Meanwhile, back at the ranch…

Some MP news highlights while I was gone:

  • Mark Duane Woodard has been found. Or rather, he was found in 1977, 23 months after his disappearance, but not identified till now. The aforementioned news link uses his Charley Project pic, and asked me permission first. (Thanks!) This link has another photo of him, a much better quality one, as well as more details about his disappearance. He was murdered, shot to death. His sister is the only surviving member of the immediate family.
  • In the state of Thuringia in central Germany they have found a missing girl, Peggy No-Last-Name-Released [edit: per a UK article supplied by a commenter, it’s Knobloch], who disappeared mysteriously fifteen years ago, at the age of nine. A mushroom picker found her bones in the forest nine miles from Peggy’s hometown of Lichtenberg. According to this article and one other I found about the case, this had been a murder-without-a-body (MWAB) case: In 2004, a mentally disabled man was convicted of Peggy’s murder. He was later acquitted in a retrial due to lack of evidence after a key witness retracted his statement.
  • Corry Ehlers, a guy who disappeared while hiking in Utah in 2012, has also been found deceased. His skeletal remains, found “in a steep, rocky spot near Alta Ski Resort” last summer, were identified in late June. They think Corry fell off a cliff.
  • Three days ago it was fifteen years since sisters Diamond and Tionda Bradley vanished mysteriously from Chicago. The Chicago Tribune has done an anniversary article about it, with quotes from Diamond and Tionda’s two other sisters, Rita and Victoria: The girls disappeared just a day before Victoria Bradley’s ninth birthday. Until recent years, Bradley, who turns 24 on Thursday, said she was unable to celebrate her birthday because of her depression over the anniversary of their disappearance. I have not updated the girls’ casefiles in over a decade, and last time was just to add some more pics. I will give a look and see if I can find any developments that have taken place in the intervening years.
  • Two more recent anniversaries: eleven years since Stacy Ann Aragon and her boyfriend Steven Bishop disappeared from Arizona (see article; Stacy has been reported missing but it appears Steven has not been), and ten years since Roxanne Paltauf disappeared (article) from Texas.
  • The NCMEC reports that two of my oldest family abduction cases have been resolved, with the children located alive. One was Jacquelina Ann Gomez, who was abducted from Illinois by her father in 1992 at the age of 3. She would be 27 now, 28 in September.
  • The other case involves two brothers who disappeared with their mother and stepfather from Blairsville, Georgia in 1996, when the boys were 2 and 3. A day or so before I left for Minneapolis I got contacted by a very excited reporter who ran a story on Rick Tyler, a man who’s running for Congress under the odious slogan “Make America White Again.” She said after she ran the story she was deluged with emails from people who believed Rick Tyler was probably the same Rick Tyler who was listed as the missing Blairsville kids’ stepfather. She also said the police were now claiming that the boys’ mom DID have custody of them when they disappeared, after all. Well, then the day I left Minneapolis I got an NCMEC notice saying the boys were recovered. I’m not going to say their names on here or put them on the resolved page because I’m not sure about the custody issue, but it should be easy enough to determine who they are from the info I just provided.
  • The state of Arkansas has a brand shiny new MP database with 510 people on it, many whose names I don’t recognize. I am very happy about this. I believe every state should have their own publicly searchable online database, as large and comprehensive as possible. Many of the people listed in this new database have no pics though. I hope this situation improves.
  • Morgan Keyanna Martin, a pregnant teenager who disappeared in 2012, is now considered a MWAB case. Jacobee Flowers, the father of the unborn child, has been charged with her murder. Homicide is the most common non-natural cause of death for pregnant women in the US and from what I have read, all around the world, the murder of pregnant women — usually by their baby’s father — is a universal problem.
  • HuffPo has published a photo essay about the 1998 disappearance of SUNY-Albany student Suzanne Lyall. It’s a mysterious case; no obvious suspects, no answers. 19 years old, promising future, and then gone.
  • Kidnap survivor Jaycee Dugard has been in the news again, going on TV and talking about how her life’s going and how she’s raising the two daughters she had with her kidnapper Philip Garrido. The link I just gave provides lots of news articles to read, more than I can summarize here. But here’s one quote from this article to show what a resilient woman and amazing mother Jaycee was and still is: As she and her daughters grew older, Dugard said she planted a flower in front of the shed and set up a little school to teach them as much as she could with only her fifth-grade education. “They’re so resilient, and they’re beautiful and loving, and I’m really lucky,” she said. Dugard has protected her daughters’ privacy and said some of their friends don’t even know of their past. She said the three of them are able to talk about what happened with each other.

Ah, conflicting information, my old friend!

I had gotten more than one request to put up Anna Manning, who disappeared in 1992, since there’s been some recent press about her disappearance. So, okay, why not? I’ve begun writing up her case and right away spotted a problem:

Anna’s NamUs entry lists her height as 60 inches, or five feet even, and her weight as 108 pounds. However, this article about her case from the Advocate Messenger says she was 5’10 and 108 pounds.

