I’ll be out of Facebook Jail in a week. Here’s some more news.

From California:

  • They’re still looking for Khrystyna Carreno, a twelve-year-old girl who disappeared from Bakersfield in November 2020. (The article spells her name “Khrystina” but the NCMEC and CDOJ spell it “Khrystyna” so I’m going to go with that.) I don’t have her on Charley but figure I should add her. Twelve is very young, obviously, and she’s been missing for a year and a half now. I hope she’s alive and hasn’t been trafficked. Here’s Khrystyna’s NCMEC poster.

From Florida:

From Georgia:

  • They have finally identified the little boy whose corpse was found outside Atlanta over 20 years ago. His name was William DaShawn Hamilton and he was six years old when he was murdered. William was never reported missing. His mother, Teresa Ann Bailey Black, has been charged with felony murder, cruelty to children, aggravated assault and concealing the death of another.

From Michigan:

  • They’re still looking for Kathy Sue Wilcox, a 15-year-old girl last seen in Otsego in 1972. She got into an argument with her parents over an older boy she was dating, stomped out angrily and was never seen again. Kathy would be 65 today. Kathy’s sister does not believe she ran away, and made reference to a “significant antisocial person who was in [Kathy’s] life,” whom she thinks could have been involved.

From Minnesota:

  • Remains found in Rosemount in 2014 have been identified as James Everett, a New York man who was not listed as missing. They do not know the cause or manner of death, but they believe Everett died sometime in the autumn months of 2013. I wonder if he died of exposure; Minnesota can get very cold, and I doubt a “decommissioned railroad utility shed” would have heat or insulation.

From New Hampshire:

  • They’re still looking for 15-year-old Shirley Ann “Tippy” McBride, last seen in Concord in 1984. Although there haven’t been any new developments, the article talks about the case in great detail.
  • They’re still looking for Maura Murray, and are searching an unspecified “area in the towns of Landaff and Easton.” This search isn’t based on any new info, though, they’re just shooting in the dark.

From New York:

  • They’re trying to find Judith Threlkeld, a 22-year-old woman who disappeared from Chautauqua County in 1976. She was last seen walking home from the library. I added the case to Charley yesterday.

From North Dakota:

  • Check out this awesome in-depth three-part series on the 1996 disappearances of Sandra Mary Jacobson and her son, John Henry Jacobson: part 1 | part 2 | part 3 (this last part is paywalled, but I was invested enough to fork over two bucks for a subscription). Very mysterious case. I feel terrible for Sandra’s older son, Spencer: he lost his mom and half-brother, literally, and later on his father was murdered, and neither of these cases have been solved. A few years after the murder of Spencer’s father, Spencer’s wife died tragically young at 24, from strep throat of all things, leaving him a young widower with three kids. Poor Spencer has had enough bad luck to last a lifetime.

From Ohio:

  • They’re still looking for Charles King Blanche, a 39-year-old man who disappeared from his Youngstown group home in 1991. Blanche’s cousin says he was a very talented musician who was recruited to tour in Europe in a marching band, but his life kind of cratered after he developed an unspecified severe mental illness. An all-too-common story on the Charley Project.

From Texas:

  • It’s being reported that sometimes when Texan foster kids run away, the agencies just wash their hands of them and end their guardianship over them. This sounds terrible, but given how often foster agencies fail their wards, and given as it’s Texas where they can’t even keep the lights on, I’m not entirely surprised.
  • Using genetic genealogy, they have identified a Jane Doe whose partial remains were found south of Midland in 2013. The victim was Sylvia Nicole Smith, who disappeared in 2000 at the age of sixteen. The case is being investigated as homicide.

From Virginia

  • Cory Bigsby, the father of four-year-old Codi Bigsby, has been indicted on thirty counts, the majority of them child neglect charges. Codi has been missing since January. None of the indictments are related to his disappearance; they’re connected to Cory’s allegedly terrible parenting from prior to Codi’s disappearance. Codi has not been missing long enough to go up on Charley, so here’s his NCMEC poster, and here’s another poster for him.

From Washington state:

  • There are forty known Native American people listed as missing from the Yakima area. And here’s a list of all the Native Americans listed as missing from the entire state.

From Washington DC:

  • They’re still looking for Relisha Tenau Rudd, an eight-year-old girl who disappeared from a Dickensian homeless shelter in 2014. I’ve blogged about Relisha several times, as recently as earlier this week when they put up a new AP for her. If still alive, Relisha would now be 16. Here’s another detailed article about her case, with links to the earlier series of articles the Washington Post did about it.

