MP of the week: William Chapman

This week’s featured missing person is William Ray Chapman, who disappeared from Wichita, Kansas on December 8, 2008. He was 24 years old.

William would definitely stand out in the crowd: openly gay, he sometimes wore makeup and wigs and went by the name “Vanity Vuitton.” (I’m thinking he went out in drag, though that’s not entirely clear.) He enjoyed going to LGBT clubs, video blogging, and making music. Some of the photos of him show him with his hair dyed bright red.

There is little information on Chapman’s disappearance, though one inevitably wonders about a hate crime; Kansas isn’t the most gay-friendly place in the world. He would be about 35 today, if he’s still alive.

MP of the week: Beverly Ward

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.

Black History Month: Monique and Sidney Smith

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.

MP of the week: Andreas Marts

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.

Black History Month: Jaquilla Scales

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.