MP of the week: Charles Wheat

This week’s featured missing person is Charles Phillip Wheat, a 34-year-old man who disappeared from Winnfield, Louisiana on March 16, 2012. He’s considered missing under suspicious circumstances, but I don’t have very much on this case. He has several tattoos and I have descriptions of them, but no photos of them. His sister created a Facebook page for him but it hasn’t been updated since 2017.

I haven’t found any news about this case since it happened. If he’s still alive, Wheat would be 43 today.

A bunch of “they’re still looking for…” and other stories

Lee and Anthony Redgrave are working with the the DNA Doe Project to identify transgender and nonbinary murder victims. They’ve started the Trans Doe Task Force, which helps police and medical examiners with cold cases involving transgender people.

Alaska: An unusually high number of people have gone missing from Fairbanks in the past ten months. Fairbanks averages five missing persons a year, but since May 2020, eleven people have disappeared and have not been found. (I wonder if the political, economic and emotional turmoil caused by the pandemic has anything to do with it.) Five of the missing eleven are Native. The community is concerned and held a vigil about it.

Colorado: Wendy Stephens, a Denver teenager who disappeared in 1983, has been identified as a victim of Gary Leon Ridgeway, the Green River Killer. He pleaded guilty to 49 murders but is believed to have killed more than 71. Not all of his presumed victims have been found, and three that have been are still unidentified.

Indiana: This article details the uncertainty about the veracity of a suspect’s confession in the Denise Diane Pflum case. Denise was 18 when she disappeared from Connersville in 1986. Her body has never been found. In 2020, her ex-boyfriend, Shawn McClung, confessed to her killing after being offered immunity for her death and also the dismissal of two charges he was in jail for. At the time he was dying. Before he passed away a few months later, McClung retracted his confession, saying he’d only made the statement because he didn’t want to die in jail.

Louisiana: They’re still looking for Cory Marie Rubio, a 24-year-old mother of two who disappeared from Shreveport in 1999. The most logical person to look at is her ex-husband; they were in the middle of a custody battle, and he had a history of violent behavior.

New Hampshire: Authorities have determined that the remaining unidentified body in the Bear Brook murders case has maternal relatives in the Pearl River, Mississippi area. DNA testing indicates the child and her mother were descendants of Thomas “Deadhorse” Mitchell, who was born in 1836, or William Livings, who was born in 1826. The dead child also may have suffered from anemia.

New Mexico: They’re still looking for Robert Marcos Romero, an eight-year-old boy who disappeared from Santa Fe in 2000. The most plausible theory is that his brother Ronnie killed him accidentally while under the influence of drugs, but nothing has been proven and Ronnie died over a decade ago.

New York: They believe the car found in the Muscoot Reservoir, which I wrote about earlier, is that of Brenda Kerber, a 40-year-old woman who disappeared from White Plains in 1989. I’d never heard of this case before.

Also New York: They’re still trying to identify a Jane Doe found in Chautauqua County. She now has her own Facebook page.

Oklahoma: They’re still looking for Darian Michelle Hudson, age 23, who went missing from Stillwater in 2017. She was going through a lot of personal problems and may have had a mental breakdown. Her family thinks foul play was involved in her disappearance, but the police say they aren’t sure.

Also Oklahoma: A proposed missing persons bill, House Bill 1790, is being called the Aubrey Alert, after missing transgender Native woman Aubrey Dameron. Aubrey was 25 when she disappeared from Grove in 2019. The Aubrey Alert bill, if passed, would require “critically missing” adult cases to be investigated immediately. The text of the bill can be read here.

Oregon: They’re still looking for Jodie Marie Anderson, a 29-year-old woman who disappeared from Crescent City in 2017. She may be in the Linn County area.

South Carolina: They’re still looking for Shelton John Sanders, a 25-year-old man who disappeared from Columbia in 2001. He now has a Facebook page.

Tennessee: They’re still looking for married couple Kristie Wilson, 39, and Henry Wilson, 45, who disappeared from Monterey in 2018. Their car was found at the bottom of a ravine months after they went missing; it had been there so long there were plants growing in it. No sign of either of them. There have been multiple tips that the Wilsons were murdered, but no solid leads.

Texas: They’re still looking for Fredrick Joseph “Little Joe” Boehm, age 23, who disappeared from Marshall on this day twenty years ago. He was temporarily staying with a friend when late one night he got a mysterious phone call, changed from his pajamas into street clothes and left, saying he’d be back later. He never returned.

