Thursday, June 13, 2019

List Series: Disappearances with Reporting Gaps

The first 72 hours of a missing persons case is the most critical time of the investigation. During the early stages of investigation, authorities have a better chance of preserving evidence and chasing down leads. If a person waits weeks or even days to reported a loved one missing, the chances of locating that person or finding evidence diminishes significantly. Below is a list of 6 cases with a gap between the time they were last seen and the time they were reported missing. All of these cases remain unsolved today.

6. The Disappearance of Bethany Decker
(reported missing 21 days after she was last seen)
Image result for bethany decker

Bethany Decker vanished from her home in Ashburn, Virginia on January 29th, 2011. The 21 year-old was five months pregnant with her second child at the time. Her first child lived with her parents, so Bethany was able to attend school full time and also work full time. Due to her busy schedule, it was normal for Bethany’s family members to not hear from her for weeks at a time. However, on February 19th, 2011, Bethany’s friends contacted her grandmother and said that they were receiving strange messages from Bethany’s Facebook account that they did not believe were coming from Bethany herself. Bethany’s grandmother then drove over to her apartment to check on her, and found her car parked in its usual spot with a flat tire. After knocks to Bethany’s door went unanswered, her grandmother reported her missing.

Once police began investigating, it was revealed that Bethany had not used her bank accounts or cell phone since January 29th, nor had she reported to work or attended her classes. She was missing for an entire 21 days before her family was able to file a missing persons report. Police determined that the last person to see Bethany that day was her boyfriend, Ronald Roldon. Ronald told police that he went over to Bethany’s apartment on the afternoon of January 29th, but then left a few hours later and never saw Bethany again. Bethany’s family members have never believed his story, as they felt that Bethany was being abused by him. Ronald is currently behind bars for assaulting another girlfriend. In 2020, Ronald was arrested and charged with Bethany's abduction. Those charges are pending. [read more

5. The Disappearance of Stevencia Barlatier
(reported missing over a month after she was last seen)

Stevencia Barlatier (21) was eight months pregnant when she vanished without a trace on November 26th, 2017. She was last seen leaving a hospital for women and babies near her home in Orlando, Florida. Stevencia was never seen or heard from again. Her family members were initially not too concerned when they did not hear from her, as it was not uncommon for her drop out of sight for periods of time. However, Stevencia did not show up for the holiday season and her family did not hear anything about her giving birth--which she was due to do in December 2017. When Stevencia’s family members did not hear from her by December 31st, they reported her missing. 

Stevencia was missing for over an entire month before police began investigating. Police learned that she had not used her cell phone or accessed any of her social media accounts since November 26th, 2017. It appeared that Stevencia's case had gone cold--as years passed without any updates. Then, in 2019, it was revealed that Stevencia's body had been found in a remote area located over 50 miles away from where she was last seen. Her death is being investigated as a homicide. [read more

4. The Disappearance of Megan Foglesong
(reported missing 3 months after she was last seen)

Megan Foglesong vanished from the small town of Alden, Kansas sometime in late November or early December 2015. According to family members, Megan lived a ‘spontaneous lifestyle’ and it was common for her to be out of touch every once in a while. Due to this, she was not reported missing until February 10th, 2016—over two months after she was last seen. 

Prior to vanishing, Megan was in a relationship with an older man named David Madden. The two had a very tumultuous relationship; Madden was both physically and emotionally abusive. In fact, Megan had previously told her friends that if she ever went missing, Madden would likely be the one responsible. Megan and Madden apparently broke up several times, but kept reconciling. It appeared that the two were together shortly before Megan’s disappearance. Megan’s last Facebook activity was on November 30th, 2015, when she messaged a friend and mentioned that she was at Madden’s house. The following day, Madden told a local sheriff that he caught Megan stealing from him and that they got into an argument and she left.

