Native American Heritage Month: Virginia Pictou-Noyes

In honor of Native American Heritage Month I’m featuring a Native American missing person for every day in the month of November. Today’s missing person is Virginia Sue Pictou-Noyes, a 26-year-old member of the Mi’kmaq Indian Nation who disappeared from Bangor, Maine on April 24, 1993. The Mi’kmaq are live in the maritime provinces and Quebec in Canada, and in northern Maine.

Virginia seems to have had a very sad life. She had her first baby at fourteen, and dropped out of high school in her junior year. Three additional babies later, she married Larry Noyes and had three children by him, making a total of seven. Two of Virginia’s children died in a house fire in 1990.

Virginia was allegedly assaulted by Larry and his brother, Roger, and had to be hospitalized. This article has some details about what happened:

[Virginia’s brother] Robert Pictou said there was a dispute inside the bar and Pictou Noyes started walking toward the door to leave.

“Larry ran up behind her and jump-kicked her out the door,” Robert Pictou testified.

“She fell on the pavement face first and he jumped on her. He pinned her down, he put his knees on her arms and proceeded to beat her. Her brother-in-law came after him, kneeled down next to his brother and proceeded to beat my sister in the face.”

On the day of her disappearance, after a visit from her husband and brother-in-law, she left the hospital without permission and was last seen at a truck stop trying to get a ride home. After Virginia disappeared, the charges against Larry and Roger were dropped, presumably because there was no complaining witnessed.

Foul play is suspected in her case, and Larry and Roger are the prime suspects in her disappearance. Roger is dead, and Larry is drifting around Bangor as a transient when he’s not in jail for some violent offense or other.

Pride Month: Allen Livingston

In honor of Pride Month I’m featuring a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer missing person every day for the month of June. Today’s case is Allen Lee Livingston, a 27-year-old gay man who disappeared from Indianapolis, Indiana on August 6, 1993.

Livingston may have been a victim of the serial killer Herb Baumeister, who targeted young gay men in the Indianapolis area. However, his body wasn’t among the eleven unearthed on Baumeister’s property in 1996. So…shrug.

Pride Month: Christine Markey

In honor of Pride Month I’m featuring a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer missing person every day for the month of June. Today’s case is Christine Marie Markey, a 22-year-old bisexual woman who disappeared from Oneida, New York on January 10, 1993.

She had an altercation with her live-in girlfriend on the night of her disappearance; their relationship was troubled. Their landlord saw them go into their apartment together, but what happened after that is a mystery.

Christine never picked up her last paychecks from either of her two jobs. Her disappearance is considered suspicious.

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: Consuelo Vannausdle

In honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, I am profiling one Asian or Pacific Islander MP for every day of the month of May. Today’s case is Consuelo R. “Connie” Vannausdle, a 31-year-old Filipino-American woman who disappeared from Lacey, Washington on April 25, 1993.

She may have been pregnant at the time of her disappearance, and her husband Mark said she was depressed and possibly suicidal, but the police doubt Mark’s claims.

Foul play is suspected in Consuelo’s disappearance, and Mark seems to be the prime suspect. He claimed she simply walked out on him and their two kids. He never reported her missing; her sister in California finally did in July, over two months after she was last seen.

In addition, Mark is definitely a violent man; in 2002, he shot a cab driver (not fatally) and stole the person’s cab. He pleaded guilty to first-degree assault and first-degree robbery and got a twenty-year sentence. In 2004, prison officials found steroids and an “escape kit” in his cell. Lovely man.

The coroner issued a death certificate for Consuelo in 2008. I hope their children were looked after by someone responsible.

(An aside: I find it interesting that “Consuelo” is a woman’s name, because almost all female names in Spanish end with A. In fact, Consuelo is the only one I can think of that ends with an O. You’d think it would be Consuela instead, but Consuelo is the norm. Shrug.)

Well, this is absolutely terrible

So I’m trying to ease back into things, still not feeling the greatest, and I ran Nelda Louise Hardwick‘s name through Newspapers.com and came across an awful story.

Nelda may have been killed along Interstate 10 in Hancock County, Mississippi on May 10, 1998, four and a half years after her disappearance from Lake Charles, Louisiana on October 14, 1993.

The unidentified woman was a pedestrian who was struck by a vehicle on the interstate. In 2013, Nelda’s family identified the dead woman as her based on photos of the body.

The coroner was quoted as saying there was just “one chance in a thousand” that the body wasn’t Nelda, and speculated she was held captive the entire time and somehow managed to finally escape, only to be killed on the road.

An exhumation was duly ordered, but when they dug up the Jane Doe’s grave in St. Joseph Cemetery, they found a MAN in the coffin, not a woman. The judge ordered the proceedings stopped, writing, “Unfortunately, it appears that the remains at the Jane Doe headstone were not those of Jane Doe. Further, the chief medical examiner advises it is obvious that the location of her grave is unknown.”

So Nelda is still listed among the missing, and this Jane Doe is now missing as well and will probably NEVER be identified now.

I cannot imagine how devastating this must have been for Nelda’s family.

Congratulations to my friend Dan S. for solving a cold case

Dan S., a Florida journalist and Friend Of My Youth, found Juanita Bardin the other day. If the link to her casefile is broken (I’m planning on taking it down later today), Juanita disappeared from Vidor, Texas on May 17, 1993, at the age of 49.

