Black History Month: Laronda Bronson

In honor of Black History Month I’m profiling one African-American MP every day on this blog for the month of February. Today’s case is Laronda Marie Bronson, an eighteen-year-old who disappeared from Portland, Oregon on November 19, 1982.

I know very little about this case, but Laronda was a prostitute, she disappeared while the Green River Killer was active, and the King County Sheriff’s Office in Washington is investigating her case, which suggests she may have been one of Gary Leon Ridgway‘s victims. If she was, he hasn’t admitted to it.

I hope that Laronda is still alive out there somewhere and perhaps she just decided to move elsewhere and put her past behind her. I would love to hear from anyone who knew her. She may use the alias name Michelle Marie Hall, or the date of birth July 29, 1964. (She was actually born on September 9.) If still alive, Laronda would be 53 today.

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Black History Month: Naomi Wilson

In honor of Black History Month I’m profiling one African-American MP every day on this blog for the month of February. Today’s case is Naomi Wilson, who disappeared from Cedar Rapids, Iowa on April 12, 1981, at the age of 32.

Naomi seems to have had life pretty well in hand. She had a good job and she had recently purchased a new car and a house. Her car was found abandoned in the local K-Mart parking lot two days after she was last seen.

It’s worth noting that her boyfriend moved into her house after she vanished and never made any of the mortgage payments, staying there until it got foreclosed, which is weird at best and frankly a bit sketchy, but the police haven’t named any suspects in her case. The boyfriend is now in his sixties, and as far as I know he’s still alive and still in Cedar Rapids; I found this article about a fire at his home in 2009.

So what happened to Naomi? I don’t know but I don’t think it was anything good.

Black History Month: Emmetta Dumas

In honor of Black History Month I’m profiling one African-American MP every day on this blog for the month of February. Today’s case is Emmetta Jean Dumas, a 32-year-old woman who disappeared from Fairfield, Alabama on August 1, 1980.

That day she had plans to meet with her estranged husband so they could go shoe shopping for their daughter. Emmetta’s husband said they did go out, bought the shoes, grabbed a hamburger and went back to Emmetta’s apartment, and she was alive and well when he last saw her. She had plans to have dinner with her ex-husband, who said she never showed up.

As my casefile explains,

When Emmetta’s sister drove to her home the next day, Emmetta’s car was in the driveway and her infant daughter was naked and crying, alone, on the floor inside. Nearby was an empty bottle and a dirty diaper.

Emmetta’s keys and a bedspread were missing from the home, and Emmetta’s sister smelled a chemical odor which she thought might be ether. The carpet had fresh stains, but police said the stains weren’t blood. The house was locked; the front door had to be locked with a key both inside and out.

That sounds…ominous. It sounds very much like the young mother was murdered that day, possibly in a domestic violence incident, but it’s been almost forty years and I don’t know if there will ever enough evidence to bring charges or if the person who did it is even still alive. I feel sorry for the little girl who had to grow up with no mother.

Unfortunately Emmetta is not, as of this writing, in NamUs or any other database that I know of, save my own.

MP of the week: Wilfred King

This week’s featured MP (had to skip last week due to webhost non-cooperation, sorry) is Wilfred F. King III, a 37-year-old man who disappeared from Essex, Vermont on October 24, 1980.

Wilfred was in the middle of a divorce at the time of his disappearance, and one of his sons, Joey, later sued his mother, Wilfred’s wife, for his wrongful death. However, no one was ever charged in Wilfred’s death, and Joey later reconciled with his mother.

Black History Month: Debra Townsel

In honor of Black History Month I’m profiling one African-American MP every day on this blog for the month of February. Today’s case is Debra Vanessa Townsel, missing from Deerfield, Florida since July 1, 1980.

She was 21 years old and left behind one son. Deerfield is in Broward County on Florida’s southeastern coast. Unfortunately I don’t have any details on Debra’s disappearance.

Black History Month: Herman Caldwell

In honor of Black History Month I’m profiling one African-American MP every day on this blog for the month of February. Today’s case is Herman J. Caldwell Jr. (And yes, the clothing description is correct.) Caldwell was 32 years old when he disappeared from Columbia, South Carolina on March 3, 1982.

The cops believe he was murdered and Leroy Nolan is a suspect in his case. Nolan and some other people had robbed and beaten Caldwell in 1978, and Nolan served some time in prison as a result. After his release in 1982 he started threatening Caldwell.

Then Caldwell disappeared, and on the same day Nolan and two other guys kidnapped and killed a woman and her two-year-old son. They weren’t charged until 2004, though, and Nolan died in 2010 without ever being charged in Caldwell’s case.

Black History Month: Angela Darcel Cephas

In honor of Black History Month I’m profiling one African-American MP every day on this blog for the month of February. Today’s case is Angela Darcel Cephas, who disappeared from Port Norris, New Jersey on May 4, 1984.

She was tiny — only a little over four feet tall. And she was seven months pregnant.

Angela left to go on a bike ride through her neighborhood and never came back. The bike never turned up either, which is unusual. She left all her belongings behind at home.

Sadly, the most common non-natural cause of death in pregnant women is homicide, and the most common killer is the father of the baby. In Angela’s case, she had identified a former boyfriend as the father of her unborn child, but he said he was not the father and had never even dated her. This man also refused to cooperate with the police in her disappearance.

If Angela is still alive, she’d be 52 or 53 and her baby would be 33. But I’m pretty sure Angela is dead and her baby was never born.