Sorry for the recent silence

Yeah, I haven’t updated in a bit and I’m sorry. The last week has been super busy, mainly with wedding stuff. Michael and I are getting married Saturday.

I picked up my dress at the alterations place yesterday and it fits me perfectly. In my completely unbiased opinion I’m going to be the most beautiful bride in the world. There’s not going to be any honeymoon because of Covid. Michael will go back to work on Monday and so will I.

So, in lieu of Charley Project updates, here’s a sample of the more interesting recent missing and unidentified persons news:

  1. A woman whose body was found off Interstate 5 in Sacramento, California in 1981 has been identified as 26-year-old Lily Prendergast, who was last seen when she left her family’s Texas home in late 1980.
  2. John Michael Carroll disappeared from Victor, Idaho in 2005. His skeletal remains were found “in the general area” where he lived in 2013, and were identified this month.
  3. Hollis Willingham has been arrested in the murder of Jim Craig Martin, who disappeared from Normangee, Texas on August 6, 2007. It doesn’t look like Martin’s body has been found, however.
  4. Thomas Drew disappeared from Salisbury, Connecticut in 2007. He used to be on Charley but then his daughter asked me to remove the case. She didn’t like what I’d written, I guess. Anyway, he is still missing, and his daughter has recently published a memoir, Searching for My Missing Father: An American Noir. It sounds very interesting and I added it to my wishlist.
  5. Blackfeet Community College, in corroboration with Montana’s Missing Indigenous Persons Task Force, has launched a website to help streamline missing persons reports of Native American people: “The website [linked here] allows families and friends to complete a Contact Information Form about the missing person online. In the past, missing persons’ loved ones have expressed reluctance to report missing individuals directly to law enforcement. The BCC reporting system will serve as the go-between for those reporting and all levels of law enforcement. Once the form is submitted on the website, an automatic notice will be sent to local tribal law enforcement.”
  6. A woman’s torso found washed ashore in the seaside community of Benicia, California in 1979 has been identified as Dolores Wulff, who disappeared from Woodland, California that year. Dolores’s husband Carl Wulff Sr. had actually been charged with her murder in 1985, but the charge was dismissed later that year and he died in 2005.
  7. A skull found on Mount Hood in Oregon in 1986 has been identified as that of Wanda Ann Herr, who had left a Gresham, Oregon group home a decade earlier at the age of nineteen. No missing persons report was filed at the time and the most recent photo available showed her at age twelve. The police are asking anyone who knew Wanda or has any info on her 1976 disappearance to contact them.
  8. The police have identified a new suspect in the 1973 disappearance of Barbara Jean Aleksivich from Bath, New York. The suspect, Richard W. Davis, is now dead, but he was recently identified through DNA as the killer of Siobhan McGuinness, a Missoula, Montana six-year-old who was kidnapped, raped and murdered in 1974. Barbara, who was 24, was way out of Richard Davis’s preferred age range for victims, but he did live in Bath at the time Barbara disappeared. A previous suspect in her case, who still lived in the Bath area last I knew, has been cleared.
  9. The body of Ethan Bert Kazmerzak, who disappeared from Hampton, Iowa in 2013, has probably been found. At least they found his car submerged in a local pond, with human remains inside. The remains have been sent to the state medical examiner to be identified, but it’s highly unlikely it’s anyone but Ethan.

MP of the week: Adrian Poleahla

This week’s featured missing person is Adrian Curtis Poleahla, a Native American man who disappeared from Keams Canyon, Arizona on January 25, 2011. He was supposedly en route to Phoenix. His family, who hadn’t heard from him since August 2010, reported him missing in April 2012.

Poleahla is a talented wood carver and his kachina carvings fetched pretty good prices at galleries. The circumstances of his disappearance are unclear, but I hope he’s still out there. He’d be about 53 today.

MP of the week: Christine Julian

This week’s featured missing person is Christine Julian, a 30-year-old woman who disappeared from Albuquerque, New Mexico on April 14, 2003. She is of Hispanic and Native American descent and has several tattoos on her legs, including a rose on her left leg.

She was last seen at her home in Albuquerque. At the time, relatives suggested she’d moved to Wisconsin where her biological father was. I would guess that lead has been ruled out by now.

She had a somewhat high risk lifestyle and drugs or alcohol could have been a factor in her case. If still alive, Christine would be 48 today.

I gotta wonder what’s going on at Pine Ridge

The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation has a population only around 30,000 or so people, but it’s larger than Delaware and Rhode Island COMBINED. It’s also one of the poorest places in the entire country, with 80% unemployment and a per capita income lower than Namibia’s. As I’ve written about before, the statistics are just horribly depressing:

demographics

And the number of missing people from the reservation that are on Charley? Four. I added a new one today. Plus, NamUs has three more: Vincent Steve Little Dog and Robert Anthony Kills Enemy at Night, who disappeared together and aren’t on Charley yet cause they haven’t yet been missing a year, and Perry Ray Robinson, who isn’t on Charley yet and whose life and disappearance will probably take some considerable time to research and summarize.

So, seven missing people. That I know of. And this in a place with a small-town population. And this is not counting Larissa Lone Hill, who was FROM Pine Ridge but apparently disappeared from Rapid City, a city off reservation.

This number is likely to grow, in large part because the MMIW (missing and murdered indigenous women) epidemic has caused information to come out about previously unreported or forgotten-about missing persons and homicide victims who were Native American.

I know there must be a lot of reasons for the disappearances: the poverty, the rampant, alcoholism, the extremes of weather and terrain (that part of South Dakota is called the Badlands for a reason), etc.

