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 Ta’Niyah Monique Leonard, an eleven-month old baby who disappeared from Bartow, Florida on October 19, 2002.
Sadly it’s not likely that Ta’Niyah is alive today. The police have two main suspects: her parents, Michael Lewis and Miranda Jones. The couple often had violent arguments, sometimes involving weapons. The cops think one or both of Ta’Niyah’s parents was responsible for her death.
This is a problem in terms of the prosecution, as I note in her casefile, since the parents are blaming each other:
Investigators believe either Lewis or Jones is responsible for Ta’Niyah’s disappearance and probable death, but they cannot proceed with charges against either of them due to a lack of evidence and due to the two suspects’ conflicting stories. Prosecutors offered both of them immunity from any charges if they would return Ta’Niyah alive, but neither Lewis nor Jones accepted the offer.
This love-hate relationship between Lewis and Jones continued after Ta’Niyah’s disappearance. Even as they both blamed each other, they conceived another child, a girl, who was immediately taken away after birth and adopted. Last I heard, in 2006, Jones had had a son (not by Lewis; the father might have been this guy) and she was about to lose her parental rights towards this baby as well.
I don’t know what Ta’Niyah’s parents have been up to since 2006; with surnames like “Lewis” and “Jones” it’s hard to trace their movements. If Ta’Niyah is alive, she’d be 17 now.
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 Lakeisha Nichole Archie, a 22-year-old woman who disappeared from Sidney, Ohio on August 5, 2002.
A relative dropped her off at a residence in the vicinity of Park and Buckeye and she was never seen again. And that, unfortunately, is all I know about it. The only press I can find is a blip in the Dayton Daily News in May 2004, almost two years later, but it didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know.
My brother spent quite a lot of time in Sidney during this time period and he and Lakeisha are the same age, but I’ve got no reason to believe they knew each other. This is one of the “few details are available” cases.
I wanted to call the reader’s attention to this excellent (and very sad) special series called Looking for Logan Tucker, about the disappearance and presumed murder of six-year-old Logan Lynn Tucker eighteen years ago at the hands of his sorry excuse for a mother, Katherine Rutan.
Most homicides of children by their parents are unintentional, a situation where the parent is frustrated and unable to cope with child care, loses control and kills the child in a rage. Although there are no witnesses to Logan’s murder and Katherine isn’t talking, his death doesn’t appear to have been one of those kinds of homicides. She thought Logan was a burden to her life, and decided to get rid of him, so she killed him. Period.
She sounds like a stone cold psychopath. There was evidence of disorder in her life long before Logan’s death — she was married four times by her mid-twenties, for example — and she had repeatedly told people that she considered her two sons a burden to her and wanted to get rid of them.
In the final days of Logan’s life, Katherine made increasingly frantic attempts to offload Logan, and the Oklahoma Department of Human Services did plan to take him within the next several days, but Katherine didn’t want to wait that long, I guess.
She is in prison and will probably die there, but continues to maintain her innocence.
Anyway, it’s a great piece of journalism, that series, and I wanted to recommend it to y’all.
This week’s featured missing person is Margarita Rosa Tache, a 39-year-old woman who disappeared from Hialeah, Florida with her 81-year-old mother, Sarah Zambrano. They lived together and went missing on May 9, 2002.
All I could find about the missing women, except their dates of birth, I got from NamUs. Apparently Tache’s husband traveled to Colombia after their disappearances, and he told the authorities there that he’d killed Tache and put her body in a dumpster. Nothing is said about Zambrano, however, no bodies were recovered, and I don’t know what Tache’s husband’s name was or where he is now.
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 Gabriela Leticia Gonzalez, a fourteen-year-old girl who disappeared from San Diego, California on April 5, 2002. That day she skipped school for the third day in a row and took off to visit her boyfriend, Juan Vera.
Although she was written off as a runaway at first, so many years have passed that the cops are wondering if something bad happened to Gabriela. She’d be 31 now and has been missing longer than she had been alive.
Vera, who was abusive and has gang affiliations, is a possible suspect. Police looked for Gabriela’s body in the Otay River, but turned up nothing. Last I heard, Vera was in prison, but that was quite awhile ago. I’m not sure what he’s up to nowadays.
This week’s featured missing person (was too busy to work on it yesterday, sorry) is Leah Dale McKinney, a 21-year-old woman who disappeared from Somerset, Kentucky on January 28 or 29, 2002. That least, she was last heard from then, but she was last seen on January 9.
I don’t know much about the circumstances of her disappearance, unfortunately, but God knows those cases with minimal details need as much attention as those cases that have more.
This week’s featured missing person is Ken Casey Lee, a 38-year-old man who disappeared from Seabeck, Washington on October 24, 2002. Foul play is suspected; he was involved in the drug world and it’s possible that his disappearance was drug-related.