MP of the week: Mayra Sandoval

This week’s featured missing person (so sorry it’s late, been failing at life lately) is Mayra Erisuria Sandoval, a twelve-year-old girl who disappeared from Sarasota, Florida on January 10, 2006. She was seeing getting off the school bus, but didn’t attend school that afternoon and never returned home. A week later she called home and said she was okay and still in the US, but didn’t say where she was or who was with her.

This may be a case where the missing person has actually gotten in touch with family but the police have not been notified of this. It happens sometimes that families of missing people sometimes lose contact with law enforcement. It seems more likely in this instance because after Mayra went missing, it came out that her family was living in the US illegally and they were asked to leave go back to Mexico. If they did go back, perhaps Mayra (who is also believed to be in Mexico) contacted them.

Her case is classified as a runaway by all agencies including the Charley Project, but when it comes to a preteen child and a “male acquaintance who is in his twenties” it seems like abduction would be more appropriate. I don’t think anyone who convinces as twelve-year-old to run away from home has their best interest at heart. If she was in fact lured from her home by this “male acquaintance”, they may no longer be together. Sixteen years is a long time.

If still alive, Mayra would be 29 years old today. She’s Hispanic, with dark brown hair and brown eyes. She was 5’1 and 130 pounds in 2006 but she’s probably grown since then. She was last seen wearing a light blue and beige sweatshirt with the word “Micky” on the front, blue jeans, white sneakers and a light blue backpack.

Erin Foster and Jeremy Bechtel located

To the surprise of no one, the remains of missing teens Erin Leigh Foster, 18, and Jeremy Lee Bechtel, 17, have been identified inside the wreckage of Erin’s car, which was found in 13 feet of water in a local river near Sparta, Tennessee. Per the article, the car was “almost completely intact” and it looks like they just ran off the road, poor kids.

It’s been 22 years in April, and I’m sure their families are relieved that they’ve found answers. May Erin and Jeremy rest in peace.

I’m feeling a lot better today.

Woman is not Brittany Williams, and the Harmony Montgomery case grows worse by the day

Since June there has been a woman named Kaylynn Stevenson who has claimed to be Brittany Renee Williams, a child in the foster care system who disappeared sometime between August and November 2000. It’s a pretty awful story, starting with the fact that no one is quite sure when the HIV-positive seven-year-old was last seen. Her so-called guardian was only interested in the benefits that came with fostering.

Kaylynn had a story that sounded so bizarre it might just be credible. I wasn’t sure and decided to hold my peace until law enforcement came out with a statement. Well, they have, and based on “a robust review of medical records, adoption records, consultation with Infectious Disease physicians, dozens of interviews, and DNA analysis,” Kaylynn isn’t Brittany.

I am sorry. I wish I had better news but this is not the happy ending you’re all hoping for. It hardly ever is, you know?

Meanwhile, Harmony Montgomery‘s case seems to grow more awful every time there is news about it. It’s come out that her father, Adam Montgomery, is a suspect in the 2008 murder of a 28-year-old woman who was shot in the chest in a Lynn, Massachusetts parking lot. Adam, who was 18 at the time, has never been charged in the case and perhaps he didn’t do it, who knows.

Right now he’s sitting in jail on charges of abusing Harmony months prior to her disappearance. He bragged to relatives about how he had “bashed her around the apartment” after he asked her to look after her baby half-brother and came back to find her covering the baby’s mouth to stop its crying. Well, Adam, her doing that to the baby is your own fault; you should have known that a four- or five-year-old is not a suitable caregiver for an infant precisely because they do dumb stuff like that. It doesn’t make Harmony a bad child and she didn’t deserve to be hit, never mind “bashed around the apartment.”

Remind me again what was so unsuitable about Harmony’s mom that she couldn’t get custody or even visitation? When she’s the only reason we know Harmony is even missing in the first place.

Home again, exhausted

So I was away for a bit cause my dad to have his thyroid gland removed at a hospital several hours away from our respective homes and I went with him to help out. Everything went fine in the surgery but they made him stay overnight, basically cause he’s old. So I had to stay overnight in a nearby hotel. They don’t let you camp in the waiting room anymore cause covid.

