Olisa Williams’s dad charged with murder

I’ve been pretty sure Olisa Williams‘s dad killed her for a decade and a half now. Like, since before the Charley Project was ever even a thing. I never expected the case to actually get solved, though.

Well, 39 years after the fact, Isiah Williams has finally been charged with one count of open murder. “Open murder” doesn’t mean he committed the crime in public or anything. It just means they aren’t picking a specific degree of murder, like first- or second-degree murder.

The Michigan Attorney General did a press conference about the case and another, unrelated case, an hour ago, but there doesn’t seem to be a lot that’s publicly available about the case against Isiah. It does say Olisa’s body has not been recovered. I’m not sure there’d be anything left of the poor baby by this point. (The comments at the bottom of the press conference link aren’t about Olisa’s case but about the other one being discussed. Plus some bonus homophobia thrown in.)

I hope the case processes through the system quickly. Isiah is not getting any younger.

Theodore Kampf identified

So it’s been in the news in several places: Theodore Frederick Kampf, a 46-year-old man who was last seen in Oaklyn, New Jersey in July 1981, has been identified.

I was just talking to David Mittelman, the Othram Inc. guy, and he says it was in part cause of Charley that Kampf was identified. He was identified through DNA, but I guess Kampf wouldn’t have even been on the list of possibles except his Charley Project page notes he was road-tripping to Canada and was supposed to cross the border on July 13.

His body was found in the Yukon, you see. Specifically, “in a wooded area near the North Fork Dam and Dempster Highway in Dawson City.” Which is about as far away as it is possible for him to be and still be on the same continent. I looked it up and Dawson City, Yukon Territory is a 63-hour drive from Oaklyn, New Jersey — and that’s only if you take a direct route (which Kampf didn’t, since he was last known to be in Washington State). The direct route is 6,382 kilometers, or almost 4,000 miles.

After forty years I think it’s unlikely his murder will ever be solved. The killer could even be dead by now. But at least he’s coming home.

MP of the week: Adriana Bejarano

This week’s featured missing person is, like the case I was discussing earlier, another obscure missing child case that for whatever reason never seems to have made it into the NCMEC database: Adriana M. Bejarano, a 15-year-old girl who disappeared from her Ephrata, Pennsylvania home on November 28, 1988. From all appearances she left her house voluntarily, but my guess is she didn’t intend to be gone as long as she has been.

She’s described as Hispanic and Colombian-American. 5’3 and 125 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. She had braces at the time of her disappearance and may have been last seen wearing a black trench coat and jeans.

I have to wonder if perhaps she had a secret boyfriend, maybe a much older man, and this is the person she went out to meet.

If still alive, Adriana would be in her late forties.

Francillon Pierre’s case comes to a conclusion

Three-year-old Francillon Pierre was reported missing from North Las Vegas, Nevada on August 2, 1986. His mom and stepmother, Amy Luster and Mahaleel “Lee” Luster, said he disappeared that day from a swap meet.

Thing is, most of the others who were at the swap meet don’t remember seeing him there, and in fact no one outside the family had seen him in a week at least, maybe two weeks. Furthermore, Amy and Lee had already been charged with felony child abuse for severely beating Francillon the previous year. (Why he was returned to their custody I don’t know.)

The case stagnated until 2017, when the police decided to re-examine the evidence they had. In 2019, Amy was charged with her son’s murder. And yesterday the case was settled with a plea bargain, although not a very satisfactory one in my opinion.

Amy (who now goes by Amy Fleming) pleaded no contest to manslaughter. What that means is that she is acknowledging she would probably get convicted if she took the case to trial, but she is still refusing to admit guilt.

And the maximum term she’s facing? Two years. Not even the length of little Francillon’s short life. And Lee? He’s free as far as I know. He hasn’t been charged in this case at all.

I think it’s unlikely the child’s body will ever be recovered. Certainly Amy has no reason to say where she put it. Per this article, Lee said Francillon was in Lake Mead. Which doesn’t help much; Lake Mead is a massive reservoir over 500 feet deep, with 247 square miles of surface water.

