Friday, March 23, 2007

Emily Rimel: Lindsay Bruce found guilty

If I remember correctly--although this article did not mention it--this was a capital case. That is, Lindsay/Lindsey (however it is spelled) Bruce could get the death penalty.
Story from The Columbus Dispatch:
Jury finds Lindsey Bruce guilty in girl's murder
Friday, March
23, 2007 4:39 PM
By Bruce Cadwallader

Show: Photos from the Emily Rimel murder case, 2004 to present

and archive of previous stories about Emily and the trial of Lindsey Bruce,
accused of killing her

A jury this afternoon found Lindsey Bruce guilty
of killing 5-year-old Emily Rimel.
Emily would have turned 8 on
The Franklin County jury, seven women and five men, announced its
verdict at 4:15 p.m.
Bruce was charged with aggravated murder, murder and
tampering with evidence in the killing of Emily, who disappeared overnight from
her apartment on Reinbeau Drive in Madison Township. Her skull was found 17
months later on a bank of Big Walnut Creek, 8 miles south of her home.
jury, which was handed the case on Wednesday, found Bruce guilty of one count of
aggravated murder, one count of murder, and one count of tampering with
evidence. It also found him not guilty of one count of aggravated
Bruce, 25, is a self-employed mechanic who became friends with Brent
Copley more than 10 years ago. Copley later moved in with Jane Rimel and her
daughter, Emily. The couple had a son together.
Twenty-one witnesses
testified during the death-penalty trial.
According to testimony: On Dec. 7,
2004, Bruce visited the apartment twice late at night. He had been drinking at a
Refugee Road bar and sometimes used the apartment as a place to flop. His former
girlfriend, Lila Wright, lived there for three months that year and he
frequently visited her overnight.
That night, Bruce was the last adult to
leave the apartment, and he apparently left the door unlocked instead of waking
Copley, which prosecutors said was his custom. Emily was nowhere to be found
when Copley woke up at 8 a.m.
Prosecutors said Bruce kidnapped the girl and
killed her to conceal a rape, then discarded her body in nearby Heisel Park.
Emily's DNA was found on his genitals, and his right forearm had three small
scratches. He was arrested 10 days later.
Bruce told police and the FBI he
left the apartment about 3 a.m. and worked on cars. He could not prove where he
was until 9:27 a.m., when he received a store receipt for buying a car
Defense attorneys said the DNA evidence is suspect and no other
evidence proves Bruce did anything to the girl.
Testimony by defense
witnesses indicated that Rimel and Copley were poor guardians of Emily and that
the girl had left the apartment on her own before.
Bruce is serving a 10-year
prison term after having been convicted of kidnapping Emily at a previous trial.
Men incarcerated with him have testified in both trials that Bruce confessed to
the murder.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Stefanie Mills now missing 5 years, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Stefanie C. Mills does not seem to have gotten as much media coverage as some missing people do. Some might say it is because she is African American, but I think it is more likely that it is because she is listed as a "runaway". People tend to not pay as much attention to runaways--they're the largest category of missing children and teens, and people probably figure they're all right because they left home voluntarily. Indeed, most runaways do seem to make it home safe--sometimes within days, other times not for years. It may be important to know why they are running away, but one thing is certain: All runaways have family and/or friends who wonder where they are and what they are doing and when they can ever see them again.
Do you think you can help Stefanie C. Mills' loved ones? Do you recognize her?

Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: March 7, 2002
from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Classification: Endangered Runaway
Date Of Birth: February 24, 1986
Age: 16 years old
Height and Weight: 5'6, 110 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: African-American female. Black hair,
brown eyes. Mills has a scar on her right forearm. Her ears pierced. Her
nickname is Stef.

Details of Disappearance
Mills was last seen in
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on March 7, 2002. She has never been heard from again.
She is believed to have left of her own accord. Mills may be in the Colorado
Springs, Colorado area. Few details are available in her case.

Investigating Agency
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Pittsburgh Police Department
412- 255-2927
You can also call the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678).
You can print a poster of Stefanie here.

