A bunch of “they’re still looking for…” and other stories

Lee and Anthony Redgrave are working with the the DNA Doe Project to identify transgender and nonbinary murder victims. They’ve started the Trans Doe Task Force, which helps police and medical examiners with cold cases involving transgender people.

Alaska: An unusually high number of people have gone missing from Fairbanks in the past ten months. Fairbanks averages five missing persons a year, but since May 2020, eleven people have disappeared and have not been found. (I wonder if the political, economic and emotional turmoil caused by the pandemic has anything to do with it.) Five of the missing eleven are Native. The community is concerned and held a vigil about it.

Colorado: Wendy Stephens, a Denver teenager who disappeared in 1983, has been identified as a victim of Gary Leon Ridgeway, the Green River Killer. He pleaded guilty to 49 murders but is believed to have killed more than 71. Not all of his presumed victims have been found, and three that have been are still unidentified.

Indiana: This article details the uncertainty about the veracity of a suspect’s confession in the Denise Diane Pflum case. Denise was 18 when she disappeared from Connersville in 1986. Her body has never been found. In 2020, her ex-boyfriend, Shawn McClung, confessed to her killing after being offered immunity for her death and also the dismissal of two charges he was in jail for. At the time he was dying. Before he passed away a few months later, McClung retracted his confession, saying he’d only made the statement because he didn’t want to die in jail.

Louisiana: They’re still looking for Cory Marie Rubio, a 24-year-old mother of two who disappeared from Shreveport in 1999. The most logical person to look at is her ex-husband; they were in the middle of a custody battle, and he had a history of violent behavior.

New Hampshire: Authorities have determined that the remaining unidentified body in the Bear Brook murders case has maternal relatives in the Pearl River, Mississippi area. DNA testing indicates the child and her mother were descendants of Thomas “Deadhorse” Mitchell, who was born in 1836, or William Livings, who was born in 1826. The dead child also may have suffered from anemia.

New Mexico: They’re still looking for Robert Marcos Romero, an eight-year-old boy who disappeared from Santa Fe in 2000. The most plausible theory is that his brother Ronnie killed him accidentally while under the influence of drugs, but nothing has been proven and Ronnie died over a decade ago.

New York: They believe the car found in the Muscoot Reservoir, which I wrote about earlier, is that of Brenda Kerber, a 40-year-old woman who disappeared from White Plains in 1989. I’d never heard of this case before.

Also New York: They’re still trying to identify a Jane Doe found in Chautauqua County. She now has her own Facebook page.

Oklahoma: They’re still looking for Darian Michelle Hudson, age 23, who went missing from Stillwater in 2017. She was going through a lot of personal problems and may have had a mental breakdown. Her family thinks foul play was involved in her disappearance, but the police say they aren’t sure.

Also Oklahoma: A proposed missing persons bill, House Bill 1790, is being called the Aubrey Alert, after missing transgender Native woman Aubrey Dameron. Aubrey was 25 when she disappeared from Grove in 2019. The Aubrey Alert bill, if passed, would require “critically missing” adult cases to be investigated immediately. The text of the bill can be read here.

Oregon: They’re still looking for Jodie Marie Anderson, a 29-year-old woman who disappeared from Crescent City in 2017. She may be in the Linn County area.

South Carolina: They’re still looking for Shelton John Sanders, a 25-year-old man who disappeared from Columbia in 2001. He now has a Facebook page.

Tennessee: They’re still looking for married couple Kristie Wilson, 39, and Henry Wilson, 45, who disappeared from Monterey in 2018. Their car was found at the bottom of a ravine months after they went missing; it had been there so long there were plants growing in it. No sign of either of them. There have been multiple tips that the Wilsons were murdered, but no solid leads.

Texas: They’re still looking for Fredrick Joseph “Little Joe” Boehm, age 23, who disappeared from Marshall on this day twenty years ago. He was temporarily staying with a friend when late one night he got a mysterious phone call, changed from his pajamas into street clothes and left, saying he’d be back later. He never returned.

