National Hispanic Heritage Month: Keyla Contreras

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 Keyla Contreras, a biracial Hispanic and African-American eighteen-year-old who disappeared from Manhattan on January 13, 2012.

Keyla’s case is concerning because she’s deaf and mute — meaning she can’t speak intelligibly and only communicates with sign language. Obviously that makes her extremely vulnerable. She left her home in the Spanish Harlem area at 7:00 a.m., perhaps to go to work or school, and vanished.

Unfortunately I know very little about her disappearance. Even the Whereabouts Still Unknown blog, known for its wonderful research, couldn’t find much on her.

National Hispanic Heritage Month: Cesilia Pena

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 Cesilia Pena, a fourteen-year-old girl who disappeared from Manhattan on October 6, 1976, while on her way home from St. Alphonsus Commercial High School.

Cesilia lived in the Bronx and took the subway to and from school; this article talks about the route she might have used. She was tiny, less than five feet tall, and she looks very young in her pictures.

She may have been accosted by Anthony “Rudy” Flores while on her way home that day; a witness reported seeing them together, with Flores holding her by the arm. Flores is also a suspect in the disappearance of Nelida Del Valle from Boston later that year.

Pride Month: Edmond Tillman

In honor of Pride Month I’m featuring a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer missing person every day for the month of June. Today’s case is Edmond Tillman, a fourteen-year-old boy who went missing from Manhattan on August 10, 2005. He is gay and had recently come out to his mother. He was supposedly dating someone older, and his case is classified as a runaway.

At this point, a full thirteen years later, I have to wonder if Edmond really did run away, or if did but he came to harm afterwards — perhaps trafficking. I also wonder if his coming-out to his mom was really as smooth as she says. A lot of LGBTQ teens run away because feel were rejected by their families.

I hope he turns up alive and well and happy, wherever he is.

Pride Month: Ivory Green

In honor of Pride Month I’m featuring a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer missing person every day for the month of June. Since yesterday’s case didn’t run yesterday like it was supposed to, I’m putting up two today. Yesterday’s case is Ivory Francis Green, a 17-year-old girl who disappeared from Utica, New York on March 6, 2004.

I don’t know what Ivory’s sexual orientation is but she liked to wear boys’ clothes and could be mistaken for one.

For years she was classified as a runaway, and some agencies classify her as that still, but now foul play is suspected. Ivory hung out with some sketchy people including drug dealers. The police haven’t said much, but they think they know what happened to her.

Pride Month: Christine Markey

In honor of Pride Month I’m featuring a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer missing person every day for the month of June. Today’s case is Christine Marie Markey, a 22-year-old bisexual woman who disappeared from Oneida, New York on January 10, 1993.

She had an altercation with her live-in girlfriend on the night of her disappearance; their relationship was troubled. Their landlord saw them go into their apartment together, but what happened after that is a mystery.

Christine never picked up her last paychecks from either of her two jobs. Her disappearance is considered suspicious.

MP of the week: Shauntay Gilliam

This week’s featured missing person (sorry about missing last week) is Shauntay Gilliam, an eighteen-year-old girl who disappeared from Pleasantville, New York, a small town outside of New York City, on September 1, 2015.

Unfortunately, the info that was put on her NCMEC poster is all the info I have on Shauntay. One photo: big eyes, hair hidden under a scarf. Although she is missing from Pleasantville, the police in the nearby city of Mount Pleasant are investigating Shauntay’s case.

That is all.

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: William Gu

In honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, I am profiling one Asian or Pacific Islander MP for every day of the month of May. Today’s case is William Gu, a 22-year-old City University of New York student who disappeared from Brooklyn on March 7, 2013. I’m not sure of his ancestry but Wikipedia says his surname is either Chinese or Korean.

William was supposed to meet a friend on Staten Island, but never showed up, and his car was found wrecked and abandoned in Somerset, New Jersey. His disappearance is especially worrying because William had a traumatic brain injury (TBI) which causes “depression, paranoia, minor hallucinations and psychotic behaviors.”

William’s disappearance reminds me a lot of the disappearance of Sean Sidi, another young Asian man with a TBI who disappeared just two and a half months later, albeit on the opposite coast.