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 Kael Johnson, a 36-year-old dental student who disappeared from Las Vegas on February 15, 2013.
Johnson had gotten straight A’s and told his roommate he was going out to celebrate. He was last seen withdrawing some money from an ATM at a 7-11. He never returned home and never registered for more classes at the dental school. Thirteen days later, his truck was found abandoned on the 210-acre Wetlands Park Nature Preserve in Clark County.
This case intrigues me and I really wish I knew more about Johnson’s disappearance. He doesn’t seem to have had any reason to walk out of his life. The possibility that he went for a walk on the nature preserve’s trails and got into some kind of mishap also seems remote; he left his wallet and phone inside his truck, and it seems like he would have taken at least the phone along with him.
This week’s featured missing person is Carina Lynn Karras, twenty, missing since December 31, 2005. I have lots of pictures of her, ten in fact, but very little info on her disappearance. She was taking a train to Las Vegas and I don’t know if she disappeared en route or after she arrived.
Given that it’s Las Vegas and with Carina being a young woman and it having been twelve years, I’m concerned for her safety. I wish I knew more about this case.
I had a bit of a burst and spent all night and into the morning working on today’s updates. I raided Facebook, as I have said, finding additional pictures and sometimes a lot more.
- Autumn Starr Cerenil-Lee: It’s eerie and sad to find traces of my MPs’ pre-disappearance lives online. I found Autumn’s Facebook page. Less than a month before her disappearance she wrote she was getting a divorce, after a marriage that had lasted under a year. Her husband posted a comment saying she was to blame for what had occurred. Autumn also wrote about her daughter, who had some chromosomal anomalies that caused severe health problems.
I can only hope that she decided to walk away from her life — and the evidence does seem to indicate that she did walk away, at least for awhile, since she was allegedly sighted in Wyoming. But did she intend to stay gone this long, almost four years now?
- Kelsey Emily Collins: I finally found out the name of that scumbag who was pimping her. I wish I could have found his picture too, and that of his woman accomplice. It seems like a massive failure on the authorities’ part that they didn’t offer Kelsey witness protection, but they claim they didn’t know it was needed, and that if she had told them about any threats they would have helped her.
- Georgia Nadine Kirk: Shades of Walter Dunson here; they were the same age too, almost. Ted Kirk sounds like a snotrag. I read that he lives on a huge property with something like 20 vehicles on it, and friends reported the place smelled pretty bad. I’m not sure if the cops have searched for Nadine’s body there yet; they asked for permission to go over it with cadaver dogs but Ted said no. It seems like there should be enough evidence by now to get a warrant.
- Irma Mkrtchyan: I found Irma’s Facebook page too. She often wrote posts in Russian, and she posted photographs of herself visiting Armenia. She was born there, graduated from a polytechnic there and moved to the U.S. sometime after 1996 (that’s when she got her degree). I found her children’s Facebook pages as well and it says her son was born in Yerevan.
Irma’s disappearance appears to have torn her family apart. I found a vicious character assassination of her brother Davit (aka David), which accused him of fraud, laziness, dishonesty, and generally being a slimeball. I think it must have been written by Irma’s ex-husband. The horrible statement said Davit had dishonored his sister’s legacy, lied to the police, and started fights within the family, and that Irma’s daughter had a restraining order against him. I hope that anyone who reads it would take it with a grain of salt. Davit appears to be the only one in the family who is actively trying to solve his sister’s disappearance.
I wonder how Irma’s surname is pronounced. It needs a serious infusion of vowels.
- Noah Pomaikai Montemayor: A very sad case — a bright, talented, promising kid who, it appears, cracked under the pressure to live up to that promise. It reminded me of the Matthew Wilson case from ten years ago. Matthew did eventually turn up alive, if not well, and I hope Noah will do the same. They say that the longer you’re gone, the harder it is to call home. But it seems odd that he hasn’t been found by now, especially given he had nothing with him and there was an extensive and well-publicized search. I mean, it’s an island.
- Nancy Paulikas: My God Alzheimer’s is scary. Especially in someone as young and smart and successful as she was. Recently I read a book I liked and looked the author up on Facebook, hoping to contact her; I found her page but it hadn’t been updated since 2013 and the last post said she had Alzheimer’s. I concluded there was no point in messaging her because she probably could no longer read. Hopefully by the time I’m old enough to worry about getting it, they’ll have found a cure.