Another seemingly disturbing aspect about Megan and Madden’s relationship is that Madden was previously in a relationship with Megan’s mother, Pam Lewis. Madden apparently began to pursue Megan while he was still dating Pam. Despite this, Pam and Madden still seemed to be on friendly terms after their breakup. After Megan was finally reported missing, Madden told Pam that Megan left for Colorado with one of his friends. Pam does not think that Madden is responsible for Megan’s disappearance; she believes that his unidentified friend is to blame. [read more] [also on the 'Small Town Mysteries' list]

3. The Disappearance of Sylvia Galvan
(reported missing two years after she was last seen)

Sylvia Galvan vanished at the age of 30 on October 1st, 2011. The circumstances surrounding her disappearance are unclear, likely because Sylvia was estranged from both her parents and her children at the time she vanished. Due to this, it took a very long time for them to realize she was missing. In fact, Sylvia was not reported missing until 2013--over two years after she was last seen. 

Throughout the investigation, detectives learned that Sylvia was least seen in her hometown of Mount Morris, Michigan on October 1st, 2011. She was reportedly seen getting into a vehicle with a group of unidentified men. Sylvia has never been seen or heard from again. 

There are otherwise very few details available in Sylvia’s case, however authorities have announced that they believe Sylvia met with foul play. [read more]

2.The Disappearance and Death of Jeanette 'Jenny' Herum
(reported missing 2 years after she was last seen)

29 year-old Jeanette “Jenny” Herum gave birth to a baby boy at the Sutter Maternity and Surgery Center in Santa Cruz, California on November 22nd, 2012. Just a few hours after the birth, Jenny walked out of the hospital without her newborn baby and never returned. There is no known explanation as to why Jenny left the hospital, and she was never heard from again after that.

Despite the fact that Jenny vanished under seemingly suspicious circumstances, her family did not report her missing until 2014—two years after she was last seen. Her family said that they were initially not concerned when Jenny first came up missing; she had disappeared for stretches at a time in the past and they were used to going a long period of time without hearing from her. When Jenny was finally reported missing, authorities classified her as voluntarily missing. News about Jenny’s disappearance was not distributed to the media until 2015.

Months later, in early 2016, a couple taking a walk spotted human remains and notified the Santa Cruz sheriff’s office. In March 2017, the remains were identified as those of Jeanette Herum. Authorities are calling Jenny’s death suspicious, and it is still being actively investigated. [read more]

1. The Disappearance of Garnell Moore
(reported missing 3 years after he was last seen)

Garnell Moore was only 7 years-old when he vanished some time during August of 2002. Throughout Garnell’s entire life up until his disappearance, he bounced from relative to relative and never seemed to have a stable home. He was never raised by his biological parents—his mother had been in prison since his birth, and his father lived a transient lifestyle. Garnell spent his early years living with his paternal grandparents in Baltimore, Maryland. Then, when Garnell was 6 years-old, his paternal aunt Belinda Cash took him into her home located in a nearby Baltimore neighborhood. This living arrangement was very informal, as Belinda never sought legal custody of Garnell.

Garnell was last seen by one of his great aunts, Trina Morton, playing in Belinda’s front yard during August 2002. Trina was 9 months pregnant at the time. She arranged with Belinda to have Garnell come visit her the following weekend, but she went into labor and had to reschedule. When Trina tried to reschedule the following week, Belinda told her that it was an “inconvenient time” because she was in the process of moving to a new home. Garnell was never seen by any of his other relatives again after that. For unclear reasons, none of Garnell’s relatives noticed that he was missing until June of 2005; nearly 3 years after he was last seen. When they confronted Belinda about his whereabouts, she initially told them that he was on a school field trip to Virginia. However, Garnell was not enrolled in school—nor had he ever been in his life. Due to this, Garnell did not have any teachers or classmates who might’ve noticed his disappearance earlier. He also never had any contact with social services.

After learning that Belinda’s claim about Garnell being on a school trip was false, Garnell’s relatives called the police. When police interviewed Belinda, she said she dropped Garnell off at a social services building--however the address of the building she provided turned out to be fake. While investigators found it suspicious that Belinda lied to them, they were unable to find any trace of Garnell or a crime scene in the home that Belinda lived in during 2002. Due to this, Belinda has never been charged with anything related to his disappearance. Garnell remains missing today. [read more]

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