Saturday, December 30, 2006

Jerry Cushey Jr.: Article in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette recently featured a lengthly article on Jerry Lee Cushey Jr. Apparently last weekend was his birthday. The article includes a photo, law enforcement contact information, and a detailed history of the case. Bravo, Post-Gazette!
After five years, family continues to seek closure
Sunday, December 24, 2006
By Janice Crompton, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Jerry Lee Cushey
You can help
If you have information about the disappearance of Jerry Cushey, please
contact investigator Jan Chico at 724-366-3188 or state police in Belle Vernon
at 724-929-6262.
This weekend, Jerry Cushey Jr. would have celebrated his
35th birthday.
He is spoken of in the past tense because his family believes
Jerry is dead.
They have worked tirelessly for closure, for the Christian
burial they believe Jerry deserves, but loved ones say they have been foiled and
frustrated at every turn by a police investigation they say was mishandled from
the start.
"I have cried so many tears so many nights," said Sonya
Helmantoler of Monongahela, Jerry's older sister by 15 months. "I don't know why
they won't do anything with this case. I will not go away. I want to know what
Jerry disappeared five years ago on the day he was moving into a
new apartment with an old acquaintance, Christopher Myers. The pair made plans
to move into an apartment above a tattoo business that Mr. Myers owned, Totally
Tattoos on Second Street in Monongahela.
Jerry didn't go to work on Oct. 12,
2001, because he planned to do some work on the apartment with Mr. Myers,
according to family members. He picked up his paycheck from the local
construction company he worked for and cashed it at a local beer distributor
after making plans with some co-workers to meet at a local social club later
that night.
Jerry never made the rendezvous with his co-workers, and was
last seen by a friend outside the tattoo shop early in the evening.
that time, Mr. Myers has been arrested for impersonating Jerry in phone calls to
his mother and police, a possible eyewitness has come forward and new evidence
has been unearthed by a private investigator, but no arrests have been made in
Jerry's disappearance to the dismay of his family.
In the days after Jerry
vanished, a Jeep Wrangler that Jerry often borrowed from his father was returned
to the home of the elder Mr. Cushey, who saw a man who was not his son park the
vehicle in his yard.
When family members asked Mr. Myers where Jerry was,
they said he told them Jerry stole his van and $1,500. He reported the van
missing on Oct. 16, 2001, but the vehicle had already been found the day before
by West Virginia police over an embankment near Cheat Lake. A stick was lodged
against the accelerator and a tree kept the van from plunging into a stream.
During the next several weeks, Jerry's mother, Ilona Boyd, along with the
Pennsylvania State Police and Union Township police, received several phone
calls from a person claiming to be Jerry and giving several excuses as to why he
left town, including that he was going to Arizona with a girlfriend and that he
owed someone $10,000 and was living in West Virginia. The voice was not Jerry's,
Mrs. Boyd said.
Mr. Myers made the phone calls, state police later
determined. Police charged him in October 2004 with three counts of tampering
with evidence for impersonating Jerry and one count of obstructing the
administration of law or other governmental functions for secretly returning
Jerry Cushey Sr.'s Jeep the day after Jerry Jr.'s disappearance, then denying
When confronted by police about returning the Jeep, Mr. Myers said: "OK.
In the beginning I denied it because I was scared. I just didn't want to get
involved," according to a criminal complaint filed by police.
In the
complaint, Mr. Myers also commented about being caught placing the crank phone
calls: "Okay. You were on me hard," said Mr. Myers, who has a juvenile criminal
record for burglary. "I knew that because of my prior past. I was trying to get
you guys off of me, not to look at me. I know I look bad."
When Mr. Myers
was arraigned on the criminal charges, he was jailed on a $75,000 straight cash
bond, but a month later, the bond was dropped by Washington County Common Pleas
Court Judge Katherine Emery. Mr. Myers was released on his own recognizance with
the condition that he report weekly to state police.
It's unclear if Mr.
Myers has kept up his part of the bargain, but court records show numerous trial
continuances requested by his lawyer.
Beginning in October 2005, Mr. Myers'
lawyer, Dianne Zerega, has requested and been granted five delays, citing
ongoing cooperation with the county district attorney's office.
In court
papers filed Oct. 6, 2005, Ms. Zerega asked the court for a continuance,
stating: "The defendant came to an agreement with the district attorney's office
which has not been completed."
A month later, on Nov. 2, 2005, Ms. Zerega
requested and was granted a continuance for the same reason, and on May 22,
2006, court filings by Ms. Zerega state: "The defendant has not completed his
activity for the commonwealth."
On Sept. 6, 2006 and Nov. 21, 2006, Ms.
Zerega had appealed to county Common Pleas Court Judge John DiSalle for more
continuances, stating that Mr. Myers has entered plea agreement negotiations
with the district attorney's office.
None of the records include details of
Mr. Myers' cooperation.
His next hearing before Judge DiSalle is scheduled
for Feb. 26, 2007.
Mr. Myers and District Attorney John C. Pettit could not
be reached for comment, and Ms. Zerega declined comment.
Jerry's family
can't understand why Mr. Myers hasn't been charged in Jerry's disappearance, or
why more information about other possible suspects hasn't been forthcoming since
his arrest more than two years ago.
State police Cpl. Brian Barnhart said he
couldn't disclose Mr. Myers' level of cooperation, but said he has sympathy for
the Cushey family.
"I feel terrible for them," he said. "It's very
Cpl. Barnhart said the investigation still is active and
interviews are ongoing.
Jerry's family has gone to incredible lengths to
find the answers that still elude them, including consulting five psychics and
undertaking an investigation of their own.
The family raised $3,500 during a
fund-raiser to hire a private investigator, but said they "never received a
shred of paper" from the Pittsburgh agency. This summer, they consulted private
investigator Jan Chico of Newell, Fayette County, who has taken on the case at
no charge.
Ms. Helmantoler said Ms. Chico has been indispensable to the
case, gathering new evidence and information that hopefully will yield results.
The family continues to hang missing posters on utility poles in
Monongahela, Charleroi, and outside of another tattoo business Mr. Myers owns in
"They will always see my brother's face," Ms. Helmantoler
The family pushed police to search Cheat Lake, along with the
Monongahela River, which was scoured last summer, but the family also has formed
and organized search parties that provided police with possible evidence, such
as an Adidas ball cap they believe Jerry was wearing.
Ms. Helmantoler took a
four-week leave of absence from work and, along with several members of her
family, spent every day searching the area near Cheat Lake where Mr. Myers' van
was found. They came up with several items, including rubber gloves and a towel
covered with an unknown substance. Ms. Helmantoler said they turned the items
over to police but never heard anything more about them.
Most recently, Ms.
Helmantoler sent a mass mailing to local and state politicians and government
officials requesting help in the case. Several sent back responses, she said,
and indicated they would try to assist.
She also sent a complaint to the
state Judicial Review Board over the continued delays in Mr. Myers' case. The
agency said it would investigate.
Ms. Helmantoler said it took several weeks
for her brother's apartment to be searched once he was reported missing, and her
family continues to be frustrated over the weeks and months it takes for police
to follow up on leads that they believe are important.
Ms. Helmantoler said
it's not fair that her brother's killer continues to roam free while her family
got together yesterday to celebrate Jerry's birthday without him yet again.
"I'm at my wits end now," she said. "We just have that empty seat. It's not
Ms. Helmantoler is convinced her brother is dead because she felt his
spirit visit her once while she was standing in her kitchen. Since then, he
signals her and other family members by dropping dimes in shoes, pockets and
other unexpected locations, she said.
"He told me I would bring him home
when it was time," she said. "And, that's when I knew he was gone. We still had
hope, but I knew then."
A family member recently installed a memorial stone
for Jerry in the Venetia Cemetery between the graves of his uncle and cousin so
the family would have a place to visit until his remains are located.
believe the time is coming close," she said. "I have promised my family members
that I would bring him home."
In the meantime, Ms. Helmantoler tries to keep
a positive outlook by sponsoring monthly teen dances at the Finleyville
Community Center in honor of her brother, who she said "always wanted to do
something like that."
"This is something he would have loved to have done,"
she said.
(Janice Crompton can be reached at or
724-223-0156. )
Article at
I can't find a poster of him, though. His Charley Project profile ( might work, although it takes two sheets of paper.

