MP of the week: Manuel Estrada

This week’s featured missing person is Manuel Enrique Estrada, a 79-year-old recent immigrant to the U.S. (from what county, I don’t know) who disappeared from Chino, California on September 18, 2012. He apparently just left the house one day, perhaps for one of the long walks he liked to take, and never returned. He didn’t suffer from dementia or anything like that, but I don’t have much on this case.

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What about this headline?

Eight years ago I wrote a blog entry about potentially problematic headlines for articles about missing persons and crime victims. That is, headlines that point out info about the MP or suspect that might be seen as shaming them. I was reminded of this entry cause I just found another such headline:

Police seek missing cross-dresser from Jennings

I’m inclined to let this headline go. The fact that Eddie Johnson was a cross-dresser was news to me until I saw the article. And he was, apparently, wearing a woman’s kind of wig when he disappeared, though I can’t tell from the clothing description whether they were women’s clothes or not. The inevitable possibility is that he was the victim of a hate crime and that’s why he’s missing.

That’s all.

MP of the week: Patrice Smith

This week’s featured missing person is Patrice Lynae Smith, a 28-year-old missing from Little Rock, Arkansas since March 24, 2012. She was last seen in the company of Michael Curtis Robinson, her abusive boyfriend. She had an order of protection against him and he sounds like a general dirt bag.

Suspiciously, Michael Robinson disappeared at the same time Patrice Smith did, and later turned up without her. He was in prison last I knew though he might be out by now.

MP of the week: Shaun Thornhill

This week’s featured missing person is Shaun Thornhill, who was last seen in St. Francisville, Louisiana on January 23, 2012. Thornhill had come to town looking for work, but got arrested for public intoxication and spent the night of January 20/21 in jail. He bonded out the next day and stayed in a local hotel for the next two days and possibly a third; they’re not sure. On January 23, his pickup truck was found abandoned in Adams County, Mississippi with all his stuff inside.

I can’t say what happened to Shaun Thornhill, of course, but I don’t think it was anything good. I tend to suspect that anyone who left behind all their belongings, particularly their car, has probably come into some trouble. If he wanted to leave on his own he would have needed transportation to wherever he was going.

Congratulations to my friend Dan S. for solving a cold case

Dan S., a Florida journalist and Friend Of My Youth, found Juanita Bardin the other day. If the link to her casefile is broken (I’m planning on taking it down later today), Juanita disappeared from Vidor, Texas on May 17, 1993, at the age of 49.

Dan simply entered Juanita’s name into Google and poof, found her: a person with the same name and date of birth died in King County, Washington in 2012 and was buried in a common grave for the indigent.

He asked me to call it in for him, so I did. Confirmation came yesterday afternoon: it’s her. I talked to the Vidor police chief and he said he’d verified it by the tattoos.

Juanita has no family to grieve the loss/celebrate the finding. The closest relative the police chief could find was her ex-husband. She had one child, the daughter mentioned in the casefile, but her daughter died years ago — before Juanita did, and apparently without issue — so there’s no one left.

But at least she wasn’t murdered by Tommy Lynn Sells or anyone else, and at least the cops can stop looking for her.

Go Dan! *claps*

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?

Isabel Celis found dead

Isabel Mercedes Celis, who disappeared five years ago next month, has been found deceased in the remote Arizona desert. Somehow I missed this earlier today when I was checking out the latest MP news. Someone just messaged me about it now.

A few articles: