The New Mexico Department of Public Safety has a missing persons database, but it is very poorly maintained. Specifically, they have a habit of not removing MPs once they are located.
The problem is so bad that it’s got to the point that I refuse to list MPs from the New Mexico DPS database unless I can verify from another source that they are actually still missing.
Case in point, something I just saw while checking the database for a case that’s on NamUs:
Yeah, Michaela? She’s on there twice as you can see. She disappeared on January 15 and then again on February 6. Same person, some photo. Camille has disappeared on November 23, January 18, and February 9.
I am sorry I did not post this yesterday. I have been extremely sleep-deprived lately and after my therapy appointment I went home and collapsed. Didn’t wake up until well after Michael got home.
Anyway, Wilson Happy is the new missing person of the week. An elderly Navajo man, he disappeared from Farmington, New Mexico on June 4, 2008 and I think the circumstances are suspicious: he went to the bank, withdrew $2,000, and then sat out in a car (not his, he didn’t have one) in the parking lot, looking nervous. And was never seen again. I can’t help but wonder if he was being robbed.
This week’s featured missing person is Barry James “Bucky” Kephart II, an eleven-year-old boy who disappeared from Albuquerque, New Mexico on August 22, 1981. This is an exceptionally sad case, an all-but-confirmed child abuse homicide at the hands of his father, Barry Kephart Sr.
Unfortunately, charges can’t be filed in this case because at the time of Bucky’s disappearance, New Mexico had a fifteen-year statute of limitations on that type of crime. The statute of limitations no longer exists, but for Bucky it expired in 1996.
This week’s featured MP is Beatrice Marie Lopez Cubelos, who disappeared from Albuquerque, New Mexico in the early morning hours of September 24, 1989. She decided not to wait on a ride home from a friend, and to hitchhike instead. She never made it.
Offhand, I wonder if Beatrice might have been one of the victims of David Parker Ray. She disappeared in his territory.
This week’s Flashback Friday case is Patricia Joan Chesher, aka Patty, a twelve-year-old girl who disappeared while selling raffle tickets door-to-door in Albuquerque, New Mexico on June 17, 1969.
There’s a lot to unpack here. The NCMEC classifies her as a runaway, but given her age and the passage of time, foul play seems more likely. There are a few persons of interest: a neighbor who bought one of the raffle tickets, her older sister’s boyfriend who had mental problems, a creepy uncle.
In any case, after 47 years I doubt this case can be solved.
I managed to squeeze her in at 11:00 p.m.: Alesha Brookshier, missing from the town of Farmington in the northwest corner of New Mexico since September 28, 2008. She was 37 years old and owned a tanning business in Farmington, although she lived in nearby Atzec.
Although Alesha spoke to her sister just about every day prior to her disappearance, she wasn’t reported missing for ages. Alesha’s ex-husband never reported her missing. Her sister says she notified police six months later, but there’s no record of a report then either. One of Alesha’s cousins finally got the ball rolling eighteen months after she was last seen.
It isn’t clear what happened to this woman, although her ex-husband was charged with forgery and fraud after he cashed a $2,200 paycheck made out to her. Her ex-husband cashed another of her paychecks, worth $1,000, as well. He deposited the money in her account but withdrew it all for himself within a few days. Which doesn’t necessarily mean he’s responsible for his disappearance, but it does prove he’s dishonest and a thief.
Another possible indication of foul play: sometime in 2009 Alesha’s car was found burned in her hometown of Aztec.
I have more info on her case than I do on a lot of them, but it’s all rather vague. I wish I had more details.
As for me: I saw my family doctor this morning and she gave me a clean bill of health, and as for insurance etc the situation is not as dire as it appeared yesterday. (See my comment on another entry about what I learned from the police report on Monday.) I’ve been out most of the day, and when I got home I had a friend over for dinner and we watched the VP debate. I plan to fully return to work tomorrow.
Robin Warder (who does that Trail Went Cold podcast I wrote about not too long ago) did an MP-related Cracked article that got published yesterday: The 5 Most Insane Twist Endings Of Real Missing Person Cases. Included was the case of Bobby Dunbar, who was “found” in 1912 but is actually still missing (long story). I thought I’d let y’all know about this article. Like most Cracked articles it’s interesting, informative and funny.
Incidentally, the most recent podcast for The Trail Went Cold is for two Catholic priests, father Reynoldo Rivera and Father John Kerrigan. The former was the victim of a horrific murder; the latter disappeared and was never found but was almost certainly also murdered. Both cases remain unsolved. There’s some speculation that the cases are related, although the murder happened in New Mexico and the disappearance in Montana. Father Kerrigan had spent some time in New Mexico, and in both cases, it seemed like whoever did this had a serious grudge against the church.
I actually updated Father Kerrigan’s casefile last month, with some significant new information. (I found out he was accused of sexual abuse.) I wonder if it’s a coincidence, then, that Warder did this podcast now. I haven’t listened to the podcast yet so I don’t know.
Podcasts are fun and entertaining, and I highly recommend them to true crime buffs, but unless I have some time to kill, I usually don’t listen to them myself. If I’m already familiar with the case, a podcast usually just provides a few shreds of extra info for the most part, or sometimes nothing at all. It would take much less time to read an article about the case and those often have more info in them. I wish more podcast included the written text as well as the recording.