The latest MWAB news

I thought I’d do a run-down in the latest news in murder-without-a-body cases:

  • Per everybody, Antolin Garcia-Torres has been found guilty of the murder of Sierra Mae Lamar, a fifteen-year-old girl who disappeared from Morgan Hill, California five years ago. Her abduction and killing is of the most terrifying kind: she was just snatched off the street in a random act of violence.
  • In Iowa, Tait Purk has been found guilty of murdering his girlfriend, Cora Ann Okonski, who disappeared from the town of Tama on April 16, 2000. Unlike in Sierra Lamar’s murder, there wasn’t anything in the way of physical evidence here. However, Purk supposedly confessed to at least two other people that he had killed Cora and buried her body.
  • No charges have been filed as of yet, but Dale LaFleur‘s grand-nephew, Philip, has confessed to murdering him and the police are looking for the body. Philip is currently in jail for the 2015 murder of another man. He’s only 23 now, and Dale disappeared in 2011, so chances are Philip was a minor when he (allegedly) killed his great-uncle. (Not that it’ll matter.) He says he put Dale’s body inside his (Dale’s) car and dumped it in the Atchafalaya River. Police have said they’ve found an “object” in the river that might be the car. Fingers crossed.
  • And as for Peter Kema, alas, I don’t know anything more than I did three weeks ago: namely that Peter Sr. has led police to the alleged disposal spot. I seem to recall some article that claimed the remains were cremated and dumped at sea. If that is so, they’re almost certainly unrecoverable. But I don’t know if that information is correct. There’s a big difference between outright cremating a body and merely setting it on fire. I think if the cops had found something, they would have said so by now, but who knows?

Peter Kema’s dad leads police to alleged disposal spot

This just in: Peter Kema‘s father, who pleaded guilty to manslaughter earlier this month, has lead police to where he says he put his son’s body. This location is, of course, as yet undisclosed, but it’s somewhere in the district of Puna.

Here’s to hoping there’s actually something recoverable there, and this 20-year saga can finally be over.

Peter Kema denouement

Sorry everyone, the internet was kaput for much of this week. I could access it on my cell phone using data, but the house connection didn’t work. Michael and I have been having issues with our provider since November.

It goes like this: we had to cut down on our expenses so decided to switch our cable and internet package to just internet. The service provider said okay, and yet EVERY SINGLE MONTH SINCE THEN, they’ve billed us for cable, phone and internet, and the result is either our account gets overdrawn and we have to pay fees to the bank, or our service provider stops providing service — ALL service, not just the services we no longer want — because we can’t pay the bill. Then Michael will call them and remind them that we’re only supposed to be getting internet now, and they will apologize, reduce our bill accordingly and promise it won’t happen again. Then it happens again.

Anyway. Now we’ve got our internet back and Michael plans to switch providers because he’s understandably fed up.

So. It looks like the Peter Kema case may be finally reaching its conclusion. Peter’s mother reached a deal with the prosecution last year, pleading guilty to manslaughter and agreeing to testify against her husband. Earlier this week, Peter’s father also pleaded guilty to manslaughter. He was sentenced to twenty years and must serve a minimum of six, and he has agreed to lead police to the body. If he doesn’t follow through with that part, his sentence could be increased to 25 years.

At least they are going to jail, and this way Peter’s siblings will be spared the ordeal of having to testify. And I highly doubt Peter Sr., anyway, is going to get out after just six years. I expect he’ll have to serve the whole term, because the case is so notorious in Hawaii, and for the same reason I doubt he’ll be terribly popular in prison. Jaylin, unfortunately, is getting almost no time, even though she’s just as responsible for her son’s death as Peter Sr.

Peter’s parents did nothing but torture, neglect and abuse him his entire brief life. If there was any justice they ought to be getting a manslaughter conviction AND enough child abuse convictions stacked on top of one another to amount to life sentences for both of them.

I mean, read Peter’s Charley Project page to get an idea. Or take what it says in one of the articles I found about the case:

In Peter’s case the abuse started being documented when he was just three months old. After being brought into the hospital, x-rays showed old and new fractures in his shoulder, elbow, ribs and knees. He and his older siblings were removed from the home and they lived with their grandparents for the next three years.

Once he was back with his mother and father, his siblings reported Peter was again physically abused: suffering broken bones and black eyes, as well as enduring mental abuse like being forced to eat dog feces. But those reports came too late to save the six year old boy.

Why weren’t either of his parents charged with child abuse when he was an infant? Why were his parents allowed to regain custody of him? Jaylin’s parents loved Peter and they loved his siblings; it wasn’t like there was no one else willing to take care of the kids. According to the articles, since Peter’s death there have been “reforms” in Hawaii’s child protection system, in order to prevent more such tragedies. I certainly hope so.