Robert Allison now missing 12 years, Bethel Park, Pennsylvania

You may wonder why I wrote "Bethel Park" when his profile says "Waynesburg". I usually list people by where they were last seen. I am guessing that he probably lived in Waynesburg.
Photo and information from The Charley Project:
Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: December 21,
1994 from Waynesburg, Pennsylvania
Classification: Endangered Missing
Date of Birth: November 12, 1952
Age: 42 years old
Height and
Weight: 5'9, 170 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: Brown hair. Allison
wears glasses.
Medical Conditions: Allison suffered from depression at the
time of his disappearance.

Details of Disappearance
Allison was last
seen at Tri-River Fleeting in Bethel Park near the city of Pittburgh. He was
employed there on a river boat. Allison left work that day intent on going to a
bar in west Pittsburgh. He has never been heard from again. All his possessions
were found on the boat. Few details are available in his case.

Investigating Agency
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Pennsylvania State Police

It seems that not much is known about the disappearance of Robert Elmer Allison, so please call police if you know anything.
I haven't found a poster of Robert, but his Charley Project profile seems short enough to be printed and used for that purpose. A color photo is shown on his Doe Network profile (, but I could not get it to load.

Heaven Ross: memorial, announcement

There had been speculation that Heaven Ross' murder was connected to the murder of Shannon Paulk from Prattville and the disappearance of Teresa Dean from Georgia. Now, police believe otherwise, according to the article below.
But first, the article on the memorial service. From
December 29, 2006
Mourners remember slain Northport girl
than 130 mourners attended funeral services Saturday for a Northport girl whose
remains were found beneath an abandoned house more than three years after she
Hopes that Heaven LaShae Ross would one day return home ended
for family and friends when officials announced that her skeletal remains were
found in Holt on Monday afternoon.
The girl, known affectionately as Shae,
was last seen walking to a bus stop on a rainy Tuesday morning in August 2003.
Authorities said the girl's backpack was found near her body.
"We had so much
faith that she was still alive," said Carol Rowell, Shae's grandmother. "We
never thought this may have been what happened to her."
The family said the
discovery of Shae's body has given them some closure, but it's also raised more
"We've been brought closure in a minuscule way, but when we lay
her to rest the only thing we're going to be thinking of is why," said Daniel
Jowers, Shae's uncle.
"Why would someone do this to her? That's all that's
left for us now."

Article on announcement from
New Information in Murder of Heaven Lashae Ross
Thursday December 21,
2006 11:30am Posted By: Jeff

Tuscaloosa - Investigators in Tuscaloosa county released new
information Wednesday about the murder of Heaven Lashae
Ross disappeared just over 3 years ago, and her body was found this week
inside an abandoned house in the Holt area. Investigators now say her murder was
a single incident. They initially believed it could have been related to another
Tuscaloosa authorities are getting national help in the search for Ross'
Funeral arrangements have not yet been made, but Tuscaloosa businessman
Stan Pate has offered to cover all costs for the funeral.

If you know anything about the murder of Heaven Ross, please call the Northport Police Department at (205) 339-6600.
Guestbook for messages to Heaven's family:

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Heaven Ross: remains found

Update - December 30, 2006: Police now say they do not believe Heaven's death is connected to any other crimes. For more information see
Either I did not hear they had found remains or else I wasn't paying attention, because this came as a total shock to me.
From WSFA TV in Montgomery (sketches of possible suspect in Shannon's murder from previous story):
Girl's Body Discovered in Tuscaloosa County; Possible Connection to Shannon Paulk Murder?
Dec 19, 2006 12:12 PM EST
TUSCALOOSA, Ala., Dec. 19, 2006 -- There's a tragic ending to a missing person case that surfaced more than three years ago and one which Prattville police thought at one time might have a connection to the murder of Shannon Paulk, an 11-year-old Prattville girl who was abducted and murdered in 2001.
Authorities in Tuscaloosa County have identified a body found Monday as that of Heaven LaShae Ross of Northport. She was 11-years-old when she vanished on August 19th, 2003 apparently while walking to her school bus stop in the Willowbrook Trailer Park in Northport.
Tuscaloosa County Sheriff Ted Sexton, at a news conference Tuesday, said the skeletal remains were found at an abandoned house in the Holt community, a few miles northeast of Tuscaloosa.
Authorities said the girl's backpack was found near the body. A forensics team from the University of Alabama and FBI agents have been combing the site for evidence.
Prattville police at one time indicated they were investigating the possibility that the murder of Shannon Paulk in 2001 could have been related to the disappearance of Ross in Northport and another girl who vanished from Georgia. Police said there were striking similarities in the appearance of the three girls -- all were taken when they were 11 years old, all were white females, all were abducted in the month of August, and all were taken from trailer parks with construction going on nearby.
Prattville Mayor Jim Byard told WSFA Tuesday morning that the Shannon Paulk Task Force is still in operation and Sgt. Bob Furlong is focused exclusively on solving the case of the dead Prattville girl. Byard says Furlong talks on a regular basis with officers in Northport, Alabama and in Twigg County Georgia because of the similarity in the cases.
Byard says he can only imagine what the Ross family and law enforcement personnel are going through in Northport at this time because he remembers what the Paulk family and local officers went through as they searched for the Prattville 11-year-old whose body was eventually discovered by hunters in October 2001.
If you know anything that can help police, call the Prattville Police Department's Secret Witness line at (334)365-2220.
Alabama Associated Press contributed to this story
This would have to be murder. How else would an 11-year-old girl get from walking to her bus stop to an abandoned house in another city?
Guestbook for messages to Heaven's family:

Monday, December 18, 2006

Yolanda Bindics' death ruled a homicide

It's now official: Yolanda Bindics was murdered. So, then, who killed her? Police haven't said, but hopefully they at least have some idea. Perhaps they are just trying to protect the investigation, like how they haven't said how she died.
Story from
Bindics' death ruled as a homicide
Yolanda Bindics was the victim of a homicide, authorities in
Chautauqua County confirmed Friday afternoon.
The 25-year-old Jamestown
mother of four was missing for more than two years before her skeletal remains
were found in mid-September by hunters on densely wooded state forest land in
the Town of Charlotte.
The homicide ruling followed an investigation by
forensic anthropologist Dr. Dennis C. Dirkmaat - a professor at Mercyhurst
College in Erie, Pa. and specialist in crime scene archaeology - and the medical
examiner's office at Erie County Medical Center.
"They concluded it wasn't a
natural death, it was, in fact, a homicide," said Chautauqua County District
Attorney David W. Foley.
Foley said Dirkmaat and staff at the medical
examiner's office made a two- to three-hour "comprehensive presentation" to
authorities about their findings earlier this week. A final report from Dirkmaat
is still pending, along with coroner's and medical examiner's reports.
said investigators now know the cause of Bindics' death. However, he wouldn't
discuss how she died in order to "protect the integrity of [the] investigation."
Yolanda's website:
Yolanda's forum:

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Natalee Holloway: parents sue Kalpoes, Kalpoes sue Dr. Phil

When Dave Holloway and Beth Holloway Twitty tried to sue Joran van der Sloot in New York before, the case was thrown out because the location was in no way related to the case. But since the Kalpoes sued Dr. Phil first, apparently also in California...we'll see how this goes.
Story from