Dan simply entered Juanita’s name into Google and poof, found her: a person with the same name and date of birth died in King County, Washington in 2012 and was buried in a common grave for the indigent.

He asked me to call it in for him, so I did. Confirmation came yesterday afternoon: it’s her. I talked to the Vidor police chief and he said he’d verified it by the tattoos.

Juanita has no family to grieve the loss/celebrate the finding. The closest relative the police chief could find was her ex-husband. She had one child, the daughter mentioned in the casefile, but her daughter died years ago — before Juanita did, and apparently without issue — so there’s no one left.

But at least she wasn’t murdered by Tommy Lynn Sells or anyone else, and at least the cops can stop looking for her.

Go Dan! *claps*

Select It Sunday: Brenda Lambert

This case was chosen by ChristynShawn K.: her sister, Brenda Gail Lambert, has been missing from Bluefield, a small town in southern West Virginia, since July 26, 1992, and ChristynShawn had asked me to highlight Brenda’s Facebook page. I can do one better.

Brenda left all her belongings behind at home, including her car and the clothes she was wearing when she was last seen. She had filed a domestic violence complaint against someone, not sure who, before she disappeared. She was 23 years old and would be 47 today.

Five months later, in January 1993, Brenda’s boyfriend, 24-year-old Mark Anthony Cook, also disappeared without a trace, and he hasn’t turned up either. Either the cases are related or it’s a heck of a coincidence. Foul play is suspected in both disappearances.

Missing persons news

I’ll cover the recovery of the Yates girls in their own entry, but here’s some other missing persons news:

  • This accountant’s hobby? Identifying missing people through his drawings
    My friend and Irregular Carl Koppelman has been featured in the Orange County Register. He does wonderful sketches of UIDs and was instrumental in identifying Cali Doe as Tammy Alexander. Congratulations, Carl!
  • Trial date in 20-year-old cold case pushed back to October
    A year and a quarter ago ago, more or less, Kirsten Renee Hatfield‘s two-doors-down neighbor was charged with her murder. The headline of this article is pretty self-explanatory, and the news story explains why: the suspect has new lawyers now who need time to review the evidence.
    Kirsten’s case, for whatever reason, fascinated me back when I was a child and first started getting interested in missing persons. I had a website when I was twelve or so, with some poems and stories I wrote, and one of them was a poem called “Missing, Presumed Dead” and it was based on Kirsten’s disappearance, as I explained on the site. Kirsten’s mom found it and emailed me, saying she was touched that a little girl in Ohio was thinking of her and her lost daughter, but she didn’t believe Kirsten was dead.
  • Judge orders suspect in cold case homicide to trial in district court
    Apparently the motive for Cari Lea Farver‘s homicide was a love triangle; both she and the suspect, Shanna Goylar, were seeing the same man. According to prosecutors, after Goylar killed Cari, she burned the body and then went on Cari’s social media accounts and tried to make it look like she was still alive.
  • Missing Oklahoma woman found more than 20 years after disappearance
    This case isn’t one of mine. It’s a really awesome story, though, how hard Shelly Jennings’s daughters looked for her, and how she was found largely through their efforts. Twenty-three years after she walked away from her family in Oklahoma, she turns up at a bus station in Modesto, California. I hope they can reconcile, although given Shelly’s mental illness, this may not be possible.
  • For families of missing persons, not knowing is excruciating
    This is about the disappearance of Cody Henry Turner, who went missing from Washington in 2015.
  • Missing Minnesotans: Susan Swedell
    Obviously, an article about Susan Anne Swedell (for whom I recently posted an updated AP).

Some news in Chance Wackerhagen’s disappearance

Per this article, the police no longer believe Chance Wackerhagen‘s father, Lee “Dub” Wackerhagen Jr., murdered his live-in girlfriend and then abducted Chance. The two have been missing since Christmas 1993, after Lee’s girlfriend, Latricia White, was found shot to death in her home. At present, Lee is listed as Chance’s abductor in his casefile. But the cops have a new theory, that someone else killed Latricia and that Lee and Chance also met with foul play.

That’s something I had considered myself, because it seems like those two dropped off the face of the earth. I didn’t think Lee had the kind of skills and resources necessary to keep himself and his son off the radar for so long when he was wanted for murder, and it seems like Chance would have found some way to call home if he could have. (And perhaps he did. See casefile.) I thought both of them had probably died a very short time after Latricia did, but I didn’t know if it was a murder-suicide situation or if another person altogether had been involved.

Now that I have the police endorsing this new theory, I’m not really sure how best to update Chance’s casefile. Should I make a whole new casefile for Lee as a missing person in his own right, do you think?

The article also has a color version of my previous black-and-white photo of Chance. I have replaced the photo accordingly.

MP of the week: Norman Pappas

This week’s featured missing person is Norman Basil Pappas. This slender, fresh-faced 19-year-old disappeared from the small town of Carmel, California on July 26, 1993, a month shy of his twentieth birthday.

And that’s all. This case is pretty slim pickings: “Few details are available.” I can’t find anything else about Norman or his disappearance from any of my usual sources.

If Norman Pappas is still alive, he would be 43 years old this coming summer. I’d love it if anyone who knew him or his family or anything about this case could comment or at least shoot me an email.