Saturday, February 25, 2006

Cherrie Mahan now missing 21 years, Cabot, Pennsylvania

Pictures from the Charley Project: Cherrie around the time she disappeared; what she might have looked like at age 27; sketches of a van possibly involved in her disappearance.
The following article was featured two days ago (Thursday, February 23) in The News-Herald (
Probe continues in 21-year-old case of missing third-grader
Wednesday marked the 21st anniversary of the
disappearance of an 8-year-old Butler County girl, and state police said the
investigation continues with the hope of bringing the case to a
Cherrie A. Mahan, a third-grader at Winfield
Elementary School, has been missing since she was dropped off from her school
bus at 4:10 p.m. on Feb. 22, 1985.
She had to walk only 50 feet from her bus stop
along Cornplanter Road to reach her Winfield Township home that Friday, but she
never made it, police said.
The state police criminal investigation unit in
Butler continues to pursue leads related to Mahan's disappearance.
Police are asking anyone with information to call
the unit at (724) 284-8100 or the National Center for Missing and Exploited
Children at (800) 843-5678. Police said all calls will be held in strict
Cherrie's Charley Project profile (

Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: February 22, 1985
from Cabot, Pennsylvania
Classification: Non-Family Abduction
Date Of
Birth: August 14, 1976
Age: 8 years old
Height and Weight: 4'2, 68
Distinguishing Characteristics: Brown hair, hazel eyes. Mahan has a
dog bite scar on her left arm. Her left arm was previously broken below her left
shoulder, but the injury had healed before her 1985 disappearance. Mahan has a
cowlick on the right side of her hair. Her hair was slightly longer at the time
of her disappearance than in the photographs shown above. Her ears are pierced.
Clothing Description: A white leotard, a gray coat, a blue denim skirt, blue
leg warmers, beige ankle boots without heels, and brown Cabbage Patch earmuffs.

Details of Disappearance
Mahan was last seen getting off of the bus
from her elementary school at approximately 4:05 p.m. on February 22, 1985.
Three other students got off with her at the stop. She was approximately 100 to
150 yards along a dirt driveway from her family's residence on Cornplanter Road
in Cabot, Pennsylvania at the time she disappeared. When she failed to arrive
home, her father went looking for her and called police when he failed to find
her. Mahan has never been heard from again. She was carrying a blue backpack
with two straps and a cream-colored top at the time of her disappearance; the
backpack is decorated with a blue and red heart.
A bright blue or green 1976
Dodge van was seen in the area at the time of Mahan's disappearance and may be
connected to her case. The van was following the school bus Mahan had been
riding in. The van had a snow-capped mountain and skier mural painted on both
sides of the vehicle. The skier was wearing red and yellow clothing and was
skiing down the mountain. The van has never been located or identified and
investigators are still not sure if it was connected to Mahan's case. Two
sketches of the vehicle are posted below this case summary. A small blue car was
also seen near the site of Mahan's disappearance. It is unknown if the car has
anything to do with her case either.
Mahan's family had her declared legally
deceased in 1992. They donated the life insurance policy they received to the
National Center For Missing and Exploited Children, and put a car accident
settlement Mahan had received into a trust fund for her brother. Mahan's case
has never been solved. Some agencies state she disappeared from Saxonburg,
Above Images: Sketches of van possibly

Investigating Agency If you have any information concerning this
case, please contact: Pennsylvania State Police 412-284-8100
You can print a poster of Cherrie here.

Bryan Fisher now missing 23 years, Erie, Pennsylvania

Last Tuesday, February 21, marked 23 years since a teenager named Bryan Keith Fisher went missing from Erie, Pennsylvania.
Photos: Bryan around the time he disappeared; what Bryan might have looked like at 35.
Bryan's Charley Project profile (
Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: February 21, 1983
from Erie, Pennsylvania
Classification: Endangered Missing
Date Of Birth: March 31, 1966
Age: 16 years old
Height and Weight: 5'9, 180
Distinguishing Characteristics: Brown hair, hazel eyes. Fisher has a
scar between the middle and ring fingers of his right hand. He has a tattoo of a
cross on his right arm. Fisher has a tattoo of a skull on his upper arm which
may have been altered to the image of a rose. His nicknames are Bry and/or Fish.

Details of Disappearance
Fisher was last seen leaving his family's
residence in Erie, Pennsylvania to go fishing on February 21, 1983. He has never
been heard from again. Few details are available in Fisher's case.