We’ll see if Peter’s body can be found. It’s been 20 years so it may be unrecoverable. Here’s some articles:

Make-a-List Monday: Cross necklaces

A list of people who were wearing a cross necklace when they disappeared. This is quite a common jewelry item, for men as well as women, as you can see — perhaps the most common jewelry there is in the Christian world. Fun fact: although all crucifixes are cross necklaces, not all cross necklaces are crucifixes. A crucifix has to have Jesus on the cross pendant. I know because I just looked it up.

  1. Peter Achermann
  2. Rosio Monica Beltran
  3. Nancy Leah Brannon*
  4. Alex James Buonassisi
  5. Michelle Lee Burchell
  6. Kimberly Shawn Cheatham
  7. Cody Robert Christle
  8. Matthew Jonathan Curtis*
  9. Peggy Ilene Humber
  10. Jesse Gabriel Florez
  11. Dean Leslie French
  12. Omar Jabree Gibson
  13. Scott Kevin Jared
  14. Janice Yvonne Johnson
  15. El Shawndrae Devon Jones
  16. Kathleen Kelly
  17. Robert Keck
  18. Yul Demetrius Kennedy
  19. Patricia Ann Krieger
  20. Ruth Ann Leamon
  21. Nieko Anthony Lisi
  22. Tommie Lee Lowery
  23. Larry Don Madden
  24. Tammy Mahoney
  25. Lubov Marchenko
  26. Carmen Magdalena Mares
  27. Wilbert Martin
  28. Ashley Nicole Martin Mauldin
  29. Gloria White Moore McDonald
  30. Shane Lawrence McKinney*
  31. Lori Ann Murchison-Dunbar
  32. Kenny Manuel Naidas Jr.
  33. Nguyet Minh Nguyen
  34. Georgia Darlene Nolan
  35. Michelle Loree Parker
  36. Bernadine Paul
  37. Kara Denora Rigdon
  38. William Larry Roland
  39. Michelle Lee Rust
  40. Jason Joseph Ryan*
  41. Jairo Javier Sanchez
  42. Lisa Ann Schmidt
  43. Miguel Sonny Scott
  44. Yvonne Renee Scott
  45. Bethany Anne Sinclair
  46. Sharon Rose Sons
  47. Walter Shannon Stevenson
  48. William Paul Smolinski Jr.
  49. Lisa Alaria Szasz-Lazzaro
  50. Angel Antonio Torres
  51. Vikki L.Vukelich
  52. Donald Beams Wallace
  53. Jacob Wallace
  54. Grongie Ward
  55. Rasheeyda Robinson Wilson
  56. Dawn Marie Young
  57. Violet Nancy Zarb

*maybe

Make-a-List Monday: Bus Stops

This week’s MALM is of MPs who were last seen at the bus stop or bus station. It seems to me that people, especially women and children, are kind of vulnerable at bus stops. They’re often standing close to the curb, within grabbing distance of passing motorists. People who are waiting for the bus are often tired, distracted, perhaps hungry, perhaps with their hands full of shopping or whatever, and just generally not at their best. Maybe the weather is terrible; maybe it’s raining or snowing or blisteringly cold, or maybe it’s humid and 95 degrees in the shade. And anyone who’s waiting for a bus obviously wants to go somewhere, and if someone pulls up and offers them a car ride to their destination — especially if it’s someone they know — the person might just say yes.

I did exclude people who were last seen walking towards or away from a bus stop. There are quite a few of those. But if a person was at the bus stop about to leave, or was about to board or even had already boarded, I put them on the list (provided, in the latter instance, that the bus hadn’t left yet).

  1. Ashok Ankam
  2. Paget Renee Barr
  3. Carol Ann Batterman
  4. Susan Robin Bender
  5. James Elwood Brady
  6. Allen Briscoe Jr.
  7. Larhonda Marie Bronson
  8. Jose Moreno Caballero
  9. Fernando Paul Cardenas
  10. Kevin Andrew McCarthy Collins
  11. Ingrid Siomara Contreras
  12. Thwana Mithsell Darrough
  13. Kimberly Sue Doss
  14. Jeremiah Edward Foco*
  15. Mary Frances Gregory
  16. Gwendolyn M. Hooser
  17. Sandra Lee Hopler
  18. Rita Mae Hughes
  19. Barbara Ann Hutchinson
  20. Rochelle Maria Ihm
  21. Willie Mae Jackson
  22. Matthew Ellis Keith
  23. Joseph A. Krainak Jr.
  24. Alexandria Joy Lowitzer
  25. Faloma Luhk
  26. Maleina Quitugua Luhk
  27. Suzanne Gloria Lyall
  28. Heather Ann MacCrossen
  29. Kimberly Ann Mallard
  30. Pedro Castro Martinez
  31. Marta Alicia Michel
  32. Jackson Alexander Miller
  33. Alan Lee Morse
  34. Judith Erin O’Donnell
  35. Ariza Maria Olivares
  36. Carmen Maria Owens
  37. Byron Eric Page
  38. Francisco Robles Perez
  39. Annette Deanne Sagers
  40. Philistin Saintcyr
  41. Lloyd Melvin Thomas
  42. Kimberly Faye Thrower
  43. Delight Marie Watson
  44. John Albert Weichelt
  45. Billy Wellman
  46. Francis Loretta Heath Wells
  47. Nancy Debra Willis

