A bunch of “they’re still looking for…” and other stories

Lee and Anthony Redgrave are working with the the DNA Doe Project to identify transgender and nonbinary murder victims. They’ve started the Trans Doe Task Force, which helps police and medical examiners with cold cases involving transgender people.

Alaska: An unusually high number of people have gone missing from Fairbanks in the past ten months. Fairbanks averages five missing persons a year, but since May 2020, eleven people have disappeared and have not been found. (I wonder if the political, economic and emotional turmoil caused by the pandemic has anything to do with it.) Five of the missing eleven are Native. The community is concerned and held a vigil about it.

Colorado: Wendy Stephens, a Denver teenager who disappeared in 1983, has been identified as a victim of Gary Leon Ridgeway, the Green River Killer. He pleaded guilty to 49 murders but is believed to have killed more than 71. Not all of his presumed victims have been found, and three that have been are still unidentified.

Indiana: This article details the uncertainty about the veracity of a suspect’s confession in the Denise Diane Pflum case. Denise was 18 when she disappeared from Connersville in 1986. Her body has never been found. In 2020, her ex-boyfriend, Shawn McClung, confessed to her killing after being offered immunity for her death and also the dismissal of two charges he was in jail for. At the time he was dying. Before he passed away a few months later, McClung retracted his confession, saying he’d only made the statement because he didn’t want to die in jail.

Louisiana: They’re still looking for Cory Marie Rubio, a 24-year-old mother of two who disappeared from Shreveport in 1999. The most logical person to look at is her ex-husband; they were in the middle of a custody battle, and he had a history of violent behavior.

New Hampshire: Authorities have determined that the remaining unidentified body in the Bear Brook murders case has maternal relatives in the Pearl River, Mississippi area. DNA testing indicates the child and her mother were descendants of Thomas “Deadhorse” Mitchell, who was born in 1836, or William Livings, who was born in 1826. The dead child also may have suffered from anemia.

New Mexico: They’re still looking for Robert Marcos Romero, an eight-year-old boy who disappeared from Santa Fe in 2000. The most plausible theory is that his brother Ronnie killed him accidentally while under the influence of drugs, but nothing has been proven and Ronnie died over a decade ago.

New York: They believe the car found in the Muscoot Reservoir, which I wrote about earlier, is that of Brenda Kerber, a 40-year-old woman who disappeared from White Plains in 1989. I’d never heard of this case before.

Also New York: They’re still trying to identify a Jane Doe found in Chautauqua County. She now has her own Facebook page.

Oklahoma: They’re still looking for Darian Michelle Hudson, age 23, who went missing from Stillwater in 2017. She was going through a lot of personal problems and may have had a mental breakdown. Her family thinks foul play was involved in her disappearance, but the police say they aren’t sure.

Also Oklahoma: A proposed missing persons bill, House Bill 1790, is being called the Aubrey Alert, after missing transgender Native woman Aubrey Dameron. Aubrey was 25 when she disappeared from Grove in 2019. The Aubrey Alert bill, if passed, would require “critically missing” adult cases to be investigated immediately. The text of the bill can be read here.

Oregon: They’re still looking for Jodie Marie Anderson, a 29-year-old woman who disappeared from Crescent City in 2017. She may be in the Linn County area.

South Carolina: They’re still looking for Shelton John Sanders, a 25-year-old man who disappeared from Columbia in 2001. He now has a Facebook page.

Tennessee: They’re still looking for married couple Kristie Wilson, 39, and Henry Wilson, 45, who disappeared from Monterey in 2018. Their car was found at the bottom of a ravine months after they went missing; it had been there so long there were plants growing in it. No sign of either of them. There have been multiple tips that the Wilsons were murdered, but no solid leads.

Texas: They’re still looking for Fredrick Joseph “Little Joe” Boehm, age 23, who disappeared from Marshall on this day twenty years ago. He was temporarily staying with a friend when late one night he got a mysterious phone call, changed from his pajamas into street clothes and left, saying he’d be back later. He never returned.

Also Texas: They’re still looking for Andrea Leigh Cotten, a seventeen-year-old girl who disappeared from Corsicana in 2004. She left her cousin’s house in the night and never returned. She disappeared the day before she was supposed to visit her child, who was in foster care, and her family doesn’t think she would have missed that on purpose. Since she went missing there’s been no activity on her Social Security number, which is ominous.

Canada: The four-month-old disappearance of 30-year-old Megan Michelle Gallagher from Saskatoon is now being investigated as a homicide.