Investigating Agency If you have any information concerning this case,
please contact: Erie Police Department 814-870-1120
You can also contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST
You can print a poster of Bryan here.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Yansis Juarez--Miami, Florida

Yesterday's episode of Nancy Grace featured three missing girls from Florida. One of them, Yansis Massiel Juarez, is one of the missing persons whose cases I follow. I was happy that she was featured since it does not seem to me like she gets much media attention.
The photos come from The Charley Project and show Yansis with differing amounts of make-up.
From the online transcript (
GRACE: Another girl missing in the Sunshine State out of Florida, now
unsolved. This young girl, Yansis Juarez, missing since May 5, 2002. Last seen
by her own sister leaving her own home. Welcome back, everybody. Won`t you help
us tonight? Straight to investigative reporter joining us out of
Miami, Florida, Ismael Cala. Thank you for being with us, Ismael. Bring us
you said, almost four years has passed since the last time we saw -- or the
family saw Yansis Massiel Juarez leaving her own house here in Miami. Yansis was
then 15 year old, and she`s born -- she was born in Nicaragua. And all what we
know so far until today is that she left the house. And a few days later, the
police learned about a farewell note that she left in the house. The family said
that they didn`t find the note until probably three or four days later after she
disappeared. The note was written in Spanish and has been translated into
English by Fernando Fernandez, the detective in charge of Yansis` case. And what
to say? It`s a Nicaraguan girl. She`s not an American, Caucasian, white female
girl. She was born in Leon, Nicaragua. And as I said, she came with her father
and siblings to the country claimed by Elda Rodriguez (ph), her mother, under
the Nicaraguan adjustment and Latin American Relief Act signed by...
GRACE: OK. OK. OK. OK. OK. OK. I get it. She`s not born
here. Don`t care! I want to hear the circumstances surrounding her disappearance
and what has been done to find her. Can you give me that, Ismael, in a nutshell?
CALA: Yes. Well, you know, the family called the police. Probably they lost
the first window, according to what the police told us. You know, they were
trying to search on their own, called the friend that she said that she would be
visiting. And probably five, six hours later, they made the first call to the
police, so that first window was lost to search for Yansis. And the police, the
city of Miami police detective who started handling the case. And of course,
they treated at the beginning as a possible runaway. A few days later...
GRACE: Oh, uh-oh. Go ahead.
CALA: A few days later, they learned some
pieces of information that got to them that were important to the case,
according to what they released on a news release on May 22, 2002. According to
sources, 15-year- old Yansis Massiel Juarez is part of gothic, a lifestyle that
includes devil worship...
GRACE: OK. OK. Got you.
CALA: ... witchcraft,
so they...
GRACE: Wait a minute. Wait a minute. I`m not going to ruin this
girl`s chances of ever being found by labeling her as a Goth. Half the kids in
this country claim they`re Goth. That has no bearing unless it can be connected
to someone that was going to meet her, take her somewhere. In fact, it disturbs
me, Renee, that her case may be shoved aside because some people think Goth is
ROCKWELL: Yes, Nancy. And with the lack of resources with the police
department, when you have a police department that founds out somebody has run
away, sometimes they don`t put the attention needed.
GRACE: Man, you`re not
kidding. And to Detective Fernando Fernandez, he`s with the Miami P.D. in the
missing persons unit, Detective, thank you for being with us. What can you tell
us about the status of the case of Yansis Juarez?
MIAMI POLICE: The case is active. We are constantly supervising the case. I`m
trying different ways...
GRACE: Well, what are you doing? What are you
FERNANDEZ: Well, we supervise, for example, if there is an
application for a Social Security number, an application for an I.D. in another
state, a driver`s license. We are constantly sending the flyers through the
locator system, which is a network of police enforcement, that directs a flyer
directly to different law enforcement agencies throughout the country.
GRACE: Detective, Detective, where was she going when she left the house?
FERNANDEZ: She was going to a friend`s house, according to the
FERNANDEZ: ... released by her sister.
GRACE: What would her route have been? Was she walking or driving?
FERNANDEZ: She would be walking.
GRACE: OK. How far away was it?
FERNANDEZ: No more than a mile.
GRACE: OK, a mile. And where was it exactly? Was it in Miami?
FERNANDEZ: In the city of Miami, yes.
GRACE: OK. What part of the city?
FERNANDEZ: In the south end of the city.
GRACE: And how long before police started serious searching for the girl?
FERNANDEZ: Well, the report was not given to us until hours later. And
after a report is taken, the first step is to put the information into the NCIC
GRACE: Right.
FERNANDEZ: ... which is a system that takes the information...
GRACE: Right.
FERNANDEZ: ... nationwide.
GRACE: I just wanted to know how much time passed. And, Detective, thank
you for the information regarding NCIC.Rosie, could you put up this girl`s
picture again? Yansis Juarez, just 15 years old, a beautiful girl. Hey, hey,
hey, the other picture. I don`t want her all Gothed up. Maybe somebody can
recognize this. I doubt she`s wearing the Goth makeup today. To Dr. Robi Ludwig,
take a look at this. This is a gorgeous girl. Do you think this gothic lifestyle
had anything to do with her disappearance?
LUDWIG: Not necessarily. I mean, being Goth means you have an affiliation
with a melancholic view of the world. Having said that, any time...
GRACE: I thought it meant you`re mad at your parents so you wear black
LUDWIG: Which can make you sad. You know, right, I mean, adolescents flirt
with so many different roles that it doesn`t mean that she brought it on
herself. If anything, just being a adolescent, a beautiful girl, can make you
vulnerable to crimes and people who can`t help themselves with assaulting young,
vulnerable women.
GRACE: And to Marc Klaas, president, Beyond Missing, five hours passed.
Look, cases have been solved when a lot more time has passed than five hours
before the person`s reported missing. But in those five hours, what are the
stats, Marc?
KLAAS: Well, 74 percent of the children that are murdered as a result of an
abduction are murdered within the first three hours. But I think that this case
has some other interesting issues. First of all, there`s very little resource
for Spanish-language missing -- for Latina missing girls. You don`t find the
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children with a mirror site in
Spanish. You have to depend upon the Spanish-language resources. It`s even
difficult to get a Spanish-language flyer made. What I would suggest is, if they
do that, and if they start passing that around in the Gothic section of Miami,
because there very well may be a connection between the things that she was
interested in then and the things that she`s doing now. There have been
sightings. I would inundate that area with Spanish- and English-language flyers.
GRACE: There have been sightings, correct?
KLAAS: As I understand, there have been sightings, and they come in on
rather a regular basis.
GRACE: This case is not over yet. Remember, when this girl went missing,
she`s just a little girl, 15 years old. She should be on the cheerleading team
and baby-sitting. Please help us tonight find Yansis Juarez. We`ll be back with
everyone on Yansis` case.But quickly to tonight`s "All-Points Bulletin." Law
enforcement across the country on the lookout for Lawrence William Fishman,
wanted in connection with the 1980 Maryland shooting death of his own father,
Frederick Fishman, a judge in the U.S. Department of the Interior.Fishman now in
his 50s on the lam, 5`11", 170 pounds, brown hair, brown eyes. If you have info
on Lawrence William Fishman, call the FBI, 410-265-8080.Local news next for some
of you, but we`ll all be right back. And, remember, live coverage of the
sentencing of the young man, Cody Posey, the New Mexico teen convicted of
gunning down his family, 3:00 to 5:00 Eastern Court TV. And tonight please stay
with us as we stop to remember Corporal Brett L. Lundstrom. He`s just 22, a real
American hero.
makes me remember many things, and I feel really sad when I see her in this
photo. This is all the family, her cousin. This is her cousin who was with her
when she went missing. This was the last Christmas that we were all
GRACE: Won`t you help us find this 15-year-old young girl? Her name is
Yansis Juarez. She`s only been missing since 2002. There have been sights of her
in and around Miami. To Ismael Cala, he is an investigative reporter out of
Miami, Ismael, what can you tell me about this international cable show called
"Chat" that she actually was on?
CALA: Well, the show is about the Gothic movement and how teenagers get
into that. And Yansis was particularly asked about if she had been in connection
with the rituals, you know, those satanic rituals, let`s say sacrifices of
animals, self-mutilation...
GRACE: Well, of course this girl had not been in a satanic ritual. That`s
CALA: No, no, she said -- exactly. She said that she hadn`t done it.
GRACE: She just celebrated Christmas.
CALA: Exactly. She said, "I haven`t done it, and I`m interested in learning
about them." That was the only things that she said on the show.
GRACE: But wait a minute, wait a minute. Very quickly, Detective Fernandez,
if this shows with this little girl was seen all across the world, this is an
international cable channel, what does that mean for your investigation as to
who took this girl?
FERNANDEZ: Well, we had to keep all our options open. So with the
information that we received, we have to investigate it, whether it is that
she`s involved in a Gothic or that she`s (INAUDIBLE) taken by somebody, we have
to make sure that we investigate every aspect of possible information...
GRACE: Well, did you? Did you investigate the show and leads from the show?
FERNANDEZ: Yes, ma`am. We investigated. We went to different locations
where the Gothics gather.
GRACE: Right.
FERNANDEZ: And different locations for dancing and things like that. And we
were able to determine that the majority of the Gothics are just there for the
style, the style of clothing.
GRACE: Right.
FERNANDEZ: And just to group themselves, just like hip-hops, or rappers, or
rockers in school, will gather, you know?
GRACE: To identify.
FERNANDEZ: Identify themselves.
GRACE: Detective Fernandez, thank you. And thank you to Ismael Cala.
CALA: Thank you.
GRACE: But I want to thank all of my guests tonight. Our biggest thank you
on my behalf and our staff is to you for being with us tonight, inviting us into
your homes again with our legal stories, our missing people stories. Coming up,
headlines from all around the world. I`m Nancy Grace signing off. See you here
tomorrow night, 8:00 sharp. And until then, good night, friend.
Yansis' Charley Project profile (
Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: May 5, 2002 from
Miami, Florida
Classification: Endangered Runaway
Date of Birth: August
16, 1986
Age: 15 years old
Height and Weight: 4'10 - 5'0, 90 - 110
Distinguishing Characteristics: Black hair, brown eyes. Juarez has
several piercings, including her ears, right eyebrow, and tongue. She speaks
little English.
Clothing Description: A black sweater and shirt.

Details of Disappearance
Juarez was last seen leaving her home in
Miami, Florida on May 5, 2002. She carried a small backpack at the time. She
said she was going to a friend's home, but never arrived there. Juarez has never
been heard from again. She is believed to have left of her own accord and may
still be in the Miami area. There have been several sightings of her around
Miami's Metro Rail train stations. Juarez is affiliated with the gothic
sub-culture and frequently wears all black, gothic-type clothing. Her case
remains unsolved.

Investigating Agency If you have any information
concerning this case, please contact: Miami Police Department 305-579-6111

You can also contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678).
You can print a poster of Yansis here.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Brooke Wilberger--Corvallis, Oregon

Photos from The Charley Project: Brooke, the sweatshirt she might have worn when she vanished, suspect Joel Courtney. The Charley Project has many more photos of Brooke from different angles and with different hairstyles, so please take a look at them at if you thinks she looks even slightly familiar.
Article from KATU 2 (

February 14, 2006
'I'll see her one day... I can deal with that'
By Steve
Dunnand Web Staff
CORVALLIS, Ore. - It is a story that captivated
the Northwest - the disappearance of college student Brooke Wilberger.
nearly two years later, much has changed in the case.
A suspect in Brooke's
disappearance has been arrested and a trial is on the horizon, even though there
is still no sign of the young woman.
Ever since Brooke disappeared, her
mother, Cammy, has been a remarkable pillar of strength.
Now, as the case
draws closer to a resolution, she sat down with KATU News for a one-on-one
interview to talk about how she and her family are doing.
"Pretty good, we
have our low moments, but we can see a light at the end of the tunnel," she

That light is the trial of Joel Courtney, the man accused of
killing her daughter.
He faces other charges as well in New Mexico and after
that is over, he will stand trial in the Wilberger case.
When asked if there
was anything she would say to Courtney, given the chance, she said she is
"You know, I might come to that point, but I guess it's really sad.
His life is sad and I feel for his family," she said.
That is a very rare
approach for someone who has lost a family member to violence, but for those who
know Cammy Wilberger, it is no surprise at all. So how does she do it?
not sure," she said. "I think we have just put our faith in our savior, Jesus
Christ, and we've spent a lot of time in prayer. And for us, it's been a
journey. There's no room for revenge. That would destroy us." Cammy spends her
time teaching a third-grade class. It is where she can sometimes escape from
constantly thinking about what happened. However, most of the time there is no
"I can't go down a certain street in Corvallis," she said. "My
(other) daughter lives not too far from there now, so we've found a different
route to get to her house. Some things are just painful."
One of the most
painful times for the entire Wilberger family was the recent holiday season
because with a suspect in custody, the picture became much clearer about what
likely happened to Brooke.
"It was difficult the first Christmas," she said.
"I still had a lot of hope that I would get to have Brooke alive, back with us.
This Christmas, I did not have that, so it was difficult."

Besides her
faith, Cammy says it is the support of many people, some she has never met, that
has given her the strength to go on. She thinks about that often.
"I do,"
she said. "There is no way that our family can express fully how much we love
and appreciate the people in this area of Oregon, all over the world in fact,
who have sent us cards, who searched and prayed for us, even after it became
evident that Brooke was probably gone."

Hearing her say those very words
"that Brooke is probably gone" is hard for any parent to hear, much less say,
but Cammy said it is a reality she has to face.
"I feel she's dead and that
I'll see her one day, but not soon, and I can deal with that," she said.
now, though, it is a long, agonizing wait for Joel Courtney's trial. Cammy
said she never realized how slow the legal process is.
She said she also
understands that no matter what happens in the trial, a lot will change, but one
thing will stay the same.
"We have a real strong belief that families are
forever and that Brooke will always be with us," she said.

Cammy said
the family is planning an official memorial service for Brooke that will take
place sometime at the end of May.
When asked if she would be willing to
accept a plea deal for Courtney in exchange for finding Brooke's remains, she
said that is not a place she is prepared to go yet.
Related links:
KATU's coverage of the Brooke
Wilberger investigation

Brooke's information from the Charley Project:
Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: May 24, 2004 from
Corvallis, Oregon
Classification: Endangered Missing
Date Of Birth:
February 20, 1985
Age: 19 years old
Height and Weight: 5'4, 104 - 119
Distinguishing Characteristics: Blonde hair, blue eyes. Wilberger's
hair was shoulder-length at the time of her 2004 disappearance. Her ears are
pierced, including a piercing in the upper cartilage of her right ear. She was
not wearing an earring in that piercing at the time of her disappearance.
Wilberger has a scar on her right arm which extends from her wrist to her elbow.
Her nickname is Brookie.
Clothing Description: A gray Brigham Young
University sweatshirt or t-shirt with the words "BYU Soccer" printed on it in
small letters, blue jeans, flip-flop sandals, small hoop earrings, a ring with a
blue stone, a ring inscribed with the initials "CTR," and possibly a silver
watch and a medium-blue hooded sweatshirt with the words "Fresh Jive" in
metallic print on the chest. A photograph of the hooded sweatshirt is posted
below this case summary. Investigators are interested in finding a sweatshirt
like it for possible fiber analysis should Wilberger's shirt be found, and are
appealing to the public as the manufacturer no longer makes the item. It was
possibly made in 1999 or 2000.