Sofia Juarez: New age progression

Today when I was looking at the Charley Project, I found an age progression of Sofia that was done this year (shown at right). I think this looks very realistic; it shows the changes made by the passage of time, but there is enough resemblance to believe it could be the same person.
Back in August, a child's body was found in a field in Ritzville, Washington, and it is possible that it could belong to Sofia. However, this has not yet been proven, and until or unless it is, we should continue to keep our eyes open for Sofia in case she is still alive somewhere.
If you know anything about the disappearance of Sofia Lucerno Juarez, please call the Kennewick Police Department at (509) 585-4208 or (509) 628-0333; the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678); or your local FBI office.
You can print a poster of Sofia, with the new age progression, here.

Emily Rimel: Lindsay Bruce murder trial days 1-3

I have found five articles that cover different aspects of the trial's developments so far. If I posted them all in their entirety, that would be one long post! So, instead, I am going to summarize them and provide links to the originals.

Day 1 (March 7): Jury took a bus and visited Helsel Park (where Emily's body was found) and the Rimel family's home. Emily's mother, Jane, testified about Emily's life.

Day 2 (March 8): Inmates who supposedly heard Lindsay Bruce confess were scheduled to testify. The jury is shown a PowerPoint of photos of Emily's skull and teeth. A forensic anthropologist, Dr. Nancy Tatarek of Ohio University, testifies that the skull belonged to a child around six years old, give or take a year. (Emily was five.) She also said that two other bones found at the scene were not human. The defense argued that she was not able to determine the cause or time of death, or whether Emily was alive when she ended up in Big Walnut Creek. Five dentists who had examined Emily's teeth testify. Emily's mother testified again, saying their front door was always locked. The defense says that she had said in a 911 call that sometimes the door was left open. They imply that Emily could have "run away" or been abducted by someone else.

Day 3 (March 9): Brent Copley, now Emily's mother's husband (boyfriend at the time of Emily's death), testified. He said that he and Lindsay Bruce had been friends for over ten years, and that he (Lindsay Bruce) often stayed with them. He said the night before Emily vanished he and Lindsay Bruce had been out drinking, and they did not do anything or even talk during the early morning of December 7, 2004. He said Lindsay Bruce arrived at their house about 1 AM, then again about 2 AM. Brent Copley was the one who reported Emily missing.

There is another article about Emily's mother testifying, and it is dated March 9, but it does not say if that is when this part of her testimony took place. While she spoke, she cried and held Emily's tennis shoes, which had been found in their apartment. She also looked at photos of Emily's backpack, coat, and sheets. She testified that Emily had complained about a cold the night she disappeared and that she would not have left without her shoes. She also said that Emily had known Lindsay Bruce since she was 2 1/2 years old and had no reason to fear him. The article also said that the defense said that the state has a weak case based on circumstantial evidence. They questioned how reliable the inmates could be.

We shall see how this progresses. I still do not think it looks good for Mr. Bruce.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Amy Billig now missing 33 years, Coconut Grove, Florida

I first heard Amy's story on a rerun of Unsolved Mysteries, and I personally think it is one of the most twisted, complicated missing persons cases I have ever heard of. True, there are many different stories and theories about Natalee Holloway's disappearance. But at least there are three major suspects in that case. Almost nothing about what happened to Amy seems certain. I like to try to be an optimist, but of course it gets harder as more time passes. I think that Amy is almost certainly dead, and I wouldn't be surprised if her body has been found but has been lying unidentified in some morgue.
If you have never heard of Amy Billig, please take a moment to read her story. (Photos and information from the Charley Project.)

Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: March 5, 1974
from Coconut Grove, Florida
Classification: Non-Family Abduction
Date Of Birth: January 9, 1957
Age: 17 years old
Height and Weight: 5'5, 110 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian female. Brown hair, brown
eyes. Amy has a two-inch scar on her abdomen from an appendectomy. She may have
a tattoo. She has a high-stepping gait.
Clothing/Jewelry Description: A
denim miniskirt and cork platform sandals.

