MP of the week (a day late, sorry): Lavorn Frye

This week’s featured missing person is Lavorn Frye, a twenty-year-old man who disappeared from Blytheville, Arkansas on September 30, 1991. Unfortunately, I don’t have anything more to report on his case.

I have another Executed Today entry that ran today: Sheyna Gram and the Jews of Preiļi. Preiļi being a small Latvian town whose Jewish population was almost entirely wiped out on this day in 1941. Sheyna Gram was a sixteen-year-old girl who kept a diary from the day of the German invasion of the Soviet Union until her death.

Unfortunately I’m really not doing very well at the moment. The last week or so has kicked my butt and I’m barely functioning. I’m sorry.

Yeah, I can’t find any Select It Sunday suggestions today, so…

So here’s one of my own.

I want to bend the rules a bit and talk about a case I just added to Charley last night: Samantha Jean Hopper, courtesy of the new Arkansas MP database. NamUs also had Samantha but without a picture, so I wasn’t able to add her to Charley before.

Per NamUs, Samantha was eight months pregnant and disappeared with her one-year-old daughter, no details provided for the child. The Arkansas MP database had a one-year-old girl named Courtney Holt who disappeared from the same city (Russellville) on the same day (September 11, 1998) so I took a leap of faith and decided this must be Samantha’s daughter. No picture for baby Courtney, though, so she doesn’t have her own profile. I also don’t know her DOB. I wish I did. There’s a huge difference, developmentally speaking, between a one-year-old who just turned one, and a one-year-old who’s almost two.

I can’t find anything about Samantha or Courtney in the news archives or anything.

In spite of the paucity of details this case strikes me as ominous. Why would a heavily pregnant young woman and her baby/toddler vanish into thin air like that? Who was that “friend” they were going with? Did the friend come back? What kind of concert were they attending?

I tried Googling the phrase “little rock” concert and the dates “september 11, 1998” and “september 12, 1998” to see if what bands were playing in the city at that time, but I could find nothing. Hardly surprising, 18 years after the fact, but frustrating nonetheless.

I’ve never cared for a baby or been pregnant, but it seems to me that if I were dealing with both situations at the same time, a concert doesn’t sound like it would be a lot of fun. I suppose it would depend on the concert, how the pregnancy was going and how manageable the child was/whether there was child care available. Certainly something like a mosh pit would be out of the question.

I’d love to know what’s going on with this case. Most importantly, I want to know why there has been no news or anything for nearly two decades.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch…

Some MP news highlights while I was gone:

  • Mark Duane Woodard has been found. Or rather, he was found in 1977, 23 months after his disappearance, but not identified till now. The aforementioned news link uses his Charley Project pic, and asked me permission first. (Thanks!) This link has another photo of him, a much better quality one, as well as more details about his disappearance. He was murdered, shot to death. His sister is the only surviving member of the immediate family.
  • In the state of Thuringia in central Germany they have found a missing girl, Peggy No-Last-Name-Released [edit: per a UK article supplied by a commenter, it’s Knobloch], who disappeared mysteriously fifteen years ago, at the age of nine. A mushroom picker found her bones in the forest nine miles from Peggy’s hometown of Lichtenberg. According to this article and one other I found about the case, this had been a murder-without-a-body (MWAB) case: In 2004, a mentally disabled man was convicted of Peggy’s murder. He was later acquitted in a retrial due to lack of evidence after a key witness retracted his statement.
  • Corry Ehlers, a guy who disappeared while hiking in Utah in 2012, has also been found deceased. His skeletal remains, found “in a steep, rocky spot near Alta Ski Resort” last summer, were identified in late June. They think Corry fell off a cliff.
  • Three days ago it was fifteen years since sisters Diamond and Tionda Bradley vanished mysteriously from Chicago. The Chicago Tribune has done an anniversary article about it, with quotes from Diamond and Tionda’s two other sisters, Rita and Victoria: The girls disappeared just a day before Victoria Bradley’s ninth birthday. Until recent years, Bradley, who turns 24 on Thursday, said she was unable to celebrate her birthday because of her depression over the anniversary of their disappearance. I have not updated the girls’ casefiles in over a decade, and last time was just to add some more pics. I will give a look and see if I can find any developments that have taken place in the intervening years.
  • Two more recent anniversaries: eleven years since Stacy Ann Aragon and her boyfriend Steven Bishop disappeared from Arizona (see article; Stacy has been reported missing but it appears Steven has not been), and ten years since Roxanne Paltauf disappeared (article) from Texas.
  • The NCMEC reports that two of my oldest family abduction cases have been resolved, with the children located alive. One was Jacquelina Ann Gomez, who was abducted from Illinois by her father in 1992 at the age of 3. She would be 27 now, 28 in September.
  • The other case involves two brothers who disappeared with their mother and stepfather from Blairsville, Georgia in 1996, when the boys were 2 and 3. A day or so before I left for Minneapolis I got contacted by a very excited reporter who ran a story on Rick Tyler, a man who’s running for Congress under the odious slogan “Make America White Again.” She said after she ran the story she was deluged with emails from people who believed Rick Tyler was probably the same Rick Tyler who was listed as the missing Blairsville kids’ stepfather. She also said the police were now claiming that the boys’ mom DID have custody of them when they disappeared, after all. Well, then the day I left Minneapolis I got an NCMEC notice saying the boys were recovered. I’m not going to say their names on here or put them on the resolved page because I’m not sure about the custody issue, but it should be easy enough to determine who they are from the info I just provided.
  • The state of Arkansas has a brand shiny new MP database with 510 people on it, many whose names I don’t recognize. I am very happy about this. I believe every state should have their own publicly searchable online database, as large and comprehensive as possible. Many of the people listed in this new database have no pics though. I hope this situation improves.
  • Morgan Keyanna Martin, a pregnant teenager who disappeared in 2012, is now considered a MWAB case. Jacobee Flowers, the father of the unborn child, has been charged with her murder. Homicide is the most common non-natural cause of death for pregnant women in the US and from what I have read, all around the world, the murder of pregnant women — usually by their baby’s father — is a universal problem.
  • HuffPo has published a photo essay about the 1998 disappearance of SUNY-Albany student Suzanne Lyall. It’s a mysterious case; no obvious suspects, no answers. 19 years old, promising future, and then gone.
  • Kidnap survivor Jaycee Dugard has been in the news again, going on TV and talking about how her life’s going and how she’s raising the two daughters she had with her kidnapper Philip Garrido. The link I just gave provides lots of news articles to read, more than I can summarize here. But here’s one quote from this article to show what a resilient woman and amazing mother Jaycee was and still is: As she and her daughters grew older, Dugard said she planted a flower in front of the shed and set up a little school to teach them as much as she could with only her fifth-grade education. “They’re so resilient, and they’re beautiful and loving, and I’m really lucky,” she said. Dugard has protected her daughters’ privacy and said some of their friends don’t even know of their past. She said the three of them are able to talk about what happened with each other.

