Friday, May 15, 2009

James Rapp: Body found

When I saw an earlier article about remains being found in Butler County, Pennsylvania, my interest piqued, because I thought of Cherrie Mahan. However, I had forgotten that I had also written about someone else missing from that county:
Bones Found In Franklin Township ID'd As Missing Man's
Updated: 7:40 am EDT
April 29, 2009
FRANKLIN TWP., Pa. -- Tests Tuesday confirmed the remains
found in a ditch in Franklin Township last week are those of a man who was
reported missing in July 2004.
A construction worker discovered the bones of
James Rapp Jr. near the offramp of Route 422 where it intersects with Highway
528 near Muddy Creek Township.
Rapp, 56, of Prospect, disappeared shortly
after submitting a will to his attorney in which he allegedly admitted to thefts
he committed against his daughter.
Rapp was charged with several crimes in
2004, including spending $26,000 on credit cards in his daughter's name and
cashing in her IRA worth $5,200.
Investigators said they could not determine
a cause of death because the bones were too decomposed.

I suppose the cause of death could be anything--a heart attack, a hit and run, a suicide, or maybe even a homicide. The ditch makes me think maybe he was hit by a car, especially since it was near a highway. Or perhaps he did not die right after his disappearance, but maybe from exposure during the winter. Another article says there was nothing covering his bones, so this makes me think it was probably not murder.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Damien Sharp is still missing

Several months ago I had reported on here that there were rumors that Damien's body had been found. Since then, I have received feedback from Damien's family that contradicts this, and a story on him has appeared in the media.

Sharp case still open
March 25, 2009
Seven years after the disappearance of Damien Sharp, Warren
City police have an active file and still receive tips and leads.
still investigating it," Investigator Anthony Chimenti said Tuesday. "We've come
up with some leads and we're following them."
Closing the case without
finding Sharp is not an option. A missing person case remains open until the
person is found, he said.
Chimenti, who was formally assigned to the case in
May, said he has been "going into and following up on all the leads, every time
a lead comes up."
The seven years since Sharp's disappearance do not phase
"Sure we like to have (information) right away when the thing
happens," he said. "On any case, things don't go away. People change their
minds. Memories get jogged."
He's looking for help.
"We're hoping now that
they know we're following up leads, they'd call in and help us out - any help
that anybody can give us," Chimenti said. "We're pursuing it. We want to solve
it. We want to bring the individual home to his family."
"That's what we're
trying to get is closure," Chimenti said. "His mother has been through a lot. We
want to provide her with that closure."
The time has allowed for advancements
in the use of DNA as an investigative tool. "When this first started, I don't
believe the CODIS (Combined DNA Index System) system was fully in place,"
Chimenti said. Technology "always gets better, it helps."
The police
department is not closing any doors.
"We're working it as a missing person
and as a homicide," Chimenti said.
Information from early in the
investigation led police to believe the case to be a murder, but they can't be
He said people are more likely to come across some kind of physical
evidence now that the weather is breaking. "Maybe things will turn around" in
the case, Chimenti said.
Sharp was carrying a black backpack and using
aluminum crutches when he was last seen in Warren on May 25, 2002. He was
wearing a dark shirt and dark shorts. He is described as blond, with hazel-blue
eyes, 5-foot-7, 170 pounds, and has an Egyptian symbol - an ankh - tattooed on
his chest.
Warren County Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for information
that leads to the location of Sharp.
Chimenti asks that anyone with any
information on the case contact him at 723-2700 or 406-7389, or Crime Stoppers
at 1-800-83-CRIME.
I believe the area code for those numbers would be 814.
Guestbook for messages to Damien's family: (Unfortunately their website for him has been taken down.)

So, there, the rumors have been debunked. I apologize for any part I had in spreading false information; I simply did not know which was right.

I would like to also request that if in the future, if you would like to notify me that someone on this blog has been found, please send a link to confirm this information. (The exception is for family of the missing person.)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

FOUND SAFE: Heather Deeter

One of my astute readers posted a comment about Heather being found as of August. I also had received an email notification but had just not had time to act on it yet. (My apologies to anyone who was still on the lookout for Heather after she had already been found!)