Details of Disappearance
Amy was last seen hitchhiking along Main Highway in Coconut
Grove, Florida on March 5, 1974. She was headed to her father's office to borrow
money from him so she could meet friends later in the day. Amy never arrived at
the office and her friends never saw her that evening. She has never been heard
from again. Amy enjoyed playing the flute and guitar, as well as reading and
writing poetry, at the time of her 1974 disappearance, and was considering
becoming an actress. She often hitchhiked through her neighborhood.
and Larry Glasser, sixteen-year-old twin brothers, called Amy's family a few
days after her disappearance and claimed to have kidnapped her. They said they
were holding her for $30,000 ransom. The Glassers turned out to be lying; they
did not know Amy and had nothing to do with her disappearance. They were
subsequently charged with extortion. A photograph of the Glasser twins at the
time of their arrest is posted below this case summary.
Amy's mother, Susan
Billig, began investigating her daughter's case in addition to law enforcement's
attempts immediately after Amy disappeared. A photograph of Susan at the time of
Amy's disappearance is posted below this case summary. Susan began receiving
tips from numerous individuals who claimed that Amy had been abducted by members
of The Outlaws or The Pagans, both motorcycle gangs that traveled through the
Coconut Grove area of Florida in 1974. Some people claimed that Amy was alive
and others maintained she had been killed; these tips led Susan on a
cross-country chase through the US and even into Great Britain through the
years. Sometimes Susan would come within days of finding her daughter, but Amy
was never located. She may have used the aliases "Mute," "Sunshine," "Little
Bits," and/or "Mellow Cheryl" while with the bikers.
Paul Branch, a member
of The Pagans, initially told Susan in the late 1970's that Amy was alive and
being held by Pagan members in the U. S. Branch's widow claimed he recanted this
statement on his deathbed in the late 1990's; he then said that Amy had attended
a party thrown by The Pagans in Florida on the night of her disappearance and
died of a drug overdose, and that her body had been taken to the Florida
Everglades by gang members and tossed to the alligators. His widow relayed this
information to Susan.
Amy's camera was located at the Wildwood exit on
Florida's Turnpike shortly after Amy's disappearance. It was turned in by a man
who had heard she was missing. Wildwood would have been on the route the biker
gangs took traveling north. Nobody knows if Amy had the camera when she
disappeared, however; it might have disappeared before she did. The film inside,
once developed, revealed no clues as to her whereabouts. The majority of the
photographs were completely overexposed.
Another sidenote to Amy's
disappearance involved harassing phone calls that Susan began receiving shortly
after Amy vanished in 1974. A then-unidentified male caller informed Susan that
Amy was abducted by members of an illicit sex ring organization and being held
captive. The caller tormented Susan for 21 years until 1995, when FBI agents
were able to trace a call the man made using his cellular phone. Until that
time, the caller always used a pay phone to harass Susan, making him difficult
to apprehend. The caller was identified as Henry Johnson Blair, who worked for
the US Customs Department. A photograph of him is posted below this case
summary. Blair claimed that he was an alcoholic and had an obsessive-compulsive
disorder which caused him to harass Susan; he also stated that he never met Amy
and knew nothing about her disappearance. Blair was sentenced to a two-year
prison term for harassing Susan and has since been released. Susan settled a
lawsuit against him for five million dollars.
The addition of Blair into
this case focuses renewed attention on to a man Amy described in her journal.
Amy wrote that she was considering running away to South America with a man she
called "Hank." Blair's nickname is Hank. A photo developed from a roll of film
in Amy's camera showed a white van which was identical in color and model to a
van Blair drove in 1974. Blair's job with the Customs Department required him to
relocate to South America around the time Amy specified in her journal. Blair
has not been positively linked to Amy aside from his incarceration for the
harassment of her mother, however.
The A & E Network aired a program
about Amy's case on its Investigative Reports series in 1998. The documentary
shows elements of Susan's decades-long search for her daughter with law
enforcement and also provides footage of Susan's meeting with Branch's widow.
Susan accepts his widow's statement at the program's end, but authorities
believe that his widow was lying about his confession in an effort to
financially profit from Amy's disappearance. Amy's father died of lung cancer in
the early 1990s.
Susan co-authored a book about Amy's disappearance in 2001
with Greg Aunapu, called Without A Trace: The Disappearance Of Amy Billig -- A
Mother's Search For Justice. She died of a heart attack in 2005, at age 80.
Amy's case remains unsolved.
Left: Henry Johnson Blair, circa 1996; Center:
Susan Billig, circa 1974; Right: Susan Billig, circa 2005
Above: Larry and
Charles Glasser, circa 1974

