Tuesday, April 30, 2019

The Disappearance of Bianca Carrasco

29 year-old Bianca Carrasco

Bianca Carrasco posted this image to her Facebook account on April 27th, 2016. Just three days later, on May 1st, 2016, Bianca seemingly vanished without a trace.

On the evening of her disappearance, Bianca and her husband Daniel Carrasco got into an argument. According to Daniel, he left for work in his truck in the midst of the argument, taking their youngest child with him. Daniel said Bianca left their San Antonio home on foot shortly thereafter, leaving their older two children behind. He said that he last saw her walking down the street alone as he drove past her in his truck. Bianca never returned home and was reported missing the following day.

According to family and friends, the argument between Bianca and her husband prior to her disappearance was not an isolated incident. The couple had been going through marital issues; Bianca was reportedly fed up with Daniel and wanted a divorce. In fact, on April 27th, the same day Bianca posted the above picture, Daniel found out that Bianca had been seeing another man. Bianca did not volunteer this information; he found out after going through her cell phone. Also on that day, Bianca texted her older sister Jovanna Burney and told her that Daniel had emptied their bank account and opened up another one without her name on it, so Bianca did not have any access to their funds. 

Daniel had apparently been quite controlling of Bianca since the beginning of their marriage—they married when Bianca was only 18 years old after she fell pregnant with their oldest child. Before marrying Bianca, Daniel was actually married to Bianca’s aunt. When Bianca first met Daniel, he was considered her uncle. According to Bianca’s sister, Daniel isolated Bianca from the rest of the family after they got married, and Bianca had not spoken to her mother in almost five years.

Despite all of the suspicions against Daniel, he has never been publicly named as a suspect in Bianca’s disappearance. San Antonio police also investigated the man Bianca was secretly seeing; he was cleared of suspicion. Bianca’s loved ones do not believe that Bianca would voluntarily leave her children behind and fear she is a victim of foul play. Bianca’s case is still open and being investigated—if you have any information about her disappearance/whereabouts, please report it by calling (210) 207-7273.


Monday, April 29, 2019

List Series: 7 Cases of Runaway Theories Gone Wrong

Many children and teens who go missing are runaways. According to statistics, one and seven children between the ages of 10 and 18 will run away at some point. With those statistics being relatively high, many police departments will classify missing children/teens as runaways unless they see evidence that shows otherwise. Unfortunately, though, there are many cases where a missing child is mistakenly believed to be missing on their own accord, but then it later turns out that they met with foul play. Below is a list of such examples: 7 cases of runaway theories gone wrong. 

7. Kimberly Arteaga

Kimberly Arteaga (16) was last seen by her family members at her home in Lemon Grove, California on November 13th, 2013. Initially, it appeared that her family members thought Kimberly ran away and would return soon. When that did not happen by January 7th, 2014, her family members reporting her missing. Police classified her as a runaway and the case quickly went cold. 

Years later, in January 2017, the investigation took a drastic turn. A man taking his dog for a walk found human remains at the Otay Valley regional park in Chula Vista. The man called the Chula Vista police, who sent the remains to the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office. Two months later, it was confirmed that the remains belonged to Kimberly Arteaga. Detectives classified her death as a homicide. 

Although Kimberly was believed to be a runaway, forensic testing revealed that Kimberly likely died around the time of her disappearance in November 2013. No arrests have been made in the case, however friends of Kimberly believe that her boyfriend at the time had something to do with her death. Her murder remains unsolved. [read more]

6. Ivory Green

17 year-old Ivory Green vanished from Utica, New York on March 6th, 2004. The teen was a habitual runaway, however on the evening she disappeared, Ivory had every intention of coming home. In fact, Ivory was last seen walking towards her home. She called her mother as she was walking and said she was on her way home--but unfortunately she never showed up.

Ivory was classified as a runaway once she was reported missing. However, two months after she vanished, Ivory’s mother received a phone call from a distant relative named Plummer Reed Jr., who said that he knew why Ivory was missing and he wanted to share what happened. But before he could, he was shot three times and the phone line went dead. Plummer’s cousin, Benji Reed, was later arrested for attempted murder, and another man was arrested for supplying Benji with the gun. Plummer survived the shooting, but ever since he has denied knowing any information about Ivory’s disappearance. Since this incident, investigators have reclassified Ivory as an endangered missing person, and they believe she was murdered. [read more] [also featured on the 'suspicious phone calls' list]

5. Silling Man

Silling Man (19) was a college student living with her uncle in Lawrenceville, Georgia before she vanished on October 8th, 2017. She returned home shortly thereafter, however just days later she vanished again--and this time, no missing persons report was filed. It seemed that Silling had voluntarily left home and did not want to return. 

