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.

Select It Sunday: Tracy Pickett

This one was selected by someone who sent me a Facebook message suggesting her for Flashback Friday. Since it’s too recent for a Flashback Friday case, I’m doing it today instead: Tracy Pickett.

For some reason Tracy isn’t on the NCMEC at all anymore, although they did an AP for her as recently as last year. She was last seen at a friend’s party in Webb City, Missouri on August 12, 1992, when she was fourteen and a half. A fellow guest offered to take her home so she could change clothes, and then drive her back to her friend’s apartment. She never made it back to the party and it’s unclear whether she arrived at her home either. Her driver, of course, claims she was just fine when he last saw her.

I can think of plenty of cases like hers, teenage girls who disappeared after getting a ride home. The authorities believe Tracy was murdered, and they went looking for her body eight years ago, but they didn’t find anything.

Select It Sunday: Dail Dinwiddie

This Select-It-Sunday highlights Dail Boxley Dinwiddie, a 23-year-old woman from Columbia, South Carolina who vanished on September 24, 1992, while walking home after a night out with friends. Dail had recently graduated from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College with a degree in art history. (The school went coed in 2007 and renamed itself Randolph College.) She planned to attend graduate school at the University of South Carolina.

The serial killer Reinaldo Javier “Ray” Rivera is a possible suspect in Dail’s disappearance, as well as in the disappearance of another SC woman, Paula Merchant, who disappeared seven years after Dail. (She was also planning to attend the University of South Carolina.) Most of his known victims were young blonde women; Dail had light brown/blondish hair. Authorities can’t determine whether he was involved in Dail or Paula’s cases and he won’t say.

Rivera, who admitted responsibility for four murders but may have committed many more, hid his crimes behind an ordinary, even admirable facade: he was happily married and the father of two. He had been a Navy pilot and was had been selected for an elite military program (only 400 applicants are admitted every year) where the Navy would sponsor his college education and make him an officer. He was a student at the University of South Carolina and a member of the ROTC during the early nineties.

In 2004, Rivera was convicted of killing one woman — a police officer at that — and sentenced to death for her murder, and seven life terms for related crimes. The jury members, when filling out the statements saying they were convicting him, wrote not just “guilty” but “guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.” He is awaiting execution.

As to whether he was involved in Dail Dinwiddie’s case…no one knows for sure. Rivera says he only killed four victims. Certainly it’s possible, even probable, that he was the one responsible for Dail’s disappearance and presumed murder. But there are a lot of sexual predators out there, and many of them are still completely anonymous. Who knows what happened to her, but it probably wasn’t good.