National Hispanic Heritage Month: Marco Cadenas

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 Marco Antonio Cadenas, a nine-year-old biracial black/Hispanic boy who disappeared from Miami, Florida on May 11, 1994.

I should note that Marco’s family background was troubled, to say the least. I’m not sure what role, if any, his biological father played in his life, but the man was killed in a police shootout in Ohio in July 1994, two months after Marco disappeared. There was some domestic violence between Marco’s mother and his stepfather, and some drug issues with the mom.

Marco, who called his stepfather “Daddy,” left on the day of his disappearance because he was upset that his mother had hit his stepfather with a bottle. His mother went into drug rehab later that year. I don’t know where his mom and stepfather are today, or if they’re still alive, or what other family Marco has.

So where is Marco? If this was an older child, the circumstances would indicate he left on his own: he was mad at his mother, they had an argument, and she threatened to punish him. He walked out the door and never came back.

But he was nine. Could a nine-year-old, even a streetwise one, have really managed to run away and never come back? And would he have done so without so much as a pair of shoes?

If he’s still alive, and I hope he is, Marco Cadenas would be 33 years old today.

National Hispanic Heritage Month: Brenda Ovalle

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 Brenda Eli Ovalle, a sixteen-year-old runaway from Naples, Florida. She’s been missing since February 3, 2004.

It is very unusual for a teen runaway to be missing for fourteen years, but the last indication was that Brenda was safe and sound, living with family in Mexico. I hope that’s correct, and I hope if it is, she will contact the police in Florida to get herself taken off the books.

National Hispanic Heritage Month: Patrick DiFrancesco and James Johnson

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 the disappearance of Patrick Joseph DiFrancesco (Hispanic) and James Woodford Johnson (white) who disappeared together from Fort Pierce, Florida on August 26, 1985.

Johnson was 61 at the time; DiFrancesco was 24. For some reason, neither of the men are listed as missing persons on the Florida Department of Law Enforcement database. Johnson was a certified pilot and DiFrancesco had a student pilot’s license.

DiFrancesco, the father of two, supplemented the income from his construction job by flying cocaine into Florida for a guy named Jay Crouch. I’m not sure where Johnson comes into all of this, but the two men supposedly flew out of Fort Pierce in a plane owned by Crouch, planning pick up some marijuana in either the Bahamas or in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. They never returned, although there was an unverified rumor that DiFrancesco was jailed in Jamaica.

DiFrancesco’s brother believes his missing brother never left Fort Pierce at all, and that he and Johnson were murdered and buried locally.

Thinking out loud today

  • Uh, where are Tarasha Benjamin‘s ears on the 2013 AP I found?
  • So it seems pretty obvious that “Larry Wilson” killed William Joseph Davis at that house that day, but I wonder what the motive would be? I’ve seen female real estates disappear under these circumstances, and usually the motive is a sexual attack, but this is less likely here. Robbery maybe?
  • Per articles at the time, several other adults disappeared from Hillsborough County in the same time period as Brian Lee Jones did. There was no indication the cases were related, though, and all the others, except Jones and one other, seem to have turned up. As for Jones… I can’t figure out what was going on there. How far away was that “secluded wooded area” from the ABC Lounge? Were the “possible bloodstains” on the pillow ever tested? Obviously DNA testing would have been impossible in 1981, but they could have at least determined whether it the stains were human blood or not.
  • I found frustratingly contradictory information about Tai Yung Lau‘s disappearance. One news account said he had no car and couldn’t drive, and other that his car disappeared at the same time he did. The new page for Hillsborough County missing persons, however, says Lau sold his car and said something about returning to China. But the thing is, if the story about him escaping from a forced labor camp during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution and eventually getting working papers in the U.S. is true, there’s no way in hell he would have returned to China; they’d have killed him.
  • I originally read about Jack Donald Lewis‘s disappearance in this book; the author interviewed Carole Lewis (now Carole Baskin) and she mentioned that her husband just walked out of the house one day and never came back. As for Jack’s disappearance, I know there has been talk online that Carole killed him, but I am not going to venture a guess as to what caused his disappearance. The articles I found called¬†Wildlife on Easy Street a “sanctuary,” but it didn’t have a very good reputation back in the nineties. I don’t know if things have improved now or what. On a side note, earlier this month Joe Exotic, who runs a horrible traveling petting zoo, was charged with trying to hire someone to kill Carole.
  • Despite Carlos Melgar-Perez‘s case being local to me, I never heard squat about it until I saw him on the Fort Wayne Police Department and began looking up info on his own. Apparently the police only interviewed his friend one time. The circumstances of his disappearance seem strange, to say the least. There aren’t any nearby bodies of water sufficiently large/deep/fast enough to have concealed his body for this long.
  • I found Eva Marie Ridall‘s dad’s obituary and noted that he was divorced from his kids’ mother and lived in Ohio when he died. I have to wonder if maybe she was going to Ohio to see her father, but I’ve got no proof that he lived in Ohio in 1977. I found some stuff about her disappearance online from her sister, and all indications seem to be that she did run away, but it’s been over 40 years; what happened?
  • About that extortion attempt in Cynthia Lynn Sumpter‘s case: was the man charged with molesting her in jail when she disappeared? If he wasn’t, have the police verified his alibi 100%?

