This is exasperating and infuriating

So, looking at this South Dakota missing persons page… it just makes me so sad there are so many names that even I have never seen before, and so many cases without photos. In particular the children.

I mean, look at this:

Missing at age nine. He’s been missing for four years. Too young to be a runaway, and no indication of a family abduction. You’d think there would have been SOME press about this poor child. But I can find nothing. Not even a picture.

And about her:

I looked for her on Facebook and found a possible profile with a picture in it. A black woman, like the missing lady, and with the exact right name, uncommon spelling and all. But the profile (which apparently hasn’t been updated since 2014) says that person lives in Tennessee, not South Dakota. I don’t feel comfortable adding her to Charley without better evidence that the profile is hers, and without any other available photos.

I found three probable Facebook pages for this guy:

But two of the accounts have no photos available, and although one does have a photo, the photo was added in 2021 (two years after his 2019 disappearance) which makes me wonder if he’s missing at all. But then again I have reason to believe that particular account is fake.

I don’t really understand why there are so many cases lacking photos. Everyone has photos of themselves. Even if you don’t have a camera phone, surely there are school pictures, driver’s licenses, state and tribal photo ID cards…

It’s frustrating.

FBI publishes list of missing Native Americans

The FBI has put out this list of 170 Native American people listed as missing in New Mexico and throughout the Navajo Nation (which comprises 17.4 million acres in NE Arizona, NW New Mexico and SE Utah).

The list sometimes has pictures of the MP, although the way the PDF is formatted makes the pictures really small and not very helpful. It also has the MP’s date of birth and date of disappearance.

This list is quite helpful because it’s current and all these people are confirmed to be missing right now. Both NamUs and the New Mexico state database are absolutely terrible at removing resolved cases and I can’t really trust either source when I’m trying to verify that a person is in fact still missing. Regarding the New Mexico database, one time one missing person had like three or four separate, successive entries. He was a chronic runaway and would always turn up eventually. And he kept going missing, getting added to the NM database, not getting removed after he was found, then going missing again and getting another entry on the database. *facepalm*

I’m going to have to go down the list and start adding people to Charley, and adding dates of birth to the cases I already have.

Harmony Montgomery report

Thought y’all would like to have a look at this report the Massachusetts Office of the Child Advocate about Harmony Montgomery‘s life up until she was placed with her dad, basically trying to figure out if child protection authorities failed her (they did) and in what way.

I only just started it myself but I can tell it’s going to be informative and infuriating.

I’ve been battling a horrible sinus infection for a week but I’m back on my feet now. Will be updating today.

Annnnnd…. it’s gone again

Yeah, remember this entry about how the Washington missing persons database is FINALLY back up?

Well, I just went to the site again and found this statement:

Effective February 2, 2022, the Washing [sic] State Missing Persons Site is temporarily offline while we confirm that data received for this purpose is accurate and timely. Please be advised that WASPC is working with our partners at the Washington State Patrol to provide accurate and timely information on missing persons in Washington State. Thank you for your patience.

I hope they don’t spend months and months working this issue out too.

The searchable database of Washington state missing persons is back

After being down “for maintenance” since I don’t know when (last summer maybe?), the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs has finally put their searchable database of Washington missing persons back online.

It appears to be pretty much the same database as before; I’m not seeing any particular changes jumping out at me. I wish they had more pictures. Like, what’s the point of listing a person on the internet as missing when there’s no photo of them?

I noticed there were QUITE a lot of people who disappeared in mid-May 1980 and were listed as “catastrophe victims”. I thought about this for awhile, then Googled “Mount Saint Helens eruption.” Yup, mid-May 1980. I don’t think any of those people are going to be found at this point, though one never knows.

Well, it happened

A year and a half ago I wrote on this blog about a Supreme Court decision that I was pretty sure was going to wind up affecting some of the Charley Project missing persons cases. And, lo and behold, it has.

I just started writing up Faith Lindsey‘s a murder-without-a-body case. Charges were filed against her boyfriend, then dismissed because of this Supreme Court decision that meant the state of Oklahoma did not have jurisdiction, then charges were refiled in federal court and the murder case is pending there.

Now, I might have a slight interest in reading about legal rulings of this kind, but I am not sure the average Charley Project reader has the same interest. It seems to me that a paragraph about the McGirt ruling and its significance would probably just clog up Faith’s casefile.

My husband suggested I say “dismissed on jurisdictional grounds and then refiled in federal court”, and then add the McGirt info in a footnote or something. Hmm.

