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.

Okay, so I lied

I had a change in plans yesterday and didn’t come home at all, but spent the night at my father’s house instead. I still feel rather awful. But I did come home today and began writing updates, and took a break from that to write this. So you won’t have to wait much longer, God willing.

In MP news:

The police conducted a search for the body of Yohanna Cyr, a Quebecois child who’s been missing since the seventies. (I wrote entries about her before here and here and her mother responded to the latter with a comment in French. Mom now lives in the U.S.) Unfortunately, this latest search turned up nothing.

The cops in Detroit are going to exhume some unidentified bodies to try to link them to missing persons cases. Good for them.

Arizona is apparently the state with the most MP cases per capita. That doesn’t surprise me. I wonder if that figure includes the migrants who disappeared crossing the border.

Fox executive Gavin Smith has been found in a shallow grave near the Angeles National Forest. He was murdered, obviously, and the cops say they know “how and why” but no one’s been charged. Yet.

Teen runaway Dajanae Harmon has turned up alive and well after two and a half years.

There’s this article about Andria Bailey that provides a LOT more details on her disappearance. Up until now it had been one of those horrible “few details are available” cases. Apparently the cops aren’t even sure what year she went missing, or the circumstances thereof, since her disappearance wasn’t reported for a decade-ish.

Search for Yohanna Cyr still ongoing

The authorities are digging under a Montreal parking lot for the body of Yohanna Cyr, a Quebcois toddler who vanished in 1978.

Her case is a lot like Florida’s Katheryne Lugo: Mom left her boyfriend to babysit the kid, and when she came back the child was gone and the boyfriend gave various unconfirmed stories as to what happened. One account is that Yohanna died, accidentally, during the week that Mom was gone. Another report said she was in Washington State. Mom believes she was sold, possibly to someone in the United States, as the boyfriend is a U.S. citizen.

I had blogged once about Yohanna in 2011. Her mother, Lilianne, posted a comment, but it was in French so I had to rely on Google Translate to read it. From the rough translation I was given, the comment basically said she regretted having left Yohanna in her boyfriend’s care and she would never stop looking for her daughter. This video I found is also in French and I don’t know if it had anything new.

I don’t have a lot of hope that Yohanna is under that parking lot, but I’m glad the authorities are at least still looking. I think it’s disgusting that the boyfriend never faced justice for whatever he did to Johanna, and for torturing Lilianne with his various different stories. He isn’t even named in the article I linked to (or in another one I found from the same publication, which has another picture of Yohanna and a new AP); perhaps the laws in Canada won’t allow the press to name him because he wasn’t convicted of a crime.

Whatever happened to Yohanna, I hope she turns up. And if only I had the time and linguistic capabilities to help by putting her and other Canadian children on the Charley Project website. Oh well; a person can only do so much.

Quebecois missing kids

Found this article about missing children in Quebec. It gives details about the Yohanna Cyr case, about which I’d previously known nothing besides what was on the NCMEC poster. (Not that I’d bothered to research it; it isn’t a Charley-eligible case.) Yohanna was a year and a half old when her mother, Lilianne, left her with a boyfriend for a few days. When Lilianne came back, Yohanna was nowhere to be found. Her boyfriend said she’d died but refused to reveal where her body was. If she is alive today (and she might be, who knows) she would turn 35 on the 28th of this month.

The article also talks about Melina Martin, a thirteen-year-old girl who’s been missing 2005. No clues there.

Yay, an update…and MP news overview

First since the 21st. I suddenly realized I had just enough time to take care of that huge stack of APs before the clock struck midnight and…voila.

As for the latest news in the MP world:

There is, at last, an article about the 1983 disappearance of Clifton Leonard. This is the first press I’d seen on him. Clifton was 16 and had been diagnosed with schizophrenia several years prior, and took an antipsychotic drug, Thorazine. He disappeared a few days after his release from the hospital. He went out to go to the lake with some friends and never returned. His parents don’t think he ran away, since he left everything behind and he was happy at the time of his disappearance, glad to be out of the hospital, looking forward to school, etc.

(I don’t know anything about Clifton’s mental illness but it is worth noting that a lot of people who were diagnosed with “schizophrenia” back in the early 1980s and before would not be diagnosed with that disease today. Schizophrenia at the time was a kind of catchall term for any serious mental illness with psychotic features. The label is not as frequently used now as it used to be.)

Russell Smrekar, an imprisoned murderer who is terminally ill, has confessed to killing his college classmate Michael Mansfield back in 1975, and Ruth Martin in 1976. Mansfield disappeared right before he was supposed to testify against Smrekar in a matter regarding a stolen guitar. Smrekar was later convicted of murdering Robin and Jay Fry, a married couple (Robin was pregnant) because they had witnessed him shoplift from a grocery store and were going to testify against him. Martin, another witness in that case, disappeared, and Smrekar is presumed to have killed her too, but he was never charged and her body was never found. Christ, so many murders over a few piddling little thefts. How much time could he have possibly gotten for stealing a guitar and a couple of steaks? He got 200-600 years in prison for the murders.

There’s an article about David Blockett, a two-week-old baby who was abducted by a woman pretending to be a social worker back in 1980. I heard from the reporter in this case and she said it was her TV channel that convinced the cops to reopen the case and put David back on the NCMEC. New details: David’s brother remembers a little bit about the abduction and thinks a man was also involved.

The police have a suspect in the 1979 disappearances of cousins Billy Sena, 11, and Mary Lou Sena, 9. The suspect is Billy’s mother’s then-boyfriend, Michael Cordova. Cordova grew marijuana in the family’s backyard and sold it. Shortly before Billy’s disappearance, one of the plants came up missing. Cordova blamed Billy and was reportedly furious and beat the crap out of him. The idea is that maybe he killed the two kids and staged the abduction. But right now the police don’t know where Cordova is, or even if he’s still alive.

There’s an article about Aleacia Stancil, who disappeared from Phoenix, Arizona in 1994 at the age of 9 months. The article has some more details about her mom, Toni, who was addicted to drugs and allegedly gave Aleacia to an unknown woman who never returned her.

Kendrick Jackson‘s dad has been convicted of his murder and was sentenced to life in prison. Two jailhouse informants said Kendrick’s dad told them the boy deserved it because he’d peed on himself. Yes, 3-year-olds should be expected to maintain perfect bladder control.

The family of eight-year-old Sebastien Metivier, who disappeared from Quebec 27 years ago, have held a memorial service for him.

Three cold Canadian cases

The North Bay Nugget notes that fifteen-year-old Melanie Ethier disappeared from New Liskeard, Ontario fifteen years ago today. According to another source, at the time Melanie was walking home, three weddings were letting out and the bars were closing with customers leaving, yet nobody saw a thing. There’s no evidence that she ran away.

The 26th was the tenth anniversary of the disappearance of Jesokah Adkens from British Columbia. She was seventeen.

And in Quebec, the cops are searching the Mile-Illes River for Julie Surprenant (French language link), who disappeared in 1999 at the age of 16. A man dying of cancer reportedly confessed that he killed her and dumped her in the river. The nurse who heard his confession didn’t tell anyone about it for five years.