Holy crap!

They’ve arrested a suspect in Ashley Freeman and Lauria Bible‘s cases. The man, Ronnie Dean Busick, was charged with four counts of murder, two counts of kidnapping and one count of arson.

The police gave a press conference and said Busick and two other people, David Pennington and Warren “Phil” Welch, killed Ashley’s parents, set the fire and took the girls. They then held Ashley and Lauria captive for some time — the cops don’t know exactly how long, but days at least — and took Polaroid photos of them, which they showed to other people, and bragged about what they were doing.

Pennington and Welch are dead now. The cops have recovered the Polaroid photos and hope to locate the girls’ bodies. I hope they do, and quickly. It’s been eighteen years.

MP of the week: Jason Armstrong

I’m at home. Internet is not shut off yet, so I took the opportunity to update my missing person of the week. This time it’s 18-year-old Jason Lee Armstrong, missing from Tulsa, Oklahoma. Unfortunately I know very little about his case, not even the exact date of disappearance — just that his family last heard from him sometime in August 2000. He wasn’t reported missing till 2004.

Flashback Friday: Eva West

This week’s Flashback Friday case is Eva Susan West, a 28-year-old who disappeared from Oklahoma City on June 14, 1985. After her disappearance made the news, Eva’s mom got a call from someone saying she was all right, but this was never confirmed and her mom never actually spoke to the caller. The police don’t think Eva is all right, and they think drugs could be a factor.

Missing persons news

I’ll cover the recovery of the Yates girls in their own entry, but here’s some other missing persons news:

  • This accountant’s hobby? Identifying missing people through his drawings
    My friend and Irregular Carl Koppelman has been featured in the Orange County Register. He does wonderful sketches of UIDs and was instrumental in identifying Cali Doe as Tammy Alexander. Congratulations, Carl!
  • Trial date in 20-year-old cold case pushed back to October
    A year and a quarter ago ago, more or less, Kirsten Renee Hatfield‘s two-doors-down neighbor was charged with her murder. The headline of this article is pretty self-explanatory, and the news story explains why: the suspect has new lawyers now who need time to review the evidence.
    Kirsten’s case, for whatever reason, fascinated me back when I was a child and first started getting interested in missing persons. I had a website when I was twelve or so, with some poems and stories I wrote, and one of them was a poem called “Missing, Presumed Dead” and it was based on Kirsten’s disappearance, as I explained on the site. Kirsten’s mom found it and emailed me, saying she was touched that a little girl in Ohio was thinking of her and her lost daughter, but she didn’t believe Kirsten was dead.
  • Judge orders suspect in cold case homicide to trial in district court
    Apparently the motive for Cari Lea Farver‘s homicide was a love triangle; both she and the suspect, Shanna Goylar, were seeing the same man. According to prosecutors, after Goylar killed Cari, she burned the body and then went on Cari’s social media accounts and tried to make it look like she was still alive.
  • Missing Oklahoma woman found more than 20 years after disappearance
    This case isn’t one of mine. It’s a really awesome story, though, how hard Shelly Jennings’s daughters looked for her, and how she was found largely through their efforts. Twenty-three years after she walked away from her family in Oklahoma, she turns up at a bus station in Modesto, California. I hope they can reconcile, although given Shelly’s mental illness, this may not be possible.
  • For families of missing persons, not knowing is excruciating
    This is about the disappearance of Cody Henry Turner, who went missing from Washington in 2015.
  • Missing Minnesotans: Susan Swedell
    Obviously, an article about Susan Anne Swedell (for whom I recently posted an updated AP).

Select It Sunday: Sharon Baldeagle

This week’s Select It Sunday is Sharon Baldeagle (often named as Sharon Bald Eagle), chosen by Fluttergirl. She was twelve when she disappeared on September 18, 1984, and her case has for some reason fascinated me since I started getting interested in MPs, back when I was the same age that Sharon was when she was taken. I actually blogged about her once before, exactly three years and one week ago.

Sharon and a fifteen-year-old friend ran away from Eagle Butte, South Dakota, which is on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation, the fourth-largest reservation in the U.S. Sharon was Native American, presumably Cheyenne River Sioux, and probably her friend was too. They were hitchhiking in Casper, Wyoming, almost a six-hour drive from home, when they got picked up by Royal Russell Long, a truck driver who took them to his house in Evansville. There he attacked them, raping the older girl and beating Sharon. Sharon’s friend escaped and went for help, but by the time the authorities arrived at the scene, Long and his other captive were gone.

Long wasn’t arrested until the following year; by then he’d gone to New Mexico. He claimed Sharon was alive and well the last time he saw her, but let’s face it, what are the chances of that? He was convicted of two counts of kidnapping — that of Sharon and her friend — and died in prison 25 years ago.

