MP of the week: Kenneth Saunders

This week’s featured missing person is Kenneth Albert Saunders, 31-year-old man who disappeared from Heidrick, Kentucky on August 5, 2015. He’s described as white, 6’1 tall and between 185 and 250 pounds, with brown hair and hazel eyes. He has some distinctive tattoos I’ve got photos of, and a scar running the length of his forearm.

Prior to his disappearance his estranged wife had asked Saunders if he was okay, and he’d answered, “At this second no, but I will be.” What he meant by that, no one knows. He wasn’t reported missing for three months.

I’m going to be away for several days. Tonight I’m going to my dad’s, and am staying to help tend to him as he has surgery tomorrow.

MP of the week: Mercedes Lodge

This week’s featured missing person is Mercedes Lodge, a 39-year-old woman who disappeared from Castro Valley, California on December 14, 1974 — close to fifty years ago. She’s described as white, with brown hair and brown eyes, and short, at 4’11 tall and 140 pounds. She may have been last seen wearing a black sweater, a green corduroy jacket, black pants and white sneakers. One notable characteristic for people attempting to make matches with Jane Does: Mercedes’s left leg is shorter than her right one.

Unfortunately I don’t know very much about the case, and don’t even have a particularly good photo of her (though I’ve seen worse). She’s considered missing under suspicious circumstances. The only other info available is that she was in Alcoholics Anonymous and attended meetings in Hayward, California.

MP of the week: Constanteen Hamden

This week’s featured missing persons case is Constanteen David “Gus” Hamden, a 43-year-old man who disappeared from Bourbonnais, Illinois on December 7, 2017. He’s described as white, with graying black hair and brown eyes. He has a couple of scars, and is between 5’7 and 5’9 in height and 220 to 230 pounds.

Gus was experiencing “extreme highs and extreme lows” in mood prior to his disappearance, which sounds like bipolar disorder to me, but the word “bipolar” wasn’t mentioned and I don’t know if he was ever actually diagnosed with it. He was last seen wearing a black lightweight jacket. He left his job and said he was going across the street and would be back in half an hour. He never returned.

One of Gus’s siblings made a post about him on Facebook on December 7, 2021, the fourth anniversary of his disappearance. The post said, among other things:

Please share… someone out there knows something. My brother is not the type to lose connections with family, and people in general. Please share his picture and reach out even if it’s a question, a statement, or a hunch. Any information can be helpful, I refuse to settle, I still have hope and faith that my brother is out there somewhere.

I hope the holidays were good for everyone. I was away for several days visiting relatives for Christmas and it went okay, I think. Just hope this coming year sees an improvement in the covid situation.

MP of the week: Celina Mays

This week’s featured missing person is Celina Janette Mays, who was last seen in Willingboro, New Jersey on December 16, 1996. She was twelve and a half years old, and nine months pregnant; the baby was due on the 29th. She’s biracial, with black hair, brown eyes and eyebrows that tend to grow together. At the time of her disappearance she was 5’0 and 120 pounds, but she might have grown since then.

It appears that she sneaked out of the house in the night, with the intention of returning; she’d left behind all her things, including her purse and prenatal vitamins. There’s speculation that she’d gone out to meet with the father of her baby, but the problem is no one except Celina knew who the father was. She didn’t even tell her obstetrician.

Celina’s father, CJ, was threatening to have paternity tests done to determine the identity of the father, and whomever it was could obviously have faced serious criminal charges.

When a child as young as Celina becomes pregnant, one tends to suspect incest (or at least I do). Per this article, the father of Celina’s baby could not have been CJ, as he’d had a vasectomy. But there were rumors implicating one of Celina’s cousins.

I don’t think she lived long after leaving her house that night. It seems like, if she had run away, she would have resurfaced at age 18, if only to collect the inheritance due her from her mother’s life insurance. (Celina’s mom had died a few years earlier.)

But if Celina is still alive, she would be 37 today, and her baby would be about to turn 25.

MP of the week: Troy Marks

This week’s featured missing person is Troy Spencer Marks, a 39-year-old man last seen in New Orleans, Louisiana on June 6, 2006. He is described as as white, 5’10 and 175 pounds, with blond hair, blue eyes and a goatee. He has three tattoos, all described in the casefile, and scars on his shoulder and chin, and his nose was broken once between his toe has a protruding bone which might be an indentifier if someone finds skeletal remains.

Marks was driving his company vehicle at the time of his disappearance. It later turned up in Baton Rouge, an hour and a half from New Orleans, in an apartment complex parking lot.

