Select It Sunday: Ashley Eiffert

This week’s Select It Sunday is Ashley Marie Eiffert, chosen by Ashley’s mom. This tiny (under five feet tall) nineteen-year-old disappeared from New Orleans on January 9, 2003. She was last seen arguing with someone on her cell phone. She left her vehicle behind, but it was reportedly broken anyway. Ashley has two tattoos and she was seven months pregnant.

Ashley’s mother told me she’s got a Facebook page, but I can’t find it. I wish I could find out more about her case. Hopefully her mother can provide me more info. I wonder how much attention the New Orleans police have given it; I’ve heard terrible things about that police department, and then of course Hurricane Katrina trashing the city two years later can’t have helped matters.

If Ashley is still alive, she’d be 34 now. Her child would be 14 this month.

Flashback Friday: Martha Ann Dicks

This week’s Flashback Friday case is Martha Ann Dicks, a 19-year-old who disappeared from Sumter, South Carolina on March 29, 1972. I’ve only got one photo of her and it’s of very poor quality. Martha’s sister said she was a lesbian, but she dated men sometimes; perhaps she was bisexual. I wonder if she was transgender; she liked to wear men’s clothing and used the name “Clyde.” She may have been pregnant at the time of her disappearance.

Serial killer Donald “Pee Wee” Gaskins knew Martha and confessed to her murder sometime before his execution in 1991. Several of his ten confirmed victims were people known to him, which is unusual; serial killers usually murder strangers. The murder is also unusual in that it was an interracial crime; most murders, including serial murders, are intra-racial — that is, both killer and victim are of the same race. Pee Wee Gaskins was white and Martha Dicks was black.

In any case, Martha “Clyde” Dicks was never found. If she were alive today she would be 63. Her baby, if she actually was pregnant, would be about 44.

Let’s talk about it: Ashok Narain

NamUs gives the year 1987 for when Ashok Kumar Narain disappeared from Eugene, Oregon. Other sources say it was in April 1988. Regardless, Ashok’s disappearance is a very mysterious case — was he a murderer, a victim, or both?

The story begins in 1983 when Ashok, a native of Fiji, married Raj, a fellow Fijian from his village. It was an arranged ceremony. The couple moved to Oregon and subsequently had a little girl, Kamnee Koushal Narain.

The Narains regularly wrote letters to their families back in Fiji. Nobody back home detected anything amiss from the letters; it looked like a normal marriage and Raj seemed happy enough. The letters eventually stopped, but the couple’s Fijian relatives weren’t worried.

In the meantime, in September 1987, the dismembered remains of a pregnant woman were found in two different rivers in Washington and Oregon. A few days later, a toddler’s body was found in yet a third river in the vicinity. Although the police suspected the woman and child were related, they couldn’t prove it, and there were no missing persons that matched either of them.

Ashok’s brother reported the Narains missing in 2006. He’d heard about the dead woman and baby in Washington, and Raj’s family couldn’t find any trace of her online. In 2007, DNA testing confirmed the bodies were Raj and Kamnee. Mother and daughter were taken back Fiji for burial. Raj was 24 years old at the time of her death; Kamnee was only fourteen months.

I haven’t seen anything about a cause of death. It’s possible the police don’t know due to the condition of the remains. It’s equally possible that police do know and are withholding this information from the public.

So… where’s Ashok, the last surviving member in the family? Nobody knows.

When a woman, particularly a pregnant woman, is murdered, the police always start their investigation by looking at the husband or boyfriend. Yet, there’s no warrant for Ashok’s arrest and he isn’t even being called suspect; he’s only wanted for questioning as a witness. He certainly seems to have dropped off the map entirely since his wife and daughter’s killings — although I must admit, he had a really good head start.

Yet the dates here are pretty significant, because if the 1988 date is correct, that means Ashok was last seen over six months AFTER Kamnee and Raj’s killings. And that’s kind of hard to explain away.

I have no idea whether or not Ashok committed the murders. I do, however, think whoever did it was someone close to the victims. I believe this because the killer(s) went to a great deal of trouble disposing of the bodies and concealing their identities. I mean: dismemberment, hiding Raj’s head where it would never be found, and dumping the pieces in three different rivers in two different states. I think if the person was a stranger or only a slight acquaintance, they wouldn’t bother with all that.

R.I.P. Raj, and the baby you were carrying. R.I.P. Kamnee. I hope they find out who committed such a terrible crime.

And… let’s talk about it.

Another AP dump

  1. Douglas Charles Chapman
  2. Allyson Corrales
  3. Amber Nicole Crum
  4. Carlos Alberto Reyes
  5. Sarah Rachel Tokier
  6. Jacqueline Vasquez

Also, Norma Houghland has a new picture, courtesy of Peter Henderson’s Facebook page.

