A stray thought

I was going over some old cases and NCMEC cases and stuff (and phoned in a tip to their hotline; I found a missing kid’s equally missing mother on Facebook) and noticed that on Amber Crum‘s casefile I’d written,

In 1986, investigators checked the fingerprints of a girl who was abandoned in California that same year. The girl matched Amber’s general physical description and was about the right age. Their fingerprints did not match, however.

I wonder, now, if that abandoned little girl was Denise Beaudin‘s child, Dawn/Lisa? Dawn was about the same age as Amber would have been, and she was abandoned in California in 1986.

I suppose I’ll probably never know. But it seems moderately likely.

MP of the week: Jason Macias

This week’s featured missing person is Jason Richard Macias, who disappeared from El Paso, Texas on August 30, 2011, at the age of 23. He left all his belongings behind, including his car, but nothing has been said about his passport, which probably would have needed if he was going to cross the border into Mexico. Macias was a frequent traveler to that country, but I don’t know if he went there after he disappeared.

If he is still alive, Macias would be 28 today. He’s quite tall — six foot five — and has the name “Martha” tattooed on his arm.

Yates girls found safe after 31 1/2 years

This has been all over the news so chances are you’ve heard it already: one of my oldest family abductions, the 1985 case of ten-month-old Kelly Ann Yates and her big sister, 3-year-old Kimberly Ann Yates, has been solved. The girls, who are of course now adults, turned up alive and well in Texas.

I haven’t removed their casefiles yet; you can still read them for now. This article from the Providence Journal also provides a really good grounding in the case.

And I want to address an issue that has come up time and time again in family abduction cases, particularly cases where the children were taken by their mothers: the assumption so many people make that the abductor must have been “saving” the children from an unfit and/or abusive parent.

Several of the news articles (such as this one) have brought up the fact that, before Elaine Yates took the children and vanished, there was a domestic argument between herself and Russell, and he struck her. However, if you check out my casefiles for the girls, I include the information that, according to Russell, he only kicked his wife in self-defense after she attacked him first and struck him several times.

I’ve had people being like “How do you know that’s really true” and “How do you know that’s the ONLY incident, maybe there was more.”

I don’t know. That’s the thing. But just because I don’t know does not mean I am going to assume, based on a single incident that did not result in charges and that may have been self-defense, that Russell was an abusive husband and father.

What is DEFINITELY true is that Elaine committed a serious crime and put Russell through a lot of pain and grief for the past 30+ years. Elaine’s offense is much worse than Russell’s offense, which was basically simple assault.

Elaine will get a chance to tell her side of the story in time, but until then, I am a bit sickened by how some people people are automatically giving her the benefit of doubt. People don’t generally do this for most other crimes. Someone commented on my Facebook page about this case saying “some people do this [kidnap their own children] for a good reason.” Well, sometimes people who rob banks do it for a good reason — perhaps they have seven children and no food in the kitchen and they’re behind on the mortgage and about to be turned out of house and home into the frozen cold, and they really, really need the money. But nobody makes such remarks in response to news stories about bank robbery.

I cannot speak specifically on the Yates case because I don’t have all the facts. What I can say is this: in most family abduction cases, the abducting parent is not trying to protect the child or give it a better home. Most abducting parents take their children in order to spite the other parent. They hate their ex and want to hurt them in the worst way possible, by taking away the most precious thing in their lives.

Furthermore, parental abduction is child abuse. Most of the victims are lied to, told that the left-behind parent is dead or doesn’t want them anymore. In many cases the children are shifted from pillar to post, forced to live a lie, use false names, etc. Many times they don’t have access to education or health care while they’re missing, aren’t allowed to have friends, aren’t allowed to live a normal childhood.

I hope Kelly and Kimberly Yates prove willing to at least give their father a chance to get to know them again. That’s most important. I think it’s also important, though, that they follow through with prosecuting Elaine. I don’t think people should be allowed to get away with this sort of thing. The fact that it’s been thirty years does not lessen the gravity of what she did.

MP of the week: Gary Williams

This week’s featured MP is Gary Curtiss Williams, who was 26 years old when he disappeared from Ennis, Texas, a small town south of Dallas, on May 13, 1989.

His case is one of those very few that has never been updated in the Charley Project’s twelve years on the web. I don’t know anything about his disappearance really, other than that foul play is suspected. The Doe Network says, “His family and friends informed investigators that Williams’ lifestyle may have played a role in his disappearance.” Does that mean to imply criminal activity?

I can’t find any mention of Gary in news archives. The media often did not and does not choose to cover missing black men. Having a name like “Gary Williams” doesn’t help my research either.

Flashback Friday: Carolyn Holloway

This week’s Flashback Friday is Carolyn Jeanne Holloway, a 32-year-old woman missing from Richardson, Texas since September 30, 1977. Richardson is in northern Texas; at last count, its population was just under 100k.

As for Carolyn, I’ve got almost nothing on her disappearance. No distinguishing characteristics and no details of her disappearance other than a note that she was probably taken against her will. Even her only photograph is not of the best quality. I checked online newspaper archives and turned up zilch.

Next September, Carolyn will have been missing for 40 years. She’d probably be a grandmother by now, maybe a great-grandmother.

Flashback Friday: Gary Wayne Dover

This week’s Flashback Friday case is Gary Wayne Dover, who disappeared from the city of Denton, Texas on August 29, 1981. Denton is up in the northern part of the state near the Oklahoma border.

I don’t have much on Gary Dover’s case. His car was found abandoned after his disappearance, which isn’t a great sign. I haven’t heard about any evidence of violence in the car, like blood or anything, but foul play is suspected in Dover’s disappearance.

A fairly unusual distinguishing characteristic: Dover has a bullet wound scar in his lower left leg, and the bullet was still inside him. He also suffers from an unspecified “eye disorder” but generally refused to wear his prescription glasses.

If he were alive today he could be 66.

MP of the week: Raymond McBride

This week’s featured missing person is Raymond Harold McBride, who disappeared from Jasper, Texas on October 4, 2004 — eight days before the Charley Project was officially launched. McBride had told his family he was thinking of going to either Houston or Florida to look for work. He seems to have vanished into thin air, and left no paper trail, as my casefile for him notes. Beyond that I don’t have anything on him.