Details of Disappearance
Wilberger was
a freshman at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah in 2004. Over the summer
vacation she was visiting her sister and brother-in-law at Oregon State
University in Corvallis, Oregon. Her sister and brother-in-law manage the
apartment complex they live in, Oak Park Apartments, and Wilberger assisted
them. The complex is in the 1200 block of southwest 26th Street near Oregon
State University, across the street from Reser Stadium.
Wilberger was last
seen by her sister shortly after 10:00 a.m. on May 24, 2004. She was cleaning
light bulb covers in the tall lamps in the parking lot Oak Park Apartments at
the time. When her sister went back to the parking lot at 10:30 a.m., Wilberger
was gone. Her bucket of soapy water and other cleaning implements were still in
the lot. Wilberger left behind all of her personal belongings when she
disappeared, including her purse, wallet, keys, cellular phone, and her car, a
Ford Contour. Her sister reported her missing to the police that afternoon,
having searched for her with no result.
Wilberger's sandals were found in
the parking lot after her disappearance. They were separated from each other by
a few feet and turned to the side at an angle. The sandals, coupled with the
fact that Wilberger had vanished suddenly and had left all her things behind,
lead police to believe she had been kidnapped. An extensive search of the
Corvallis area failed to turn up any trace of her.
Almost a month after
Wilberger's disappearance, police named Sung Koo Kim as a possible suspect in
her apparent abduction. Kim was arrested in June 2004 and charged with the theft
of women's undergarments from college dormitories across the Willamette Valley,
including Oregon State University. Investigators found dryer lint in Kim's home
that was labelled with the name of Oak Park Apartments. They found human hair,
bags of dryer lint, over 3,400 pairs of women's panties, and 4,000 bondage
pornography videotapes, and over 40,000 pornographic images on Kim's computer.
Also discovered were assault rifles, handguns, ammunition, gas masks, and
videotapes of two local women, both college students who had been filmed by Kim
without their knowledge or permission.
Kim's arrest and possible connection
with Wilberger's disappearance were highly publicized and he faced a very large
bail, ten million dollars, on the theft, weapons and pornography charges. He
stated that he was innocent of involvement in Wilberger's case and maintained
that he had been in another town when she vanished. In February 2005,
investigators ruled him out as a suspect, stating that they had investigated
every lead they had on him and could find no evidence to link him to Wilberger.
Afterwards, Kim's bail was reduced over tenfold.
In May 2005, investigators
announced that they were looking for a green 1997 Dodge Caravan which may be
involved in Wilberger's case. Investigators believe it may be owned by a "person
of interest" in her abduction. On the day Wilberger vanished, a man who
identified himself as Brian called 911 on his cellular phone to report that such
a vehicle was speeding and driving erratically. Authorities appealed in the
press for Brian to identify himself and come forward for questioning.
In a
surprise move in August 2005, over a year after Wilberger's disappearance,
authorities charged Joel Patrick Courtney with rape, sodomy, sexual abuse,
kidnapping, and aggravated murder in connection with her disappearance.
Courtney, who is married with three children, has a history of drug and alcohol
abuse and possible mental illness, and a criminal record, including sex
offenses, drug offenses, and assaults, which dates back at least twenty years.
He is currently incarcerated in Albuquerque, New Mexico, awaiting trial for
kidnapping and raping a foreign exchange student at the University of New
Mexico. The incident occurred six months after Wilberger vanished and reportedly
the circumstances are remarkably similar to Wilberger's abduction.
photograph of Courtney is posted below this case summary. He was supposed to be
in court on a drunken driving case the morning Wilberger vanished, but never
arrived. Authorities announced that they had located the Dodge Caravan they were
seeking and had tied it to Courtney; they did not state what, if any, evidence
was uncovered inside the vehicle. Wilberger's remains have not been located, but
they believe there is enough evidence to convict Courtney. He could face the
death penalty.
Wilberger's loved ones say she is a responsible, studious
person and would not leave without telling anyone. She is a devoted member of
the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, more often known as the
Mormons, and does not drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, or use illicit drugs. Her
longtime boyfriend was on a religious mission trip to Venezuela in May 2004.
Wilberger is a native of Eugene, Oregon and her parents live in Vaneta,
Oregon. She is a graduate of Elmira High School and played soccer and ran track
there. Wilberger was majoring in elementary education at college, specializing
in speech pathology, and was a B student her first year. She worked to help pay
for her education. Foul play is suspected in Wilberger's case due to the
circumstances involved.
Left: Wilberger's sweatshirt; Right:

Investigating Agency If you have any information concerning this
case, please contact: Corvallis Police Department 877-367-2270 OR 541-766-3522

Brooke's website:
A poster of Brooke is available at

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Missing in 2006: Donald D. Smatlak, North Versailles, Pennsylvania

I found this article and photo on the Project Jason forum ( The original can be seen at

Missing man's car recovered in Oakland By Jill King
Greenwood TRIBUNE-REVIEW Friday, February 10, 2006 The mystery surrounding the
disappearance of a North Versailles man intensified Thursday when someone found
his car parked on an Oakland street. Donald D. Smatlak, 25, hasn't been heard
from since he called his parents about 4 p.m. on Jan. 28 and arranged to have
dinner with them the next day at their home in North Huntingdon, Westmoreland
County. Smatlak, who graduated last summer from the University of Pittsburgh
with a criminal justice degree, recently lost his job working in the produce
section at the North Versailles Giant Eagle on Lincoln Highway, said township
police Chief James Comunale. It's too soon to say whether Smatlak was the victim
of foul play, the chief said. "We really can't speculate,'' Comunale said.
"Could he have just gone on vacation and not told anyone? Maybe. But we found
his car and it wasn't at the airport.'' The silver Mazda was found parked near
the intersection of Meyran Avenue and Louisa Street in Oakland shortly before
noon, Comunale said. It was reported by someone who had seen a news report about
Smatlak's disappearance. Detectives hadn't processed the car as of yesterday
evening, Comunale said, and it was not clear whether there were any clues inside
that could lead investigators to the missing man. Smatlak's parents, Linda and
Don Smatlak, could not be reached for comment yesterday. Comunale said
detectives are interviewing neighbors, friends, relatives and former co-workers
but have not uncovered anything suspicious. Allegheny County police also are
investigating. "He appears to be a completely normal person that wasn't involved
in anything that might have gotten him into trouble,'' Comunale said. A manager
at the Giant Eagle where Smatlak worked declined comment. Smatlak is white, 6
feet tall, weighs 230 pounds, and has short, light brown hair and hazel eyes. He
has a scar on his lower lip and a tattoo of a cross on the back of his right
ankle. Anyone with information may call North Versailles police at 412-823-1111
or Allegheny County police at 412-473-3000. Jill King Greenwood can be reached
at or

Friday, February 10, 2006

Jesus Alvarado Martinez--Houston, Texas

On February 9 I found an article on family abductions at Continuing on the subject, here is the Charley Project profile of a little boy named Jesus Alvarado Martinez who is believed to have been abducted by his father. (You can view the original at

Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: October 20, 2004
from Houston, Texas
Classification: Endangered Missing
Date of Birth:
December 7, 1999
Age: 4 years old
Height and Weight: 3'0, 30 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: Black hair, brown eyes. Some agencies refer
to Jesus as Jesus Martinez-Alvarado or Jesus Martinez Alvarado. His nickname is
Clothing Description: A gray short-sleeved shirt with white stripes,
dark-colored pants, and black Yu-Go-Oh tennis shoes.

Details of
Jesus was last seen at his home in northwest Houston, Texas on
October 20, 2004. He was living with his mother, Rocio Alvarado, and his
one-year-old sister at the time. Jesus's father, Rocio's husband Avelino
Martinez, was estranged from the family and had moved in with a roommate, Pedro
Vargas, in the Brampton Square Apartments in the 1300 block of Witte in Houston
a few days before. He and Alvarado were having marital problems. A photograph
and vital statistics for Avelino are posted below this case summary.
last saw Avelino, Jesus, and Alvarado together at 9:00 a.m. on October 20, 2004.
Avelino asked to borrow his car to take their daughter to the doctor. They did
visit the doctor and afterwards planned to buy clothes for the children. Later
that day, Alvarado's relatives asked the police to check on her welfare, as they
had not seen or heard from her since the previous evening. She wasn't at her
At 1:00 a.m. on October 21, Vargas summoned police to his
apartment after he found Alvarado's body inside his apartment on his bed. She
had been stabbed twice and strangled with a ligature; the bloody knife was left
behind. She had been covered up with the blankets and Vargas thought she was
only sleeping until her daughter began to cry and she did not wake up.
Alvarado's daughter was unharmed, but there was no sign of Avelino or Jesus.
Investigators believe Avelino murdered his wife and abducted Jesus. A
homicide warrant was issued for his arrest on October 21, 2004. There is a
history of domestic violence between the couple in their ten-year relationship,
and it was some of Alvarado's children, including Jesus, were not biologically
related to Avelino. He is believed to have used Vargas's brown or beige 1993
Chevrolet Silverado extended cab pickup truck with Texas license plates numbered
VS2-034 in his flight, but was found abandoned on October 30, on a private dirt
road off Interstate 10 and Wilpitz Road near Brookshire, Texas, in Waller
Avelino and Jesus are believed to be in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico or in
Laredo, Texas, where Avelino has family. Avelino is considered armed and
dangerous and caution is advised when approaching him. Due to the nature of the
charges against his father, Jesus may be in danger.