Missy C. asked me to profile her sister, Amanda Lee Fravel, for Select It Sunday. I was going to do it on Sunday (naturally) but I just plumb forgot. I’m so sorry, Missy. I hope you forgive me. Anyway, I decided to do it today, because I’ve got another Select It Sunday lined up, and if I waited till next Sunday to profile Amanda, that would mean pushing my other case back yet another week. I suppose it’s the exposure, not the day, that matters.
Anyway. Amanda Fravel moved to Las Vegas after graduating high school and got a job at Taco Bell. She disappeared from there at the age of 20; she was last seen on June 13, 1986, when she left her apartment to visit her boyfriend and also pick up her paycheck. She never arrived at either place, and she left her pets without food at her apartment.
She was a regular hitchhiker and my guess is something terrible happened to her.
A friend of Diana L. Leone‘s sister asked me to run her case for Select It Sunday. Diana was 35 years old when she disappeared from Las Vegas in February 2000. Her longtime boyfriend, David Morgan, said she’d run off with another man, leaving all her stuff behind. She wasn’t reported missing until October.
Morgan had a history of brutal domestic violence against Diana — he’d once been charged with attempted murder in connection with his abuse of her — and police believe he’s a serial killer. His second wife, Marie Morgan, and her lover, Gabriel Vincent, disappeared under suspicious circumstances in 1979 and were never found. A business associate of Morgan’s, David Cowan, disappeared in 1982 and was also never found. (Cowan and Morgan aren’t on Charley cause I have no photos or physical information for them.)
Morgan was actually charged with Vincent’s murder in 2007, but five years later, before he was tried, the charges were dropped for lack of evidence because one of the key witnesses had died. Police are pretty sure Morgan killed Diana as well, but he has never been charged. I’m not sure he’s even still alive.
This Select It Sunday post, chosen by Elisabeth D., is Star Michelle Palumbo, a young woman missing from Reno, Nevada since April 26, 2000. I have a fair amount of info on her case but I haven’t updated the casefile in almost a decade.
Star was an attractive young woman and 25 when she vanished. Unfortunately she’d gotten involved with meth and, with it, prostitution. Around the time she disappeared she’d gotten very paranoid, probably as a result of her meth use: she believed she was being stalked, that her phone was tapped and the federal government was trying to kill her.
The last person to see her was, apparently, a police officer who found her wandering around the airport tarmac and took her to a hotel. She never checked in.
I have been unable to find any updates on her case. Someone has set up a Facebook page but there’s not much on it.
Although foul play might not necessarily have been involved in her disappearance, I think it’s very unlikely Star is still alive today. But if she is, she’d be 42 now.
Courtesy of the Unfound Podcast‘s Twitter feed and my own checking:
- Colleen Vanita Simpson, 14, missing since 1975 from Clearfield, Iowa. Disappeared from her home at night, classified as a non-family abduction, but I’ve got nothing on her. Wish I did.
- Karen Lee Kohls, 31, missing since 1982 from Maumee, Ohio. Her car turned up parked at a nearby lake with chairs and fishing tackle locked inside it. Foul play is suspected.
- Daniel A. Naylor, 14, missing since 1982 from Fremont, California. Although his case was classified as a runaway for decades, foul play is now suspected.
- Babette Nadine Alberti, 23, missing since 1983 from Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. I don’t have much on her, but she might have gone to Mississippi after her disappearance.
- Michelle Doherty Thomas, 17, missing since 1985 from Santa Fe, Texas. She was a young wife and mother (she was last seen the day before her son’s first birthday), and had been a police informant prior to her disappearance. Two men were later indicted for her kidnapping but never brought to trial.
- James Jamison, 75, missing since 1987 from Burlington, Iowa. He was last seen getting into a cab with suitcases; he’d planned to go to Chicago. His disappearance was seen as completely out of character, though.
- Amanda Marie Rivera, 14, missing since 1990 from La Mesa, California. She was a recent MP of the week. I don’t have much on her.
