Eight cold cases that still haunt the NYPD

This is a bit late, but I thought I’d throw out this New York Magazine article from October about eight cold cases in New York City. It includes the disappearances of Patrick Kennedy Alford as well as Michael Sullivan and Camden Sylvia, and the kidnap and murder of adorable Chinese immigrant girl Quin Rong Wu.

Anyone know what happened to Patrick Alford’s dad?

I wrote last month about how the father of Patrick Alford was shot in a (probably drug-related) home invasion at his apartment in Brooklyn. Last I knew, Patrick Sr. was in critical condition. I suppose he’s either improved or died by now, but I can’t find any news or information one way or the other. Anyone know anything?

Patrick Alford’s dad shot, critically injured

We have all heard about Patrick Kennedy Alford Jr., who has been missing from his Brooklyn, NY foster home for two years less four days, but until today I had heard nothing of his father, Patrick Sr.

Patrick Sr. was shot during a home invasion at his apartment in Brooklyn. It was particularly nasty: Five men broke into the apartment in broad daylight and fired five shots, hitting Patrick Sr. in the head and the leg. He returned fire with his own gun. His two young children were inside the apartment and were, thank goodness, unharmed. The police are thinking it was drug-related: Patrick Sr. has 20 prior arrests, many of them for drug offenses, and there were 20 baggies of pot in his apartment.

He’s in critical condition. No word on whether they expect him to pull through or not. I suppose this case would probably have gotten no media attention at all were it not for Patrick Jr. being missing.

New York Daily News
The Staten Island Advance

Patrick Alford in Cleveland?

According to this article and this one, seven-year-old Patrick Alford, who disappeared from New York City over a year ago, may be alive and in the Cleveland, Ohio area. The police evidently got some kind of tip, a sighting or something.

I really, really hope this tip pans out. Patrick’s disappearance is ridiculous. Seven-year-old boys don’t just “run away.” Or, if they do, they don’t get far without running into serious trouble. From what I’ve read, he shouldn’t have been placed in a strange foster home to begin with. There were relatives who were willing to take care of him. Patrick’s foster mother didn’t even speak English.

He looks like such a beautiful kid. Sigh.

Highlights in the latest missing persons news

Hank and Lisa Croslin, the sort of step-grandparents of the missing Florida girl Haleigh Cummings, have been arrested on drug charges. They join their son, daughter and former son-in-law in jail — all of them locked up for drug offenses. It should be a nice family reunion.

The Chinese government is still trying to identify children who were the victims of human trafficking within their country. Many of them were so little when they were taken and/or so traumatized by the experience that, when rescued, they don’t remember who they really are. A DNA database is in the works and they have already collected over 140,000 samples from “missing children’s parents, children suspected of having been abducted or with an unclear history, children in social welfare institutes, homeless children and child beggars.” The DNA gathering and comparisons will be done at the government’s expense, a good thing because most of these people can ill afford it.

I found this interesting article about the difficulties of locating children missing from foster care. (Charley’s latest such case is that of Patrick Alford, a seven-year-old boy who supposedly ran away from his foster home to find his biological mother. He’s been missing for six months.) The article points out that the very privacy laws intended to protect foster children seriously hinder the search for them. Even the police had to get a court order to look at Amber Nicklas’s file. I suspect there’s probably also a tendency to just not bother to report it when chronic runaways got AWOL for foster care for the fifteenth time. Another problem is that there may not be any family members to supply photos or DNA samples, or anyone who really knows the child well enough to say where they might have gone, and the only one left to advocate for the missing child may be a social worker who, well-meaning as he/she might be, has fifty other cases to manage and not a whole lot of time. It’s a mess.