Alissa Turney’s stepdad has been arrested

Michael Turney is honestly one of the creepiest missing persons suspects I’ve ever written about. He was extremely possessive of his stepdaughter Alissa: he regularly searched her belongings, monitored her phone conversations, sat outside her job while she worked, set up surveillance cameras in the family home “for security reasons”, and forced Alissa to sign weird “contracts.”

Now, if Alissa was a problem child who was involved with drugs and the wrong crowd, I could see a parent taking these kind of measures. But Alissa wasn’t a problem child. She was a good kid mostly, did well in school and had no history of running away.

Alissa allegedly told several people that Michael–who was, incidentally, her only parent since her mom died of cancer when she was little–had sexually abused her. This information never made it to the ears of Child Protective Services, but in 2000 Michael himself called CPS to pre-emptively declare his innocence, just in case Alissa should ever claim he was abusing her.

A year later, in the spring of 2001, Alissa disappeared at the age of seventeen. Michael said she ran away, but if she did it seems really weird that she left behind all her belongings including $1,800 in the bank, and never contacted her siblings, friends or boyfriend ever again.

In 2008, the police executed a search warrant on Michael’s home looking for evidence in Alissa’s case. I don’t know if they found any, but they did find 26 homemade bombs and a van filled with gasoline cans. It turned out Michael had been planning to blow up a local International Brotherhood of Electrical Works union hall and take his own life in the process.

He was sentenced to ten years, served seven, and was out by 2017. This afternoon he was arrested and charged with Alissa’s murder.

I don’t know anything about what in the way of evidence they have against him, as this is breaking news, only minutes old. But I’m thrilled to death.

MP of the week: Jerome Robinson

This week’s featured missing person is Jerome David Robinson, a 21-year-old black man who disappeared from Tunis, Texas three days after Christmas in 2001. He’d won a lot of money gambling at a bar, the Team Club, and had some of his winnings already, and that night he went there to collect the rest.

It looks like he never emerged from the bar alive, but his body has never been found and no charges have been filed against anyone in his case.

National Hispanic Heritage Month: David Arrieta

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 David Sosa Arrieta, who disappeared from Phoenix, Arizona on October 7, 2001, at the age of thirty. His car was found abandoned a few days later.

Although foul play is suspected in Arrieta’s disappearance, I can’t find any articles about his case. I did find a few possible mentions of him from prior to his disappearance. In the Arizona Republic I did find mentions of a baby born in 1999 to David and Antoinette Arrieta, of Apache Junction; this David might be the same man who disappeared two years later.

David Arrieta has four distinctive tattoos, of which I have photos. It looks like the pics were taken before any of the tattoos were completed, so they might look different now.

If still alive, today he’d be 48 years old.

Black History Month: Stephen Beard

In honor of Black History Month I’m profiling one African-American MP every day on this blog for the month of February. Today’s case is Stephen Christopher Beard, a fourteen-year-old boy who disappeared from Baltimore, Maryland on June 2, 2001.

He had a guardian at the time of his disappearance, and I wonder how well he was being guarded, since it says he liked to go to local nightclubs.

I wonder if he is still alive. It sounds like he knew how to take care of himself, so I’m hoping. It’s been close to twenty years now.

Black History Month: Terrence Haney

In honor of Black History Month I’m profiling one African-American MP every day on this blog for the month of February. Today’s case is Terrence Lee Haney, age 36, who disappeared from Tulsa, Oklahoma on April 2, 2001.

I don’t have very many details, just that he apparently disappeared somewhere in the two-block distance between his sister’s home and his own. Foul play is suspected.

Terrence Haney is related by marriage to another missing black man, Edward Larnell Martin, who disappeared from Tulsa in 1999. No apparent connection, though. Just a lot of bad luck there.

National Hispanic Heritage Month: Ira Josytewa

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 Ira Jack Josytewa, a biracial Native American and Hispanic 21-year-old who disappeared from Phoenix, Arizona on August 28, 2001.

Frankly, I don’t think whatever happened to Ira was anything good. His car turned up abandoned with all the doors open and his stuff inside. He never picked up his last paycheck. His family, which includes two children, haven’t heard from him in seventeen years.

If he’s still alive, he’d be 39 today.

National Hispanic Heritage Month: Mariah Carter

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 Mariah Chavez Carter, a biracial Hispanic and Caucasian girl who disappeared from Biscoe, North Carolina on October 8, 2001. She was almost two months old.

Mariah was the victim of a family abduction; her non-custodial mother, Porfria Salmeron Chavez, took her, possibly to Mexico. There’s a warrant out for Chavez’s arrest, although for some reason it wasn’t issued until six years later.

Mariah would be seventeen today. She may not even realize she is a missing child.

Pride Month: Hartanto Santoso

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 Hartanto Teguh Santoso, a bisexual man who disappeared from Kirkland, Washington on February 19, 2001, at the age of 31.

Santoso was an immigrant from Indonesia who worked as a nursing assistant to help support a large family back in his native country. What’s happened to him isn’t a mystery: he was abducted from his apartment and murdered by his former friend, Kim Heichel Mason. Mason is serving life without parole for the murder.

Ooh, this is a problem

So I just added the case of Charles Edward Tear, missing from Fargo, North Dakota, to Charley. And there’s an issue. Namely this:

Tear’s NamUs profile gives the date of disappearance as June 29, 2011. But this article has it as June 29, 2001.

One or the other of them is clearly wrong, but I’m damned if I know which. The difference is simply the slip of a finger, a typo. Oh, and ten full years.

I’m going with what NamUs says for now, but I wish I was more certain that was accurate. NamUs isn’t always correct. (Case in point: Tejin Thomas is still listed as a girl on there.)

Black History Month: Jaquilla Scales

In honor of Black History Month I’m profiling one African-American MP every day on this blog for the month of February. Today’s case is Jaquilla Evonne Scales, a four-year-old girl who disappeared from her family’s Wichita, Kansas home during the early morning hours of September 5, 2001.

There hasn’t been a great deal of press about Jaquilla’s disappearance. It doesn’t help that she was born to a teen mother in a poor African-American family, but I think whatever media attention her disappearance would have gotten was eclipsed by the terrorist attack on September 11.

I was fifteen years old, and I was on vacation in New England when 9-11 happened. I remember, flying home just a few days later (my mom and I had the plane practically to ourselves), hoping to find out more about Jaquilla’s case when I got home. I never did find out much.

It’s entirely possible that she was abducted — there were no signs of forced entry, but there was a door to the house that didn’t lock. I wish there had been more media attention when she disappeared; she might have been recovered if there had been.