Saturday, October 26, 2019

The Murder of Kaylyn Whitaker

“ Kaylyn Whitaker (20) was shot to death inside her boyfriend’s Martinsville, Illinois home on October 31st, 2014. Her boyfriend Connor Scott told police that Kaylyn had shot herself in the head. When police arrived on the scene,...

Kaylyn Whitaker (20) was shot to death inside her boyfriend’s Martinsville, Illinois home on October 31st, 2014. Her boyfriend Connor Scott told police that Kaylyn had shot herself in the head. When police arrived on the scene, they found Kaylyn’s body with a gun in her hand. Her death was initially ruled a suicide

Later, after analyzing Kaylyn's wound, forensic experts doubted that Kaylyn could have shot herself based on spot the bullet entered her skull. Ten months after she was killed, Kaylyn’s death was reclassified as a homicide. Still, there were no arrests made in the case. Connor was an obvious suspect, but police did not charge him with anything at that time.

As years passed, Kaylyn’s family grew more and more frustrated with the lack of justice in her case. In December 2018, Kaylyn’s father told reporters “This is a homicide case, it has been since 2015 and nothing is being done about it and I am angry, very angry.” In the same interview, a detective working the case acknowledged that they were aware Connor Scott was in Kaylyn’s presence when she was shot, but he was not considered a suspect at the time.

Then, just two months later, on February 23rd, 2019, Connor walked into a Danville, Indiana police department and confessed to murdering Kaylyn back in 2014. It is unclear what drove him to confess, but authorities in Martinsville were contacted. They subsequently went to Danville to interview Connor. Afterwards, Connor was sent to Hendricks County Jail to await extradition back to Illinois. 

On February 27th, 2019, Connor was officially charged with Kaylyn’s murder. Despite confessing to the crime, he pleaded not guilty. However, months later, in October 2019, Connor accepted a plea deal and ultimately pleaded guilty. 

In exchange for pleading guilty, Connor was sentenced to 37 years in prison, rather than serving life. Kaylyn's family members were reportedly hoping that he would serve a longer sentenced, however they have stated that they have made peace with the decision.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

The Murders of Nehemiah “Neo” Kauffman & Sydney Land

20 year-old Nehemiah “Neo” Kauffman (pictured left) and 21 year-old Sydney Land (pictured right) were just beginning a new chapter in their lives together when they were tragically murdered in late October 2016. Prior to this, the two were in a happy relationship and had just moved into an apartment together in Las Vegas, Nevada. On October 27th, 2016, a friend of the couple grew worried after not hearing from Neo and Sydney for a few days. That friend went over to their apartment and made a grim discovery: Neo was dead on their living room floor, and Sydney was dead in their bedroom. Both had been shot to death. It was estimated that they had been dead for at least 24 hours at the time they were found.

Officers who first responded to the scene found no signs of forced entry into the apartment. A murder-suicide was also ruled out. It has been theorized that Neo may have been targeted due to his “associations” with drug dealers. One of said associations is a man named Shane Valentine, who had threatened the couple in the past. In fact, roughly 20 days before the murders, on October 8th, 2016, Valentine was accused of opening fire at Neo’s family home. Fortunately, nobody was injured during that incident. After the murders, Valentine was arrested on unrelated charges, but inevitably questioned about the case. Though many believe Valentine is responsible for Neo and Sydney’s murders, authorities announced about a year after their deaths that they currently do not believe Valentine is their prime suspect. However, he has not been completely ruled out. 

Sydney and Neo’s murders currently remain unsolved. Police are seeking any person with information that may lead to a break in the case. If you have any information that may help the investigation, please contact 702-385-5555.