Dad has, or had, an extremely indolent form of thyroid cancer. So minor that for the past ten years he’s left it untreated because it was not causing any issues at all so why fix it? But the cancer did eventually start messing with his thyroid hormones so they decided to yank the whole gland out, cancer and all. As it had (still) not spread, no further treatment is necessary. Just replacement thyroid hormone medicine.

I’ve got a vested interest in all this because there’s a significant chance the same thing is going to happen to me. Dad’s cancer is caused by a genetic issue and there’s a 50% chance I’ve inherited the bad gene too. And if I did, there’s a nearly 100% chance that I too will get thyroid cancer, unless I have my thyroid removed before it can get sick. In fact, as this illness usually occurs in young people, I might have it already and might have had it for years, like Dad did.

Dad’s cancer is so ridiculously wimpy and pathetic that I’m not terribly concerned about my having possibly inherited the cancer gene, but I need to have a screening done anyway.

In other news, a woman is threatening to sue me for supposedly libeling her father, which I really don’t understand because the woman and the Charley Project are pretty much in agreement as to the facts of the case. In fact I’m not 100% sure she’s even actually read the casefile cause she’s wasting her time emailing me the story, the details of which I know already, having already written them all on the Charley Project. Sigh.

You’d be surprised how often this sort of thing happens.

In the Nguyen family case there is news: they have identified Stephanie, the mom, but there’s no indication as to what happened to either of the two kids. I don’t see this as good news; in fact from my perspective it’s almost worse than finding nothing at all.

The family is still stuck in limbo, wondering if the kids were in the car when it went in, or if she did something else with them. It seems likely that they WERE in the car and are still in the river somewhere. But there’s no proof of that. The case might remain unsolved forever.

I’m exhausted. I didn’t get much sleep or eat much of anything while I was gone. I came home to the discovery that our new kitten, Viola, had made a mess, and I was almost too tired to care, but I cleaned it up.

See y’all tomorrow.

MP of the week: Troy Marks

This week’s featured missing person is Troy Spencer Marks, a 39-year-old man last seen in New Orleans, Louisiana on June 6, 2006. He is described as as white, 5’10 and 175 pounds, with blond hair, blue eyes and a goatee. He has three tattoos, all described in the casefile, and scars on his shoulder and chin, and his nose was broken once between his toe has a protruding bone which might be an indentifier if someone finds skeletal remains.

Marks was driving his company vehicle at the time of his disappearance. It later turned up in Baton Rouge, an hour and a half from New Orleans, in an apartment complex parking lot.

The most recent article I can find out Troy Marks is from 2011. It has some more details that aren’t (yet) in his Charley Project casefile, such as the fact that Troy was living in a halfway house when he disappeared and when his truck turned up, the windows had been shot out.

Marks was a recovering addict and it seems likely that he relapsed and something bad happened to him. His wife said he’d relapsed before but never disappeared without a trace; he’d always keep in touch even through the addiction throes.

MP of the week: Darla McCormick

This week’s featured missing person is Darla Kay McCormick, a 44-year-old woman last seen in Carlsbad, New Mexico on October 2, 2008. She’s described as white, with brown or red hair and brown eyes, about 5’5 tall and 205 pounds. She was last seen wearing black pants and black boots; I don’t know what sort of top she had on.

Darla was an employee at the Eddy County Detention Center. At 2:30 a.m. the day of her disappearance, she left work without permission before her shift was over, apparently upset. Since her car, work uniform and other belongings were found at home, she’s believed to have made it back there. At 8:00 a.m., she had brief email and phone contact with her family. That’s the last time anyone heard from her.

The circumstances of her disappearance are unclear and I can’t find any articles about it from after 2008.

If still alive, Darla McCormick would be 57 today.

MP of the week: Eulace King

This week’s featured missing person is Eulace King, a 29-year-old man who disappeared from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on May 3, 2003. He visited his mom’s house that day and I guess no one was home or something, so he left a note saying he’d been there. Twelve days later his car was found abandoned in Philadelphia. It had been wiped clean of fingerprints, which seems ominous.

