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.