Legislation passed to deal with the migrants who die trying to cross the border, and other stories

In Arizona: the death toll of migrants crossing the U.S./Mexican border through the Arizona desert reached 227 last year. This is a 58% increase from 2019.

In Florida: they’re still looking for Christine Muriel Flahive, a 42-year-old woman who disappeared from Punta Gorda on January 5, 1995. Per the article, the primary suspect is Jonathan Payne (who is also named in Christine’s Charley Project casefile) and unfortunately he’s been dead for a decade.

In Illinois: the police are trying to find Victoria Puzinas, who disappeared from the Albany Park area of Chicago on November 25, 2019. She was 54 years old at the time, suffers from mental illness and was homeless.

In Massachusetts: they’re still looking for 59-year-old Abbie Flynn, who disappeared from Gloucester on February 2, 2020. She had a party planned at her house, and a few hours beforehand she went out for a walk and never returned.

In Kentucky: the police have located Kenneth Davis Jr., who had been missing from Harlan County since October. He is alive.

In Ohio: the police are still looking for David Alan Tackett, who was last seen in Miami Township on September 8. He was 56 years old at the time, and it’s notable how skinny he was: 5’7 and somewhere between 100 and 125 pounds.

In Oregon: they’re still trying to identify a Jane Doe whose body was found in Polk, County, Oregon in September 1996.

In Tennessee: the Holly Bobo Act, which increases the age limit from 18 to 21 for endangered or missing adult alerts, is now in effect. From now on, missing people age 18 through 20 will be classified with the children.

In West Virginia: they’re still looking for John Jesse Wiley, a 41-year-old man who disappeared from Morgan County sometime in 2018. He wasn’t reported missing till last April.

In the border region: an article about the Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains Act, bipartisan legislation that “opens up funding for the network of state and local governments, humanitarian organizations, forensics labs and medical offices that respond to migrant deaths on a day-to-day basis.” This should lead to a lot of unidentified migrants getting their names back.

In Europe: two children who were kidnapped from the Netherlands by their mom in 2014 have been found safe in Innsbruck, Austria. Their searching father is delighted.

3096 Days

Natascha Kampusch, an Austrian girl who was kidnapped by a stranger and held captive for eight years, has written a book, 3096 Days, about her experience. It comes out in Britain on September 9 and in the US on September 16. This article has more info:

Bizarrely, Miss Kampusch, who is now 22 and presents a talk show on Austrian television, marked her tormentor’s death by saying she was in mourning because in a macabre way he had become “part of my life”. […] Miss Kampusch is considered to have made a good recovery in the circumstances. However, the psychological scars of her ordeal are still very much in evidence: she has bought both his house and his car.

I’ve read Sabine Dardenne’s memoir of her kidnapping/captivity experience, I Choose to Live, and it was pretty good. (A candidate for Charley’s recommended books page? Anyone?) I’ll definitely read Natascha’s when I can get my hands on a copy.

Sabine was held for several months, if I recall, and she was twelve, four years older than Natascha was when she was kidnapped. In her book Sabine shows none of the ambiguous feelings towards her kidnapper that Natascha seems to have; in fact she hardly talks about him at all and calls him names like “beast” and “animal” instead of by his name. Her book aside, Sabine seems to have faded into relative obscurity since she testified at her captor’s trial; I heard that she had a normal life, a boyfriend and a job. Natascha on the other hand is on television. Another difference: Sabine had a normal happy family life, but Natascha’s mother was reportedly abusive to her.

Natascha, Sabine, Shawn Hornbeck, Elizabeth Smart and Jaycee Dugard should all get together and talk. I know Elizabeth and Jaycee have been in touch with each other.