Tragic news in one child’s case, and justice for another two

Yesterday a child’s body was found in a camper near Garryowen on the Crow Reservation in Montana; it has been identified as Mildred Alexis “Millie” Old Crow, who disappeared sometime in 2019 or 2020. She was living with her guardians, her aunt Roseen Lincoln Old Crow and Roseen’s wife Veronica Dust, and was last seen with them in April 2019. No one’s exactly sure when she disappeared and nothing much has been released yet about her death. It seems likely she was murdered; little girls don’t just die for no reason.

Meanwhile in Florida, former cult leader Anna Young was sentenced to 30 years in prison for second-degree murder in the beating/starvation death of Emon David Harper, a toddler who disappeared sometime in 1988 and whose body was never found, and manslaughter in the death by neglect of Katonya Jackson, a two-year-old girl with epilepsy who died because Young withheld her medication. Both children and their families were members of Young’s cult.

This article talks about the plea deal and sentence Young accepted, but fails to mention that Young is tied to two other missing children: the 1973 (pre-cult) disappearance of Catherine Barbara Davidson, Young’s six-year-old stepdaughter, and the 1984 disappearance of two-year-old Marcos Antonio Cruz, another child whose family was involved in the cult. Marcos may have been abandoned in Puerto Rico by a cult member at Young’s orders. Catherine, however, was almost certainly murdered; one of Young’s other children reportedly saw her body in a closet before her disappearance was reported. It seems unlikely that Young will confess to her involvement in her stepdaughter’s case or help authorities recover the body; she’s got nothing to gain by it.

Remains found in 1979 identified, and other stories

Today is National Missing Persons day. This article has some info about how the new Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains Act, which was signed into law on New Years’ Eve, will help communities along the Mexican border.

In Alabama: Skeletal remains have been found in Conecuh County, Alabama. Though they haven’t been identified yet, the police think they’re those of Brian Estrada, who disappeared last October. His ID was found near the bones.

In California: They’re still looking for Sydney West, a 19-year-old University of California, Berkeley student who disappeared from San Francisco on September 30. Her parents are offering a $10,000 reward for info leading to her return.

In Colorado: The murder trial of Donthe Lucas in the disappearance of his 21-year-old pregnant girlfriend Kelsie Jean Schelling from Pueblo has begun. Kelsie was last seen on February 5, 2013.

In Florida: They’re still looking for Lemuel Robert Hall, a 79-year-old man who disappeared from Escambia County in 2019. He was last seen in July, but wasn’t reported missing till September.

In Maine: They’re still looking for Jason D. Reil, a 33-year-old man who disappeared from Brunswick in January 2012. He had schizophrenia and was off his meds when he went missing.

In Mississippi: They’re still looking for William Brian McKenzie, a 21-year-old who disappeared in September 2019.

In Ohio: They’re still looking for Nylo Lattimore, a 3-year-old boy who disappeared from Cincinnati on December 4. His mother was allegedly stabbed to death in her home on December 5 and her body dumped, but it wasn’t found for a week. Desean Brown has been charged with Nylo’s mother’s murder, but Nylo has never been found and Brown hasn’t cooperated in the case.

In Pennsylvania: They’re still looking for Robert Scott Baron, who disappeared from his restaurant in Old Forge on January 25, 2017. It looks like he was probably killed in a robbery of the business; they found some blood in his car and a tooth in the restaurant’s sink.

In South Dakota: 9-year-old Serenity June Dennard disappeared from the Black Hills Children’s Home two years ago today. Though the case is still open, the police have suspended the search for now, for lack of any ideas where to look.

In Tennessee: They’re still looking for Shelley Lynn Mook, a 24-year-old woman who disappeared from Shelbyville on February 28, 2011. Her husband Tyler is a person of interest in her case, but has never been charged.

In Texas: They’re still looking for Joshua Jayvaughn Davis Jr., a one-year-old boy who disappeared from New Braunfels on February 4, 2011 — ten years ago tomorrow. The police seem to think his parents were involved or at least know what happened. I’m not sure. I am a firm believer in the axiom that there’s usually no smoke without fire. But one thing I will observe: Joshua’s parents have talked to the media a fair bit about his disappearance and tried to publicize it as much as they can, which in my observation is inconsistent with people who were responsible for their child’s disappearance.

