Native American Heritage Month: Damon Boyd

In honor of Native American Heritage Month I’m featuring a Native American missing person for every day in the month of November. Today’s missing person is Damon Lee Boyd, a 29-year-old Ojibwe man who disappeared from Itasca County in northern Minnesota on May 27, 2014.

Boyd has both an alcohol problem and some mental illness issues, and he’s been in several treatment centers in the past. He was last seen after “leaving” a residential facility in Polk County, Minnesota. I don’t know whether he was properly discharged from that facility, or absconded.

According to the Facebook page set up for him, he may have been in the Fargo, North Dakota area after his disappearance.

Native American Heritage Month: Sheila St. Clair

In honor of Native American Heritage Month I’m featuring a Native American missing person for every day in the month of November. Today’s missing person is Sheila St. Clair, 48, who disappeared from Duluth, Minnesota on August 20, 2015. I do not know her tribal information.

She was planning to travel from Duluth to the White Earth Reservation, and may have tried to hitch a ride there. In any case she never arrived and was never seen again.

There was some media attention this past September, after the third anniversary of her disappearance. This article notes that her disappearance is “extremely suspect.”

Native American Heritage Month: Michial Annamitta

In honor of Native American Heritage Month I’m featuring a Native American missing person for every day in the month of November. Today’s missing person is Michial David Annamitta Jr., who disappeared from Sawyer, Minnesota on November 23, 2013, at the age of 22.

I don’t have much on Annamitta’s disappearance, but it’s noted that he frequented the Twin Cities area of Minnesota. Sawyer is an unincorporated community on the edge of the Fond du Lac Indian Reservation, where the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa live, but I don’t know if Annamitta is a Chippewa.

He has both mental health and substance abuse issues; the two often go hand in hand. I found his Facebook page and was able to add some more photos from that. His final post (the final public one, anyway) is from three months before his disappearance:

annamittafacebook

The circumstances of Michial Annamitta’s disappearance are unclear. If still alive, he’d be 27 years old today.

This gave me a double take

I’m updating the cases of Peggy Parmenter and Bernard Rusness, a couple who disappeared in 1976 after a house fire that claimed the life of their son, and found the following quote in an article:

“Also discovered amidst the debris were the remains of the two family dogs and a skull (which had been given to [Peggy] by her mother and was used as a planter).”

Two thoughts:

  1. WHAT? Who uses a SKULL as a planter? That’s morbid and weird even by my standards.
  2. Are they 100% sure the skull was the one used as a planter? I hope they didn’t just assume that and fail to check to see if it was Bernard’s or Peggy’s skull.

Thank you, Facebook peeps!

As anyone who looks at the Charley Project knows, I try to include as many photos of an MP as possible, and pictures of their tattoos as well, if I can get them.

Occasionally I’ve had to reach out to the crowd on the Charley Project’s Facebook page to ask about photos of an MPs’ tattoos. What happens is I’ll be looking at photos of the person (often on their own personal Facebook page) and see a tattoo but I can’t figure out what it’s supposed to be, or what the words are supposed to say. It doesn’t help that all that I know about tattoos is from watching episodes of Ink Master.

That happened again with this guy. The published info about his disappearance mentioned the “Zoey” tattoo, but the photos on his own Facebook page showed he had others.

I couldn’t figure out what that thing on his chest was supposed to be — I guessed “a stylized snake” or “a fancy ribbon” or suggested it might be something “tribal.” Within seconds, Facebookers responded: it was the astrological sign for Leo, except in reverse, since it was taken with a mirror. (I don’t know anything about astrology either.)

I also was pretty unclear on what the words on his left arm were — it looked like “Joy Meeu” to me. Facebookers answered me immediately and said “Self Made” was much more probable.

Thanks, Facebookers! You contributed invaluable information to William’s casefile. In fact, it was someone on Facebook who verified for me that William was still missing in the first place. I wasn’t 100% sure since the only real source of information was a Facebook page about his disappearance, and it hadn’t been updated since July.

And on another note, I really wish someone would add this guy on NamUs or something. He’s only listed with United Legacy and I can’t find any articles about him or anything. He apparently left of his own accord. but that doesn’t mean he stayed gone of his own accord.

Flashback Friday: Belinda VanLith

This week’s Flashback Friday case is Belinda VanLith, a 17-year-old girl who disappeared from the Little Eagle Lake area of Wright County, Minnesota on June 15, 1974. (I wrote an Executed Today entry set in Wright County.) She disappeared from a neighbor’s residence where she was house-sitting.