Anyway, a copy of the recovery notice from my email:

Dear Poster Partner:
Heather Deeter missing from Oil City, PA, has been
recovered. Please discontinue dissemination of this poster. Your participation
in this program has made a valuable contribution to this recovery.
remove and discard any posters on this case that you have placed in public
Thank you for your support.
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
Visit our web site at

The email was dated August 27.

FOUND SAFE: Latasha Williams

There is one small typo in this notice: Latasha was from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, not Georgia. Nevertheless, the important thing is that she was found!
Poster Partner program notice as received in my email:
Dear Poster Partner:
Latasha Williams missing from Pittsburgh, GA, has
been recovered. Please discontinue dissemination of this poster. Your
participation in this program has made a valuable contribution to this recovery.
Please remove and discard any posters on this case that you have placed in
public view.
Thank you for your support.
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
Visit our web site at

The date on the email was September 12.

FOUND SAFE: Jacqueline (?) and Nevada Azen

While looking over a recent post on this missing mother and daughter, I noticed that their pictures were no longer visible. When pictures are directly linked to the NCMEC website (as theirs were), this can often be a sign that people have been located. After a little digging (i.e., searching on Google), I found the following statement at
Nevada Azen missing from Pittsburgh, PA, has been recovered.

The date on the website is August 19.
There is no mention about Nevada's mother, Jacqueline, who was also missing with her (hence the question mark in the title). Perhaps it is because the site is called National Voice for Children? Another explanation is that on their NCMEC poster (as seen at, Jacqueline is listed as Nevada's "non-custodial mother", and on some sites (such as the case is being treated as a family abduction. So, I suppose it is--hopefully--safe to assume that since Nevada has been found, Jacqueline probably has been as well.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Tanya Kach: Lawsuit dismissed, dismissal being appealed

It's been 2 1/2 years since Tanya was found, but apparently things are not over yet.
Tanya Kach's lawyer to appeal case dismissal
By Jason Cato
Monday, September 15, 2008
A lawyer for a former McKeesport student who
went missing for a decade and surfaced as a kidnapping victim today filed a
notice of appeal, intended to dispute a federal judge's dismissal of claims she
made against her captor's employers.
Tanya Kach went missing in February 1996
and resurfaced in March 2006, after escaping the home of Thomas Hose, who worked
as a security guard for St. Moritz Security Services at the McKeesport Area
middle school she attended. Kach, 26, of Elizabeth filed a federal lawsuit in
September 2006 against Hose for holding her captive. The lawsuit also named as
plaintiffs McKeesport city and police officials for failing to properly
investigate her disappearance; McKeesport school officials for knowing of her
relationship with Hose and failing to stop it; and St. Moritz for failing to
properly train its employee.
U.S. District Judge Gary L. Lancaster dismissed
parts of the lawsuit in April 2007. On Friday, the judge dismissed the remaining
claims, following oral arguments in which a defense lawyer asked that the case
be dismissed because too much time had elapsed.
story continues below
defense claimed the clock started when Hose and Kach began a romantic
relationship, not when she resurfaced in 2006.
Lancaster, although
sympathetic toward Kach's plight, granted the defendants a motion of summary
"(Kach) was victimized not only by an adult who preyed on her, but
by the many adults who failed her," Lancaster wrote in a 23-page memorandum.
"Yet, these circumstances cannot overcome the strong legal precedent supporting
the enforcement of statutes of limitations."
The judge did not rule on other
issues for dismissal raised by the defendants.
Kach's attorney, Lawrence
Fisher, this morning filed notice that he intends to take the matter before the
3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia.
Hose, 50, was not included
in the decision. He is serving 15 years on state charges stemming from Kach's
disappearance. He has never responded to Kach's lawsuit. Kach, at age 14, ran
away Feb. 10, 1996, to live with Hose, who was then 37 and worked as a guard at
her school. She claimed Hose kept her captive until she began gaining some
freedoms and told her story to a local deli owner, who called police.
testified that Hose kept her in an upstairs bedroom for four years before
allowing her to start coming out when his elderly parents weren't home. In 2005,
he changed Kach's name to Nikki Allen and began introducing her to people as his
Jason Cato can be reached at or 412-320-7840.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Billy Smolinski: Search over

Now that the search is over, we are allowed to know what triggered it.