At first, this appeared to be true. It is believed Silling was heavily influenced by her boyfriend at the time, 21 year-old Emmett Davis. She began living with Emmett at various hotels in the Gwinnett County area. The more time the two of them spent together, the more controlling and abusive Emmett became over Silling. Silling's family members believed she was where she wanted to be, which is why they were extremely shocked to learn that on December 21st, 2017, Silling's body was found inside a vacant mall in Gwinnett County. It was determined that she died from asphyxiation--someone had restricted her breathing. She had been dead for two weeks before she was found. Silling's death was classified as a homicide.

After Silling’s body was found, police interviewed Emmett several times but did not have enough evidence to charged him early on into the investigation. Eventually, police were eventually able to obtain warrants and subpoenas for phone records after Silling’s’ lab results returned. It was then that investigators determined Emmett and Silling had taken a cab to the vacant mall together on the day Silling was murdered. Emmett was arrested and charged with Silling's murder and is currently behind bars as his case is pending. [read more]

4. Ebby Steppach

Ebby Steppach was last seen alive by her family members on October 24th, 2015.  The 18 year-old lived with her older brother in Little Rock, Arkansas at the time. There were a lot of suspicious circumstances surrounding her disappearance; yet for some reason she was still initially classified as a runaway. 

The day before she vanished, Ebby had confided to her stepfather that she was sexually assaulted and she planned to file a police report. However, whenever her stepfather tried to follow up with her about it, he was unable to get ahold of her. She was last seen at her grandmother's house on the 24th, and according to her brother, she never returned home after that. The following evening, Ebby's brother received a phone call from her. The two had a brief conversation, during which Ebby sounded disoriented and kept telling her brother she was outside of his house--but she was not. A few days later, Ebby's car was found abandoned in Chalamont Park. All of her personal belongings were inside of the vehicle. Ebby was reported missing shortly thereafter, and police began investigating her case as a runaway. 

Ebby's family and friends never believed that she ran away. In fact, just days after her disappearance, Ebby's best friend Kailey Foley and her mother Margie Foley went to the park where her car was found to see if they could find any clues themselves. Margie said she was immediately hit with the smell of decomposition coming from a drainage pipe at the park, so she called the police. Police brushed her off, claiming that it was likely a dead animal. However, nearly three years later, in May 2018, Ebby's remains were found in that very drainage pipe. She had been murdered, and her remains had likely been in that location since her disappearance. No suspects have been arrested and the investigation into her death is ongoing; but at this point, it is quite clear that Ebby was not a runaway after all. [read more]

3. Alycia Mesiti

Alycia Mesiti was reported missing on August 14th, 2006. The 14 year-old was living with her father Mark Mesiti at his home in Ceres, California at the time of her disappearance. The day Alycia was reported missing, Mark's girlfriend Shelly Walker traveled from Los Angeles to Ceres to visit them. Shelly originally planned to pick Alycia up from a relative's house in San Jose on her way to Ceres, but she told by Mark to come straight to Ceres instead. When Shelly questioned Alycia's absence, Mark said that she ran away. Shelly subsequently went to the Ceres Police Department and reported Alycia missing as a runaway. In an initial investigation, detectives stated that they did not find any evidence of foul play and they, too, believed Alycia had run away.

Mark was eventually evicted from his Ceres home, so he moved to Los Angeles with Shelly. Alycia remained missing, and as time passed, the circumstances surrounding her disappearance seemed more and more suspicious. A year before Alycia vanished, a Santa Clara County court found her mother unfit to raise them as she struggled with depression. This left Alycia and her brother in custody of their father, even though he had a criminal record for various offenses such as domestic violence and drunk driving. Three years after Alycia's disappearance, in 2009, investigators brought cadaver dogs to Mark's old home in Ceres. After getting a hit, investigators dug up the backyard and found human remains. Those remains were eventually identified as that of Alycia Mesiti. Despite being classified as a runaway, it appears that Alycia never actually left home. 

Alycia died of acute drug intoxication--she had a combination of 8 different drugs in her system. After this determination, police went to Mark and Shelly's home in Los Angeles, only to find that they were running a meth lab in their home where children were living. They were both arrested and charged with child endangerment. Meanwhile, the investigation into Alycia's death continued, and detectives found numerous pornographic images and videos of minor children--including Alycia--on Mark's computer. From there, detectives came up with the motive of Alycia's death: Mark had given Alycia this toxic combination of drugs to prevent her from resisting his abuse. In 2017, Mark sentenced to life in prison without parole. [read more]

2. Kayla Reed

Kayla Reed was only 15 years-old when she vanished from her family's home in Livermore, California on December 2nd, 2005. Her mother, Angel Sheets, reported Kayla missing three days later--but she told police that Kayla was a habitual runaway and that she believed Kayla had plans to sneak out on the evening of December 2nd. Due to this, police classified Kayla as a runaway, and they initially explored a theory that she might have ran off with a person she met online. This theory never panned out, as detectives could not find any evidence that Kayla was corresponding online with somebody she did not know. 

