This week’s featured missing person is Patricia Marie Small, who was last seen when she was dropped off at Liberty High School in Liberty, Texas on May 11, 2002. She was eighteen years old at the time, white, with brown hair, blue eyes, and a tattoo of a heart with a ribbon reading “Jennifer Best Friends 4 Ever.”
Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be much info about her disappearance; it’s like she just vanished into thin air after being dropped off. No apparent evidence of either runaway or kidnapping.
If still alive, Patricia would be 39 today. There is a Facebook page set up to try to find her.
The verdicts in the Kristin Denise Smart murder-without-a-body case are back, and have been announced. Although father and suspected accomplice Ruben Flores has been acquitted, son Paul Flores was convicted of Kristin’s murder and faces 25 years in prison.
I bet he wishes he’d taken that plea deal they offered him, where he’d show them where he put Kristin’s remains and would only get six years. He’d be out by now, with that unpleasantness all behind him, young enough to start over.
Now he’s middle-aged–45 years old–and the 25-year prison sentence he’s facing might amount to the rest of his life.
It’s a sentence Paul thoroughly deserves, after he spent that same amount of time torturing the Smart family and accumulating drunk driving arrests and (allegedly) drugging and raping other women.
This week’s featured missing person is Anita Mary Luchessa, an 18-year-old college student who disappeared from Berkeley, California on May 7, 1972.
What happened to her is not a mystery: she was a victim of the serial killer Ed Kemper. Anita and a friend, Mary Anne Pesce, were hitchhiking when he picked them up. He later said he strangled and stabbed both of them to death, dismembered their bodies and dumped them near Loma Prieta Mountain. Mary Anne’s skull was found on the mountain in August 1972, but Anita has never been located.
Sometimes people ask me why I have cases on the Charley Project of people who are obviously deceased. Two reasons:
To help identify them, if their remains are found.
In memory of them.
If Anita Luchessa had not been murdered fifty years ago, she would be 68 today.
This week’s featured missing person is Darren Conway Rogers, a 13-year-old boy who disappeared from Modesto, California on February 27, 1973. He was last seen walking to school that day. He never arrived there.
It always depresses me when I’ve got a long-ago case of a missing child or teenager and no real details. My guess is that, given the time period and Darren’s age, the police probably assumed he was a runaway and didn’t really investigate. Even now, there’s very little information and Darren isn’t even listed on the NCMEC site.
If still alive, Darren would be turning 63 in two weeks. He was tall for his age in 1973, six feet, and had plenty of growing years left, so if he’s still alive he might be more like 6’3 or 6’4. He has blond hair and he’s partially blind in his left eye.
Darren Rogers has been missing for almost fifty years.
I hope everyone is doing well. My husband is now covid-free and I never tested positive myself. Score one for the vaccines! I have stopped sleeping on the floor of my office and returned to the marital bed.
This week’s featured missing person is Michelle Wells, a 13-year-old girl who disappeared from Detroit, Michigan in 1982.
And… that’s it. That’s all I have for this case. I don’t even have an exact date of disappearance, which is very sad, especially given as Michelle was a child.
I also only have one poor quality photo of her, and not much in the way of a physical description: of Native American and white descent, with red hair — though it doesn’t look red in the picture. No height and weight, no eye color.
If she’s still alive, Michelle would be about 53 years old today. It’s cases like this that deserve attention most of all, and that’s why I picked her for my missing person of the week.
“Princess Doe”, an unidentified teenage girl whose remains were found in Blairstown, New Jersey in 1982, was at one time thought to be Diane Genice Dye. She wasn’t Diane, but after forty years she finally has her name back: Dawn Olanick, age seventeen. And they’ve arrested her killer, a fellow by the name of Arthur Kinlaw, who is already serving twenty years to life in another murder.
The story is laid out in this article from the New Jersey Herald. Seventeen-year-old Dawn was “told to leave her mother’s residence” after her junior year in high school and was not reported missing after she did. She met up with Kinlaw, a pimp, who attempted to force her into prostitution. When Dawn resisted, Kinlaw killed her. He confessed to the homicide in 2005, but the authorities chose not to prosecute until they had identified the victim.
As for Diane Dye, she’s still missing. If still alive, she’d be 56 today.
They’re still looking for Khrystyna Carreno, a twelve-year-old girl who disappeared from Bakersfield in November 2020. (The article spells her name “Khrystina” but the NCMEC and CDOJ spell it “Khrystyna” so I’m going to go with that.) I don’t have her on Charley but figure I should add her. Twelve is very young, obviously, and she’s been missing for a year and a half now. I hope she’s alive and hasn’t been trafficked. Here’s Khrystyna’s NCMEC poster.
They have finally identified the little boy whose corpse was found outside Atlanta over 20 years ago. His name was William DaShawn Hamilton and he was six years old when he was murdered. William was never reported missing. His mother, Teresa Ann Bailey Black, has been charged with felony murder, cruelty to children, aggravated assault and concealing the death of another.
They’re still looking for Kathy Sue Wilcox, a 15-year-old girl last seen in Otsego in 1972. She got into an argument with her parents over an older boy she was dating, stomped out angrily and was never seen again. Kathy would be 65 today. Kathy’s sister does not believe she ran away, and made reference to a “significant antisocial person who was in [Kathy’s] life,” whom she thinks could have been involved.