Flashback Friday: Francis Wells

This week’s Flashback Friday case is Francis Loretta Heath Wells, who disappeared somewhere between Crossett, Arkansas and El Paso, Texas. She boarded a bus in Crossett bound for El Paso on August 13, 1974; her luggage arrived there but she didn’t.

Google Maps says it’s a 955-mile trip between the two cities. I don’t have anything else on Francis’s disappearance and to make matters worse, the only photo I’ve got is both of poor quality and 20 years out of date.

If she’s still alive, Francis would be 86 years old today.

Found some stuff, finally, on Thomas Michael Rettew

Thomas Michael “Mikey” Rettew disappeared from Salem, Arkansas on September 1, 2002. I had almost nothing on his disappearance before today: only that he might be with “an adult female relative” in her car. It was very frustrating, as he’s been missing a long time and he was only four years old. He’d be seventeen now.

Well, I Googled his name again and found this Topix thread. Per the posts, Thomas disappeared with his mother, Angela Christine Mack, possibly from Missouri rather than Arkansas, and neither of them have been heard from in years.

Unfortunately, I can’t put this information on his casefile. I’ve got a policy against using uncorroborated information from Topix.

I’d love to get some corroboration from some other source. Mikey deserves more than “Few details are available in his case.”

MP of the week: Minnie Taylor

This week’s featured missing person is Minnie Evette Taylor, 33, missing from El Dorado, Arkansas since May 26, 2002. I have very little on her case: only that she might go by her middle name, and her case may be related to the similar disappearance of Jacenthia Robinson.

For Minnie Evette Taylor, I can’t find any recent news on her, but I did do some digging on NewsLibrary and turned up a few old articles. She wasn’t reported missing for a month; a “concerned friend” filed the report. She and the aforementioned Jacenthia had “personal vices which would have put them at risk.” I’ll have to update their cases.

I’ve been trying to stay away from updates and the computer in general right now on account of my shoulder, choosing to read instead or use my tablet. But I keep managing to irritate it anyway. Like, the weather lately has been horrible and this morning, after we put out the recycling for pickup and Michael went to work, the wind and rain blew the bin over and spilled half its contents and I had to go outside, pick it up and put everything back inside it. Then I realized the same thing had happened to a neighbor’s bin and no one was home there, and I couldn’t very well leave it lying there with garbage scattered all over their sidewalk and front yard, so I had to pick up that one too.

Ibuprofen etc. nonwithstanding, my shoulder hurt for the rest of the day. It was just starting to feel better come evening but then I had to wash the dishes and it got irritated again as a result. It hurts now for that matter. Or not exactly pain but another sensation, a constant sense of awareness of the shape of my shoulder and the way the bones and ligaments and muscles everything fit together. I keep picturing it in my mind. My doctor won’t give me proper pain medication because if my shoulder doesn’t hurt, I’ll keep using it like I normally do, and make whatever is wrong with it worse.

The bigger problem is that I just can’t use my shoulder and arm the way I always have. Not only does it hurt, I simply can’t physically use it. Like, Michael’s and my key ring pegboard is on the wall right at level with the top of my head. You can’t reach it from the front because there’s a table in front of it. You have to reach it from the side. I can lift my arm straight up (for awhile), or straight to the side, but not both up and sideways at the same time, not very high anyway. I keep automatically reaching for my keys with my right hand and then remembering: wait, I can’t do that, use the left hand. It’s annoying.

I’m seeing the orthopedist Wednesday.

MP of the week added, a day late

This week’s featured missing person is Domanick Still, missing from Wynne, Arkansas since 2009. He was 27 years old at the time. I don’t have much on him.

Michael had made some changes to my computer, and after that I couldn’t get my graphics program to load. It crashed every time I tried. I couldn’t update as I wasn’t able to do the necessary cropping and editing of pictures. Well, I finally fixed it. I just reinstalled the program and it works fine now. Go figure. So anyway, I should be able to update now.