The investigation into Kayla's disappearance took an unexpected turn on January 10th, 2006, when Kayla's body was found floating in the Delta Mendota Canal. The autopsy was unable to determine an exact cause of death, however it was clear that the manner of death was murder. Additionally, the autopsy determined that Kayla had been dead for over a month by the time she was found...which was the same amount of time she had been missing. At this point, investigators began to question the runaway story that Kayla's mother Angel had told them.

About a year an a half after her body was found, investigators announced that Angel is actually a person of interest in Kayla's murder. Angel's friend, Dennis Murphy, is a person of interest as well. Both were reportedly using meth at Angel's home the night Kayla vanished--and they both tell different stories about what exactly happened that night. Still, neither of them have been charged with anything related to Kayla's death. Her murder remains unsolved today. [read more]

1. Megan Nichols

Megan Nichols (15) disappeared from her home in Fairfield, Illinois on July 3rd, 2014. In the months prior to her disappearance, Megan had been at odds with her mother, Kathy Jo. Megan had apparently been seeing an older guy behind her parents’ back, and Kathy Jo had taken away Megan’s phone after finding out that Megan had been texting him. However, according to Kathy Jo, Megan and her were in a much better place in July of 2014. Megan had her phone back, but was apparently no longer in contact with the older boyfriend. On the morning of July  3rd, Kathy Jo and Megan planned to run errands together, but Megan stayed back after claiming that she wasn’t feeling well. Kathy Jo said that when she returned from the errands an hour later, Megan was gone. She left her phone in her bedroom—which had been completely reset—and a note for her mother that said, “I love you, but I will never be happy here. Don’t look for me.”

Over the next three years, there were many searches for Megan in Fairfield and many other surrounding areas that turned up nothing. Police initially classified Megan as a runaway, but changed her status to endangered missing after years went by without any trace of Megan.

Finally, on December 26th, 2017, remains were found in a wooded area in Wayne County, Illinois. A month later, those remains were confirmed to be Megan’s. Despite the belief that Megan had runaway, it is likely that she never left the Wayne County area. 

In 2020, Brodey Murbarger was arrested for Megan's murder. His case is pending. 

For further reading...

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Timeline Series: The Murder of Lauren McCluskey

Lauren McCluskey (21)

Lauren McCluskey was murdered by her ex-boyfriend Melvin Rowland (37) on October 22nd, 2018. The University of Utah student and track-and-field athlete only dated Melvin for about a month, until Lauren found out that Melvin had a plethora of secrets he had kept from her. This case is on the List Series post about break-up violence and a longer write-up about the case can be found here. Below, an extensive timeline is provided.

September 2nd, 2018: Lauren meets Melvin Rowland--who tells her his name is Shawn--at a bar in Salt Lake City, where Melvin worked as a bouncer. The two immediately hit it off and become a couple within days of dating.

Melvin Rowland

September 2018: As their relationship progresses, Melvin begins to frequently visit Lauren at her residence hall on the University of Utah campus and he starts forming friendships with Lauren's friends and other students around campus.

The University of Utah campus, where Lauren was enrolled as a student

September 30th, 2018: Two of Lauren's friends speak with their dorm building's RA to report that they are concerned about Lauren dating a man who was much older than he said he was, and that he was trying to control her.

October 2nd, 2018: A housing report is submitted regarding the concerns about Lauren.

Redacted housing report 

October 2nd-9th, 2018: At some point throughout the reports, Lauren finds out that Melvin is unfortunately not the person she thought he was. She learned that Melvin lied about his age and his prior felony convictions for forcible attempted sexual assault and enticing a minor. Lauren decides to end her relationship with Melvin as a result.

Melvin Rowland mugshot

October 9th, 2018: Lauren invites Melvin to her dorm building so she can end her relationship with him. She confronted him with the information she learned, and he reportedly admitted to being a sex offender but denied that he was 37 years old. Despite ending the relationship, Lauren allows Melvin to spend the night in her dorm room and agrees to let him borrow her car the following day.

October 10th, 2018: Lauren's mother calls the university's campus security and asks an officer to escort Lauren to retrieve her car from Melvin. Campus security contacts Lauren, who declines their assistance. She tells them that Melvin was going to drop her car off at her building and she was comfortable with him doing so. Around 5pm, though, Lauren contacts campus security and tells them that her car had been dropped off at the Rice-Eccles stadium and she needed somebody to escort her to pick it up. A security officer later picks her up and takes her to get her car.

October 12th, 2018: Lauren contacts campus police to report that she was receiving text messages that stated Melvin was dead, and that it was her fault. She explains that she was able to verify via social media that the messages were untrue; but she still felt that Melvin's friends were trying to lure her out of her dorm.

Excerpt from the incident report (kslnewsradio.com)

October 13th, 2018: Lauren contacts campus police again and tells them that she was receiving text messages from someone threatening to post explicit pictures of her and Melvin together unless she paid them $1000. She ended up wiring the money before she went to Public Safety building to file an official complaint.

