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.
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 Nicole Sherese Cearo, a 20-year-old pregnant woman who disappeared from Seattle, Washington on March 30, 2009.
Nicole’s disappearance was the subject of excellent, in-depth coverage by the podcast Under the Redline, and various people close to the case were interviewed. Unfortunately, as far as I can determine, the Under the Redline podcast is no longer extant. (Which is a shame; it was really good.) But I was able to get most of their information onto Nicole’s page.
This is one of those cases where it is manifestly obvious what happened, and well-known in the community, it’s just that the police don’t think they have enough evidence to prosecute the suspect. I am sorry for it; Nicole deserves justice.
As often happens when a high-profile missing child is found, especially when they’re found safe, news agencies are dusting off their local missing kid cases and being all like, “Hey, you know how Jayme Closs was found? Here’s some kids missing in YOUR area and their parents hope they’ll get found too.” So far we’ve got:
- Tabitha Tuders: Mothers of missing children feel spark of hope after Jayme Closs is found alive
- Kyron Horman: ‘Let’s bring all missing children home’: Kyron Horman’s mom posts hopeful message after Jayme Closs’ safe return
- Sara Bushland: Local family regains hope in missing child case after Jayme Closs found alive and Closs’ escape gives renewed faith to other families with missing loved ones
- Adji Desir and Diana Belinda Alvarez: Missing children hits close to home in Southwest Florida
- Mikelle Biggs: Twenty years later, family of Mikelle Biggs holds out hope for answers in Arizona girl’s abduction
I highly doubt Adji or Diana is alive. Adji is a special needs child and if he was abducted, I don’t think the abductor could have kept him long without attracting some attention. As for Diana, a suspect has been charged with her murder.
In honor of Native American Heritage Month I’m featuring a Native American missing person for every day in the month of November. Today’s missing person is Gregory Ralph Bryan Jr., a 23-year-old member of the Paiute Tribe who disappeared from Del Norte County, California on August 1, 2009.
Bryan wanted to be a professional musician, and there are reports that he got involved in drugs in order to finance his music career, but I don’t know if that’s ever been confirmed. Whatever the case, he is described as a reliable person and it would be unlike him to just drop out of sight.
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 Jose Mendez Gonzalez, one of FIVE men named Jose Gonzalez currently listed on the Charley Project. This Jose was 34 when he disappeared on January 28, 2009, from Porterville, a small city in central California.
Unfortunately I don’t really know anything about the disappearance of Jose Mendez Gonzalez; it’s one of my “few details are available” cases, added in 2009 and not updated since then. The fact that his name is such a common one would make finding anything else out all that much harder.
I wanted to blog about this story because it’s so awesome — a girl who vanished at the age of TWELVE has turned up alive and well eight years later — and at the same time, extremely sad.
The headline: Juárez girl found after missing for 8 years.
From the article:
[Viridiana] Santillan had been reported missing by her mother on March 2, 2010, officials said.
The girl’s mother at the time told authorities that she had last seen her 12-year-old daughter when she left home in late July 2009, the attorney general’s office said.
The mother said that she took eight months to report that her daughter was missing because the young girl would sporadically run away and always returned, but that this time she didn’t come back, officials said.
After she was located, Santillan told Morelos state investigators that she ran away from a hostile and abusive environment at home in Juárez, officials said.
That’s absolutely horrific, that a twelve-year-old girl had it so bad at home that she had to run away and never come back. And Viridiana’s story about a bad home environment is borne out by the fact that her mom didn’t report her missing for the better part of a year. Remember, she was only twelve.
Fortunately, although life on the run was initially very hard for her, it sounds like she’s in a much better place now:
Santillan told investigators that she spent several days as a vagrant in the streets of Juárez before ending up in a shelter with the help of a government social assistance program, known as DIF…
Santillan later got the opportunity to study in [Cuernavaca] and ended up staying in that old colonial city located south of Mexico City, officials said.
Santillan told investigators that she wants to remain in Cuernavaca and has no plans to return to Juárez, officials said.
I hope she has a good life from now on.
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 Sou Sio “Andy” Saechao, an eighteen-year-old who disappeared from Portland, Oregon on November 19, 2009.
Sadly, it looks like Andy’s disappearance is a suicide. He told people he was suicidal and left a note at home, and his car turned up on a bridge. Not sure which bridge, but Portland is on the Willamette River.
If he is still alive, Andy Saechao would be 27 years old today.