The most recent article I can find out Troy Marks is from 2011. It has some more details that aren’t (yet) in his Charley Project casefile, such as the fact that Troy was living in a halfway house when he disappeared and when his truck turned up, the windows had been shot out.

Marks was a recovering addict and it seems likely that he relapsed and something bad happened to him. His wife said he’d relapsed before but never disappeared without a trace; he’d always keep in touch even through the addiction throes.

MP of the week: Edward Fonder

This week’s featured missing person is Edward F. Fonder III, an 80-year-old man who disappeared from Springfield, Pennsylvania on August 25, 1993. He is described as white, with gray (formerly brown) hair and blue or green eyes. He had a full beard and has had a double hip replacement. He was last seen wearing a plaid shirt, gray pants, black shoes and a blue and gold NRA baseball cap.

This is one of those cases where what probably happened and who did it is plain to see. But Edward was never found and no charges were filed in his case due to lack of evidence. The suspect, Edward’s daughter Mary, went on to murder someone else and has since died in prison.

It seems like Edward’s body has got to be in the local area somewhere, but after nearly thirty years who knows if it will ever be found. In the extremely unlikely event that he’s still alive, he’d be 108 today.

MP of the week: Clara Grunst

Sorry this is late, yesterday I kind of forgot what day it was.

This week’s featured missing person is Clara Marie Grunst, a 21-year-old woman who was last heard from on October 9, 1984. She was planning to hitchhike from Joplin, Missouri to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Joplin is given as the place of her disappearance.

She was sighted in Joplin, getting into a truck driven by a Milwaukee driver, on October 8. On October 9 she made a call and said she was in Pittsburg, Kansas. No one ever saw or heard from her again.

Clara is described as white, 5’3 to 5’6 tall and 118 pounds, with blonde hair and blue eyes. She wore glasses, her ears were pierced, and she had a red birthmark on her navel and a tattoo of the name “Jeff” on her left forearm. She also had scoliosis, a deformity of the spine, though I’m not sure if this would have been noticeable in life. She was last seen wearing a white shirt with a floral waistbant, reddish-brown pants, blue sneakers, a Timex watch with a blue band, and a silver ring.

Back in 2011 her family said they’d be holding a memorial service for her. Per Whereabouts Still Unknown, Clara’s mom died a few years ago. Her siblings are still alive and hope she’ll be found someday.

MP of the week: Darla McCormick

This week’s featured missing person is Darla Kay McCormick, a 44-year-old woman last seen in Carlsbad, New Mexico on October 2, 2008. She’s described as white, with brown or red hair and brown eyes, about 5’5 tall and 205 pounds. She was last seen wearing black pants and black boots; I don’t know what sort of top she had on.

Darla was an employee at the Eddy County Detention Center. At 2:30 a.m. the day of her disappearance, she left work without permission before her shift was over, apparently upset. Since her car, work uniform and other belongings were found at home, she’s believed to have made it back there. At 8:00 a.m., she had brief email and phone contact with her family. That’s the last time anyone heard from her.

The circumstances of her disappearance are unclear and I can’t find any articles about it from after 2008.

If still alive, Darla McCormick would be 57 today.

MP of the week: Cecil Baker

This week’s featured missing person is Cecil O. Baker, a 47-year-old man who disappeared from Barbourville, Kentucky on May 1, 2011. He’s described as white with sandy brown hair and brown eyes, between 5’10 and 6’0 tall and 185 to 200 pounds. He had a few tattoos, one of which I have a photo of (though I don’t think that tattoo was finished in the photo; it isn’t filled in, it’s just an outline).

When Baker went missing he said he was going to visit his daughter in Michigan. He never arrived there and it isn’t clear whether he even made it out of Kentucky. His car has never been found. It’s a 1994 Geo Metro and would probably stand out due to its lime green color. It had the license plate number 474CDH.

I did find this 2020 article about Baker’s disappearance, but it doesn’t have anything new. It doesn’t look like there have been any leads in the case in a long time.

MP of the week: Shannon Hawkins

This week’s featured missing person is Shannon Marie Hawkins, a 35-year-old woman who was last seen in St. Johns, Florida on July 31, 2010. She’s white, 5’5 tall and weighed 135 pounds at the time of her disappearance. Her hair and eyes are naturally brown but at the time she went missing, her hair was dyed auburn.

It sounds like Shannon may have taken her own life. She has a history of suicide attempts due to depression, and was apparently in a crisis at the time she went missing, since she had placed a call to a mental health hotline the night before. In her diary she’d written that she wasn’t sure she would live to see her 36th birthday.

If suicide was what happened, though, her body has never been found.

Shannon would be 46 if she is still alive today. She left behind two children and a husband.