Another excerpt from the incident report

October 19th, 2018: A campus police detective contacts Lauren to talk about the extortion investigation. She tells the detective that she believes Melvin was the person trying to extort her. She had recently received more threatening voicemails, and she had recognized Melvin's voice. The detective explains to her that subpoenas would need to be field and that the process would take some time. 

That same day, Lauren later called Salt Lake City police to express concern that campus police were not moving fast enough on her case.

October 22nd, 2018 10:39am: Lauren e-mails detectives stating that she had received texts from a person claiming to be Deputy Chief Rick McLenon, asking her to meet him at a police station. Police confirmed that the messages were fake.

October 22nd, 2018 8:20pm: Lauren is on the phone with her mother as she is walking to a night class when she is confronted by Melvin in the parking lot. He grabbed her, causing Lauren to drop all of her personal belongings, and dragged her to a nearby car. Once Melvin forced Lauren inside the car, he drove away and then he shot her multiple times in the head, killing her. 

Residence hall where Lauren resided

October 22nd, 2018 8:23pm: Lauren's father calls police dispatch and explains that he believes his daughter is in danger.

October 22nd, 2018 8:32pm: Officers arrive at Lauren's dorm building and find her belongings scattered across the parking lot. Back-up is called, and a search for Lauren in the dorm building and surrounding areas is begun. 

October 22nd, 2018 8:38pm: Melvin calls an acquaintance he met on a dating site and asks her to come pick him up at the campus. The two went to dinner together before returning to the woman's home where Melvin took a shower. Afterwards, she dropped him off at a coffee shop. 

October 22nd, 2018 9:55pm: Police find Lauren's body in a car on campus. 

October 22nd, 2018 9:56pm: A secure-in-place alert was set on campus. News about Lauren's shooting death begins to circulate. 

October 22nd, 2018 10:09pm: A description of the suspect is released. The woman who picked Melvin up on campus sees news reports about the shooting and calls the police.

October 22nd, 2018 11:46pm: The secure-in-place alert is lifted after it was determined Melvin had left the campus.

October 23rd, 2018 12:46pm: Police spot Melvin and pursue him on foot. He runs into Trinity AME Church and fatally shoots himself. 

Church where Melvin Rowland shot himself while running from police

Police were unfortunately never able to charge Melvin for Lauren's murder. Many people feel that the police failed to protect Lauren. In a written statement, her parents said, “There were numerous opportunities to protect her during the almost two weeks between the time when our daughter began expressing repeated, elevating, and persistent concerns about her situation and the time of her murder.”

It's an unfortunate reality that many women are required take extra safety precautions in order to protect themselves from predators--even in places where they normally feel safe. Self defense kits and other resources are available here.

Friday, April 26, 2019

List Series: Unsolved Mysteries & Suspicious Phone Calls

Modern technology plays a large role in solving today's crimes. GPS devices can aide in searches for missing people. Cell phone records can help pinpoint a missing person's last location or help identify a murder suspect. However, technology can also add a layer of eeriness to certain cases, especially those cases that remain unsolved. There are several unsolved mysteries in which phone calls were made or received--either to 911 or to/from a person close to the mystery--that have led to more confusion than answers in most cases. Below is a list of 10 cases including suspicious phone calls.

10. Brandon Bankhead
“We got your son, we got him in a closet tied up, and we getting ready to kill him.”

Brandon Bankhead (19) vanished after attending his great-grandmother’s funeral on May 28th, 2016. The funeral was held at Life Center International Church in St. Louis, Missouri. Once the service ended, Brandon was seen getting into a vehicle with some friends. He has never been seen or heard from again.

Brandon’s family members did not recognize the friends he left the service with, and they believe that foul play is responsible for his disappearance. A few weeks after he vanished, Brandon’s mother received a threatening phone call stating that her son was being held captive in a vacant home in Walnut Park, and he was going to be killed. According to Brandon’s grandmother, the caller said, “We got your son, we got him in a closet tied up, and we getting ready to kill him.” The call has never been traced and it is unclear if the family and/or investigators believe the call was authentic. Police have not made any arrests or announced any persons if interest in Brandon's case. He remains missing today. [read more]

9. Heather Cameron
Heather called 911 3 times, saying she had been drugged with heroin and needed assistance... then she vanished without a trace.

Heather Cameron (28) mysteriously vanished after placing three frantic calls to 911 on August 18th, 2012. She was seen in the company of her ex-boyfriend, Daniel Lusby, that afternoon. Heather told her family members that she and Daniel were going to Keswick Dam, a remote area located approximately 20 miles away from her home in Redding, California. Around 2:50pm that afternoon, Heather called 911 three times from Daniel’s phone. She told police that she had been drugged with heroin and needed assistance. An extensive search was launched in that area, but no signs of Heather or any sort of suspicious activity were found.

