This week’s Flashback Friday case is Dermot Faulkner Kelly, who disappeared from Oglesby, Illinois on January 30, 1972, at the age of sixteen. The circumstances of his case make it unclear whether he died in a drowning accident/suicide or, perhaps, left of his own accord to make a new life elsewhere. If he did run away he didn’t take anything with him, and there hasn’t been any sign of him since 1972.
This week’s Flashback Friday case is Eva Susan West, a 28-year-old who disappeared from Oklahoma City on June 14, 1985. After her disappearance made the news, Eva’s mom got a call from someone saying she was all right, but this was never confirmed and her mom never actually spoke to the caller. The police don’t think Eva is all right, and they think drugs could be a factor.
For Flashback Friday I’ve got Darron Glass, a ten-year-old who disappeared from his Atlanta foster home on September 14, 1980. He’s presumed to be a victim of the Atlanta Child Killer, the only one whose body was never found.
I don’t know much about the Atlanta Child Murders, but I do know that some people don’t believe Wayne Williams, the prime suspect who’s in prison for two of the killings, is guilty. According to this commenter on my blog, it’s possible Darron Glass was found deceased long ago and his body was misidentified as one of the other victims.
This week’s Flashback Friday case is Loralee Sue Lhotka — another one of those cases where I have precious little information and doubts about what I do have.
NamUs gives Loralee’s date of disappearance as January 1, 1975, but they also say she disappeared en route to a doctor’s appointment. Nobody makes medical appointments on New Year’s Day, although hospitals and perhaps a few urgent care clinics would be open. I think it’s more likely that the actual date of disappearance isn’t known and whoever entered the case into NamUs put down January 1 to encompass the entire year of 1975. I put in the Charley Project casefile that she disappeared on some unknown date that year. She would have been 19 or 20 at the time; she was born in June.
NamUs also gives Loralee’s race as “unsure.” The Washington State Missing Persons database entry for her lists her as white. She looks like she could have some Native American blood, but it’s very hard to judge by the photograph. For what it’s worth, the name Lhotka is of Czech origin. It is said that Loralee may use the last name Spamola, a VERY rare surname that’s almost unknown in the United States.
As for what caused her disappearance… I would have to guess foul play. Loralee may have decided to hitchhike to her doctor’s appointment and it’s possible she picked the wrong ride. Her wallet turned up in the Wenatchee National Forest in 1978. I wish I knew where exactly; the forest covers 2,700+ square miles over three counties.
This week’s FF case is Diane Genice Dye, a thirteen-year-old girl who ran away from her San Jose, California home on July 30, 1979. One of her friends, it is said, saw her in a shopping mall fifty miles away in December 1981, a year and a half after her initial disappearance. Diane spoke to her friend and said she didn’t want to go home and didn’t want anyone to know where she was. This was the last sign of her.
There’s a good chance Diane is still alive and still, perhaps, doesn’t want anyone to know where she is. Perhaps she doesn’t even know she’s still listed as missing. She would be 51 years old now.
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.
This week’s Flashback Friday case is Patricia Joan Chesher, aka Patty, a twelve-year-old girl who disappeared while selling raffle tickets door-to-door in Albuquerque, New Mexico on June 17, 1969.
There’s a lot to unpack here. The NCMEC classifies her as a runaway, but given her age and the passage of time, foul play seems more likely. There are a few persons of interest: a neighbor who bought one of the raffle tickets, her older sister’s boyfriend who had mental problems, a creepy uncle.
In any case, after 47 years I doubt this case can be solved.