MP of the week: Josie Meadows

This week’s featured missing person is Josie Taylor Meadows, an eighteen-year-old girl who was last seen in Huntsville, Ohio on March 2, 2017. There are very few details available in her disappearance, or about Josie herself. I know she might need medication “for unspecified reasons” and she was once arrested for underage drinking. And that’s about it.

I hope Josie is still alive. She is 23 years old now if she is. It’s been four years now and I wonder why there has been no news about it.

Per police, Kristin Smart’s body was buried in Paul Flores’s dad’s yard but got moved

More info has come out since the recent arrests of Paul and Ruben Flores for Kristin Smart‘s 1996 disappearance and presumed murder. Paul has been charged with murder and his dad, Ruben, as an accessory: authorities believe he helped hide Kristin’s body.

Now the police are saying that the Floreses buried Kristin’s remains in Ruben’s yard, but “recently” moved them to another location. And furthermore, that Paul is a serial rapist and “dozens” of women have come forward about his “sexual assaults and predatory behavior.”

None of this is terribly surprising to me. I don’t think it would surprise anyone who’s followed this case over the years.

If Paul had just confessed to Kristin’s murder at the time, owned up and apologized and taken some kind of plea bargain, he might very well be out of prison by now.

Honestly I despise him for torturing the Smart family over the past 25 years, as much as I do for Kristin’s killing. I don’t think there is any worse pain you can cause a family, than make their child disappear without a trace and never be found. At least my parents know where my two dead brothers are. At least they had a chance to bury them properly, and can visit their graves, and know they’re not scared or sad or suffering.

EastPark John Doe, missing persons events, and other stories

Colorado: There will be two events to honor the May 10, 2020 disappearance of Suzanne Morphew from Chaffee County. (I haven’t added her yet cause it hasn’t yet been a year.) The first will be held at the Poncha Springs Visitor Center at 7010 U.S. Highway 285 in Poncha Springs, Colorado at 7:00 p.m. on April 30. This day would be/have been Suzanne’s fiftieth birthday. The second event is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. on May 2, at the Community Garden at 202 East Church Street in Alexandria, Indiana; Suzanne grew up there and many family and friends still live there. I might attend that event as it’s only an hour and ten minutes from where I live.

Kentucky: In EastPark, on the edge of Boyd County, last July, hunters found the badly decomposed remains of a murdered man partially buried. He had been dead for between approximately two weeks and a month. The man was wearing only boxer shorts and there were no personal effects. The man was between 20 and 40 years old and about 5’8 and 140 to 160 pounds, with brown hair between earlobe length and shoulder length. He had been shot, but also had drugs in his system when he died. The place where he was buried, although somewhat secluded, had easy access to the interstate; the dead man “literally could have come from anywhere.” The man has yet to be identified.

Also in Kentucky: Skeletal remains found in Hardyville in February 2020 have been identified as Jacob Lewis Tipton, a 24-year-old man who disappeared from Berea on April 23, 2016. Unfortunately there wasn’t much left of him and they couldn’t establish a cause of death.

Also in Kentucky: They’re still looking for Andrea Michelle Knabel, a 37-year-old woman who disappeared from Louisville on August 13, 2019. A retired homicide detective has taken an interest in the case and believes he’s found a three-hour discrepancy in the timeline of the night of Andrea’s disappearance.

Mississippi: They’re still trying to identify a Jane Doe who were found under a bridge over the Pearl River in Rankin County in 1978. She was nude and wrapped in an old blanket. She had died of multiple blows to the head and may have been killed by serial killer Samuel Little, who died late last year. They’re looking into the possibility that the Jane Doe may be Wendy Susan Byron, a 24-year-old woman who disappeared from Glendora, California just two days before Jane Doe was found in Mississippi.

New York: They’re still looking for Flossie A. Wilbur, a 75-year-old woman who disappeared from Angelica on August 24, 1985. David Sherk, one of her then-neighbors, confessed to her murder in 2020 and told authorities he had buried her body near the Almond Dam, but the body has never been found. Doesn’t mean the man was lying; the dam has flooded multiple times since 1985. Sherk had terminal brain cancer when he made his confession and I’m not sure he’s still alive now, but he was never charged.

South Dakota: In Rapid City, groups and leaders both from town and from Native American reservations across the state united yesterday to raise awareness for missing and murdered indigenous people. Here are some photos of the event.