No Body Found In Search For Missing Man
POSTED: 9:50 am EDT August 18, 2008
UPDATED: 3:01 pm EDT August 18, 2008

SEYMOUR, Conn. -- Police said they did not find the
body of a missing man while searching a property on Bungay Road in Seymour.
State police are looking for Billy Smolinski Jr., who
has been missing for nearly four years.
Troopers said they received a tip that his body may have been buried in a metal container.
They have not said whether the search provided them any clues.

If you know anything about what happened to Billy, please call the FBI's New Haven office at (203) 777-6311 or email You can also send a "snail mail" tip to P.O. Box 123, Cheshire, CT 06410.

You can print a poster of Billy at

Billy's website:
MySpace page for Billy:
Billy's guestbook:

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

2008 Missing: Tiffany Siegworth, Carnegie, Pennsylvania

Her photo is two years out of date (according to caption at link), but it seems to be the only one available.


Carnegie police seeking runaway teenage girl
F.A. Krift

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Carnegie police are searching for a teenage girl who detectives believe
ran away 16 days ago with her boyfriend.
Tiffany Marie Siegworth, 15, of
Carnegie might be in the Lawrenceville, Wilkinsburg or Bellevue area, police
said. Her unnamed boyfriend also is considered missing by police.
was last seen by her father July 20 wearing black sweat pants, a black T-shirt
and tennis shoes. She is 5-foot-5 and weighs 150 pounds, and has dyed her blond
hair black, police said.
Anyone with information on Siegworth or her
whereabouts is asked to call Carnegie police Detective Tom Oros at 412-279-4589
or e-mail.

Another article, from, gives slightly more information (date last seen and by whom).
Carnegie Police Need Help Locating Teen
updated 11:47 a.m. ET, Tues., Aug. 5, 2008
CARNEGIE, Pa. - Carnegie police are asking for help from the public to
locate a missing teen. Police said Tiffany Marie Siegworth, 15, was last seen by
her father on July 20. She was with her boyfriend, who is also listed as
Tiffany is a white female, about 150 pounds, 5 foot 5 inches tall,
dyed black hair, blue eyes and was wearing black sweat pants and a black
The teen may be in the Lawrenceville, Wilkinsburg or Bellevue
Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Tom Oros at
412-279-4589 or send an e-mail to

2008 Missing: Thomas Zinza, Emlenton, Pennsylvania

I just discovered Thomas' case on the North American Missing Persons Network. It was just added there July 31.
Thomas Joel Zinza
Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: February 19, 2008 from Emlenton, Pennsylvania
Date Of Birth: February 5, 1966
Age: 42
Height: 5'8"
Weight: 202 lbs
Hair Color: Brown (going gray and bald)
Eye Color: Hazel
Race: White
Gender: Male
Distinguishing Characteristics: Tattoo of a small
trout on upper arm gold crowns on molars, previously fractured right ankle,
herniated disk, chronic knee pain
Medical Conditions: He is diagnosed with
paranoid schizophrenia and is currently not taking his medication.
Clothing: Usually wore wool clothing, hunting coats, preferred brand was "Filson"
expensive hunting boots or footware, "Carharts" and flannel shirts, occasionally
wore baseball style hats
AKA: Tom, Tommy, Zinz
Case Number: 08-14273
NCIC Number: M-257212634 .
Details of DisappearanceThomas left
Fairbanks, AK and flew to Cleveland, OH. On February 17, 2008 he rented a
vehicle and drove to Emlenton, PA where he checked into the motor Inn on
February 17th. The car was located at the Emlenton Motor Inn, on
Emlenton-Clintonville Road, on February 27, 2008. There was no sign of Mr. Zinza
and it is possible that he had left the motor inn before February 19th. Tom may
be heading towards Vermont to a cabin he visited as a child.
Investigating Agency
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Alaska State Police
(907) 451-5100
You can print a poster of Thomas at

Billy Smolinski: New search!!

