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.

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: Mohammed Alghannam

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 Mohammed Abdulmohsen Alghannam, also known as Mo, who disappeared from New Orleans on March 28, 2015, at the age of 25.

Mo is from Saudi Arabia and was in New Orleans on a student visa at the time of his disappearance, studying mechanical engineering at UT-San Antonio. I think he disappeared over spring break.

It was spring, anyway, and he was taking a break: he went to New Orleans with his uncle and stayed three nights at a hotel there, presumably doing touristy things during the day. Mo was supposed to take a bus back to San Antonio, but it’s not clear whether he ever did. He was just gone.

His loved ones created a Facebook page for him, but it’s almost entirely in Arabic, and the last post on it was in June 2015. There hasn’t been any news about him in years.

I have no idea what happened here, but here’s to hoping that Mo decided to drop out of sight so he wouldn’t have to return to Saudi Arabia. He apparently wasn’t doing too well in school, and he would hardly be the first temporary visitor to the U.S. who decided to make his stay permanent.

Well, this is absolutely terrible

So I’m trying to ease back into things, still not feeling the greatest, and I ran Nelda Louise Hardwick‘s name through Newspapers.com and came across an awful story.

Nelda may have been killed along Interstate 10 in Hancock County, Mississippi on May 10, 1998, four and a half years after her disappearance from Lake Charles, Louisiana on October 14, 1993.

The unidentified woman was a pedestrian who was struck by a vehicle on the interstate. In 2013, Nelda’s family identified the dead woman as her based on photos of the body.

The coroner was quoted as saying there was just “one chance in a thousand” that the body wasn’t Nelda, and speculated she was held captive the entire time and somehow managed to finally escape, only to be killed on the road.

An exhumation was duly ordered, but when they dug up the Jane Doe’s grave in St. Joseph Cemetery, they found a MAN in the coffin, not a woman. The judge ordered the proceedings stopped, writing, “Unfortunately, it appears that the remains at the Jane Doe headstone were not those of Jane Doe. Further, the chief medical examiner advises it is obvious that the location of her grave is unknown.”

So Nelda is still listed among the missing, and this Jane Doe is now missing as well and will probably NEVER be identified now.

I cannot imagine how devastating this must have been for Nelda’s family.

Thoughts on updates of 3/18

Done 26 updates for today — so far. It’s only ten a.m. I’ve been working since around midnight and enjoying every minute of it.

I found a decent amount of information on baby Matthew Crocker‘s 1983 abduction. If there had been an Amber Alert back then, perhaps he would have been found.

The abductor claimed she had two children who died shortly after birth, which could go a long way towards explaining why she took Matthew. I’m not sure if the car was ever located. Anyway, the night there was a party at the house, and the adults all got drunk — except, perhaps, this “Kathy Johnson” person — and after everyone passed out she made off with the baby.

Chances are he’s alive and doesn’t know he’s missing. That concave chest is a good identifier. I wonder if there’s a guy out there, 35 out there, who isn’t sure who he is, who’s got a bit of a dent in his chest.

Keith Fleming‘s disappearance strikes me as so sad. That silky hair and those dark earnest eyes. Just a good-looking boy growing up into a young man. Having fun surfing, riding his bike, his first hit of weed, his first girlfriend — he gave her her first kiss the very night he disappeared.

I wonder if McRae really was involved, though. I mean, that would make the most sense, yes. But he knew Charles Collingwood and Kipling Hess; police were never able to prove he knew Keith, except perhaps by sight. And McRae’s wife said he told her he’d killed Charles and Kipling, but she didn’t say anything about Keith.

So, monster though McRae may have been, I’m not 100% sure he was the monster responsible for Keith’s disappearance. Though whatever happened to Keith must have been bad.

So was is whatever it was that happened to Andrew Dudley. NO ONE is going to literally run away while their Thanksgiving dinner is literally cooking in the kitchen.

Lloyd Gilsdorf‘s mom believed he was set up to be murdered. I think if that was the case it had to have been someone he knew. This was a pretty elaborate scheme if the aim was just to lure him to New Orleans so someone could kill him. Robbery couldn’t have been a motive; he was divorced, unemployed and broke.

I tried to be all professional-like when describing the circumstances of Rebecca Powell‘s death, but…wow. It filled me with some pretty unpleasant mental images, and that’s just reading the sanitized newspaper version. No wonder the trial testimony made a juror throw up.

I can’t say I think highly of any of the three men in that story. They all sounded like absolute scum, including the roommate who didn’t find out what happened till the next day but kept his mouth shut and pitched in to destroy evidence.

It doesn’t really seem fair that Fleming could have gotten a death sentence when his friend (who, by his own admission, witnessed the crime, didn’t report it, and helped clean up the scene and hide the body) got off scot-free, but of course without that friend’s testimony there would have been no case.

And that contractor in the Dock Thompson case sounds totally shady. I was surprised when I looked him up in the Florida DOC database and didn’t find him anywhere — I would have figured he’d have ended up in prison for SOMETHING after 1989, but he didn’t, at least not in Florida.