Avelino Martinez
Above: Avelino Martinez
Date of Birth: August 11, 1973 Age: 31 years old
Height and Weight: 5'8, 200 - 215 pounds Distinguishing Characteristics: Black
hair, brown eyes. Some agencies refer to Avelino as Avelino Martinez-Alvarado.
His nickname is Monsana. He has scars on his stomach and tattoos of crosses on
his right forearm.

Investigating Agency If you have any information
concerning this case, please contact: Houston Police Department 713-308-3600 OR
Texas Department of Public Safety 800-346-3243

You can also call the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE LOST
You can print a poster of Jesus here. (Make sure to change your page setup to landscape before printing or some information will be cut off.)
Previous posts on children abducted by their parents:
Samantha Kibalo, abducted by mother - missing from Suffern, New York; mother's car found in Brooklyn - may be in New York City; Illinois; New Hampshire; Boynton Beach, Florida; or Palm Beach County, Florida
Mary Nunes, abducted by mother and stepfather - missing from Whitefield, New Hampshire

Thursday, February 9, 2006

Mary Nunes--Whitefield, New Hampshire

Photos from top to bottom: Mary Nunes; Mary's mother, Genevieve Kelley; Mary's stepfather, Scott Kelley.
Info and photos from the Charley Project (

Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: October 22, 2004
from Whitefield, New Hampshire
Classification: Family Abduction
Date of
Birth: February 19, 1996
Age: 8 years old
Height and Weight: 4'4, 48
Distinguishing Characteristics: Brown hair, brown eyes. Nunes may use
the last name San Martin.

Details of Disappearance
Nunes was last
seen on October 22, 2004 in Whitefield, New Hampshire. She is believed to have
been abducted by her non-custodial mother, Genevieve Mary Kelley, and her
stepfather, Scott David Kelley. Photographs and vital statistics for Genevieve
and Scott are posted below this case summary. Felony warrants have been issued
for both of them.
The child's whereabouts are unknown and his case remains
unsolved. Some agencies give Aurora, Colorado as the place of her disappearance.

Genevieve Mary Kelley Above Images: Genevieve Mary Kelley
Date of
Birth: February 11, 1964 Age: 40 years old Height and Weight: 5'5, 150 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: Brown hair, brown eyes. Genevieve may dye her
hair. She may wear eyeglasses or contact lenses.
Scott David Kelley Above:
Scott David Kelley
Date of Birth: December 17, 1964 Age: 39 years old Height
and Weight: 6'2, 190 pounds Distinguishing Characteristics: White hair, hazel

Investigating Agency If you have any information concerning this
case, please contact: Whitefield Police Department 603-837-9086

You can also report tips to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children by calling
You can print a poster of Mary here.

Part of the reason that I chose to post Mary on here now is that today on I found an article on family abductions. To read it, go to A small excerpt:
The trauma of family abduction is often compounded by lies, Hart-Haviv
said: “A child might be told the left-behind parent is dead, dangerous or
doesn’t love them anymore.”
And the deeper the deceit, the harder it can be
for a child to recover when found, she said.

My Missing People

One of the problems with a blog is that with each new post, the post listed at the bottom of "Previous Posts" disappears from the list. On here that means that a post on a missing person would be less likely to be seen by those who do not want to scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page. This is why I am posting this index, and I will try to put a link to this post in my links section and/or at the very top of the blog. That way, if you see someone who is from or might be in your local area, you can know to be on the lookout. (All places are in the United States unless otherwise noted.)

The National Center for Missing Adults (NCMA), which provides posters and other measures to try to find several of the missing adults of this blog 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

Missing People I have posted so far:

Another downside is I only seem to have time to post about two people per day, and I follow so many people's cases! That is why I am also using this index to list the other people so that even before I post on them you can starting keeping watch for those who are from or might be in your area. Here they are, with links to more info:

Other Missing Yet to Be Posted:

Unsolved Murders (Previously Missing):

Unidentified Murder Victims:

Trial Watch:

A Chance Meeting in the Natalee Holloway Case

I found this today on the Joran van der Sloot blog ( and decided to post it on here. It's one of those time when something goes wrong but you realize if that hadn't happened, something else good wouldn't have happened, either. That post, in turn, was a quote from GretaWire, the blog of On the Record host Greta van Susteren. Her original blog entry is available at,2933,184328,00.html, and it is much longer but the rest of it is on other subjects. Anyway, here it is:
Speaking of planes, I missed my first plane out of Boston on Monday.
that plane turned out was annoying at first, but it turned out to be a
stroke of luck because on the flight I did board, I ran into someone who had
some important information for me on the Natalee Holloway case. The person
approached me and we talked for a few minutes. We could not talk long
the doors to the plane were closing. We talked later that night by
phone and
again yesterday by phone for about 45 minutes. The person is
reluctant to come
forward, so I am working on persuading him/her. I guess
the headline is: Stay
Tuned. Incidentally, I don't want to overstate this
since I am not giving you
lots of information. The person has some very
important information to the news
story, but this information will not solve

Natalee Holloway is still very fresh in many people's minds. Her parents, Dave Holloway and Beth Holloway Twitty, are going to appear on a show called The Line Up this Saturday, February 11. It airs on the Fox News Channel at 9 PM Eastern Time.

