If you haven’t already heard, last week the police announced they’d finally identified the Boy in the Box, a young boy aged approximately three or seven years old whose naked, malnourished, beaten body was found in a cardboard box in the woods in Philadelphia back in 1957.
I didn’t think they’d ever be able to put a name to him, frankly, though I know they have tried very hard over the years. But genetic genealogy has been a game-changer for so many cold cases and apparently this was one of them.
They will be announcing the child’s name at a press conference scheduled for 11:00 a.m. tomorrow.
I’m not sure why they’re waiting to announce his name. Maybe there’s a suspect who’s still alive and they’re trying to track that person down before they make the announcement? Or maybe they’re trying to locate and notify next of kin? Word is he came from a “prominent” family, whatever that means.
I’m so happy that they’ve been able to find out his name. I know many people from law enforcement and from the wider community have worked so hard on this case over the past 65 years.
This week’s featured missing person case is Barry Keith Douglas, a 31-year-old man who disappeared from Galeton, Pennsylvania on July 3, 1988. He was last seen walking near his home, in the direction of Wellsboro, Pennsylvania. He stopped to talk to some people he knew on the way, and they were the last ones to see him.
He left behind almost everything, including his car. He apparently only took his wallet a .30-06 rifle. And he left his front door propped open with the radio on.
Douglas is described as white, 6’0 and 200 pounds, with red hair and blue eyes. He suffers from schizophrenia and one theory is that he disappeared due to developing amnesia from his illness.
If still alive, Barry Douglas would be 65 today.
This week’s featured missing person is Martha Alice Mertz, one of the Charley Project’s older cases: she was last seen on June 22, 1961 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Martha was 47 at the time and would be 108 today if still alive, which seems unlikely. She was between 5’0 and 5’2 and between 100 and 120 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes, and was last seen wearing a white blouse and black pedal-pusher pants which are basically what they used to call capri pants. My mom (who was a child attending elementary school in 1961) says all the girls had to wear skirts and dresses to school, except for the very last day of classes, during which they were permitted to wear pedal-pushers.
So Martha left home after a heated argument with her husband, and was never seen again. She had left before after had arguments with him, but would always get in touch with someone in the family. This time she didn’t get in touch with anybody.
It’s hard to tell what happened here. Obviously the husband has to be looked at, but a neighbor who overheard their argument that didn’t night said it didn’t seem to be any worse than the others they’d had, and the witness saw and heard no indications of physical violence.
Martha had said before she she wanted to leave her husband and go somewhere else where no one would know, and perhaps she did. It was a lot easier to drop completely out of sight in 1961 than it is now. But if she did she voluntarily drop out of sight, she left everything behind, including thousands of dollars in the bank.
I doubt this case is solvable at this point. Very sad.
As for me: I put up a small update today and everything is resuming as usual. I took a longer break than I thought I would, being horribly tired. I just kind of crashed for awhile.
This week’s featured missing person is Edward F. Fonder III, an 80-year-old man who disappeared from Springfield, Pennsylvania on August 25, 1993. He is described as white, with gray (formerly brown) hair and blue or green eyes. He had a full beard and has had a double hip replacement. He was last seen wearing a plaid shirt, gray pants, black shoes and a blue and gold NRA baseball cap.
This is one of those cases where what probably happened and who did it is plain to see. But Edward was never found and no charges were filed in his case due to lack of evidence. The suspect, Edward’s daughter Mary, went on to murder someone else and has since died in prison.
It seems like Edward’s body has got to be in the local area somewhere, but after nearly thirty years who knows if it will ever be found. In the extremely unlikely event that he’s still alive, he’d be 108 today.
This week’s featured missing person is Eulace King, a 29-year-old man who disappeared from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on May 3, 2003. He visited his mom’s house that day and I guess no one was home or something, so he left a note saying he’d been there. Twelve days later his car was found abandoned in Philadelphia. It had been wiped clean of fingerprints, which seems ominous.
Eulace is described as black, 6’0 and 155 pounds, with pierced ears, cataracts in his right eye, and quite a few tattoos, the description of which is detailed in his casefile. I don’t have much on this case but it doesn’t look good, given his uncharacteristic lack of contact for the past 18 years.
I hope everyone is doing well. I’m still pretty depressed and having a hard time getting anything done. Just moving sometimes takes a conscious effort.