I wonder if perhaps the newspaper meant to write 5’01 instead. In any case, unless I hear otherwise I’m going with the lower height. 108 pounds is about average height for a five-foot (or five-foot-one) woman. For someone five-foot-ten, at 108 pounds is quite underweight.

It would be just my luck, though, if my guess turns out to be wrong and I wind up listing this poor woman as nine inches shorter than she actually was. These sort of discrepancies are part of the reason we’ve got so many unidentified bodies in potter’s fields all over the country.

(Also, apropos of nothing: while I was at the doctor’s the other day, a third-year medical student was shadowing him and sat in on our appointment. Dr. Bruno said I should tell him about the Charley Project, so I did and it turned out he’d already heard of it! Not terribly surprising, since it was covered in local TV and print media a few years ago, but still a nice experience for me.

The young man looked up the Charley Project online and said, “You have your own subreddit. I want a subreddit.”)

Select It Sunday: Joe Luiz

This week’s Select It Sunday case, chosen by Hennylee, is Joe Angel Luiz, who’s been missing from Las Vegas, Nevada since March 30, 1992. If still alive, he would be 61 years old now.

It looks like Mr. Luiz might have left on his own, at least initially, but 23, almost 24 years is a LONG time to be gone. I wish I knew more details about this case.

Hmm…I wonder…

Constance Ann Streif is at present one of my “few details are available” case. However, some blog commenter sent me a link to this legal decision issued by a New York court (a decision which, incidentally, mentions the Charley Project in passing) that provides a little bit more: she was adopted, and she was in Texas visiting her sister from out of state when she disappeared.

In summary, as the court decision explains, Constance’s father died of asbestos-related mesothelioma in 2011. His will specifically disinherited Constance because she hadn’t been in touch in almost 30 years and he believed she was dead. There was a settlement for wrongful death, though, which in theory was supposed to be divided among his three children; that is, Constance and her two sisters. The sisters petitioned the court to change that because Constance was dead. They wanted the settlement to be divided by two, not three, and they wanted Constance declared legally dead. The judge ruled that Constance could not be declared legally dead, but that she shouldn’t benefit from the settlement anyway because she hadn’t been in touch with her father for so long before he vanished and so his wrongful death was no loss to her in any case.

What interests me, though, is this 2014 law journal article I found about the case. (The article is on page 16.) It says, “The decedent’s daughter, Constance Ann Streif, whose last whereabouts were in Texas, had not been heard from since 1992; she had not had contact with the decedent since 1981.”

From what they and that court judgment are saying, it sounds as if Constance last had contact with her father in 1981, visited her sister in Texas in 1982, dropped out of sight and then contacted someone in 1992 before dropping out of sight again — which would mean she was still alive for at least about a decade after her disappearance was reported in 1982. However, it seems equally likely to me that the 1992 date in that article is a misprint for 1982 and therefore no one has seen OR heard from Constance since that visit to her sister.

I wish I knew for sure. I would welcome feedback (in the form of a comment on this entry, or an email) from anyone who knew Constance or is part of her family.

New MP of the week: Zeta Gordon

Finally changed the missing person of the week: it’s Zeta D. Gordon, a 43-year-old woman who went for a drive after an argument with her husband and never came back. This was in Atchison County, Kansas in the wee hours of October 5, 1992 — my seventh birthday. (I think I got a Baby Rollerblade doll that year.)

It’s not clear what happened to Zeta. On the one hand, her car was found abandoned with her belongings, including her purse, inside. On the other hand, after she went missing there were sightings of her in the area, and some of the witnesses were people who knew her. Her husband, who was never named as a suspect in her disappearance, took his own life in 1997. I don’t know whether they had any children.

If she’s still alive, Zeta would be 65 years old today.

Select-It-Sunday: Brandy Myers

Selected by Jill V. and Holly. Brandy Myers was thirteen years old and on the small side, not quite five feet tall and well under 100 pounds, when she disappeared from Phoenix, Arizona on May 26, 1992. When the police were searching for the next day they found the body of a teenage girl who looked like Brandy. But she wasn’t Brandy, and wasn’t even identified until almost twenty years later. That homicide remains unsolved and no one knows if it’s related to Brandy’s disappearance.

Brandy has been diagnosed with “brain damage.” I’d like to know the extent of the brain damage and the symptoms. She can’t have been seriously impaired or she wouldn’t have been going door-to-door selling stuff for a school fundraiser. But would her condition have made her a little slow, either mentally or physically or possibly both, and less able to resist an attacker?

I have a contact within the Phoenix PD who promised to give me more information about her, but never got back to me about it. I suppose he’s forgotten.

This is a case with just enough details to frustrate me. I wish I knew more. Maybe one of these days some newspaper will do a big feature article on Brandy’s disappearance.