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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Thoughts on today’s updates

It’s 11:47 p.m. as I type this, so perhaps by the time it’s finished, “today” will be “yesterday.”

For all the updated cases today, except Jahi Turner and Donna Mezo, you can thank Mion, who kindly gathered together a bunch of old newspaper articles about cases I had and emailed them to me.

Regarding my Donna Mezo update, I hope it clarifies the situation with her boyfriend’s death. Earlier I had said there was a suicide note and his death was ruled a suicide in spite of the fact that the gun used was found in “a nearby lake.” Well, I have since learned that “nearby” was more like “a few feet away.” I think what probably happened is that Jeffrie either threw or dropped his weapon into the water during or after firing it.

I found quite a lot on Newspapers.com for Marcell Byers‘s case. His NamUs profile includes a clipping about how the people charged with kidnapping him disappeared and their lawyer had been threatened and maybe it was foul play.

Well, the two suspects did disappear, leaving a van shot full of holes, but I guess it was all just an attempt to evade prosecution because they were alive, back in custody and well enough to cop a plea less than a year later.

It’s disturbing that Marcell was never found. All this over a gold chain. The Zuppos pleaded no contest to kidnapping, meaning they didn’t even admit they were guilty. They’d be out of prison by now and I’m not sure what they’re up to these days. I think Gerald Sr. may be dead; someone with the same name and birth year died in North Carolina in 2003.

Tejin‘s case is just sad. (Also, NamUs has him listed as a girl? I admit you can’t really tell from the pictures. If I hadn’t found some articles on his disappearance I’d have been none the wiser.) I found his Facebook page and one picture was of him holding a little turtle, whom Tejin called “my son.” This was just a few months before his presumed death.

Julie Davis‘s case is sad too. Judging from the Facebook page created for her, she was lost for awhile before she disappeared. They only have the one not very good quality and out-of-date photo of her, and from the Facebook page her family apparently wasn’t really clear on when they’d last heard from her. They mentioned getting a letter from her “around 1985 or 1986.” (I’m not sure where NamUs’s date of disappearance comes from.)

She was just sixteen years old and already out on her own, almost four hours from her hometown.  I know things were a bit different back in the eighties, but that’s still pretty unusual. I wonder if she was in foster care. Obviously her family cares about her or they wouldn’t be trying to find her. I hope she’s alive out there and doesn’t even know anyone is looking, and isn’t a Jane Doe somewhere, or worse, dead and never found.

For this case, normally I’d have listed her as just regular “Missing” but then I saw the detail about the track marks and thought “drugs” and upgraded her case to “Endangered Missing.” Question: do track marks ALWAYS mean drugs? There are some medical conditions that require a person to get frequent injections; do those people get similar scars?

Ashley Lynn Thomas has such striking eyes, so big and dark against her pale skin and hair. I hope she’s okay. I hope she and the baby are both healthy and being looked after.

Stuart Owen Collins got a big update today. (Thanks again, Mion!) It does sound like something bad happened to him, and one inevitably wonders about the woman he was with, and even more so about her husband.

With Paul Egan (another big update there) the whole rendering theory is just awful to contemplate. The police seemed to suspect Paul’s friend. They said his friend was not a suspect, but they also made a point of saying they couldn’t confirm the friend’s story.

It could have happened something like this: Paul and his friend got into some kind of argument at the plant after hours — his friend was a foreman, Paul a technician — and things got out of hand something went horribly wrong, and his friend is panicking and thinks “well, there’s this rendering machine, if I just chuck him in and keep my mouth shut, no one will ever know.” I doubt such places had security cameras in 1975. The rendering machine was designed to grind up horses; a human corpse would be easy.

Of course that’s all supposition. I did look up the friend in the Florida DOC database and on Facebook and couldn’t find anyone by that name. I did find a Newspapers.com mention of a person by that name (and a photo of that person) from 1970, five years before Paul disappeared. Nothing since then. I wonder if I’ve got the spelling of his surname right.

As far as the note Elsie Elsinga left behind — and her daughter’s poo-pooing the significance of that note — I don’t know. Her daughter said something like “How could someone of that age have done anything to mess up their life?” But perhaps Elsie’s “possible mild depression” was more significant than her daughter thought.

For Helen Robinson, I wonder if she decided to take a plane to visit one of those CB radio friends she had, and maybe something happened that prevented her from coming back. It was two solid years before her van turned up; by then, the weeds might have grown over the flight records. Robinson is definitely dead now; I don’t think she would have lived long in any case, because of her emphysema.

I added 27 updates and I’m very pleased with my work output today. I hope y’all have noticed how much more productive I’ve been ever since the site got redesigned. It takes less time to add/update stuff, since I don’t have to write all the code by hand, or hand-add case names to the lists.

Make-a-List Monday: Runaways with medical conditions

This article with worrying information about Clayton McCarter’s medical conditions prompted me to make a list of runaways with medical problems.