[EDIT: And the number of photos of Lucero Sarabia has doubled from six to twelve, thanks to this recent TV bit on her and this Facebook page set up in her memory. Seven years ago I blogged about Lucero. Not about her case exactly but about the awful judgy things people said about her, about how she had DARED to go to a party to celebrate Thanksgiving and SHE DYED HER HAIR OMG I MUST CLUTCH MY PEARLS and so on.]

I had hoped to add some new cases today, but I’ve only been working five hours and my upper back is starting to go. I do, however, have a fine set of updated cases warming in the oven.

Let’s talk about it: Juanita Oxenrider

Charley Project Irregular Katherine B. suggested I do a “let’s talk” feature where I post some of the most bizarre Charley Project cases there are to offer, and let people have free rein speculating about them in the comments. I don’t think I have enough super-bizarre cases to make a regular weekly go of this, but here’s the first one anyway:

Juanita Marie Oxenrider, a pregnant 29-year-old who disappeared after she, her husband Donald, and a friend, Thomas Maynard, took a ride out on the Oxenriders’ boat on the Patapsco River in central Maryland in 1976. The boat mysteriously exploded and sank in broad daylight in only fifteen feet of water, but no bodies were immediately recoverable.

Six months later, in the river about a mile downstream from where the boat sank, Donald Oxenrider’s body turned up. They were too severely decomposed to determine the cause of death. In an even more crazy detail of this case, the other passenger, Thomas Maynard, turned up a decade after that, alive and well — the guy was facing serious criminal charges at the time of his disappearance, and he’d jumped the country and had been in Canada all that time.

But what happened to Juanita? You decide. It’s worth noting that she has been declared legally dead. But if she’s still alive she’d be about 69 today, and her baby would be 41 39.

Let’s hear it from the comment crowd. All theories are welcomed.

More little updates

I’ve finished my updates for today — nothing terribly exciting, just a bunch of runaways and some small case details. (Does anyone think the conversation Shelia Diane Hughes had with her sister the night before her disappearance is incredibly creepy? Perhaps it meant nothing, perhaps they were just discussing mortality in general, I don’t know. But it seems very suspicious to me, given what happened later. I wish I knew the context of her statements.)

Anyway, as I often do, I made a little tiny few case updates of the kind I don’t usually add to the updates page:

  1. Lisa Jane Borden has a new picture, emailed to me by a Charley Project irregular whose name I don’t know.
  2. Amy Lee Fandel‘s age-progression has been updated. I’m not sure why hers was done and her brother Scott‘s was not.
  3. Edward Joseph Garlinghouse Jr. has an alias name and a few alias dates of birth, courtesy of NamUs. Edward, incidentally, is a hero, as you can tell by the circumstances of his disappearance. I thought I should mention that.
  4. Janteyl Danielle Johnson‘s name is pronounced “Jon-tel” so I added that in her distinguishing characteristics. I had thought it might be Jan-tayl or something.

Yeah, I can’t find any Select It Sunday suggestions today, so…

So here’s one of my own.

I want to bend the rules a bit and talk about a case I just added to Charley last night: Samantha Jean Hopper, courtesy of the new Arkansas MP database. NamUs also had Samantha but without a picture, so I wasn’t able to add her to Charley before.

Per NamUs, Samantha was eight months pregnant and disappeared with her one-year-old daughter, no details provided for the child. The Arkansas MP database had a one-year-old girl named Courtney Holt who disappeared from the same city (Russellville) on the same day (September 11, 1998) so I took a leap of faith and decided this must be Samantha’s daughter. No picture for baby Courtney, though, so she doesn’t have her own profile. I also don’t know her DOB. I wish I did. There’s a huge difference, developmentally speaking, between a one-year-old who just turned one, and a one-year-old who’s almost two.

I can’t find anything about Samantha or Courtney in the news archives or anything.

In spite of the paucity of details this case strikes me as ominous. Why would a heavily pregnant young woman and her baby/toddler vanish into thin air like that? Who was that “friend” they were going with? Did the friend come back? What kind of concert were they attending?

I tried Googling the phrase “little rock” concert and the dates “september 11, 1998” and “september 12, 1998” to see if what bands were playing in the city at that time, but I could find nothing. Hardly surprising, 18 years after the fact, but frustrating nonetheless.

I’ve never cared for a baby or been pregnant, but it seems to me that if I were dealing with both situations at the same time, a concert doesn’t sound like it would be a lot of fun. I suppose it would depend on the concert, how the pregnancy was going and how manageable the child was/whether there was child care available. Certainly something like a mosh pit would be out of the question.

I’d love to know what’s going on with this case. Most importantly, I want to know why there has been no news or anything for nearly two decades.