MP of the week: Jeremy Ashley

I hope everyone had a good Labor Day weekend. Mine wasn’t the best; I’m anxious about the political situation and the pandemic situation and my coming wedding. At this point, planning this ceremony is basically trying to make the best of a bad situation: we can’t have the party we want because we don’t want to kill anybody, and it’s a matter of trying to salvage what we can. Which is awful, but there’s nothing to be done.

This week’s featured missing person is Jeremy Dewayne Ashley, a 29-year-old man who disappeared from the seaside town of Trinidad in Humboldt County, California on November 11, 2017. He was hiking with a friend when he slipped and fell into the ocean, and got pulled out to sea.

Ashley’s case isn’t exactly a mystery, but his body has never been found, and if it washes up somewhere it would be nice if it could be identified.

MP of the week: Stratis Elmore

This week’s featured missing person is Stratis Elias Elmore, a nineteen-year-old young man of Greek and Hispanic descent who disappeared from Roseville, California on October 19, 2017.

It’s unclear whether his disappearance was a suicide, or a faked suicide. He was facing criminal charges at the time of his disappearance and he had a record, and the police think he might just have done a runner, but his mom thinks he might be dead. In any case, three years is a long time for a teenager to drop completely under the radar.

A bad photo is better than none at all (and other thoughts on recent updates)

Just added Amanda Elise Southern to Charley. The 28-year-old woman disappeared from a nightclub in Catahoula Parish, Louisiana 26 years ago. Unfortunately the only photo I could find of her is absolutely terrible, but what can you do?

Reading the articles about how her ex tried to SELL THEIR KIDS (albeit to their grandparents) after her disappearance, I was struck by how much confidentiality and privacy norms have changed in the past few decades.

I can understand publicizing the kids’ information because for awhile they were missing. (When Amanda’s parents refused to pay for custody of the children, the dad took off with them and was on the lam for over a month.) But then when in the articles talking about how they were found, there was all sorts of information about the children and what they had been through, including the fact that they were believed to have been sexually abused. That kind of thing would not be published in the newspaper today.

I hope the kids are all right. I think Amanda’s parents got custody of them after they were found with their father. It seems super unlikely that she would have just walked away, what with one of the kids having disabilities, her parents living out of state and the children’s father overseas.

Some other random thinking-out-loud stuff:

  • I am not sure that Courtney Corrinna Holden is really white. She is pretty dark-skinned and looks more likely to be Hispanic or maybe Native American. Certainly I’ve seen mistakes in this area before. She is adopted, but one article mentions that she was in touch with her biological brother, so it seems like this is something the police should know for sure. Shrug.
    In any case, her story is incredibly sad. Especially the details about her family nickname “Cinderella” and her son calling his grandmother “mom” and his uncle “dad.” The articles I read said her son even did this before Courtney went missing. I cannot imagine how sad and scared and trapped Courtney must have felt, and I doubt she’s alive today.
  • The guy Melissa Ann Jordon was last seen with is SERIOUSLY bad news. Judges see a lot of crazy stuff and I was stuck by that judge saying Mr. Nesbitt was one of the most violent and dangerous criminals she’d ever encountered in her career. The “felon in possession of a firearm” thing was something he pled down to, by the way; the original incident involved him breaking into his ex-wife’s house and holding her at gunpoint.
    Given how long his sentence is, I wonder if the authorities have ever tried to sit down with him since he was imprisoned, pointed out he doesn’t have much to lose, and asked him to tell what happened to Melissa. I’m sure he knows.
    (Melissa’s NamUs photo, btw, is a high school yearbook photo and almost ten years out of date. That’s why I didn’t use it, as I found a more current pic in Newspapers.)
  • I dunno what I would do without Facebook as a source for recent cases. Okay, I do know what I’d do, I’d put up the cases, but there would be a lot less info. The case of Melissa Rose Ann Garrett is a great example; her daughter posted a bunch of photos of her and more info about her disappearance. Sad story. The daughter seems to suspect Melissa’s boyfriend may have been involved. Anne Marie Hubbert is another case where most of the pictures and some of the other info came from Facebook; Anne’s page and her daughter’s.
  • Shakeeta Young disappeared just a few months after her nineteen-year-old son died. I found a few “RIP” posts on Facebook from some of the young man’s friends but no mention of a cause of death. I wonder if Shakeeta’s disappearance is in some way related. It’s very sad for their family, just bad luck all around there.

Native American Heritage Month: Sally Hines

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 Sally Ann Hines, a 58-year-old Seaconke Wampanoag woman who disappeared from San Antonio, Texas on December 14, 2017. The Seaconke Wampanoags are from Rhode Island.

I found this flier from the Facebook group Missing and Taken Indigenous People that has a little more info about her, including a photo of her in the clothes she was last seen wearing, and the fact that she has breast implants.

hines

Sally has multiple health problems including PTSD, bipolar disorder and a liver transplant. She needs daily medication to keep her body from rejecting her donor liver. Because of this I don’t see how she could still be alive. If she is alive she must be in VERY bad shape. She would be about 60 today.

