This week’s featured missing person is Jonathan Chase Franklin, a 25-year-old man who disappeared from Eureka, Missouri on May 31, 2013.
The circumstances suggest he drowned: he was last seen wearing a swimsuit, at a beach on the Missouri River. I never found any news articles about him, though.
[Yeah, so this was supposed to go up yesterday but somehow it didn’t. I am putting it up now. My apologies.]
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 three cases: Yessenia Ivette Suarez, age 38, and her children, nine-year-old Thala Ivette Otto and eight-year-old Michael Elijah Otto, who was addressed by his middle name. They were last seen alive in Deltona, Floria on October 22, 2013.
We know what happened in this case, but this woman and children’s bodies have never been found. Luis Toledo, Yessenia’s husband and the children’s stepfather, murdered them in a horrific act of violence, then coerced a neighbor into helping him clean up the crime scene. After his arrest he tried to blame that same neighbor for the murders, but that didn’t go anywhere. For some reason, he was spared the death penalty when he was convicted.
It’s such a tragic story and such a waste. You might read it and think “if only Yessenia had pressed charges against him for the fight they had earlier that day” or “if only Yessenia had spent the night at her mom’s like she’d initially planned” and so on. But the real “if only” should be “if only Luis Toledo hadn’t done these awful things.”
In hearing stories about domestic violence people often ask why women stay. The real question ought to be why the men are so violent to them. Some people talk about anger management issues or whatever, but these men often have no problem controlling their anger in the workplace, with their friends, etc. It is a deliberate choice that they take it out on their wives and girlfriends.
So I wrote a blog entry on the WordPress app on my phone last night about latest missing persons news. But then the entry refused to upload, no matter how many times I tried to get it to. It wasn’t online at all, only on my phone, so I couldn’t even use my computer to upload it. Grr. Lot of time wasted. Now I will try my best to recreate it.
Some cold case missing persons have been resolved:
- Edward “Ashton” Stubbs disappeared from Dickinson, North Dakota on June 17, 2013, a few days before his sixteenth birthday. He was from Texas and had gone up to North Dakota to stay with a cousin and work a summer job. He disappeared from his job site. Ashton’s skull was found on private property in Dickinson in December. It has just been identified. His death is under investigation.
- Sheila Sherrell Franks, age 37, disappeared from Eureka, California on February 2, 2014. A woman of similar appearance, Danielle Bertolini, had disappeared a few days earlier, and people thought their cases might be connected. In 2015, Danielle’s skull was found in the Eel River. Now Sheila’s remains have been identified; her femur, or part of it, turned up in June, near the mouth of the Eel River. Unlike Danielle’s death, Sheila’s death has not (yet) been labeled a homicide, but it is considered “suspicious.”
- Jo Anne Dolly Burmer has been identified, forty-six years after the 25-year-old disappeared in 1973. A fragment of her skull was found in 1993, but it wasn’t until 2017 that it was entered into the DNA database, and it wasn’t until now that there was a match. As nothing else has been found or is likely to be, probably we will never know what caused her death, but I wonder about exposure. This article is very detailed and talks about Jo Anne’s background and her son, who was put in foster care after her disappearance and later adopted by another family.
Some other news:
- The police have a new lead on the possible identity of “Beth Doe”, a young pregnant woman who was raped and brutally murdered in 1976. Her body was dismembered, stuffed in three suitcases and thrown off a bridge into the Lehigh River in Pennsylvania. They think it’s possible that Beth Doe may be Madelyn “Maggie” Cruz, a sixteen-year-old foster child who ran away. They’re trying to find relatives of this Maggie Cruz to get DNA from them to test. I think it’s a long shot.
- Georgia “Nadine” Kirk‘s son Ted has been sentenced to 15 months in federal prison for stealing his mom’s Social Security benefits after her disappearance and presumed death. Nadine was 98 years old and in poor health in 2010, the last time anyone saw her. She was reported missing in 2015, and Ted was unable to explain her absence. It seems likely that she simply died of age-related natural causes and Ted, who hadn’t worked since 1980, disposed of her body and kept cashing her checks. Fifteen months in prison, and $30k restitution, seems light, given the circumstances, and the fact that $80k in total was taken from taxpayers. Nadine’s body has never been found.
- Bernard Brown, the ex-boyfriend of Moreira “Mo” Monsalve, has been charged with her murder. Moreira disappeared from Hawaii in 2014. Her body hasn’t been found and they haven’t said much about the case against Brown, but it seems likely it’ll be circumstantial and possibly include cell phone ping evidence. Murder-without-a-body cases aren’t that common in Hawaii (or anywhere) but other examples include Bongak “Jackie” Koja in 1997, Masumi Watanabe in 2007, and of course Peter Kema in 2017.