Remains found in Rosemount in 2014 have been identified as James Everett, a New York man who was not listed as missing. They do not know the cause or manner of death, but they believe Everett died sometime in the autumn months of 2013. I wonder if he died of exposure; Minnesota can get very cold, and I doubt a “decommissioned railroad utility shed” would have heat or insulation.
They’re still looking for Maura Murray, and are searching an unspecified “area in the towns of Landaff and Easton.” This search isn’t based on any new info, though, they’re just shooting in the dark.
From New York:
They’re trying to find Judith Threlkeld, a 22-year-old woman who disappeared from Chautauqua County in 1976. She was last seen walking home from the library. I added the case to Charley yesterday.
From North Dakota:
Check out this awesome in-depth three-part series on the 1996 disappearances of Sandra Mary Jacobson and her son, John Henry Jacobson: part 1 | part 2 | part 3 (this last part is paywalled, but I was invested enough to fork over two bucks for a subscription). Very mysterious case. I feel terrible for Sandra’s older son, Spencer: he lost his mom and half-brother, literally, and later on his father was murdered, and neither of these cases have been solved. A few years after the murder of Spencer’s father, Spencer’s wife died tragically young at 24, from strep throat of all things, leaving him a young widower with three kids. Poor Spencer has had enough bad luck to last a lifetime.
They’re still looking for Charles King Blanche, a 39-year-old man who disappeared from his Youngstown group home in 1991. Blanche’s cousin says he was a very talented musician who was recruited to tour in Europe in a marching band, but his life kind of cratered after he developed an unspecified severe mental illness. An all-too-common story on the Charley Project.
It’s being reported that sometimes when Texan foster kids run away, the agencies just wash their hands of them and end their guardianship over them. This sounds terrible, but given how often foster agencies fail their wards, and given as it’s Texas where they can’t even keep the lights on, I’m not entirely surprised.
Using genetic genealogy, they have identified a Jane Doe whose partial remains were found south of Midland in 2013. The victim was Sylvia Nicole Smith, who disappeared in 2000 at the age of sixteen. The case is being investigated as homicide.
Cory Bigsby, the father of four-year-old Codi Bigsby, has been indicted on thirty counts, the majority of them child neglect charges. Codi has been missing since January. None of the indictments are related to his disappearance; they’re connected to Cory’s allegedly terrible parenting from prior to Codi’s disappearance. Codi has not been missing long enough to go up on Charley, so here’s his NCMEC poster, and here’s another poster for him.
From Washington state:
There are forty known Native American people listed as missing from the Yakima area. And here’s a list of all the Native Americans listed as missing from the entire state.
From Washington DC:
They’re still looking for Relisha Tenau Rudd, an eight-year-old girl who disappeared from a Dickensian homeless shelter in 2014. I’ve blogged about Relisha several times, as recently as earlier this week when they put up a new AP for her. If still alive, Relisha would now be 16. Here’s another detailed article about her case, with links to the earlier series of articles the Washington Post did about it.
And in general:
Although they don’t drop kids from the guardianship rolls when they disappear, in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Illinois, most missing foster kids who resurface are not screened to see if they were trafficked during the time they were gone. The article says Texas actually has a better record in this regard, with over 80% of missing-and-then-located foster kids being screened. But the number should ideally be 100%.
My husband has persuaded me to finally turn the Charley Project into an official registered nonprofit organization. Right now we’re saving up the money to pay a lawyer to file the paperwork to do this though it’s going to be awhile at this rate; money is super tight right now. If the Charley Project is a registered nonprofit, all donations will become tax-deductible and also the organization could become the recipient of grants. I’d use the grants to travel to more missing persons events, and pay the subscription fees for more databases to use in researching cases, and maybe hire an editor or something.
This week’s featured missing person is actually a triple disappearance, or maybe a quadruple one depending on your point of view. Rachel Marie Anderson was last seen in Fulton, Mississippi on April 11, 2000, at the same time her brothers, Cameron and Kyle Anderson, and mother, Lesley Allen, also went missing.
Rachel was 13 at the time, Cameron was 12 and Kyle was 9. I don’t know Lesley’s age or description, though I do have some photos of her. Lesley was not reported missing.
Supposedly the family just vanished one day, leaving behind Lesley’s two older children, who both have mental disabilities. There’s been no sign of them since. In 22 years. No school or medical records transfers, no activity on any of their Social Security numbers, etc.
I think something terrible must have happened to them, but I have no idea what.
Rachel would be 36 today and her brothers would be 34 and 31. All the children are white, blonde and blue-eyed. Rachel has a strawberry birthmark on the left side of her face, Cameron wears glasses, and Kyle has a scar on his upper lip.
It’s a bizarre case and I wish it had gotten more attention.
The weather is terrible and everything going on in the world right now is terrible and the dashboard of my website (that’s my end) is experiencing technical difficulties that are extremely annoying to me, so I thought I’d share one good thing that’s happened recently.
Thanks in part due to the Charley Project and viewers like you, and in part due to a bunch of other people in law enforcement and such, and mainly cause of DNA Solves, this lady has been identified. Four years after they found her remains and six years after she was last seen alive at the age of eighteen, Juanita Diane Roxy Coleman is going home.
Now, I’m too tired and too annoyed with WordPress and the world to think straight right now. But I am happy that Juanita has her name back. And maybe, now they can figure out who killed her.