And in general:

  • Although they don’t drop kids from the guardianship rolls when they disappear, in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Illinois, most missing foster kids who resurface are not screened to see if they were trafficked during the time they were gone. The article says Texas actually has a better record in this regard, with over 80% of missing-and-then-located foster kids being screened. But the number should ideally be 100%.
  • My husband has persuaded me to finally turn the Charley Project into an official registered nonprofit organization. Right now we’re saving up the money to pay a lawyer to file the paperwork to do this though it’s going to be awhile at this rate; money is super tight right now. If the Charley Project is a registered nonprofit, all donations will become tax-deductible and also the organization could become the recipient of grants. I’d use the grants to travel to more missing persons events, and pay the subscription fees for more databases to use in researching cases, and maybe hire an editor or something.

MP of the week: Barry Douglas

This week’s featured missing person case is Barry Keith Douglas, a 31-year-old man who disappeared from Galeton, Pennsylvania on July 3, 1988. He was last seen walking near his home, in the direction of Wellsboro, Pennsylvania. He stopped to talk to some people he knew on the way, and they were the last ones to see him.

He left behind almost everything, including his car. He apparently only took his wallet a .30-06 rifle. And he left his front door propped open with the radio on.

Douglas is described as white, 6’0 and 200 pounds, with red hair and blue eyes. He suffers from schizophrenia and one theory is that he disappeared due to developing amnesia from his illness.

If still alive, Barry Douglas would be 65 today.

New age-progression for Relisha Rudd just dropped

So I just put up a new age-progression for Relisha Tenau Rudd, last seen in Washington D.C. in 2014 at the age of eight. The AP shows her as she might appear at her current age of 16.

I don’t normally make whole new blog entries just for one AP, but I have a particularly soft spot for Relisha as it seems every adult and every institution she came across in her short life, failed her miserably.

Sorry guys, my stomach has betrayed me again

Yeah, so between like Sunday night/Monday morning and yesterday I was, for the third time this year, laid up with some pretty bad nausea and vomiting. My prescription anti-nausea meds didn’t work. Things started to improve by Tuesday evening, but then at like 8:30 a power outage put paid to my plans to at least put up my missing person of the week, and I sat there in the dark and silent house until the power finally came back on at 4:30 a.m.

I think my stomach is better now — it’s been like 18 hours since I last puked — but I am getting seriously concerned about the increasing frequency of these episodes.

This happened before, you see. Readers might even remember me talking about it; for like a year or so, EXACTLY every three weeks I would be stricken with nausea and vomiting for days on end. Of course a specialist was consulted but he couldn’t find anything much. These episodes abruptly ended after I started taking hormonal birth control so I suspect it was a hormonal issue. But, well, I’m still on the Pill…

It is quite awful. I can sort of detach myself from pain, even quite severe pain, but nausea is not something I’ve ever been able to put out of my head. You just lie there thinking somebody up there really hates you.

And it’s all especially concerning in light of the medications I have to take for the bipolar thing. The situation snowballs. If I can’t keep anything down, I can’t keep those meds down, but if I go off them for very long at all the consequences are not good. For example, I’ve had like three hours of sleep in the last 24, despite being quite exhausted, and I’m pretty sure it’s because I was off my meds for several days in a row. I finally was able to restart last night.

Anyway.

I am going to try to put an update in, since sleep doesn’t seem to be on the menu. Might as well try to get something productive done.

I apologize for my absence before.

Not all forgetting is bad

I was raped on June 16, 2009. I was beaten, choked, held against my will for two hours, and during that time sexually assaulted. It was horrific.

I’ve written about this online before, starting right happened and then through the investigative process and recovery. It was pretty awful. The entire month of June would be ruined, every year, for quite a few years. And even after the horror of it started to fade, it would still hit me sometimes. A scene in a movie. A face in a crowd. And then the whole experience would slam into me.

After the man who did it was deported to Sudan and the story finally felt over, things improved. I stopped thinking about it so much.

And the other day, I was looking at the calendar, and suddenly thought, “The anniversary of the attack. I missed it. I forgot. Cool.”

Three cheers to forgetting.

