I thought I’d do a run-down in the latest news in murder-without-a-body cases:
- Per everybody, Antolin Garcia-Torres has been found guilty of the murder of Sierra Mae Lamar, a fifteen-year-old girl who disappeared from Morgan Hill, California five years ago. Her abduction and killing is of the most terrifying kind: she was just snatched off the street in a random act of violence.
- In Iowa, Tait Purk has been found guilty of murdering his girlfriend, Cora Ann Okonski, who disappeared from the town of Tama on April 16, 2000. Unlike in Sierra Lamar’s murder, there wasn’t anything in the way of physical evidence here. However, Purk supposedly confessed to at least two other people that he had killed Cora and buried her body.
- No charges have been filed as of yet, but Dale LaFleur‘s grand-nephew, Philip, has confessed to murdering him and the police are looking for the body. Philip is currently in jail for the 2015 murder of another man. He’s only 23 now, and Dale disappeared in 2011, so chances are Philip was a minor when he (allegedly) killed his great-uncle. (Not that it’ll matter.) He says he put Dale’s body inside his (Dale’s) car and dumped it in the Atchafalaya River. Police have said they’ve found an “object” in the river that might be the car. Fingers crossed.
- And as for Peter Kema, alas, I don’t know anything more than I did three weeks ago: namely that Peter Sr. has led police to the alleged disposal spot. I seem to recall some article that claimed the remains were cremated and dumped at sea. If that is so, they’re almost certainly unrecoverable. But I don’t know if that information is correct. There’s a big difference between outright cremating a body and merely setting it on fire. I think if the cops had found something, they would have said so by now, but who knows?
Per this article: 19-year-old Midsi Sanchez has connected with the family of Sierra Mae Lamar, a fifteen-year-old girl who’s been missing for a week.
Midsi isn’t a household name like Elizabeth Smart, but she too is a kidnap survivor. I remember when she was abducted. I was fourteen at the time and just getting into the swing of my missing persons obsession. Midsi was eight. She was snatched by Curtis Dean Anderson, the serial killer who was later convicted of the murder of Xiana Fairchild and is now presumed to be the killer of Amber Swartz-Garcia too. Anderson held Midsi chained to the gearshift of his car for three days before she was able to escape. He died in prison in 2007.
Now, 12 years later, Sanchez has found her calling and become a symbol of hope for families of missing children — four families so far. At the same time, her extraordinary mission has unearthed painful memories. Yet, with each family she’s helped, she’s gained confidence and is finding new meaning and purpose in life. “Now I feel like I’m in a good place and in the right mind to help the family,” Sanchez said in an interview Thursday. “I’m not so scared. I’m not so hesitant. I’m ready to go out and do whatever it is I can do for Sierra.” […] Sierra’s older sister, Danielle LaMar, 21, said Sanchez’s presence this week has been “extremely inspirational and has given us more hope.”
Midsi became involved as a missing child activist when she was sixteen, eight years after the kidnapping. She said after the kidnapping, she “pretended it never happened” and initially did well, but when she became a teenager she did have some emotional problems and substance abuse issues. She was in a serious car crash in 2009 as well. But now she’s doing well, working, with a toddler daughter.
At the bottom, the article has a list of some northern California cases of children who were abducted and survived.