Daniel has inevitably been questioned numerous times in Heather's case. When investigators asked why Heather had called 911 from his phone, Daniel told them that she took his phone from him, walked off, and never returned. That phone has never been recovered. Police still consider Daniel to be the primary person of interest in Heather’s disappearance. According to Shasta County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Brian Jackson, “he is still a person of interest and this case is still open..there is still information we are trying to corroborate.” Still, Heather remains missing today and no arrests have been made in her case. [read more]

8. Lauren Elizabeth Thompson

Lauren called the police and told them she thought someone was chasing her through the woods...but when officers showed up on the scene, she was nowhere to be found.

Lauren Elizabeth Thompson (32) vanished after making a 911 call to Panola County dispatchers in Texas. Minutes before calling 911, Lauren was driving with a male friend when she ran her car off the road, leaving it stuck in the mud. The male friend said that he began walking towards his house to get another car at that point, while Lauren took off running into the woods. She then made the 911 call and told dispatchers that she was running through the woods and she thought somebody was chasing her. Dispatchers stayed on the phone with Lauren for over 20 minutes before the call eventually cut off. Officers immediately went to the scene, where they found Lauren's car stuck in the mud, but there was no sign of Lauren anywhere. A massive search for her was immediately launched. Over 2000 acres of the wooded area were searched on foot, and then drones were used to search over 9000 acres of the wooded area. The only piece of evidence found was a shoe, which was later confirmed to belong to Lauren. No other trace of her has been found and her disappearance remains unsolved today. [read more]

7. Ivory Green

A relative called Ivory's mother to tell her he knew why Ivory was missing...but before he could explain, he was shot 3 times and the phone line went dead.

Ivory Green (17) vanished in Utica, New York on March 6th, 2004. The teen was a habitual runaway and investigators classified her case as such when she was first reported missing. However, two months after she vanished, Ivory’s mother received a phone call from a distant relative named Plummer Reed Jr., who said that he knew why Ivory was missing and he wanted to share what happened. But before he could, he was shot three times and the phone line went dead. Plummer’s cousin, Benji Reed, was later arrested for attempted murder, and another man was arrested for supplying Benji with the gun. Plummer survived the shooting, but ever since he has denied knowing any information about Ivory’s disappearance. Ivory remains missing today and foul play is suspected to be involved in her disappearance. [read more]

6. Beatriz Espinoza

After Beatriz's disappearance, one of her friends received a phone call from an unidentified man in Mexico who stated that Beatriz owed him money... and he wanted to collect. 

Beatriz Espinoza (25) vanished under suspicious circumstances in Norcross, Georgia on March 24th, 2017. That day, Beatriz called her sister, who was watching Beatriz's older son. Beatriz told her sister that her younger three year-old son was sick and that she was coming to pick up her older son soon. Beatriz never showed up to pick up her son and has never been seen or heard from again. The following day, Beatriz's three year-old son was found wandering around by himself at a shopping center near their home.  After Beatriz's family learned she did not show up for work the previous evening, they had a welfare check done at Beatriz's home. Her car was parked in its normal spot, and nothing seemed out of the ordinary at her apartment. However, a family friend told police that Beatriz’s three year-old son’s backpack, which was found in Beatriz’s car, contained bags of methamphetamine and marijuana. This lead many to fear that drugs might’ve played a role in Beatriz’s disappearance. The same friend also reportedly received a phone call from an unidentified man in Mexico, who said that Beatriz owed him $30,000 and he wanted it back. This call has never been traced and it is unclear if investigators believe it is relevant in Beatriz's disappearance.

A few months after Beatriz's disappearance, a man walking his dogs in Clayton County found two bodies in a wooded area. For nearly two years, it was unclear if the bodies were connected to Beatriz's disappearance. Initially, it did not appear as such--since Clayton County is miles away from where Beatriz vanished in Gwinnett County. However, in June 2019, one of the sets of remains was confirmed to be that of Beatriz Espinoza. Authorities also confirmed that Beatriz was a victim of homicide. The second set of remains is still unidentified and it is unclear (at this time) if the two cases are connected. Authorities are continuing to investigate both deaths. [read more]

                                   5. Alyssa McLemore
"A woman was screaming for help, but the line went dead just moments later."

Alyssa McLemore (21) seemingly vanished into thin air on April 9th, 2009. Around the same time Alyssa vanished, her mother was unfortunately dying of scleroderma. On the evening Alyssa was last seen, she spoke on the phone with her grandmother, who asked her to come to their Kent, Washington home because her mother's condition had worsened. Alyssa promised her grandmother she'd be there, but she never showed up and was never seen or heard from again. Alyssa's mother unfortunately passed away three days later. After Alyssa's family members were unable to get ahold of her to tell her about her mother's passing, she was reported missing. 

Throughout the investigation, detectives learned that Alyssa’s phone called 911 on the evening of April 10th—a day after she was last seen. The dispatcher allegedly heard a woman asking for help, but the line went dead shortly thereafter. Unfortunately, the phone did not have a GPS and the call could not be placed, however authorities believe that it came from the Kent area. 

