So I wrote a blog entry on the WordPress app on my phone last night about latest missing persons news. But then the entry refused to upload, no matter how many times I tried to get it to. It wasn’t online at all, only on my phone, so I couldn’t even use my computer to upload it. Grr. Lot of time wasted. Now I will try my best to recreate it.
Some cold case missing persons have been resolved:
- Edward “Ashton” Stubbs disappeared from Dickinson, North Dakota on June 17, 2013, a few days before his sixteenth birthday. He was from Texas and had gone up to North Dakota to stay with a cousin and work a summer job. He disappeared from his job site. Ashton’s skull was found on private property in Dickinson in December. It has just been identified. His death is under investigation.
- Sheila Sherrell Franks, age 37, disappeared from Eureka, California on February 2, 2014. A woman of similar appearance, Danielle Bertolini, had disappeared a few days earlier, and people thought their cases might be connected. In 2015, Danielle’s skull was found in the Eel River. Now Sheila’s remains have been identified; her femur, or part of it, turned up in June, near the mouth of the Eel River. Unlike Danielle’s death, Sheila’s death has not (yet) been labeled a homicide, but it is considered “suspicious.”
- Jo Anne Dolly Burmer has been identified, forty-six years after the 25-year-old disappeared in 1973. A fragment of her skull was found in 1993, but it wasn’t until 2017 that it was entered into the DNA database, and it wasn’t until now that there was a match. As nothing else has been found or is likely to be, probably we will never know what caused her death, but I wonder about exposure. This article is very detailed and talks about Jo Anne’s background and her son, who was put in foster care after her disappearance and later adopted by another family.
Some other news:
- The police have a new lead on the possible identity of “Beth Doe”, a young pregnant woman who was raped and brutally murdered in 1976. Her body was dismembered, stuffed in three suitcases and thrown off a bridge into the Lehigh River in Pennsylvania. They think it’s possible that Beth Doe may be Madelyn “Maggie” Cruz, a sixteen-year-old foster child who ran away. They’re trying to find relatives of this Maggie Cruz to get DNA from them to test. I think it’s a long shot.
- Georgia “Nadine” Kirk‘s son Ted has been sentenced to 15 months in federal prison for stealing his mom’s Social Security benefits after her disappearance and presumed death. Nadine was 98 years old and in poor health in 2010, the last time anyone saw her. She was reported missing in 2015, and Ted was unable to explain her absence. It seems likely that she simply died of age-related natural causes and Ted, who hadn’t worked since 1980, disposed of her body and kept cashing her checks. Fifteen months in prison, and $30k restitution, seems light, given the circumstances, and the fact that $80k in total was taken from taxpayers. Nadine’s body has never been found.
- Bernard Brown, the ex-boyfriend of Moreira “Mo” Monsalve, has been charged with her murder. Moreira disappeared from Hawaii in 2014. Her body hasn’t been found and they haven’t said much about the case against Brown, but it seems likely it’ll be circumstantial and possibly include cell phone ping evidence. Murder-without-a-body cases aren’t that common in Hawaii (or anywhere) but other examples include Bongak “Jackie” Koja in 1997, Masumi Watanabe in 2007, and of course Peter Kema in 2017.
- Nancy Beaumont has died at age 92, 53 years after her children Jane, Arnna and Grant disappeared at the respective ages of nine, seven and four. The Beaumont children have never been found and their disappearance is one of the most famous unsolved mysteries in Australia’s history. Their father, Grant “Jim” Beaumont, is alive, but is also in his nineties and I think it’s unlikely he will find answers on this side of the mortal plane.
- The police have released a new sketch of one of Christine Eastin‘s abductors, based off of a recent witness description. I think that’s a reeaaaallly long shot. It’s a rough drawing, this witness’s memory is by now almost fifty years old, and at the time they apparently didn’t realize the significance of what they saw and so they probably took little notice of it. Christine disappeared in 1971 at the age of 19.
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 N’Cita Blue Thunder, a 17-year-old girl who disappeared from Beach, North Dakota, a small town on the Montana border, on July 9, 2014. I do not know N’Cita’s tribal info, but it’s noted that her Native name is Black Lance.
Curiously, I can’t find any other trace of N’Cita other than what’s on NamUs. You’d think she’d have had a social media account, but if she did, I can’t find it. Though she was under eighteen when she disappeared, she isn’t listed on the NCMEC.
And I can find out precisely zilch about the circumstances of her disappearance. Few details are available.
So I just added the case of Charles Edward Tear, missing from Fargo, North Dakota, to Charley. And there’s an issue. Namely this:
Tear’s NamUs profile gives the date of disappearance as June 29, 2011. But this article has it as June 29, 2001.