Press Release
Source: The Kelly Group
Natalee Holloway's Parents File
Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Arubans Deepak and Satish KalpoeThursday December
14, 3:55 pm ET
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Beth Twitty and Dave
Holloway, parents of Natalee Holloway, the Alabama teen who went missing in
Aruba last year, filed a wrongful death lawsuit today in Superior Court of the
State of California, County of Los Angeles against brothers Deepak and Satish
Kalpoe, two of the last known people to be with Natalee alive before her May
2005 disappearance.
"All we want is justice for our daughter. There is no
doubt in my mind that Deepak and Satish played a role in my daughter's death and
should be held accountable," Beth Twitty said. "It is unconscionable that they
have not been punished so far."
Allegations in the lawsuit against Deepak
and Satish Kalpoe include claims that they caused the death of Natalee Holloway
by "intentionally, negligently, wantonly ... unlawfully conducting themselves"
to bring about her fatal injuries. The wrongful death action was filed as a
related case to an action the Kalpoes filed against the "Dr. Phil Show," and
"Natalee's parents' attempt to get justice in Aruba have been
repeatedly frustrated -- which is why we welcome the opportunity to file this
civil case in Los Angeles," New York attorney John Q. Kelly, who represents both
Beth and Dave Holloway in this action, said. "By filing this wrongful death
suit, we hope to capitalize on the Kalpoe's decision to utilize the California
courts in a frivolous claim for compensation, and give Natalee's parents the
closure they need and deserve."
Natalee was last seen alive in a grey Honda
with the Kalpoe brothers and Joran van der Sloot on the morning of May 30, 2005
in Aruba during a school trip. The Kalpoe brothers were both arrested and
charged with her murder, but have yet to be brought to trial by prosecutors in
Aruba. Due to their conflicting, and admittedly fabricated, accounts of what
happened to Natalee, as well as strong circumstantial evidence, the Kalpoe
brothers have remained two of the prime suspects in her disappearance and
presumed death.
This past week an Aruban court denied the Kalpoe's request
to be cleared as suspects, and Aruban prosecuting attorney Karin Jansen recently
returned from Holland where a new team of Dutch investigators is reviewing all
evidence against the Kalpoes and others.
In a civil action such as this one,
nine out of twelve jurors need to conclude, by a preponderance of the evidence,
that the Kalpoes were responsible for Natalee's disappearance and death.

And don't forget, if you know anything about the disappearance of Natalee Holloway, please call 1-866-SOS-LOST (1-866-767-5678).

Natalee's website:
Two of probably many blogs about Natalee:,

Photo of Natalee from her website.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

ATTENTION SANTA FE RESIDENTS: Have you seen Ann or Samantha Kibalo?

Kudos to the New Mexican for this story! It would be good for all newspapers to follow the example of writing about people who could be in their local areas.
The only thing that could have made it better would have been photos. (The ones below are from the Charley Project.)
Story from
Missing girl, mom might be in S.F.
By Anne Constable The New Mexican
December 10, 2006
Mother kidnapped daughter from father in February
2001A 7-year-old girl abducted by her mother five years ago might be living in
Santa Fe, according to six eyewitnesses.
Samantha Michelle Kibalo and her mother, Ann Yermak Kibalo, disappeared
from Suffern, N.Y., in February 2001 after failing to return from a
court-authorized overnight visit.
The child’s father, Michael Kibalo, who had sole custody of Samantha, has
been searching for her ever since.
After receiving a tip she might be here, Kevin Gallagher, a lawyer and
friend of Michael Kibalo, visited Santa Fe twice — in February and in September.
He distributed missing-child fliers and talked to six people who said they were
certain they had seen mother and daughter — at a mall, a doctor’s office and
other places.
One woman who talked to the mother and daughter several times described
Samantha as “real quiet, withdrawn.” She said the mother didn’t interact much
with the child.
Michael Kibalo, who now lives in Morris Plains,
N.J., won sole custody of his daughter when she was 11 months old after court
testimony that his former wife hit the child and might suffer from a mental
condition called Munchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy, which could cause her to harm
Samantha or seek unnecessary medical treatment. In a span of 11 months, Ann
Kibalo apparently took her daughter to seven different doctors on 33
Two months after their disappearance, Ann Kibalo’s abandoned sport-utility
vehicle was found in a Brooklyn parking garage. Eyewitnesses reportedly later
spotted her in Florida.
Michael Kibalo said FBI profilers have told him his wife and child are
probably moving around a lot, using two or three different aliases. He suspects
his former mother-in-law is helping them because she has refinanced her house
numerous times.
Ann Kibalo has an accounting degree from Brooklyn College and might work as
a bookkeeper. Michael Kibalo and his attorney believe she is home-schooling
Samantha, in part because they have not been able to locate her at any
elementary schools in the area.
Samantha is listed with every known group in the United States that helps
find missing children. The case was featured twice on America’s Most Wanted, a
Fox Television show hosted by John Walsh, whose son was abducted and killed in
1981, as well as on an episode of Unsolved Mysteries in 2002, its final year.
Michael Kibalo said his daughter’s picture will appear in the tax
preparation books issued by the Internal Revenue Service next year.
He says people have told him Santa Fe “might be a good place for people to
hide” because “It’s artsy (and) people can blend in.”
“I actually believe that if she doesn’t turn up in Santa Fe, some day Sam
is going to find herself. If I keep active,” she’ll find me, he said.
Samantha is described as having light brown hair and brown eyes.
Ann Kibalo, now 43, is 5 feet tall, 120 pounds with brown hair and blue
eyes, although she might be wearing brown contacts.
People who have information about their whereabouts are encouraged to call
Contact Anne Constable at 995-3845 or
You can print your own poster of Samantha here.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

William "Billy" Smolinski -- Waterbury, Connecticut

Billy Smolinski was featured after CBS' Without a Trace on November 19 and on The Early Show on November 20. The article below is part of an archive of Early Show stories on missing people at:
Monday, Nov. 20, 2006
Billy Smolinski vanished two years ago from his home in Waterbury, Conn.,
when he was 31-years-old. Was it murder? Did he commit suicide?
As Bianca Solorzano reports, those are questions his family and
investigators are still asking.
An outgoing son and brother who loved his dog and fixing up cars, Smolinski
returned in August 2004 from a trip to Florida with his girlfriend, Madeleine
The next night, he told his sister that his girlfriend was having an affair
with a local politician. They had argued and broken up.
The next day, Smolinski left the politician a threatening phone message. He
was also laid off from one of his two jobs.
As far as investigators know, he was last seen at his home. His next door
neighbor says he asked him to watch his dog for a few days because he was headed
north to look at a car he wanted to buy.
That, says Solorzano, is where the trail ends.
Smolinski's truck was still parked in his driveway. His keys and wallet
were found under the front seat.
His family hasn't stopped searching. They posted thousands of missing
person flyers but, says Solorzano, in a strange twist, found Smolinski's
ex-girlfriend tearing them down.
Local police say she and the politician aren't suspects in the case.
In August, the FBI's New Haven, Conn. stepped in, though Senior Supervisory
Resident Agent Dan O'Brien concedes, "There is not a lot of forensic evidence
for us to review in this matter. … The man simply disappeared."
Says Janice Smolinski, Billy's mom, "It's worse not knowing, because the
pain never goes away. It's like suffering a loss day in and day out."
If you have any information about the case, please contact the FBI in New
Haven at (203) 777-6311, or contact your local FBI office.

