A judgment call

I was putting together Charley Project updates when I stopped to write this blog entry. I just had to make a judgment call again.

Now, quite a lot of the time I find my multiple sources of information contradicting each other. When this happens I just go with what I think must be true, and perhaps note that other people say something else. As a general rule, I think that law enforcement sources and family sources are most likely to be correct. When those two contradict each other, then I have a real problem.

I wrote up a case of a woman who disappeared in 2011. She had been staying at a hotel in the border city of Eagle Pass, Texas while trying to sell property in Eagle Pass’s sister city of Piedras Negras, Mexico. (I looked up Piedras Negras and it doesn’t look good for her.) Anyway, the woman was in a law enforcement database and her name was given as Patsy. I went with that and wrote up a basic casefile for her, then went to check other sources. I found her mother’s obituary. If a relative, particularly a parent, dies after the MP disappeared, I will usually note in the Charley Project casefile if the MP is listed as having survived or predeceased the parent.

Patsy’s mother’s obit said she was “presumed deceased.” I put that in the casefile. But the obituary also called her Patricia, not Patsy.

I was really uncertain about what to do with this one. It’s possible that the law enforcement database made a mistake and her legal name was Patricia. Perhaps she’s only listed in there as Patsy because no one ever called her Patricia. And it’s possible that her legal name was Patsy and they made a mistake with the obituary.

I am going with Patsy. I hate these kind of situations. I want everything to be correct and it makes me very uncomfortable to list a case when I’m not 100% sure I’ve gotten their name right. That’s kind of an important detail, don’t you think?

Anyway, blog entry over, back to the salt mines I go.