Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Jerry Cushey, Jr.--Monongahela, Pennsylvania

Jerry Lee Cushey, Jr. went missing almost five years ago, but his disappearance still occasionally makes local headlines. (Just try doing a Google search of "Jerry Cushey".) An account of the most recent development from KDKA:
Jun 24, 2006 11:50 pm US/Eastern
Divers Search Mon For Man Missing For 4 Years

David Highfield
(KDKA) MONONGAHELA Divers were in the Monongahela River Saturday
looking for clues into the disappearance of a man more than four years ago.
Jerry Cushey disappeared from the streets of Monongahela, Washington County.
Now, his family is praying that they may be getting closer to some answers.
KDKA's David Highfield reports that the Mon River could hold clues into
Cushey's disappearance.
His family, who watched divers search, is holding
out hope.
"It's just been a hard five years," said Cushey's sister Gina
Thorn. "We just want, as a family, to have some closure and bring him so we can
have someplace to go visit him."
Cushey was last seen on 2nd street in
Monongahela heading to a club
He was only 1.5 blocks from river at the time
but the river has never been searched until now.
"We have been pushing that
we wanted a river search here," said Sonya Helmantoler, Cushey's sister. "We
have dealt with psychics and they have been telling us there is something down
here in the river."
The head of the dive team tells KDKA that they are here
at the request of state police but he won't say what prompted the search at this
He also won't say what divers may have discovered.
"All I can
comment on is that we've recovered some items and that were going to be turning
them over to state police investigators," said Sam Woncheck of Mon Valley
When describing her brother, Cushey's sister now speaks in past
"He had a big heart. He was a wonderful person," said Helmantoler.
She just hopes that after years of searching for answers, she can fulfill a
promise to her family.
"I promised them that I would find him and thats what
I'm set out to do," Helmantoler said.
There have been some strange things
happen in this case.
Cushey's car was delivered anonymously to his dad's
house one night.
Another time the family received a phone call telling them
to "back off."
Now, they are hoping whatever was found in the river will
provide some answers.

**I personally do not believe in psychics, but I am including the article because of the river search taking place.**
More details on Jerry's case from the Charley Project:
Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: October 12,
2001 from Monongahela, Pennsylvania
Classification: Endangered Missing
Date Of Birth: December 23, 1971
Age: 29 years old
Height and
Weight: 5'9, 170 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: Black hair; brown
eyes. Cushey had a moustache and goatee at the time of his October 2001
disappearance. He has a self-designed tattoo of a jester on his left shoulder.
Cushey has two additional tattoos on his back and on his right calf.

Details of Disappearance
Cushey resided in Union Township,
Pennsylvania in 2001. He was employed at Forward Construction Inc. at the time.
Cushey was staying with a friend, Chris Myers, at an apartment above Totally
Tattoos in the 200 block of Second Street in Monongahela, Pennsylvania in
October 2001. Myers and Cushey had not seen each other for ten years before they
had a chance encounter the week before Cushey vanished and Myers invited him to
stay at his apartment. Cushey was last seen inside Totally Tattoos on October
12, 2001. He has never been heard from again. He was supposed to go to a bar
that night, but never showed up.
Myers's vehicle was discovered over an
embankment on Morgan Run Road in Morgantown, West Virginia, in the Cheat Lake
area, on October 16, four days after Cushey disappeared. A stick had been placed
on the van's gas pedal and the vehicle crashed into a tree at the bottom of a
30-foot embankment. There was no sign of Cushey or anyone else at the scene.
After the vehicle was found, Myers reported that Cushey had stolen it and some
money from him. Authorities returned the van to Myers shortly afterwards.
Cushey had borrowed his father's Jeep prior to his disappearance. At 11:00
p.m. the day after he vanished, the vehicle was found parked outside Cushey's
father's residence. It had been wiped clean of fingerprints. Cushey's sister
reported that someone called her claiming to be Cushey and stating he was in
Oklahoma and safe, but she did not believe the caller was actually her brother.
Authorities searched a portion of Cheat Lake in West Virginia in November
2001 in an attempt to locate evidence pertaining to Cushey's case. They found a
hat that Cushey's family members believe was his, but nothing else. In 2006,
investigators searched the Mon River, which is a block and a half from where
Cushey was last seen, and some items were located, but additional information
about the search was not released. Cushey's family hired a psychic, who said
that her visions of Cushey's whereabouts were connected to the lake. His
relatives suspect that foul play was involved in his case. They said that it is
uncharacteristic of Cushey to leave without warning. During the search for him,
Cushey's sister received a threatening phone call from an anonymous person who
warned them to "back off" and stop searching for Cushey or "something would
happen." The individual has never been identified. Cushey's case remains

Investigating Agency
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Uniontown City, Pennsylvania Police Department
Pennsylvania State Police Morgantown Station

Unfortunately, I haven't found any real "posters" for Jerry. His North American Missing Persons Network profile might work, although the contact numbers appear on a second page and would have to be re-attached to the bottom of the first page.

There is one last quote I want to leave you with. I stumbled across it today while doing a Google search on Jerry. It comes from a 2003 year in review article for Washington County from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
"Where did I go wrong?/ Never wanted to hurt no one./ No excuse for the
things I've done./ Only wanted to be someone./ Wanted friends and a little fun."
Haunting poem written by Jerry Cushey Jr., 29, of Monongahela, who has been
missing for two years and is presumed to be a murder victim. June 29.

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