MP news roundup from around the world

KPVI News has run a story on Jon Clair Barrett, who’s been missing from Idaho since 2008. It looks like this will be first in a series on Idaho missing persons.

A body found in Dixie County, Florida in 1976 has been identified as James Berkeley Norris II, age 24, who’d been missing since 1974. It looks like he was killed shortly after his family last heard from him.

The Texas House of Representatives has passed a bill mandating an Amber Alert for mentally disabled missing adults. Right now, the Amber Alert applies only for children 17 and under. The bill must be passed by the Senate and signed by the governor before it becomes law.

There are now AP photos of Edward Bryant and Austin Bryant, Colorado’s versions of Adam Herrman. The press is now speculating openly about murder, and the police admit they don’t have much hope of finding the children alive. Edward would now be 18, and Austin would be 15.

The body of Allen Lee Mosier, who disappeared from a Native American reservation in Washington in 2006, has been located in Shelton, Washington. A tree-thinning crew found him. The cause of death hasn’t been determined and the police haven’t said whether they suspect foul play. Mosier was 32 years old.

And down in Australia, some suspects have been named in the 1978 disappearance of Trudie Adams, who was 18.

There’s an article about Lamarst Alexander Porter Jr., an 18-year-old who was abducted and shot in 2003. His body was never found but evidence at the kidnap scene indicates he was almost certainly killed. Who abducted him, and why, remains a mystery. The article doesn’t really say anything new, but it’s good that this strange case got some more publicity.

The same paper also did an article on Kala Nwana, whose non-custodial mother took him to Cameroon in 2003. He was a year old at the time. According to the article, Kala’s mom returned to the US a month later without him; she apparently left him with relatives in the city of Douala. There hasn’t been any news of him since 2005. Cameroon is on the west coast in sub-Saharan Africa. It’s a very poor country without good health care. Kala apparently developed a growth on his head after he arrived there, and his father’s side of the family has a history of brain tumors and polyps.

I was sent this month-old article about Taj Narbonne. It provides many additional details about his disappearance. I wish the authorities had looked harder at his stepfather back when he disappeared in 1981. The case will be that much harder to solve now, if they can do it at all.

15 years of Amber Alerts

As several articles around the country have noted, this month is the 15th anniversary of the abduction and murder of nine-year-old Amber Hagerman from Arlington, Texas. She was kidnapped in broad daylight while riding her bicycle, apparently by a stranger, and found dead four days later. Evidence showed she had been kept alive for two days after the abduction. Her murder remains unsolved to this day.

Amber’s death, of course, lead to the now-ubiquitous Amber Alert program named for her, short for America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response. Info for an abducted child is automatically put out on radios, TV, highway signs, online, etc, for the public to be on the lookout. Most recently it’s been on Facebook. Certain criteria are supposed to be met: they have to have clear evidence that the child is in danger, they have to have an indication of what to look for (like an abduction vehicle or what). This program is now present in all 50 US states and several foreign countries. Used properly, it can and does find kids and save lives. Just how many lives it saves, no one knows for sure.

I found this Detroit Free Press article and this Vancouver Sun article (they are both kind of repetitive of each other, I admit) about the anniversary and the Amber Alert program in general. It’s not perfect. Sometimes it’s used unnecessarily, or sometimes it isn’t used when it should be, or isn’t used fast enough. Most of the kids who have benefited from the program were kidnapped not by strangers but by relatives and acquaintances. Of course, a child shouldn’t be excluded from getting an Amber if he/she meets all the criteria, just because the abductor was not a stranger. As I hope this blog’s readers know by now, often a kid is in most danger from their nearest and dearest.

Amber would be 24 years old now, if she were still alive. I’m glad people could find a way to get some good out of her death, and I hope her killer is caught.