MP of the week: Adan Velasco

This week’s featured missing person is Adan Andrada Velasco, an 18-year-old boy who disappeared from Austin, Texas on May 2, 2007. He’s described as Hispanic, 5’9 and 140 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes, and a tattoo on his abdomen of a shield with the initials AV and the number 88. I have a photo of the tattoo.

It’s not clear whether Adan ran away from home or what, but it’s mentioned he could be in the Chicago area and may be with a white Maltese dog.

He suffers from an unspecified mental illness or illnesses. He’d be 33 today, and has been missing for close to half his life.

AP dump today, first in awhile

Today I updated what felt like about a million missing persons’ age-progression photos. As is the custom, those aren’t crowding up the Charley Project’s updates page; instead I’ll list them below

  1. LaMoine Jordan Allen
  2. April Dawn Andrews
  3. Bob Louis Richard Boyes
  4. Laronda Marie Bronson
  5. Gina Dawn Brooks
  6. Kellie Marie Brownlee
  7. Olivia Addison Edwards-Tuttle
  8. Randi Layton Evers
  9. Robert Joseph Fritz
  10. Jose Francisco Fuentes Pereira
  11. Izar Isaac Godinez Sanchez
  12. Royce Henson
  13. Ethan James Hernandez
  14. Melissa Suzanne Highsmith
  15. Mark Joseph Himebaugh
  16. Alice Fay Jefferson
  17. William Ebenezer Jones III
  18. Karen Beth Kamsch
  19. Dennis Lloyd Martin
  20. Laureen Ann Rahn
  21. Benjamin Melvin Roseland
  22. Aaron Cody Stepp
  23. Marisa Velasco
  24. Mary Anne Wesolowski
  25. Shawn White

MP of the week: Christopher Temple

This week’s featured missing person is Christopher Alan Temple, a 17-year-old high school senior who disappeared while camping with four friends in a campground in the woods in Bath Township, Michigan on April 22, 1990. His friends said he just walked away from the campsite in the night and never returned.

The Charley Project says the only sign ever located was one of his shoes, found about 300 yards from the campsite over a year after his disappearance. However, the Case Remains site says Christopher’s other shoe was found nearby a few weeks after the first, along with “handfuls of long, strawberry blond hair, enough to fill two 8 x 10 envelopes.” It wasn’t Christopher’s hair, which was brown.

The police initially thought it might be a runaway case, or just ran into some misadventure in the swampy woods surrounding the campsite. But it’s come out that Christopher sold weed and sometimes shorted customers, so there’s a theory that an unhappy customer went after him.

There hasn’t been much about this in the news since it happened, and it’s been over 30 years now. Christopher’s father is deceased; I’m not sure about other family members. I’m sure they’d like to know what happened to him, or at least where he is.

MP of the week: Mercedes Toliver

This week’s featured missing person is Mercedes Zaevon Toliver, an eighteen-year-old black girl who left her Prescott, Arkansas home after an argument at around midnight on December 17, 2016. She was never seen again.

There doesn’t seem to be much out there to suggest might have happened to her. I do think it’s unlikely she left on her own, though, since she didn’t take anything other than her phone and $20, and since she was a responsible young woman who was planning to join the Air Force. I wonder if someone grabbed her while she was walking to her aunt’s house.

Mercedes’s nickname is Cede. I’m not sure if it’s pronounced “Say-dee” like the “cede” in her full name. She’d be about 23 if still alive.

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 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.

Finally out of Facebook Jail! And other stories

Two months and ten days after my one-month Facebook Jail sentence began, Facebook has finally deigned to let me out. Yay. Now let’s see how long I can stay out before the modbots once again take offense at some perfectly acceptable meme I posted years ago.

Arizona: A Portland, Maine man who disappeared from the Grand Canyon on December 20 has been, amazingly enough, found alive and in good health.

Connecticut: Found this article featuring various missing persons from that state.

Georgia: In Atlanta they’re going to set up a memorial for the missing and murdered children lumped under the Atlanta Child Killer case. The city council has allocated funds and approved a design. Just a few days ago I watched the series on the Atlanta child murders on HBO Max. It was very disturbing. I don’t know if Wayne Williams killed anybody, but he DEFINITELY did not get a fair trial.

Michigan: They’re still looking for Dean Marie “Deanie” Peters, a 14-year-old girl who disappeared from Grand Rapids in 1981. The article focuses on the theory that a local teen boy drove at Deanie to scare her and make her think he was trying to hit her, but he accidentally DID hit her and killed her. This person allegedly told different versions of this story to a couple of dozen people before his death, but it has never been confirmed.

