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.

Gah, once again, I hate it when this happens

Tonight I noticed that Paul Smith has a NamUs profile as well as a poster with the Missouri Highway Patrol. (Not all MHP cases have posters.) So I started to add the additional info and found a conundrum: Paul’s MHP poster says he is 5’6, and NamUs says he is 6’1!

Groan.

I’m inclined to believe NamUs’s height, because both sources have him weighing at least 220 pounds, and someone who’s that weight and only 5’6 would be quite overweight, and he doesn’t look overweight in the picture. But I’m not sure.

Groan. Muttergrumble.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch…

Some MP news highlights while I was gone:

  • Mark Duane Woodard has been found. Or rather, he was found in 1977, 23 months after his disappearance, but not identified till now. The aforementioned news link uses his Charley Project pic, and asked me permission first. (Thanks!) This link has another photo of him, a much better quality one, as well as more details about his disappearance. He was murdered, shot to death. His sister is the only surviving member of the immediate family.
  • In the state of Thuringia in central Germany they have found a missing girl, Peggy No-Last-Name-Released [edit: per a UK article supplied by a commenter, it’s Knobloch], who disappeared mysteriously fifteen years ago, at the age of nine. A mushroom picker found her bones in the forest nine miles from Peggy’s hometown of Lichtenberg. According to this article and one other I found about the case, this had been a murder-without-a-body (MWAB) case: In 2004, a mentally disabled man was convicted of Peggy’s murder. He was later acquitted in a retrial due to lack of evidence after a key witness retracted his statement.
  • Corry Ehlers, a guy who disappeared while hiking in Utah in 2012, has also been found deceased. His skeletal remains, found “in a steep, rocky spot near Alta Ski Resort” last summer, were identified in late June. They think Corry fell off a cliff.
  • Three days ago it was fifteen years since sisters Diamond and Tionda Bradley vanished mysteriously from Chicago. The Chicago Tribune has done an anniversary article about it, with quotes from Diamond and Tionda’s two other sisters, Rita and Victoria: The girls disappeared just a day before Victoria Bradley’s ninth birthday. Until recent years, Bradley, who turns 24 on Thursday, said she was unable to celebrate her birthday because of her depression over the anniversary of their disappearance. I have not updated the girls’ casefiles in over a decade, and last time was just to add some more pics. I will give a look and see if I can find any developments that have taken place in the intervening years.
  • Two more recent anniversaries: eleven years since Stacy Ann Aragon and her boyfriend Steven Bishop disappeared from Arizona (see article; Stacy has been reported missing but it appears Steven has not been), and ten years since Roxanne Paltauf disappeared (article) from Texas.
  • The NCMEC reports that two of my oldest family abduction cases have been resolved, with the children located alive. One was Jacquelina Ann Gomez, who was abducted from Illinois by her father in 1992 at the age of 3. She would be 27 now, 28 in September.
  • The other case involves two brothers who disappeared with their mother and stepfather from Blairsville, Georgia in 1996, when the boys were 2 and 3. A day or so before I left for Minneapolis I got contacted by a very excited reporter who ran a story on Rick Tyler, a man who’s running for Congress under the odious slogan “Make America White Again.” She said after she ran the story she was deluged with emails from people who believed Rick Tyler was probably the same Rick Tyler who was listed as the missing Blairsville kids’ stepfather. She also said the police were now claiming that the boys’ mom DID have custody of them when they disappeared, after all. Well, then the day I left Minneapolis I got an NCMEC notice saying the boys were recovered. I’m not going to say their names on here or put them on the resolved page because I’m not sure about the custody issue, but it should be easy enough to determine who they are from the info I just provided.
  • The state of Arkansas has a brand shiny new MP database with 510 people on it, many whose names I don’t recognize. I am very happy about this. I believe every state should have their own publicly searchable online database, as large and comprehensive as possible. Many of the people listed in this new database have no pics though. I hope this situation improves.
  • Morgan Keyanna Martin, a pregnant teenager who disappeared in 2012, is now considered a MWAB case. Jacobee Flowers, the father of the unborn child, has been charged with her murder. Homicide is the most common non-natural cause of death for pregnant women in the US and from what I have read, all around the world, the murder of pregnant women — usually by their baby’s father — is a universal problem.
  • HuffPo has published a photo essay about the 1998 disappearance of SUNY-Albany student Suzanne Lyall. It’s a mysterious case; no obvious suspects, no answers. 19 years old, promising future, and then gone.
  • Kidnap survivor Jaycee Dugard has been in the news again, going on TV and talking about how her life’s going and how she’s raising the two daughters she had with her kidnapper Philip Garrido. The link I just gave provides lots of news articles to read, more than I can summarize here. But here’s one quote from this article to show what a resilient woman and amazing mother Jaycee was and still is: As she and her daughters grew older, Dugard said she planted a flower in front of the shed and set up a little school to teach them as much as she could with only her fifth-grade education. “They’re so resilient, and they’re beautiful and loving, and I’m really lucky,” she said. Dugard has protected her daughters’ privacy and said some of their friends don’t even know of their past. She said the three of them are able to talk about what happened with each other.

Lots of people got found these last few days

I’ve got five cases to resolve next update. (Not sure if that update will be today. I know it’s been almost a week but I’ve got a lot of stuff to do today. If not today, then tomorrow.)

The body of John Henry Dubose, a 38-year-old missing from South Carolina since 2000, was found inside his submerged vehicle in Lake Russell. They’re still investigating but my guess is it was an accident.

The body of Michael Damian Rust, who was reported missing from Saguache, Colorado in 2009 (I updated his case earlier this month), was found in January. The remains weren’t identified until now. Authorities haven’t released any info about how the body was found or what the cause of death was, but the circumstances of his disappearance strongly indicate he was murdered.

Susan Glaser, who disappeared from Wisconsin in 1995, has been identified. Her body was found in Portage County, Wisconsin in May 1998. Glaser’s boyfriend, who made “suspicious statements” about her case, committed suicide several months after she went missing.

Meanwhile the NCMEC reports that Marifer and Stephanie Garcia, sisters who were abducted by their non-custodial mother from Michigan in 2005, have been found safe. Stephanie was two years old at the time of her abduction and Marifer was one day past her first birthday. They would now be 13 and 12 respectively.

Woo, milestone reached!

The Charley Project’s Facebook page reached 6,000 “likes” a few days ago. I add articles about missing person cases every day, including ones about cases not featured on Charley for one reason or another, and all entries I put on this blog are automatically linked on there. The Twitter account is at 967 followers at present. It posts links to two Charley cases every day.

It’s a bit of a challenge to summarize the cases in 140 characters or less and make the summaries interesting. For example, “Patty Spencer and Pam Hobley #disappeared together in 1969, which is kind of weird since they weren’t friends.” And, “Why did Ronald Westover lie to his family & falsely claim he had a recurrence of #LungCancer before he #disappeared?”

Unfortunately, TweetDeck, the program I use to keep Charley’s Twitter account updated, is not going to work for Windows after April 15. I use TweetDeck to schedule tweets in advance of posting, sometimes months in advance. It’s still going to be available to use online using my browser, but it will be less convenient that way. Oh, well.