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: 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.

MP of the week: Justine Flynn

This week’s featured missing person is Justine Gabrielle Flynn, a 21-year-old woman who was last seen on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California on September 9, 1982. She’s described as white, with brown hair and brown eyes, though her only available photo leaves a lot to be desired. She was wearing a purple sweater, loose black pants and flat black shoes with a strap. No scars, tattoos etc. are noted.

I have written a great deal on this blog about Golden Gate Bridge disappearances. Many of them are presumed to be suicides, but I don’t know very much about the circumstances of Justine’s case. Just that she was last seen there.

MP of the week: Shannon Hokanson

This week’s featured missing person is Shannon Michelle Hokanson, aka Shannon Baldwin or Baldwin-Hokanson, who disappeared from Enid, Oklahoma on May 27, 2012. She was 29 at the time and would be 38 today. She wasn’t actually reported missing until August 7 of that year. She did maintain weekly contact with her family prior to her disappearance, but all that stopped after May 2012.

Shannon is described as white, with brown hair and brown eyes, between 5’0 and 5’3 and 120 to 150 pounds. She has pierced ears and quite a lot of tattoos. I don’t have photos of the tattoos, but I have plenty of Shannon. There’s a Facebook page for her, which is linked on her casefile and on my list (which, incidentally, gets updated regularly and was updated today).

I don’t have much information on Shannon’s disappearance but I know her family is anxious to know what happened to her. She’s been missing for nine years now.

AP dump today, first in awhile

Today I updated what felt like about a million missing persons’ age-progression photos. As is the custom, those aren’t crowding up the Charley Project’s updates page; instead I’ll list them below

  1. LaMoine Jordan Allen
  2. April Dawn Andrews
  3. Bob Louis Richard Boyes
  4. Laronda Marie Bronson
  5. Gina Dawn Brooks
  6. Kellie Marie Brownlee
  7. Olivia Addison Edwards-Tuttle
  8. Randi Layton Evers
  9. Robert Joseph Fritz
  10. Jose Francisco Fuentes Pereira
  11. Izar Isaac Godinez Sanchez
  12. Royce Henson
  13. Ethan James Hernandez
  14. Melissa Suzanne Highsmith
  15. Mark Joseph Himebaugh
  16. Alice Fay Jefferson
  17. William Ebenezer Jones III
  18. Karen Beth Kamsch
  19. Dennis Lloyd Martin
  20. Laureen Ann Rahn
  21. Benjamin Melvin Roseland
  22. Aaron Cody Stepp
  23. Marisa Velasco
  24. Mary Anne Wesolowski
  25. Shawn White

MP of the week: Marilyn Dennis

This week’s featured missing person is Marilyn Dennis, who was last seen in Oakland, California in 2011. The CDOJ database gives the date of disappearance as September 27, but NamUs gives the date as August 23. I’m guessing that August 23 was the day Marilyn was last seen, and September 27 was the day she was reported missing. She’s described as black, 5’8 and 250 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. She was 43 at the time and was last seen wearing a white t-shirt, blue jeans and white shoes.

Little information is available in this case but it’s worth noting that Marilyn had been in “constant” contact with her daughter, and then the contact suddenly stopped after she disappeared. Which is an indication that something went terribly wrong.

Marilyn will have been missing for ten years this month.

Two long-missing people turn up alive and well

Just another one of those “never give up hope” reminders: Nicole Denise Jackson, a Birmingham, Alabama woman who dropped out of sight in 2018, and Sajid Thungal, a man from Kottyam in the state of Kerala in India who was last heard from in 1974, have both resurfaced alive.

Neither of these people were ever listed on the Charley Project: Sajid because he didn’t disappear on American soil, and I’m not sure Nicole was ever officially listed as missing. They also have something else in common, in that both of them vanished after leaving their home countries.

Nicole stopped contacting her family after moving to Germany to be with a guy she met online. Her family finally hired a private investigator who was able to locate and speak to Nicole’s employer and landlord, and as a result Nicole went to the authorities with her ID and verified that she’s ok. She hasn’t gotten in touch with her family though. I don’t know if there were prior family problems, if she’s in a bad situation, if she’s embarrassed or what. But I’m glad to hear she’s alive and has a job and a place to live, anyway.

Sajid left home to make his fortune in the United Arab Emirates, taking a job managing a group of entertainers who were also Indian nationals. At some point in the ensuing few years he lost touch with his family. Then a plane with the entertainers he’d been managing crashed in Mumbai with the loss of all onboard. His family thought, given the circumstances, that Sajid might have died in the crash as well. However, that wasn’t the case.

The truth was that Sajid hadn’t made his fortune after all and was embarrassed by his poverty, and didn’t want to return home with his tail between his legs. And I suppose the more time passed without him writing his family, the more difficult it became to get started, and he just never did it. Until now. His father had passed away in the intervening years but his mom, wife and brothers are still alive.

When a person vanishes voluntarily like that, and then reappears after years have passed, re-integration into the family unit is often difficult. This Washington Post article from 2019 (which I’m quoted in) talks about several real-life cases of a missing person resurfacing and encountering bumps along the way.

The family members, though delighted that their loved one is back in their lives, may also be very angry at the them for causing them so much pain by not picking up the phone. Often, whatever problems that led the no-longer-missing person to go missing in the first place (be it mental illness, family issues, etc.) are still there when they return, and the person might have picked up some new problems along the way while they were missing. Furthermore, they may have built another life for themselves in the meantime, a life which didn’t include their family, and now they have to find a way to fit their family into that life.

It’s a big adjustment and I recommend individual and family therapy in such cases.

Murder charges filed in Ashley Parlier disappearance; I wish other cases would get moving

I had written in May about how a suspected serial killer had “links” to Ashley Marie Parlier, who disappeared from Battle Creek, Michigan in 2005. Well, I guess these were more than just links, because the suspect, Harold Haulman, will be charged with Ashley’s murder. He was earlier charged with murder in the 2018 disappearance of Tianna Ann Phillips and the 2020 death of Erica Shultz.

I’m glad that happened. Murder-without-a-body cases are becoming increasingly common, and I hope this continues.

One case I’d love to see charges filed in would be the disappearance of Amiah Robertson. I really don’t understand why that hasn’t happened. I mean, a man left with a baby — not even HIS baby — and came back without her and without any credibly explanation as to her whereabouts, and nobody has been charged in that case. It’s been over two years. The baby was eight months old; it’s not taking care of itself. It was a frustrating case to write up because so much of the available info was contradictory. The only thing I’m sure of is that no one in that child’s life did right by her.

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.

Emily Lu found deceased

Earlier I had written about my college friend whose mom, Emily Lu, was missing. Well, after 50 days, Emily was found murdered in the woods less than two miles from her home. She rented out rooms in her house, and one of her tenants, Brian George Sayrs Jr., led police to the body. The cops are calling it a “brutal, vicious murder”, one which apparently occurred in her home.

No motive has been given, but my friend says her mom was having “issues” with Sayrs. Perhaps he owed her rent or something and they got into an argument. But no matter what happened there is no excuse for slaughtering an old lady.

I feel so bad for my friend and the rest of Emily’s family and friends. But I’m glad she was finally found and I won’t have to list her on the Charley Project.