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.)

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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.

Black History Month: Irene Kouame

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 Irene Kouame, a seventeen-year-old girl who disappeared from Pasadena, California on August 23, 2001. She’s from the sub-Saharan African nation of Cote d’Ivoire aka the Ivory Coast, and was in the U.S. on an exchange program.

Irene is classified as a runaway. Perhaps she simply didn’t want to return to her home county, a third-world nation that saw a coup in 1999 and, after her disappearance, two civil wars inside of a decade.

Irene would be 33 years old today.

MP of the week: Raymond Poland

This week’s featured missing person is Raymond Samuel Poland, a 35-year-old man who was last seen in Erie, Pennsylvania on August 22, 2001. Since he wasn’t reported missing for a year, I’m not sure how they fixed the date of his disappearance, but that’s what I’ve got.

Poland was an occasionally homeless alcoholic who had trouble keeping a job because of his problem. I think he may still be alive and just unaware that his family’s looking for him, or he may be a John Doe in some far-off part of the country.

Select It Sunday: Masayuki Kubo

This week’s Select It Sunday is Masayuki Kubo. I’m not sure who suggested it, Kat maybe. Blog commenter Hennylee put together a lovely spreadsheet of suggestions for me to go off of.

Kubo was 80 years old and suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease when he disappeared from Honolulu on June 23, 2001. He had a history of wandering off from home and getting lost, and then one day he went for a walk, got lost, and never came back.  There were possible sightings of him in the local area after his disappearance, leading to speculation that he was still alive, but I doubt that’s true anymore.

Let’s Talk About It: Kristopher Charles Loesch

Yeah, so I’ve decided to turn this “Let’s Talk About It” thing into a feature for as long as I can find strange cases with a lot of twists and turns and unanswered questions. Let’s make it Thursday’s, yeah? Juanita Oxenrider‘s one last week got a decent response so I’ll run with it.

So this Thursday I’d like to talk about Kristopher Charles Loesch. His official place and date of disappearance are given as May 16, 2001 in Post Falls, Idaho, when he was ten, but that’s kind of open to question. In fact, just about everything about Kristopher’s disappearance is open to question.

Whatever the case may be, Kristopher, who had been attending school under an alias name and living with a guardian, dropped out of sight around 2000 or 2001. His school never got any requests to forward his transcripts anywhere else. The guardian was later imprisoned for fraud.

Both of Christopher’s maternal grandparents were murdered in separate incidents in the 1990s, and the authorities think his mother, Tina Loesch, was involved. She was dating another woman, Skye Hanson. In 2008, warrants were issued for the couple’s arrest for the murder of Tina’s mother, and they were broadcast as fugitives on America’s Most Wanted. A few hours later, they killed themselves out in the desert near Tucson, Arizona. They left a very long suicide note saying they were innocent of murder. I’m not sure if the note mentioned Kristopher at all.

It seems the authorities didn’t start looking for Kristopher in earnest until after his mother’s and her girlfriend’s deaths in 2008, by which time he would have been 18. The most recent article I could find on the case dates from 2011; Kristopher’s uncle (Tina’s brother) still hopes for some kind of resolution, both in the murders and in his nephew’s disappearance.

He could be anywhere on this earth. Wherever he is, though, I doubt he’s still alive.

So what do y’all think? I yield the floor to you.

Select It Sunday: Brian Martin

This week’s SIS case is Brian Kent Martin, selected via Facebook by Melissa A. She was a friend of his when they were growing up.

It isn’t clear exactly when Brian disappeared. His mother last spoke to him in March 2001; he was living in Biloxi, Mississippi at the time. She didn’t report him missing until September. He was transient at the time of his disappearance and had no legal address, and his mother and siblings lived in Georgia, which would explain why it took so long for the report to be filed.

Brian suffered from dyslexia, which can make anyone’s school years a misery. The person’s intelligence is unimpaired and I’ve heard of dyslexic people who’ve gotten graduate degrees, but it makes reading very difficult. Depending on the severity of the condition, you could just need to work a little harder at reading, or you could be almost entirely illiterate. A person with dyslexia is often placed in special education at school, at least for the reading-intensive classes. Which is good, because special education teachers are specially trained to help them learn strategies to compensate for their condition, but it’s also bad, because the other kids at school inevitably make fun of the special ed kids and sometimes even other teachers bully them. The bullying and the struggle to deal with reading may explain why Brian dropped out of high school.

(I’m an excellent reader, as you’ve probably guessed, and picked it up pretty much instantly in first grade. Once, in third grade, we were put into small groups and told to read a story in our reading books aloud to each other, taking turns, a few paragraphs at a time. A girl in my group was dyslexic and read aloud very slowly, often stumbling over her words. The teacher deliberately placed her with me because she thought, for some reason, that Rachel would benefit with having a really good reader in her group. I’m ashamed, even now, to admit I kept complaining to the rest of the group about how long she was taking to read her parts, and I even asked my teacher to move me to a different group. Rachel, I’m really sorry for being such a jerk.)

Brian was 24 when he disappeared; he would 39 now, turning 40 in November. Although there’s no hard evidence of foul play in this case that I know of, both the Martin family and the police believe he was probably murdered. After his 2001 disappearance, his paper trail stops: no Social Security number activity, no record of employment, in the past 15 years. And he didn’t have a passport so it’s unlikely he left the country. He doesn’t seem to have had any motive to walk away from his life — in fact, he’d said he wanted to return to Georgia where most of his family lived.

He may very well be a John Doe somewhere. The only particularly unusual physical characteristic I know of is an unspecified “gang brand” five inches in size on his arm. I don’t know whether they mean a tattoo or an actual brand.