National Hispanic Heritage Month: Gabriela Gonzalez

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.

MP of the week: Leah McKinney

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.

A bunch of no-body homicide updates

So I re-posted all the Corpus Delicti lists last night and today (it’s been forever I know) and I took the chance to go through Not Concluded/Unknown Outcomes again to find out some of those outcomes.

The result is fifteen updated cases.

  • Cynthia Linda Alonzo: Eric Mora pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, got eleven years.
  • Abigail Estrada: Ruben Torres pleaded guilty to murder, got eighteen years but could be out in ten.
  • Cari Lea Farver: Shanna Golyer was found guilty, got life without parole plus 18 to 20 years for an unrelated arson.
  • Jarrod Devlin Green: Brandon Wheeler’s charges were dropped for lack of evidence.
  • Alice Kristina Wehr Hummel: Bruce Hummel was tried and convicted of the murder a second time, but an appeals court overturned his second conviction and he cannot be retried.
  • Charles Edward “Mississippi” Johnson: David Lint pleaded no contest to criminal homicide, got seven to fifteen years.
  • Zachary Matthew Malinowski: No conclusion yet, but suspect Javon Gibbs (allegedly) murdered someone else while out on bail in Malinowski’s murder.
  • Bernadine M. Montgomery: Tracie Naffziger pleaded no contest to being an accessory second-degree murder after the fact. She will testify against David Mariotti, whose trial is supposed to be early next month.
  • Sara Jo Mowrey: After alleged misconduct by the prosecution, Michael Baker pleaded guilty to solicitation to commit murder and being an accessory after the fact to murder, and got three years instead of the life sentence he’d have gotten if convicted of the original charges.
  • Catherine E. Nelson and Charles Martin Russell: Brian Ferry’s trial was early this year. The jury couldn’t reach a verdict and there was a mistrial.
  • Heath Riley Reams: Amanda Sanders-Bolstad pleaded guilty to manslaughter and got 25 years, with 20 suspended, but the prosecution is trying to get her suspended sentence revoked because she moved without telling the police.
  • Bret R. Snow: More details have been released about the crime and two additional suspects have been charged. Alvaro Guajardo is charged with murder, and Cheryl Sutton with kidnapping, conspiracy to commit murder, and leading organized crime.
  • Aaron Lamar Turner: One suspect, Bryan Byrd pleaded guilty to third-degree murder and got 20 to 40 years. (Also found an article about how Bryan was an academic star in high school and seen as a really great kid who had risen above his poverty and single-parent childhood, then he ruined his life in one weekend.) The second suspect, LaQuanta Chapman, was convicted and sentenced to death, but the sentence was overturned four years later and he got life instead. A third suspect has been identified, but has never faced charges. I think it’s because Chapman isn’t saying boo and they only have Byrd’s testimony to put the man at the scene. Also, not-very-fun fact: Chapman shot one of his dogs dead and dismembered the body in his attempt to cover up Aaron’s murder.
  • Rebecca Ann Ware: Timothy Johnson pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and got nineteen years, with credit for three years’ time served.

Black History Month: Marcus Daniel

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 Marcus J. Daniel, a University of Missouri student who disappeared from Columbia on December 6, 2002. I don’t know what he was studying or whether he was last seen on campus or what. He was 25 years old and would be 40 today.

Marcus apparently left of his own accord; he wrote a goodbye note to his dad, and a few days after his disappearance he sent his mom a letter postmarked Chicago. Perhaps as a result, he wasn’t reported missing until 2005.

He may believe he has good reasons for staying under the radar these past 15 years. In which case I recommend he contact the police and verify his identity and well-being. That way they can close his case and his family will know he is safe, but whatever new life he’s carved out for himself does not have to be disrupted.

Black History Month: Ramona Catherine Redd

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 Ramona Catherine Redd, who disappeared from Baltimore, Maryland on March 7, 2002. She was 19 years old at the time.

I don’t have much on Ramona’s disappearance. She left home in the wee hours and was planning to walk to her sister’s house. The last sign of her was at a 7-11 on Orleans Street. She called a friend from a pay phone and said she was lost. Other than that, nothing seemed to be wrong. Ramona was never seen again.

Her family has suffered greatly, and not just because of her disappearance — the month after Ramona vanished, her mother was murdered.

If Ramona is still alive, she’d be 35 years old today.