- Nancy Beaumont has died at age 92, 53 years after her children Jane, Arnna and Grant disappeared at the respective ages of nine, seven and four. The Beaumont children have never been found and their disappearance is one of the most famous unsolved mysteries in Australia’s history. Their father, Grant “Jim” Beaumont, is alive, but is also in his nineties and I think it’s unlikely he will find answers on this side of the mortal plane.
- The police have released a new sketch of one of Christine Eastin‘s abductors, based off of a recent witness description. I think that’s a reeaaaallly long shot. It’s a rough drawing, this witness’s memory is by now almost fifty years old, and at the time they apparently didn’t realize the significance of what they saw and so they probably took little notice of it. Christine disappeared in 1971 at the age of 19.
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 Hee Chol Kim, a 61-year-old man who disappeared from East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania on February 25, 2013.
He left home that afternoon, apparently to go for a walk, and never returned. He had diabetes, had a history of becoming disoriented and wandering, and didn’t speak good English, so I don’t have a lot of hope for him.
If he’s still alive, which I think is unlikely, he’d be about 67 today.
Victoria Lynn Prokopovitz has been missing from Pittsfield, Wisconsin for six years and counting. Her daughter, Marsha Loritz, was the one who started those missing persons event I go to every year. Marsha is a very sweet person, just lovely. She cries when she talks about her mother’s disappearance.
Well, it looks like answers may finally be coming, because yesterday, Vicki’s husband, James, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder and perjury. James’s girlfriend, Kathryn Friday, whom he started seeing just a month after Vicki vanished, was charged with perjury and obstructing an officer.
This isn’t really a surprise; James had been a suspect in his wife’s disappearance for awhile now. I don’t know whether I should be happy or sad for Marsha. James had been her stepfather since she was a kid and I’m sure she hoping someone else was responsible for whatever happened to her mom. She always said she didn’t know what happened and just wanted to find out, find her mother.
I hope James confesses, pleads guilty and discloses the location of Vicki’s body without any further BS. Not only is he a murderer, but he basically tortured Marsha and her sister and the rest of the family for the past six years by not letting them know what happened.
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 Maureen Leianuhea Kelly, a 19-year-old Pacific Islander woman who disappeared from the Gifford Pinchot National Forest in Washington on June 9, 2013.
Maureen told her friends she was going on a “spiritual quest” and to that end she removed all her clothes and walked off into the woods wearing only a fanny pack carrying some very basic wilderness supplies. She never returned. Her friends waited ten or twelve hours to report her missing.
My guess is she’s still in the forest, perhaps very near to the spot where she went missing. Temperatures that night dipped into the low forties; without any clothes on, she could easily have died of exposure.
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 Roland Elton Woodall Sconawah, a 23-year-old man who disappeared from Lyle, Washington on November 21, 2013.
I don’t know his tribe or, indeed, anything else about him or his disappearance; it’s a “few details” one. I looked up his surname and discovered several Yakama people with that name; perhaps Roland is Yakama too, but I’m not sure.
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 Michial David Annamitta Jr., who disappeared from Sawyer, Minnesota on November 23, 2013, at the age of 22.
I don’t have much on Annamitta’s disappearance, but it’s noted that he frequented the Twin Cities area of Minnesota. Sawyer is an unincorporated community on the edge of the Fond du Lac Indian Reservation, where the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa live, but I don’t know if Annamitta is a Chippewa.
He has both mental health and substance abuse issues; the two often go hand in hand. I found his Facebook page and was able to add some more photos from that. His final post (the final public one, anyway) is from three months before his disappearance:
The circumstances of Michial Annamitta’s disappearance are unclear. If still alive, he’d be 27 years old today.
In honor of Pride Month I’m featuring a lesbian, gay, transgender or queer missing person every day for the month of June. Today’s case is Evon Young, a transgender man who disappeared from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on New Years’ Day, 2013, at the age of 22. Born female, Evon changed his birth name of Ebony to Evon when he transitioned.
Evon was the victim of a brutal homicide; they never found the body, hence his listing on Charley. Transgender people, particularly transgender people of color, are at high risk to become victims of violent crime, but it turns out none of Evon’s five killers were aware of his status. It was a gang-related killing.
His body is thought to be in a landfill, probably unrecoverable at this point.
In honor of Pride Month I’m featuring a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer missing person every day for the month of June. Today’s case is Niija Navea Council, a 20-year-old mother who disappeared from Philadelphia in September 2013. According to her social media, she is bisexual.
I only added Niija to the Charley Project this spring and the circumstances of her disappearance are very unclear to me. Her file on my site gives the date of disappearance as September 1; this was the date provided by all official sources I could see.
However, as I blogged in April, there is something more to the story than “last seen on September 1” and I really don’t know what the heck is going on with this one.
I feel her Charley Project casefile is incomplete at best and probably misleading but I never know how to treat social media as a source, particularly when its info contradicts that given by law enforcement.
As ever, I invite and appreciate input and further digging from you, my fine readers, without whom this blog would serve no purpose.