Select It Sunday: D’Wan Sims

Chosen by Lisa, this week’s Select It Sunday case is D’Wan Christian Sims, a four-year-old who vanished from Livonia, Michigan 21 years ago next month.

D’Wan’s mom, Dwanna Harris (aka Jackson) said he vanished suddenly while they were shopping at the mall, but there’s no evidence he was ever actually there. In fact, given as how he never showed up on the mall’s security cameras and witnesses saw Harris there alone, there’s evidence that he WASN’T at the mall at all. So, then, where was he, and why did his mother lie?

Dwanna was convicted of misdemeanor assault in 1996; she threatened her husband with a knife. They had an infant daughter. Last indication of her whereabouts that I could find was from 2009, when she was interviewed by a Michigan newspaper over the phone. She lived in Durham, North Carolina at the time. There are several people named Dwanna Jackson and Dwanna Harris listed on Facebook, but I don’t know if any of them are her. She has maintained contact with the Livonia police over the years and hasn’t been officially named as a suspect in her son’s disappearance.

MP of the week: Linda Evans Lunsford

This week’s featured missing person is Linda Evans Lunsford, who disappeared from Virginia the day after Christmas in 1996. She was 38 years old, with five children, whom she supported by working three jobs.

Lunsford’s family and the cops believe her former boyfriend, who was a coworker, may have been involved in her disappearance. According to this article,

After Lunsford’s disappearance, a search warrant of her former boyfriend’s home turned up nothing. Police found out he’d purchased trash can, lighter fluid and duct tape using his credit card just days before Lunsford went missing. “But he couldn’t produce these,” said Rose. Although police suspect Lunsford met with foul play and her ex-boyfriend could be somehow involved, there has never been enough evidence to link anyone to the crime.

I haven’t found any news on the case since 2012. Linda’s kids are grown now, of course, and have produced quite a lot of offspring themselves, who have never met their grandmother.

Select It Sunday: Benjamin McLaurin-Johnson

Selected by Annie of For the Lost fame, this week’s case is Benjamin McLaurin-Johnson, who disappeared from San Francisco, California on January 13, 1995, when he was a year old.

That is literally just about all I know about the case. A baby, for crying out loud. “Last seen in the company of his babysitter.” No photo of the child, just an AP (though, granted, a regular photo would be useless). NamUs and NCMEC, can you be any less specific?

I can only hope that some news turns up soon. Or better yet, the kid himself, happy and healthy and 20 years old.

MP of the week: Monterrio Holder

This week’s featured missing persons is Monterrio L. Holder. He disappeared from Indianapolis on October 25, 1994. His car wasn’t found till sometime the following year. There’s a mention of him in the Indianapolis Recorder (read the very last sentence at the very bottom), but I can’t find that article anywhere. Alas, I’ve got nothing on him.

Latest in the MP news

I’ve finally managed to pull my nose out of the birthday books (though they’re not all finished arriving in the mail) and plan to update today. I also made a huge score on Amazon’s free Kindle books. A publisher made their ENTIRE COLLECTION of Holocaust memoirs available for free, 35 in all. I snatched up every one of them.

Anyway, on to the news:

One Anthony Joseph Palma has been arrested and charged with Kirsten Renee Hatfield‘s abduction and murder. Kirsten disappeared in 1997, taken from her bedroom in the middle of the night. Palma was almost a literal next-door neighbor of Kirsten’s; he lived two doors down. His arrest has made news as far away as France. Right now they’re looking for Kirsten’s body at his house. I hope they find it. Kirsten’s disappearance was one of the earliest MP cases I remember reading about, and it really touched me. I wrote a poem about her when I was twelve or thirteen (that would be in 1998 or 1999) and posted it on the internet, and her mom found it and emailed me.

Moving on: Toni Ann Bachman‘s husband Norman has confessed to strangling her during an argument and he’s pleaded guilty to manslaughter. His son Frederick, Toni’s stepson, is awaiting trial in another murder. Frederick was ten when Toni disappeared. All in all…pretty awful.

Authorities have located Lee Jan Marie Kratzer, who disappeared from Roanoke, Louisiana in 1982. She wasn’t reported missing until 2014. Lee had walked out of her life, changed her name to Lisa Neese and given birth to a daughter, and then died of cancer in 2008, at the age of 46. I wonder if her post-disappearance daughter will establish a relationship with her pre-disappearance children.

Sabine Musil-Buehler’s killer, William Cumber, has confessed to her murder and lead authorities to her body in Holmes Beach, Florida. He pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and got a 20-year sentence, with credit for time served. As Sabine’s daughter noted, it’s pretty stupid, given that some non-violent drug offenders in Florida get more than that.

Barry Whitton was convicted of his first wife’s murder last month, and the other day he got sentenced to life in prison. Barry is also a suspect in the disappearance of his second wife, Kimberly Whitton, and her daughter, Haleigh Culwell, who vanished from Section, Alabama in 2007. I fear we may never know what happened to them, unless they give Barry an incentive to talk by reducing his prison sentence.

Missing Person of the Week: Robert Leroy Kovack

On request, Robert Leroy Kovack is the missing person of the week. (I’ve finally changed it.) To all intents and purposes things were going marvelously for him in September 1998. He was about to finish graduate school and had already gotten a job in his field. He had some credit card debt, but that’s normal.

Then he was gone. And no one seems to know why.

I would think it was one of those “MP in car in water somewhere” cases except for the fact that his car turned up abandoned and out of gas.

Maybe Kovack had secrets in his life that no one knew about, even now. Maybe something happened to him while he was walking down the road to get gas. I really can’t speculate any more on this one. His case reminds me of Jason Jolkowski‘s in that they were both healthy, happy young men who vanished seemingly without rhyme or reason.