MP of the week: Charles Dart

This week’s featured missing person is Charles Christopher Dart, a fifty-year-old disabled veteran who disappeared from Fayetteville, Arkansas on March 25, 2012. The car he was driving turned up inoperable and abandoned in Florida. Dart apparently rented another vehicle afterwards, and never returned it.

There’s been no indication of his or the rented car’s whereabouts since then, and Dart hasn’t used his VA benefits either.

A samaritan utility

The other day I updated a case that had a detail I’d never seen before: the woman, Mary Joetta Roderick, was reported missing by her phone company.

It’s not all that uncommon for adults to not get reported missing for months, particularly if their children are taking the opportunity to cash their checks, which Mary’s son was. But usually in such cases, the police are alerted by friends, neighbors or extended family members. I’ve never heard of a utility company doing it.

She was last seen in December 1994. A few months later her phone company contacted the cops to say she’d always paid her bill promptly, but she had not paid it in months and the balance had grown to $3,500 (was her son calling 900-number sex lines?). I suppose the company probably tried to contact her themselves and couldn’t. Anyway, they thought something might have happened to her.

So the cops went to her house on a welfare check and found her son, and it started to unravel. Partially, anyway. They’ve never found her or charged anyone in her disappearance.

The cops haven’t given up, though. They conducted a search for her just this month.

MP of the week: Clinton Seymore

This week’s featured missing person is Clinton Carlos Seymore, a 44-year-old man who disappeared from Fort Walton Beach, Florida on January 15, 2007. Unfortunately that’s basically all I have on him; his is one of the “few details are available” cases. He has some tattoos: a Virgo symbol (the maiden) on one arm, and on the other arm a woman and a hundred-dollar bill.

If still alive, Clinton Seymore would be 56 today.

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: Aaron Tapasoa

In honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, I am profiling one Asian or Pacific Islander MP for every day of the month of May. Today’s case is Aaron Tapasoa, a seventeen-year-old boy who disappeared from Miami, Florida on October 17, 2008.

Most agencies classify Aaron as Caucasian, but I made a judgement call and I believe he’s much more likely to be of Pacific Islander descent, for the following reasons:

  1. His appearance
  2. The fact that he “may have traveled to Samoa”
  3. Most importantly, the surname Tapasoa is almost entirely unique to Aaron himself, but the surname Tapusoa (a slight respelling) comes from the Pacific Islands.

If I’m wrong I’ll eat my words.

Getting back to Aaron, it says he associated with the homeless population and spent a lot of time on the beach. He’s classified as a runaway. Wherever he is, I hope he’s alive and well.

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: Tai Lau

In honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, I am profiling one Asian or Pacific Islander MP for every day of the month of May. Today’s case is Tai Yung Lau, a Chinese immigrant who disappeared from Tampa, Florida on June 20, 1981. He was 53 years old. I found a fair amount of detail on Lau’s case, but some of it was contradictory.

It looks like he might have been swept up in China’s Cultural Revolution, when a lot of people were executed or sent to forced labor camps on trumped-up charges. At any rate, per my sources, Lau fled a labor camp in 1967, got a job on a ship, then jumped ship and applied for asylum in the U.S. two years later. He was working hard and hoped to bring his wife and child over.

There are reports that he didn’t own a car, and reports that he sold his car the day he went missing and said something about returning to China. I don’t believe the latter reports; if Lau had gone back to China they would have probably shot him.

I doubt that, almost forty years later, anyone is going to figure out what happened to Lau, but I don’t think it was anything good. I wonder if his family is still in China or if they were able to come here.

MP of the week: Martha Lambert

This week’s featured missing person is Martha Jean Lambert, a twelve-year-old girl who disappeared from Elkton, Florida on November 27, 1985.

In 2009, Martha’s brother, David, confessed to the police that she had died in an accident the day of her disappearance and he had buried her body. David would have been fourteen at the time. Although the police never found Martha’s body and David later retracted his statement, investigators believed his story.

Martha’s mother believes her daughter was abducted by someone outside the family and hopes she is still alive. A friend of mine also believes David is innocent, and put up a Facebook page to draw attention to Martha’s case.

Black History Month: Lakerian Thomas-Peters

In honor of Black History Month I’m profiling one African-American MP every day on this blog for the month of February. Today’s case is Lakerian Demell Thomas-Peters, a 22-year-old man who disappeared from Pensacola, Florida on May 30, 2016.

Lakerian worked for a distribution company while he hoped to gain a footing in the rap music industry, but he lost his job and was depressed afterwards. I don’t know if he was depressed enough to walk away forever, or to take his own life, though. He had asked to borrow his mom’s car the day she disappeared (I think his own car was out of gas or something) and she said no, so he left on foot.

I think if he is dead and still in the local area, he hasn’t been found yet. He’s got very distinctive tattoos that would help identify his body if he was located. I hope he’s still alive. If he is, he’d be 25 today.