The parental kidnapping charges against Ernesto Gonzalez have been dropped for lack of evidence. Ernesto’s five-year-old son, Giovanni, disappeared from Lynn, Massachusetts in 2008 and Ernesto later claimed he’d murdered him, but it’s far from clear what happened; the evidence the police found didn’t support the father’s confession. He was charged with child endangerment, but that was dropped last year. He’s still in jail for misleading the police, but it sounds like he might get bailed out now. The police and Giovanni’s mother hope very much that he’s still alive. He’d be eight years old now.
Meanwhile in Florida, the Melissa Cooper has refused a plea deal in the Pilar Rodriguez case. Melissa was Pilar’s babysitter and she and her boyfriend took Pilar with them on a vacation in 1999. Pilar, who was three, vanished and is presumed to have been murdered. Melissa and her boyfriend, Keith Wilson, have each accused each other of killing her. Last summer, Melissa was charged with aggravated manslaughter. Well, she had reached a plea deal with prosecutors, but changed her mind at quite literally the last minute. (The article doesn’t say what she was going to plea to. Is this confidential maybe?) So the case is back on the table. Keith Wilson has never been charged in Pilar’s disappearance.
As was announced today, Pilar Rodriguez‘s babysitter, Melissa Cooper (now Melissa Jones or Harding-Jones), has been charged with killing her. Melissa had taken Pilar on vacation with her and her boyfriend, Keith Allen Wilson, in 1999 and Pilar vanished sometime during the trip. Melissa and Keith have been blaming each other for it ever since. Melissa married after Pilar’s disappearance, had a couple of kids and now lives in Washington state.
I’m surprised it was Melissa who was arrested, because for years the cops have been focusing on Keith. She’s charged with aggravated manslaughter and faces a 30-year sentence if convicted. Articles:
The Everett Herald
The Sarasota Herald Tribune
Lee Evans has finally made bail while awaiting trial for five counts of murder. He and his co-defendant Philander Hampton are suspected of killing the still-missing Clinton Avenue Five in 1978: Melvin Pittman, Randy Johnson, Michael McDowell, Ernest Taylor and Alvin Turner. Bail was initially set at five million dollars, then lowered to $1.25 million, and now to just under $1 million, and Evans and his family were able to come up with property worth that much. It will most likely be years before this case goes to trial and I’m sure Evans is happy he won’t have to be in jail all that time.
Authorities have made an arrest in the 1999 disappearance and presumed murder of three-year-old Pilar Rodriguez. They’re not saying who, how or why, but promise to release more info this afternoon.
I found this article about Sarah Lee Murray, a fourteen-year-old who’s been missing since 1997. I don’t have much on her and I still don’t, but the article provides a little more info. She’s apparently an orphan who was living with relatives at the time of her disappearance.
It has now been nine months and then some since Ilya Lastovkin disappeared. He was 22 and suffering from depression, and he’d left home before, but never for longer than a day or two.
Lastly, in two days it’ll be exactly one year since Jaycee Dugard was found safe.