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 week’s featured missing person is Hector Javier Lopez-Ruiz, a twenty-year-old who disappeared on October 15, 1997. He’s missing from Vista, California, a mid-sized city of just under 100,000 people in the San Diego metro area. Besides the date and place he went missing, and his basic physical description, I have absolutely no information on this young man or his disappearance.
If he’s still alive, Hector would be 40 this coming spring. I’d love it if anyone who knew him, or knows any details about his disappearance, would comment on this blog entry or email me. I’d love to be able to update his casefile — it hasn’t been updated even once in my 12 1/2 years of running the Charley Project.
(I know this is a day late. I’m sorry. I’ve kind of sucked lately at updating the database and the blog. Partly cause of the holidays and partly because my neurotransmitters still aren’t firing entirely correctly.)
This week’s featured missing person is Emily Wynell Paul, a fourteen-year-old girl who ran away from Southport, Florida three and a half years ago, on April 13, 2013. She left a note saying she might come back after she turned eighteen. Emily will turn eighteen this coming March; here’s to hoping she does return.
As with most runaway cases, I don’t have a lot on her, but she did take her Xbox with her. I wonder if it was to sell.
(For me: I haven’t been doing all that great lately, hence my relative lack of blogging and updates. My medicine is being adjusted for the third time in as many months. I’m really hoping it works. I’ve been having godawful mood swings and falling apart over the least little thing.)
I wasn’t able to do this yesterday because the internet was down all day. In fact it was down for much of today also; I wasn’t aware that it had come back up again until about half an hour or so ago.
This week’s featured MP is Marcus Deon Virgin, a 24-year-old Florida resident and father of four who vanished from Mobile, Alabama on May 8, 2003. Although he was involved with drugs and criminal activity, he has a family who misses him; I found this sad blog entry by the mother of one of his children. Other family members commented on it.
This week’s featured missing person is Sheri Lynn White, a 25-year-old who flew from Seattle, Washington to Alaska in 1990 and then vanished from Fairbanks. She went missing on Valentine’s Day. In March, her purse and its contents were found scattered near a bridge, which is a HUGE blazing red “foul play” flag to me.
I don’t have much on Sheri, but I did find this article that mentions her as an aside. Apparently the police have a suspect in her case, or at least someone whom they think knows what happened to her, living in Butte, Montana.