MP of the week: Merlene Hayes

This week’s featured missing person is Merlene C. Hayes, a 55-year-old woman who was last seen in Tallahassee, Florida on April 26, 1994. She went out for a walk that evening, her second of the day, over her daughter’s objections. She never came back, although there were some possible sightings of her in the local area over the coming days and weeks.

Merlene had dropped out of sight once before and turned up alive and well after three days (not sure of the circumstances there), so this time her daughter didn’t report her missing for six. I have to wonder, given those alleged sightings, if reporting Merlene missing sooner would have made a difference.

She’s described as black, 5’7 and 170, with gray hair, brown eyes, and a mole on her nose. She was wearing a wig on the night of her disappearance, as well as a purple flowered shirt, pants and sneakers. She takes medication for depression and could become disoriented if she doesn’t take it regularly. It’s unlikely that she had her medicine with her that night, if she really was only going for a walk.

I have to wonder if perhaps something prevented her from returning home, temporarily but long enough to get her off her meds and disoriented. Or perhaps she had stopped taking her meds prior to her disappearance, and became disoriented during her walk. In any case, according to my theory, she would have wandered around the city for a time not knowing who she was or where she was. That would explain the alleged sightings.

I wish I knew more about what happened with her earlier three-day disappearance — like, did she stop taking her meds, get disoriented and wander off, or did she go off on a spontaneous vacation, or what?

If still alive, she’d be 83 today.

MP of the week: Angela Luttrell

This week’s featured missing person is Angela Colleen Luttrell, missing from Loxahatchee, Florida since August 15, 1993. She is white, 5’2 and 110 pounds, with blonde hair and blue eyes, is missing a finger joint or joints on her left hand, and has a scar on her left ring finger. She was 32 at the time and would be 60 today.

There is very little information about Angela’s disappearance, but it’s noted that she had a problem with drugs and alcohol and used a long list of alias names. I can’t find a single article on the case, either recently or from back when the disappearance happened nearly 30 years ago.

MP of the week: Rosemary Day

This week’s featured missing person is Rosemary Rivas Day, a 27-year-old woman who disappeared from Jacksonville, Florida on May 21, 2011 — ten years ago this week. She was last seen at her apartment in her car, which was found abandoned two months later.

It’s not clear what happened here. According to her dad, Rosemary was in an abusive relationship and was afraid. However, she also suffered from depression and is classified as disabled (whether from the depression or from something else, I’m not sure). When her car was located the police found “unspecified information” inside which could indicate her whereabouts; however, nothing turned up and it’s been two years.

Rosemary is of mixed white and Asian (Filipino) descent with very long, thick brown hair, glasses and small scars on her arms. She was 27 when she was last seen and, if still alive, would be 37 today. Her birthday is just the day after mine.

Former cult leader Anna Young, believed responsible for three Charley Project disappearances, dies

So Anna Young died a few days ago at the age of 79, having served just 33 days of a life sentence for second-degree murder and manslaughter.

Anna pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of Emon Harper, aka Moses Young, a toddler who was beaten and starved to death in 1988 or 1989. His body was never found. The manslaughter conviction was for the death of Katonya Jackson, a two-year-old who died after being beaten, tortured and denied her epilepsy medication. (For some reason her death had initially been ruled as natural.)

Anna is also connected to two unsolved disappearances: that of two-year-old Marcos Antonio Cruz, whom she allegedly had abandoned at a church in Puerto Rico in 1992, and that of her six-year-old stepdaughter Catherine Barbara Davidson, who was last seen in 1973. Per one of Catherine’s siblings, she didn’t actually vanish while on a family outing to a state park in Michigan but had in fact been bound, gagged and placed in a closet where she died.

Pretty awful stuff.

I wonder if Marcos is still alive out there, or if he was ever abandoned in the first place and didn’t meet with the same awful death as Emon and Catherine and Katonya did.

We may never know.

Remains found in 1979 identified, and other stories

Today is National Missing Persons day. This article has some info about how the new Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains Act, which was signed into law on New Years’ Eve, will help communities along the Mexican border.

In Alabama: Skeletal remains have been found in Conecuh County, Alabama. Though they haven’t been identified yet, the police think they’re those of Brian Estrada, who disappeared last October. His ID was found near the bones.