Also Texas: They’re still looking for Andrea Leigh Cotten, a seventeen-year-old girl who disappeared from Corsicana in 2004. She left her cousin’s house in the night and never returned. She disappeared the day before she was supposed to visit her child, who was in foster care, and her family doesn’t think she would have missed that on purpose. Since she went missing there’s been no activity on her Social Security number, which is ominous.

Canada: The four-month-old disappearance of 30-year-old Megan Michelle Gallagher from Saskatoon is now being investigated as a homicide.

England: The brother of Suzy Lamplugh, a 35-year-old woman who disappeared from London in 1986, has issued an appeal for answers in her case.

MP of the week: Kara Vaughn

This week’s featured missing person is Kara Enid Vaughn, a 40-year-old woman missing from Natchitoches, Louisiana since November 3, 1993. Her car, a white 1978 Honda, is missing also.

She had previously threatened to drive into the river, but searches of the river turned up nothing. The circumstances of her disappearance are unclear. If still alive, Kara would be 66 today.

A bad photo is better than none at all (and other thoughts on recent updates)

Just added Amanda Elise Southern to Charley. The 28-year-old woman disappeared from a nightclub in Catahoula Parish, Louisiana 26 years ago. Unfortunately the only photo I could find of her is absolutely terrible, but what can you do?

Reading the articles about how her ex tried to SELL THEIR KIDS (albeit to their grandparents) after her disappearance, I was struck by how much confidentiality and privacy norms have changed in the past few decades.

I can understand publicizing the kids’ information because for awhile they were missing. (When Amanda’s parents refused to pay for custody of the children, the dad took off with them and was on the lam for over a month.) But then when in the articles talking about how they were found, there was all sorts of information about the children and what they had been through, including the fact that they were believed to have been sexually abused. That kind of thing would not be published in the newspaper today.

I hope the kids are all right. I think Amanda’s parents got custody of them after they were found with their father. It seems super unlikely that she would have just walked away, what with one of the kids having disabilities, her parents living out of state and the children’s father overseas.

Some other random thinking-out-loud stuff:

  • I am not sure that Courtney Corrinna Holden is really white. She is pretty dark-skinned and looks more likely to be Hispanic or maybe Native American. Certainly I’ve seen mistakes in this area before. She is adopted, but one article mentions that she was in touch with her biological brother, so it seems like this is something the police should know for sure. Shrug.
    In any case, her story is incredibly sad. Especially the details about her family nickname “Cinderella” and her son calling his grandmother “mom” and his uncle “dad.” The articles I read said her son even did this before Courtney went missing. I cannot imagine how sad and scared and trapped Courtney must have felt, and I doubt she’s alive today.
  • The guy Melissa Ann Jordon was last seen with is SERIOUSLY bad news. Judges see a lot of crazy stuff and I was stuck by that judge saying Mr. Nesbitt was one of the most violent and dangerous criminals she’d ever encountered in her career. The “felon in possession of a firearm” thing was something he pled down to, by the way; the original incident involved him breaking into his ex-wife’s house and holding her at gunpoint.
    Given how long his sentence is, I wonder if the authorities have ever tried to sit down with him since he was imprisoned, pointed out he doesn’t have much to lose, and asked him to tell what happened to Melissa. I’m sure he knows.
    (Melissa’s NamUs photo, btw, is a high school yearbook photo and almost ten years out of date. That’s why I didn’t use it, as I found a more current pic in Newspapers.)
  • I dunno what I would do without Facebook as a source for recent cases. Okay, I do know what I’d do, I’d put up the cases, but there would be a lot less info. The case of Melissa Rose Ann Garrett is a great example; her daughter posted a bunch of photos of her and more info about her disappearance. Sad story. The daughter seems to suspect Melissa’s boyfriend may have been involved. Anne Marie Hubbert is another case where most of the pictures and some of the other info came from Facebook; Anne’s page and her daughter’s.
  • Shakeeta Young disappeared just a few months after her nineteen-year-old son died. I found a few “RIP” posts on Facebook from some of the young man’s friends but no mention of a cause of death. I wonder if Shakeeta’s disappearance is in some way related. It’s very sad for their family, just bad luck all around there.

MP of the week: Raymond Arruebarrena

This week’s featured missing person is Raymond Louis Arruebarrena Jr., who disappeared from New Orleans, Louisiana on July 3, 1976, at the age of nineteen. If still alive, he’d be sixty-two in a little over a week.

I couldn’t find any news articles about his disappearance, only a personal ad in the Times-Picayune from 1981, asking that anyone who knows his whereabouts should call a certain phone number.

I’d never heard of the surname Arruebarrena before, so I looked it up. It’s Spanish Basque. I found a few New Orleans area Arruebarrenas on Facebook; they’re probably Raymond’s relatives.

If someone were trying to match Raymond to an unidentified body, look for one that had serious injuries to the spine, ribs and left leg during life. Those would probably be the most distinguishing characteristics.

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: Yasuko Guillory

In honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, I am profiling one Asian or Pacific Islander MP for every day of the month of May. Today’s case is Yasuko Koizumi Guillory, who disappeared from Metairie, Louisiana on February 16, 1999. She was 44.

Guillory, was born in Japan, adopted at age five, and has also lived in Canada, apparently has a history of dropping out of sight and of using different dates of birth. It sounds like she could still be alive and could be literally anywhere. She would be 64 years old today and may not even know she’s listed as a missing person.

Black History Month: Justin Cosey

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 fourteen-year-old Justin Emile Cosey, who disappeared from New Orleans, Louisiana on July 12, 2002.

Justin is not listed with the NCMEC for some reason, only NamUs and the Louisiana database. He is, however, mentioned in passing in the book Tales of Two Cities: How Race and Crime Intersect on Local TV News: In New Orleans and Indianapolis. (I haven’t read it, but came across the snippet about Justin a Google Books preview.)

I don’t know enough about the case to guess as to why Justin disappeared, but it’s been sixteen, going on seventeen years since anyone’s heard from him. If he is still alive he’d be 31 today.

Black History Month: KaRhonda Stringfellow

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 KaRhonda Walker Stringfellow, a 21-year-old woman who disappeared from Dubach, Louisiana on October 11, 2004.

I have almost nothing on her disappearance, only that she was last seen at Dubach Apartments. I did find a few details about her life prior to her disappearance in the newspaper archives, though. She graduated from Dubach High School top of her class. A year later she had a baby, Kamron, but he died.

I guess she must have married Kamron’s father afterwards, because the baby’s obituary lists his mother KaRhonda Walker and his dad as Dion Stringfellow, but by the time she disappeared two years later she’d become KaRhonda Stringfellow. KaRhonda has Dion’s name tattooed on her shoulder.

I wish I knew more about her disappearance. She’s listed on the Ruston/Lincoln Crimestoppers site.

I’ve never done this before

So the other day I added the case of Jaret Jerome Senegal, a 30-year-old man who disappeared from Crowley, Louisiana on November 7, 2000.

He’s not listed anywhere else except the Louisiana Repository for Unidentified & Missing People. That database did not have a photo of him. This recent article on Louisiana missing persons mentions Senegal, but it didn’t have a photo either.

I did all my usual digging and the only remotely usable photo I could find was one of Jaret at the age of about six years old, part of a group photo published in a 1976 newspaper. There was one other photo, also published in a newspaper, of Jaret with his boxing club as a teenager, but it was of such poor quality that all you could see was a Jaret-shaped black silhouette. Clearly, not usable.

I felt pretty unhappy about having to use the 1976 photo, but then again the only available photos of Ivon and Inisha Fowler are of them as infants, so there you go.

I’m hoping that now that Jaret is on Charley, that might kick-start something and someone can find a more recent photo of him.

Pride Month: Brian Hatfield

In honor of Pride Month I’m featuring a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer missing person every day for the month of June. Today’s case is Brian Allen Hatfield, age 21, who disappeared from Baton Rouge, Louisiana on May 9, 2004. He wasn’t gay as far as I know, but he was a known cross-dresser, and was wearing women’s clothing when he disappeared. (Fun fact: most men who cross-dress aren’t gay or trans.)

No place in America is really safe for a man in women’s clothes, particularly the South, and foul play is suspected in Hatfield’s disappearance. I don’t know if a hate crime was a factor, though; it may have been a simple robbery. The cops caught someone else driving his car, and Hatfield’s checks and debit card were used after his disappearance, presumably by others.