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

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

Shelly Misinay: Death ruled suicide

And the decision is causing a bit of online forum controversy. One of the posters on Websleuths actually knows Shelly and her family, and he/she seems to think the whole scenario is suspicious and out of character for Shelly. He/she believes Shelly was murdered and that everything in the press is a bunch of lies.
I personally feel that, while police and coroners do rely on science, friends and family would usually know. They may not be able to say if it was a homicide, but they should at least know whether she would have killed herself.
Anyway, here is the story from
Mar 3, 2007 1:20 pm US/Eastern
Missing Woman's Death Ruled A
(KDKA) SHARON The Mercer County Coroner has ruled the death of a
missing woman a suicide.
Officials say 41-year-old Shelly Misinay was reported missing on
Valentine’s Day after she reportedly had an argument with her husband.
It was Misinay’s brother-in-law, Donald Blackshear, who discovered her body
in the Temple Beth Israel Cemetery in Hermitage.
Blackshear says a premonition led him to her body.
He and his wife walked a path near where the body was found.
“There was some footprints, several sets of footprints that had went
through the trees, so I kind of ducked down and went through and just started
walking down the road and saw footprints that went over to the corner of the
property,” he explained. “I walked down there and something just kept me, ‘Keep
coming down this fence row.’”
He says he found her the body around some Cedar trees.
According the Mercer County Coroner’s office, Misinay died from

Of course, the hypothermia would be pretty certain.
You can read all of the discussion for yourself on Shelly's thread,

Friday, March 2, 2007

Andrew Karis now missing 14 years, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: March 1, 1993
from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Classification: Endangered Missing
Date Of
Birth: October 27, 1973
Age: 19 years old
Height and Weight: 5'8, 130
Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian male. Brown hair, hazel
eyes. Karis's nicknames are Andy, Drew and/or Sparky.

Details of
Karis was a student at Carnegie Mellon University in
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1993. He was last seen on campus on March 1, 1993.
Authorities tracked Karis's credit card and telephone records after his
disappearance. Investigators determined that he may have purchased a Greyhound
bus ticket to New York City, New York on March 2 and possibly stayed in the city
until March 4. Karis may have been in San Francisco, California on March 15, but
that sighting remains unconfirmed. Karis has never been heard from again.
Authorities believe he disappeared under suspicious circumstances.
agencies may list March 4, 1993 as the date of Karis's disappearance. California
and Texas authorities are handling his investigation.

If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
San Francisco Police Department
Texas Department Of Public Safety

Audrey Nerenberg to appear on online radio show "Missing Pieces"

Audrey Lyn Nerenberg's father is going to appear on the Internet radio show Missing Pieces on March 6 at 8:00 PM (EST). A rebroadcast will be available on the show's archives the next day. The show's website is
Also, Audrey's family is lobbying for a law in Congress, the Audrey Nerenberg Act (H.R. 4162), which provides assistance in the search for missing adults who have the mental capacities of children. (More info on the law at

For more details on these and other events in Audrey's case, see (The message itself could not be posted here due to copyright protections on that blog.)

If you know anything about Audrey's disappearance, please call the New York City Police Department at (646) 610-6914 or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678).
You can print a poster of Audrey here.
Audrey's father also wrote a book about her disappearance, Give Me Back My Daughter Audrey by Milton Nerenberg, that was published in 2003. You can learn about Audrey and the book here.
Photo and age progression of Audrey from the Charley Project.

