Black History Month: Mary Harrison

In honor of Black History Month I’m profiling one African-American MP every day on this blog for the month of February. Today’s case is Mary Everette Harrison, a 31-year-old mother of four who disappeared from Hampton, Virginia on October 6, 1982. She vanished from her home during the night, while her children were asleep, leaving all her belongings behind.

It looks like she ever left with the intention of returning shortly, or left with the intentions of never coming back. Harrison was a single mom, had a drug problem and sometimes dropped out of sight for days at a time. Her sister thinks she might have just walked out because of the stresses in her life, but her daughters think she’s dead. Those two theories are not, of course, mutually exclusive.

I think she’s probably deceased, as there’s been no paper trail since 1982. If she is a Jane Doe somewhere, one distinctive thing about her is how tiny she is — well under five feet tall.

Black History Month: Kawan Pryor

In honor of Black History Month I’m profiling one African-American MP every day on this blog for the month of February. Today’s case is Kawan K. Pryor, a 15-year-old boy who disappeared from Norfolk, Virginia on September 9, 1997.

He is listed as a runaway, but unfortunately I don’t have much on him. He’s been missing for 21 years now, considerably longer than he was alive before his disappearance, and would now be 37 years old.

MP of the week: Darren Hillis

This week’s featured missing person is Darren Bruce Hills, a 14-year-old boy who disappeared while walking to school in Norfolk, Virginia in 1973.  If still alive, he’d be 59 today.

I don’t know anything much about the case, unfortunately. He has a Facebook page but it doesn’t really say much. This article suggests he was a victim of the serial killer Dean Corll, but I don’t know if anything came of that suggestion.

Pride Month: Dashad “Sage” Smith

In honor of Pride Month I’m featuring a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer missing person every day for the month of June. Today’s case is Dashad Laquinn Smith, who not long before her disappearance had started using a new name, Sage. Sage was last seen in Charlottesville, Virginia on November 20, 2012, just weeks before her twentieth birthday.

It took me awhile to figure out Sage’s identity. The original articles about her said she sometimes dressed as a woman but specifically said she wasn’t trans. However, this feature article explains that Sage, who had previously identified as a gay man, had started identifying as a transgender woman. So here we are.

Sage’s life wasn’t easy.  It isn’t easy for most trans people, particularly trans women of color. She spent time in foster care in childhood after her mom was deemed unfit. Her apartment was paid for by the state because of the foster care thing, but she was working minimum wage jobs and barely getting by. She was studying cosmetology and dreamed of better things.

Not that much is known about Sage’s disappearance, because the person of interest in her case, Erik McFadden, the last person known to have seen her, went on a runner and hasn’t popped back up yet in five and a half years. Hmm…

It doesn’t look good. McFadden isn’t the only person of interest — some of Sage’s other acquaintances seem sketchy — but you have to wonder what is compelling him to stay out of sight for this long. And meanwhile, Sage has a loving family who misses her very much.

Pride Month: Katelin Akens

In honor of Pride Month I’m featuring a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer missing person every day for the month of June. Today’s case is Katelin Michelle Akens, a nineteen-year-old who disappeared from Springfield, Virginia on December 5, 2015.

She was supposed to take a plane to Arizona that day, where she would live with her girlfriend and go to cosmetology school, but she never made her flight and her luggage was found in a ditch.

The police seem to be focusing on Katelin’s stepfather as a suspect; her suitcase was found just a few miles from his home, and he was the person who supposedly gave her a ride that day.

Select It Sunday: Hazel Alice Klug

This week’s Select It Sunday (sorry it took so long) was chosen by Rosalie R.: Hazel Alice Klug, who is her cousin. Hazel (who went by her middle name) was 23 when she disappeared from her Richmond, Virginia apartment sometime during the night of May 20-21, 1986. She spoke to her boyfriend on the phone at 11:30 p.m. and all was normal then, but she didn’t show up for work the next day and when the police were called to her apartment, all her stuff — including the dog — was left behind but Hazel was gone.

Significantly, one of the few things that disappeared with her was a large suitcase.

I can’t find any articles about this case, either recent or in the news archives, which is unfortunate. Hazel has been missing for 31 years. Sadly this wasn’t the first tragedy to befall her family; Find a Grave mentions an older sister who was killed by a drunk driver in 1981. Both of Hazel’s parents are now deceased as well.

Select It Sunday: Elizabeth Acton

Susan P. asked me to re-share Elizabeth Jean Acton‘s casefile on the Charley Project Facebook page. I thought I’d do one better and do a Select It Sunday about her.

Unfortunately I really don’t know anything about Elizabeth’s disappearance. The 41-year-old woman was last seen in Montross, Virginia on August 24, 1994. That’s all I know. Wikipedia says that Montross is the county seat of Westmoreland County, but it’s really tiny; the population was 315 people in the last census. It’s in northeastern Virginia, right near the coast.

If anyone can give me some more information about Elizabeth Acton’s case I’d be most grateful.