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 Betty Ann Claw, a 49-year-old woman who disappeared from Farmington, New Mexico in 1996. November 28, Thanksgiving Day, was the last day anyone in her family saw her. I don’t know her tribal information.
For some reason, Betty Claw is not listed on the New Mexico state missing persons database. Her case got some media attention early this year when local outlets published articles appealing for information, but there isn’t a whole lot out there.
If still alive, Betty Claw would be in her seventies now.
In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month I’m featuring a Hispanic missing person every day from September 15 to October 15. Today’s case is David Jacquez Ortiz Jr., an 18-year-old who disappeared from Silver City, New Mexico on October 31, 2010. He went out to go trick-or-treating and never returned.
Ortiz is missing under unclear circumstances, but his family is convinced he met with foul play. They said he had plans for the future and they don’t believe he would have left on his own. The most recent press I can find on him is this 2016 anniversary article.
This week’s featured missing person is a very old one: Inez Garcia, who disappeared from Santa Fe, New Mexico on November 2, 1952. Sixty-six years ago this year. If still alive, she’d be something like 92 years old. I’m not 100% sure cause I don’t know her date of birth. In fact, I don’t know very much at all about her, and it’s hard to tell what she looked like from the only available photo.
Inez’s husband, Juan Andres Jose Garcia, is the prime suspect in her disappearance, and as recently as 2014 the police dug up the floor of his garage and found some charred bone fragments which were sent away for testing. I’ve heard nothing more about this.
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.