Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: William Gu

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 William Gu, a 22-year-old City University of New York student who disappeared from Brooklyn on March 7, 2013. I’m not sure of his ancestry but Wikipedia says his surname is either Chinese or Korean.

William was supposed to meet a friend on Staten Island, but never showed up, and his car was found wrecked and abandoned in Somerset, New Jersey. His disappearance is especially worrying because William had a traumatic brain injury (TBI) which causes “depression, paranoia, minor hallucinations and psychotic behaviors.”

William’s disappearance reminds me a lot of the disappearance of Sean Sidi, another young Asian man with a TBI who disappeared just two and a half months later, albeit on the opposite coast.

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Thinking aloud about this case

So a case I added yesterday, Niija Council, is a “few details” case, but I had plenty of photos, including pics of her tattoos, from Niija’s Facebook page. (She also put a photo of herself on a page called Team Bisexual. Maybe I could profile Niija for Pride Month in June.)

The thing is, Niija has posts on her Facebook from AFTER her official date of disappearance, September 1.

I don’t know whether September 1 was the date she was last physically seen by anyone, or if they just mean she was last seen sometime in September, or what. On September 11 she made four posts:

niijafacebook

Later in the month she changed her profile picture multiple times, the last time on September 23. The comments on her September 16 profile picture change indicate people were pretty worried about her:

niijafacebook2

So I dunno what was going on there. It’s a struggle to piece what exactly happened from what I’ve got to work with. I hope Niija is alive and well somewhere.

Incidentally, I wish I could read the words tattooed on her neck and chest. I posted pictures of them on her casefile but I can’t tell what they say. Here’s larger photos below (the neck picture is from before she added the stars and squiggles) if you want to help me out:

niijanecktattoo

niijachesttattoo

A bunch of no-body homicide updates

So I re-posted all the Corpus Delicti lists last night and today (it’s been forever I know) and I took the chance to go through Not Concluded/Unknown Outcomes again to find out some of those outcomes.

The result is fifteen updated cases.

  • Cynthia Linda Alonzo: Eric Mora pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, got eleven years.
  • Abigail Estrada: Ruben Torres pleaded guilty to murder, got eighteen years but could be out in ten.
  • Cari Lea Farver: Shanna Golyer was found guilty, got life without parole plus 18 to 20 years for an unrelated arson.
  • Jarrod Devlin Green: Brandon Wheeler’s charges were dropped for lack of evidence.
  • Alice Kristina Wehr Hummel: Bruce Hummel was tried and convicted of the murder a second time, but an appeals court overturned his second conviction and he cannot be retried.
  • Charles Edward “Mississippi” Johnson: David Lint pleaded no contest to criminal homicide, got seven to fifteen years.
  • Zachary Matthew Malinowski: No conclusion yet, but suspect Javon Gibbs (allegedly) murdered someone else while out on bail in Malinowski’s murder.
  • Bernadine M. Montgomery: Tracie Naffziger pleaded no contest to being an accessory second-degree murder after the fact. She will testify against David Mariotti, whose trial is supposed to be early next month.
  • Sara Jo Mowrey: After alleged misconduct by the prosecution, Michael Baker pleaded guilty to solicitation to commit murder and being an accessory after the fact to murder, and got three years instead of the life sentence he’d have gotten if convicted of the original charges.
  • Catherine E. Nelson and Charles Martin Russell: Brian Ferry’s trial was early this year. The jury couldn’t reach a verdict and there was a mistrial.
  • Heath Riley Reams: Amanda Sanders-Bolstad pleaded guilty to manslaughter and got 25 years, with 20 suspended, but the prosecution is trying to get her suspended sentence revoked because she moved without telling the police.
  • Bret R. Snow: More details have been released about the crime and two additional suspects have been charged. Alvaro Guajardo is charged with murder, and Cheryl Sutton with kidnapping, conspiracy to commit murder, and leading organized crime.
  • Aaron Lamar Turner: One suspect, Bryan Byrd pleaded guilty to third-degree murder and got 20 to 40 years. (Also found an article about how Bryan was an academic star in high school and seen as a really great kid who had risen above his poverty and single-parent childhood, then he ruined his life in one weekend.) The second suspect, LaQuanta Chapman, was convicted and sentenced to death, but the sentence was overturned four years later and he got life instead. A third suspect has been identified, but has never faced charges. I think it’s because Chapman isn’t saying boo and they only have Byrd’s testimony to put the man at the scene. Also, not-very-fun fact: Chapman shot one of his dogs dead and dismembered the body in his attempt to cover up Aaron’s murder.
  • Rebecca Ann Ware: Timothy Johnson pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and got nineteen years, with credit for three years’ time served.

Black History Month: Kael Johnson

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 Kael Johnson, a 36-year-old dental student who disappeared from Las Vegas on February 15, 2013.

Johnson had gotten straight A’s and told his roommate he was going out to celebrate. He was last seen withdrawing some money from an ATM at a 7-11. He never returned home and never registered for more classes at the dental school. Thirteen days later, his truck was found abandoned on the 210-acre Wetlands Park Nature Preserve in Clark County.

This case intrigues me and I really wish I knew more about Johnson’s disappearance. He doesn’t seem to have had any reason to walk out of his life. The possibility that he went for a walk on the nature preserve’s trails and got into some kind of mishap also seems remote; he left his wallet and phone inside his truck, and it seems like he would have taken at least the phone along with him.

MP of the week: Whitney Sanders

This week’s featured missing person is Whitney Nicole Sanders, a 21-year-old woman who was last seen in Jacksonville, Florida during the early morning hours on September 20, 2013. I don’t have a lot on this case, but Whitney was the victim of an earlier crime that could be related to her disappearance: she was robbed and beaten a month before she was last seen, and the police had still not arrested anyone. Her mom theorizes that whoever robbed her might have been involved in her case.

MP of the week: Edward “Ashton” Stubbs

This week’s featured missing person is Edward Ashton Stubbs, who goes by his middle name. He was less than a week shy of his 16th birthday when he walked away from his summer job in Dickinson, North Dakota and vanished on June 17, 2013.

Most agencies classify Ashton as a runaway. His family was quoted as saying he had health issues. I can’t figure out what those issues were, but I’m wondering if they were mental health issues rather than physical, since he was working a construction job and laying drywall. But I don’t know.

If Ashton is still alive, and I hope he is, he’d be 20 years old by now.

More tattoo muttergrumbling

NamUs has posted a new case which I already had on Charley, that of Latrice Belton. The NamUs casefile has more info, including another photo of Latrice and info about her tattoos. But as ever, the information about the tattoos is kind of ambiguous.

The tattoo section reads thusly:

tattoo right leg “Lebaron” and “Larry Ross”
tattoo right leg – heart

That doesn’t sound confusing, but then I saw this photo of one(?) of Latrice’s tattoos in the photo section. The photo would suggest that the “Lebaron” and the “heart” tattoos are not separate tattoos, but rather components of a single tattoo. You know, since the photo shows a heart with “LeBaron” on it.

Given the text info and the picture I can see as many as three possibilities:

  1. There are two tattoos, one of a heart with “LeBaron” on it and one reading “Larry Ross”
  2. There are two tattoos, one of the heart with “LeBaron” on it and one reading “LeBaron and Larry Ross”
  3. There are three tattoos, one of the heart with “LeBaron” on it, one reading “LeBaron”, and one reading “Larry Ross”

I hate having to do guesswork like this.