This week’s featured missing person is, like the case I was discussing earlier, another obscure missing child case that for whatever reason never seems to have made it into the NCMEC database: Adriana M. Bejarano, a 15-year-old girl who disappeared from her Ephrata, Pennsylvania home on November 28, 1988. From all appearances she left her house voluntarily, but my guess is she didn’t intend to be gone as long as she has been.
She’s described as Hispanic and Colombian-American. 5’3 and 125 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. She had braces at the time of her disappearance and may have been last seen wearing a black trench coat and jeans.
I have to wonder if perhaps she had a secret boyfriend, maybe a much older man, and this is the person she went out to meet.
If still alive, Adriana would be in her late forties.
I had written in May about how a suspected serial killer had “links” to Ashley Marie Parlier, who disappeared from Battle Creek, Michigan in 2005. Well, I guess these were more than just links, because the suspect, Harold Haulman, will be charged with Ashley’s murder. He was earlier charged with murder in the 2018 disappearance of Tianna Ann Phillips and the 2020 death of Erica Shultz.
I’m glad that happened. Murder-without-a-body cases are becoming increasingly common, and I hope this continues.
One case I’d love to see charges filed in would be the disappearance of Amiah Robertson. I really don’t understand why that hasn’t happened. I mean, a man left with a baby — not even HIS baby — and came back without her and without any credibly explanation as to her whereabouts, and nobody has been charged in that case. It’s been over two years. The baby was eight months old; it’s not taking care of itself. It was a frustrating case to write up because so much of the available info was contradictory. The only thing I’m sure of is that no one in that child’s life did right by her.
This week’s featured missing person is Carola Yvonne Davenport, a 22-year-old woman last seen in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on October 1, 1975. She left all her clothing and her car behind and, most notably, her twin children, who were less than a year old at the time. I don’t know anything about Carola’s situation, but it’s highly unusual for the mother of a tiny baby or babies to just up and leave. Especially without the aforementioned clothes and car.
For whatever reason, she wasn’t reported missing until February 1976, by which time the case was four months’ cold. She’s black, about 5’5 and 125 pounds, with burn scars on her right hand and left arm. She also has a “fish-shaped” birthmark but the location is not noted.
Per NamUs, Carola’s son and her boyfriend at the time are both deceased now, but her daughter — only eleven months old when her mother went missing — is still alive and has submitted DNA. I wish there was more info available about this case.
As this article notes, 15-year-old Wendy Eaton disappeared from Media, Pennsylvania on May 17, 1975, 46 years ago today. She was walking away from her home, towards the downtown area, when she vanished. Dogs tracked her scent to an intersection, then lost the trail, suggesting a car picked her up.
There doesn’t seem to be much in the way of evidence as to what happened to her (though the article does provide a clothing description I hadn’t had previously). If she’s still alive, Wendy would be 61 today, turning 62 on the 26th. Sadly I think she’s still fifteen.
In December last year, Harold Haulman was charged with the murder of a 26-year-old woman. Well, he’s been charged with a second homicide in the same county, the murder of Tianna Phillips. Tianna disappeared from Berwick, Pennsylvania on June 13, 2018. (The article says July 13 but I think that’s wrong. NamUs says June.)
Tianna had a boyfriend, but was apparently also seeing Haulman, who was married. Haulman has confessed to the homicide, and his wife is apparently also a major witness against him. She said that after Tianna’s boyfriend called Haulman’s house to say he knew she was seeing him, Haulman got angry and threatened to kill either Tianna or the boyfriend. He later told his wife he had killed Tianna, and when she didn’t believe him he showed her photos of a woman’s dead body. From this article:
Haulman’s wife told police that several months after the crime had occurred, she went with him back to the site. She said he wanted to collect some of the evidence there. He took with him, he told police, black trash bags that he then filled with clothing and some of Phillips’ body parts. He stashed them in these dumpsters behind the AMC Theaters in Scott Township.
When questioned by police about Phillips’ disappearance, Haulman said he never picked her up that night.
Haulman was charged in December of 2020 for the murder of Erica Shultz. Her body was discovered in the same location where Haulman told police he killed Phillips.
So that’s happened. And according to this article, that may not be all: Haulman has “links” to Ashley Marie Parlier, a 21-year-old mentally disabled and pregnant woman who disappeared from Battle Creek, Michigan in 2005. I wonder if he was the father of her child and/or if they met on a dating app (or site? did apps exist in 2005?), which is where Haulman met both Phillips and his other victim, Erica Schultz.