Virginia: It’s been ten years now since Robert Lee Hourihan disappeared, leaving behind a wife and six-year-old daughter her adored. Foul play is suspected in his case. His wife has never remarried and still hopes every day that he will be found.

Also Virginia: Human remains found in the woods on the campus of Hollins University back in February have been identified as Jessica Darling Dickson, a 30-year-old woman who disappeared from Roanoke on June 1, 2019. Jessica’s death is under investigation, but the police said there doesn’t seem to be any connection to the university and they don’t think the students (it’s a women’s college) are in danger.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada: There’s an interesting article/podcast episode on the systemic failures of Toronto Police and missing persons cases.

New Waterford, Nova Scotia, Canada: They’re still looking for Debbie Hutchinson, 59-year-old woman who disappeared on April 15, 2017 and wasn’t reported missing for twelve days. Her niece found groceries lying on the floor of Debbie’s home, and her car later turned up abandoned and burned.

When a missing person goes missing again

So a woman disappeared, and she was missing long enough to get posted on the Charley Project, so I posted her. I’ll call this woman Yvette. Then recently Yvette got arrested on some minor charges in another state. So I listed her case as resolved, explaining about the arrest etc.

I heard from Yvette’s sister-in-law. Apparently, she vanished again immediately after she got out of jail. and the family was frantic with worry. Could I relist the case?

I wasn’t sure what to do in this case. Presumably Yvette’s missing persons report had been closed when she was arrested; even if she has since been re-listed as missing with the police (and I wasn’t sure if she had been or not), didn’t her arrest kind of restart the clock? Like, wasn’t she now missing for a week instead of over a year, in which case she’d be ineligible for the Charley Project? It seemed that way to me but I wasn’t sure I had the heart to tell the relative I wouldn’t re-list Yvette’s case.

I decided to first settle the issue of whether Yvette’s is currently listed as missing with any law enforcement agency. I wrote back to ask the sister-in-law this. My email bounced. I can’t get in touch with her. Fooey.

It’s a very sad situation for the family. But I don’t know, if I were the police, whether I’d accept a second missing persons report. Yvette clearly does not want to be found.

They finally made an arrest in the Kristin Smart case

Well, it’s about time: Paul Flores has been charged with murder in the 1996 disappearance of Kristen Denise Smart. They were both students at Cal Poly when she went missing and she was last seen in his company on campus. He’s been a suspect pretty much ever since. Paul’s father, Ruben, has been charged with being an accessory to the murder.

It’s been a quarter-century. I had thought this would never happen, unless they found Kristen’s body. As far as I know, they haven’t. I don’t know whether they just decided there was some time, or if some other evidence came up, or what.

I would think the Smart family would have mixed feelings about this day — justice will be done, but their daughter isn’t coming back and it’s official now.

I know someone is going to ask so I want to clear this up

In some of the photos on Lucinda Denise Farris‘s casefile, she has a very obvious chip in one of her front teeth. In other photos she does not. I’m sure someone will notice and ask if I’m 100% sure that all the photos are really of her, so I just want to say: yes, I am sure. It looks like Lucinda chipped her tooth just a couple of years prior to her disappearance. Some of the photos I found on social media are pre-chip, and some are post-chip. It’s also possible she had some kind of repair work done on it, a crown or something.

I found plenty of photos that showed her flower tattoo, but it was so indistinct, black ink on dark skin, that I didn’t think it was worth it to include an image of it. It was hard to tell there was anything there at all, and it wasn’t recognizable as anything.

MP of the week: Amanda DeGuio

This week’s featured missing person is Amanda Ann DeGuio, a 24-year-old woman who disappeared from Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania on June 3, 2014. She left her mom’s home without any belongings and never came back. About a week later, she (allegedly) picked up someone else’s OxyContin at the pharmacy and a warrant was issued for her arrest.

Her family reported her missing on August 27, almost three months after they last saw her; Amanda had bipolar disorder and addiction issues and had been known to drop out of sight from time to time. Due to her lifestyle and the lack of contact it’s believed she met with foul play, but as far as I know there aren’t any suspects in her case.

Amanda has several tattoos and I’ve got photos of three of them. If still alive she’d be 31 today.

I hope everyone is safe and well. I have been doing well and have been reading a great deal lately.

