Let’s talk about it: The Guthrie family

Last night I was plugging the names of various old cases into Newspapers.com to see if I could find articles. My persistence yielded a bountiful harvest — I found out the ultimate ending to the Matory/Williams/Marshall murder-without-a-body case for one. One of the names I plugged in was the Guthrie kids, Julie and Timothy, and their mom, Leslie, who disappeared in February 1977 from Katonah, New York. I was able to get another picture of Leslie and a clothing description for her, and that’s on today’s updates.

Two details that I learned last night but did not include in the casefiles:

  1. Leslie’s mother lent her the too-small, borrowed boots she was wearing that day, and also gave her $10 for gas. Which would indicate that (A) The car was low on gas and (B) Leslie had no money.
  2. The police do not believe the car wound up in a lake somewhere. The winter had been a severe one and the ice was thick enough that a car could have driven on it without it breaking.

Usually, when a person or persons disappears under circumstances like this and their car never turns up, I tend to believe they wound up in the water. But now it seems that theory is no longer viable.

I’m stumped. It seems highly unlikely that Leslie took the kids and left on her own, with almost no money and shoes that didn’t even fit. Timothy Sr. seems to be in the clear. It’s like this young family and their car just vanished into thin air.

Let’s talk about it.

Flashback Friday: Carolyn Holloway

This week’s Flashback Friday is Carolyn Jeanne Holloway, a 32-year-old woman missing from Richardson, Texas since September 30, 1977. Richardson is in northern Texas; at last count, its population was just under 100k.

As for Carolyn, I’ve got almost nothing on her disappearance. No distinguishing characteristics and no details of her disappearance other than a note that she was probably taken against her will. Even her only photograph is not of the best quality. I checked online newspaper archives and turned up zilch.

Next September, Carolyn will have been missing for 40 years. She’d probably be a grandmother by now, maybe a great-grandmother.

Ah, my old friend Contradictory Information

I was checking out Reddit’s Unresolved Mysteries section and found a discussion about Samuel Byrd, with a link to this 2014 article about Connecticut disappearances. The article provides a few more details about his disappearance — not much, but I had almost nothing to go on before.

The article claims Samuel disappeared in 1976, but the NCMEC gives the year as 1977. Frustratingly, in the “date last seen” for Samuel on his NamUs page, it says 1977, but in the “circumstances of disappearance” it says 1976.

Perhaps his family, who didn’t report him missing till around 2014 or maybe a year or so before, simply doesn’t remember the year, But he is said to have gone missing just after his high school graduation, and it should be easy to figure out when that was. This piece of information would suggest the later year, as most people graduate at age 18 or sometimes 17, and Samuel would have been 17 years and 11 months in June of 1977. However, people occasionally graduate at 16.

So I have one source that says 1977, one source that says 1976, and one source that can’t make up its mind.

*headdesk*

An unusual MWAB case

Here’s another murder-without-a-body case which I am, alas, unable to add to Charley due to lack of a photo of the victim.

I was randomly surfing MP sections of police department sites and noted Eli Sharclane listed with the Juneau, Alaska PD. Missing since 1977, a few weeks before his 20th birthday. Clothing description but no picture. I’d seen him on the Juneau PD’s website before, but this time I decided to Google him.

Well, it turns out he got thrown off a bridge on the night of his disappearance. This legal document tells all. The thrower, Peter Castillo, was charged with second-degree murder. He was acquitted of that, but convicted of ATTEMPTED murder.

This makes no sense to me: Sharclane apparently could not swim, he was drunk, and he got thrown 49 feet down to the river late at night. I looked up the temperatures in Juneau in 1977 and wasn’t surprised to learn that it’s cold there at night in late September. Sharclane, if he did not drown and he was not killed outright by the impact, would undoubtedly have frozen to death.

I did a look on Newspapers.com and found a Fairbanks Daily News-Miner article from 1959 that mentions Eli; it’s headlined “Two Infants Die in Flu Epidemic” and says eight babies, among them 15-month-old Eli Sharclane and his 1-month-old sister Donna, remained hospitalized. No articles about Castillo’s trial, though. I found Eli’s father’s obituary on Google; he died in 2003.

Eli’s listed on NamUs, btw, but the image provided is clearly not a picture of the victim.