Description of Billy from the Charley Project (source of above photo):
Missing Since: August 24, 2004 from Waterbury, Connecticut
Endangered Missing
Date Of Birth: January 14, 1973
Age: 31 years old
Height and Weight: 5'11 - 6'0, 200 pounds
Characteristics: Caucasian male. Light brown hair, blue eyes. Smolinski's
nicknames are Bill and Billy. He is bowlegged and his left ear is pierced. He
has a tattoo of a blue cross outined in orange on his left shoulder, and a
tattoo of a cross with the name "Pruitt" inside on his right forearm.
Smolinski's hair was in a crew cut at the time of his disappearance. He wears
size 10 1/2 shoes, size 36-32 pants, and size large or extra-large shirts.
Clothing/Jewelry Description: A small diamond earring, a gold chain
rope-style necklace with a cross pendant, and possibly blue jeans, a blue denim
shirt, and work boots.
Medical Conditions: Smolinski is allergic to
shellfish. He has no other medical conditions and was in good physical and
mental health at the time of his disappearance.
You can print a poster of Billy at
Billy's website:
Guestbook for messages to Smolinski family:

Sunday, December 3, 2006

Jocelyn McNeish found

There was not much available information on her while she was missing, so I suppose it should not be a surprise if there is even less when she was found.
From "Police and Fire Calls" dated November 30,
Missing person found
Franklin state police said Jocelyn McNeish, 15, who was
previously reported missing, has been found.

I would think it would be longer if she was found dead, so it would probably be safe to assume she was alive.

Thursday, November 9, 2006

Joanna Rogers: remains found, memorial set

It turned out that Rosendo Rodriguez was telling the truth after all. It seems that he has not been charged yet, but that will probably come.
Story from The remains have since been officially identified as Joanna's, and pieces of a suitcase have also been found in the landfill.
Remains of Joanna Rogers Found at Lubbock Landfill
The announcement that
Joanna had been found came at a news conference Tuesday afternoon.
Obviously a very emotional day for everyone involved in the discovery of Joanna
Rogers remains. City leaders, authorities, law enforcement, as well as family
members all showed up to show their support after the teen has been missing
since May 4th, of 2004.
get more-Joanna
Rogers Search Timeline

Inside the
timeline of stories that were reported on in the search for missing Lubbock teen
Joanna Rogers.
For 905 days, Joanna Rogers has been missing. It's a
bittersweet day for Roger's parents, they now know where their
daughter is. Kathy Rogers tells us, "one of the things I've got to go do is
change out the yellow ribbons because they get changed to white, that's the next
step and we go on from there."
Emotions ran high, but not only for the
Rogers family everyone involved with the search felt some relief. Lt.
Tony Menchaca with the Sheriff's Office says, "Let me say this to all of
you, this has been a very emotional day for all of us that have worked the
landfill. We're very ecstatic that we accomplished our goal and found her, but
it's a sad day for the family as well."
The search begin at the city
landfill on August 24th. And exactly two months ago to the day it comes to a
halt. Menchaca says, "We finally were at the last 25 feet of that grid
today, and accomplished our goal but it was beginning to look grim for us, we
were very concerned that we wouldn't find her."
But with thousands of man
hours and hundreds of manpower, crews were committing to finding the teens
remains working around the clock. Crews at the landfill were strained
physically and mentally. And the Rogers family is forever thankful for all the
search efforts that brought Jo home.
Lt. Menchaca tells NewsChannel 11
it is evident the mummified remains are that of Rogers because the physical
description matches, but they will conduct dental analysis to confirm the
identification. The medical examiner has picked up the remains that were found.
Searchers will back out at the landfill looking for any missing evidence

Details about the memorial from Joanna's website:
UPDATE: The family will hold a public Celebration of Joanna's Life at the
Lubbock High School Auditorium at 4:00pm on Saturday, November 11th, with the
Reverend Jerry Kaskela officiating. All who knew, or knew of, Joanna and
who wish to attend are welcome. The school is located at 2004
19th Street
in Lubbock. Visitation with the family will be held immediately
afterward at the Shephard King Lutheran Church, 2122 18th Street (a block west
of the High School), from 5:00-6:00pm. A private, graveside service will be held
for family, law enforcement officers, and friends at the City of Lubbock
Cemetary at a later date. Arrangements by Sanders Funeral Home, 1420 Main
Street, Lubbock, TX, 79401.
From all of us, to all of you.... Thank

If you live too far away to attend, you can still leave condolences for Joanna's family at

Sunday, October 8, 2006

Article spotlights long-term Pittsburgh area missing children

Nicole Bryner has been generating headlines lately, but some of these others have not been talked about in a while. This is a good chance for them to get attention!

On the left are the children around the time they went missing. On the right are age progressions of how they might look today.
Photos from top to bottom: Nicole Lynn Bryner, Jon Michael Dabkowski, Gabriel Minarcin, Toni Lynn McNatt-Chiappetta, Ranee Ann Gregor.
1982 photo of Nicole Bryner from article. Age progression of Toni McNatt-Chiappetta from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. All others from the Charley Project.

Article from

Hope lives on for abducted children
By Jill King Greenwood
Saturday, October 7, 2006
Though two women who disappeared as children
resurfaced recently with stories of being held by their abductors for up to a
decade, experts say most missing children are killed within hours.
The two
cases - one in McKeesport and one overseas - spawned screaming headlines,
astonished loved ones who never stopped hoping their children would be found and
inspired hope in others who believe they might get a miraculous reunion with
their long-missing children.
But the case last month of a man charged with
killing a South Side toddler who went missing in 1982 represents the more likely
outcome of heartache and devastation: Families wait for years for a child to
return alive, only to discover he or she is long dead.
"The reality is,
those cases where a child resurfaces after that long are just not the norm,"
said Tarentum police Detective Mark Glogowski, who nevertheless periodically
looks at the case files on two boys -- ages 10 and 11 -- who disappeared
together from Tarentum in 1982.
"You might be able to take a child and hold
them captive for awhile, but you can only do that for so long before someone
around you says something, the child says something to someone, or you trip
yourself up. It's just not logical to think that all these kids are still out
there, being held hostage somewhere."
Florida Department of Law Enforcement
agent Al Danna, who for 25 years has investigated crimes against children, said
44 percent of children abducted by strangers are killed within the first hour.
The statistic rises to 74 percent within three hours and 91 percent are killed
within 24 hours of being abducted.
Within a week of a child going missing,
99 percent have been killed by the abductor, Danna said.
"Sometimes it's a
matter of the abductor knowing they will victimize and kill a child right from
the start, or they'll let them go," Danna said. "Or it's a case where the child
does something that panics the abductor, or the publicity of the child going
missing gets too great, and the abductor kills them to eliminate the witness.
But normally it's planned and not a spur-of-the-moment outcome. Abductors rarely
hold onto children for years."
At the beginning of this year, the National
Center for Missing and Exploited Children listed 13 children from Western
Pennsylvania as missing. The oldest case dates to 1977.
Two of those cases
recently were solved. One child resurfaced as a woman. Authorities are looking
for the remains of the other.
Tanya Kach, now 24, disappeared from
McKeesport in February 1996 and surfaced in March. She said she was held captive
in the home of a former middle-school security guard.
The second child,
Nicole Lynn Bryner, 3, was reported missing from a South Side grocery store in
1982. On Sept. 26, Pittsburgh police cold-case homicide detectives charged
Thomas Widman, 51, of Brookline, in Nicole's slaying. This week, detectives and
a cadaver dog scoured heavily wooded, rough terrain in several Brookline
locations, looking for Nicole's remains.
The other case of a long-missing
child who later resurfaced involved Natascha Kampusch, 18, who escaped from a
man she said kidnapped her in 1998, when she was 10, and kept her captive in a
basement in Vienna, Austria. Kampusch was reunited with her shocked parents days after she ran from the man's driveway and banged on a neighbor's door.
Glogowski, investigating the Jan. 14, 1982, disappearances of Jon Dabkowski, 11,
and Gabriel Minarcin, 10, has been difficult. Glogowski was the same age as
Minarcin when the children disappeared, so when he became an investigator for
Tarentum police, he was forced to review old case files. Investigators and
bloodhounds traced the boys' footprints to the frozen Allegheny River.
are three case books -- each more than 4 inches thick -- containing interviews
and information about the boys, who disappeared after they left Jon's house in
Tarentum at 5:30 p.m. to walk three doors to Gabriel's home.
Leah Keeney
gets emotional when she sees the reports of long-missing children who resurface
alive or hears that detectives are using cadaver dogs to search for Nicole's
Keeney's little sister, Toni McNatt-Chiapetta, 14, vanished from a
Clairton intersection in 1981. Keeney said she'll always harbor hope that her
sister -- who would be 39 -- will walk through the front door with an amazing
story of living somewhere, possibly under another name, for 24 years.
want to believe that they're alive and OK out there, because you've seen these
other cases where they were," said Keeney, of McKeesport. "But even though I try
to keep the hope alive, I know in my heart that she's dead and she's an angel in
heaven. You just want answers either way, no matter how devastating the truth
might be. You just want to have a grave to go visit."
Robinson police Chief
Dale Vietmeier checks a few times a year on the case of Ranee Gregor, 16, who
disappeared in October 1977, nine days before her birthday. Vietmeier said
investigators long have believed Gregor is dead. She was last seen on Oct. 21,
1977, at a gas station's parking lot with her boyfriend, who was found dead the
next day in his car in Findlay. Gregor hasn't been found.
"It's an open case
for us, but really, it's a dead one," Vietmeier said. "But it will remain open
until we find out what happened to her, who did it and where she is now."
Jill King Greenwood can be reached at or 412-321-2160.

