MP of the week: Maria Martinez

This week’s featured missing person is 17-year-old Maria De Los Angeles Martinez, who disappeared from Phoenix, Arizona on October 13, 1990. Her disappearance is similar to the 1974 disappearance of Margaret Fox: Maria advertised her babysitting services on the radio, a guy hired her for a job, and she went with him and was never seen again.

Unfortunately I haven’t been able to learn much more about Maria’s disappearance. I’ve heard that her family was undocumented, which may explain why there was little news about her case. Of course, looking in the news for a particular person named “Maria Martinez”, particularly in Arizona, is like the proverbial needle in a haystack.

She would be 46 if she was still alive today. But I think she’s still 17.

MP of the week: Jack West

This week’s featured missing person is Jack Edward West, a 63-year-old man who disappeared from Phoenix, Arizona on February 16, 1975.

I don’t know anything about his disappearance beyond the time of day (4:15 in the afternoon) and part of Phoenix (his house, “the area of north 19th Avenue and West Virginia Avenue”), and that foul play is suspected. With a name like “Jack West” it can be hard to find any articles about the case that may exist.

West would be over 100 if he was alive today, so that’s unlikely. But he probably has relatives living who would like to learn his fate.

MP of the week: Kristina Perkins

I have been a very bad girl and neglected my missing persons of the week for the past two weeks. I have got one for this week though: Kristina Ann Perkins, a 21-year-old woman who disappeared from Phoenix, Arizona on September 10, 1975.

It sounds like her ex-husband was involved. Otherwise I don’t know why he’d tell her sister that they’d got in an argument and now she was dead. But he has not been charged and I don’t know who he is or if he’s even still alive. [Whoops, didn’t read the casefile properly, he’s dead. I am dumb.]

If she is alive today, Kristina would be 65 years old.

Articles about other kids in the wake of Jayme’s recovery

As often happens when a high-profile missing child is found, especially when they’re found safe, news agencies are dusting off their local missing kid cases and being all like, “Hey, you know how Jayme Closs was found? Here’s some kids missing in YOUR area and their parents hope they’ll get found too.” So far we’ve got:

I highly doubt Adji or Diana is alive. Adji is a special needs child and if he was abducted, I don’t think the abductor could have kept him long without attracting some attention. As for Diana, a suspect has been charged with her murder.

Native American Heritage Month: Harlan Dennis

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 Harlan James Dennis, a 42-year-old who disappeared from Phoenix, Arizona on February 14, 2012. I do not know his tribal info.

Harlan was last seen at his mother’s home in the early morning hours. Although he was transient, he did keep in touch with his family. None of them have heard from him in over six years.

National Hispanic Heritage Month: Ira Josytewa

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 Ira Jack Josytewa, a biracial Native American and Hispanic 21-year-old who disappeared from Phoenix, Arizona on August 28, 2001.

Frankly, I don’t think whatever happened to Ira was anything good. His car turned up abandoned with all the doors open and his stuff inside. He never picked up his last paycheck. His family, which includes two children, haven’t heard from him in seventeen years.

If he’s still alive, he’d be 39 today.

National Hispanic Heritage Month: Karen Rosalba Grajeda

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 Karen Rosalba Grajeda, a 7-year-old girl who disappeared from Tucson, Arizona on January 11, 1996.

She was roller-skating with her sister and some other children in the courtyard of her apartment complex when she left to drop her roller skates back off home. It’s not clear whether she ever arrived at her house, but by the time Karen’s mom called the girls in for dinner, Karen was nowhere to be found.

She is believed to have been kidnapped by a non-relative, and some suspects have been named, but no charges were ever filed against anyone. There’s speculation, as noted in her casefile, that Karen’s abduction is connected to the unsolved rape and murder of six-year-old Esther Lizette Galaz. Certainly the cases are very similar, but until Lizette’s murder is solved or Karen is found, any speculation has to remain only that.

I wonder how thoroughly the other residents in the complex (which had over 400 apartments) were checked. In March 1996, Albert Aguilar Ramirez, a resident of the complex who had a criminal for sexual abuse, murdered his elderly neighbor. The cops said they had “no reason to believe” Ramirez was involved in Karen’s disappearance, though. A fellow resident with a history of child molestation would be an obvious suspect in Karen’s case, and my guess is the police had investigated him and ruled him out earlier, right after Karen’s abduction and before he killed the neighbor.

I highly doubt Karen is still alive. There are so many places to hide a body in the desert.

National Hispanic Heritage Month: Rosario Pacheco-Flores and Luis Castillo Villafana

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 actually two cases, cause the people disappeared together: Rosario Imelda Pacheco-Flores, age 28, and her boyfriend Luis Fernando Castillo Villafana, 30, who disappeared from Phoenix on April 7, 2008.

Foul play is suspected in both cases, but unfortunately I don’t know much about the circumstances of Luis and Rosario’s disappearance.

National Hispanic Heritage Month: Jose Chavez and Gilberto Gonzales

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 two men who disappeared together: Gilberto Gonzales, 23, and his relative, coworker and roommate Jose D. Jesus Chavez, 19. They were last seen in Tucson, Arizona on January 20, 1996.

I don’t have that much on these disappearances; they seem to have vanished into thin air, leaving all their things behind.

Thinking aloud on one of today’s cases

From what information I have (which isn’t very much), the disappearance of Brian Lee Drew is pretty puzzling. He went missing three years ago from his home in Tucson, Arizona.

Drew’s NamUs page makes it look like he could have left of his own accord; he “mentioned going to Mexico to help feed the hungry.” But if he did, he left his vehicle and most of his stuff behind. I don’t know how he would have gotten to Mexico without those things.

If he did indeed cross the border there should be a record of that. NamUs said his wallet disappeared with him, but what about his passport? He should have needed one to cross the border — although I’m aware that American border officials are much more concerned about keeping people out than keeping people in.

His Facebook page is puzzling. In one of his last posts, less than a week before he went missing, he writes:

drewfacebook

I don’t know if he really was at risk or if he was just paranoid.

As is often the case, his Facebook was a rich source of photos of him, and photos of his tattoos as well. He had a bunch of them.

I hope he is alive and well and decides to contact his family soon.