National Hispanic Heritage Month: Ines Paredes

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 Ines Paredes, a 33-year-old woman who disappeared on March 26, 2009.

There isn’t a whole lot of information available. She boarded a bus in Houston, en route to her home in Mexico, but just where in Mexico isn’t said. It would have been a long trip, as Houston is halfway across the state from the nearest border crossing. She apparently never arrived at her destination.

I’m not sure whether the border authorities keep a record of exactly who crosses where, and how the situation is handled with things like a bus. Because the Harris County Sheriff’s Office is investigating Ines’s case, I would guess they think she never made as far as Mexico.

It’s noted that Ines may be driving a yellow 1999 Ford pickup with Texas plates. I don’t know how the vehicle is associated with her, since she is supposed to have left in a bus. A lot of unanswered questions here.

If still alive, Ines Paredes would be 44 now.

National Hispanic Heritage Month: Abraham Ramirez

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 Abraham Jonathan Ramirez, who disappeared from Jackson, Mississippi on September 5, 2009, at the age of 21. He was a (legal) immigrant from Mexico and worked at a construction company.

Ramirez had a night out with friends at a club, and encountered his girlfriend there at 3:30 a.m., and they argued. I don’t know what the argument was about; perhaps one or the other wasn’t supposed to be out partying, or perhaps the girlfriend saw Ramirez with another woman, or he saw her with another man.

After the argument, Ramirez left the club and disappeared. His truck was later found a mile away, wrecked, on the roadside. Shortly after his disappearance, his girlfriend took their baby and moved away, and the police don’t know where they are now; they might be in Mexico.

Foul play is suspected in Ramirez’s case.

Yes, I know Larry Murillo has been located

Just about everyone has been texting, messaging and emailing me about the sad recovery of Larry Ely Murillo. His body turned up behind the coolers in the supermarket he used to work in. The business has been closed for years and a contractor was engaged in removing the coolers and shelving units when they found Murillo’s partially mummified remains in the eighteen-inch gap between the cooler and the wall.

Murillo was apparently having a psychotic break at the time of his disappearance. The day before, he had been prescribed an antidepressant, but his mental condition just deteriorated and he was paranoid and hearing voices. He ran out into the snow, coatless and barefoot, and vanished. Until now.

Per MANY the news articles about the finding, apparently workers at the supermarket would sometimes hide on top of the coolers when they wanted to take a break without the boss knowing. My guess is that Murillo, in his paranoia, went dashing for the familiar hiding space, only to slip into the space behind the units. The noise from the compressors would have drowned out his cries for help. And so he died a slow, horrible death.

The case reminds me of the tragic death of Joshua Maddux, whose corpse was found inside a chimney in a remote cabin in Colorado in 2015, seven years after he vanished. There was (and is still) talk of murder, but the most plausible theory is that he was trying to break into the cabin via the chimney and got stuck.

I am, not, of course, a psychiatrist or psychopharmacologist, but I don’t think the antidepressant was responsible for the mental breakdown leading up to Murillo’s death. He had been showing mental illness symptoms before taking the drug, and that’s why it was prescribed for him. And he had only been prescribed the drug the day before his disappearance.

Deaths like Larry Murillo’s remind me of just how lucky I am. As most of you readers know, I’ve got bipolar disorder. I’ve had psychotic breaks before. And one time, a common prescription painkiller I’d innocently taken interacted with one of my psychiatric meds and threw a party in my brain, resulting in very bad psychotic symptoms. This was not technically psychosis but delirium; however at the time everyone thought it was psychosis.

Anyway, that time I was hallucinating, delusional, and kept trying to leave the house at night in early March wearing only a shirt and underpants. The hospital refused to admit me, and the police wouldn’t help either, so Michael called his parents and they came over and stayed up with me all night to make sure I didn’t leave the house or do anything to harm myself.

If it weren’t for Michael and his parents, I might have died that night. I was lucky. Sadly, Larry Murillo wasn’t.

MP of the week: Mia Patterson

This week’s featured missing person is Mia Lynn Patterson, a 26-year-old woman missing from Detroit, Michigan since May 30, 2017.

I don’t have much on her, but curiously, Mia’s cousin, Carlita Yvette Gentry Lohmeier, also disappeared from Detroit and was never found. The women disappeared years apart and as far as I know there’s no evidence to connect the two cases.

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: Kianna and Gunnar Berg

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 actually two cases, the missing siblings Kianna Joanna Berg and Gunnar David Berg.

The children, who are half white, half Japanese, were abducted by their mother, Naoko Numakami, from their Fairfax, Virginia home and taken to her native Japan. They were eight and nine years old at the time.

Naoko told Kianna and Gunnar’s father that she was just taking the kids to Japan for a vacation, but once in that country she refused to return them. He hasn’t seen them since.

Unfortunately for the kids’ father, it’s probably going to stay that way. I don’t know if there are ANY cases where the Japanese government actually agreed to return an internationally abducted child. I don’t think family courts, as such, really exist there.

Both kids are now over eighteen and could choose to go back to the US on their own if they like, but my guess is that like many family abduction victims, they’ve been alienated against their left-behind father.

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: Benson Nguyen

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 Benson Van Nguyen, a Vietnamese-American man who disappeared off the coast of San Mateo County, California on February 21, 2009.

It’s not a mystery what happened to Nguyen; a crab fisherman, he was the victim of an accidental drowning after a rogue wave overturned his boat. He was 47 years old. His body was never found.

MP of the week: Amelia Antonio

This week’s featured missing person is Amelia Jose Antonio, a sixteen-year-old girl. On June 4, 2009, she returned home to Godwin, North Carolina after running away to Florida… only to run away again that same day. She hasn’t been seen or heard from since, and would be 26 years old today.