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.
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 That kind of thing would not be published in the newspaper today.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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.