Also Texas: They’re still looking for Andrea Leigh Cotten, a seventeen-year-old girl who disappeared from Corsicana in 2004. She left her cousin’s house in the night and never returned. She disappeared the day before she was supposed to visit her child, who was in foster care, and her family doesn’t think she would have missed that on purpose. Since she went missing there’s been no activity on her Social Security number, which is ominous.

Canada: The four-month-old disappearance of 30-year-old Megan Michelle Gallagher from Saskatoon is now being investigated as a homicide.

England: The brother of Suzy Lamplugh, a 35-year-old woman who disappeared from London in 1986, has issued an appeal for answers in her case.

MP of the week: Christina Burnett-Pitts

This week’s featured missing person is Christina Carol Burnett-Pitts. She was in her mid-twenties when she disappeared from the Poplar Bluff, Missouri area sometime between Christmastime in 1998 (which is when her family last saw her) and 2000.

She had a transient lifestyle and no fixed address, was involved with drugs including meth, and was reportedly a victim of domestic violence by her husband, who is now deceased. So the circumstances of her disappearance, while unclear, don’t look good.

She has two children who were living with her parents when she disappeared. If still alive, she’d be 46 today. I’m sure her children would like to learn what happened to her.

Thanks for all the lovely comments about my wedding pictures, they made me very happy!

Stay safe, everyone. Happy Thanksgiving.

Lauria Bible’s mom is in bad shape but still hoping they’ll find her daughter’s body

It was published today that Lorene Bible has liver failure. She’s at stage four, which Dr. Google says is end-stage; less than half of people with stage four liver failure survive a year after diagnosis. She’s on the transplant list, but if she doesn’t get a new liver she’s going to die, and probably soon.

To briefly summarize, Lorene’s daughter Lauria Bible disappeared in 1999 with her friend Ashley Freeman, after Ashley’s parents were murdered and their house was torched while Lauria was spending the night over there. We know what happened to the girls and it’s horrific, but they’ve never actually been found. I’ve written about the case numerous times before.

It’s likely Lorene will die without her daughter’s body being located, though she and her husband Jay are trying their best to ensure that doesn’t happen. I cannot imagine the mental torture those two have endured over the past twenty years. You let your kid spend the night with her best friend and it turns out to be the worst decision you ever made in your life.

As for me, I am feeling a bit better. I was able to do a small update today and I might add more as the evening progresses, depending on the time situation. Michael’s home from work now and I have to go and cook dinner in a bit. I’m trying to learn to cook all sorts of healthy, diabetic-friendly recipes for him now and to that end have ordered a bunch of cookbooks. Tonight it’s kasha, cooked in reduced-sodium chicken stock.

Ronnie Busick sentenced in Freeman/Bible case

So, last night I did a big update to the casefiles of Ashley Renae Freeman and Lauria Jaylene Bible, slipping them in under the bar just before midnight. I explain about what happened to them, and the witness statements from the court docs and so on.

I’d been putting this off for a long time but I just couldn’t anymore, now that Ronnie Busick, the only surviving suspect in the case, has been sentenced. I had been putting off the update because the details are just so horrible.

I may have said it before but I will say it again. I will never say that Danny and Kathy Freeman deserved to be murdered, because they didn’t. But I can’t help but think they bear some responsibility for what happened to the girls, even though by that point they were dead already.

When you get involved with using/selling illegal drugs and the kind of people who are deeply involved in that world, you are taking great personal risk. Danny and Kathy presumably knew this. They gambled anyway, and lost. Which is sad. However, Ashley and Lauria were just bystanders, children, innocent. They were NOT involved in the drug world, did NOT accept that personal risk, and wound up paying a far heavier price than the Freeman parents did.

I’m not sure which makes me angrier, that or the fact that Phil Welch and David Pennington died before they could face justice. (Though it’s said that Welch died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which is a horrible way to go, and if you ask me it couldn’t have happened to a better man.)

