MP of the week: Merlene Hayes

This week’s featured missing person is Merlene C. Hayes, a 55-year-old woman who was last seen in Tallahassee, Florida on April 26, 1994. She went out for a walk that evening, her second of the day, over her daughter’s objections. She never came back, although there were some possible sightings of her in the local area over the coming days and weeks.

Merlene had dropped out of sight once before and turned up alive and well after three days (not sure of the circumstances there), so this time her daughter didn’t report her missing for six. I have to wonder, given those alleged sightings, if reporting Merlene missing sooner would have made a difference.

She’s described as black, 5’7 and 170, with gray hair, brown eyes, and a mole on her nose. She was wearing a wig on the night of her disappearance, as well as a purple flowered shirt, pants and sneakers. She takes medication for depression and could become disoriented if she doesn’t take it regularly. It’s unlikely that she had her medicine with her that night, if she really was only going for a walk.

I have to wonder if perhaps something prevented her from returning home, temporarily but long enough to get her off her meds and disoriented. Or perhaps she had stopped taking her meds prior to her disappearance, and became disoriented during her walk. In any case, according to my theory, she would have wandered around the city for a time not knowing who she was or where she was. That would explain the alleged sightings.

I wish I knew more about what happened with her earlier three-day disappearance — like, did she stop taking her meds, get disoriented and wander off, or did she go off on a spontaneous vacation, or what?

If still alive, she’d be 83 today.

MP of the week: Javier Rivera

This week’s featured missing person is Javier Florenzio Rivera, a 22-year-old man who disappeared from Los Angeles, California on October 12, 1988.

He was last seen at his workplace, wearing a light gray t-shirt, black stonewashed jeans and white sneakers. He’s Hispanic, with brown eyes and brown curly, frizzy hair. I’d say his hair is probably his most distinguishing characteristic, though he also has a half-inch scar on his left arm just below the elbow.

His is one of the “few details are available” cases. If still alive, Javier would be 55 today.

MP of the week: Angela Luttrell

This week’s featured missing person is Angela Colleen Luttrell, missing from Loxahatchee, Florida since August 15, 1993. She is white, 5’2 and 110 pounds, with blonde hair and blue eyes, is missing a finger joint or joints on her left hand, and has a scar on her left ring finger. She was 32 at the time and would be 60 today.

There is very little information about Angela’s disappearance, but it’s noted that she had a problem with drugs and alcohol and used a long list of alias names. I can’t find a single article on the case, either recently or from back when the disappearance happened nearly 30 years ago.

MP of the week: Tyriq Pope

This week’s featured missing person is Tyriq Jaquan Marlon Pope, a 21-year-old man who disappeared from his home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on March 28, 2014. He traveled to Hot Springs, Arkansas after he went missing and was sighted there on May 4, then vanished again. He may have been seen at the Mexican border area in Texas sometime after that. It doesn’t look like there’s been any indication of his whereabouts since that spring, however.

Tyriq’s family said he was using drugs and they were afraid he might harm himself. It is odd that this young man hasn’t resurfaced in seven years. I wonder if he was at all equipped for life in Mexico; did he speak any Spanish, for example? I also wonder about the possibility of a drug overdose.

Tyriq is described as black, 5’5 and 130 pounds. He would be 28 years old today. Both Wisconsin and Arkansas police are investigating the case.

MP of the week: Carola Davenport

This week’s featured missing person is Carola Yvonne Davenport, a 22-year-old woman last seen in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on October 1, 1975. She left all her clothing and her car behind and, most notably, her twin children, who were less than a year old at the time. I don’t know anything about Carola’s situation, but it’s highly unusual for the mother of a tiny baby or babies to just up and leave. Especially without the aforementioned clothes and car.

For whatever reason, she wasn’t reported missing until February 1976, by which time the case was four months’ cold. She’s black, about 5’5 and 125 pounds, with burn scars on her right hand and left arm. She also has a “fish-shaped” birthmark but the location is not noted.

Per NamUs, Carola’s son and her boyfriend at the time are both deceased now, but her daughter — only eleven months old when her mother went missing — is still alive and has submitted DNA. I wish there was more info available about this case.

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: Angelia Hilbert

This week’s featured missing person is Angelia Spaulding Hilbert, a 22-year-old woman who disappeared after leaving work in Louisville, Kentucky on June 3, 1989. She was supposed to follow her parents (her in her car, them in theirs) to Owensboro, where they were moving, but never arrived there. I’m not sure at what point she became separated from her parents, but she was last seen in the area of Dry Ridge Road at about midnight.

For some reason she wasn’t reported missing until June 16; I don’t know if the police refused to accept a report before then, or what. On June 26, her car was found abandoned in a nightclub parking lot.

Some distinguishing info about Hilbert: she has a surgical scar on her back where she had metal rod inserted in her spine to correct scoliosis. Probably that rod has a unique serial number; medical devices of that kind usually do. She was pregnant at the time of her disappearance but I’m not sure how far along.

If still alive, Angelia would be in her mid-fifties today.

(Sorry forgot to put this up yesterday.)

MP of the week: Rosemary Day

This week’s featured missing person is Rosemary Rivas Day, a 27-year-old woman who disappeared from Jacksonville, Florida on May 21, 2011 — ten years ago this week. She was last seen at her apartment in her car, which was found abandoned two months later.

It’s not clear what happened here. According to her dad, Rosemary was in an abusive relationship and was afraid. However, she also suffered from depression and is classified as disabled (whether from the depression or from something else, I’m not sure). When her car was located the police found “unspecified information” inside which could indicate her whereabouts; however, nothing turned up and it’s been two years.

Rosemary is of mixed white and Asian (Filipino) descent with very long, thick brown hair, glasses and small scars on her arms. She was 27 when she was last seen and, if still alive, would be 37 today. Her birthday is just the day after mine.

MP of the week: Ira Yallup

This week’s featured missing person is Ira Kennedy Yallup Sr., who disappeared from the Lone Pine fishing site on the Columbia River near The Dalles, Oregon on May 20, 2010. He was 47 years old at the time and would be 57 or 58 today, if still alive.

Because Yallup was last seen at a “fishing site” I initially assumed he probably drowned and listed him in the Lost/Injured Missing person category. However, when I decided to make him MP of the week I thought I’d look up more info on the site and discovered more than just fishing happens there: people actually live there, some year-round, some just during the fishing season, which lasts from spring to fall.

Although one resident described Lone Pine as a “close-knit community” in this article, the residents of the site live in some pretty bad conditions as this 2021 article makes clear:

At Lone Pine, blankets and boards cover broken windows on trailers and campers, some of which don’t even have doors. There is only one bathroom and two outdoor water spigots. One picnic shelter has been walled off and is being lived in, but two other picnic shelters have burned down. There is no fire hydrant at this encampment, and only one rutted lane, in and out.

It’s an extremely sad story involving the Columbia River dam and a bunch of broken promises to the Native Americans whose original villages and fishing sites were drowned when the dam was built.

Ira Yallup’s case is one of those “few details are available” ones and I don’t know if he was a year-round inhabitant of Lone Pine, was just there for the fishing season, or was visiting or what. Perhaps he drowned, or perhaps something else happened to him. I really can’t say.

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.