This week’s FF case is Natasha Marie Shanes, a six-year-old girl who was apparently abducted from her mother’s Jackson, Michigan home on May 8, 1985.
Although they never identified the abductor or found any bloodstains or the like, I’m pretty confident Natasha died around the time she was taken, because of her medical problems. She had a seizure disorder and needed medication for that. She was also slightly intellectually disabled and she had scoliosis, though to what degree I don’t know.
In the very unlikely event that Natasha is alive, she’d be 38 today.
Flashback Friday’s case (first time in awhile, I know) is Lilli Marlene Dunn, a 29-year-old Southgate, Michigan woman who was abducted from her own garage in the early morning hours of July 31, 1980. Two witnesses saw a man dragging Lilli, kicking and screaming, into his car, but they thought it was just a domestic quarrel and didn’t intervene.
It’s possible Lilli was a victim of the serial killer Coral Eugene Watts, but he was never charged in her case and he died in 2007.
Remember these sisters? They were missing for almost three years before they both turned up in September 2014. Well, NamUs says one of them is missing again. And it says she has her two-year-old son with her. Which would mean she gave birth to him while she was missing last time. Sigh.
I wonder where the older one is, if she’s safe, if she’s in contact with her little sister and her nephew.
This week’s featured missing person is Michelle Amy Lokker, who disappeared from Allegan, Michigan on June 7, 2003, at the age of 29. Her clothes turned up in or near the Kalamazoo River after her disappearance. I had it as IN the river, but a post on this Websleuths thread says the following:
I knew Michelle as an acquaintance. She seemed like a kind, good soul and decent person. I think she wanted to become a vet or work with animal rescue or something like that, but unfortunately I think she may have been become depressed. The last time I saw her she was a shell of her old self, it was heartbreaking. The only thing that I heard was that it was assumed suicide since her car and neatly folded clothes were found next to the Kalamazoo River. The river was searched but nothing was ever found. I’ve never heard any more details than that.
I couldn’t find any news on Michelle, alas. She does have a distinctive brand on her hip and I’ve got a sketch of it.
This week’s Select It Sunday was chosen by Celeste K.: it’s Kimberly Alice King, who disappeared from Warren, Michigan on September 16, 1979, just a little over a month before she would have turned thirteen.
Kim was spending the night at a neighborhood friend’s home when she sneaked out of the house and called her sister from a pay phone at 11:00 p.m. I’m not sure why she sneaked out or why she called her sister: maybe she just did it for the thrills and wanted to share her secret with someone? In any case, this is the last time anyone saw her.
There was the inevitable speculation that Kim ran away, a theory the police no longer believe in, and also speculation that she was a victim of the as-yet-unidentified Oakland County Child Killer. If she was, she was the only victim whose body was never found — he liked to leave his victims’ bodies lying out in plain sight.
If she’s still alive, Kimberly King would be 50 years old now. But I doubt she lived long after making that final phone call to her sister in 1979.
This week’s Select It Sunday case was chosen by Tracy S.: Shannon Dale Verhage, who disappeared from Cedar Springs, Michigan on June 3, 1997, just twelve days from her first birthday.
It’s “virtually undisputed” what happened to Shannon: Marvin Gabrion killed her, along with her mother, nineteen-year-old Rachel Timmerman, and dumped them both in a lake in a national forest. Gabrion had raped Rachel shortly after Shannon’s birth, and Rachel and Shannon disappeared just a few days before Rachel was to testify against him. He later allegedly said he “killed the baby because there was nowhere else to put it.”
Michigan doesn’t have the death penalty, but because Rachel was killed on federal land, her murder was prosecuted under federal law and Gabrion was sentenced to death. He’s never been charged in Shannon’s disappearance, or the murder of a man whose body was found in the same lake, or the disappearances of two others he’s suspected of killing.
David Robert Gionet‘s brother’s fiancee asked me to profile him for Select It Sunday. David was 18 when he disappeared on March 9, 1983, near the campus of the Interlochen Center for the Arts. His family has since found out that, contrary to popular belief (and contrary to what his Charley Project page says as of this writing), he wasn’t actually ON the campus. Here’s a flier I was given with the most updated information and a much better version of David’s photo.
Needless to say, I’m going to update his case. But while we’re on the subject, can I have some more Sunday suggestions?