Nicole Bryner: New search

Article from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:
Dog aids in search for girl's remains

By Jill King Greenwood
Thursday, October 5, 2006
A cadaver dog and his handler walked
heavily wooded, rough terrain Wednesday afternoon in a search for the remains of
Nicole Lynn Bryner, who was reported missing from a South Side supermarket in
1982 at age 3.
City homicide detectives and the Allegheny County medical
examiner's K-9, named "Saber," will return today to the two Brookline locations
that were brought to investigators' attention this week through new information and tips.
Timothy Widman, 51, of Norwich Avenue in Brookline, was arrested
Sept. 26 and charged with homicide in connection with the March 11, 1982,
slaying of Nicole.
Widman lived with Nicole's mother, Melody Thomas, when
the child was reported missing from a Giant Eagle supermarket on the South Side.
He confessed to Nicole's death in June 1986 and was charged with involuntary
manslaughter. Thomas, then living in Texas, was charged with giving false
information to police and hindering apprehension.
Prosecutors dropped the
manslaughter charges a year later because they could not find the child's
remains. At the time, case law dictated that a body was needed to prove
A change in that law and new information from witnesses broke the
case open last week, police said. Widman told investigators he smacked the child
to the floor after she bit his foot while he was napping on the couch. He and
Thomas put the girl to bed and awoke the next day to find her dead, police said.
The couple buried the girl's naked body in a wooded area in Brookline,
Widman told investigators. Thomas then reported her missing from the supermarket
the next day. When Widman was arrested in 1986, he led police to a wooded area
off Dunsten Avenue in Brookline where he said the child was buried. The area was
searched extensively, but nothing was found.
Police plan to search that area
The first site searched yesterday is about 200 yards from the one
Widman led investigators to 20 years ago and the other is about two miles away
next to an abandoned strip mine off Whited Street. The second location was
searched because a family whose back yard abuts the woods there told
investigators they heard someone digging there the night before Nicole was
reported missing.
They were suspicious of the digging noises after they
learned the child disappeared but didn't come forward with the information.
Widman faces a preliminary hearing next Thursday in Pittsburgh Municipal
Court and is being held in the Allegheny County Jail without bond. Thomas died
in Texas in 2001.
Jill King Greenwood can be reached at or 412-321-2160.

Photo from The Charley Project (

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Jamie Thornton now missing 20 years, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

This little cutie disappeared while playing outside his house twenty years ago. However, his family seems to have reason to believe he might still be alive, and below is a picture of how he might look now. If he came home now, he and his family would have a lot of catching up to do, but wouldn't it be wonderful if Jamie Martin Thornton had that chance?
Info and photos from the Charley Project (
Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: October 4, 1986
from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Classification: Endangered Missing
Date Of Birth: November 12, 1984
Age: 1 year old
Height and Weight: 3'2, 30 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian male. Brown hair, brown
eyes. Thornton has a birthmark on his right thigh. His nickname is J. T.

Details of Disappearance
Thornton was last seen playing in the front
yard of his family's residence in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on October 4, 1986.
He has never been heard from again. Authorities initially believed that Thornton
perished in a flood near his west Pittsburgh home, but he has never been
recovered. Thornton's family believes he may be alive and possibly living in the
New Jersey area. This theory has not been confirmed and Thornton's case remains

Investigating Agency
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Pittsburgh Police Department

You can also call 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678).
You can print a poster of Jamie here.

Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Missing since Saturday: Mark Murincsak, New Castle, Pennsylvania

It does not look good for this man. Hopefully, though, he will be found soon.
Story from
Published October 02, 2006 09:29 am - Police conducted a fruitless search
yesterday for a missing man whose truck had been found on a Taylor Township
Search for missing man comes up empty
New Castle News
Police conducted a fruitless search yesterday for a
missing man whose truck had been found on a Taylor Township bridge.
As of
this morning, 44-year-old Mark Murincsak of 935 Shaffer Road still had not been
State police said the man’s sister had last seen him at 11 p.m.
Saturday. His truck was found on the Shenango River Bridge on the Route 422
Bypass, around 5:30 a.m. yesterday.
Taylor Township Fire Chief Dave Allegro
said 15 volunteer fire department members assisted in the search.
He said the
police believe Murincsak may have jumped into the river, because his keys were
still inside the truck.
Police initiated a search around 6:30 a.m. with
helicopters and the Taylor Township Volunteer Fire Department. Allegro said no
dogs were used.
However, a state police helicopter flew over the area to try
to locate Murincsak.
The search was difficult because the river was high from
the recent rainfalls, Allegro said, and police called it off around 4:30 p.m.
Anyone who has information about the whereabouts of Murincsak is
asked to call the state police at (724) 598-2211.

Unfortunately no photo was included with the article.

Glenn Pennie now missing 2 years, Polk County, Oregon

You might not have heard of Glenn Pennie. If you have, it was probably a while ago. He does not seem to have made the news for quite some time, yet his family is still waiting for him to come home. Have you seen him?
From the Charley Project (
Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since:
October 3, 2004 from Polk County, Oregon
Classification: Endangered Missing
Age: 55 years old
Distinguishing Characteristics: Gray hair.

Details of Disappearance
Pennie was reported missing by a neighbor
on October 4, 2004, the day after he was last seen. He was supposed to travel
from his home in the 14900 block of Airlie Road in rural Polk County, Oregon to
Oakland, California to attend a meeting about the sale of an item that has been
in probate since his father died in June 2003. There was a disagreement between
Pennie and other family members about the estate. The meeting was to be held on
October 6; Pennie planned to leave on October 3.
Pennie never arrived at the
meeting and has never been heard from again. His loved ones said it would be
uncharacteristic of him to miss the appointment. His truck, which was packed
with luggage and travel items and business papers for the trip, was found at his
house. His pet cat, which his neighbor was supposed to feed while he was away,
was also left behind. That same neighbor reported him missing.
consider Pennie's case suspicious, but little evidence is available in his
disappearance. He is described as a methodical man; it is uncharacteristic of
him to leave without warning. His case remains unsolved.