*maybe

Let’s talk about it: Ashok Narain

NamUs gives the year 1987 for when Ashok Kumar Narain disappeared from Eugene, Oregon. Other sources say it was in April 1988. Regardless, Ashok’s disappearance is a very mysterious case — was he a murderer, a victim, or both?

The story begins in 1983 when Ashok, a native of Fiji, married Raj, a fellow Fijian from his village. It was an arranged ceremony. The couple moved to Oregon and subsequently had a little girl, Kamnee Koushal Narain.

The Narains regularly wrote letters to their families back in Fiji. Nobody back home detected anything amiss from the letters; it looked like a normal marriage and Raj seemed happy enough. The letters eventually stopped, but the couple’s Fijian relatives weren’t worried.

In the meantime, in September 1987, the dismembered remains of a pregnant woman were found in two different rivers in Washington and Oregon. A few days later, a toddler’s body was found in yet a third river in the vicinity. Although the police suspected the woman and child were related, they couldn’t prove it, and there were no missing persons that matched either of them.

Ashok’s brother reported the Narains missing in 2006. He’d heard about the dead woman and baby in Washington, and Raj’s family couldn’t find any trace of her online. In 2007, DNA testing confirmed the bodies were Raj and Kamnee. Mother and daughter were taken back Fiji for burial. Raj was 24 years old at the time of her death; Kamnee was only fourteen months.

I haven’t seen anything about a cause of death. It’s possible the police don’t know due to the condition of the remains. It’s equally possible that police do know and are withholding this information from the public.

So… where’s Ashok, the last surviving member in the family? Nobody knows.

When a woman, particularly a pregnant woman, is murdered, the police always start their investigation by looking at the husband or boyfriend. Yet, there’s no warrant for Ashok’s arrest and he isn’t even being called suspect; he’s only wanted for questioning as a witness. He certainly seems to have dropped off the map entirely since his wife and daughter’s killings — although I must admit, he had a really good head start.

Yet the dates here are pretty significant, because if the 1988 date is correct, that means Ashok was last seen over six months AFTER Kamnee and Raj’s killings. And that’s kind of hard to explain away.

I have no idea whether or not Ashok committed the murders. I do, however, think whoever did it was someone close to the victims. I believe this because the killer(s) went to a great deal of trouble disposing of the bodies and concealing their identities. I mean: dismemberment, hiding Raj’s head where it would never be found, and dumping the pieces in three different rivers in two different states. I think if the person was a stranger or only a slight acquaintance, they wouldn’t bother with all that.

R.I.P. Raj, and the baby you were carrying. R.I.P. Kamnee. I hope they find out who committed such a terrible crime.

And… let’s talk about it.

Make-a-List Monday: Minors in unusual living situations

I thought I’d make a list today of kids under 18 who were had atypical housing arrangements. I don’t mean kids residing with stepparents, adoptive parents, foster care, boarding schools, group homes or residential treatment centers. Nor do I include cases where the child was left with a non-relative in what was meant to be a temporary arrangement.

I mean minors living with their friends, those living with adult friends of their families, those living with a spouse or boyfriend or girlfriend, those living alone, and those living with members of their extended family, provided the extended family were not officially foster parents or adoptive parents.

I know a guy who lived in a situation like that for a few years. I figured I’d talk about him here. I’m using alias names for everyone, and also placing the story in a different state, for privacy. This story is going to last for several paragraphs so skip to the list if you don’t care. This is what he told me:

START OF STORY: Basically, my friend Alec grew up in a tiny sneeze-and-you-miss it farm community in Illinois. Alec was the oldest of three siblings, and his mother abandoned the family when he was like six years old and dropped completely out of sight. There was a divorce but they couldn’t force her to pay child support because they couldn’t find her.