Oregon: They’re still looking for Kacey Ann Perry, a 10-year-old girl who disappeared from Portland in 1990. The article has several photos I’d not previously seen.

Pennsylvania: They’re still looking for John Francis Lango and the local paper has done a two-part series on his disappearance: here’s part one and part two. Although his family and most of his friends recall John as a happy-go-lucky, popular sort of guy, one acquaintance said he’d grown shy, introverted and “sullen” prior to his 1988 disappearance from Pottsville, a month before his eighteenth birthday. None of his loved ones think he ran away.

Texas: They found the car of Carey Mae Parker in Lake Tawakoni. Carey was 23 when she disappeared from Quinlan in 1991. So far they’ve only been able to recover one half of the vehicle, and so far no human remains have been found.

Utah: Here is an article about the disappearances and murders of various Native American people in Utah.

Australia: They’re still looking for Colleen Walker-Craig, a 16-year-old girl who disappeared from Bowraville, New South Wales in 1990. Her clothes were found in the river, weighted by rocks, but no sign of her.

Also Australia: A jawbone that washed up on a beach in New South Wales in 2011 has been identified as Bill Moran, a 24-year-old man who was lost at sea when his boat sank off Evans Head in 1979. Bill’s wife Philippa also died in the accident, but I think her body was found earlier.

Canada: There’s been a podcast episode about the 1997 disappearance of 27-year-old Danny Gaulton, who was last seen in Grande Prairie, Alberta. He told his roommates he was going to work, but in fact he called in sick that night. Neither he nor his car was ever found.

England: They’re still looking for Anne Simpson, a 60-year-old woman who disappeared from Skegness in 2004. She was last seen drinking with two biker types and her partner.

Japan: I found this interesting article about how North Korea kidnapped some people, including a thirteen-year-old girl, from Japan and took them back to North Korea so they could help train future spies.

Tiktok girl, searching through ponds and other stories

Honestly… it’s been ten days and it’s still very hard for me to take my mind off of the situation or to get much of anything done. I really wish I would not live through any more major historical events; I think I’ve endured more than my share already. But I’m trying, guys. I really am.

Oh, and an update on my Facebook woes: my release date from Facebook Jail has been moved from early February to late January. 6:26 a.m. on January 23 to be precise. I have no idea why and I’m not sure Facebook will honor this release date, since they didn’t last time.

Arizona: They’re still looking for Elizabeth Emma Breck, a 46-year-old teacher who disappeared from the Sierra Tucson behavioral health center in Saddlebrooke in January 2019. She had just arrived a few days earlier for a thirty-day treatment program for PTSD. Nothing significant to report regarding her disappearance, just that the anniversary was this week.

Arkansas: There has been much talk over the last couple of days that a dark-haired girl with bruised eyes in a viral Tiktok video was Cassie Kay Compton, who disappeared from Stuttgart in 2014, at age 15. The FBI says they’ve identified and spoken to the Tiktok girl and it’s not Cassie. They haven’t released her name, but she has been identified elsewhere as Haley Grace Phillips, a Los Angeles woman.

California: They’re looking to see if David Emery Misch, the man recently charged in the 1988 murder of nine-year-old Michaela Joy Garecht, who was kidnapped from a Hayward supermarket and never found, was also responsible for the disappearance of thirteen-year-old Ilene Beth Misheloff from Dublin in 1989.

Connecticut: They’re released an age-progressed image of Vanessa Morales, a two-year-old girl who was last seen in from Ansonia on November 29, 2019. The cops found Vanessa’s mother murdered at home on December 2, with no sign of Vanessa. I’ll add her to Charley soon.

Florida: They’re still looking for Mary Opitz, a seventeen-year-old girl who disappeared from Fort Myers back in 1981. They’re also still trying to solve the murder of Mary Hare, whose abduction and killing may have had the same perpetrator as in Opitz’s case.

Illinois: They’re still looking for Steven Robert Asplund, a 32-year-old tool and die worker who disappeared from Moline on January 9, 1994. The 27th anniversary of his disappearance was a week ago but there’s nothing new to report.

Iowa: They’ve finally canceled the Amber Alert for Breasia Terrell, a ten-year-old girl who disappeared from Davenport in July. She is still missing.

Michigan: Brad Cournaya, the longtime suspect in 34-year-old Krista Robin Lueth‘s 2008 disappearance from Lansing, has been charged with her murder. Her body has never been found.

Mississippi: They’re still trying to identify a little boy whose skull was found in a drainage canal in Sharkey County in 2014. No other remains were located. He was estimated to be between 5 and 7 at the time of his death, which may have occurred up to several years before he found. Preliminary DNA results indicate the boy was black, and probably has relatives from Sharkey County and the surrounding area.