Investigating Agency
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Polk County Sheriff's Department

Glenn's NAMPN (North American Missing Persons Network) profile is probably short enough to use as a poster, seeing as nothing else seems to be available. You can find it at

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Nicole Bryner: Mother's ex-boyfriend rearrested

By now, you've probably seen some version of the story below, as it seems to have made national headlines. When I first found out, I was, of course, shocked, but probably in a good way.
This article and photo come from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

New charges in '82 death of 3-year-old girl
Suspect confessed to killing child in '86, but evidence was insufficient
Thursday, September 28, 2006

By Jim McKinnon and Torsten Ove, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Two decades after
Allegheny County prosecutors dropped homicide charges against him for lack of
corroborating evidence, a Penn Hills man has been charged with the murder of a
3-year-old girl.
Timothy Widman confessed in 1986 to killing his
girlfriend's daughter, Nicole Bryner, on March 9, 1982. With the child's mother,
the late Melody Childs, he buried the body in a wooded lot in Brookline, he told
police. Police searched unsuccessfully for the body, and without it prosecutors
could not pursue the case.
Mrs. Childs insisted from the day of Nicole's
disappearance that her daughter had been abducted from a South Side supermarket.
Mrs. Childs was charged with hindering apprehension and lying to police in
1986. Her charges also were dismissed. She died in June 2001 following back
surgery in a Texas hospital, her family said.
Until the day she died, Mrs.
Childs maintained her daughter was abducted from the Giant Eagle, Mrs. Childs'
family said.
"I know in my heart my sister could not have hurt her child. If
anything happened it was all because of [Mr. Widman]," Elana LaPaglia, 42, of
McKees Rocks, a sister of Mrs. Childs, said yesterday.
The new case against
Mr. Widman, 51, appears to have been built not on new information, but rather on
case law that has changed since Mr. Widman was originally arrested in 1986.
At that time, prosecutors could not charge someone with murder unless a body
was found.
A 1988 Superior Court decision changed the law
to say that someone could be presumed to be dead after being missing for seven
The law meant police didn't have to produce Nicole's body to
prosecute Mr. Widman based on essentially the same information they had 20 years
It was not clear yesterday why it took so long to apply the new law.
The 1988 precedent means police could have begun Mr. Widman's prosecution
starting in 1995, when the seven years were up.
Mike Manko, spokesman for
the Allegheny County district attorney's office, said the question of the gap
was "one for the police."
Cmdr. Thomas Stangrecki, head of the major crimes
unit, said the delay might be because there was no cold-case unit during the
mid-1990s. In addition, the case would have been marked as cleared in police
files because there had been an arrest, even though the charges were later
Cmdr. Stangrecki said the case was reopened this year when a new
detective in the missing persons unit discussed it with cold-case Detectives
Scott Evans and J.R. Smith.
After reviewing the case with the district
attorney's office, he said, detectives began tracking down investigators and
witnesses from 20 years before. Detectives obtained a warrant for Mr. Widman on
Monday and tracked him down at Blinky's Bar on Noblestown Road in Oakwood
Cmdr. Stangrecki said Mr. Widman has been cooperative, as he was
two decades ago. At the time, police searched for Nicole's body based on the
information he provided but couldn't find it. Police are prepared to look again.
"If we get some information," he said, "we will search."
A preliminary
hearing for Mr. Widman is set for Oct. 6 in Municipal Court.
According to
police affidavits from 1982 and this week, Mr. Widman said he was sleeping on
the couch when he was awakened by the little girl biting his foot.
he said he backhanded the girl on the head, knocking her to the floor. He said
he put the child in bed with her mother, went away from the apartment for a few
hours, and returned to find Nicole dead.
He said Mrs. Childs concocted the
story about the abduction to cover up the killing, according to the affidavits.
The newer information includes statements from witnesses who describe
evidence of physical abuse that appeared on the child on numerous occasions.
Mrs. Childs' relatives said they know Mr. Widman abused both mother and
daughter regularly. They said she was terrified of Mr. Widman and he took
advantage of her fears.
"My sister was abused from the age of 5 [by their
father]," Mrs. LaPaglia said.
"She was an adult, but she was always a kid
inside. She was always scared."
Mrs. Childs grew up in Pittsburgh's South
Side neighborhoods, the eldest of five children.
"She used to protect me
from [their father]," Mrs. LaPaglia said. "She was my protector."
At 18,
when a Catholic priest refused to celebrate a wedding Mass for Melody and
Michael Bryner, the couple went to a Methodist minister to tie the knot.
fruit of their union was 3-year-old Nicole.
The marriage did not last and
Mrs. Childs and Mr. Widman got together. Her mother and sister said that was the
beginning of the end for Melody and Nicole.
"Tim threatened Melody from day
one. But she was so blind and in love with this guy she didn't see it," said her
mother, Harriet Persinger, in a telephone interview yesterday from her home in
"She was a young innocent who had the most horrible life that a
child could have, and then she ended up with Tim Widman. It was just downhill
from there for her," Mrs. Persinger added.
After Nicole's disappearance,
Melody Bryner remarried and moved to Texas with her new husband, Jeffrey Childs.
Their only son is in his 20s today and living in Texas, Mrs. Persinger said.
While in Texas, Mrs. Childs was arrested for conspiracy and lying to
authorities here in connection with Nicole's disappearance. She also was charged
with bigamy, having not divorced Mr. Bryner before marrying Mr. Childs.
Persinger said investigators in Pittsburgh unfairly targeted her daughter,
ignoring what the mother believes was obvious duress caused by her daughter's
abusive boyfriend.
When the charges against Mr. Widman were dismissed, Mrs.
Childs returned to Texas where, along with raising her son, she cared for her
father, who was dying of cancer.
Another sister told relatives that Mrs.
Childs suffered a nervous breakdown from the stress.
At one point, Mrs.
Childs was seen in her yard talking on the telephone as though her daughter was
listening on the other end of the line, Mrs. LaPaglia said. She also was seen in
the yard digging up the turf with her hands and calling Nicole's name.

This only reinforces my belief that the truth will always come to light, no matter how much time passes. If only, though, it was news of a happy ending.
At the link, you can also see photos of Timothy Widman and Melody Childs. The photo of Nicole's mother was probably after her disappearance. With a little imagination, she could indeed look like someone who knew the truth and regretted it. Not guilty of murder, exactly, but of keeping silent.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Yolanda Bindics' body has been found

The remains were found a week before yesterday, but I did not know until yesterday. They were identified as Yolanda's today.
Article from
Missing Woman's Body Found
Last Update: 9/18/2006 4:38:40 PM
This story is available on your cell phone at
MAYVILLE, N.Y. (AP) - Skeletal remains found in a wooded area of Chautauqua
County have been identified as those of a 25-year-old mother of four who
disappeared two years ago, authorities said Monday.
The remains of Yolanda Bindics of Jamestown were found by hunters Sept. 10
on state land in the town of Charlotte.
A coroner did not immediately determine a cause of death, Sheriff Joseph
Gerace said, but foul play was suspected.
Bindics was last seen after leaving work at a Jamestown Family Dollar store
on Aug. 10, 2004.
A day later, her car was found in the parking lot of a nearby fast-food
restaurant and a month later, her purse, wallet and keys turned up in
storm-sewer catch basins.
The FBI has offered a reward of up to $20,000 for information leading to
the arrest and conviction of anyone responsible for her disappearance.

Message from Yolanda's website,
This is not the end for Yolanda and her Family. The person responsible for
taking Yolanda's life is still out there. This is not Closure, there will never
be Closure. Her body may have been found, but she is still missing! The
mother of 4 little ones is gone, gone forever. Taken... never to hug her little
ones again. These girls are still MISSING their mom. She has been taken away
from all who love her, never to see again. There is a murderer out there,
possibly reading this now, possibly living down the street from you or even your
best friend. One thing is for sure this person will be caught and there will be
justice! We will never give up!

The website lists Yolanda's daughters ages at the time she disappeared. So if you add two years to each one, that means Yolanda's daughters are about 10, 7, 5, and 3 1/2.
So far it seems that police have not stated if they have any suspects.

If you scroll down to the website's update for today (Sept. 18), there is a video tribute of Yolanda. It's a little slow (or at least for those of us who still have dial-up), but worth the wait.

Photo of Yolanda from her website.

Sunday, September 3, 2006

Cynthia Day got her articles!

