Pride Month: Martha “Clyde” Dicks

In honor of Pride Month I’m featuring a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer missing person every day for the month of June. Today’s case is Martha Ann Dicks, aka Clyde, who disappeared from Sumter, South Carolina on March 29, 1972.

Said to be a lesbian who sometimes dated men, I wonder if Martha wasn’t actually transgender. She had a man’s name for her nickname and she liked to wear men’s clothes.

Martha/Clyde is thought to have been a victim of the serial killer Donald “Pee Wee” Gaskins. She was 19 and possibly pregnant at the time of her disappearance.

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Pride Month: Ivory Green

In honor of Pride Month I’m featuring a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer missing person every day for the month of June. Since yesterday’s case didn’t run yesterday like it was supposed to, I’m putting up two today. Yesterday’s case is Ivory Francis Green, a 17-year-old girl who disappeared from Utica, New York on March 6, 2004.

I don’t know what Ivory’s sexual orientation is but she liked to wear boys’ clothes and could be mistaken for one.

For years she was classified as a runaway, and some agencies classify her as that still, but now foul play is suspected. Ivory hung out with some sketchy people including drug dealers. The police haven’t said much, but they think they know what happened to her.

Pride Month: Dashad “Sage” Smith

In honor of Pride Month I’m featuring a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer missing person every day for the month of June. Today’s case is Dashad Laquinn Smith, who not long before her disappearance had started using a new name, Sage. Sage was last seen in Charlottesville, Virginia on November 20, 2012, just weeks before her twentieth birthday.

It took me awhile to figure out Sage’s identity. The original articles about her said she sometimes dressed as a woman but specifically said she wasn’t trans. However, this feature article explains that Sage, who had previously identified as a gay man, had started identifying as a transgender woman. So here we are.

Sage’s life wasn’t easy.  It isn’t easy for most trans people, particularly trans women of color. She spent time in foster care in childhood after her mom was deemed unfit. Her apartment was paid for by the state because of the foster care thing, but she was working minimum wage jobs and barely getting by. She was studying cosmetology and dreamed of better things.

Not that much is known about Sage’s disappearance, because the person of interest in her case, Erik McFadden, the last person known to have seen her, went on a runner and hasn’t popped back up yet in five and a half years. Hmm…

It doesn’t look good. McFadden isn’t the only person of interest — some of Sage’s other acquaintances seem sketchy — but you have to wonder what is compelling him to stay out of sight for this long. And meanwhile, Sage has a loving family who misses her very much.

Pride Month: Katelin Akens

In honor of Pride Month I’m featuring a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer missing person every day for the month of June. Today’s case is Katelin Michelle Akens, a nineteen-year-old who disappeared from Springfield, Virginia on December 5, 2015.

She was supposed to take a plane to Arizona that day, where she would live with her girlfriend and go to cosmetology school, but she never made her flight and her luggage was found in a ditch.

The police seem to be focusing on Katelin’s stepfather as a suspect; her suitcase was found just a few miles from his home, and he was the person who supposedly gave her a ride that day.

A pre-emptive post

Yes, I am aware that Simorali Nieves has dark skin and textured black hair. No, I did not make a mistake when I wrote her race down as Caucasian. Yes, I double-checked. Every source I could find says she’s Caucasian.

So if a mistake was made, it wasn’t mine; I have to work with what I’m given. I am hoping this post will stop some people from emailing me “correcting” her casefile.

Sigh. This is really inexcusable.

So I added a runaway case from the NCMEC to Charley today and then had to pull it down within about five minutes.

The girl was missing from Cleveland, Ohio. Curiously, however, she wasn’t listed on either the Cleveland missing persons page or the Cuyahoga County missing persons page.

I began to smell a rat, checked Facebook, and found what I’m pretty sure is the girl’s Facebook page — an active one. Last posting was two days ago. If it is her, she’s going by a nickname for her legal name, and she’s put on a lot of weight and changed her hair significantly. But the Facebook girl’s nose looked exactly the same, the page said she lives in Cleveland, and the NCMEC poster noted that she may use the same nickname the Facebook page was under.

I called up the NCMEC hotline number (which I call often enough to have it in my cell phone contacts), to tell them about the active Facebook page. They told me she had been recovered already.

SO WHY IS SHE STILL LISTED AS A MISSING CHILD ON THEIR SITE?

I understand that no database is perfect — certainly mine isn’t — but this kind of thing really should not happen. It wasn’t even that the NCMEC didn’t realize she wasn’t missing anymore; they did know. But they forgot to pull her poster.

Their right hand doesn’t know what their left is doing. If I hadn’t seen that girl’s Facebook page — and, being as it’s under her nickname, it’s not super obvious — and decided to call it in, who knows how much longer she would have been erroneously listed as missing.

This kind of stuff is more than just annoying to people like me, it can cause a lot of trouble for the person in question. Suppose this young lady decides to apply for colleges or jobs or something, and gets rejected because people Google her name and think she’s a missing child?

The NCMEC is a private organization, but it is funded largely by grants from the U.S. Department of Justice, and it has a budget in the millions. It is also the most famous missing children’s nonprofit in the country. This kind of carelessness from them is unacceptable.

Muttergrumble.