But it’s still just… shocking. It’s shocking and depressing and horribly wrong and indicative of a number of very serious, systemic problems that aren’t likely to be solved anytime soon.

The people I have on Charley from Pine Ridge are:

  1. Lori Lee Jealous of Him, 13, missing since 1989
  2. Neil Little Eagle, 49, missing since 2017
  3. Delema Lou Sits Poor, 12, missing since 1974
  4. Alejandro Pilar Vasquez, 24, missing since 2015

All are Native American.

What’s going on at Pine Ridge? A lot apparently.

That’s all I’ve got for now. Stay safe people, wash your hands and for heaven’s sake, if you’re not an essential worker STAY HOME.

Native American Heritage Month: David George

In honor of Native American Heritage Month I’m featuring a Native American missing person for every day in the month of November. Today’s missing person is David Post George, age 21. I don’t have any tribal info for him.

He was last seen in Juneau, Alaska on March 7, 2005, but for some reason he wasn’t reported missing till 2007. I have no other information.

Native American Heritage Month: Sumi Juan

In honor of Native American Heritage Month I’m featuring a Native American missing person for every day in the month of November. Today’s missing person is Sumi Gail Juan, a 33-year-old Hoopa woman who disappeared from Hoopa, California on September 8, 2010.

Hoopa, California is a town in northern California and per Wikipedia, 80-plus percentage of the population is Native.

The police noted they had two persons of interest, also Native, whom they wanted to talk to: Robert Hodge Jr. and Debra Jealous-Of-Him.

It’s worth noting I’ve found NO mention AT ALL about Sumi since 2010 and I’m not 100% sure she is still missing.

Native American Heritage Month: Andrew Lufkins

In honor of Native American Heritage Month I’m featuring a Native American missing person for every day in the month of November. Today’s missing person is Andrew Jon Lufkins, a 23-year-old Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate man who disappeared from Sisseton, a town in the northeast corner of South Dakota, on April 7, 2010.

It looks pretty obvious what happened. Lufkins was in a bar fight and was carried, seriously injured and unconscious, from the bar. He was never seen or heard from again.

His disappearance reminds me of Star Gail Boomer‘s. Star, a white woman, also disappeared after getting into a physical altercation at a bar and is presumed to have been murdered. Two suspects were charged, but the charges were dropped after “over a dozen witnesses to the alleged crime refused to testify against the defendants.”

Lufkins would be 32 years old today. But I think he’s still 23.

Native American Heritage Month: Sally Hines

In honor of Native American Heritage Month I’m featuring a Native American missing person for every day in the month of November. Today’s missing person is Sally Ann Hines, a 58-year-old Seaconke Wampanoag woman who disappeared from San Antonio, Texas on December 14, 2017. The Seaconke Wampanoags are from Rhode Island.

I found this flier from the Facebook group Missing and Taken Indigenous People that has a little more info about her, including a photo of her in the clothes she was last seen wearing, and the fact that she has breast implants.

hines

Sally has multiple health problems including PTSD, bipolar disorder and a liver transplant. She needs daily medication to keep her body from rejecting her donor liver. Because of this I don’t see how she could still be alive. If she is alive she must be in VERY bad shape. She would be about 60 today.

Native American Heritage Month: Darian Nevayaktewa

In honor of Native American Heritage Month I’m featuring a Native American missing person for every day in the month of November. Today’s missing person is Darian Rae Nevayaktewa, a 19-year-old man of Hopi Pueblo heritage who disappeared from Kykotsmovi, Arizona on June 19, 2008.

Wikipedia says Kykotsmovi Village, also called K-Town, is the seat of government for the Hopi tribe on their reservation, which covers 1.5 million acres across three mesas and two counties.

Unfortunately I don’t have any more information on this case.

Native American Heritage Month: Delema Sits Poor

In honor of Native American Heritage Month I’m featuring a Native American missing person for every day in the month of November. Today’s missing person is Delema Lou Sits Poor, a twelve-year-old girl who disappeared in 1974 from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. She’s of Oglala Sioux heritage and her nickname in 1974 was Babe.

Pine Ridge is one of the poorest places in the entire U.S. and has numerous other socioeconomic problems. To quote from Wikipedia:

The population of Pine Ridge suffer health conditions, including high mortality rates, depression, alcoholism, drug abuse, malnutrition and diabetes, among others. Reservation access to health care is limited compared to urban areas, and it is not sufficient. Unemployment on the reservation hovers between 80% and 85%, and 49% of the population live below the federal poverty level. Many of the families have no electricity, telephone, running water, or sewage systems; and many use wood stoves to heat their homes, depleting limited wood resources.

The exact date of Delema’s disappearance is no longer known with just uncertainty, just sometime in February that year. She reportedly disappeared while walking “on a back road Oglala to Manderson” in subzero temperatures. You might wonder how they know the temperature at the time she disappeared but not the date, but my guess that just about EVERY day in February in Pine Ridge, North Dakota is subzero.

According to Google Maps, there are two routes you can drive between Manderson and Oglala; one is shorter in distance, 23.5 miles, but takes an hour, and the 40.2 mile roundabout way is shorter to drive. Either one is a VERY significant distance for a child to walk in subzero temperatures. Why was she out that day? Was she running away from something, or to something?

It’s extremely sad that a twelve-year-old girl’s disappearance seems to have been forgotten about by the authorities, but it doesn’t surprise me all that much. The situation of missing and murdered indigenous women has only recently become a topic attracting national attention.