Yeah, so I was writing up the Runaway Of The Day and discovered that she is quite active on social media; her Facebook page, for example, says she was at a KFC in Niagara Falls (on the Canadian side) yesterday, and she was complaining about the wait there. So I called the NCMEC hotline to tell them this (they’re actually in my cell phone contacts), only to be told that the girl had been recovered ages ago.
Well, she’s still on their database, and I wasted some time writing up a casefile for a girl who’s not missing. At least I caught the error before POSTING said casefile.
And speaking of the NCMEC, what the heck’s up with Shimeaka Gibson? Her NCMEC poster mentions that she wears wigs but inexplicably fails to bring up the fact that she wears them because she’s completely bald, having lost her hair because of lupus. They don’t even have a “may be in need of medical attention” thing on her poster. I had to find out the baldness and lupus things from NamUs. But they’re awfully important details if you ask me. Baldness in a teenage girl is a major distinguishing characteristic, and lupus is a serious disease that can kill you.
I thought I’d do a run-down in the latest news in murder-without-a-body cases:
- Per everybody, Antolin Garcia-Torres has been found guilty of the murder of Sierra Mae Lamar, a fifteen-year-old girl who disappeared from Morgan Hill, California five years ago. Her abduction and killing is of the most terrifying kind: she was just snatched off the street in a random act of violence.
- In Iowa, Tait Purk has been found guilty of murdering his girlfriend, Cora Ann Okonski, who disappeared from the town of Tama on April 16, 2000. Unlike in Sierra Lamar’s murder, there wasn’t anything in the way of physical evidence here. However, Purk supposedly confessed to at least two other people that he had killed Cora and buried her body.
- No charges have been filed as of yet, but Dale LaFleur‘s grand-nephew, Philip, has confessed to murdering him and the police are looking for the body. Philip is currently in jail for the 2015 murder of another man. He’s only 23 now, and Dale disappeared in 2011, so chances are Philip was a minor when he (allegedly) killed his great-uncle. (Not that it’ll matter.) He says he put Dale’s body inside his (Dale’s) car and dumped it in the Atchafalaya River. Police have said they’ve found an “object” in the river that might be the car. Fingers crossed.
- And as for Peter Kema, alas, I don’t know anything more than I did three weeks ago: namely that Peter Sr. has led police to the alleged disposal spot. I seem to recall some article that claimed the remains were cremated and dumped at sea. If that is so, they’re almost certainly unrecoverable. But I don’t know if that information is correct. There’s a big difference between outright cremating a body and merely setting it on fire. I think if the cops had found something, they would have said so by now, but who knows?
This week’s featured MP (added at 11:26 p.m., whew!) is Nigel Shervanti Jay, a 33-year-old African-American man who disappeared from Oakland, California on April 7, 2013. I don’t have a whole lot on his disappearance, other than that it’s considered suspicious. Nigel has two tattoos, one of which is of a spatula — perhaps related to his job as a cook.
The Charley Project is designed for missing people and is not an appropriate place to put up fugitives, so I really wasn’t sure about whether I should add Shannon Dion McCullough to my site or not. In the end I made a judgement call and decided to do so. I wanted to explain my reasoning.
I’ve got plenty of people listed on my site who had charges pending against them when they went missing. Usually it’s minor charges. McCullough’s charge was pretty major, as you can see in his casefile, and he was facing 15 years or possibly even more if convicted. That made me hesitate about posting him, because I wondered if he was running from the law. If I was facing 15+ years I might be tempted to run.
(For what it’s worth, I saw a post on a web board from one of McCullough’s family members saying he’s really not a bad guy or a violent one and the man he beat half to death was a big bad dude who was in a biker gang and had threatened McCullough with a knife. But moving on…)
However, I ultimately decided to post him for the following reasons:
- He’s already listed as a missing person on multiple perfectly reputable databases.
- His vehicle was found abandoned — wouldn’t he have taken it with him if was trying to get away?
- I couldn’t find any evidence that he had a habit of running, and he’d been in court for a lot of things, including at least one prior felony.
So Shannon McCullough was obviously not a model citizen but he does seem to be genuinely missing.
This week’s featured missing person is Larissa Marie Sam, a 22-year-old woman who disappeared from Indianapolis on June 21, 2015. After work she went to her uncle’s house and had a few drinks, leaving at 4:30 a.m. She never arrived home and her car was found abandoned, with a flat tire.
Larissa’s family thinks she might have been a human trafficking victim. She was certainly an attractive woman, and within the age range for sex trafficking. If that is true, then the best bet for finding her may lie with some of her customers, who must surely have noticed those tattoos. The one on her chest is very large and unique.
If she’s not being held captive, though, I think it’s pretty unlikely she’s still alive.
It’s been a bit since I did a Select It Sunday. Sorry. This one was chosen by one I. Can’t-Remember, someone who contacted me on the Charley Project’s Facebook page (which hit 10,000 likes this week! Wee!) This person asked me to write about Myra Lewis, a Camden, Mississippi who disappeared on March 1, 2014, at the age of two.
There’s very little information about Myra, although the Clarion-Ledger did do an anniversary article about her disappearance last month. She just disappeared from her front yard on Mount Pilgrim Road in Camden, a rural unincorporated community. Myra’s mom was going to the grocery store and told Myra and her sisters to go inside, where their father was. This was between 10:30 and 11:00 in the morning.
Myra apparently never made it inside, or if she did, her father never saw her. Because each parent thought she was with the other one, she wasn’t missed for hours.
Me, I have to wonder if she didn’t just wander off. I was trying to get a better idea of what the Camden area was like — the Wikipedia entry doesn’t say much — so I looked at Zillow, a real estate website. Their listings for Camden have a lot of “lots” for sale, with trees and ponds and such. It would be easy for a two-year-old to disappear in such an environment.
For what it’s worth, the police are saying there’s no reason to believe Myra isn’t alive. I hope she is. She wasn’t even two and a half when she disappeared and would probably have no memories of her home and parents.
Tonight in my updates, for Emmanuel Cornelius Quarles, the various sources I found were giving his age as anywhere from 24 to 28 and claiming he was last seen in either a red car or a white truck. I think the vehicle discrepancy may be related to the unconfirmed sighting after he left Pendleton but I’m not sure. I’d love to get his actual date of birth from somewhere. NamUs said he was 26 to 27 years old, and I picked 27, because of the age of his older son, who was eight years old when he disappeared. Though it is by no means unheard of or even terribly uncommon for 24-year-old to have an eight-year-old child. Who knows? Not me.
Meanwhile, for Cynthia Ramirez Rico, her NamUs page says she disappeared on June 30, 1987, but the Abilene Crime Stoppers page listed the year as 1983. That issue was settled when I looked at the “investigating agency” section on NamUs and it said her case got entered into the computer on February 23, 1987 — that is, before her alleged date of disappearance. 1983 it was, then. But her age was a bigger mystery, because Crime Stoppers said she was 20 but NamUs said she was 25 to 26. Even given the date discrepancy that didn’t make sense. However, both NamUs and Crime Stoppers give her current age as 53, which would make her year of birth 1963 or 1964. To this end I decided to list her age as 20, because that would make sense with the 1983 year of disappearance.
Cynthia Rico disappeared from a group home for mentally disabled adults. It’s likely that she lived there, meaning it’s likely she was mentally disabled, but because I don’t know that for sure, I didn’t say she was. I just explained about the group home and left readers to draw their own conclusions.