Remember, if you also have information on Natalee Holloway's disappearance and anything that followed, you can call 1-866-SOS-LOST (1-866-767-5678).

For more information on Natalee Holloway, go to her website,, or see my previous post on her at

Monday, February 6, 2006

Sofia Juarez now missing 3 years--Kennewick, Washington

Last Saturday, February 4, marked three years since a little girl named Sofia Juarez mysteriously disappeared in Kennewick, Washington.
The two photos show Sofia around the time she went missing and what she might have looked like at age 7.
Info and photos from The Charley Project (
Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: February 4, 2003
from Kennewick, Washington
Classification: Non-Family Abduction
Date Of
Birth: February 5, 1998
Age: 4 years old
Height and Weight: 3'0, 33
Distinguishing Characteristics: Black hair, brown eyes. Juarez was
missing her top four front teeth at the time of her disappearance. She has a
mole under her eye. Her ears are pierced.
Clothing Description: A red
long-sleeved shirt, blue overalls, violet socks, white Converse sneakers, and
gold hoop earrings.

Details of Disappearance
Sofia was last known to
be playing with her brother in her bedroom between 8:15 and 9:15 p.m. on
February 4, 2003, the day before her fifth birthday. She left the bedroom and
told her mother, Maria Juarez, that she was going to the store five blocks away.
She was supposed to be accompanied by her grandmother's boyfriend, Jose Lopez
Torres. Maria gave Sofia a dollar to spend at the store and assumed she caught a
ride with Torres. Sofia did not get into the car, however, and Torres left
without her. No one saw her leave the house. When Torres returned from the store
at 9:45 p.m. and said Sofia had not gone with him, Maria alerted the
Sofia's disappearance was treated as an abduction from the
outset and an Amber Alert was issued. It was canceled after she was not located
within 36 hours. Police continue to believe she was abducted. They have
contacted Sofia's father and say he was cooperative and is not a suspect in the
case. Her father has never met her and is uncertain if he is in fact her
biological parent. Torres has also been ruled out as a suspect in Sofia's
A ten-year-old relative of Sofia's who lives in her home says
he saw her walking down the driveway at about the time she disappeared,
accompanied by a man dressed in a black sweatshirt, black pants, and black
shoes. This sighting has not been confirmed.
A week after Sofia's
disappearance, police announced an interest in a 35-year-old neighbor of
Sofia's. Kevin L. Ireland, who has a record for minor sex crimes, allegedly made
a suspicious comment about Sofia's disappearance over the phone. He took a
polygraph about her disappearance and police served a search warrant on his
house. They were also interested in the Ireland's car, a white Ford Tempo panel
van. A similar van was spotted a few blocks from Sofia's residence at around the
time she disappeared. Ireland was arrested on a traffic warrant unrelated to
Sofia's case a week after her disappearance, and while in jail was charged with
telephone harassment in relation to the comments he had made about Sofia's case.
He has pleaded innocent to the harassment charge and being called a person of
interest but not a strong suspect in Sofia's apparent abduction.
Authorities, in May 2003, announced that in addition to the panel van they
were looking for a mid-nineties model full-sized faded orange van with a license
plate which had a double J in the number. The van's driver was a while male with
a thick blond beard, between 35 and 40 years old. A witness recalled seeing the
van in the area around the time of Sofia's disappearance. Police do not know if
the van is connected to her case.
Extensive searches have produced little of
evidentiary value in Sofia's case. Searchers found a pair of overalls and a pair
of little girl's shoes in the area, but neither belonged to her. Nothing else
was ever located.
Sofia is described as a loving and vivacious child. Her
mother says she is shy and would not go with a stranger without a fuss. Maria
believes that Sofia's kidnapper was someone the child knew and trusted. She
enjoyed playing with Barbie dolls and putting on makeup at the time of her
disappearance, and her favorite food is hamburgers from the fast food restaurant
chain Burger King. Despite a search which extended to Mexico and fairly
extensive media coverage, including profiles on the television crime show
America's Most Wanted and her photograph of the side of a NASCAR racing car,
Sofia remains missing and her case is unsolved.

Investigating Agency If
you have any information concerning this case, please contact: Kennewick Police
Department 509-585-4208
If you know anything about the disappearance of Sofia Juarez, call the Kennewick Police Department at the above number or (509) 628-0333 or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST

You can view more photos of Sofia on her Charley Project profile and on her website,
You can print a poster of Sofia here.