In California: They’re still looking for Sydney West, a 19-year-old University of California, Berkeley student who disappeared from San Francisco on September 30. Her parents are offering a $10,000 reward for info leading to her return.

In Colorado: The murder trial of Donthe Lucas in the disappearance of his 21-year-old pregnant girlfriend Kelsie Jean Schelling from Pueblo has begun. Kelsie was last seen on February 5, 2013.

In Florida: They’re still looking for Lemuel Robert Hall, a 79-year-old man who disappeared from Escambia County in 2019. He was last seen in July, but wasn’t reported missing till September.

In Maine: They’re still looking for Jason D. Reil, a 33-year-old man who disappeared from Brunswick in January 2012. He had schizophrenia and was off his meds when he went missing.

In Mississippi: They’re still looking for William Brian McKenzie, a 21-year-old who disappeared in September 2019.

In Ohio: They’re still looking for Nylo Lattimore, a 3-year-old boy who disappeared from Cincinnati on December 4. His mother was allegedly stabbed to death in her home on December 5 and her body dumped, but it wasn’t found for a week. Desean Brown has been charged with Nylo’s mother’s murder, but Nylo has never been found and Brown hasn’t cooperated in the case.

In Pennsylvania: They’re still looking for Robert Scott Baron, who disappeared from his restaurant in Old Forge on January 25, 2017. It looks like he was probably killed in a robbery of the business; they found some blood in his car and a tooth in the restaurant’s sink.

In South Dakota: 9-year-old Serenity June Dennard disappeared from the Black Hills Children’s Home two years ago today. Though the case is still open, the police have suspended the search for now, for lack of any ideas where to look.

In Tennessee: They’re still looking for Shelley Lynn Mook, a 24-year-old woman who disappeared from Shelbyville on February 28, 2011. Her husband Tyler is a person of interest in her case, but has never been charged.

In Texas: They’re still looking for Joshua Jayvaughn Davis Jr., a one-year-old boy who disappeared from New Braunfels on February 4, 2011 — ten years ago tomorrow. The police seem to think his parents were involved or at least know what happened. I’m not sure. I am a firm believer in the axiom that there’s usually no smoke without fire. But one thing I will observe: Joshua’s parents have talked to the media a fair bit about his disappearance and tried to publicize it as much as they can, which in my observation is inconsistent with people who were responsible for their child’s disappearance.

In Oregon: They have identified remains found at the bottom of Multnomah Falls in September 1979. His name is Freeman Asher Jr.

In Washington: They’re still looking for Sofia Lucerno Juarez, who disappeared from Kennewick on February 4, 2003, the day before her fifth birthday. 18 years ago tomorrow.

In Australia: They’re still looking for Lisa Govan, a 28-year-old woman who disappeared from Kalfoorie, Western Australia in 1999. The police believe she was murdered.

Also in Australia: They’re still looking for Steven James Goldsmith, a 28-year-old arborist who disappeared from Toowoomba, Queensland in 2000. Authorities believe he was murdered. There’s a $250k reward out to help solve the case.

In Canada: They have identified a body that washed up on Gulf Island Beach in British Columbia in 1972. The name of the man, who was 41 when he disappeared from Coquitlam in 1967, has not been released.

Also in Canada: They’re still looking for Ben Tyner, a ranch manager who disappeared from Merritt, British Columbia in January 2019.

In Belgium: A car was found in a canal in Bruges; it turned out to belong to Ronny Lateste, a 39-year-old man who disappeared in 1990. His body was inside it.

MP of the week: Michelle Mulcahy

This week’s featured missing person is Michelle Meredith Mulcahy, a seventeen-year-old girl who disappeared from Fort Lauderdale, Florida on July 7, 1979. She left all her belongings behind, including her new car, so she isn’t believed to have been a runaway. She didn’t need to run away in any case; she had already moved out of her mom’s house and was living with a friend. There were some issues going on in her life: she had gotten involved with drugs and was dating a man who was himself into the drug culture.

I have to wonder if Christopher Wilder was ever looked at in this case. 1979 is a little before his time — his known victims were killed in 1983 and 1984 — but Michelle did want to be a model and was last seen en route to a dance contest, which would fit the profile of Wilder’s victims.

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.

English woman missing in Cyprus turns up decades later in Arizona, and other stories

Samuel Little, considered to be one of the U.S. most prolific serial killers, has died in prison at age 80. They’re still trying to locate/identify his victims.

