I regularly check the ididitforjodie website for links to articles about missing persons and other cold cases. I wanted to mention it here cause it’s awesome. Today I found a link to this article about the 2006 disappearance of Taalibah Fatin Bint Islam and the 2016 disappearance of Typhenie Kae Johnson. Both women had been dating the same man, he was the last person known to have seen them, and he told the same story as to what happened to each of them. The suspect, Christopher Revill, was convicted of kidnapping in Typhenie’s case but has never been charged in Taalibah’s.
It’s a really sad story, and so typical of domestic violence cases. The article is very detailed and well worth a read.
This week’s featured missing person is Byron Augustus Freeman, a 70-year-old man who disappeared on June 24, 2006. He is from the Los Angeles area, but disappeared while attending a class reunion in Palestine, Texas. That’s about 1500 miles away, or around 23 hours.
Freeman, who was possibly in the early stages of Alzheimer’s Disease, may have gotten a bit confused after his car ran out of gas and thought he was still in Los Angeles. I think it’s unlikely that he made it far, or lasted long, after he went missing. But if he is still alive he’d be 84 today.
I haven’t updated in a week and I’m sorry. Things have not been going well for me lately; everything sucks basically and I don’t see much hope of improvement.
This week’s featured missing person is Aubrina Nicole Mack, a 21-year-old African-American woman who disappeared from Montgomery, Alabama on August 15, 2006. She went out for a walk to a nearby street and never came back. She would be 35 today if still alive.
I was never able to find much about the circumstances of her case, but she had kids she left behind, and her family doesn’t think she would have done that on purpose. I tried to find out more about her disappearance on social media but didn’t turn up much, other than this 2011 Facebook page from Aubrina’s sister. It looks like her nickname was Nikki.
I hope everyone is staying healthy and safe, and staying home if possible. I don’t personally know anyone who has died but have read about so many, and a friend’s cousin passed away last week from suspected COVID-19.
Michael and I are dutifully obeying the stay-at-home order and I’ve ordered some masks for when we have to be around other people. They say Kleenex and paper towels make good filters.
Michael has found out he has to resume teaching next week. The state governor closed all the schools for the rest of the academic year, but the place Michael teaches at is classified as a residential treatment center, not a school. It’s for kids with severe emotional/behavioral problems, and due to safety issues (mainly that the children are prime targets for sex traffickers) the students are not allowed internet access. So online schooling isn’t an option, but they still have a right to an education, and they’re not doing very well right now with their routine disrupted. And so the teachers must return and resume lessons.
I am very apprehensive about this development and can only hope the place handles this as safely as is possible.
Yeah, so this has been in the news:
- They’re going to try to identify two bodies, victims of a terrible fire at a Connecticut circus in 1944. 168 people were killed and of those, five are still unidentified. Per the article: “State Chief Medical Examiner James Gill wants to compare the unknown victims’ DNA to that of Sandra Sumrow, the granddaughter of 47-year-old Grace Fifield, a Newport, Vermont woman who was at the circus the day of the fire but was never seen again.”
- Hazel Rose Hess‘s daughter has gone on the news asking for information that could solve her mother’s 25-year-old disappearance. There isn’t much in the way of anything new in the article, however. I just found a few new pictures.
- There’s been some news about the 1985 disappearances of Janet Shuglie and her ten-year-old daughter Marisa. It turns out someone found her class ring. They found it over 20 years ago, but it wasn’t until recently that they realized the ring belonged to a missing person and turned it over to the police.
The police seem to think the find is significant, and they have not disclosed where the ring was found. There were several articles about this: here, here, here and here. There is a picture of the ring (is it just me or is the stone missing?) but alas, no photos of Marisa. I don’t have a photo of her either, so only Janet has a casefile on Charley.
- They’ve found the bodies of Danielle Marie Steiner and her five-year-old son, Aubrey Hall, who disappeared from Lansing, Michigan a year ago. The bodies were discovered by a clean-up crew in a vacant house in the 800 block of Loa Street. The article notes that “At various times, Steiner and Aubrey had lived in the 700 and 800 block of Loa Street.”
No other details have been released, except that the deaths are being treated as homicides. I’m sure their families are devastated.
- This month is the 13th anniversary of the disappearance of Melanie Metheny from Belle, West Virginia. She went missing on July 19, 2006. There’s this article about it.
