This week’s FF case is Essie Margarette “Marge” Hiett, who disappeared from Oroville, California on February 13, 1978. A bartender and waitress, she finished up her shift in the wee hours of the morning and started driving home, but never made it. Her car was found wrecked in a ditch, with her belongings scattered, and no sign of her.
Essie’s case actually got some attention two years ago when Marvin Owens was charged with the murder of his still-missing wife Deborah Diane Owens. Because Deborah also disappeared in 1978, from the same area as Essie, and they had mutual friends, the cops looked into the idea that Marvin had killed Essie too. They decided no. He eventually pleaded out in Deborah’s case and got four years.
As for Essie, the police have another person of interest in her disappearance now — someone whom Marvin Owens knew also. I wonder if they believe someone forced her off the road and abducted her, or if their theory is that first she crashed and then afterwards someone took advantage of the situation.
Remember my happy announcement that Linda Pagnano was identified with help from Carl Koppelman’s forensic art and Websleuther Ice190’s research? Well, erm, it turns out the announcement was a bit premature. Carl got the news from Linda’s family that dental records proved it was her, but it seems the medical examiner wants to wait for DNA results to make it official.
Sorry about that, y’all.
That said, I’d be VERY surprised if this body turned out to be someone other than Linda. See for yourself at the above link; all the stats match and she very closely resembles Carl’s drawing of the UID.
Per Carl Koppelman, Linda Marie Pagano has been identified. (That link’s not gonna work much longer; I intend to remove her today.) The seventeen-year-old had been missing from Akron, Ohio since September 1, 1974, but I think she wasn’t added to NamUs till last year, and I just added her case last month. She was beautiful, doe-eyed. Her body was found in Strongsville, Ohio, less than an hour from Akron, in February 1975, only a few months after Linda disappeared, but no one made the connection until now. In fact the UID wasn’t even listed on NamUs until June of last year. Carl says,
An online sleuth discovered this forgotten case while researching cemeteries for graves of John and Jane Doe’s. Websleuths member Ice190 [whom I know, she’s a Facebook friend] obtained the casefile via a FOIA request.
(Muttergrumble. Just how many more of these forgotten UIDs are out there?)
Just to show what an amazing, talented forensic artist Carl is, I’m going to show his drawing of the UID. He calls it a “rough reconstruction” because he had only the side view to work with, and no lower jaw. Yet it looks amazingly like Linda. Here’s Carl’s drawing on the left, and a photo of Linda on the right (I cropped Carl’s drawing and made it smaller because I don’t have a bigger picture of Linda).
Linda had been shot in the head, and her hands and feet were deliberately removed. Her mandible was missing also, though I’m not sure whether this was done by the killer or by nature.
Since the killer made a considerable effort to make sure Linda wouldn’t be identified, my guess is he or she was someone Linda knew. Given how long ago she died, there’s a good chance her killer is also deceased. But at least her family will get the opportunity to bury her decently.
This week’s Select It Sunday was chosen by Celeste K.: it’s Kimberly Alice King, who disappeared from Warren, Michigan on September 16, 1979, just a little over a month before she would have turned thirteen.
Kim was spending the night at a neighborhood friend’s home when she sneaked out of the house and called her sister from a pay phone at 11:00 p.m. I’m not sure why she sneaked out or why she called her sister: maybe she just did it for the thrills and wanted to share her secret with someone? In any case, this is the last time anyone saw her.
There was the inevitable speculation that Kim ran away, a theory the police no longer believe in, and also speculation that she was a victim of the as-yet-unidentified Oakland County Child Killer. If she was, she was the only victim whose body was never found — he liked to leave his victims’ bodies lying out in plain sight.
If she’s still alive, Kimberly King would be 50 years old now. But I doubt she lived long after making that final phone call to her sister in 1979.
This week’s Flashback Friday is Nahida Ahmed Khatib, who’s been missing from Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, a Milwaukee suburb, since October 1, 1976.
Born in British Mandate Palestine, raised in Lebanon, Nahida had married at sixteen and moved to the US with her husband Fahmi “Sam” Khatib. They were in the middle of a nasty divorce in 1976, but Nahida mysteriously disappeared midway through. Sam told their son his mother had walked out and abandoned him (wearing nothing but a bathrobe and fuzzy slippers), an opinion the police didn’t share.
It’s fairly obvious what happened here, but Fahmi is dead and presumably he took his secrets to the grave. I doubt we’ll ever find Nahida.
This week’s Flashback Friday case is Dermot Faulkner Kelly, who disappeared from Oglesby, Illinois on January 30, 1972, at the age of sixteen. The circumstances of his case make it unclear whether he died in a drowning accident/suicide or, perhaps, left of his own accord to make a new life elsewhere. If he did run away he didn’t take anything with him, and there hasn’t been any sign of him since 1972.
This week’s FF case is Diane Genice Dye, a thirteen-year-old girl who ran away from her San Jose, California home on July 30, 1979. One of her friends, it is said, saw her in a shopping mall fifty miles away in December 1981, a year and a half after her initial disappearance. Diane spoke to her friend and said she didn’t want to go home and didn’t want anyone to know where she was. This was the last sign of her.
There’s a good chance Diane is still alive and still, perhaps, doesn’t want anyone to know where she is. Perhaps she doesn’t even know she’s still listed as missing. She would be 51 years old now.