This week’s featured missing person is Manuel Enrique Estrada, a 79-year-old recent immigrant to the U.S. (from what county, I don’t know) who disappeared from Chino, California on September 18, 2012. He apparently just left the house one day, perhaps for one of the long walks he liked to take, and never returned. He didn’t suffer from dementia or anything like that, but I don’t have much on this case.
Sometimes it seems like I don’t get a resolved case for a month and then suddenly get hit with a dozen at once. This next update will have five. So far. I’m linking to their casefiles but they won’t be up for much longer.
- Runaway Sualee Jeseenia Gonzalez Castro has been found alive, per NCMEC. She had been missing for two years and almost two months and is now 19 years old.
- Runaway Alondra Hernandez-Trujillo has also been found alive, per NCMEC. She had been missing for almost three years. She is now 18.
- Convicted murderer Thomas Riffenburg has confessed to the killings of his girlfriend, Jennifer Anne Walsh, and their son, Alexander Mitchell Riffenburg, who had been missing from Palmdale, California since January 9, 2009. Jennifer was 23 and Alexander was only a year old. This article provides a lot of background info about their cases, more than I have on Charley. Thomas provided hand-drawn maps to where he’d buried their bodies, and the cops found remains and are awaiting DNA confirmation of their identities. I think I’ll resolve their cases now; it’s highly unlikely they’re anyone but Jennifer and Alexander.
- A skull found in the woods 2001 has been identified as Ella Mae Williams, an 80-year-old woman with Alzheimer’s Disease who wandered from her Gainesville, Florida home on March 25, 1990. (The article incorrectly gives her age as 78.)
This week’s Flashback Friday case is Charles Christopher “Christy” Francis, a seven-year-old boy who disappeared from Santa Ana, California on April 9, 1979. He’d gone to work with his dad that day. (I’m not sure why, cause it looks like it was a school day.) Dad delivered water tanks. Charles disappeared while waiting for his dad to pick him up.
There hasn’t been a lot of press about this, either back then or now, alas. The police had some suspicion that it might have been a custody matter, but they seem to have ruled that theory out.
I had a bit of a burst and spent all night and into the morning working on today’s updates. I raided Facebook, as I have said, finding additional pictures and sometimes a lot more.
- Autumn Starr Cerenil-Lee: It’s eerie and sad to find traces of my MPs’ pre-disappearance lives online. I found Autumn’s Facebook page. Less than a month before her disappearance she wrote she was getting a divorce, after a marriage that had lasted under a year. Her husband posted a comment saying she was to blame for what had occurred. Autumn also wrote about her daughter, who had some chromosomal anomalies that caused severe health problems.
I can only hope that she decided to walk away from her life — and the evidence does seem to indicate that she did walk away, at least for awhile, since she was allegedly sighted in Wyoming. But did she intend to stay gone this long, almost four years now?
- Kelsey Emily Collins: I finally found out the name of that scumbag who was pimping her. I wish I could have found his picture too, and that of his woman accomplice. It seems like a massive failure on the authorities’ part that they didn’t offer Kelsey witness protection, but they claim they didn’t know it was needed, and that if she had told them about any threats they would have helped her.
- Georgia Nadine Kirk: Shades of Walter Dunson here; they were the same age too, almost. Ted Kirk sounds like a snotrag. I read that he lives on a huge property with something like 20 vehicles on it, and friends reported the place smelled pretty bad. I’m not sure if the cops have searched for Nadine’s body there yet; they asked for permission to go over it with cadaver dogs but Ted said no. It seems like there should be enough evidence by now to get a warrant.
- Irma Mkrtchyan: I found Irma’s Facebook page too. She often wrote posts in Russian, and she posted photographs of herself visiting Armenia. She was born there, graduated from a polytechnic there and moved to the U.S. sometime after 1996 (that’s when she got her degree). I found her children’s Facebook pages as well and it says her son was born in Yerevan.
