recommend y’all check out this article about the woman who invented the rape kit. Hers was a fascinating and tragic story.
I first complained about the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s search engine back in 2013, and things got even worse with later versions of it. However, when I checked today, they’d made yet another version, which is slightly better than the last. Like, you can now search based on how old the child was when they disappeared. That’s kind of nice, I guess.
You still don’t have the ability to search by category, which they axed in 2013. As far as I can tell it’s because the NCMEC decided to phase out categories. They did this because when people saw “Family Abduction” or “Runaway” they just automatically tuned it out. I can understand the logic of the NCMEC’s thinking there.
I added Duke Flores‘s case today. It’s pretty awful. Probably not as bad as Noah McIntosh‘s (I blogged about his case in March), but it’s still pretty bad.
The whole story about Duke’s murder being prompted by his attempt he was trying to kill his infant cousin looks a little sketchy at first glance. However, both women gave the police the same account of the alleged attempted murder, and I wonder if Duke, who had autism, was just unable to deal with the baby’s crying. Most people with autism (including me) are very sensitive to noises.
They tried to cover up his disappearance by saying they’d taken Duke to a psychiatric hospital. If he was indeed trying to kill his cousin, this would have been a perfectly appropriate action to take. Certainly much more appropriate than strangling him.
We’ll never know if he really tried to smother the baby or not; the only two people alive to tell the story aren’t exactly credible witnesses. But no matter what he did there’s no excuse for murdering a six-year-old child with a disability.
The thing about his mom and aunt taking the other kids along while they disposed of his body is horrifying. Though the alternative would have been leaving them alone at home, and they were both really little. Hopefully too little to remember this later.
I hope these women get what’s coming to them. They are probably not very popular in jail; most of the women prisoners are mothers too.
In case you’ve been living under a rock these last several days, I’ll have you know that protests and riots, sparked by one too many horrific incidents of police brutality, have lately broken out all over the country. So I thought I’d make this week’s featured missing person Francisco Javier Sanchez, a man who disappeared during the Los Angeles riots of 1992. (The Los Angeles Riots were also sparked by police brutality, in this case the beating of Rodney King, and the acquittal of the four police officers involved.)
Sanchez, a 38-year-old immigrant from Guatemala, was last seen in Los Angeles on April 30, 1992, the second day of the riots. He had only recently arrived in the country and lived with relatives on Adams Boulevard. He vanished without a trace that afternoon, leaving his last paycheck uncollected, and was never seen again.
As to whether his disappearance is related to the riots, no one knows. But something happened to him and I don’t think it was anything good.
If still alive he’d be 66 today.
This week’s featured missing person (I forgot to put it up yesterday, sorry) is Arisoneide Oliveira Gosselin, who disappeared from Turlock, California on May 28, 1992. She was 31. She was from Brazil and moved to the US at age 23, after she married an American.
Whether her disappearance is related to her troubled marriage I don’t know, but it seems highly likely that she met with foul play. She appears to have been a responsible person and a devoted mother, and she left all her belongings behind as well as her kid, and her husband was using drugs and in no position to take care of the child.
Anyone have any idea how to pronounce her name?
This week’s featured missing person is Carmen Ida Meirino, a 49-year-old Philadelphia, Pennsylvania woman who disappeared on December 13, 1997. She is Hispanic, with brown hair, but it was dyed blonde at the time of her disappearance. She was last seen leaving an acquaintance’s home at midnight.
Unfortunately I can’t find anything about her case, not even in the news archives. She would be 71 today.
This week’s featured missing person — the last of the decade — in Jessica Eileen Ortiz, a 29-year-old woman who disappeared from Pueblo, Colorado on April 12, 2007. If still alive she’d be 42 today.
It’s not likely Jessica is still alive, though. She had advanced cervical cancer, something she was unaware of when she disappeared. And the man she was last seen with, her longtime boyfriend, Wade Albrow, has a long history of violence. This was probably yet another case of fatal intimate partner violence, something that appears in the Charley Project’s pages a lot.
Tonight I’m going to Michael’s parents’ house and will be spending Christmas over there. So I decided to do the missing person of the week a day early, since I won’t have access to my PC tomorrow.
This week it’s Monico Urquidi Hernandez, a 45-year-old man who disappeared from Phoenix, Arizona on December 8, 2011. He left home, saying he might go to Mexico, and was never heard from again. I don’t have anything else on this case.
I got my days mixed up; for some reason I thought Tuesday was Monday. That’s why my missing person of the week is a day late. Anyway, this week it’s Kayla Marie Welcome, a 23-year-old woman who disappeared from St. Cloud, Florida on May 7, 2015.
She’s of white and Puerto Rican descent and has several tattoos, though I don’t have any descriptions for them. I do have a photo of part of one of the tattoos, which is on Kayla’s thigh. I think it’s a word starting with C and the second letter is probably an H but I can’t guess any further than that.
I don’t know much about Kayla’s disappearance, but I do know she has a history of drug use and an arrest record for the same. She may have traveled to Uncasville, Connecticut after she went missing. If still alive, Kayla would be 28 today.
In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month I’m featuring a Hispanic missing person every day from September 15 to October 15. Today’s case is Ann Lombard, aka Ana Lombard or Auriana Taylor, who disappeared from Placitas, New Mexico on April 29, 1996. She was 31.
It sounds likely that Ann was murdered by her live-in boyfriend, James Taylor, who claims she just left him. I’ll let the casefile tell more:
He and Lombard had a troubled relationship. In 1990, Lombard accused Taylor of holding her down and burning her on a stove. In 1992, one of Lombard’s children claimed he saw Taylor rape his mother and spray chemicals in her face.
Taylor was seen digging a large hole in his front yard the day after Lombard vanished. He asked a neighbor for digging equipment to repair a leaky septic tank. Police searched the yard when they learned about this, but the search turned up no evidence.
In 2002, Taylor allegedly choked his wife and threatened to “kill her like he did Ann.” In 2010, he was arrested at his Des Moines, Iowa home after a five-hour police standoff; he’d called 911 to say he was armed, poured gasoline all over his house and threatened to set it on fire. He has never been charged in Lombard’s case due to a lack of evidence.
Sounds like a real great guy, Taylor. I hope he gets what’s coming to him.
Ann Lombard left behind seven children. If still alive today, she’d be 56.
In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month I’m featuring a Hispanic missing person every day from September 15 to October 15. Today’s case is Victor Mora Saul Ramirez, who disappeared from Huntington Park, California on January 3, 2012, at the age of twenty.
Ramirez may use the first name Saul, or the last name Mora. He may be driving a 1993 Chrysler Concorde with the California license plate number 3CTX681. If still alive, he’d be 28 today. I don’t have anything else on him.