MP of the week: Claudia Guillen

For this week the featured MP is Claudia Berenice Guillen, the 21-year-old mother of a toddler also named Claudia who disappeared with her from Yuma, Arizona on November 24, 2004. The child went by her middle name, Jareth.

I don’t have much on them, but the obvious suspect is Claudia’s boyfriend, who had a history of domestic violence and went to Mexico shortly after Claudia and Jareth vanished. The cops in both Arizona and Mexico have interviewed him, with no result.

I’m thinking Claudia is probably dead, but maybe there’s a chance Jareth is alive and perhaps is in Mexico. I’d like to know more — particularly whether Claudia’s boyfriend is Jareth’s biological father.

MP of the week: Jason Macias

This week’s featured missing person is Jason Richard Macias, who disappeared from El Paso, Texas on August 30, 2011, at the age of 23. He left all his belongings behind, including his car, but nothing has been said about his passport, which probably would have needed if he was going to cross the border into Mexico. Macias was a frequent traveler to that country, but I don’t know if he went there after he disappeared.

If he is still alive, Macias would be 28 today. He’s quite tall — six foot five — and has the name “Martha” tattooed on his arm.

Mirko Yug revisited

Last Friday I profiled a guy named Mirko Yug for Flashback Friday. I knew nothing about him as a person or about his disappearance at the time. Well, the Charley Project Irregulars decided to pitch in and I’ve gotten some emails from different people with a LOT of info on Mirko, mainly from Here’s what I know now:

Mirko Yug was born in Yugoslavia to Friedrich Jug and Melia Serianz. His city of birth was Ljubljana, which is now the capital of Slovenia. One person who emailed said his name at birth was (also) Friedrich Jug. He emigrated to the U.S. in 1950. His first wife was a Yugoslavian-born woman named Bozena, born in 1919 and thus seven years older than him. They married in Austria.

In 1954, Mirko petitioned for naturalization. His petition was granted in 1958 and he changed his name to Mirko Yug at that time. (The change in spelling of his last name was probably for ease of pronunciation. My psychiatrist, born in Haiti, had the last name Brunot, but changed it to Bruno in America, presumably for similar reasons. As to why he’d change “Friedrich” to “Mirko” I don’t know.) Bozena was naturalized in 1956.

In 1956 or 1957, Mirko graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles with a BA in Finance and an MA in Foreign Trade. He listed his hometown as Cleveland, Ohio (which is where his wife had been from). On December 31, 1956, he married again to a woman named Terry, who was born in California, and was several years younger than Mirko. No word on what happened to his first wife. In 1958, Mirko attended the American Institute for Foreign Trade in Arizona. The school still exists but it is now called the Thunderbird School of Global Management, at Arizona State University. Thunderbird’s website says it’s one of the top-ranked business schools in not just the country, but the world.

Also in 1958, Mirko and his second wife moved to Mexico City. One or both of them had been transferred there by an employer, Pfaudler-Permutit, an industrial and chemical company that’s apparently still around. There’s a record of Terry crossing back into California in 1959, but no similar record for Mirko. In 1964, the couple had two sons (twins?) and in 1972, a daughter. That same year, they divorced in Nevada. (All three children still live in Nevada and have good jobs and are apparently upstanding members of society. Terry remarried in 1979 and also still lives in Nevada.)

Also in 1972, Mirko was one of the founding members of a the first modern maquiladora association in Mexico, in Matamoros.  (A maquiladora is a US-owned factory that produces goods for export back to the US.) He is listed as the commissioner for Mexicomp, a company that apparently doesn’t exist anymore, though other companies use that name. The maquiladora still exists though. Whether Mirko was actually still living in Mexico at this point is unclear.

Then he disappeared in Los Angeles in 1976. About the actual circumstances, there’s still nothing known.

This is all very interesting. Mirko was, apparently, an intelligent, driven man and a successful businessman. This is not the kind of background you’d expect from someone who would drop so completely out of sight like that.

Tips on Facebook

People send me “tips” about cases all the time, mostly through email. I really wish they wouldn’t. I try to actively discourage people from doing this, for obvious reasons, but what can you do?

I got a really intriguing private message on Charley’s Facebook page last night, though, that I did feel compelled to pass on to the NCMEC. A woman from Mexico, whose English wasn’t terribly good, sent me a series of messages saying she had found a missing boy in Mexico. He’s been missing for nine years. She said she’d also found his mother — where, she didn’t say, whether the mom was with him or what.