In Oregon: They have identified remains found at the bottom of Multnomah Falls in September 1979. His name is Freeman Asher Jr.

In Washington: They’re still looking for Sofia Lucerno Juarez, who disappeared from Kennewick on February 4, 2003, the day before her fifth birthday. 18 years ago tomorrow.

In Australia: They’re still looking for Lisa Govan, a 28-year-old woman who disappeared from Kalfoorie, Western Australia in 1999. The police believe she was murdered.

Also in Australia: They’re still looking for Steven James Goldsmith, a 28-year-old arborist who disappeared from Toowoomba, Queensland in 2000. Authorities believe he was murdered. There’s a $250k reward out to help solve the case.

In Canada: They have identified a body that washed up on Gulf Island Beach in British Columbia in 1972. The name of the man, who was 41 when he disappeared from Coquitlam in 1967, has not been released.

Also in Canada: They’re still looking for Ben Tyner, a ranch manager who disappeared from Merritt, British Columbia in January 2019.

In Belgium: A car was found in a canal in Bruges; it turned out to belong to Ronny Lateste, a 39-year-old man who disappeared in 1990. His body was inside it.

MP of the week: Michelle Mulcahy

This week’s featured missing person is Michelle Meredith Mulcahy, a seventeen-year-old girl who disappeared from Fort Lauderdale, Florida on July 7, 1979. She left all her belongings behind, including her new car, so she isn’t believed to have been a runaway. She didn’t need to run away in any case; she had already moved out of her mom’s house and was living with a friend. There were some issues going on in her life: she had gotten involved with drugs and was dating a man who was himself into the drug culture.

I have to wonder if Christopher Wilder was ever looked at in this case. 1979 is a little before his time — his known victims were killed in 1983 and 1984 — but Michelle did want to be a model and was last seen en route to a dance contest, which would fit the profile of Wilder’s victims.

Hmm, I wonder…

They’ve found human remains in a car at a reservoir in Katonah, New York. They’re not saying much about it yet, but they did say the car is “connected to an old missing persons case that is still open.”

There’s only one missing persons case out of Katonah on the Charley Project: the 1977 disappearance of Leslie Anne Guthrie and her two children, six-year-old Julie Anne Guthrie and three-year-old Timothy Patrick Guthrie Jr.

Leslie’s car disappeared with them and has never been found.

Twelve-year-old missing for four months is classified as a runaway, and other stories

I hope everyone had a good Christmas. Mine was pretty good. Very quiet of course, cause of covid.

In California: the body of Barbara Thomas, a 69-year-old woman who disappeared hiking in the Mojave Desert in 2019, has been found in the desert near Essex.

In Louisiana: they’re still looking for David Claude Yeager, a seventeen-year-old boy who disappeared from Shreveport in 1971, and there’s little indication as to what happened to him. His cousin has created a Facebook page for him.

In Missouri: they’re still looking for Cheryl Anne Scherer, a 19-year-old girl who disappeared from Scott City in 1979. The article doesn’t have a lot in terms of information, just focuses on her family’s pain and grief.

In New York: they’re still looking for Jaylen Griffin, a 12-year-old boy who disappeared under unclear circumstances from Buffalo in August. The police have this preteen listed as a runaway.

In Ohio: they’re still looking for Mary Jane Vangilder, a 33-year-old woman who disappeared from Willard in 1945. They’re going to check some Jane Does and see if any of them are her.

In Pennsylvania: Justo Smoker, who had previously been charged with Linda Stoltzfoos’s kidnapping, has been charged with her murder as well. Linda, an 18-year-old Amish girl, disappeared while walking home from church in Lancaster County back in June. She has never been found. Smoker was arrested on the kidnapping charges in July.

In Texas: they’re still looking for Patty Inez Brightwell Vaughan, a 32-year-old woman who disappeared from La Vernia on Christmas Day, 1996. She went missing after an argument with her estranged husband, who is the prime suspect in her case, but he has never been charged.

In Virginia: they’re still looking for two people missing from the Richmond area: Stephanie Collette Wallace, a 45-year-old woman who went missing from Richmond in 2005, and Robert Lee Hourihan, a 33-year-old man who disappeared from Palmyra in 2011. They also are hoping to identify a white or Hispanic man whose skeletal remains were found near a vacant apartment in Highland Springs in 2014.