I wanted to drop a recommendation for y’all

So this podcast series, “Through the Cracks: The Untold Story of Mbuyisa Makhubo” came out in 2016, but I didn’t discover it until a few days ago. I really wanted to tell everyone because it’s an awesome series, four episodes, great journalism, very thorough, telling a fascinating story about a missing person.

Mbuyisa Makhubo was a very ordinary teenage black boy living in Soweto, South Africa in the 1970s when he became world-famous by accident. Basically, what happened was that a 1976 youth protest against the brutal apartheid regime got out of hand and the police opened fire on the crowd, killing a twelve-year-old boy named Hector Pieterson (and a lot of other people). Mbuyisa was the one who picked up Hector after he was shot and carried him to a nearby car — a photojournalist’s — to take him to the hospital. The journalist’s photos of Mbuyisa, running with a dying Hector in his arms and Hector’s screaming, hysterical sister running next to him, were displayed in newspapers across the world. You might have seen the images yourself; they’re still famous.

The result was that Mbuyisa (who hadn’t even been attending the protest, he just happened to live on that street) became a target of South African security forces. Afraid for his life, he had to flee the country. He got a scholarship to attend a school in Nigeria, but couldn’t adjust, began deteriorating physically and mentally, and ended up on drugs and living on the streets of Lagos. Sometime in 1978, he disappeared, and his family in South Africa never heard from him again.

Then he may have resurfaced, thirty years later, alive and well in a Canadian jail. Or maybe he didn’t.

From there the story just keeps getting stranger and stranger and more and more complicated. I don’t want to say anything more for fear of spoiling things, but I wound up listening to the whole podcast in one streak, ruminating on it for hours and puzzling it over with my friends afterwards.

So yeah, listen to it.

“An Uncertain Future for a Key Missing Persons Program” and other stories

Another article dump (I’ve decided to make a regular thing of this, even after I’m out of Facebook Jail):

This article about the near-defunding of NamUs. Key highlight: “Meanwhile, according to a statement from NIJ, the program could be facing staffing and service cuts, at least in the short-term — and it remains unclear what exactly the longer-term future of NamUs may be.”

From Alaska: four Native people disappeared this fall after visiting the city of Fairbanks, and they are all still missing. Their names are Willis Derendorf, Frank Minano, Debbie Nictune and Doren Sanford. Police don’t think the cases are related.

From Florida: Ashley Lucas disappeared in September, a few months after traveling from her home in Texas to the Florida Panhandle for work. She was hospitalized and has not been seen since her release at the end of the month.

From Massachusetts: it’s coming up on the sixth anniversary of the disappearance of Sabrina Lee Hatheway from Worcester.

From Mississippi: they’ve installed Crime Stoppers kiosks in Walmarts in Biloxi, Gulfport and Pascagoula to help find missing people from the area.

From Nevada: A body found in 2004 has been identified as Aldo Araiza, who disappeared in 2000 at the age of 20.

From North Carolina: the police are still looking for two people missing from Shelby: Kenneth Jamison, missing since 2017, and Walter Vernon McCraw, missing since 2018.

From Ohio: Brian Rini, who surfaced in Cincinnati in April 2019 and falsely claimed he was Timmothy James Pitzen, who disappeared from Wisconsin in 2011, has been sentenced to two years in prison for identity theft as a result. But because he gets credit for 20 months of time served, he’ll be out in four months. A year of probation follows his release.

Also from Ohio: the police are still looking for Jeffrey Hayes Pottinger, who disappeared on Christmas Eve in 2009 from Warren County.

From Texas: the police are still looking for Orville Seaton, who disappeared from Navasota two days before Christmas in 1997. He was 71 at the time and would be 94 today.

From Virginia: Ronald Roldan, recently charged with the kidnapping of Bethany Anne Decker, has now been charged with her murder as well. Bethany has been missing since 2011.

From Wyoming: Angela Laderlich disappeared from Casper on September 25 and is still missing.

From England: they found some human bones in Solihull, which were thought to possibly be those of thirteen-year-old David Spencer and eleven-year-old Patrick Warren, who disappeared the day after Christmas in 1996. However, it turns out the bones are over a century old.

From Nigeria: in an all-too-familiar story, the terrorist group Boko Haram has kidnapped more than 330 boys from a government-run boarding school in Kankara.

From Pakistan: despite promises to end the practice, security forces are still regularly abducting, torturing and murdering people. Thousands of victims are still missing.

From Scotland: A review of missing people from Glasgow.