England: The brother of Suzy Lamplugh, a 35-year-old woman who disappeared from London in 1986, has issued an appeal for answers in her case.

Three more of Terry Rasmussen’s victims identified

It hit the news today (see here on Boston 25 news and here on the Daily Beast, among other places) that authorities have identified three of the four victims found in Bear Brook State Park in New Hampshire.

It’s an infamous case. The bodies were found wrapped in plastic and electrical wiring, in two barrels, close to each other: one barrel was located in 1985, and another in 2000. One young woman, and three little girls, two of whom were shown by DNA to be her own daughters. They all died around the same time, sometime between 1977 and 1981.

Now, three of them have names: Marlyse Elizabeth Honeychurch and her daughters, Marie Elizabeth Vaughn and Sarah Lynn McWaters. They disappeared from California in 1978, shortly after Marlyse started dating Terrance Peder Rasmussen. Marlyse was then 24, and the girls were 7 (Marie) and 11 months (Sarah). It doesn’t look like they lived long afterwards.

Rasmussen is a very unusual serial killer, in that he formed romantic relationships with women and sometimes even had children by them before killing them. He committed his final murder in 2001, that of his wife Eunsoon Joon, and died in prison in 2010. At the time, his other crimes were mostly undiscovered.

Denise Beaudin, who disappeared in 1981 at age 23 and listed on Charley, is presumed one of his victims, but her body hasn’t been found. She had an infant daughter at the time of her disappearance (not Rasmussen’s kid), and that little girl was abandoned by Rasmussen in California in 1985. It was the best thing he ever did for her, because as a result she was raised by a good family and apparently doing well. She has chosen not to speak to the media or let her current identity be known.

The fourth person found in the barrels at Bear Brook State park is still unidentified, but DNA proved she’s Rasmussen’s biological daughter. She was a toddler, about two to four years old when she died. She may have Native American ancestry.

There’s a good chance the little girl’s mother is also dead. Rasmussen was arrested under the name Robert “Bob” Evans for minor charges in New Hampshire in 1980, and he had a woman living with him who called herself Elizabeth Evans and said she was his wife. Perhaps this is the mother of the child in the barrel.

A stray thought

I was going over some old cases and NCMEC cases and stuff (and phoned in a tip to their hotline; I found a missing kid’s equally missing mother on Facebook) and noticed that on Amber Crum‘s casefile I’d written,

In 1986, investigators checked the fingerprints of a girl who was abandoned in California that same year. The girl matched Amber’s general physical description and was about the right age. Their fingerprints did not match, however.

I wonder, now, if that abandoned little girl was Denise Beaudin‘s child, Dawn/Lisa? Dawn was about the same age as Amber would have been, and she was abandoned in California in 1986.

I suppose I’ll probably never know. But it seems moderately likely.

Vosseler boys to be featured on Deadline

Per this press release sent to me by my friend Bill: brothers Charles Jason Vosseler and William Martin Vosseler, two of the Charley Project’s oldest family abduction cases (they’ve been missing close to thirty years) will be featured on Dateline Deadline tomorrow at 10:00 p.m. Some of you might want to tune in.

Flashback Friday: Patricia Wood

This week’s Flashback Friday case is Patricia Wood, who disappeared sometime in 1976 from the small town of Swanzey, New Hampshire. It’s a very sad case: we only have a baby photo of her, though she was three or four when she disappeared, and the police didn’t realize she’d vanished for over a decade. Her father and stepmother lied to everyone saying she’d died in a car accident.

We’ll probably never know for sure what happened here, but it’s not hard to guess.

Select It Sunday: Rachael Garden

This week’s Select It Sunday case was chosen by HennyLee: Rachael Elizabeth Garden, who disappeared from Newton, New Hampshire on March 22, 1980, at the age of fifteen. Newton is, curiously, just 35 miles from the town where Laureen Rahn, another petite brown-haired girl only a year and a half younger than Rachael, disappeared a month later. This may just be a coincidence though.

As for Rachael, she sounds like a pretty typical teenager of that time, a bit rebellious but not overly so, fond of her pet horse. The three guys she was last seen talking to had bad reputations. One of them later served time for rape and one them (not sure if it’s the same one) reportedly confessed to killing Rachael, but his statements were not verified.

There was a recent article about the case but it doesn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know. The police believe Rachael met with foul play, if only because of the time that has passed since her disappearance — 35 years now. If she’s still alive she’d be 50 years old today.

Make-a-List Monday: State Capitals #6

I’m running a bit dry on list ideas at the moment, but I can always continue my “people missing from state capitals” series. See previous lists: one, two, three, four and five. This week I’m doing Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire and New Jersey.

