Legislation passed to deal with the migrants who die trying to cross the border, and other stories

In Arizona: the death toll of migrants crossing the U.S./Mexican border through the Arizona desert reached 227 last year. This is a 58% increase from 2019.

In Florida: they’re still looking for Christine Muriel Flahive, a 42-year-old woman who disappeared from Punta Gorda on January 5, 1995. Per the article, the primary suspect is Jonathan Payne (who is also named in Christine’s Charley Project casefile) and unfortunately he’s been dead for a decade.

In Illinois: the police are trying to find Victoria Puzinas, who disappeared from the Albany Park area of Chicago on November 25, 2019. She was 54 years old at the time, suffers from mental illness and was homeless.

In Massachusetts: they’re still looking for 59-year-old Abbie Flynn, who disappeared from Gloucester on February 2, 2020. She had a party planned at her house, and a few hours beforehand she went out for a walk and never returned.

In Kentucky: the police have located Kenneth Davis Jr., who had been missing from Harlan County since October. He is alive.

In Ohio: the police are still looking for David Alan Tackett, who was last seen in Miami Township on September 8. He was 56 years old at the time, and it’s notable how skinny he was: 5’7 and somewhere between 100 and 125 pounds.

In Oregon: they’re still trying to identify a Jane Doe whose body was found in Polk, County, Oregon in September 1996.

In Tennessee: the Holly Bobo Act, which increases the age limit from 18 to 21 for endangered or missing adult alerts, is now in effect. From now on, missing people age 18 through 20 will be classified with the children.

In West Virginia: they’re still looking for John Jesse Wiley, a 41-year-old man who disappeared from Morgan County sometime in 2018. He wasn’t reported missing till last April.

In the border region: an article about the Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains Act, bipartisan legislation that “opens up funding for the network of state and local governments, humanitarian organizations, forensics labs and medical offices that respond to migrant deaths on a day-to-day basis.” This should lead to a lot of unidentified migrants getting their names back.

In Europe: two children who were kidnapped from the Netherlands by their mom in 2014 have been found safe in Innsbruck, Austria. Their searching father is delighted.

A strange coincidence

I was looking at NamUs’s newly added cases and saw one for a guy named Eddie Vanneiter. I knew I had an Edward Vannater on Charley and so I pulled him up, thinking they must be the same guy, just with slightly different names. But clearly they aren’t.

Edward vanished from Ohio in 2003; Eddie disappeared from Florida in 2000. Edward was 32; Eddie was 26. Etc. Edward is white; Eddie is black and, from what the details of disappearance says, probably a resident of the Dutch Caribbean island of Curaçao. (If he was, he’d be the first Curaçaoan on Charley.)

It reminds me of back in the MPCCN days when the site featured two people named Carlina Francher. If I recall correctly, only did they share the same first and last names, they were also African-American teenage girls missing from New York City.

I’ll add Eddie…well…whenever. I can’t really promise to add anyone at any particular time because I’ve got so many cases in the inbox it’s ridiculous.

Charley Project mentioned in master’s thesis

A Dutch woman named Nathalie Swinkels wrote to me to say she’d mentioned, and cited, my site several times in her master’s thesis, Stay Away From Missing Persons’ Cases On The Internet: Should managers and users of missing persons’ websites be afraid of copyright infringement and defamation?

It’s a very interesting thesis actually. It turns out the author’s been following the Charley Project and my blog for years.

Zachary, Jennifer and Holly Collins

Zachary and Jennifer Collins were abducted by their mother, Holly Collins, in 1994. Zachary was eleven at the time; Jennifer was nine. Their father and stepmother, Mark and Rena Collins, had custody. Last year, the Collins children and their mother were found in the Netherlands. Holly, who now has seven kids by three different men, had received asylum there. In September 2008, Holly returned to the U.S. with Jennifer. Jennifer is now 23, the same age as me. She claims her father severely abused herself, her mother and her brother, and that by kidnapping her and Zachary, Holly was rescuing them. You can read about that in this article. I can’t seem to find out how Zachary is doing now or what he thinks about his parents; he is conspicuous by his absence from all the reports I have located.

Today a friend showed me this blog by Glenn Sacks, which takes a very in-depth examination of the Collins case and provides court documents for readers to look at. Though it’s very long (it took me about 40 minutes to read, and I’m a fast reader), it’s well worth your time to look at. You can also see Holly Collins’s response, and Sacks’s response to Holly’s response.

The evidence clearly shows that Holly Collins is a whack-job who emotionally abused her children and turned them against their father, who was a decent man and a good parent. Almost every single doctor, therapist, and judge involved in the custody dispute concluded this. Holly’s own family did not support her before the abduction, when she sought to deny Mark access to the children. She’s accused practically everyone she knows of abusing her, and each time either there is no evidence, or the evidence contradicts her statements. She claimed her children were chronically and severely ill and took them to legions of doctors, but curiously, when they went to live with their father their medical problems disappeared. She also got the children to make statements against their father that were clearly not true. For instance, Zachary “remembered” Mark punching Holly in the nose and breaking it, when Holly’s nose was in fact broken (accidentally) before Zachary was even born!

It’s absolutely tragic. The children will never get over this. Even if they do eventually have a good relationship with their father, none of them will never regain those twelve lost years.

Holly, of course, has many supporters. I don’t understand why people tend to believe everything an allegedly battered woman or child has to say without bothering to make even a cursory look at the evidence. Of course, many women and children are abused, and it’s very sad. But it’s also very easy to make up false stories, which cheapen the real tragedy of spouse/child abuse. You shouldn’t place a halo on the head of everyone who has a tale of woe.

From what I’ve seen, many people, including people who should know better, are biased in favor of women and against men in domestic disputes. For example, several years ago my brother and his girlfriend got into an argument at their home. No violence took place, but the shouting was loud enough that the neighbors called the police. When the police arrived, they told my brother to get out of the house immediately and spend the night elsewhere, or they would arrest him. My brother pointed out that he was paying rent for the house, his name was the only one on the lease, and his girlfriend had no legal rights to the property. He was told: tough, get out of here anyway. So my brother’s girlfriend spent the night in his house and my brother spent the night on a friend’s couch. I can’t imagine law enforcement acting that way if it was the woman who rented the house and not the man.

But getting back to the Collins case: Holly will never face justice for her monstrous crimes. According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, she was charged with parental kidnapping, but the charge was dropped after her return to the U.S. and she pleaded guilty only to contempt of court. She was sentenced to a mere 40 hours of community service and 90 days in jail, but the jail term was stayed, meaning she won’t have to actually serve any time unless she gets in trouble again.

People don’t want to take a close look at this case. It takes a lot of time — as I said, it took me the better part of an hour to read Glenn Sacks’s blog, and it must have taken him much much longer to research, whereas it takes just a few minutes to read the very biased CityNews article. And the truth might make them uncomfortable, might upset their perfect black/white view of the world. I’m convinced that the vast majority of the American public simply doesn’t want to know things, because it would require them to think, and they don’t want to do that.

I can’t think of a story which better illustrates the tragedy and folly of parental abduction than the Collins case. I only hope people besides me and Glenn Sacks will take the time to have a closer look, and not just indiscriminately swallow everything Holly and Jennifer say.