I looked up the name of the suspect, Timothy Joseph Crosby, in Newspapers.com and found several articles that mentioned him. He was very young when Belinda disappeared, only seventeen or eighteen, but according to court documents he’d already started abducting and sexually assaulting young women. This article from the St. Paul Pioneer Press talks about Belinda’s disappearance. As of 2013, anyway, Crosby was off the streets as a civilly committed “violent sexual recidivist.”

MP of the week: Lucia Perez

This week’s featured missing person is Lucia Chilel Perez, who disappeared from Worthington, Minnesota sometime in late June 2011, possibly June 27. A mother of three, she left with a guy to go looking for work. The man subsequently returned without her. He has a history of violence and gave an explanation for Lucia’s disappearance that turned out to be false. The police are understandably calling him a person of interest.

Missing persons news

I’ll cover the recovery of the Yates girls in their own entry, but here’s some other missing persons news:

  • This accountant’s hobby? Identifying missing people through his drawings
    My friend and Irregular Carl Koppelman has been featured in the Orange County Register. He does wonderful sketches of UIDs and was instrumental in identifying Cali Doe as Tammy Alexander. Congratulations, Carl!
  • Trial date in 20-year-old cold case pushed back to October
    A year and a quarter ago ago, more or less, Kirsten Renee Hatfield‘s two-doors-down neighbor was charged with her murder. The headline of this article is pretty self-explanatory, and the news story explains why: the suspect has new lawyers now who need time to review the evidence.
    Kirsten’s case, for whatever reason, fascinated me back when I was a child and first started getting interested in missing persons. I had a website when I was twelve or so, with some poems and stories I wrote, and one of them was a poem called “Missing, Presumed Dead” and it was based on Kirsten’s disappearance, as I explained on the site. Kirsten’s mom found it and emailed me, saying she was touched that a little girl in Ohio was thinking of her and her lost daughter, but she didn’t believe Kirsten was dead.
  • Judge orders suspect in cold case homicide to trial in district court
    Apparently the motive for Cari Lea Farver‘s homicide was a love triangle; both she and the suspect, Shanna Goylar, were seeing the same man. According to prosecutors, after Goylar killed Cari, she burned the body and then went on Cari’s social media accounts and tried to make it look like she was still alive.
  • Missing Oklahoma woman found more than 20 years after disappearance
    This case isn’t one of mine. It’s a really awesome story, though, how hard Shelly Jennings’s daughters looked for her, and how she was found largely through their efforts. Twenty-three years after she walked away from her family in Oklahoma, she turns up at a bus station in Modesto, California. I hope they can reconcile, although given Shelly’s mental illness, this may not be possible.
  • For families of missing persons, not knowing is excruciating
    This is about the disappearance of Cody Henry Turner, who went missing from Washington in 2015.
  • Missing Minnesotans: Susan Swedell
    Obviously, an article about Susan Anne Swedell (for whom I recently posted an updated AP).

Flashback Friday: Donald Kulas

This week’s Flashback Friday case is Donald Kulas, a sixty-year-old man who disappeared from Two Harbors, Minnesota, a small town in the northeastern corner of the state, on the shores of Lake Superior. Kulas attended a party on the night of his disappearance, May 11, 1985, and was last seen as he was leaving. He never made it home and his car turned up abandoned in a ditch the next day.

I wish I had more info on this case. I don’t even have a decent quality picture of Kulas; I don’t think anyone could recognize somebody based on the photo I have. A few questions spring to mind:

  1. Was there alcohol served at this party? Did Kulas partake, and if so, how much?
  2. What condition was the car in when it was found? Was it out of gas? Were there any indications of an accident?

My guess is that Kulas died shortly after his disappearance, though I don’t have enough info to speculate as to how he met his death. NamUs says sixty tracker dogs were used in the search, but turned up nothing. Regardless, I think his remains are somewhere between the spot his car was found and his own home in Brimson, Minnesota, thirteen miles away.

Some more “UnFound” podcasts

The guy who does the “UnFound” podcasts has just released three more. (My links for the MPs’ names direct you to their Charley Project casefiles; click on the “UnFound” link above to see the podcasts.) There’s:

The podcaster, Ed Dentzel, interviewed me by phone on September 21. We talked for about an hour, and afterwards, at his request, I emailed him a bunch of stuff. The September call was actually what they call a pre-interview. The real, public interview will be next week. In the meantime, Ed is going to send me an outline of how he’d like the interview to go, what questions he plans to ask me, etc., for me to examine and suggest possible changes if needs be.