Vocabulary guidelines are subject to change

So there’s a case on the Charley Project where I talk some about the missing person’s brother (what particular case it is, isn’t important), and what he saw and heard on the day of the disappearance and in the days prior. He was a child at the time. I talk enough in the casefile about the brother that I had to refer to him by name. Let’s say I called him “Mark.”

Now, close to 20 years have passed since the MP vanished and someone is on trial for his murder. When I write about the trial in the casefile (I will update the case when the trial’s finished) I will have to talk about Mark and what Mark said, because Mark is a major witness at the trial. But Mark is now “Mary”, the MP’s transgender sister.

I really was not sure how to address this in the casefile so that I would not cause offense to anybody. Obviously, it will need to be pointed out in the casefile that Mark and Mary are the same person, and when accounts from years ago talk about the MP’s brother Mark, they mean the person who testified at the trial as his sister Mary.

But society is still learning how to talk about transgender people and I do not want to put the information out in the wrong way, with language that causes offense. I don’t want to unnecessarily upset anyone in what is already a very upsetting case.

(To give you an example of what I’m talking about: once I was on Reddit talking about some black people who had moved from another country to the US to live, and I called them “African-American”. By which I meant ”black”. I thought I was being polite to use this term, but my comment was downvoted to oblivion and I was yelled at by several other commenters and couldn’t figure out why. I asked a friend who is black what I did wrong, and she said black immigrants to the United States usually don’t want to be called African-Americans. I had not known this and thus, had caused offense. I grew up in Wonderbread-white land surrounded by Wonderbread-white people and believe I am very ignorant as to racial issues, though I am trying to learn.)

I wound up consulting a friend of mine, who is the mother of a transgender child. She, in turn, consulted her child, who said this: the first time I mention the MP’s sibling in the case summary, I should identify the person as the MP’s sister Mary, and include a note saying Mary is transgender and accounts from the time period her brother disappeared refer to her as the MP’s brother Mark. The trans position, my informant said, is that Mary was ALWAYS a girl, it’s just she happened to be mistaken for a boy.

Anyway, I decided to write this entry to (A) show people what I sometimes consider when writing casefiles and (B) educate people about how to talk about transgender individuals.

MP of the week: Rachel Anderson

This week’s featured missing person is actually a triple disappearance, or maybe a quadruple one depending on your point of view. Rachel Marie Anderson was last seen in Fulton, Mississippi on April 11, 2000, at the same time her brothers, Cameron and Kyle Anderson, and mother, Lesley Allen, also went missing.

Rachel was 13 at the time, Cameron was 12 and Kyle was 9. I don’t know Lesley’s age or description, though I do have some photos of her. Lesley was not reported missing.

Supposedly the family just vanished one day, leaving behind Lesley’s two older children, who both have mental disabilities. There’s been no sign of them since. In 22 years. No school or medical records transfers, no activity on any of their Social Security numbers, etc.

I think something terrible must have happened to them, but I have no idea what.

Rachel would be 36 today and her brothers would be 34 and 31. All the children are white, blonde and blue-eyed. Rachel has a strawberry birthmark on the left side of her face, Cameron wears glasses, and Kyle has a scar on his upper lip.

It’s a bizarre case and I wish it had gotten more attention.

Since I’m in Facebook Jail again, here’s the news

Facebook didn’t like a meme I posted — despite the fact that it’s elsewhere on Facebook — and gave me 30 days in jail. But then they changed their minds and decided the meme is okay after all, but forgot to remove my 30-day sentence. Shrug. It is what it is. Facebook is broken.

In California:

  • The biological parents of Classic and Cincere Pettus, later known as Orson and Orrin West, have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the state of California, alleging the state wrongfully removed the Pettus boys from a safe home and placed them with the people who have since been charged with their murders.

In Massachusetts:

In Michigan:

In Minnesota:

  • There’s a new podcast about the disappearance of Joshua Cheney Guimond, a St. John’s University student who disappeared from the university’s Collegeville, Minnesota campus in 2002.

In New Hampshire:

  • They’re still looking for Harmony Montgomery, and her father Adam’s lawyers have asked for police body cam footage of his arrest. Adam is charged with abusing Harmony prior to her disappearance, and with failure to report her missing. A little over a week ago the police searched Harmony’s old apartment and removed items, including a refrigerator. My guess would be they’re checking anything large enough to conceal a five-year-old child’s body.