MP of the week: Javier Rivera

This week’s featured missing person is Javier Florenzio Rivera, a 22-year-old man who disappeared from Los Angeles, California on October 12, 1988.

He was last seen at his workplace, wearing a light gray t-shirt, black stonewashed jeans and white sneakers. He’s Hispanic, with brown eyes and brown curly, frizzy hair. I’d say his hair is probably his most distinguishing characteristic, though he also has a half-inch scar on his left arm just below the elbow.

His is one of the “few details are available” cases. If still alive, Javier would be 55 today.

MP of the week: Angelia Hilbert

This week’s featured missing person is Angelia Spaulding Hilbert, a 22-year-old woman who disappeared after leaving work in Louisville, Kentucky on June 3, 1989. She was supposed to follow her parents (her in her car, them in theirs) to Owensboro, where they were moving, but never arrived there. I’m not sure at what point she became separated from her parents, but she was last seen in the area of Dry Ridge Road at about midnight.

For some reason she wasn’t reported missing until June 16; I don’t know if the police refused to accept a report before then, or what. On June 26, her car was found abandoned in a nightclub parking lot.

Some distinguishing info about Hilbert: she has a surgical scar on her back where she had metal rod inserted in her spine to correct scoliosis. Probably that rod has a unique serial number; medical devices of that kind usually do. She was pregnant at the time of her disappearance but I’m not sure how far along.

If still alive, Angelia would be in her mid-fifties today.

(Sorry forgot to put this up yesterday.)

EastPark John Doe, missing persons events, and other stories

Colorado: There will be two events to honor the May 10, 2020 disappearance of Suzanne Morphew from Chaffee County. (I haven’t added her yet cause it hasn’t yet been a year.) The first will be held at the Poncha Springs Visitor Center at 7010 U.S. Highway 285 in Poncha Springs, Colorado at 7:00 p.m. on April 30. This day would be/have been Suzanne’s fiftieth birthday. The second event is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. on May 2, at the Community Garden at 202 East Church Street in Alexandria, Indiana; Suzanne grew up there and many family and friends still live there. I might attend that event as it’s only an hour and ten minutes from where I live.

Kentucky: In EastPark, on the edge of Boyd County, last July, hunters found the badly decomposed remains of a murdered man partially buried. He had been dead for between approximately two weeks and a month. The man was wearing only boxer shorts and there were no personal effects. The man was between 20 and 40 years old and about 5’8 and 140 to 160 pounds, with brown hair between earlobe length and shoulder length. He had been shot, but also had drugs in his system when he died. The place where he was buried, although somewhat secluded, had easy access to the interstate; the dead man “literally could have come from anywhere.” The man has yet to be identified.

Also in Kentucky: Skeletal remains found in Hardyville in February 2020 have been identified as Jacob Lewis Tipton, a 24-year-old man who disappeared from Berea on April 23, 2016. Unfortunately there wasn’t much left of him and they couldn’t establish a cause of death.

Also in Kentucky: They’re still looking for Andrea Michelle Knabel, a 37-year-old woman who disappeared from Louisville on August 13, 2019. A retired homicide detective has taken an interest in the case and believes he’s found a three-hour discrepancy in the timeline of the night of Andrea’s disappearance.

Mississippi: They’re still trying to identify a Jane Doe who were found under a bridge over the Pearl River in Rankin County in 1978. She was nude and wrapped in an old blanket. She had died of multiple blows to the head and may have been killed by serial killer Samuel Little, who died late last year. They’re looking into the possibility that the Jane Doe may be Wendy Susan Byron, a 24-year-old woman who disappeared from Glendora, California just two days before Jane Doe was found in Mississippi.