There were numerous unconfirmed sightings of Alyssa after her disappearance, but none of them have been substantiated. She remains missing today. [read more]

4. Ashley Summers

"It's me, mom...I'm okay."

Ashley Summers (14) vanished after leaving a relative's house in Cleveland, Ohio on July 6th, 2007. She spent that day at a pool party with family members, and then left at some point in the afternoon after announcing that she was walking to her aunt's house. Ashley's aunt only lived a few blocks away, but Ashley never arrived and has never been seen or heard from again. Police initially believed Ashley to be a runaway; at the time of her disappearance, she was often at odds with her both mother and great-uncle. Ashley's mother disapproved of Ashley's boyfriend, and Ashley herself disapproved of her mother's boyfriend. After one particularly nasty fight, Ashley decided to move in with her great-uncle Kevin. Unfortunately, at the time of Ashley's disappearance, Kevin and Ashley were not on the best of terms, either. In fact, they got into an argument that resulted in Kevin smashing Ashley's phone the night before she vanished. 

About a month after Ashley disappeared, her mother received a very quick phone call saying “it’s me, mom, I’m okay.” That call was never traced, but due to the runaway theory, it seemed potentially credible at first. However, as time has passed without any trace of Ashley, her mother is less inclined to believe the call came from Ashley herself. After years went by without any trace of Ashley, she was eventually reclassified as an endangered missing child. Around this time, police were beginning to question if there was a serial offender in the area. Ashley disappeared very close to West Lorain Avenue–the same street from where Amanda Berry disappeared in 2003, and Gina DeJesus in 2004. When those two girls, along with Michelle Knight, were eventually rescued from Ariel Castro’s home on Seymour Avenue in 2013, there was speculation that Castro may have been involved in Ashley’s disappearance as well. However, while investigating Castro’s case, investigators were ultimately unable to find evidence of any other victims. Ashley's case remains unsolved today. [read more]

                                       3. Cheyann Klus

After being missing for 12 days, Cheyann Klus' phone mysteriously called 911.

Cheyann Klus (22) has been missing since December 1st, 2017. She was last seen at the home of Brian Biddle (38) in Downer's Grove, Illinois. Cheyann and Brian had recently started seeing each other, and both enjoyed drugs and alcohol. After spending about a day-and-a-half partying at Brian's house, Cheyann began texting a friend around 2am asking to be picked up. When the friend finally saw the messages and tried to call Cheyann back, she did not answer. Cheyann's friend later got in touch with Brian, who said that he slept for 18 hours and when he woke up, Cheyann was gone. 

After days passed without any sign of Cheyann, her family knew something was wrong. Cheyann hadn’t updated any of her social media accounts, which was quite uncharacteristic of her. It was also unusual for her to be out of touch with her family and friends. Then, 12 days after Cheyann vanished, a phone call to 911 was made from her phone. The caller hung up before the operator could say anything. It is still unclear if Cheyann herself made the call, or if it was somebody else in possession of her phone. The call pinged off a tower near Mallard Lake Forest Preserve, located around 20 miles away from Cheyann and Brian’s respective homes. That area was searched, but it is unclear if anything significant was found. Cheyann remains missing today. [read more]

2. Jennifer Apreciado
During her walk to the bus stop, Jennifer called her boyfriend and said she’d noticed a car slowly circling the block, and she was frightened.

17 year-old Jennifer Apreciado vanished after leaving her boyfriend’s house in San Antonio, Texas on October 26th, 2006. She left his house on foot around 3pm, en route to a nearby bus stop where she planned to catch a bus home. During her walk to the bus stop, Jennifer called her boyfriend and said she’d noticed a car slowly circling the block, and she was frightened. She did not describe the appearance of the vehicle or the driver during that phone call. An hour later, Jennifer’s boyfriend tried calling her back to make sure she made it home. Another woman answered the phone and said she had found the phone on the ground on the street near the bus stop. It was later revealed that Jennifer never got on the bus as planned. She has never been seen or heard from again [read more]

1. LaQuanta Riley
"Leave me alone" / "Let me go home"

18 year-old LaQuanta Riley was last seen by her family at their Montgomery, Alabama home on December 7th, 2003. LaQuanta’s last encounter with her family was very brief; she arrived at the family’s home around 11:30pm to get a jacket, then left immediately after that. During the short amount of time she was inside the house, LaQuanta’s brother noticed that she had been driven there by a person in a dark green car that he did not recognize. When he asked her who the driver of the car was, LaQuanta simply replied that the driver was her friend. After retrieving her jacket, LaQuanta returned to the dark green car and was driven away. She never returned home after that.