Tanya Kach: Suspect to undergo mental health evaluation, treatment

From The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:
Thomas Hose committed to Mayview
By The
Friday, March 2, 2007
A former school security guard accused of keeping
a girl captive in his McKeesport home for 10 years was committed Thursday to
Mayview State Hospital.
Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Kevin G.
Sasinoski ordered Thomas Hose, 48, to undergo a mental evaluation and treatment
at the hospital in South Fayette. Hose attempted suicide by stabbing himself
hours before he was to go on trial Feb. 13.
Hose was on house arrest while
he awaited trial on charges of statutory sexual assault and involuntary deviate
sexual intercourse for the 1996 disappearance of 14-year-old Tanya Kach, who is
now 25. Kach emerged March 21 from what she called a decade in captivity and
told her story to a McKeesport deli owner, who called police.

Shelly Misinay: Body found

Missing Farrell Woman's Body Found
A Farrell woman missing more than two
weeks was found dead less than a block from her home. Hermitage police say
Shelly Misinay's brother-in-law found the body at a Farrell cemetery.
Misinay, a mother of two young children, went missing in the early morning
hours of Feb. 14 after having an argument with her husband Frank.
Police said
an autopsy will be done on Friday. They would not describe the condition of the
body or if her death is being treated as suspicious.
21 News will have more
on this developing story on 21 News at Six.

The story takes a strange twist, however.
Published March 01, 2007 08:45 pm - Papers filed in Mercer County Common
Pleas Court last week may hold some clues to Shelly Misinay’s disappearance more
than two weeks ago. Mrs. Misinay, 41, of 605 Park Ave., Farrell, was found dead
Thursday morning in a cemetery less than a 10-minute walk from her home.
Mrs. Misinay's husband had filed for custody of children
By Patrick W. Connelly
Herald Staff Writer
Papers filed in Mercer County Common Pleas Court last week
may hold some clues to Shelly Misinay’s disappearance more than two weeks
Mrs. Misinay, 41, of 605 Park Ave., Farrell, was found dead Thursday
morning in a cemetery less than a 10-minute walk from her home. She had been
missing since Feb. 14.
Her husband, Frank, last week filed for custody of
their children, citing concerns that his missing wife might return and then
disappear again with the kids.
Misinay filed the paperwork Feb. 22; the next
day, Mercer County Common Pleas Judge John C. Reed granted him temporary custody
of Frankie, 6, and Gillian, 4.
According to Misinay’s request for
Mrs. Misinay had problems with money and spending, and the couple
had been seeing a Hermitage psychologist from September until December 2005 and had resumed their sessions in January.
On Feb. 12, her husband questioned her
about her money problems and she responded, “When I’m gone, I’ll leave you, my
mother, and your boss a letter explaining what happened.”
Two days later she
Misinay told Southwest Mercer County Regional Police that he
believed his wife had walked away between 4:30 and 9:30 a.m. that snowy morning,
while he was asleep.
Mrs. Misinay was wearing her pajamas and a winter coat
when her brother-in-law Don Blackshear found her Thursday, he said.
“It seems
as though she took her own life,” said Becky Swartz, who accompanied Blackshear
to the Southwest police station in Farrell Thursday afternoon. She is a longtime
family friend and co-worker of Mrs. Misinay’s mother, Bernice
“There’s still more to this story that we don’t know,” Blackshear
Herald Staff Writer Patrick Connelly contributed to this story.
So was it indeed a suicide, or just an accident? Hopefully soon we'll know.
Mar 2, 2007 3:05 pm US/Eastern
Autopsy Set For Missing Mercer County Woman
(KDKA) HERMITAGE The coroner is set to perform an autopsy on the Mercer
County woman who was found dead in a cemetery on Thursday morning.Officials say Shelly Misinay, 41, was reported missing back on Valentine’s Day after an
argument with her husband.Authorities report that her body was found at the
Temple Beth Israel Cemetery in Hermitage.The investigation into her death

Rest in peace, Shelly, however your end came about.