In Australia: they’re still looking for Russell Hill and Carol Clay, who disappeared while on a camping trip in the Wonnangatta Valley in eastern Victoria back in May. They are believed to have been murdered.

In Canada: they’re still looking for Melanie Ethier, a 15-year-old girl who disappeared while walking home from a friend’s house in her small Ontario town in 1996. Melanie’s birthday is on Christmas Day.

MP of the week: Eileen Hynson

This week’s featured missing person is Eileen Francis Hynson. The 19-year-old disappeared from Napa, California on June 1, 1976, when she left home to go to a bridal party dress fitting in Benicia, 30 miles away. She never arrived there.

I don’t have much info on Eileen’s case but I think she’s probably deceased. Her father apparently thought so; when he died in 1997, his obituary noted he was “the beloved father of the late Eileen Hynson.”

If still alive, she would be 63 today.

Navajo-language missing persons posters and more stories

From the border states: the the Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains Act has been approved by Congress and awaits the President’s signature to be signed into law. The Act is designed to enhance the recording and reporting of missing persons and unidentified persons along the U.S./Mexico border and includes several measures towards that end.

From Arizona/New Mexico: the FBI has released some Navajo-language posters about unsolved missing persons and murder cases that occurred on or near the Navajo Nation. The missing persons include Anthonette Christine Cayedito, missing from Gallup, New Mexico since 1986; Laverda Sorrell, missing from Fort Defiance, Arizona since 2002; and Jamie Lynnette Yazzie, missing from Pinon, Arizona since 2019. Serious question, and I mean no disrespect to the Navajo Nation: is there actually anyone who can read Navajo who cannot also read English, or are these posters more of a public relations exercise than anything?

From Arkansas: this article details the murder-without-a-body case of Christopher Todd Armstrong, who went missing from Magnolia on March 7, 1998. Although Kenny Wayne Whiddon Jr. pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the case, served his prison term and was released in 2008, Armstrong’s body has never been found.

From California/Oregon: they’re still searching for Danielle Bisnell, who disappeared on December 10 last year, while traveling from Lebanon, Oregon to Redding, California.

From California: they’re still searching for Angela Marie Fullmer, a 34-year-old mother of three who disappeared from Mount Shasta, California on December 15, 2002.

Also from California: they’re still searching for Manuel Calderon, who disappeared from Hacienda Heights on September 8 this year.

Also from California: they’re released more info on a “few details” case I had, the disappearance of Amber Aiaz and her twelve-year-old daughter Melissa Fu from Irvine on November 22, 2019. According to Aiaz’s husband, a Chinese man and woman rendered him unconscious with an unknown substance and when he woke up his wife and daughter were gone. Very strange. If the police think this is a kidnapping, I don’t understand why this information didn’t appear in the news for over a year.

From Illinois: Angela Renee Siebke has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of a newborn girl whose body was found floating inside a trash bag in the Mississippi River in Moline, Illinois on April 11, 1992. Siebke lives in Ohio now, but in 1992 she was a resident of Orion, Illinois. DNA proved she was the unidentified baby’s mother.

Also from Illinois: they’re still looking for Requita “Aaliyah” Goff, who disappeared from Chicago on November 28, 2019.

Also from Illinois: they’re found remains believed to be of Kimberly Stewart-Whittington, who went missing from Harrisburg in September 2019.

From Montana: the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes are creating a tribal community response plan for missing Native American people.

From New Mexico: This article states the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Task Force, which was formed a year ago to address the problem of violence against Native American women, has made a “dogged but incomplete effort” in the face of the pandemic and incomplete data. The entire 64-page report is here.

From Texas: there’s an article about Rusty Arnold’s search for his sister Mary Rachel Trlica and her friends, Lisa “Renee” Wilson and Julie Ann Moseley, who all disappeared under strange circumstances from Fort Worth in 1974.

From British Columbia, Canada: They’re still looking for Randolph Quilt, a Xeni Gwet’in First Nation man who disappeared from Williams Lake on September 26. He wasn’t reported missing till November 29.

From Germany/the UK: two-year-old Emmanuel Biendarra, who was abducted from the UK by his mother in 2019, has been found safe in Germany and returned to Britain, where his searching father lives.

From Nigeria: the 344 abducted Nigerian boys mentioned in the last article dump have been freed. It turns out they were taken not by Boko Haram, but by bandits pretending to be Boko Haram.