Helena, Montana

  1. Shannon Clair LaBau
  2. John Baptiste Reamer

Lincoln, Nebraska

  1. Marilyn M. Alexander
  2. Regina Marie Boss
  3. Felicia L. Heinen
  4. Eugene F. McGuire

Carson City, Nevada

  1. John A. Randall

Concord, New Hampshire

  1. Shirley Ann McBride
  2. Raul A. Martinez

Trenton, New Jersey

  1. Melissa Diane McGuinn
  2. Danielle Marie Nuttall-Ravert
  3. Antoinette R. Williams

Select It Sunday: Charles and William Vosseler

This week’s Select It Sunday was selected by Bill R.: Charles Jason Vosseler and his brother William Martin Vosseler, aged three and two respectively. The boys’ case is one of the oldest family abductions on the Charley Project, and one of the more unusual ones.

The cops have almost caught up with them on several occasions, but each time the boys and their abducting father have been able to stay one step ahead. Given the ages of the children when they were taken, it’s possible they have no idea they’re missing. It’s equally possible — indeed probable — that they’ve been lied to about their mother, told she didn’t want them or that she’s dead. Both the children would be in their thirties today. Charles Sr. sounds like he could be a dangerous man. Certainly he is as calculating and cold-blooded a family abductor as I have ever heard tell of.

The Vosseler case will be mentioned on the Today Show tomorrow, Monday October 27. They also have a Facebook page set up for them.

Another one of those sad cases I hate

I was looking at the website for the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office, which has a few MPs profiled. I saw one for Patricia Wood. Unfortunately I can’t put it on Charley because there’s no photo. The circumstances, what little is known of them, are very disheartening:

Patricia Ann Wood, born in 1972, disappeared from her home in Swanzey, NH some time around 1976. Her disappearance was not discovered by authorities until 1987, at which point it was determined that she had been missing for 11 years…

Garnell Moore, Brittany Williams, the Bryant kids, Adam Herrman, Erica Parsons, I’ve got another member of your club.

Recent MP news

I’ve been idling these last few days, offline almost entirely. I’m back now but not sure if I’ll update today or not; I’m not feeling very well and have some distractions.

Recent news in the MP world:

Bill Crider, the husband of Joyce Crider, was killed in a car wreck a week ago. He was never ruled out as a suspect in her case and in the article I just linked to, Joyce’s mom openly accuses him of murder. In the comments section several people who knew Bill are quite indignant about her remarks.

A suspect, John Alan Mellquist, has been charged in the murder of Annelise Schweikardt, who disappeared from Sarasota, Florida in 2003. She had rented a room to him and was attempting to evict him at the time of her disappearance, and he tried to explain her absence by saying she had left the country. A lot of blood was found in her home, enough so that the police were pretty sure a homicide had taken place. But Annelise was a German citizen who had no immediate family in the United States, and it took a long time to create a DNA profile for her to test against the blood.

There’s an article about Herlinda Ann Soto, who vanished in 1993 and left behind an ex-husband, two kids and the bloodiest crime scene the police had seen in years. The article has a little more information than I had before. Herlinda’s ex-husband would be the obvious suspect, but he had an alibi. The police believe someone murdered her inside her home, transported her body in the trunk of her own car and then disposed of it — the body, not the car, which was abandoned — somewhere. They think more than one person was involved.

There’s been a spate of news about Kevin Collins, a ten-year-old who vanished from San Francisco in 1984. It was a very famous case at the time. The police have searched the former residence of a suspect, Wayne Jackson Dan Leonard Therrien, who died in 2008. (He apparently used several alias names.) He lived across the street from Kevin’s school, had a history of sex crimes against children, looked like the man with the dog whom witnesses saw talking to Kevin before his disappearance, and owned a similar dog. Alas, the search turned up zip, zilch, nada, except a few bones that are in all probability animal bones, though they got sent to a lab for analysis just in case.

And I don’t usually talk about unidentifieds, but this article touched me: three little girls and a young woman, murdered sometime in the late seventies or early eighties, stripped naked, stuffed into two metal barrels and dumped in the woods in Allenstown, New Hampshire. The barrels were found fifteen years apart. Two of the children were toddlers, but the other child was old enough to be in school. The woman and two of the children are related, but not the third child. The police don’t have the foggiest idea who any of them are. (Their NCMEC poster is here.) To me it looks like some man, probably husband and father of the victims, decided he didn’t want to have a family any more and killed them all. But who knows. It was a lot easier to hide that kind of thing back then.