Kansas: Some divers from an Oregon-based organization searched two ponds in Leavenworth County for Randy Wayne Leach and his mom’s car, which have both been missing since 1988. They didn’t find them.

Maryland: They’re still looking for Andre Thompson, a sixteen-year-old who disappeared from Baltimore on June 23. He may be in the Glen Burnie area.

Michigan: They have located fifteen-year-old Gloria Alvarado, who was missing from Taylor for 75 days. She is alive and well, and had run away with a seventeen-year-old boy because her parents would not allow her to date. She has returned home.

New York: They’re still looking for Joseph David Helt, a seventeen-year-old boy who disappeared from Ellenville on January 17, 1987, thirty-four years ago tomorrow.

Nevada: They’re still looking for Cassandra Ayon, a 27-year-old woman who disappeared from Loyal back in October. In particular, the police are asking for public help for info on a red or maroon SUV that may have been on one of the residential side streets near Unity Trailer Court, which is where Cassandra was last seen.

North Carolina: They’re still looking for Ebonee Shanetta Spears, a 30-year-old woman who disappeared five years and one day ago. Nothing new has been reported though.

Also North Carolina: In Winston-Salem, they’re still looking for two missing adults: Lucinda Farris, who disappeared from in June, and Eliseo Ernesto Gomez-Martinez, who disappeared in November. There’s no indication the two cases are related.

Oregon: They’re still trying to identify a child whose body was found near a rest area in Lincoln County on December 10. The little girl had dark brown or black hair and was between six and a half and ten years of age at the time of her death, which occurred at least a month before she was found. Cops have ruled out several possibilities for the girl, including five-year-old Dulce Maria Alvarez, who was abducted from a New Jersey playground in September 2019.

Virginia: The police have reclassified the 2010 disappearance of 19-year-old Samantha Ann Clarke from a missing person to a kidnap/homicide. They have not said whether they have any current suspects in the case, but Randy Allen Taylor, who was found guilty of murder-without-a-body in the 2013 disappearance of seventeen-year-old Alexis Tiara Murphy, has been mentioned before.

Wisconsin: They’re still looking for Daajane Morgan, a sixteen-year-old girl who disappeared from Milwaukee on March 6.

Canada: They’re still looking for Alyssa Turnbull, a young woman who disappeared from Nipigon, Ontario in late March 2020.

Also Canada: Six patients went missing from the now-defunct North Bay Psychiatric Hospital in Toronto, Ontario between 1966 and 2010. They have never been found.

England: They’re still looking for Andrew Gosden, a fourteen-year-old schoolboy who disappeared from London in 2007. Andrew Gosden and another English missing person, Charles Horvath Allen, have both been featured recently on the podcast The Missing.

Trinidad: They’re still looking for Kelly Ann Seerattan, a 25-year-old kindergarten music teacher who disappeared from Princes Town in 2011. The article has some quotes from Kelly’s mom.

English woman missing in Cyprus turns up decades later in Arizona, and other stories

Samuel Little, considered to be one of the U.S. most prolific serial killers, has died in prison at age 80. They’re still trying to locate/identify his victims.

In Arizona/England/Cyprus: they’ve found Lee-Tracey Miley, who was reported missing by her son in 2019 but had actually been out of touch with her family since 1991. She went on a vacation to Egypt that year, then traveled to Cyprus (an island nation in the Mediterranean) and never returned. Ms. Miley was located safe in Arizona. She claims she was injured in a car wreck in Cyprus and developed amnesia, and had no recollection of her previous life in Bournemouth, England.

In California: the recent arrest in Michaela Garecht‘s case has given hope for answers to the family of Amanda Nicole Eileen “Nikki” Campbell, a four-year-old girl who disappeared from Fairfield on December 27, 1991. The video clip in this link includes a color photo of Nikki which I had not seen elsewhere, and have added to her casefile.

In Florida: Steve Calkins, a former sheriff’s deputy, has been found not civilly liable for anything in the 2004 disappearance and presumed death of Terrance Deon Williams from Naples. It’s a very peculiar case. Williams’s family had filed a wrongful death suit against Calkins, who is the last person known to have seen Williams and was also the last person known to have seen another missing man, Felipe Santos, who had gone missing under nearly identical circumstances the previous year. The case had been forced into binding arbitration due to an error by the plaintiffs’ attorney, and the arbitrator ruled they had no case against Calkins.

In Iowa: it’s been nearly six months since ten-year-old Breasia Terrell disappeared from Davenport, and here’s a timeline of her case.