  1. Nova Cierra Awe: “may be in need of medical attention”
  2. Hailey Eli Burns: Asperger’s Syndrome and past behavioral problems, takes medications which she doesn’t have with her
  3. Lurline Michelle Bergeron: history of drug abuse
  4. Emily Bracamontes: “may be in need of medical attention”
  5. Jason Wayne Dennis: suicidal
  6. Martha Wes Dunn: “may be in need of medical attention”, heavily involved with drugs
  7. Shimeaka Renee Gibson: lupus
  8. John Christopher Inman: has a shunt in his skull, needs anti-seizure medication which he doesn’t have with him
  9. Janteyl Danielle Johnson: pregnant
  10. Ashley Renee Martinez: bipolar disorder
  11. Clayton Lynn McCarter: ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder, mentally disabled and functions at a five-year-old level, takes psychiatric medication
  12. Cynthia Lorraine Perry: history of drug abuse
  13. Rachel Geraldine Pratt: pregnant
  14. Cindy D. Valle: pregnant
  15. Glenna Jean White: needs medication
  16. Daniel Ted Yuen: depression and emotional problems, possibly a danger to self and others
  17. Elsa Janell Wind: possibly pregnant
  18. Fredrick James Workman: ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder, needs medication

Select It Sunday: Ashley Eiffert

This week’s Select It Sunday is Ashley Marie Eiffert, chosen by Ashley’s mom. This tiny (under five feet tall) nineteen-year-old disappeared from New Orleans on January 9, 2003. She was last seen arguing with someone on her cell phone. She left her vehicle behind, but it was reportedly broken anyway. Ashley has two tattoos and she was seven months pregnant.

Ashley’s mother told me she’s got a Facebook page, but I can’t find it. I wish I could find out more about her case. Hopefully her mother can provide me more info. I wonder how much attention the New Orleans police have given it; I’ve heard terrible things about that police department, and then of course Hurricane Katrina trashing the city two years later can’t have helped matters.

If Ashley is still alive, she’d be 34 now. Her child would be 14 this month.

Hrmm…

I’ve been up all night doing this and that and have been combing over the under-eighteens on NamUs that have no photos, looking to see if I can find some photos. I found one for Tebble Anita Garrett, but it’s several years out of date; I found an archived article on Newspapers.com from when she ran away in 1985. She got found two and a half weeks later.

More interestingly, I found a 2001 obituary for a Mildred Armstrong of Greenville, South Carolina — Tebble disappeared from Pickens — that mentions one of her survivors as “a daughter, Tebble Garrett, who disappeared in 1991.”

NamUs says Tebble disappeared in 1988. I wonder if perhaps her family heard from her or saw her at some point in 1991? Or did they merely report her missing in 1991, when in fact she dropped out of sight years earlier?

She definitely disappeared more than once, and the NamUs profile indicates Tebble had some serious difficulties by 1988: she was seventeen, pregnant, had needle marks on her arms and four street names. By that point I wouldn’t be at all surprised in her family quite wasn’t sure when they’d seen her last, poor girl.

Make-a-List Monday: Heavily pregnant girls and women

This list is of teenagers and adult women (and one preteen, sigh) who were in the last trimester of pregnancy when they disappeared. If it’s uncertain how far along they were, I’ve included them in the list provided the upper end of the time frame is within the final trimester.

You’ll note how foul play is suspected in many of these cases. The most common non-natural cause of death in pregnant women in the United States is homicide. Plus, if you’re that far along, it’s not really the best time to just walk (waddle?) away from everything.

  1. Karen Farmer Beard
  2. Holly Lynn Davis Calbaugh
  3. Vickie Carriere
  4. Guadalupe Barajas Castro
  5. Michelle Ngan Ho Chan
  6. Cynthia Dyann Coleman
  7. Jan Andre Cotta
  8. Erin M. Davis
  9. Ashley Marie Eiffert
  10. Jeanette Gomez Espeleta
  11. Angelina Joy Evans
  12. Samantha Jean Hopper
  13. Linda Ann House
  14. Shelia Diane Hughes
  15. Crystal Sue Hunt
  16. Amanda Kay Jones
  17. Amparo Lopez
  18. Celina Janette Mays
  19. Cecilia Elizabeth Newball
  20. Geraldine Ann Obregon-Gingles
  21. Ashley Marie Parlier
  22. Lucero Sarabia
  23. Sandra Ann Sollie
  24. Lindsay Marie Wells

Happy Halloween, everybody.

More little updates

I’ve finished my updates for today — nothing terribly exciting, just a bunch of runaways and some small case details. (Does anyone think the conversation Shelia Diane Hughes had with her sister the night before her disappearance is incredibly creepy? Perhaps it meant nothing, perhaps they were just discussing mortality in general, I don’t know. But it seems very suspicious to me, given what happened later. I wish I knew the context of her statements.)

Anyway, as I often do, I made a little tiny few case updates of the kind I don’t usually add to the updates page:

  1. Lisa Jane Borden has a new picture, emailed to me by a Charley Project irregular whose name I don’t know.
  2. Amy Lee Fandel‘s age-progression has been updated. I’m not sure why hers was done and her brother Scott‘s was not.
  3. Edward Joseph Garlinghouse Jr. has an alias name and a few alias dates of birth, courtesy of NamUs. Edward, incidentally, is a hero, as you can tell by the circumstances of his disappearance. I thought I should mention that.
  4. Janteyl Danielle Johnson‘s name is pronounced “Jon-tel” so I added that in her distinguishing characteristics. I had thought it might be Jan-tayl or something.