New York: They’re still looking for Flossie A. Wilbur, a 75-year-old woman who disappeared from Angelica on August 24, 1985. David Sherk, one of her then-neighbors, confessed to her murder in 2020 and told authorities he had buried her body near the Almond Dam, but the body has never been found. Doesn’t mean the man was lying; the dam has flooded multiple times since 1985. Sherk had terminal brain cancer when he made his confession and I’m not sure he’s still alive now, but he was never charged.

South Dakota: In Rapid City, groups and leaders both from town and from Native American reservations across the state united yesterday to raise awareness for missing and murdered indigenous people. Here are some photos of the event.

Virginia: It’s been ten years now since Robert Lee Hourihan disappeared, leaving behind a wife and six-year-old daughter her adored. Foul play is suspected in his case. His wife has never remarried and still hopes every day that he will be found.

Also Virginia: Human remains found in the woods on the campus of Hollins University back in February have been identified as Jessica Darling Dickson, a 30-year-old woman who disappeared from Roanoke on June 1, 2019. Jessica’s death is under investigation, but the police said there doesn’t seem to be any connection to the university and they don’t think the students (it’s a women’s college) are in danger.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada: There’s an interesting article/podcast episode on the systemic failures of Toronto Police and missing persons cases.

New Waterford, Nova Scotia, Canada: They’re still looking for Debbie Hutchinson, 59-year-old woman who disappeared on April 15, 2017 and wasn’t reported missing for twelve days. Her niece found groceries lying on the floor of Debbie’s home, and her car later turned up abandoned and burned.

MP of the week: Timothy Keays

This week’s featured missing person is Timothy Lee Keays, a 32-year-old man who was last seen on the campus of Southern Oregon State College (now Southern Oregon University) in Ashland on June 27, 1989. At the time of his disappearance, he lived with his mom in Talent, Oregon.

I don’t have much info on his case, but foul play is possible. He’s a Vietnam veteran and was taking medicine for “respiratory problems” at the time of his disappearance.

Former cult leader Anna Young, believed responsible for three Charley Project disappearances, dies

So Anna Young died a few days ago at the age of 79, having served just 33 days of a life sentence for second-degree murder and manslaughter.

Anna pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of Emon Harper, aka Moses Young, a toddler who was beaten and starved to death in 1988 or 1989. His body was never found. The manslaughter conviction was for the death of Katonya Jackson, a two-year-old who died after being beaten, tortured and denied her epilepsy medication. (For some reason her death had initially been ruled as natural.)

Anna is also connected to two unsolved disappearances: that of two-year-old Marcos Antonio Cruz, whom she allegedly had abandoned at a church in Puerto Rico in 1992, and that of her six-year-old stepdaughter Catherine Barbara Davidson, who was last seen in 1973. Per one of Catherine’s siblings, she didn’t actually vanish while on a family outing to a state park in Michigan but had in fact been bound, gagged and placed in a closet where she died.

Pretty awful stuff.

I wonder if Marcos is still alive out there, or if he was ever abandoned in the first place and didn’t meet with the same awful death as Emon and Catherine and Katonya did.

We may never know.

MP of the week: Kimberly Blackburn

This week’s featured missing person case is Kimberly Marie Blackburn, a 24-year-old woman who disappeared from in 1983. The last time anyone actually saw her was when she left her parents’ Indianapolis, Indiana home on May 29. On July 17 she called a friend and said she was at a truck stop in Arkansas and was coming home to Indiana. No one ever saw her or heard from her again.

Her life was very high risk, a wreck frankly: drug and alcohol abuse, and a lot of arrests for substance related offenses, prostitution, theft and disorderly conduct. She would often drop out of sight for extended time periods and travel with truckers, but she did keep in at least occasional touch with her family. She had warned her parents that if they hadn’t heard from her by her father’s birthday in October 1983, something was probably wrong.

I don’t think it’s likely she lived long after her disappearance, but it seems like wherever she is, it could be virtually anywhere in the US, or maybe even outside the US. There are some distinguishing characteristics: a coloboma in her right eye, a rose tattoo on her hip and chemical burn scars on her buttocks.

In the unlikely event that Kimberly is still alive, she’d be 62 today.