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.