This week’s featured missing person is Beverly Ann Ward, a 13-year-old girl who vanished from her bedroom in Junction City, Kansas in the middle of the night on Independence Day, 1978. She was gone by the early morning hours, and is presumed to have been abducted by an intruder who climbed in through the window.
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 actually three rolled into one: sisters Monique Rae Smith, one month old, and Sidney Keara Smith, one year old, and their mother, eighteen-year-old Jennifer Dawn Lancaster. They all disappeared together from Topeka, Kansas on May 12, 2000. The children are biracial, black and white, and their mother is white.
The family’s car was found at an apartment complex a week later, and that doesn’t look good to me at all. However, I have been able to find very little information on this case, no articles, nothing.
If Sidney and Monique are still alive, they’d be 19 and 18. Jennifer would be 37.
This week’s featured missing person is Andreas Marts, who disappeared from Leavenworth, Kansas on July 16, 2010. He was 25 years old.
He’d probably be pretty easy to recognize if still alive, as he suffers from progressive hemifacial atrophy, aka Parry–Romberg Syndrome, a disorder that causes shrinkage of the tissues on the side of his face. He’s had multiple surgeries with all kinds of hardware installed to mitigate the damage, but his face does look kind of different.
Alas, the police believe Marts probably drowned. He had schizophrenia and he told people he was going to “cleanse himself for God” in the Missouri River, which was in flood stage at the time of his disappearance.
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 Jaquilla Evonne Scales, a four-year-old girl who disappeared from her family’s Wichita, Kansas home during the early morning hours of September 5, 2001.
There hasn’t been a great deal of press about Jaquilla’s disappearance. It doesn’t help that she was born to a teen mother in a poor African-American family, but I think whatever media attention her disappearance would have gotten was eclipsed by the terrorist attack on September 11.
I was fifteen years old, and I was on vacation in New England when 9-11 happened. I remember, flying home just a few days later (my mom and I had the plane practically to ourselves), hoping to find out more about Jaquilla’s case when I got home. I never did find out much.
It’s entirely possible that she was abducted — there were no signs of forced entry, but there was a door to the house that didn’t lock. I wish there had been more media attention when she disappeared; she might have been recovered if there had been.
This week’s featured missing person is Alexis Dillard, who is male. A KU senior, he vanished on December 11, 1992, after a night out drinking with his fraternity brothers in North Lawrence, Kansas. There’s a theory that he drowned in the Kansas River, possibly while trying to swim across. He was 22.
And yes, I’m aware that suspect Pedro Hernandez was convicted of Etan Patz’s murder and I’m aware I have to re-write his entire casefile. That’ll be my task for tomorrow.
- Colleen Vanita Simpson, 14, missing since 1975 from Clearfield, Iowa. Disappeared from her home at night, classified as a non-family abduction, but I’ve got nothing on her. Wish I did.
- Karen Lee Kohls, 31, missing since 1982 from Maumee, Ohio. Her car turned up parked at a nearby lake with chairs and fishing tackle locked inside it. Foul play is suspected.
- Daniel A. Naylor, 14, missing since 1982 from Fremont, California. Although his case was classified as a runaway for decades, foul play is now suspected.
- Babette Nadine Alberti, 23, missing since 1983 from Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. I don’t have much on her, but she might have gone to Mississippi after her disappearance.
- Michelle Doherty Thomas, 17, missing since 1985 from Santa Fe, Texas. She was a young wife and mother (she was last seen the day before her son’s first birthday), and had been a police informant prior to her disappearance. Two men were later indicted for her kidnapping but never brought to trial.
- James Jamison, 75, missing since 1987 from Burlington, Iowa. He was last seen getting into a cab with suitcases; he’d planned to go to Chicago. His disappearance was seen as completely out of character, though.
- Amanda Marie Rivera, 14, missing since 1990 from La Mesa, California. She was a recent MP of the week. I don’t have much on her.
- Zeta D. Gordon, 43, missing since 1992 from Atchison County, Kansas. There’s speculation that her husband was involved in her case; he took his own life in 1998. She was MP of the week in 2004. Two months ago someone posted a comment on the blog entry: I was in Atchison for a friends wedding, I met the daughter of Wayne and Zeta. It was shortly after she went missing. There is a lot not being told in this story. The daughter pulled out a scrapbook of all the articles written about this story. They did I fact have 3 kids together, the daughter and oldest son believed there dad had everything to do with the mothers disappearance, the oldest son would no longer have anything to do with Wayne and the daughter who was barely out of high school who was still living at home was visibly scared of her dad when he walked in while she was showing us the scrapbook. She absolutely believed her dad was guilty the younger brother was to young to understand. The daughter said she thought that her mom and dad were meeting somewhere later to talk and that’s where her car was found. Her dad accused mom of having an affair with someone and was trying to shift the blame onto someone else. From everything the daughter said I believe he was to blame
- Barry Paul Duncan, 38, missing since 1994 from Phoenix, Arizona. Eleven days later his truck turned up abandoned at the Gila River Indian Reservation. Foul play is suspected.