All of this is not very much by itself: she didn’t even say WHERE in Mexico this kid supposedly is. But intriguingly, the woman attached a series of what appear to be current photos of this young man.

I called the NCMEC and told them about it, and they actually had me email them all the photos and stuff. I hope something comes of this.

A judgment call

I was putting together Charley Project updates when I stopped to write this blog entry. I just had to make a judgment call again.

Now, quite a lot of the time I find my multiple sources of information contradicting each other. When this happens I just go with what I think must be true, and perhaps note that other people say something else. As a general rule, I think that law enforcement sources and family sources are most likely to be correct. When those two contradict each other, then I have a real problem.

I wrote up a case of a woman who disappeared in 2011. She had been staying at a hotel in the border city of Eagle Pass, Texas while trying to sell property in Eagle Pass’s sister city of Piedras Negras, Mexico. (I looked up Piedras Negras and it doesn’t look good for her.) Anyway, the woman was in a law enforcement database and her name was given as Patsy. I went with that and wrote up a basic casefile for her, then went to check other sources. I found her mother’s obituary. If a relative, particularly a parent, dies after the MP disappeared, I will usually note in the Charley Project casefile if the MP is listed as having survived or predeceased the parent.

Patsy’s mother’s obit said she was “presumed deceased.” I put that in the casefile. But the obituary also called her Patricia, not Patsy.

I was really uncertain about what to do with this one. It’s possible that the law enforcement database made a mistake and her legal name was Patricia. Perhaps she’s only listed in there as Patsy because no one ever called her Patricia. And it’s possible that her legal name was Patsy and they made a mistake with the obituary.

I am going with Patsy. I hate these kind of situations. I want everything to be correct and it makes me very uncomfortable to list a case when I’m not 100% sure I’ve gotten their name right. That’s kind of an important detail, don’t you think?

Anyway, blog entry over, back to the salt mines I go.

MP of the week: Elvia Morales

This week’s featured missing person, Elvia Morales, was abducted more or less forcibly from her home by a family acquaintance when she was only fourteen years old. Apparently they had been having an “inappropriate” relationship, this in spite of the fact that he was twenty-plus years older than her, married and a father. A day later, Elvia called home to say she was okay and to not look for her. She hasn’t been heard from since.

It seems likely that Elvia is alive if not well, and that she and her abductor, Juan Martinez Martinez, may be in California or more likely in Mexico. It’s very sad to have her ripped from her family and her childhood cut short like that. My guess is she’s tied down with a couple of kids now.

Elvia will turn 20 years old in just a few days. She’s been missing five and a half years.

Make-a-List Monday: En route to Mexico

At Justin’s suggestion, a list of people who were headed to Mexico or about to head to Mexico when they vanished. It’s a very dangerous place but also the kind of default place for Americans who want to “get away from it all.” I don’t count abduction cases (family abductions or otherwise) where anyone who is abducted and believed to be in Mexico, or runaways who are believed to have gone to Mexico; I only mean cases where the person was en route to Mexico (or had already arrived) and planned to come back shortly. This is a longish list, though not nearly as long as it could have been. Putting “Mexico” in the search engine returned hundreds of results, many from people who disappeared from New Mexico or the Gulf of Mexico in Florida.

Wade Michael Aughney
Virginia Canales*
Brenda Y. Cisneros
Jedediah Jack Cross
Jennie Samantha Cummings
Mark Randall Davis*
Naziha Ibrahim Duela
Jiovany Gomez
Ricardo Gomez
Luis Manuel Hernandez
Monico Urquidi Hernandez
Harry Weldon Kees*
Christopher Martin King
Yvette J. Martinez
Douglas Edward Meer
Belinda Martinez
Annette Marie Mizener
Nicholas A. Munoz
Carlos Ortega-Gonzales
Roberta Musquiz Pagan
Eddie Garcia Partida
David Ronnal Provost
Rodolfo Reyes
Argelio Rivera Jr.
Elsha Marie Rivera
Sonia Moreno Ronquillo*
Shinho Steve Seo
Joel Matthew Thompson*
Elvis Omar Vega*
Nestor Javier Vega Osuna
Raul Francisco Villarreal
Debra Lee Vowell
Virginia Lynne Wood
Jesus Franco Zapata


[I accidentally published two lists on the same day; I’ve removed the other. You’ll have to wait for that one.]