Long was probably serial killer; he’s also a suspect in the cases of Carlene Brown, Christy Gross, Deborah Rae Meyer, Jayleen Dawn Baker, Charlotte June Kinsey, and Cinda Leann Pallett, who ranged in age from ten to nineteen. Carlene and Christy disappeared together from a rodeo in Rawlins, Wyoming in July 1974, and Deborah and Jayleen disappeared, nineteen days apart, from the same area in August of that year. Cinda and Charlotte from a fair in Oklahoma in 1981 — Long was actually charged with their murders, but the case was dropped for lack of evidence. Only Christy and Jayleen’s bodies were ever found.

I think it’s pretty obvious what must have happened to Sharon; I only wish her family had answers. Her father was alive as 2013 and still hoping to find her — he looked all over the country for her. I’m not sure if he’s still living as he had cancer in 2013, but I can’t find an obituary for him.

I wonder if anyone’s ever written a book about Royal Russell Long. Serial killers are a popular topic in literature, after all. If someone has, I’d love to read it.

Let’s talk about it: Shannon Patrick Ketron

Shannon Patrick Ketron was seven months old when he disappeared from Cordell, Oklahoma on June 17, 1982. I already wrote about him for Flashback Friday nearly two years ago. According to the only witness, Shannon’s mom, the baby was the victim of a bizarre abduction.

Ann Ketron said she was driving with the baby when she had to get something (out of the trunk maybe?) and pulled over to the side of the road. A man stopped and asked her if everything was all right. Then he said she looked like his ex-wife, knocked her unconscious, and took Shannon. Shannon was never seen again and the abductor was never identified.

That’s really weird. To begin with, I’ve never heard of a baby being kidnapped by a strange man. Furthermore, there seems to have been almost no press coverage about this case and very little information is available, and what little there is, is contradictory. I’ve seen claims that Shannon was almost two years old when he was taken, when in fact he was seven months, and I’ve seen the abduction date incorrectly given as July 17, 1982.

Shannon’s dad, Dustin Ketron, was in prison when he disappeared so presumably he’s not a suspect. Ann took a polygraph, but the results haven’t been released.

If Shannon is still alive, he’d have turned 35 last month. Do you think he is? Let’s talk about it.

MP of the week: Angie Tucker

This week’s featured MP (missed last week due to that awful illness) is Angie Denise Tucker, a 33-year-old Tulsa, Oklahoma woman who was last seen on November 3, 2007.

It’s pretty clear what happened to poor Angie and it isn’t good. She had a rape complaint pending against her ex-boyfriend, Allen Shields, at the time of her disappearance. Shields was pretty much a monster. Whether he was an actual serial killer isn’t clear but if he was not, it was only for technical reasons — possibly he didn’t quite reach the minimum number of bodies — and certainly it was not for lack of trying on his part. Angie may have been the first person he killed. But we may never know because he’s dead now.

A few tiny updates, and a bit of thinking aloud

Sheldon Boyd has a new picture, as does Nicole Evelyn Silvers, and Shaliegh Sharrie Phillips has an updated AP, and Jesse Yancey‘s date of disappearance has been corrected; it had said May 31 but NamUs says it was actually May 28. I’ve also corrected his race; I had said he was white but NamUs says he’s Native American.

Now…is it just me or does Nicole Silvers’s disappearance look kind of suspicious? She was sixteen and the police claimed she was an emancipated minor. To quote this legal site:

A minor who is “emancipated” assumes most adult responsibilities before reaching the age of majority (usually 18). Emancipated minors are no longer considered to be under the care and control of parents — instead, they take responsibility for their own care… If a young person under the age of majority is emancipated, the parent or guardian no longer has any say over the minor’s life. An emancipated minor can keep earnings from a job, decide where to live, make his or her own medical decisions, and more.

In other words, if she was emancipated, Nicole did not need to run away.

There’s a bit of a rub, though — I saw a post on Websleuths from someone who said “According to her parents, Nicole was NOT emancipated.”

I don’t know what means — if she wasn’t emancipated why would the police claim she was? Was she in the process of getting emancipated? Or was it just a completely incorrect statement from the cops/media? I don’t know and I wish someone who does could get in touch with me. I haven’t said anything in Nicole’s profile about the disputed info because “info shared by police to the media” trumps “second-hand statement posted on Websleuths” in my mind.

Latest MP news

(I know I’ve been a lazy-butt and not updated for like a week. I hit my head last Friday and my head was killing me for days afterwards in spite of the application of ice packs etc. On Saturday I went to ER because I thought I might have a concussion. They did tests, and said no, and prescribed some completely ineffective painkillers. I actually went back a few days later because my head was still hurting horribly and they did the same tests and said I was fine. Well, the headache finally stopped. Maybe it was the weather — we’ve had horrible storms and humidity all week, and things finally cleared up today.)