Or, maybe what makes me angriest is the fact that if the police hadn’t initially bungled the case so badly, it could have been solved in 2000, well before Welch and Pennington died. Who knows, perhaps the girls could have even been rescued. But instead two innocent young women died after being held captive and brutalized, and two vile men got away with murder. Four murders.

And Ronnie Busick will only serve ten years for his role in what happened, so he practically got away with it as well. But he is 68, and doesn’t appear to be healthy, and given what I know of his history (drug use throughout most of his life, and he got shot in the head and was left with brain damage) and what I know about prison health care, I wonder if he will be alive ten years from now.

MP of the week: Terrence Diaz

This week’s featured missing person is Terrence Arthur Diaz, who disappeared from Palo Alto, California on either October 14 or November 14, 1999. (I’ve seen two different dates.) He was 45 at the time and would be 66 today.

There’s reason to believe he may be living on the streets, possibly making some money busking. It is strange, however, that after all this time he still hasn’t turned up. I mean, almost 21 years now.

National Hispanic Heritage Month: Diane Aviles Colon

In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month I’m featuring a Hispanic missing person every day from September 15 to October 15. Today’s case is Diane Marie Aviles Colon, a fourteen-year-old girl who disappeared from Guaynabo, Puerto Rico on September 9, 1999.

Her case is classified as a runaway and it’s noted she may have traveled to Puerto Rico’s capital of San Juan. But that was twenty years ago and who knows where she is now, or even if she’s still on the island. Puerto Rico was trashed by Hurricane Maria and hasn’t recovered, and a lot of Puerto Ricans have moved to the mainland US as a result of the hurricane.

For a runaway, Diane has been missing a very long time.

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: Girly Hossencofft

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 Girly Chew Hossencofft, a 36-year-old woman born and raised in Malaysia who moved to the U.S. in the early nineties, after meeting and marrying an American, Daizien Hossencofft.

She disappeared from Albuquerque, New Mexico on September 9, 1999. By this time, she and Daizien were in the process of a divorce, as Girly had tired of his infidelity and domestic abuse.

Daizien pleaded guilty to Girly’s murder in 2002 and was sentenced to life plus 61 years in prison. He testified at the trial of his mistress, Linda Henning, who was also accused of the murder. It was a memorable trial to say the least, as Daizien said under oath that he was “a reptilian shape-shifter and capable of being in several places at one time.” He claimed Henning was innocent, but she was convicted anyway and got 73 years.

Girly’s body has never been found. Daizien implied that it was cannibalized.

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: Yasuko Guillory

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 Yasuko Koizumi Guillory, who disappeared from Metairie, Louisiana on February 16, 1999. She was 44.

Guillory, was born in Japan, adopted at age five, and has also lived in Canada, apparently has a history of dropping out of sight and of using different dates of birth. It sounds like she could still be alive and could be literally anywhere. She would be 64 years old today and may not even know she’s listed as a missing person.

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: Xu Wang

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 Xu Wang, also known as Sue, a 39-year-old woman who disappeared from Darien, Illinois on August 10, 1999. At the time of her disappearance, she was a doctor at a hospital in Aurora, Illinois. She was last seen leaving for work.

Her car was found only hours later, in a forest preserve. Later, her pager was found alongside the road, but I don’t know if the location was on her route or not.

The police have indicated that Wang’s husband is suspect in her disappearance, which is often the case. However, he’s got Parkinson’s Disease and I don’t know if he would have been physically capable of killing her and getting rid of her body.

This summer, she will have been missing for twenty years.

MP of the week: Louis Shack

This week’s featured missing person is Louis Shack, who was 46 when he disappeared from Pine Bluff, Arkansas. He left home in the early morning hours to go to work, but never arrived, and his car turned up on the Free Bridge over the Arkansas River, with the engine still running but no sign of him.

Presumably they searched the river. I don’t know anything about the case. When I lived in Arkansas I don’t think I ever visited Pine Bluff, but I heard it was a bit of a sketchy place.

If still alive, Louis would be in his sixties today.