Almost a month ago, I asked readers to help try to get media coverage for a woman named Cynthia Day, who went missing from National City, Illinois, 16 years ago. I had been hoping it would come around the anniversary of her disappearance--August 10--and it seemed like a failure. However, I am now happy to report that she did in fact get media coverage two weeks later. It might not have been due to what we did, as I know her family was going to work on getting her coverage, too, but the important thing is that people in the area have now heard her story.
The two articles have different tones, and both have information I don't remember hearing before.
Article from

Family Still Searching For Answers 16 Years Later
created: 8/24/2006 7:46:16 PM
updated: 8/24/2006 7:50:34 PM

Click to watch Deanne Lane's report.

By Deanne Lane(KSDK) - Imagine a loved one
disappearing and not knowing where they are or even if they're alive or dead.
Imagine living that nightmare every second of every waking day for the last 16
years. A southern Illinois woman has been missing since 1990.
Cynthia Day, 53, was last seen in National City in August of that year. At
the time, her family filed a missing persons report with East St. Louis Police
Department. But the department reportedly never opened the case and never
established a file on Cynthia Day until 2004 when the family demanded
"East St. Louis police say they're not equipped to handle cold cases, so
I'm the cold case investigator," said daughter Melody Day of Dupo.
Melody has written articles about her mother in national publications and
has established a website with an age enhanced photo of her mother.
"Any news, any information would bring us some peace," said Melody.East St.
Louis police say they will contact Illinois State Police when and if they get a
There are conflicting reports as to what happened to Cynthia Day. One
source said she was into drugs and prostitution and was last seen getting into a
Her family disagrees.
They believe she may have gotten into a fight with a boyfriend -- a fight
which ended her life.
If you have any information in the disappearance, contact the East St.
Louis Police Department at 618-482-6767.

The second article is contains the "conflicting reports", giving it a darker tone. It comes from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

Women seek mother missing 16 years
By Denise Hollinshed
Police are seeking the help of the public to find a mother who has been
missing for 16 years.
The woman, Cynthia Day, was living at 206 Bowman Avenue in East St. Louis
at the time of her disappearance, according to police. She was 38, about 5 feet
2 inches, 125 pounds, had blond hair and went by the nickname "Peaches." She had
a hysterectomy scar, pierced ears and a missing eyetooth on the left side.
Day's daughter, Melody Day of Dupo, said she and her sister, Kimberly Day
of Cahokia, reported their mother missing on Aug. 12, 1990. They heard nothing
from the police after the initial report, they said.
East St. Louis police
Capt. Lenzie Stewart said the department's files do not show that a report was
filed in 1990. He said an officer might have asked them to return later with an
older family member.
Melody Day disputed Stewart's explanation but said she did file a second
report in March 2004. A detective was assigned to the case at that time but has
turned up little.
The mother was last seen getting into a semi on First Street and St. Clair
Avenue in East St. Louis, said Melody Day, who added that she also had heard
that her mother may have been a prostitute and used drugs.
Since then, Day has taken on the job of investigating the case herself. She
searched the Internet and ran across stories on the so-called "happy face
killer," a trucker who killed women along the interstate and sent letters to
newspapers signed with a happy face. At this point, though, there is no known
connection between the "happy face killer" and Cynthia Day's
"I'm trying to cover all bases," she said. "It's like we don't know what
happened to her, but just finding her and putting her soul to rest, that's what
we are trying to do."
Day discovered that her mother's ex-boyfriend was in jail and had him
questioned by the head investigator in California's Wasco State Prison. She said
they even gave East St. Louis police permission to come there to interrogate
"I was even willing to buy an airline ticket to fly one of them down
there," she said. "I'm serious. Their excuse is that they don't have a 'cold
case team' down there, but before, it was that they didn't have the money to fly
down there."
Stewart said Cynthia Day's old boyfriend probably needs to be interviewed
again. But, he said, his department lacks the staff and the resources to
properly investigate Day's disappearance.
He said the Illinois State Police has an investigator assigned to cold
cases and the resources to investigate Day's disappearance. Some information on
the case already has been forwarded to the State Police.
Greg Fernandez, a State Police spokesman, said late Wednesday that the case
would be looked at - if there are leads worth pursuing.
Stewart said an old police report indicates that Cynthia Day was staying
with her boyfriend at the Indian Mound Hotel in Fairmont City.
Stewart said the officer who worked the case after the 2004 report was
filed said he had talked to the owner of a tavern, Perry's Lounge in East St.
Louis, where Cynthia Day used to work.
The tavern owner, John Perry, said he couldn't remember the year or date
that he saw Day getting into the semi, according to Stewart.
Perry "said it went eastward, and he never saw her again," Stewart
Anyone with information is urged to call 618-482-6700. In addition, Melody
Day has set up a website called with information about her

You can print a poster of Cynthia at
You can leave messages for Cynthia's family at
Cynthia's family has also set up a MySpace profile to help find her,

Photo and age progression of Cynthia from her website.

Natalee Holloway: Case to be turned over to Dutch

Article from the Dutch news source Expatica:
Aruba asks Dutch to take lead in Holloway case
25 August 2006
AMSTERDAM — Aruba has asked the Netherlands to take over the leadership of the stalled investigation into the disappearance of US school graduate Natalee Holloway.
Dutch minister Atzo Nicolaï has indicated a willingness to help the investigation. "But we still have to look at the precise agreements under which we would work," he said on Thursday.
Nicolaï (Government Reform and Kingdom Relations) made his comments at the end of his official visit to the autonomous Dutch island in the Caribbean. The request for assistance was made by Aruban Justice Minister Rudy Croes.
Aruba has been battered by negative publicity in the US for over a year since Holloway, 18, vanished on the night of 30 May 2005. She was on holiday with friends to celebrate their graduation and was last seen leaving a local tourist venue with three youths.
Police on Aruba arrested a total of 10 people so far in the investigation but all have been released. Dutch teenager Joran van der Sloot, one of the youths with Holloway on the night she disappeared, was the main suspect for many months. He continues to deny harming her in any way.
Holloway's family doesn't believe him. Her mother Beth Twitty has led a chorus of criticism from the US of the way the local authorities have handled the case. There have even been calls for Americans to boycott the popular tourist destination.
Repeated searches of the island have failed to find any trace of her, though investigators said early on they believed she is dead. At one stage dutch F-16 jets, fitted with special cameras, were used in a futile attempt to find her remains.
Aruba's new request goes much further as it proposes giving Dutch officers investigative powers and their own office. They would also be allowed to carry weapons. Croes wants the Dutch national police service KLPD to lead the investigation.
Dutch Interior Minister Johan Remkes, who is responsible for the police, will discuss the matter further when he visits Aruba next week.

For Beth Twitty's reaction, see

I only hope that this will cause some progress, as the case seems to have come to a standstill.

If you know anything about the disappearance of Natalee Holloway, please call 1-866-SOS-LOST (1-866-767-5678).
Natalee's website:
A couple blogs about Natalee:

Photo of Natalee from her website.

Tanya Kach: Suspect pleads not guilty

Finally, there is an update on the story of Tanya Kach. One nice thing about this particular article (from is that it not only tells what is happening with the trial, but also how Tanya herself is doing. She will probably have a long road ahead of her, but hopefully she will recover in time.
Man pleads not guilty in decade-long runaway case
Thursday August 31, 2006
Associated Press Writer
PITTSBURGH (AP) A man charged in the case of a woman who ran away from home as a teenager and lived with him for a decade pleaded not guilty at his formal arraignment Thursday.
Thomas Hose, who is free on bond and living with his parents, did
not comment on the case after the brief court appearance.
Tanya Nicole Kach, 24, came forward March 21 and told police she ran away from home 10 years earlier and had been living in Hose's house in McKeesport, a Pittsburgh suburb. Kach told police that Hose, who had been a security guard at her school, kept her in a bedroom in the small, two-story home where he lived with his
Hose's attorney, James Ecker, said his 48-year-old client is living
under house arrest, is unemployed and ``might as well be in a prison.''
``Mr. Hose is living the life of an involuntary recluse,'' Ecker said. ``He has done
nothing whatsoever. He can't go shopping. He can't do anything whatsoever. ...
It is not a very pleasant life, but it is better than the alternative, I can assure you.''
Lawrence Fisher, an attorney for the Kach family, called Hose's home confinement appropriate.
``He kept a woman captive in his home for 10 years,'' Fisher said. ``The few months that he's spending there is a cakewalk compared to the prison sentence he's got coming to him.''
Kach, who did not attend Hose's appearance, is making progress, Fisher said.
``She's expected
to get her GED within the month, which is well ahead of schedule. And we hope
that in the spring, she will be attending college,'' he said.
Fisher said he hopes Hose pleads guilty. Ecker said no plea bargains have been discussed with prosecutors.
``We hope that Mr. Hose will accept responsibility for his
actions, do what's right and spare this family the ordeal of a trial,'' Fisher
Hose is charged with statutory sexual assault, three counts of
involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, two counts of indecent assault and one
count each of endangering the welfare of children, corruption of a minor,
interference with custody of children and aggravated indecent assault.
A pretrial hearing was scheduled for Oct. 13.