One or the other of them is clearly wrong, but I’m damned if I know which. The difference is simply the slip of a finger, a typo. Oh, and ten full years.
I’m going with what NamUs says for now, but I wish I was more certain that was accurate. NamUs isn’t always correct. (Case in point: Tejin Thomas is still listed as a girl on there.)
This week’s featured missing person is Bruce Falconer, a 21-year-old Marine who disappeared from Bismarck, North Dakota on February 20, 1981, after a night out with his friend Tim Jewell. Jewell disappeared also, but his body was found in 1992. I suppose by then there probably wasn’t much left, but the authorities ruled the cause of death as exposure and they think Bruce probably died of exposure too.
Their car got stuck in the mud along the Missouri River and I guess the two men left to get help, but got lost. Winter weather in North Dakota is no joke, and probably both of them had been drinking.
I do think it’s slightly odd that Jewell’s body was recovered and Falconer’s wasn’t. You’d think they’d be close together.
Yeah, so this is the first time I’ve been to my computer in a few days. I’ve got a horrible cold and have mostly been lying in bed and reading a bit and sleeping a lot.
This week’s featured missing person is Edward Ashton Stubbs, who goes by his middle name. He was less than a week shy of his 16th birthday when he walked away from his summer job in Dickinson, North Dakota and vanished on June 17, 2013.
Most agencies classify Ashton as a runaway. His family was quoted as saying he had health issues. I can’t figure out what those issues were, but I’m wondering if they were mental health issues rather than physical, since he was working a construction job and laying drywall. But I don’t know.
If Ashton is still alive, and I hope he is, he’d be 20 years old by now.
Sorry about missing Flashback Friday; I was visiting my dad and didn’t get back till relatively late yesterday. Anyway, this week’s Select It Sunday case was chosen by Angie: Kevin Gerald Mahoney, missing from Fargo, North Dakota since October 2, 1993. He was 25. He left home to walk to his brother’s apartment south of Moorhead, Minnesota, but never arrived. Google Maps says Fargo and Moorhead are only 1.5 miles apart.
I don’t have much on Mr. Mahoney, other than that foul play is suspected in his disappearance. A search for recent news on his case (I haven’t updated his casefile since 2010) turned up nothing.
It’s Tuesday again, so I’ve got your MP of the week: Kristi Nikle, a mentally disabled teenager who disappeared from Grand Forks, North Dakota back in 1996. Authorities believe she could be the victim of a serial killer.
Sean Munger has written about Donna Michalenko on his blog. The case is 45 years old and Donna would be an old woman if she is still alive. Which she could be, I suppose. Although “foul play is suspected in her case” I don’t know why that is, whether there’s concrete evidence like blood or something, or just four and a half decades of silence.
Donna disappeared from Kief, ND, which might well be the smallest town listed on the Charley Project. The population was 97 the year she disappeared, which seems like New York friggin’ City to what it is now: 13. THIRTEEN.
I was just looking at the website of Spencer Nastrom. He is the oldest son of Sandra Jacobson and half-brother to John Jacobson. Sandra and John disappeared without a trace in 1996, when Spencer was sixteen. Spencer was then raised by Sandra’s mother. In 2005, his father (Sandra’s ex-husband) was brutally murdered. The crime has yet to be solved. Spencer had three daughters and finally married their mother, his longtime girlfriend, in 2007. His 24-year-old wife died of strep throat (of all things) this past May.
Definitely a lottery family. Or at least, one lottery person. I just hope this poor man’s kids don’t start dropping dead. I’m not superstitious, but if I was I would say he was cursed.
Jeanna Dale North disappeared from Fargo, North Dakota in 1993, when she was eleven years old. Later, Kyle Bell was convicted of her murder. He escaped from prison only a month after his sentencing and was on America’s Most Wanted as a result. They found him two months later and he is safely behind bars again.
Well, Jeanna’s mother died last week. She was only 58 years old. The article doesn’t say what the cause of death was.
I may have spoken about this earlier in my blog, but I’ve observed that parents of missing children tend to die young. Jeanna’s mother was 58, Debra Frost‘s father was 58, Amanda Berry‘s mother was I believe in her forties or early fifties, and Sofia Juarez‘s mother just twenty-six. These were all deaths from natural causes, too, not accidents or anything like that. I wonder if perhaps the stress of having a missing child leads to a shorter lifespan. But I don’t have a lot of info on this and I’m sure no studies have been done. Perhaps parents of missing kids actually live about as long as anyone else and I only notice the ones who die early. Amy Billig‘s mother died of a heart attack at age 80, after surviving a bout with what should have been terminal lung cancer (she was a smoker). Connie Smith‘s father was still alive last I knew, and in his nineties.