About a week later, LaQuanta’s mother received a voicemail that she believes was from her missing daughter. The message was not clear, but it sounded as if the caller said either “leave me alone,” or “let me go home.” Also in the voicemail, a man’s voice is heard in the background saying LaQuanta’s name. The call disconnected after that. To this day, that call has still never been traced. LaQuanta remains missing today. [read more]

For further info..
Ashley Summers' case is featured on ID Channel's 'Disappeared'--available here on Amazon Prime.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

The Disappearance of Alexandria 'Ali' Lowitzer

Alexandria ‘Ali’ Lowitzer was only 16 years old when she vanished on April 26th, 2010.  She disappeared shortly after exiting the school bus around 2:45pm. The bus stop where Ali was dropped off is only a few houses away from her family’s Spring, Texas home, but on that particular day, she did not go straight home after getting off the bus. Instead, Ali called her mother Jo Ann to let her know that she would be walking to her workplace, Burger Barn, to pick up her paycheck. That phone call was the last interaction Jo Ann has had with her daughter—Ali never returned home after that. According to the owner of Burger Barn, Ibrahim Banat, Ali never showed up at the restaurant to pick up her paycheck either. She was subsequently reported missing the next day.

Since Ali’s disappearance, the bus stop and the route to Burger Barn have been thoroughly searched. According to Ali’s mother, those searches did not yield any clues, evidence of foul play or even any of Ali’s personal belongings. Investigators also interviewed Ibrahim and the other employees at Burger Barn, despite the fact that Ibrahim said Ali never showed up that day. Law enforcement has never shared any concerns regarding the restaurant in relation to Ali’s disappearance.

Still, there are some remaining questions about Burger Barn. Jo Ann elaborated on this on a webpage set up for Ali, by stating: “we by no means insinuate or accuse anyone of anything, however, rather than embrace the family and law enforcement, the owner [of Burger Barn] was very uncooperative. One would think that the owner and manager of an establishment where an employee, especially a child comes up missing, would be open, cooperative and willing to help anyway they can. This is not what our family experienced. We, along with our private investigator have been avoided, ignored and quickly dismissed.” Ali’s family has maintained that they don’t necessarily disbelieve that Ali never showed up at Burger Barn that afternoon, but the lack of cooperation from the restaurant has inevitably made them question if there is more to the story.

The Lowitzer family and their aforementioned private investigator Amber Cammack have explored many different theories about what may have happened to Ali. In 2014, Amber reported about a sex trafficking theory. She had apparently gotten in contact with someone who thought that they saw Ali working as a prostitute against her will in Columbus, Ohio. While this lead seemed credible, after it was investigated, it turned out that the girl in question was not Ali. More recently, Amber stated that she found evidence that Ali might’ve lied to her mother about going to Burger Barn that afternoon; instead, she may have been meeting up with an older guy. However, many online sleuths and bloggers have questioned Amber’s credibility and have warned others to take what she says with a grain of salt.

Ali’s case is still open and being investigated. If you have any information about her whereabouts, please click here to report it.

Ali's case is featured on the Investigation Discovery series 'Disappeared'. The show is available here on Amazon prime.


List Series: 5 Horrific Cases of Dismemberment

As per request, I have compiled a list of cases that involve dismemberment of the victim. Some of these cases are resolved, some are unsolved, and some are pending--but all of the crimes are horrific. Below is a list of 5 of these tragic cases.

5. Justin Barnett
Justin Barnett (right), Tricia Abney (left)
Justin Barnett (23) was murdered in a robbery-gone-bad by Tricia Abney and her boyfriend Jeff Martin. On the evening of June 3rd, 1995, Tricia and Jeff lured Justin to their Birmingham, Alabama apartment with the intention of stealing from him. When things went awry, Tricia and Jeff ended up stabbing Justin to death before dragging his body to their bathroom and dismembering him. In the midst of the dismemberment, Tricia's 18 year-old brother Johnathan Abney entered Tricia and Jeff's apartment and saw Justin's body parts scattered across the bathroom floor. The couple then enlisted Johnathan's help in disposing of the body in Bibb County. 

Justin was reported missing by his loved ones, but his case quickly went cold. Then, in January 2015, Johnathan found himself overcome with guilt. He went to the police and told them that he had a secret he could no longer live with--and it involved a murder that occurred 20 years earlier. Johnathan then explained to police the details of Justin's murder and disposal. He told police where the remains could be found, but unfortunately police were unable to recover them. Johnathan continued to work with the police for 5 months before police finally received warrants of Jeff and Tricia's arrests in June 2015. Tricia was taken into custody first, and Jeff shot and killed himself shortly after Tricia's arrest.  Johnathan himself was given immunity due to his cooperation with investigators.

Tricia went to trial in 2017. She was found guilty and given a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. [read more]

4. Carly 'Charli' Scott
Charli Scott (left), Steven Capobianco (right)
Charli Scott (27) was murdered by her ex-boyfriend Steven Capobianco (24) on February 9th, 2014. At the time, Charli was pregnant with Steven's child--even though the couple had broken up and Steven was dating another woman. Steven did not want children and he begged Charli to get an abortion, but she wanted to keep the child and was excited about being a mother.