Previous posts on Tanya:

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Raymond Poland now missing 5 years, Erie, Pennsylvania

Raymond Samuel Poland falls into the category of little-known missing people. Today, at least, though, he deserves some attention. You will read below that it was a year before he was reported missing. Normally, that seems suspicious, but you will also read that he frequented homeless shelters. Maybe he didn't have family in the area. But there is obviously someone who cares about him or he never would have been reported missing.
Photo and info from the Charley Project (
Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: August 22, 2001 from Erie, Pennsylvania
Classification: Endangered Missing
Date Of Birth: June 19, 1966
Age: 35 years old
Height and Weight: 5'11, 160 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: Brown hair, brown eyes. Poland is of
Caucasian and Hispanic descent. He has a mole on his right forearm. Both of
Poland's forearms are scarred. He may have a moustache.

Details of Disappearance
Poland was last seen in Erie, Pennsylvania on August 22, 2001.
He has never been heard from again. Poland frequently visited homeless shelters
in the Erie area prior to his disappearance. He was not reported missing for a
year. His current whereabouts remain unknown.

Investigating Agency If
you have any information concerning this case, please contact: Erie Police
Department 814-870-1153

You can print a poster of Ray at Perhaps, wherever he is, he will continue the habit of frequenting homeless shelters, so that would probably be an ideal place to hang posters.

The National Center for Missing Adults (NCMA), which provides posters and other measures to try to find Ray and other missing adults like him, is currently in danger due to financial issues. They are in need of donations, but, more importantly, they need Congress to re-authorize Kristen's Act, which gave them funding. Please call your senator or representative. For more information, visit their homepage at

FOUND SAFE: Diana and Stan Butera

Yesterday I posted news on the safe recovery of the Hook children--Micheal, Daphne, and Victoria--who had been abducted by their mom and stepdad in July. Well, today, I exciting news to report on two more kids abducted by their mom, Diana and Stan Butera.
The official notice from the NCMEC, as posted on the From Whispers to Roars forum:
Dear Poster Partner:
Stan Butera, Diana Butera missing from West Jordan, UT, 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 Butera children had been missing since March 12, 2004.

Monday, August 21, 2006

This week on Missing (August 21-27)

This week's episode of the show Missing, which profiles real life missing people, will include one of the people I have featured on this blog, Georgina DeJesus. This show profiles real-life missing people and airs on different stations on different days and times, so you will have to find the station nearest you at (If you live in Gina's native Cleveland, Ohio, you can watch it on WAOH at 5pm or 6pm on August 23, or at 10:30am on August 27.)
Here is a brief profile of Gina DeJesus from The Charley Project:
Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: April 2, 2004 from Cleveland, Ohio
Classification: Endangered Missing
Date Of Birth: February 13, 1990
Age: 14 years old
Height and Weight: 5'1 - 5'3, 130 - 140 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: Brown hair, brown eyes. DeJesus's nicknames are Gina and Taz. She is right-handed. She has a small scar under her chin, a light brown birthmark on her right leg, and another birthmark on the right side of her chest. DeJesus's ears are both pierced once in the lobes, and she has an additional piercing in the cartilage of her right ear. She is supposed to be wearing eyeglasses, but they were left behind when she vanished.
Clothing/Jewelry Description: A white or tan shirt, a white or sky-blue sweater or hooded sweatshirt, black hip-hugger stretch pants or blue jeans with flaired bottoms, a pale blue or white hooded jacket, pale blue Phat Farm shoes, and large silver hoop earrings. Photographs of some of the clothing are posted below this case summary.

If you have any information about Gina's disappearance, please call the FBI at 1-888-660-5437, the Cleveland Crimestoppers at (216) 252-7463, or the Cleveland Police at (216) 621-1234.
For more photos and information about Gina, visit the above link or her website, At the Charley Project you will also find a sketch of a man wanted for questioning in her disappearance.

Other people who will be featured on the television broadcast (click their names for photos and more information):
Trevor Angell - Missing from Las Vegas, Nevada; possible, unconfirmed sightings in Texas
Lakeisha Archie - Missing from Sidney, Ohio
Sarah Avon - Missing from Joliet, Illinois
Garrett Bardsley - Missing from Cuberant Lake, Utah
Christina Battin - Missing from Thousand Palms, California
Samantha Burns - Called family from Huntingdon, West Virginia; car found in Wayne County, West Virginia
Tracy Byrd - Missing from Bensalem Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania; mother's body found in Blackbird State Forest, New Castle County, Delaware
Bonnie Cale - Missing from Parsons, West Virginia; SUV found in Webster County, West Virginia
Monica Carrasco - Missing from Balmorhea, Texas; may have gotten ride from motorist on Highway 17
Anna-Marie Erts - Missing from Orlando, Florida
Craig Frear - Missing from Scotia, New York
Patricia Freeman-Wright - Missing from Big Sur, California
Christopher Gulbraa, Michael Gulbraa - Missing from Farmington, Utah; probably in Japan
Justin Harris - Missing from Casper, Wyoming
Stella Moss - Missing from Spring Hill, Florida; may have left United States
Kurtis Patterson - Missing from El Paso, Texas
Bianca Piper - Missing from Foley, Missouri
Rene Romero - Missing from Reno, Nevada
Cassandra Sanchez, Rosa Sanchez and Yesenia Sanchez - Missing from Santa Ana, California; may be in Mexico
Muhammed Saad Siddiqui - Missing from Middletown, Connecticut
Irwin Stewart - Missing from Houston, Texas; may be in Mexico
Rachel White - Missing from Richardson, Texas; may have traveled out of state
Fred Wright - Missing from Tuskegee, Alabama

The radio schedule has not been posted yet for this week.

**All information on who will be featured, as well as the links to their stories, comes from Missing's website.**

Ricky Holland: Parents will have separate trials

Richard "Ricky" Holland went missing from Williamston, Michigan, on July 1, 2005. After his adopted father led police to his body, Ricky became the inspiration for this blog. Because of this, I am keeping a close eye on updates in the murder trial of his parents.
This is the latest update, from

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Ricky Holland's parents will have separate murder trials
Each parent
blames the other in the July 2005 beating death of the 7-year-old.
An Ingham
County judge cleared the way Friday for separate murder trials for the father
and mother of 7-year-old Ricky Holland, an adopted child found bludgeoned in a
swamp in January.
Both parents were set to stand trial before Circuit Judge
Paula Manderfield on Sept. 11. But attorneys for the boy's father, Tim Holland,
have asked the Michigan Court of Appeals to overturn a previous decision that
his statements to police can be used as evidence against him.
Pending the
outcome of that appeal, Manderfield ruled today that Tim Holland's trial will
start Jan. 22. The trial for his wife, Lisa Holland, will proceed as
Both are charged with murdering the child on July 1, 2005. They
blame each other for the crime.
Tim Holland told police his wife killed Ricky
with a hammer and he disposed of the body.
Karen Bouffard