MP of the week: Larissa Sam

This week’s featured missing person is Larissa Marie Sam, a 22-year-old woman who disappeared from Indianapolis on June 21, 2015. After work she went to her uncle’s house and had a few drinks, leaving at 4:30 a.m. She never arrived home and her car was found abandoned, with a flat tire.

Larissa’s family thinks she might have been a human trafficking victim. She was certainly an attractive woman, and within the age range for sex trafficking. If that is true, then the best bet for finding her may lie with some of her customers, who must surely have noticed those tattoos. The one on her chest is very large and unique.

If she’s not being held captive, though, I think it’s pretty unlikely she’s still alive.

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FINALLY another “Let’s Talk About It”

It’s been awhile since I did my last “Let’s Talk About It” case, but I haven’t given up on them. This week is a double disappearance: Diamond Bynum and her her two-year-old nephew, King Rajan Walker, who disappeared on July 25, 2015.

Diamond was 21 and suffered from Prader-Willi Syndrome, a genetic condition characterized mainly by mental disability and a constant feeling of hunger. If not kept supervised, people with this condition will just eat and eat and eat until they get sick. At 4’10, Diamond weighed well over 200 pounds, and she had the mental capacity of a five- to seven-year-old.

She had recently moved with her parents to Gary, Indiana, and her nephew, King Walker, was visiting. Apparently the two of them slipped out while Grandma was taking a nap. Diamond regularly walked in the neighborhood in the town where she used to live, but that was safer because she’d lived there all her life and the locals knew her and knew she was disabled and looked out for her.

But she wasn’t familiar with Gary, and, well, Gary is an awful place. It’s regularly ranked as one of the ten most dangerous cities in the country and something like one-fifth of the population lives under the poverty line. The city is a swath of urban decay, with all sorts of ramshackle abandoned buildings — it’s really sad.

I think this case would have gotten more media attention if Diamond and King had been white, or more affluent, or at least disappeared from a more affluent area. But I do have to wonder what happened to them.

Foul play seems like an obvious answer…but why? The family seems to be in the clear. An extensive search of the neighborhood, all those abandoned buildings, turned up doodly squat. No one seems to know anything. I can’t think of a kidnapper or a serial killer or a human trafficker who would want BOTH a very overweight, mentally disabled young woman AND a two-year-old boy. It seems like one or the other should have turned up.

So what caused these two to disappear? Let’s talk about it.

Flashback Friday: Timothy Willoughby

This week’s FF case is Timothy Lee Willoughby, a 24-year-old who disappeared with his girlfriend, Mary Ann Higginbotham, from the tiny town of Clayton in central Indiana on June 6, 1978. A year later, Mary Ann’s body was found stuffed inside a drum in Mooresville, Indiana, twelve miles from Clayton. She’d been shot in the head. She was 22 years old.

At first the police thought Timothy had killed her, but now they think both of them met with foul play. Two men were arrested for the murders but were later released.

Delano Wilson’s father found not guilty of murder

I found out from the “No Body” Twitter feed that Delano Wilson‘s father, Willie Wilson who’d been charged with killing him, has been found not guilty. That’s quite unusual; even in MWAB cases, most people in this country that face criminal charges either plead out, or get convicted at trial. If you look at my list of convictions in MWAB cases, it’s more than three times longer than my list of acquittals. I think the rate of MWAB convictions is so high because, without a body, all other aspects of the case must be very strong, airtight as it were.

And apparently the case wasn’t airtight here. This article says the prosecution pointed out that Willie Wilson invented a story about his son being kidnapped, a story that was easily disproved, and said the only reasonable explanation why Willie dreamed up the abduction story is because he killed Delano. But there was almost no physical evidence to speak of,  or witnesses, and I’m thinking perhaps at least some of the jury members were like “I know he’s guilty, but…” The law says if there is reasonable doubt, the jury must acquit the defendant.

That poor baby was only six weeks old.

MP of the week: Monterrio Holder

This week’s featured missing persons is Monterrio L. Holder. He disappeared from Indianapolis on October 25, 1994. His car wasn’t found till sometime the following year. There’s a mention of him in the Indianapolis Recorder (read the very last sentence at the very bottom), but I can’t find that article anywhere. Alas, I’ve got nothing on him.

Flashback Friday: Robert Meredith

This week’s Flashback Friday case is Robert Allen Meredith, who disappeared from Evansville, Indiana sometime in 1979 — just when, I don’t know. Meredith’s wife claims she asked him to leave and he did, but he kept in touch with her by phone and letter after that. Apparently no one else ever heard from him or saw any of those letters, though. His wife got a divorce but never reported him missing, and the police didn’t begin investigating until 28 years later.

I don’t know much about this case; it seems like Meredith could be anywhere and anything, or nothing, could have happened to him.

MP of the Week: Benita Spears

This week’s featured missing person is Indiana University Northwest student Benita Spears, who vanished from Gary, Indiana in 1989. I don’t have much on in her case, but her ex-husband had a history of domestic violence and was seen driving Benita’s car after her disappearance.

My friend Wendy the Minister lived Gary in the 1980s and was minister of a predominantly black church; I’ll see if she’s heard of this case. Probably not but it’s worth a go.