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.

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There’s a current-age thingy now

Y’all might have noticed that now, in cases where there’s a date of birth available, the computer automatically calculates what the MP’s current age would be.

It’s kind of eerie for me. Like, I was touching up Breiton Ackerman‘s casefile and noticed: my god, this kid would be 18 now. Graduating high school, off to college or the workforce or the Army or wherever life would have taken him. But instead he’s four forever.

First MP of the week for 2018: Carina Karras

This week’s featured missing person is Carina Lynn Karras, twenty, missing since December 31, 2005. I have lots of pictures of her, ten in fact, but very little info on her disappearance. She was taking a train to Las Vegas and I don’t know if she disappeared en route or after she arrived.

Given that it’s Las Vegas and with Carina being a young woman and it having been twelve years, I’m concerned for her safety. I wish I knew more about this case.

Let’s talk about it: Bryan Hayes and Mark Degner

I find the disappearance of best friends Mark Anthony Degner and Bryan Andrew Hayes puzzling and troubling. They’ve been missing from Jacksonville, Florida since February 1, 2005 — twelve years, nearly twelve and a half.

At first the circumstances of the boys’ cases look pedestrian enough: they were living in a group home, told friends they were going to run away, and apparently did just that. They were even sighted in Holly Hill, a small town south of Jacksonville on the Florida coast, two months later.

And yet.

The boys, at just twelve (Mark) and thirteen (Bryan), were extremely young to have been gone this long. Bryan had run away before, but never for longer than a day, and Mark had no history of running away. Furthermore, they were developmentally delayed, functioning on the level of seven- to ten-year-old children, and both suffered from bipolar disorder.

How could they have remained off the map this long? Did the boys meet with foul play? If they’re still alive, why haven’t they resurfaced and who’s helping them stay hidden? Were relatives investigated? Were some member or members of the boys’ families unhappy that they were living in a group home? Or is it possible they fell victim to sex trafficking? Due to their disabilities. I should think they would have been extremely vulnerable to any kind of exploitation — even more so than most runaways.

The case reminds me of Clayton Lynn McCarter and Rodney Michael Scott, who ran away from a Bowling Green, Kentucky children’s home three and a half years ago and still haven’t been found. They were almost the same age: fifteen and thirteen. Clayton was developmentally delayed and had psychiatric issues, just like Mark and Bryan, and there’s a good chance Rodney had similar problems though I don’t know that for sure. I’m not suggesting McCarter/Scott disappearances are related to Mark and Bryan’s, though, given the distance in both time and space.

So what do you think happened to Mark Degner and Bryan Hayes? Let’s talk about it.

MP of the week (late, sorry): Jamie Travis

This week’s featured missing person is Jamie Jo Travis, a 27-year-old woman who disappeared from Peoria, Illinois on August 30, 2005. Unfortunately I don’t have any details on her disappearance. I checked her NamUs page hoping it would have new information, but all I could find was a note saying she may use the last name Wolgemuth.

If Jamie is still alive she would be 39 this year.

Arrest in Tara Grinstead case

In a major breakthrough, a suspect has been charged with murder in the 2005 disappearance of Tara Faye Grinstead, who vanished from Ocilla, Georgia. Her case has been very high profile over the years. The alleged killer, Ryan Alexander Duke, had been a student at the school where Tara taught, but graduated three years before she vanished. And he wasn’t a suspect, wasn’t even “on the radar” as far as the investigation was concerned, until quite recently.

Until I update her case (probably later today), content yourself with the following articles:

MP of the week: Damian Dill

This week’s featured missing person is Damian Kinte Dill, who disappeared from Montgomery, Alabama on February 15, 2005. It’s possible he joined a Job Corps program in Florida after his disappearance.

For the uninitiated, the Job Corps is a federal program run by the U.S. Department of Labor, which provides education and vocational training to low-income and/or at-risk people between 16 and 24 years old. Damian was 20.

It seems like it would be easy enough to tell whether he was in fact enrolled in it, so I don’t know if the Florida lead fizzled, or what. But he’s been missing for eleven and a half years and I can’t find any more information.