Eulace is described as black, 6’0 and 155 pounds, with pierced ears, cataracts in his right eye, and quite a few tattoos, the description of which is detailed in his casefile. I don’t have much on this case but it doesn’t look good, given his uncharacteristic lack of contact for the past 18 years.

I hope everyone is doing well. I’m still pretty depressed and having a hard time getting anything done. Just moving sometimes takes a conscious effort.

MP of the week: Anthony Breedlove

This week’s featured missing person is Anthony Tyrone Breedlove, a 31-year-old man who disappeared from Mobile, Alabama on April 18, 2006. He is described as black, about 5’11 and 155 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes.

And that, unfortunately, is all I can tell you about him, or his disappearance. Even though he didn’t disappear all that long ago by Charley Project standards, I can’t find anything about him or the case in the news, archives, etc. In fact his case has never been updated, even once, since I added it to the database in October 2006. That’s really sad. He must have people who care about him. He must have had a mother. He might have a spouse, or kids.

So I thought I’d put him in the spotlight this week. Maybe someone who knows something will see him.

MP of the week: Kamyle Burgos Ortiz

This week’s featured missing person is Kamyle Stephanie Burgos Ortiz, a 12-year-old girl who disappeared from San Lorenzo, Puerto Rico on July 8, 2006. She is of black and Hispanic descent.

Although Kamyle is classified as a runaway by some agencies, authorities think she was actually the victim of a suspected serial killer, Amilcar Matias Torres. He and Kamyle knew each other and spoke on the phone less than an hour before her disappearance. He’s never been charged with murder, but is in federal prison serving twenty years for soliciting sex online from underage girls. He’s also a suspect in the disappearances of two other Puerto Rican girls, Yeritza Aponte-Soto and Cristina Ester Ruiz-Rodriguez.

If still alive–which seems unlikely–Kamyle would be 27 years old today.

People’s judgmental attitude in internet comments sometimes drives me mad

I often interact with the people who comment on stuff I post on the Charley Project’s Facebook page; I consider it my duty, as the admin of that page, to do so, and also I usually enjoy discussing things with them. We are, after all, talking about items of mutual interest. But sometimes people just… argh.

I put up an article recently written about the Bianca Noel Piper case (the article was of the “we’re still looking for” variety, nothing new), and immediately a bunch of commenters started saying awful things about her mother for making her go on that walk back to their house so she could chill out and deal with her anger. One of them even accused the mother of “abandoning” Bianca.

Well, here are the facts:

  1. The walk was about a mile. That’s not very far. It may seem like a long way since everyone is accustomed to driving these days, but a person Bianca’s size and age can walk a mile in ten or fifteen minutes.
  2. It was a rural area, not a big city.
  3. Bianca’s mother cooperated fully with the investigation and is not a suspect in her case.
  4. Bianca’s mother, by making her go for a walk, was following the advice of Bianca’s therapist, and they had tried the walking treatment before and it had been helpful. Loads of people go for a walk alone to cool down when they’re angry, and it’s a commonly recommended method of anger management.

I’m sure Bianca’s mother has regretted what she did every day of her life in the past sixteen years. But I do not think she did anything wrong here. She was following medical advice and the advice given sounds perfectly reasonable to me. I think Bianca was just very unlucky. And certainly casting judgment on her mom at this late date is not going to help at all.

Bianca was tall for her age, and heavy. I think that in the evening light, from a distance, she would have looked more like a woman than a child. My guess is some predator driving by saw her walking alone and grabbed her. Wrong place, wrong time.

I also grew up in a rural area and in the late nineties, as a young girl Bianca’s age, or younger, would often wander around by myself on foot or bicycle, sometimes traveling up to fifteen miles from home. It did me no harm and in fact I benefited from it. I got exercise and fresh air and learned how to amuse myself. It bothers me a lot that so much judgment is heaped on parents these days that it seems like they are expected to swaddle their youngsters in cottonwool until they graduate high school — and then people wonder why young college-age adults have no idea how to take care of themselves.