Irma’s disappearance appears to have torn her family apart. I found a vicious character assassination of her brother Davit (aka David), which accused him of fraud, laziness, dishonesty, and generally being a slimeball. I think it must have been written by Irma’s ex-husband. The horrible statement said Davit had dishonored his sister’s legacy, lied to the police, and started fights within the family, and that Irma’s daughter had a restraining order against him. I hope that anyone who reads it would take it with a grain of salt. Davit appears to be the only one in the family who is actively trying to solve his sister’s disappearance.
I wonder how Irma’s surname is pronounced. It needs a serious infusion of vowels.
- Noah Pomaikai Montemayor: A very sad case — a bright, talented, promising kid who, it appears, cracked under the pressure to live up to that promise. It reminded me of the Matthew Wilson case from ten years ago. Matthew did eventually turn up alive, if not well, and I hope Noah will do the same. They say that the longer you’re gone, the harder it is to call home. But it seems odd that he hasn’t been found by now, especially given he had nothing with him and there was an extensive and well-publicized search. I mean, it’s an island.
- Nancy Paulikas: My God Alzheimer’s is scary. Especially in someone as young and smart and successful as she was. Recently I read a book I liked and looked the author up on Facebook, hoping to contact her; I found her page but it hadn’t been updated since 2013 and the last post said she had Alzheimer’s. I concluded there was no point in messaging her because she probably could no longer read. Hopefully by the time I’m old enough to worry about getting it, they’ll have found a cure.
This week’s featured missing person is Benjamin McLaurin-Johnson, a baby who disappeared from San Francisco, California on January 13, 1995. Unfortunately, I don’t know anything about the case. He’s listed on NamUs but not on the NCMEC, although the NCMEC clearly made that AP photo of him, since it’s got their logo on it. I have no actual photographs of the boy or any information about the circumstances of his disappearance, other than that he was last seen with his babysitter. Is the sitter a suspect? A fellow victim? I have no idea.
This week’s Flashback Friday case is Donald Cary Ewalt, missing from El Centro, California on October 4, 1979 — 38 years ago this past Sunday. He was last seen in the company of three males and foul play is suspected in his disappearance. Ewalt was 22 at the time and would be 60 today.
For some reason the Texas Department of Public Safety is assisting. Shrug.
I checked for him in the Newspapers.com archives and found an article from 1972 in the Opelousas Daily World, a Louisiana paper, about a 15-year-old by that name. My Donald would have been that age in 1972. The Louisiana Donald had run away from home and gotten a job at Grand Canyon National Park, but after several weeks the park authorities got suspicious and called the cops, who called his parents, who sent him the bus fare to come back home.
- This may be setting some kind of record in how many murder-without-a-body cases were included in a single day’s update: there are seven here (or five if you want to get picky). I’ve got John Charles Cizek, Marcia Ann Forsberg, Hoggle siblings Jacob and Sarah, Donna Mae Jokumsen, and Lyon sisters Katherine and Sheila.
- The info I added to Marcia Forsberg’s page came from one of those “keep in touch with your high school class” type sites. In her profile on the page, Marcia talks about how happy she is in her marriage to her husband, described as her “soul mate and best friend” and “the love of my life.” Little knowing that the love of her life would, by his own admission, kill and dismember her a couple of years later. That’s hella depressing to read.
- Why is the NCMEC using Photograph 1 of Cynthia Bravo on their poster for her when Photograph 2 (via CDOJ) is so much better quality?
- I wonder if it’s significant that Cynthia disappeared just before her birthday. In Hispanic communities there’s something called the quinceanera or the fiesta de quince años, where there’s a massive party on a girl’s fifteenth birthday and she dresses up in a fancy formal dress, something like a prom dress or a wedding dress; it’s a rite of passage celebrating the girl’s transition from childhood to womanhood. Cynthia is Hispanic and vanished just one day before she would have turned fifteen. Just a thought.
- Another question/thought about Cynthia: who the heck runs away with no shoes on?