This list is for kids over the age of ten where one or both of the child’s parents (or step-parents, or guardians) is a suspect or possible suspect in their disappearance, or the circumstances indicate they could be involved. I’m not talking about family abduction cases, I mean cases where they think the parent killed the child. I’m including murder-without-a-body cases.
Child abuse and neglect occurs at all ages, of course, but it’s my understanding that child abuse deaths in older kids are relatively rare. I don’t know much about this sort of thing but my guess would be it’s because older kids are both less fragile and more capable of defending themselves than infants and toddlers.
I’m grouping these kids in alphabetical order by age, and the suspect is in parentheses. In a lot of these cases, other family members — siblings or a parent — are also missing.
- Sheketah Michele Brown, 10 (father)
- Shakeima Ann Cabbagestalk, 10 (stepfather)
- Kristopher Charles Loesch, 10 (mother and mother’s girlfriend)
- Reagan Cordell Uden, 10 (stepfather)
- Karen Zhou, 10 (stepfather)
- Haleigh Breann Culwell, 11 (stepfather)
- Richard Lee Haynes Jr., 11 (father and stepmother)
- Adam Joseph Herrman, 11 or 12 (adoptive parents)
- Barry James Kephart II, 11 (father)
- Billy Sena, 11 (mother’s live-in boyfriend)
- Richard Loren Uden, 11 (stepfather)
- Terry Lee Westerfield, 11 (stepfather)
- Debra Jean Cole, 12 (mother’s live-in boyfriend)
- Crystal Gayle Dittmeyer, 12 (stepfather)
- Ivy Matory, 12 (stepfather)
- Jaliek L. Rainwalker, 12 (adoptive father)
- Doreen Jane Vincent, 12 (father)
- Melinda Karen Creech, 13 (mother)
- Kelly Jean Harris, 13 (stepfather)
- Rachel Marie Mellon, 13 (stepfather)
- Rachanda Lea Pickle, 13 (stepfather)
- Ricky Lane Thomas Jr., 13 (stepfather)
- Aundria Michelle Bowman, 14 (adoptive father)
- Toni Lynn McNatt-Chiappetta, 14 (father)
- Christina Marchell Richart, 14 (foster mother; her biological uncle’s wife)
- Monique Christine Daniels, 15 (stepfather)
- Tammy Sue Rothganger, 15 (stepfather)
- Jason Sims Jr., 15 (parents)
- Bethany Anne Sinclair, 15 (mother’s live-in boyfriend)
- Joyce Irene Cogburn, 15 (male temporary guardian)
- William Dale Gunn, 15 (stepfather)
- Josephine Yvette Cogburn, 16 (male temporary guardian)
- Margarette Ann Cuauhtli, 16 (adoptive father)
- Mindi Chambers, 17 (father)
- Alissa Marie Turney, 17 (stepfather; legally adopted her)
Honorable mention: Richard Gorham, 11. His mother’s live-in boyfriend is a suspect in his disappearance. However, Richard was living with his grandfather, Roland Himebrook, when he went missing. Himebrook disappeared too.
Yeah, so tonight I’m taking off for my dad’s place, and early on Monday morning we’re leaving and driving to Philadelphia to visit the Mütter Museum. It’s an anatomical museum with exhibits such as a piece of Einstein’s brain and this skull collection. Anyway, I don’t anticipate being back until Wednesday, so I thought I’d post my MP of the week early.
This week it’s Violet Watzulik, an elderly woman who disappeared from Sarasota, Florida on June 10, 2000. Violet’s son Carl claims she just up and left on an extended cruise and never came back, but the authorities have their doubts. You can see an article copied and pasted on this CrimeWatchers thread, to the effect that Violet’s daughter believes she is dead, and Carl is the self-described “number one suspect” in her case. He still lives in Sarasota and, from what I can tell, has no serious criminal record. I found one arrest in 2011, on a minor drug charge.
Violet was declared legally dead in 2006. She would be 100 years old now, if she was still alive, which I’m quite sure she isn’t.
This week’s featured missing person is Darius Miniotas, a 29-year-old who disappeared from Carteret, New Jersey on November 19, 1994.
Now, I have nothing on Miniotas’s disappearance, but a look at Newspaper.com’s archives turned up a 1989 Asbury Park Press article mentioning a Darius Miniotas of the right age. This Darius was on the crew of a Lithuanian yacht that showed up in Atlantic Highlands. I’m pretty sure it’s the same person; Carteret is a coastal town. I wonder if Darius had moved to the US by the time of his disappearance, or whether he was just here on shore leave.
This week’s featured missing person is Heather Lynn Higgins, a 39-year-old woman last seen in Spokane, Washington on September 20, 2010.
She was dealing with some personal problems at the time of her disappearance: she had bipolar disorder and while she was in the psychiatric ward, someone broke into her home and stole money she’d been saving, and plus she was on probation for DUI and wasn’t allowed to drive.
Bipolar disorder can really work a number on a person — especially if, like Heather, you don’t take your medicine consistently. An article I found said Heather was hospitalized for fifteen days, which is a long time for a psychiatric hospitalization. I wonder just how stable she was when she was released.
She’s got a Facebook page set up to find her, but it doesn’t appear to have been updated since 2015. I can’t find any articles about her case since 2014.
It’s hard to tell, from here, what happened. I hope she’s still alive.
This list is for MPs who were working as police informants at the time they disappeared, or had done so in the relatively recent past. I wonder if I should automatically classify such individuals as “endangered missing”, as being a police informant certainly carries a risk, depending on who you’re informing on and for what. Also, a lot of police informants, even before they began information to the cops, were leading high-risk lifestyles: many of them get caught in criminal activity of their own and broker deals to get their charges reduced or dismissed by providing details on other people’s crimes.
There’s always the theory that the MP went into witness protection, but the problem with that is the witness almost always resurfaces to testify at the ensuing criminal trial(s), or at the trial(s) the police testifying saying they got the information from the MP and they’re now in witness protection.
Anyway, informants. Strange how so many of these are women, a much higher percentage than I would have expected.
- Melanie Dee William
- Evelyn Ann Frisco*
- Michael Eugene Golub
- Michael Wayne Grimes
- Carolyn Jean Long
- Joshua Jerome Mahaffey
- Cynthia Lynn Maine
- Barbara Elizabeth Miller
- Daniel Sites
- Michelle Doherty Thomas
- Virginia Alice Welch*
This week’s Flashback Friday case is Donald Kulas, a sixty-year-old man who disappeared from Two Harbors, Minnesota, a small town in the northeastern corner of the state, on the shores of Lake Superior. Kulas attended a party on the night of his disappearance, May 11, 1985, and was last seen as he was leaving. He never made it home and his car turned up abandoned in a ditch the next day.
I wish I had more info on this case. I don’t even have a decent quality picture of Kulas; I don’t think anyone could recognize somebody based on the photo I have. A few questions spring to mind:
- Was there alcohol served at this party? Did Kulas partake, and if so, how much?
- What condition was the car in when it was found? Was it out of gas? Were there any indications of an accident?
My guess is that Kulas died shortly after his disappearance, though I don’t have enough info to speculate as to how he met his death. NamUs says sixty tracker dogs were used in the search, but turned up nothing. Regardless, I think his remains are somewhere between the spot his car was found and his own home in Brimson, Minnesota, thirteen miles away.