In Massachusetts: they’re still looking for Lisa Therisa Hazard, a 29-year-old woman who disappeared from New Bedford in March 2019. She had a drug problem and told her son’s father she was going to check into a rehab center in Fall River, but it’s unclear whether she even ever left New Bedford.

In Missouri: this article honors Marianne Asher-Chapman, who founded Missouri Missing, a nonprofit organization that helps families of people missing in Missouri and publicizes their cases. Asher-Chapman’s daughter, Michelle Angela “Angie” Yarnell, disappeared from Ivy Bend in 2003.

Also in Missouri: they’ve found the remains of Brandon L. Wood, a 23-year-old who disappeared from Mountain Grove in 2015. Curiously, the bones turned up in an area that had been previously searched.

In Ohio: this article talks about cold missing persons cases in Ohio, particularly in Butler County. It mentions Cynthia Louise Carmack, a 15-year-old missing from Hamilton since 1987, and Ronald Henry Tammen Jr., a 19-year-old Ohio University student missing from Oxford since 1953, among others.

In Oregon: this article is about the narrowly averted NamUs defunding and how it would have affected cold cases in that country.

In Texas: Fox San Antonio has released a recording of an interview police did with Elizabeth Johnson, mother of Gabriel Scott Johnson, who disappeared on December 27, 2009 at just seven months old. Elizabeth says she gave Gabriel to another couple to raise, but police have been unable to identify these people and think the child is probably dead. She was convicted of custodial interference and unlawful imprisonment, but acquitted of kidnapping, and was released from prison in 2014.

In Wisconsin: they’ve found the remains of Benjamin D. Bodwin, a 54-year-old man who disappeared from Athelstane in 2018. His death has been ruled a suicide.

In England: the police have released video footage of Steven Clark, a 23-year-old man who disappeared from Marske-by-the-Sea, Cleveland in 1992 and is presumed murdered. His parents were recently arrested and questioned, then released. They deny any involvement in their son’s presumed death and called the idea “absolutely ludicrous.”

In Russia: they’re still looking for Ayana Vinokurova and Alina Ivanova, two three-year-old girls who disappeared from Alina’s grandfather’s yard in a remote village called Sinsk in the far eastern part of the country back in 2013.

Twelve-year-old missing for four months is classified as a runaway, and other stories

I hope everyone had a good Christmas. Mine was pretty good. Very quiet of course, cause of covid.

In California: the body of Barbara Thomas, a 69-year-old woman who disappeared hiking in the Mojave Desert in 2019, has been found in the desert near Essex.

In Louisiana: they’re still looking for David Claude Yeager, a seventeen-year-old boy who disappeared from Shreveport in 1971, and there’s little indication as to what happened to him. His cousin has created a Facebook page for him.

In Missouri: they’re still looking for Cheryl Anne Scherer, a 19-year-old girl who disappeared from Scott City in 1979. The article doesn’t have a lot in terms of information, just focuses on her family’s pain and grief.

In New York: they’re still looking for Jaylen Griffin, a 12-year-old boy who disappeared under unclear circumstances from Buffalo in August. The police have this preteen listed as a runaway.

In Ohio: they’re still looking for Mary Jane Vangilder, a 33-year-old woman who disappeared from Willard in 1945. They’re going to check some Jane Does and see if any of them are her.

In Pennsylvania: Justo Smoker, who had previously been charged with Linda Stoltzfoos’s kidnapping, has been charged with her murder as well. Linda, an 18-year-old Amish girl, disappeared while walking home from church in Lancaster County back in June. She has never been found. Smoker was arrested on the kidnapping charges in July.

In Texas: they’re still looking for Patty Inez Brightwell Vaughan, a 32-year-old woman who disappeared from La Vernia on Christmas Day, 1996. She went missing after an argument with her estranged husband, who is the prime suspect in her case, but he has never been charged.

In Virginia: they’re still looking for two people missing from the Richmond area: Stephanie Collette Wallace, a 45-year-old woman who went missing from Richmond in 2005, and Robert Lee Hourihan, a 33-year-old man who disappeared from Palmyra in 2011. They also are hoping to identify a white or Hispanic man whose skeletal remains were found near a vacant apartment in Highland Springs in 2014.

In Australia: they’re still looking for Russell Hill and Carol Clay, who disappeared while on a camping trip in the Wonnangatta Valley in eastern Victoria back in May. They are believed to have been murdered.

In Canada: they’re still looking for Melanie Ethier, a 15-year-old girl who disappeared while walking home from a friend’s house in her small Ontario town in 1996. Melanie’s birthday is on Christmas Day.

“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.