This week’s featured missing person is Charles “Chuck” Rutherford Jr., a 34-year-old attorney who disappeared with his girlfriend, Lana Stempien, while they were boating on Lake Huron on August 11, 2005.
Rutherford and Stempien at the Presque Isle Marina in Presque Isle, Michigan, and planned to go to Mackinac Island, but never arrived. Their boat was found idling in the lake, ten miles off Mackinac Island, the next day. Two weeks later, Stempien’s body washed ashore. There was elevated carbon monoxide in her blood, but the cause of death was drowning.
In spite of some mutterings about foul play and things being “mysterious”, it looks to me like Rutherford was probably also the victim of an accidental drowning; there’s a theory that they went swimming and became overcome with fumes from the boat motor.
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 Jestin Lamar Grier, a 21-year-old who disappeared from Canton, Ohio on March 16, 2005.
Jestin was last seen in a high-risk situation: he was on his way to sell cocaine to a customer. A friend dropped him off at the customer’s apartment building, but he was never actually seen inside the building and his customer said he never showed up for the deal.
In spite of this, and in spite of the fact that Jestin hasn’t collected any of his disability benefits or been arrested since his disappearance, the police were saying they thought he walked out of his life.
If he did so, he did so very thoroughly. I find it hard to believe that Jestin, who had psychological issues and an anger management problem and several prior arrests, is alive and well and has just been able to completely avoid contact with law enforcement for the past fourteen years.
But if he is still alive, he would be 35 today.
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 Edmond Tillman, a fourteen-year-old boy who went missing from Manhattan on August 10, 2005. He is gay and had recently come out to his mother. He was supposedly dating someone older, and his case is classified as a runaway.
At this point, a full thirteen years later, I have to wonder if Edmond really did run away, or if did but he came to harm afterwards — perhaps trafficking. I also wonder if his coming-out to his mom was really as smooth as she says. A lot of LGBTQ teens run away because feel were rejected by their families.
I hope he turns up alive and well and happy, wherever he is.
This week’s featured missing person is Deandre Nativoni Brown, a 22-year-old who disappeared from Jasper, Alabama on July 29, 2005.
It doesn’t look good for him: witnesses heard shots fired, the police found Brown’s bloodstained clothing, and the vehicle he was driving was found abandoned and burned.
This week’s featured missing person is Heather Bloom, a 28-year-old woman with Down Syndrome who was last seen in Berkeley, California on October 1, 2005. She probably disappeared sometime after that though.
People with Down Syndrome have various levels of functionality, and it sounds like Heather was at the lower end: non-verbal, wheelchair-bound and requiring “constant care and supervision.”
She was being cared for by her sister, Shari. After Heather’s parents reported her missing, the police tried to check on her welfare, but Shari wouldn’t let them in the house and they never actually saw Heather. The neighbors also said they never saw Heather either. Last I knew, Shari had moved to Norway — without her sister, presumably.
I did find this 2017 article which has more info about the case and additional pictures of Heather. Though the police are saying there’s no evidence she’s dead or in danger, honestly, to me it doesn’t look good. I mean, a person with those medical conditions would presumably have had to see doctors regularly. She was probably on Medicaid and Social Security disability. They should be able to track her if she was still alive.
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.
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.