I don’t know 100% what happened to Peter Castillo, but common sense would suggest he’s out of prison by now, and a records check turned up a 57-year-old by that name living in Juneau today.

My only hope is that someday Eli’s relatives will put up a Find a Grave notice for him with a photo. Just today I put up some pics on an MP I found on Find a Grave.

Oh-kay, this is a bit weird

One of my Charley Project irregulars has been sending me a load of useful stuff lately I haven’t even gotten to yet (I’m not ignoring you, I promise!) and a few days ago I got a strange one: proof that Hilary Harmon Stagg Jr., currently listed on both Charley and Doe as having disappeared at age 16 on some unspecified date in the spring of 1970, was alive and well as late as 1972. She sent me his senior yearbook picture as proof. Websleuths says Hilary disappeared in November 1977, a full seven years after the date I have listed as of this writing. He would have been 23 then.

What…? How on earth did the wires get crossed that badly?

Anyway, I thought I’d let y’all know.

Attention everyone, a public service announcement

I got an email from someone who I think may have been a former classmate of Rebecca Rodriguez, who disappeared in 1977 with her older sister, Evangeline Silva, and her sister’s boyfriend, Kenneth Beltram. (I don’t have pics of them so no casefiles for those two.) I don’t know who the person is because they didn’t identify themselves and sent the email from their phone; I just have the phone number.

Anyway, the person said the only photo that I (and NamUs) have for Rebecca is wrong. It’s a school yearbook photo and there were two girls named Rebecca Rodriguez in that class. The person sent me a scan of the yearbook page with the two Rebeccas side by side. I’ve changed my Rebecca’s photo accordingly. I thought I should let people know this.

Flashback Friday: Rodney Grissom and Karen Lee

This week’s Flashback Friday case is actually two cases: Rodney Lynn Grissom, a 14-year-old who disappeared from Albany, Oregon on May 24, 1977, and Karen Jean Lee, a 15-year-old who disappeared from Cornelius, Oregon two days after Rodney. I’m guessing they were boyfriend and girlfriend.

It looks like Rodney and Karen ran away from home, but it’s likely they ran into a spot of bother not long afterward. Some of their stuff was later found off a remote logging road in Washington County, Oregon. Cornelius is a town in Washington County; Albany is in Linn County.

There has been no indication of Rodney and Karen’s whereabouts for nearly forty years now. Karen has a Facebook page about her disappearance, but there’s not much there. Rodney is listed on the NCMEC, but Karen, for some reason, is not.

Flashback Friday: Audrey Nerenberg

This week’s Flashback Friday case is Audrey Lyn Nerenberg, who disappeared from New York City the day after Independence Day in 1977. She was eighteen, but she had schizophrenia and functioned more like a fourteen-year-old. Her case has more information on the internet than similar cases from that era. Audrey’s father actually wrote a book, called Give Me Back My Daughter, Audrey! I got it through inter-library loan, and there was NOTHING in it about Audrey or the search for her, other than a few photos. It was basically a history of the Nerenberg family.

My guess is that whatever happened to Audrey, she didn’t survive long after her disappearance. And I would also be willing to guess that her disappearance may have had nothing to do with her schizophrenia, and a lot more to do with her being a young and attractive teenager in a large city.

Aw shucks, I couldn’t resist

Having completed my Charley updates today, and not having much else to do, I found myself making more YouTube videos. Even though I promised to do only two a week, I wound up doing six more:
Charles Howard Bolter

Michael James Gaughan

Alexis Geraldo Hernandez

Rebeca Gabriela Nuno

Deborah Ann Quimby

Kristi Lynn Vorak

I wonder…

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department recently posted several new/old missing persons cases on their site (under the unsolved homicides section). I added/updated some yesterday. I noticed something:

Joyce Harper was previously listed on Charley as missing since January 1, 1975. I found out from the San Diego site, though, that the actual date of her disappearance is unknown because she wasn’t reported missing for 20 years. Meanwhile, Kimberly Cozart was last seen sometime in February 1977 and also wasn’t reported missing for a very long time: eighteen years. In fact, those two were reported missing on the same day: December 15, 1995. And it says Kimberly may use the last name Harper.

They vanished about two years apart and lived in different cities in San Diego County, but I wonder if there’s some kind of connection between the cases or between the MPs anyway. I suppose I won’t know until I get more information, assuming I ever do.