On the evening of February 9th, Steven asked Charli to come assist him with his vehicle, which he claimed had gotten stuck in a ditch along Hana Highway in Hawaii. Charli drove out there to help him, and at some point, he got inside Charli's vehicle. Equipped with a knife, Steven stabbed Charli 20 times in the stomach. Then, he dismembered her jaw disposed of it in the woods. Charli was reported missing by her family members on February 10th, 2014. Three days later, while searching, Charli's sister found her bloodstained clothes in a wooded area near Nua'ailua Bay. This prompted a massive search by detectives, during which Charli's jawbone was found. It had been broken in half. The rest of her body has never been recovered. 

Months later, in July 2014, Steven was arrested and charged with Charli's murder. He pleaded not guilty but was ultimately found guilty of all charges. He remains behind bars today. [read more]

3. Alexandra 'Alex' Anaya

Alexandra (Alex) Anaya was only 13 years-old when she was brutally murdered in August 2005. The teen vanished from her family’s Hammond, Indiana home on August 13th. Just three days later, Alex’s torso was found floating in Little Calumet River in Chicago. She had been dismembered, and the rest of her body has never been recovered.

No arrests have ever been made for Alex’s death. Her mother’s ex-boyfriend was tried in federal court shortly after Alex’s disappearance on charges of stalking the family, but he was eventually acquitted. He has never been named as a suspect in Alex’s case. However, investigators do believe that Alex knew her killer. The FBI has taken over the investigation into Alex's murder, which remains unsolved today. [read more]

2. Sydney Loofe
Sydney Loofe (pictured left), Bailey Boswell (top right) and Aubrey Trail (top right)
Sydney Loofe (24) met Bailey Boswell (23) on Tinder in November 2017. The two girls agreed to meet up for a date, which Sydney thought went very well. The two arranged to meet up for a second date on November 15th, 2017. Unbeknownst to Sydney, Bailey was already in a long-term relationship with an older man named Aubrey Trail (53), whom she lived with at their home in Lincoln, Nebraska. 

Sydney never returned home from her second date with Bailey and was reported missing the following day. Police quickly identified Bailey and Aubrey as persons of interest in the case, however they continuously denied having anything to do with Sydney's disappearance. When police showed up at their house to question them, they were nowhere to be found. Through a series of Facebook videos, it was revealed that Bailey and Aubrey were on the run from the police because they had warrants out for their arrests on unrelated charges. They eventually turned themselves in and were arrested for the unrelated charges. Just days later, Sydney's dismembered body was found in a rural area of Clay County, Nebraska. 

Months later, on June 11th, 2018, Bailey and Aubrey were charged with first-degree murder and improper disposal of human skeletal remains in the killing of Sydney Loofe. It was then that even more evidence of the couple’s guilt was revealed. According to court documents, Sydney and Bailey met for their first date on November 14th, 2017. At the end of that date, they decided to meet up the following night for a second date. Around 10:35am the following day, hours before the planned second date, Bailey and Aubrey were captured by surveillance footage at Home Depot purchasing the tools and supplies believed to have been used in the dismemberment and disposal of Sydney. This particular clue indicates that the killing was premeditated, because Sydney was still alive at the time the purchase was made. Both Bailey and Aubrey remain behind bars as their cases are pending. [read more]

1. Becky Watts
Becky Watts (pictured left), Nathan Matthews (top right) and Shauna Hoare (bottom right)
Becky Watts (16) was murdered inside her family's Bristol, England home on February 19th, 2015. Becky's murderer was her stepbrother, Nathan Matthews (28). On the day she was killed, Nathan entered the Watts home with his long-term girlfriend Shauna Hoare (21). Nathan and Shauna both shared inappropriate fantasies that centered around teenage girls. Prosecutors believe that Nathan entered Becky's bedroom with the intention of kidnapping her so he and Shauna could fulfill their sick fantasies. However, things did not go according to plan. Matthew slipped into Becky's bedroom that day wearing a mask. He put tape over her mouth and then struggled to get her inside a suitcase so he could transport her out of the house. While Becky fought back, Nathan put his hands our her neck, restricting her breathing. At some point, Nathan checked for a pulse, and realized Becky was dead. He placed her body in the suitcase and then put it in the trunk of his car.

Back at the home he shared with Shauna, Nathan dismembered his stepsister's body using a knife and a saw. He then put her body parts into different bags and disposed of her in multiple different places. Police eventually found her remains and both Nathan and Shauna were arrested for Becky's murder and improper disposal of a corpse. Shauna claimed she had no knowledge of the event, though prosecutors believe she helped plan the kidnapping and assisted with her disposal. 

Nathan was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum of 33 years. Shauna was sentenced to 17 years. [read more[The Evil Within

The Disappearance and Death of Danielle Griffith

image source The morning of May 17th, 2019 began as a fairly typical day in the town Tumwater, Washington. It was a partly cloudy day, and ...