Adoption, unfortunately, isn’t a cure-all

The other day I added a case to the Charley Project, a 21-year-old woman who’s been missing for over a year. I won’t say her real name here, because there’s a good chance she will return home alive, and I don’t want this blog to come back to haunt her in terms of future employment prospects, etc. I’ll call her Beth. There don’t seem to be any indications of foul play in her case, but the police are concerned for her safety, since she has both mental health problems and substance abuse issues.

When I was researching the case for the write-up, I came across an article about Beth’s adoption from foster care. The article didn’t say when she’d been placed in care or why, but did note that her biological mother died when she was a toddler and her biological father wasn’t really a part of her life. She lived with relatives who “relinquished custody” to the foster care system at some point. She then had multiple foster placements, which is typical. When Beth was seventeen years old, her foster mother adopted her.

It’s very uncommon for an adolescent to get adopted; most prospective adoptive parents want babies and young children. Hence the article about this rare instance of an almost-adult being adopted. The judge who legally finalized the adoption paid for balloons and gift bags to celebrate the occasion. The article had photos of Beth and her mom hugging each other, and the reader can imagine them walking hand-in-hand into a happily-ever-after future.

Then, four years later, Beth disappeared. The photo on the poster appears to have been a mug shot. I really hope she’s okay and will get in touch with her mom.

I’ve seen quite a few cases on my site of people who were adopted out of foster care, grew up troubled and disappeared. The foster care system isn’t designed to actually raise children, it’s just designed to keep them alive and protect them from abuse and neglect. (And it’s not even very good at that.) I think any child who spent years in care, like Beth did, is going to have some emotional problems as a result, both from being bounced around in the system and from whatever led to them being placed in care to begin with.

Certainly love, and the permanency of adoption, does wonderful things for foster children. But love can’t fix everything.

MP of the week: Kimberly Blackburn

This week’s featured missing person case is Kimberly Marie Blackburn, a 24-year-old woman who disappeared from in 1983. The last time anyone actually saw her was when she left her parents’ Indianapolis, Indiana home on May 29. On July 17 she called a friend and said she was at a truck stop in Arkansas and was coming home to Indiana. No one ever saw her or heard from her again.

Her life was very high risk, a wreck frankly: drug and alcohol abuse, and a lot of arrests for substance related offenses, prostitution, theft and disorderly conduct. She would often drop out of sight for extended time periods and travel with truckers, but she did keep in at least occasional touch with her family. She had warned her parents that if they hadn’t heard from her by her father’s birthday in October 1983, something was probably wrong.

I don’t think it’s likely she lived long after her disappearance, but it seems like wherever she is, it could be virtually anywhere in the US, or maybe even outside the US. There are some distinguishing characteristics: a coloboma in her right eye, a rose tattoo on her hip and chemical burn scars on her buttocks.

In the unlikely event that Kimberly is still alive, she’d be 62 today.

No, Jane McDonald-Crone was almost certainly not found alive on the streets of Mexico the other day

I was seeing and hearing about a lot of chatter on social media yesterday about a homeless American woman who was found on the streets of Monterrey, Mexico, and called herself Jane McDonald, and was supposedly Jane McDonald-Crone, who disappeared in 1993. Almost immediately something seemed “off” about the story, though, and when I searched for information OFF social media, I couldn’t find anything.

Jane McDonald-Crone was a 34 year old divorced mother of two who went for a night out back in 1993, never returned and was never seen again. If still alive she’d be 62 today.

I think what happened is people jumping to conclusions. It sounds like, because this woman was calling herself Jane McDonald and bore some resemblance to the missing Jane McDonald-Crone, people thought it might be her and notified law enforcement. And then the story snowballed and the possible identification being reported to law enforcement suddenly became being confirmed by law enforcement.

I think the actual confirmation of identity would take some time, because the fingerprints, etc, if the authorities even have Jane McDonald-Crone’s prints, would be in possession of American authorities and would have to be officially requested by the Mexicans and then sent down there and compared against the homeless lady’s prints. I’m not sure if that’s even been done yet; it sounds like the homeless woman dropped out of sight again before the authorities could speak to her and I don’t know if she’s resurfaced. What I do know is that, per Missing Persons of America, Jane McDonald-Crone’s own children had not heard anything about their mother’s supposed recovery in Mexico.

So, as of the moment, Jane McDonald-Crone is unfortunately still missing.