- Doreen Jane Vincent‘s 1988 disappearance has been covered in the second season of the podcast “Faded Out.” I grabbed a bunch of photos off this article, and the podcast sounds absolutely fascinating, but I don’t know if I’ll have time to listen to it. There’s 21 episodes in the season so far, ranging in length from 27 minutes to an hour and 17 minutes, during which time I’d have to be paying very close attention, stopping the play to take notes, etc. All for one case. I wish I had the time for this kind of thing; it would benefit the Charley Project greatly. But I just don’t.
- A suspect, Bryan Lee O’Daniels, has been charged with murder in the 1995 disappearance of Timothy Jason Smart. Apparently there were many witnesses who knew the truth, but none of them spoke up out of fear of O’Daniels. The case broke after the police got an anonymous tip last year that led to a motherlode of information.
This week’s featured missing person is Letitia Nuchelle Regans, a 29-year-old woman who disappeared from St. Louis, Missouri on November 16, 2006.
Unfortunately I don’t know squat about the circumstances of her disappearance; it’s a “few details are available” case. I’ve got a description of her clothes, and a tattoo, and that’s it.
If she is still alive, Letitia Regans would be 42 years old today. She’s been missing twelve and a half years.
Charley Project Facebook user Michelle S. found this article about the 1987 disappearance of Ronald Oquilluk (who was not on Charley) and how he was identified over thirty years after he went missing. It’s a very good article and there’s a bit at the bottom about the recent identification of missing hunter Patrick Chambers.
Oquilluk’s case reminds me of the 2016 disappearance of Walter Hawk, another Native Alaskan man with special needs who wandered into the wilderness and never came back. What’s particularly frustrating in Hawk’s case is that searchers actually saw him in the days after he went missing, just hoofing it across the tundra, but apparently they weren’t able to get his attention. So close, yet so far.
I’ll say it again: Alaska eats people.
Oquilluk’s remains were found a full 450 miles from where he was last seen, and I wonder whether Hawk wandered as far as that. He disappeared during the summertime, and if he knew how to live off the land he might have been able to survive for an extended time period.
In honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, I am profiling one Asian or Pacific Islander MP for every day of the month of May. Today’s case is Neal Louis Boware, a 21-year-old man of African-American and Korean descent. He disappeared from Akron, Ohio on July 24, 2006.
Neal has schizophrenia and is supposed to take medication, but I don’t know whether he was on his meds at the time of his disappearance.
He ran away from his mom and jumped off a bridge; there were railroad tracks below the bridge, and a train was passing on them at the time. Presumably he landed on top of the train, though that’s not really clear. I’m not sure anyone actually saw this happen. No one has seen Neal since.
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 Mauricio Alfonso Ortiz, a 47-year-old who was last seen at his workplace, a bar in Corpus Christi, Texas on October 7, 2006.
I’m a bit confused by what happened there: although Ortiz is said to be a reliable worker, when he dropped out of sight it appears no one raised the alarm for a solid MONTH. His family apparently had no idea he was missing until November 8, when Ortiz’s landlord got in touch and asked them to clean out his apartment.
Perhaps Ortiz had a vacation coming, or perhaps he hadn’t worked at the bar for very long, and that’s why his boss and co-workers were unconcerned when he suddenly stopped showing up.
His car was found across the street from the courthouse on November 18, with “unspecified indications of foul play” inside it. Strangely, the car had been only parked there for about two weeks, leaving a time gap of about three weeks when it was unaccounted for; where was the car during that time period?
Lots of pieces missing here. Does anyone know whether Ortiz made it back to his apartment on October 15 after his shift? What did his apartment look like, were those “indications of foul play” present there as well?
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 Suzie Felan Ruiz, a 36-year-old woman who disappeared from San Antonio, Texas on December 16, 2006.
She told her family she was going out to a party, but the police think she was actually going out to buy drugs when she disappeared. Her car turned up abandoned in a field, with its plates removed, which doesn’t sound good at all.
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 Leonard Taku, a 44-year-old gay man who disappeared from Tampa, Florida on Christmas Day, 2006.
Taku was from New Zealand and is Maori descent; the Maori people are the indigenous people of New Zealand. He was teaching at a British school at the time of his disappearance, but had come to America for the holidays. He was reported missing when he didn’t return to work at the start of the new year, and in February, his car was found abandoned in the Ocala National Forest in Florida.
I haven’t found any news about Taku in a long time. I don’t know what happened to him but I don’t think it was any good; he sounds like he was a responsible and high-functioning individual who had no reason to just walk away.