From Singapore: A suspect, Ahmad Danial Mohamed Rafa’ee, has been charged with murder in the disappeared of Felicia Teo, a fine arts student who went missing in 2007. Teo’s body has never been found. A suspected accomplice in the murder, Ragil Putra Setia Sukmarahjana, has been named also, but the police haven’t located him yet; he is no longer in Singapore. This article has more info on the case.

From Taiwan: they’ve found a woman, identified only as Hsieh, who went missing from Changhua County twelve years ago when she was only eleven years old. She was apparently abducted by her non-custodial mother and turned up in Kaohsiung in an “undernourished state” weighing only 36 kilograms, or 79 pounds. To keep Hsieh from being found, her mom had confined her to their apartment and not let her go to school or to the hospital. When she was reunited with her father and brother, she no longer recognized them, and she “appeared to be suffering from social behavioral disorders.” No wonder, after being imprisoned in an apartment for over half her life. Such an awful story.

Another article dump, stuff I would normally have posted on Facebook

Madeleine McCann investigators to keep searching for missing girl until ‘all possibilities have been exhausted’

Authorities end search in river for missing Columbia woman (Mengqi Ji Elledge, who disappeared from Missouri in October 2019)

Three suspects charged with murder after remains found of missing woman (Melanie Steele, who disappeared from Savannah, Georgia in September 2019)

FBI asks for information on missing Iowa girl’s birthday (Breasia Terrell, who disappeared from Davenport, Iowa in July this year)

Missing man last seen at Orlando bus station months ago, police say, (Stanford Knight, who disappeared in August)

HLN Special Examines Case of Timmothy Pitzen, Missing Boy Whose Mom Wrote Taunting Suicide Note (Timmothy’s case on Charley is here, he went missing from Wisconsin in 2011)

Final Sentencing Set For Ohio Man Who Claimed To Be Long-Missing Child From Illinois (he pretended to be Timmothy Pitzen, see above)

Cops seek help finding woman missing for nearly 2 years (Robin Best-Bey, who disappeared from Buena Borough, New Jersey in February 2019)

Police search for Houston woman who went missing nearly 4 months ago (Micaela Helene Roberson, last seen August 15)

Friend says woman found dead at Fort Myers apartments disappeared 2 years ago (Cassandra Clermont)

Missing kids campaign: “I used to talk to her picture on the mantelpiece” (Joanne Ratcliffe and Kirste Gordon, missing from Adelaide, Australia since 1973

B.C. couple in final bid to bring children of their missing daughter back to Canada (kids are not named, but their mother is Kimberlee Kasatkin, missing since since 2016; this is a murder-without-a-body case in Peru)

Daughters still desperate for answers 20 years after mother disappeared from Florida home under suspicious circumstances (Geanna Jones, missing from Jacksonville since 2000)

Officials identify Baby Jane Doe found dead in 1982; suspect is deceased (the baby was also called Delta Dawn, her body was found in Mississippi; her real name is Alisha Ann Heinrich, she’s from Missouri, and her mother, Gwendolyn Mae Clemons, has not been seen since Alisha’s body was found)

WC toddler identified in MS cold case (same case as above)

Delta Dawn and her mother identified as Missouri woman, child missing since 1982 (same case as above)

Reminder: DPS Seeking Information in Refugio County Cold Case Homicide (unidentified woman whose remains were found in Texas in 1992)

Outstanding Indigenous Woman: Meet Cheryl Horn, advocate for families of MMIW victims

Brother of man missing for 73 years still ‘bewildered’ (James “Jimmy” O’Neill, who disappeared from County Waterford, Ireland in 1947)

National Missing Persons Day: ‘You don’t ever give up hope’ (more about missing people from Ireland)

Searching for the disappeared: the challenges facing Mexico’s search commissioner

Spalding authorities excavating wells in missing persons case (Spalding County, Georgia, but they haven’t said which case)

Son Determined To Find What Happened To Mother Who’s Been Missing For 34 Years (Rogene “Jeannie” Annette Helm, missing from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma since October 1986)

Family, missing persons group offers $5,000 reward in missing Florence man case (Tracy Herion, missing from Florence, South Carolina since January 2020)

The missing persons articles I would’ve shared on Facebook if I could have

Yeah, for the uninitiated, Facebook is mainly where I share missing persons related news. But as I addressed in my previous entry, that’s not an option right now. So I’m sharing them here:

From Joliet, Illinois: 17 Missing In Will County: One Joliet Case Dates To 1957. Includes a photo of Sarah Elizabeth Avon which I hadn’t previously seen; I have added it.

