The latest MWAB news

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?

Let’s talk about it: Zaylee Fryar

Zaylee Grace Fryar would have turned seven years old in January, assuming she’s still alive. She’s been missing from Millersville, Tennessee since the age of three and a half months.

Late in the evening May 1, 2011, Zaylee’s mom, Shauna Fryar, took her out, supposedly to go to the store, but probably to buy drugs. Shauna can’t have planned to stay out long, because she left everything behind, including Zaylee’s diaper bag — I’m given to understand that’s a kind of essential item when you’re dealing with an infant. In any case, mother and daughter never returned.

(I need to insert a word here about Shauna’s domestic situation: she was married and the mother of eight children, but most of them, including Zaylee, weren’t her husband’s. They both saw other people and were on more of a friendship basis with each other. Shauna’s husband was at the hospital when Zaylee was born, and invited them to crash at his place as they were homeless. Zaylee’s biological father was in jail at the time Shauna and Zaylee disappeared.)

Five days later, Shauna’s body was pulled out of the Cumberland River in Nashville, less than twenty miles south of Millersville. For a very long time the cops had nothing to say about her death, the cause, anything. It wasn’t until 2015 that they finally disclosed she’d been the victim of a homicide and they thought she’d been killed in Millersville and dumped in Nashville. They also said they had suspects. They haven’t said anything more since then.

So what happened to Zaylee? No one appears to know.

Usually, in circumstances like these, the women are killed FOR their babies. Andre Bryant‘s is a good example of that; two women lured his mom away with him, killed her and vanished with the baby. In homicides where the woman just happens to have her baby with her, the killers tend to either leave alive it at the crime scene or abandon it alive somewhere. (I’ve got a couple of cases where women have disappeared and their babies turned up abandoned: Norma Morales, Kimberly Palmer, etc. I tend to assume if that happens there’s a very good chance the woman is dead.) Rarely do they also kill the baby; I mean, it’s not like it would be able to testify against them in court.

Shauna’s drug habit and the circumstances of her disappearance would seem to indicate her murder was probably drug-related, but I have no idea whether there’s any actual evidence to support this because, like I said, the police haven’t said much. It’s possible Shauna was killed for an entirely different reason. But even if it was a drug-related homicide, that doesn’t mean Zaylee isn’t still out there, perhaps having been sold for drugs. I mean, she was adorable, and healthy infants do have some street value.

Sadly, I think it’s also possible she could have been put in the Cumberland River with her mother. Three-month-old girls tend to weigh only 12 to 14 pounds. A body that size would be easy to miss.

So what do you think happened to Zaylee? Is it likely that she’s still alive? Let’s talk about it.

MP of the week: Jason Macias

This week’s featured missing person is Jason Richard Macias, who disappeared from El Paso, Texas on August 30, 2011, at the age of 23. He left all his belongings behind, including his car, but nothing has been said about his passport, which probably would have needed if he was going to cross the border into Mexico. Macias was a frequent traveler to that country, but I don’t know if he went there after he disappeared.

If he is still alive, Macias would be 28 today. He’s quite tall — six foot five — and has the name “Martha” tattooed on his arm.

Arrest in Aliayah Lunsford’s disappearance

Breaking news today: the mother of little Aliayah Paige Lunsford (whose name is pronounced ah-LEE-ah, btw), who disappeared in 2011 at the age of three, has been charged with child abuse causing death in her daughter’s disappearance. Lena Lunsford was arrested in Florida and will not fight extradition back to West Virginia.

That this has turned into a murder-without-a-body case is not surprising; Lena had been the prime suspect in Aliayah’s disappearance all along and the police had said they didn’t believe she had been abducted. Lena was pregnant with twins at the time of Aliayah’s disappearance and had four other children; she permanently lost custody of all six kids in the aftermath of Aliayah’s disappearance.

If you look at the photos of Aliayah — I’ve got six of them — she always looks unhappy. One of them, in some versions, had been Photoshopped to remove the large bruise on her cheek; I posted the original.

I can only hope that Aliayah’s siblings are leading happy lives now and that the family will get some answers out of Lena at last.

Articles:

 

Erica Parsons’s body found

A Charley Project Irregular who is also a Facebook friend messaged me within fifteen minutes of the news breaking: they’ve found the body of Erica Parsons. As of this writing, very little information has been made public, but we know that Sandy Parsons, Erica’s sorry excuse for an adoptive father, lead the police to her remains. Erica’s parents never reported her missing; her older brother did, twenty months after the last time he saw her.

I’ve blogged about Erica’s case several times, the last time in 2014. You can read the details of her dreadful home life and “morally bankrupt” parents on her Charley Project casefile. She was tiny: at thirteen years old she was less than four and a half feet tall. There’s reason to believe her growth was stunted due to malnutrition.

Both Sandy Parsons and Casey Parsons, Erica’s mother, are in prison right now for fraud, because they collected benefits from the government for Erica after she was no longer in their care.

When the cops identify whoever is responsible for Erica’s disappearance and death — and I think we all have a pretty good idea who did this — I can only hope they get the book thrown at them.

Select It Sunday: Marble Arvidson

This was suggested by Liza E. way back in January: Marble Ace Arvidson, 17, missing from Brattleboro, Vermont on August 27, 2011.

Marble was classified as a special needs child, but I’m not exactly sure what his special needs were. He was in foster care, but it doesn’t seem to have been a “typical” foster home:  this article says, “Marble lived with a mentor — a legal guardian in his 20s — along with another teenager and that teen’s mentor.” He had some emotional problems and issues with aggression, but he was considered high-functioning and planned to attend college. One of the schools he was looking at was the University of Vermont, and I know you need to be a good student with above-average test scores to get in there.

His case is a strange one because he appears to have simply dropped off the face of the earth. There’s some suggestion that he might have drowned in Hurricane Irene, which was causing raging floods in the area at the time, and that would certainly explain things, but there’s no actual evidence to support this theory as far as I know.

My friend Sean Munger blogged about Marble’s case in 2013. There was an article about Marble published last month, mentioning that it’s now been five years since his disappearance.

MP of the week: April Neider

This week’s featured missing person is April Rene Neider, a 27-year-old mother of two who disappeared on October 25, 2011 from the town of Pollock Pines in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California.

Other than “suspicious circumstances”, I’ve got doodly squat on April’s disappearance. I can’t find any press coverage at all, only a Websleuths thread and a Facebook page her family made.