And finally, I found the following article about something Peter Joseph Bonick did a full five years prior to his disappearance. I’m guessing the reason he was living in a children’s home when he went missing is because he continued on the delinquent path.

bonick

National Hispanic Heritage Month: Yohannes Arronte-Valdez

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 Yohannes A. Arronte-Valdez, a 28-year-old man who disappeared from Miami, Florida on October 15, 2008. He has a scar on his head.

And…that’s all I’ve got on him, unfortunately. One of those “few details are available” cases.

Pride Month: Mark Shumaker

In honor of Pride Month I’m featuring a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer missing person every day for the month of June. Today’s case is James Mark Shumaker, who usually went by Mark. He disappeared from Tampa, Florida on October 20, 1995, at the age of 32.

There’s some suggestion that his disappearance is connected to the murder-without-a-body case of Jason Galehouse and the disappearances of other gay men in the Tampa area, but I kind of doubt it. That said, after 23 years, it’s likely Shumaker did meet with foul play.

All is well, doggo-wise

My adoption of Kinsey into our home has gone swimmingly. She always wants to be with me and here she is in my office settling down for the night:

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She has a dog bed but doesn’t always want to use it. The cats are weirded out by her but very curious about her.

When they’re in the same room together, Carmen just sits and stares intensely at her, and will sometimes raise her back when Kinsey gets too close for comfort, but there has been any aggression or even hissing. So far, Kinsey has really noticed her exactly one time. She was like, “Oh, what’s that? *sniff sniff sniff* Not interesting. I’ll back to following the hooman.”

Aria on the other hand keeps creeping up to where Kinsey is, then retreating and hiding, then creeping up again, closer each time. Tonight as Michael and I watched TV in the living room and Kinsey lay curled up on the floor, Aria got within like four inches of her before losing her nerve and fleeing.

I don’t know if they’ll ever be friends but right now I’m delighted that they just tolerate each other. Kinsey has no prior experience with house cats at all, only ferals.

We gave her a bath tonight in the yard, Michael and I, using a hose, a kiddie paddling pool, a bucket, Dawn Dish Soap and a judicious application of dog treats. She’ll get a proper bath done by professionals at the vet’s office a week from tomorrow, but in the meantime she at least smells better.

She’s shedding like mad, she’s half Labrador Retriever and half Husky and has the Husky undercoat. She’s shedding 2.5 dogs a day and no matter how much I brush it’s never enough. She leaves a trail of black fur wherever she goes. Ima have to vacuum. Michael’s parents will be thrilled when they find out about her (not).

As for today’s updates, the¬†Rosselys Felix Hernandez case is particularly sordid and upsetting. As her fifteen-year-old daughter was a missing child for two months and presumed to be in the company of a suspected sexual predator, her name and photos were publicized and are plastered all over the internet. But I decided not to name her in the casefile, since she is a rape victim and a minor. Poor kid.

Perhaps with all these charges against Mr. York he might be persuaded to talk about his wife’s case with more candor than he has in the past. He’s probably going to prison for a very long time in any case. Better to go as a wife-killer than as a child rapist, I would think. Or maybe York told Rosselys’s daughter some things while they were together this spring.