In New York:

  • On this coming Saturday, the New York City Medical Examiner is holding an event to publicize missing persons in NYC. At the event, the ME’s office will accept “will accept any voluntarily shared information, like photos and DNA samples to help identify missing people.”

In South Carolina:

  • They interviewed the lead investigator in Shelton John Sanders‘s disappearance and presumed murder, asking him why they were unable to get convictions in that case. The investigator still thinks the suspect in guilty.
  • They have identified remains found at a recycling plant as Duncan Gordon, a missing man. He was last seen sitting on top of a shredding machine, and “a substance that looked like ground up flesh” was later found in that machine. Sounds awful; I hope it was quick. I’m predicting Gordon’s family files a lawsuit and OSHA hands out fines for this.

In Virginia:

In Washington state:

  • Othram has identified two more unidentified bodies: they are Blaine Has Tricks, who disappeared in 1977, and Alice Lou Williams, who disappeared in 1981. I know with Alice they got some help from the Charley Project; I know because the guy who owns Othram told me so.

In Canada:

  • They’re still looking for Vernon George Martin, who disappeared in 2009 after a fire at the airport hangar he co-owned. He could be missing or he could be on the run, as he’s wanted for sex offenses.

In New Zealand:

In the UK:

  • The father of Claudia Lawrence, who disappeared in 2009, died in February, and in his will he left £10,000 to a charity for missing persons.
  • They found Michael Anthony Lynch, a man who had been missing for 20 years. It appears he drove his car into Lough Erne, near Corradillar Quay, in Northern Ireland.

MP of the week: Tavish Sutton

This week’s featured missing person is Tavish Sutton, missing from Atlanta, Georgia since March 9, 1993. He was abducted from a hospital at the age of one month (less one day), while admitted for minor surgery. There are two possible suspects in the case, neither of whom have been identified.

There’s an excellent chance he’s alive and well out there and doesn’t know who he is or that he’s missing. But there are no actual photographs of him, and I have no idea how accurate the age-progression done in 2010 is.

One thing that might be used to identify Tavish (who would now be 29 years old) is a quarter-inch surgical scar on his buttock.

(Sorry this is a day late. Been sick.)

Things can always be worse

From Sunday to Tuesday I was down and out with a stomach upset. In between lying in bed groaning and making many many trips to the bathroom, I was reading a book about the African nation formerly known as Swaziland, renamed Eswatini a few years ago.

Now, I do not wish to get into a political discussion on here but due to some current events a lot of Americans right now are very concerned about political officials’ corruption and abuse of power. But I’m here to remind you that there are parts of the world where things can be a lot worse, and there’s a missing persons element to the story as well.

Twentyish years ago, an 18-year-old Swazi high school student didn’t return home from school one day. She’d been about to take her A levels (the university entrance/placement exams in the British education system; Eswatini is a former British colony) and planned to go to university and eventually become a lawyer. But then she was gone.

It turned out the king had decided he had a liking to her, and wanted to marry her. His way of proposing was to have some of his palace guards (goons) kidnap the girl off the street, force her into a vehicle and drive her to the royal compound.

Days passed before her family found out where she was and what had happened.

The girl’s mother (a single parent, dad had died) was extremely upset by this, as you might imagine, especially because her daughter was a minor (21 is the age of majority there) and the king had acted without consent from either mother or daughter. She actually went to the courts to try to get her child back, but the case didn’t go anywhere, because in Swaziland/Eswatini the king’s word is law. He’s an absolute monarch.

The kidnapping did not come out of nowhere. The king had previously expressed his interest in the girl, who did NOT want to marry this lout and be condemned to a life of (as the book I was reading put it) “luxurious tedium”. She and her mom contemplated leaving the country to avoid something like what wound up happening, but decided to stay after finding out that, per Swazi tradition, the king cannot marry a woman who’s a twin. This girl was a twin; she had a twin brother. So she thought: Whew, I’m safe.

Well, it turns out Swazi tradition is whatever the king says it is. And if he decides Swazi tradition will make an exception in this case, it will. Hence, the abduction and forced marriage. The eighteen-year-old Swazi girl became his tenth wife, all her career and education dreams gone.

I want to emphasize that this occurred in like 2001 or 2002. The same century in which we live now. It sounds straight-up medieval.

As bad as things have gotten here with corruption and abuses of power… I can walk safe in the street knowing no U.S. president will ever have his goons kidnap me and force me into marriage, and no U.S. court would ever let the president do it if he tried.