- Zeta D. Gordon, 43, missing since 1992 from Atchison County, Kansas. There’s speculation that her husband was involved in her case; he took his own life in 1998. She was MP of the week in 2004. Two months ago someone posted a comment on the blog entry: I was in Atchison for a friends wedding, I met the daughter of Wayne and Zeta. It was shortly after she went missing. There is a lot not being told in this story. The daughter pulled out a scrapbook of all the articles written about this story. They did I fact have 3 kids together, the daughter and oldest son believed there dad had everything to do with the mothers disappearance, the oldest son would no longer have anything to do with Wayne and the daughter who was barely out of high school who was still living at home was visibly scared of her dad when he walked in while she was showing us the scrapbook. She absolutely believed her dad was guilty the younger brother was to young to understand. The daughter said she thought that her mom and dad were meeting somewhere later to talk and that’s where her car was found. Her dad accused mom of having an affair with someone and was trying to shift the blame onto someone else. From everything the daughter said I believe he was to blame
- Barry Paul Duncan, 38, missing since 1994 from Phoenix, Arizona. Eleven days later his truck turned up abandoned at the Gila River Indian Reservation. Foul play is suspected.
- Kenneth William Harker, 34, missing since 1996 from Sioux City, Iowa. He was disabled due a head injury, although capable of living independently. Investigators believe he was murdered.
- Ronald Leonard Farrell, 62, missing since 1999 from Hemet, California. He left on foot to go to the pharmacy several miles away and and fill a prescription, and never returned. Farrell was a retired Air Force veteran.
- Andrea Michelle Reyes, 1, missing since 1999 from New Haven, Connecticut. A family abduction; her mother took her. Mom is from Mexico and well-experienced at crossing back and forth across the border.
- George Boardman, 70, missing since 2000 from Bingham, Maine. Because he often left for weeks-long trips without telling anyone, his family didn’t notify the police he was gone until they failed to hear from him at Christmas. Foul play is suspected.
- Tristen Alan Myers, 4, missing since 2000 from Roseboro, North Carolina. His story is exceptionally sad. Even before he disappeared, this poor little boy never had a chance.
- Bedriye Sayrun, 33, missing since 2001 from Chicago, Illinois. Last seen at a restaurant in the early morning hours. She suffered from mental illness.
- Eric M. Apatiki, 21, missing since 2004 from Nome, Alaska. He didn’t live there; he lived in a tiny village on St. Lawrence Island. He’d traveled to Nome to see his girlfriend, who was pregnant with his child.
- Janita Gay Sites, 60, missing since 2005 from Las Vegas, Nevada. A murder-without-a-body case; her husband was convicted. He claimed self-defense but given that Janita was mostly wheelchair-bound, that didn’t exactly go well.
- Christie L. Wilson, 27, missing since 2005 from Rocklin, California. This was also a murder-without-a-body case; Mario Flavio Garcia, a man she met at a casino the night she disappeared, was convicted in her death and sentenced to 59 years to life.
- Uvaldo Moises Anaya, 64, missing since 2007 from Denver, Colorado. He was living with relatives at the time of his disappearance and was drinking and using hard drugs. For some reason at the time of his disappearance his left eye was painted over with white shoe polish.
- Barbara D. G. Sears Frears, 56, missing since 2008 from Reno, Nevada. She had schizophrenia and lived in a group home for mentally ill people. Apparently she hopped a bus to San Francisco after she left the home.
- Eric Lawrence Brown, 23, missing since 2009 from Tucson, Arizona. I don’t have much on him, but he did associate with a local street gang.
- William Cameron Brown, 66, missing since 2010 from Monroe County, Florida. He lived in a houseboat and was traveling to shore in a dinghy but apparently never made it; the dinghy never turned up either.
- David Christopher Allor, 56, missing since 2011 from Enterprise, Alabama. He may have tried to hitchhike to his previous hometown of Detroit, Michigan.
- Catherine Marie Tornquist, 56, missing since 2011 from Hot Springs, South Dakota. Another murder without a body. Her own son, Matthew, is serving LWOP in this case.
- Citlalli Perez-Coronel, 13, missing since 2012 from Louisville, Kentucky. A runaway; she had previously run to Nashville, Tennessee and may have done so again.
- Jason Lee Lovelady, 38, missing since 2013 from Whatcom County, Washington. He disappeared while gathering pinecones in the Mt. Baker Wilderness in the northern part of the state.
- Melissa Dawn Eagleshield. 42, missing since 2014 from Becker County, Minnesota. She apparently left a friend’s rural home, shoeless, in the early morning hours and it’s possible she accepted a ride from a passing motorist.