From Rice County, Kansas: Five years after she disappeared, the search for Megan continues. The Megan here is Megan Renee Foglesong.

From Tarboro, North Carolina: Cold case investigators offer $15K reward in case of missing Edgecombe County man. The missing man, Stephen Frederick MacGray, has been missing for nearly a year — not quite long enough to be eligible for listing on the Charley Project.

From San Luis Obispo, California: This coach last saw his mother in Woodland in 1979; his DNA helped find her body. About the Dolores Wulff case; she disappeared in 1979 and was identified recently.

From Texas: Congressmen introduce bipartisan missing persons bill.

From Valdosta, Georgia: Valdosta police still seek missing mother, son. This is the disappearance of three-year-old Brandon Lee Wade and his mom, Paula, eighteen years ago.

From Mobile, Alabama: Cold Case Mystery: Mobile mother missing for 20 years. That’s Lisa Ann Pierce, who went missing in 2000.

From Battle Creek, Michigan: Amber Griffin remains missing after months of failed searches around Battle Creek. She’s been missing since June.

From Montana: Officials discuss missing persons cases in Montana national parks.

From San Luis Obispo, California: Can new info help solve the case of missing college student Kristin Smart? Also: Was the beeping in a backyard coming from Kristin Smart’s watch? Kristin disappeared in 1996; it’s one of those cases where it’s pretty obvious what must have happened but the cops are having a hard time proving it.

From the Crow Indian Reservation in Montana: BIA, FBI Seeking Missing Child Mildred Old Crow. I added her the other day.

From Sonora, Mexico: Sonora mayor’s gift to mothers of missing persons: shovels and buckets.

A few questions that popped into my head about the Whatley case

The presumed abductions of Faye and John Whatley in 1976 is pretty bizarre and I thought I’d blog about it cause I’ve never had a case before where the only thing that seemed to be missing from the house besides the people was a part of the house itself. The cops seem to have given up on solving the case, which is going on 45 years old.

Some questions that occurred to me as I was researching the case, and for which I found no answers in the news articles at the time.

  1. Did the Whatleys lock their doors? They seem to have lived out in the country, so perhaps they didn’t bother.
  2. Did the couple own any guns, or know how to use them? If so, was one of those guns a .22?
  3. Where was the barn in which the door was located? If it had been searched multiple times before, it was probably pretty close to their home. Was it on the Whatleys’ property? Is it possible the door could have been missed in previous searches?
  4. When the door was found, was there any blood or fingerprints or other physical evidence on it? Had it been wiped off? While 1976 forensics were quite primitive compared to today, they should have been able to detect blood and type it.
  5. Are they 100% sure it was the Whatleys’ door that turned up in that barn? I don’t know much about doors but they all pretty much look alike, and unless it was a custom-made one or something, wouldn’t it be hard to tell the Whatley’s door from a similar-looking mahogany door?
  6. This was a second marriage for John and I think for Faye also. Were there any issues within the two sides of the family? Any personal grudges, any ne’er-do-well children or grandchildren or in-laws or anything like that?
  7. Who was expected to inherit the couple’s estate once they passed? Did they have life insurance? Have they ever been declared dead, and if so, when?
  8. Henry Lee Lucas confessed to killing them, but Lucas seems to have confessed to virtually every crime that was put in front him and most of his confessions turned out to be false. Is there any actual evidence to back up his statement? Is he still considered a possible suspect?

The whole thing makes no sense. How does it happen that people (and there had to be more than one person involved in this) somehow get into the house without leaving signs of a break-in, subdue or kill the Whatleys without leaving any evidence of a struggle (save the single gunshot fired from inside the house; what happened there?), remove a door from its hinges and take that too, take the Whatleys and the door away without bothering to steal anything else, and then go and put the door up in a barn loft and do god-knows-what with the Whatleys, then never make a ransom demand or anything, and keep their mouths shut about it during the ensuing years? What does anyone gain by that?

I’m not discounting Lucas entirely. He was a legit serial killer and seemed to like going around the country with his buddy Ottis Toole murdering people for no reason whatsoever. But as I said, he confessed to a lot of things he didn’t do, and this operation seems to be a bit too organized for him.