- Kenneth William Harker, 34, missing since 1996 from Sioux City, Iowa. He was disabled due a head injury, although capable of living independently. Investigators believe he was murdered.
- Ronald Leonard Farrell, 62, missing since 1999 from Hemet, California. He left on foot to go to the pharmacy several miles away and and fill a prescription, and never returned. Farrell was a retired Air Force veteran.
- Andrea Michelle Reyes, 1, missing since 1999 from New Haven, Connecticut. A family abduction; her mother took her. Mom is from Mexico and well-experienced at crossing back and forth across the border.
- George Boardman, 70, missing since 2000 from Bingham, Maine. Because he often left for weeks-long trips without telling anyone, his family didn’t notify the police he was gone until they failed to hear from him at Christmas. Foul play is suspected.
- Tristen Alan Myers, 4, missing since 2000 from Roseboro, North Carolina. His story is exceptionally sad. Even before he disappeared, this poor little boy never had a chance.
- Bedriye Sayrun, 33, missing since 2001 from Chicago, Illinois. Last seen at a restaurant in the early morning hours. She suffered from mental illness.
- Eric M. Apatiki, 21, missing since 2004 from Nome, Alaska. He didn’t live there; he lived in a tiny village on St. Lawrence Island. He’d traveled to Nome to see his girlfriend, who was pregnant with his child.
- Janita Gay Sites, 60, missing since 2005 from Las Vegas, Nevada. A murder-without-a-body case; her husband was convicted. He claimed self-defense but given that Janita was mostly wheelchair-bound, that didn’t exactly go well.
- Christie L. Wilson, 27, missing since 2005 from Rocklin, California. This was also a murder-without-a-body case; Mario Flavio Garcia, a man she met at a casino the night she disappeared, was convicted in her death and sentenced to 59 years to life.
- Uvaldo Moises Anaya, 64, missing since 2007 from Denver, Colorado. He was living with relatives at the time of his disappearance and was drinking and using hard drugs. For some reason at the time of his disappearance his left eye was painted over with white shoe polish.
- Barbara D. G. Sears Frears, 56, missing since 2008 from Reno, Nevada. She had schizophrenia and lived in a group home for mentally ill people. Apparently she hopped a bus to San Francisco after she left the home.
- Eric Lawrence Brown, 23, missing since 2009 from Tucson, Arizona. I don’t have much on him, but he did associate with a local street gang.
- William Cameron Brown, 66, missing since 2010 from Monroe County, Florida. He lived in a houseboat and was traveling to shore in a dinghy but apparently never made it; the dinghy never turned up either.
- David Christopher Allor, 56, missing since 2011 from Enterprise, Alabama. He may have tried to hitchhike to his previous hometown of Detroit, Michigan.
- Catherine Marie Tornquist, 56, missing since 2011 from Hot Springs, South Dakota. Another murder without a body. Her own son, Matthew, is serving LWOP in this case.
- Citlalli Perez-Coronel, 13, missing since 2012 from Louisville, Kentucky. A runaway; she had previously run to Nashville, Tennessee and may have done so again.
- Jason Lee Lovelady, 38, missing since 2013 from Whatcom County, Washington. He disappeared while gathering pinecones in the Mt. Baker Wilderness in the northern part of the state.
- Melissa Dawn Eagleshield. 42, missing since 2014 from Becker County, Minnesota. She apparently left a friend’s rural home, shoeless, in the early morning hours and it’s possible she accepted a ride from a passing motorist.
Adam was adopted out of foster care by Doug and Valerie Herrman, when he was two years old. He “ran away” from Towanda, Kansas sometime in the late spring or early summer of 1999, when he was ten or eleven years old. Doug and Valerie never reported him missing; his adoptive sister did, until 2008.
Subsequent investigation showed that Adam’s so-called parents had abused him prior to his disappearance, and after he went missing they told several different stories to family members to explain his absence. They also continued to claim him as a dependent on their taxes and collect subsidies for his care, both of which are illegal.
(A lesson for the uninitiated: Foster parents are paid a little — not nearly enough — to cover their expenses in caring for the kids. If you adopt a foster child, especially a special needs child, in many states they continue to pay you until they turns 18 or for as long as they live with you. A foster kid doesn’t necessarily need to have health problems to be considered “special needs.” The term also applies to older children, non-white children, members of a sibling group or any other type of kid who is considered difficult to place. Adam was a member of a sibling group, and even at two years old, he might have been considered an older child.)
Authorities have found no evidence that Adam is still alive and they’re pretty sure he was murdered by the Herrmans, but due to lack of evidence they were only able to get them for felony theft, regarding the subsidies they accepted after he was no longer living with them.
This is bad. With both of them alive, there was always the possibility that one might flip and testify against the other. Now, if Valerie is ever charged with Adam’s murder — and witnesses stated she was the more abusive parent and Doug sometimes even tried to protect him — she can blame Doug for the whole thing and claim she has no idea what happened or where Adam is. And on top of that, given that Valerie is also in poor health, it looks entirely possible that she too could die before this case is resolved.
But then again, they were able to convict Aarone Thompson‘s father of murder even after Aarone’s stepmother and co-abuser, Shely Lowe, died. So who knows.