There are several news articles on this, but I will just post three of them. Hopefully they find something helpful. If they have been at it for five days, then maybe the police/FBI think they're on to something. (A fourth article, which I have not posted, calls it "the most significant [tip] yet".)

Authorities dig for missing man in Seymour
By: Michelle Tuccitto Sullo,
Naugatuck Valley Bureau Chief
SEYMOUR - Investigators on Monday
continued excavating property on Bungay Road in the search for a Waterbury man
who has been missing for four years.
The search began at the 160 Bungay Road site over the weekend.
The missing man, William Smolinski Jr., was last seen on Aug. 24, 2004.
Smolinski had asked a neighbor in Waterbury to watch his dog, a German shepherd,
for a few days then disappeared, according to the Federal Bureau of
Investigation. Smolinski indicated that he was going to look at a car he was
interested in buying. No one heard from him in a few days, and his family
contacted Waterbury police. Smolinski left behind his vehicle, wallet and keys,
according to police, and hasn't been heard from since.
A police van blocked the driveway to the property on Monday afternoon as
the search continued. Several media outlets waited at the property for an
announcement on the outcome of the search.
The Seymour Public Works Department is helping with the effort, which
involves the use of excavation equipment.
State police said Monday that the systematic search of the private property
is being done with the full cooperation of the property owner, who police said
"has no involvement whatsoever in this investigation."
In May 2007, investigators searched properties in Shelton in connection
with the Smolinski case with the help of search dogs, but came up empty.
Smolinski was 31 years old at the time of his disappearance. He had worked
as an apprentice heating and air-conditioning technician and as a part-time tow
truck driver. Smolinski also mowed lawns and plowed driveways in his spare time,
according to the FBI.
Register reporter Patricia Villers contributed to this report.
Billy's mother's reaction, from

Mother Still Awaiting Son's Return
Son Has Been Missing For 4
POSTED: 6:35 pm EDT August 12, 2008
UPDATED: 8:47 pm EDT August 12,

SEYMOUR, Conn. -- Janice Smolinski said she’s been waiting
nearly four years for her son to come home.
"We didn't give up, and we're
not going to give up," she said. "We going to continue until we get our
William Smolinski had asked a friend to walk his dog, but never
dropped off the keys to his house. The 31-year-old construction worker from
Waterbury disappeared without telling anyone where he was going.
"'No body,
no case' is what we were told in the beginning, and that isn't so," Janice said.
"You evaluate every situation."
For the past four days, police have been
digging at a home on Bungay Road in Seymour based on leads they have obtained.
Last summer, acting on another tip, police dug up a driveway outside a home
in Shelton. Nothing was found there, they said.
The latest update, from

Wednesday, August 13, 2008 8:00 AM EDT
Search for clues in 2004 disappearance continues
The search for evidence in the 2004 disappearance of
Billy Smolinski Jr. continued on Tuesday on Bungay Road, but investigators were
unable to uncover additional clues at the site, according to state police.
State and local police began excavating property at 160 Bungay Road on
Friday. Excavators from the town's Public Works Department continued to dig
Saturday, Monday and Tuesday. According to Trooper William Tate, a state police
spokesman, digging might continue today.
Smolinski was 31 when he disappeared from his Waterbury home in 2004. City
police eventually turned over their investigation to the FBI. Authorities have
investigated leads that have led them to a driveway in Shelton and now the
21-acre farmland on Bungay Road. Police did not find evidence in Shelton that
Smolinski was buried there and, so far, haven't found any clues here.
If you know anything about what happened to Billy, please call the FBI's New Haven office at (203) 777-6311 or email You can also send a "snail mail" tip to P.O. Box 123, Cheshire, CT 06410.