  • As various commenters and emailers have noted: Francine Frost (missing from Oklahoma, 1981) and Joseph Spears (missing from Mississippi, 1973) have both been identified.
  • Joseph was 17 when he escaped from a juvenile detention center. Less than a month later, he’d made it to Texas and was crossing a freeway when he was hit by a vehicle and killed. He was finally identified this month. Per this article:
    Mary Raskin, mother of missing teen Joseph “Joey” Norman Spears, ended up looking at pictures of her son’s body to positively identify him, Harrison County Sheriff’s Investigator Kristi Johnson said Monday.
    Officials with the Galveston medical examiner’s office were unable to get a proper DNA sample from Spears’ body to confirm the identity, Johnson said. Instead, they called on Harrison County cold case investigators to provide all the facts they had on the case for comparison to the evidence Texas officials had on hand.
    Mary Raskin, Spears’ mother, identified her son.
    “I have mixed emotions,” Johnson said after learning the news. “I am relieved the case is solved but I know it’s not the outcome Mrs. Raskin was hoping for. I’m sad for her but I’m glad she is getting the answers she was searching for for 43 years. The family has shared their appreciation for us working on this.”
  • As for Francine, her body was found in Muskogee County, Oklahoma two years after her disappearance. She was 43 years old. Per this article: a year ago Francine’s family heard about the Muskogee remains and got a court order to exhume and test for DNA:
    Vernon Martin, the superintendent of Green Hill Cemetery, helped make it happen.
    He said there are about 1,400 unidentified bodies buried there – many of them dating back before statehood.
    He took us back to the plot where Frost’s remains stayed for more than 30 years before they were finally identified.
    “This is actually greater than the pay that you receive in this job, the people that we come across on a daily basis and able to help them through their loss, whether it’s last week, or, in this case, 1981,” Martin said.
    Unlike with Joey Spears, this case is obviously still not over yet. Joey died in an accident; Francine appears to have been abducted and murdered. Her family has half the answer now — that is, they have her back and they can bury her — but I’m sure they’d also like to know who killed her.
    (An Oklahoma TV show actually wanted to interview me about Francine and in particular about identifying long-buried John and Jane Does, but I had spent the day in bed nursing that headache. I didn’t even check my email until 10:00 p.m. and thus missed the interview opportunity. Oh well.)
  • The case of long-missing Quebecois child Yohanna Cyr is back in the news, because a woman in the United States has come forward and thinks she’s Yohanna. Usually I don’t pay too close attention to claims like this, because it’s hardly ever the missing person. But this one has me wondering, because, as this article says, both Yohanna and the American woman have a Y-shaped birthmark on their index finger. I blogged about Yohanna twice, once in 2014 and once in 2011. In the 2011 entry, Yohanna’s mom posted a comment in French.
  • You guys may have heard about the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania twins who disappeared at some indeterminate time years ago — some articles say 10 years, some say 13-14 years. Mom claimed she sold them, but retracted her story after she was informed this was a crime. The first time authorities realized the kids were missing was when CPS sent the cops to the house to remove all the kids, and the cops duly removed the four they found, and CPS was like, “Um, she actually has six.”
    NamUs has profiles for the kids: Inisha Fowler and Ivon Fowler. The only picture that I’ve been able to find is a photo of them as babies, side by side, and I have no idea which twin is which. (See this article for that photo, and a pic of Mom, and of the twins’ not-missing brother as well.) I suppose I’ll post the case on Charley anyway. A baby photo is still a photo, and this is certainly an outrageous story that the world needs to know. Even if, by some miracle, Ivon and Inisha are still alive, the fact that no one noticed they were gone for so long is truly terrible. Heads should roll here — a lot of people dropped the ball.
  • The kidnapper of Zephany Nurse, a South African girl who was abducted as an infant and not found for seventeen years, has been sentenced to ten years in prison. (You might recall that Ann Pettway, Carlina White‘s abductor, got twelve.) Zephany grew up just a mile away from her real family’s home and attended the same school as her biological sister. The identity of the woman who kidnapped her has been withheld from the media to protect Zephany’s privacy.
    Outrageously, the kidnapper has refused to admit she did anything wrong. And sadly for the Nurse family, Zephany has chosen to remain with her kidnapper’s husband. I don’t blame her. I mean, for 17 years she thought this guy was her dad, and it’s a terrible situation she’s in. I just think it sucks for her real parents and I hope that Zephany does eventually choose to form a relationship with them.

Flashback Friday: Tammy Risenhoover

This week’s Flashback Friday is Tammy Dawn Risenhoover, an 18-year-old girl who disappeared from Tulsa, Oklahoma. Frustratingly little information is available here: we don’t know the exact date Tammy was last seen, only that it was sometime around early 1984. (Her NamUs profile gives the date as February 1.) Her family didn’t report her missing until 1990. Given the way police handled missing persons cases back then, and given that Tammy was an adult, there’s a good chance they wouldn’t have accepted a missing persons report in 1984 anyway.

The only thing that stands out, really, is that Tammy associated with a motorcycle gang at the time of her disappearance. She could quite well be anywhere in the country, or even in Canada or Mexico. Perhaps hidden somewhere among the many unidentified dead that populate the morgues and potter’s fields.