Friday, May 15, 2009

James Rapp: Body found

When I saw an earlier article about remains being found in Butler County, Pennsylvania, my interest piqued, because I thought of Cherrie Mahan. However, I had forgotten that I had also written about someone else missing from that county:
Bones Found In Franklin Township ID'd As Missing Man's
Updated: 7:40 am EDT
April 29, 2009
FRANKLIN TWP., Pa. -- Tests Tuesday confirmed the remains
found in a ditch in Franklin Township last week are those of a man who was
reported missing in July 2004.
A construction worker discovered the bones of
James Rapp Jr. near the offramp of Route 422 where it intersects with Highway
528 near Muddy Creek Township.
Rapp, 56, of Prospect, disappeared shortly
after submitting a will to his attorney in which he allegedly admitted to thefts
he committed against his daughter.
Rapp was charged with several crimes in
2004, including spending $26,000 on credit cards in his daughter's name and
cashing in her IRA worth $5,200.
Investigators said they could not determine
a cause of death because the bones were too decomposed.

I suppose the cause of death could be anything--a heart attack, a hit and run, a suicide, or maybe even a homicide. The ditch makes me think maybe he was hit by a car, especially since it was near a highway. Or perhaps he did not die right after his disappearance, but maybe from exposure during the winter. Another article says there was nothing covering his bones, so this makes me think it was probably not murder.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Damien Sharp is still missing

Several months ago I had reported on here that there were rumors that Damien's body had been found. Since then, I have received feedback from Damien's family that contradicts this, and a story on him has appeared in the media.

Sharp case still open
March 25, 2009
Seven years after the disappearance of Damien Sharp, Warren
City police have an active file and still receive tips and leads.
still investigating it," Investigator Anthony Chimenti said Tuesday. "We've come
up with some leads and we're following them."
Closing the case without
finding Sharp is not an option. A missing person case remains open until the
person is found, he said.
Chimenti, who was formally assigned to the case in
May, said he has been "going into and following up on all the leads, every time
a lead comes up."
The seven years since Sharp's disappearance do not phase
"Sure we like to have (information) right away when the thing
happens," he said. "On any case, things don't go away. People change their
minds. Memories get jogged."
He's looking for help.
"We're hoping now that
they know we're following up leads, they'd call in and help us out - any help
that anybody can give us," Chimenti said. "We're pursuing it. We want to solve
it. We want to bring the individual home to his family."
"That's what we're
trying to get is closure," Chimenti said. "His mother has been through a lot. We
want to provide her with that closure."
The time has allowed for advancements
in the use of DNA as an investigative tool. "When this first started, I don't
believe the CODIS (Combined DNA Index System) system was fully in place,"
Chimenti said. Technology "always gets better, it helps."
The police
department is not closing any doors.
"We're working it as a missing person
and as a homicide," Chimenti said.
Information from early in the
investigation led police to believe the case to be a murder, but they can't be
He said people are more likely to come across some kind of physical
evidence now that the weather is breaking. "Maybe things will turn around" in
the case, Chimenti said.
Sharp was carrying a black backpack and using
aluminum crutches when he was last seen in Warren on May 25, 2002. He was
wearing a dark shirt and dark shorts. He is described as blond, with hazel-blue
eyes, 5-foot-7, 170 pounds, and has an Egyptian symbol - an ankh - tattooed on
his chest.
Warren County Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for information
that leads to the location of Sharp.
Chimenti asks that anyone with any
information on the case contact him at 723-2700 or 406-7389, or Crime Stoppers
at 1-800-83-CRIME.
I believe the area code for those numbers would be 814.
Guestbook for messages to Damien's family: (Unfortunately their website for him has been taken down.)

So, there, the rumors have been debunked. I apologize for any part I had in spreading false information; I simply did not know which was right.

I would like to also request that if in the future, if you would like to notify me that someone on this blog has been found, please send a link to confirm this information. (The exception is for family of the missing person.)