In Arizona/England/Cyprus: they’ve found Lee-Tracey Miley, who was reported missing by her son in 2019 but had actually been out of touch with her family since 1991. She went on a vacation to Egypt that year, then traveled to Cyprus (an island nation in the Mediterranean) and never returned. Ms. Miley was located safe in Arizona. She claims she was injured in a car wreck in Cyprus and developed amnesia, and had no recollection of her previous life in Bournemouth, England.

In California: the recent arrest in Michaela Garecht‘s case has given hope for answers to the family of Amanda Nicole Eileen “Nikki” Campbell, a four-year-old girl who disappeared from Fairfield on December 27, 1991. The video clip in this link includes a color photo of Nikki which I had not seen elsewhere, and have added to her casefile.

In Florida: Steve Calkins, a former sheriff’s deputy, has been found not civilly liable for anything in the 2004 disappearance and presumed death of Terrance Deon Williams from Naples. It’s a very peculiar case. Williams’s family had filed a wrongful death suit against Calkins, who is the last person known to have seen Williams and was also the last person known to have seen another missing man, Felipe Santos, who had gone missing under nearly identical circumstances the previous year. The case had been forced into binding arbitration due to an error by the plaintiffs’ attorney, and the arbitrator ruled they had no case against Calkins.

In Iowa: it’s been nearly six months since ten-year-old Breasia Terrell disappeared from Davenport, and here’s a timeline of her case.

In Massachusetts: they’re still looking for Lisa Therisa Hazard, a 29-year-old woman who disappeared from New Bedford in March 2019. She had a drug problem and told her son’s father she was going to check into a rehab center in Fall River, but it’s unclear whether she even ever left New Bedford.

In Missouri: this article honors Marianne Asher-Chapman, who founded Missouri Missing, a nonprofit organization that helps families of people missing in Missouri and publicizes their cases. Asher-Chapman’s daughter, Michelle Angela “Angie” Yarnell, disappeared from Ivy Bend in 2003.

Also in Missouri: they’ve found the remains of Brandon L. Wood, a 23-year-old who disappeared from Mountain Grove in 2015. Curiously, the bones turned up in an area that had been previously searched.

In Ohio: this article talks about cold missing persons cases in Ohio, particularly in Butler County. It mentions Cynthia Louise Carmack, a 15-year-old missing from Hamilton since 1987, and Ronald Henry Tammen Jr., a 19-year-old Ohio University student missing from Oxford since 1953, among others.

In Oregon: this article is about the narrowly averted NamUs defunding and how it would have affected cold cases in that country.

In Texas: Fox San Antonio has released a recording of an interview police did with Elizabeth Johnson, mother of Gabriel Scott Johnson, who disappeared on December 27, 2009 at just seven months old. Elizabeth says she gave Gabriel to another couple to raise, but police have been unable to identify these people and think the child is probably dead. She was convicted of custodial interference and unlawful imprisonment, but acquitted of kidnapping, and was released from prison in 2014.

In Wisconsin: they’ve found the remains of Benjamin D. Bodwin, a 54-year-old man who disappeared from Athelstane in 2018. His death has been ruled a suicide.

In England: the police have released video footage of Steven Clark, a 23-year-old man who disappeared from Marske-by-the-Sea, Cleveland in 1992 and is presumed murdered. His parents were recently arrested and questioned, then released. They deny any involvement in their son’s presumed death and called the idea “absolutely ludicrous.”

In Russia: they’re still looking for Ayana Vinokurova and Alina Ivanova, two three-year-old girls who disappeared from Alina’s grandfather’s yard in a remote village called Sinsk in the far eastern part of the country back in 2013.

The police wouldn’t accept a report for a missing mentally disabled woman for over a year, and other stories

From Alabama: ‘I want my momma’: Family of Montgomery woman missing since 2018 wants answers. Donna Michelle Calloway disappeared in 2018, per the article, though her “few details” Charley Project casefile has it as 2019 — probably because the police wouldn’t take the report till then. I’ll have to update her case.

From Florida: Jupiter police say missing woman’s remains found after husband takes second-degree murder plea. Gretchen Anthony disappeared in March. Her estranged husband, David, was charged with kidnapping and first-degree murder in her case. He’s pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and kidnapping, and told police where to find her body, which was left three miles from Gretchen’s home.