Alec’s father, Craig, was an alcoholic. The only jobs he could get were low-paying manual labor — construction, farm work, that sort of stuff. There was basically no chance of him improving his career prospects because he was more or less illiterate. Craig could write his name, and he could slowly sound out words if he had to, but his comprehension was just about nil. I don’t know if he had dyslexia or an intellectual disability or whether he simply wasn’t properly educated, but it’s hard to find any kind of decent job if you can’t read.

Craig was also an unreliable employee because of his constant drinking. At home, when drunk, he would verbally abuse his children. I asked Alec once if his father ever beat him and he said no, but he did say Craig “smacked him around” sometimes. When Craig wasn’t working, the family subsisted on food stamps and welfare (this was back before the big welfare overhaul in the mid-nineties) and on whatever Alec could bring in from his own part-time jobs.

One day, when he was 16 or so, Alec just fed up with it and left, with no belongings, and only the clothes on his back. He went across town to his best friend from high school, Trevor Martin. By rural Illinois standards, Trevor’s family was rich. Mom was a professional counselor. Dad was an anesthesiologist, which is one of the highest-paying medical specialties. Alec basically showed up on Trevor’s doorstep and asked the Martins he could stay there for two years until he graduated high school.

And they let him. I wouldn’t say the Martins treated Alec like their own son, but they provided for his material needs and they were nice to him and didn’t use them as their verbal or physical punching bag. Alec remains in close touch with the Martin family to this day.

After Alec graduated high school, the Martins’ generosity did not extend towards paying for his college education. I’m not even sure he wanted to go to college anyway, and his GPA wasn’t that great. He opted to join the military. After his discharge he got a high-paying job using the training the military gave him, and he’s doing well for himself.

Technically I suppose this was a runaway situation, but Craig knew exactly where Alec was the entire time, and never reported him missing to the police. Alec continued to attend the same high school, and the teachers knew he was actually living with the Martins, and nobody reported it. I mean, let’s face it, he was in a much better living situation than CPS could have provided him. END OF STORY

Now on to the list!

  1. Anthony Ross Allen
  2. Andria Ann Bailey
  3. Erica Monique Bradley
  4. Kristina Delane Branum
  5. Zackery Lee Brewer
  6. Niki Diane Britten
  7. Monica Cassandra Carrasco
  8. Amber Elizabeth Cates
  9. Christopher Gage Daniel
  10. Tracy Lynn Davenport
  11. Timothy Jacob Davison
  12. Theresa M. Fishbach
  13. Elizabeth Franks
  14. Angela Lee Freeman
  15. Debra Lee Frost
  16. Richard Gorham
  17. Coral Pearl Hall
  18. Tinze Lucinda Huels
  19. Jennifer Jane Hughes
  20. Karen Beth Kamsch
  21. Mary Sue Kitts
  22. Ruth Ann Leamon
  23. Kase Ann Lee
  24. Chloie Rhianna Leverette
  25. Alexandra Cassandra Livingston
  26. Kristopher Charles Loesch
  27. Faloma Luhk
  28. Maleina Quitugua Luhk
  29. Brianna Alexandria Maitland
  30. Tianna Neshelle Martin
  31. Ila Veronica Tucker Maynard
  32. Heather Lorraine Mehlhoff
  33. Launa Renee Merritt
  34. Garnell Monroe Moore
  35. Sophia Felecita Moreno
  36. Tristen Alan Myers
  37. Ariza Maria Olivares
  38. Victoria Jane Owczynsky
  39. Alicia Guzman Padilla
  40. Jose Francisco Fuentes Pereira
  41. Larry Wayne Perry
  42. Eric Wayne Pyles
  43. Christina Marchell Richart
  44. Joseph Rodriguez
  45. Kathleen Edna Rodgers
  46. Qua’Mere Sincere Rogers
  47. Cristina Ester Ruiz-Rodriguez
  48. Alisha Smiley
  49. Roland Jack Spencer III
  50. Rocio Chila Sperry
  51. Edward Ashton Stubbs
  52. Kylan Patrick Stubler
  53. Patricia Lynn Taylor
  54. Mary Rachel Trlica
  55. Daffany Sherika Tullos
  56. Jahi Marques Turner
  57. Leah Jean Van Schoick
  58. Mary Ann Verdecchia
  59. Brittany Renee Williams
  60. April Susanne Wiss
  61. Quinn Renard Woodfolk
  62. Shelby Raistlin Wright

 

An honorable mention: Marble Ace Arvidson. Although his residence was officially a foster home, his “foster father” was in his twenties — that is, only a few years older than Marble — and many accounts refer to the other residents in the home as “roommates.”

It’s pretty hard to put a list like this together. I may very well have missed a few, or more than a few. My apologies.