Photo and candle graphic from Billy's MySpace.

Cody Haynes: New age progression!

Finally something new in the case of Richard Lee Haynes, Jr., better known as "Cody". Granted, a very small something, but maybe it can still help somehow.
Cody's NCMEC poster:

Endangered Missing
DOB: Apr 16, 1993
Missing: Sep 12, 2004
Age Now: 15
Sex: Male
Race: White
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Blue
Height: 5'0" (152 cm)
Weight: 90 lbs (41 kg)
Missing From:
United States
Age Progressed
Richard is shown age-progressed
to 15 years. He was last seen at home on September 12, 2004. Richard has a round
birthmark on his right inner thigh. He may go by the nickname Cody.
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
1-800-843-5678 (1-800-THE-LOST)
Kittitas Police Department (Washington) 1-509-925-8534
MySpace page for Cody (run by one of his parents):

Arkadiy Tashman: Out of the Darkness walk team in his honor

Update - 10/17/08 - The Out of the Darkness Walk raised a total of over $13,000 and had a great turnout! For more details, see
Out of the Darkness Community walks are a project of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. (When Arkadiy disappeared, he left behind a possible suicide note.)
This particular Out of the Darkness walk is being held in Staten Island. Information below from

The Sheds' Fundraising Page
Staten Island Walk
September 28, 2008 at Clove Lakes Park
So there's a walk going on in
Staten Island at Clove Lakes Park on September 28th.
I registered to be part of the walk and set a fund raising goal of $750. If
we can get more money, great, if not, even being there is still nice
If you register for the walk you don't HAVE to donate anything, but even
one dollar is helpful. All the donations go towards Ark's family and other
families out there who have lost loved ones to suicide or disapearances.
I started a team for the walk called 'The Sheds' so if you register for the
walk, sign up to be part of that team.
Please come out and walk with me on September 28th, even if you don't want
to walk, at least register for the event so that we could show his family that
we haven't forgotten about him.
To all people that didn't know Ark, he was an amazing person and extremely
generous, and if you have a heart, or even if you just have nothing to do that
day, sign up and walk anyway.
i think it would be nice if everyone part of 'The Sheds' team went over to
the sheds or something. I understand the sheds have been taken down, but it's
the thought that counts. Maybe we'll just set up a picnic at clove lakes and
hang out or go over to a diner or something. It will all be figured out, the
important thing though is the walk.
Donating online is safe and easy! To make an online donation please search
for one of the participants and then click the "Support This Participant" button
on their page. Donations can only be made to individuals, but the total each
participant raises goes toward our team goal.
Thank you for visiting the The Sheds fundraising page!

So far they have raised $525. Online donations can be made at the link above.
One of the people on the team is his sister and the others apparently are his friends.

Meanwhile, if you know anything about what happened to Arkadiy, please call the New York City police at (212) 694-7781 or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678).

You can print a poster of Arkadiy at (Be sure to change your Page Set-up to "Landscape", or some information will be cut off.)

Arkadiy's sister's blog:
MySpace page for Arkadiy:

Monday, July 28, 2008

Found safe: Katherine Soto

A few days ago I had posted a notice I had received that Katherine had been "restricted", which usually means investigators are close to finding her. Well, now here is the official recovery notice, received in my email this morning:
Dear Poster Partner:
Katherine Soto missing from Greenville, SC, has
been recovered. Please discontinue dissemination of this poster. Your
participation in this program has made a valuable contribution to this recovery.
Please remove and discard any posters on this case that you have placed in
public view.
Thank you for your support.
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
Visit our web site at

The restriction notice had been received last Wednesday, July 23.

Found safe: Dominique Watts

This came as a pleasant surprise! From my email notice:
Dear Poster Partner:
Dominique Watts missing from Pittsburgh, PA, has
been recovered. Please discontinue dissemination of this poster. Your
participation in this program has made a valuable contribution to this recovery.
Please remove and discard any posters on this case that you have placed in
public view.
Thank you for your support.
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
Visit our web site at

I just received that today!