Native American Heritage Month: Daniel Guyton

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 Daniel Lydell Guyton, who was 38 when he disappeared from Green Bay, Wisconsin on November 15, 2017. I do not have tribal information for him.

It sounds like Guyton just left on his own: he told his employer he was moving out of state. However, given his disabilities — schizophrenia and brittle bone disease — and his arrest history, it’s surprising and concerning that he hasn’t had any contact at all with law enforcement (or, apparently, doctors) since 2017.

On his Facebook page (which also hasn’t been updated since 2017) he calls himself Lakwaun Avarius.

National Hispanic Heritage Month: Enrique Garibay Ruiz

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 Enrique Garibay Ruiz, a 51-year-old who disappeared from Los Angeles, California on October 5, 2017. Two years ago, less a day.

Garibay Ruiz is originally from Mexico, and he traveled to Hungary for college and decided to stay. He lived there with his wife and two kids and had some pretty prestigious jobs: professor, nuclear physicist, mathematician and writer.

He went to Los Angeles for vacation and disappeared on the day he was supposed to fly back. He called his wife and said he was on standby for his return flight, but that doesn’t make sense to me — surely if that was the case, he would have returned his rental car, and he didn’t. In fact the car has never been found. So Garibay Ruiz was lying? If so, why?

He never made his flight and was never seen again. The last sign of him is on October 6, when his credit card was used at a restaurant.

From what I can see it looks like a voluntary disappearance, but it’s entirely on the cards that there’s a lot more going on here that I’m just unaware of.

National Hispanic Heritage Month: Tymayrra Ayala

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 Tymayrra Patricia Marie Ayala, who disappeared from Phoenix, Arizona on August 28, 2017, at the age of fifteen.

She is classified as a runaway. Her Facebook page was active until at least February 2018, several months after her disappearance, though I can only see the profile photos. It looks like she has an arrest record, as several of the available pics of her appear to be mug shots.

Tymayrra is 18 now. I hope she gets in touch with her family, or at least the authorities, soon.

One murder trial ends while another begins

Brendt Christensen has been convicted of the murder of 26-year-old doctoral student Yingying Zhang, whose body has never been found.

Of course Yingying’s Charley Project casefile has the basics. I also recommend this Washington Post article, which links to a partial transcript of the trial. And there’s plenty of other news articles about this available.

There remains the punishment phase: LWOP, or the death penalty? (The state of Illinois abolished the death penalty in 2011, but because Brendt was tried in federal court he can be executed.) The defense’s primary objective, as they said from the outset of the trial, is to save Brendt from the death penalty. I have a hard time imagining how they’re going to accomplish this.

Given the recorded confession and the blood found at Brendt’s apartment, the defense in this case is waging an uphill battle with a 50mph wind in their faces. But even so, their argument strikes me as pathetically weak: Brendt totally isn’t a vile human being and would-be (or, perhaps, actual) serial killer, not at all! He only kidnapped, raped, murdered and decapitated a complete stranger because he was depressed and flunking out of college and felt like a failure!

To which I say: SO WHAT? Lots of people are depressed. I’ve been depressed since I was in middle school. Lots of people flunk out of college. Most people feel like a failure at some point in their life. That isn’t an excuse to go out and murder some poor woman you don’t even know.

In other news, yesterday John Bayerl’s murder trial began in Wisconsin (which happens to be Brendt Christensen’s home state). John’s wife, DonaMae, disappeared in 1979 and was never seen again. Suspicion hovered over him for decades before he was finally arrested early this year.

I’m a bit surprised they’re going to trial so quickly; in most murder cases (as in Yingying’s) years pass between arrest and trial. But John is 79 and not getting any younger; I suppose he’s hoping they’ll acquit him and he can return to his retirement home in Florida and die on a beach instead of in jail.

John is another absolute turd and I firmly believe he killed his wife. I just hope the prosecution can prove it.

MP of the week: Mia Patterson

This week’s featured missing person is Mia Lynn Patterson, a 26-year-old woman missing from Detroit, Michigan since May 30, 2017.

I don’t have much on her, but curiously, Mia’s cousin, Carlita Yvette Gentry Lohmeier, also disappeared from Detroit and was never found. The women disappeared years apart and as far as I know there’s no evidence to connect the two cases.

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: Ai Adams

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 Ai Adams, a 38-year-old Japanese-American woman who disappeared from Beaver, Alaska on May 20, 2017.

Her fate is known: she, her husband Clifford, and another person were on the Yukon River when their boat capsized. Ai and Clifford never made it to shore, but their friend was wearing a life jacket and she survived. Clifford’s body didn’t turn up for a month. Ai’s was never found.

I actually have a friend who has a friend who knew the Adamses. In addition, Ai was photographed and quoted for this New York Times article which came out just months before her death. She sounds like a very brave person, to have taken the enormous leap from the megalopolis of Tokyo to living off the land in northern Alaska.

“Life is just once,” she told the New York Times reporter.