From Kentucky: COLD CASE: Family of William Scott Crain searches for answers 26 years after disappearance. I don’t have William on Charley yet but he was added to NamUs in August. He was 22 when he disappeared from Bowling Green on November 21, 1994.

From New York: Family pleads for safe return of New York woman who’s been missing since October. Lynette Hernandez, a 27-year-old Nassau County resident, said she was moving to Brooklyn to be with a boyfriend. After not hearing from her, her family contacted the boyfriend, who said he hadn’t seen her in almost a week. Two different police departments each claims the other has jurisdiction over the case.

From Washington DC: Unique Harris disappearance: Man charged with murder a decade after woman goes missing and Arrest made in cold case murder 10 years after DC mother vanished. Unique RaQuel-Leona Harris, a 24-year-old mother of two, was last seen in 2010. Her body has never been found. The suspect is someone I’ve never heard of before, but he was an acquaintance of Unique’s and had been on the police radar for years, not the least cause he left his DNA at the crime scene.

From New Zealand: Cold Case murder mystery: What happened to Marion Granville? A mother of three young children, she disappeared in 1980, at the age of 29. Her partner at the time is asking for anyone with information to come forward. He believes she’s dead and just wants to be able to properly bury her.

From Singapore: Choa Chu Kang girl disappears in 2002, allegedly calls 1 year later: ‘Someone won’t let me come back’. Tina Lim Xin Ying was 14 when she disappeared while en route to visit her sick grandfather. She hasn’t been seen since, and the police are still not sure whether the phone call was from her.

“An Uncertain Future for a Key Missing Persons Program” and other stories

Another article dump (I’ve decided to make a regular thing of this, even after I’m out of Facebook Jail):

This article about the near-defunding of NamUs. Key highlight: “Meanwhile, according to a statement from NIJ, the program could be facing staffing and service cuts, at least in the short-term — and it remains unclear what exactly the longer-term future of NamUs may be.”

From Alaska: four Native people disappeared this fall after visiting the city of Fairbanks, and they are all still missing. Their names are Willis Derendorf, Frank Minano, Debbie Nictune and Doren Sanford. Police don’t think the cases are related.

From Florida: Ashley Lucas disappeared in September, a few months after traveling from her home in Texas to the Florida Panhandle for work. She was hospitalized and has not been seen since her release at the end of the month.

From Massachusetts: it’s coming up on the sixth anniversary of the disappearance of Sabrina Lee Hatheway from Worcester.

From Mississippi: they’ve installed Crime Stoppers kiosks in Walmarts in Biloxi, Gulfport and Pascagoula to help find missing people from the area.

From Nevada: A body found in 2004 has been identified as Aldo Araiza, who disappeared in 2000 at the age of 20.

From North Carolina: the police are still looking for two people missing from Shelby: Kenneth Jamison, missing since 2017, and Walter Vernon McCraw, missing since 2018.

From Ohio: Brian Rini, who surfaced in Cincinnati in April 2019 and falsely claimed he was Timmothy James Pitzen, who disappeared from Wisconsin in 2011, has been sentenced to two years in prison for identity theft as a result. But because he gets credit for 20 months of time served, he’ll be out in four months. A year of probation follows his release.

Also from Ohio: the police are still looking for Jeffrey Hayes Pottinger, who disappeared on Christmas Eve in 2009 from Warren County.

From Texas: the police are still looking for Orville Seaton, who disappeared from Navasota two days before Christmas in 1997. He was 71 at the time and would be 94 today.

From Virginia: Ronald Roldan, recently charged with the kidnapping of Bethany Anne Decker, has now been charged with her murder as well. Bethany has been missing since 2011.

From Wyoming: Angela Laderlich disappeared from Casper on September 25 and is still missing.

From England: they found some human bones in Solihull, which were thought to possibly be those of thirteen-year-old David Spencer and eleven-year-old Patrick Warren, who disappeared the day after Christmas in 1996. However, it turns out the bones are over a century old.

From Nigeria: in an all-too-familiar story, the terrorist group Boko Haram has kidnapped more than 330 boys from a government-run boarding school in Kankara.

From Pakistan: despite promises to end the practice, security forces are still regularly abducting, torturing and murdering people. Thousands of victims are still missing.

From Scotland: A review of missing people from Glasgow.