The Murder of Ashley Ellerin

22 year-old Ashley Ellerin circa 2001
Ashley Ellerin was only 22 years old when she was savagely murdered inside her own home on February, 21st 2001. Prior to her death, Ashley was a dancer and a fashion student who lived in Los Angeles, California. Unfortunately, murders in Los Angeles are not uncommon, and the night Ashley was murdered also happened to be the night of the Grammys. Due to this, most of the media coverage in the following days, especially in Los Angeles, was focused on the award show. Additionally, there were an estimated 15,980 murders in the United States that year, which made it impossible for the media to extensively cover every single occurrence. Sadly, this means the public probably would have never heard about Ashley Ellerin’s tragic death if it weren’t for this one small detail: her boyfriend at the time of her death was famous Hollywood actor Ashton Kutcher. (pictured below)

Kutcher in 2001

Ashley and Ashton last spoke on the phone just hours before she was murdered. Ashley asked if she could attend the Grammy viewing party at Ashton’s friend’s house with him that night, but Ashton said no. He promised her that he’d come see her at her bungalow later after the show instead. Ashton told detectives that he left the viewing party around 10:45pm and called Ashley. She didn’t answer the phone, and Ashton thought she was ignoring him because she was annoyed that he didn’t invite her to the party. He then decided to drive to her house to try and sort of what he believed was an impending argument. When Ashton got there, all of the house lights were on, and Ashley’s car was parked in the driveway. He banged on the door, but there was no answer. Ashton then peered through a side window and saw what he thought to be red wine spilled on the floor. He thought that Ashley had gone to bed after having drinks, and decided to go home. Ashley’s body was discovered the following morning by her roommate, Justin Peterson. She was found slumped in the hallway by the bathroom, just out of view from the side of window that Ashton looked through. She had been stabbed 35 times.

Ashley’s friends immediately had a suspect in mind: air-conditioning repairman Michael Gargiulo (pictured below). Michael, who was 24 years old at the time, lived with his girlfriend in the same neighborhood as Ashley and Justin. He approached Ashley and Justin one day after seeing them sitting outside in front of their house and handed them his business card. After that, Ashley’s friends said that Michael began to show up fairly often. Ashley was kind to Michael and even invited him to a few parties at their bungalow, despite her friend’s growing concerns that Michael was obsessed with her. In fact, two months before Ashley’s murder, Justin noticed that Michael was parking his car outside of their bungalow at odd hours of the night. When Justin confronted him about it, Michael said that he FBI was after him in connection with a murder in Chicago. He said that the FBI wanted his DNA and he was hiding from them. Justin warned Ashley to stay away from Michael after this, but Ashley still brushed off any concerns about him.

Michael was inevitably a strong potential suspect very early into the investigation, but police did not have evidence to arrest him at that time. Seven years later, in 2008, Michael was arrested for the attempted murder of another young woman in his neighborhood: Michelle Murphy. Michael attacked the woman in her apartment, but Michelle was able to fight him off and identify him to authorities. It was then that investigators were finally able to obtain Michael’s DNA. Not only did that DNA match the DNA found on Ashley’s body, it also linked Michael to two other murders: 32 year-old Maria Bruno in 2005, and 18 year-old Tricia Pacaccio in 1993. Michael was 17 years old at the time of Tricia’s murder, and it believed that this case is the one that he was referring to when he told Justin he was hiding from the FBI. At this point, police knew they had a serial killer on their hands.

Michael is expected to go to trial for all three murders, plus the attempted murder, at some point in 2019. Though he has currently been charged with killing three women, it is believed that Michael has killed six other women whose murders are currently unsolved. His surviving victim, Michelle Murphy, is expected to testify at his trial. Ashton Kutcher is expected to testify as well. Michael is currently behind bars as he awaits his day in court.
UPDATE (8/15/19): Michael Gargiulo has been found guilty for the murders of Ashley Ellerin and Maria Bruno. The next phase of the trial will be the 'sanity phase', in which it will be determined whether or not Michael was sane at the time the attacks took place. Prosecutors are calling Michael a "thrill killer.
UPDATE (10/19/19): A jury has recommended the death penalty for Michael Gargiulo after being convicted of killing Ashley Ellerin in 2001 and Maria Bruno in 2005. About a week after he was found guilty back in August 2019, the same jury determined that Michael was, in fact, sane during the killings. During the sanity proceedings, the District Attorney acknowledged that Michael's behavior was not what might be considered "normal", but that "evil does not mean insane."Had he been found insane, he would have been sent to a facility rather than prison. Instead, this determination allowed the penalty phase of Michael's trial to proceed. 

Michael is still awaiting trial for the murder of Tricia Pacaccio. 

Sunday, October 13, 2019

The Disappearance of Darian Hudson

Darian Hudson has been missing since October 22nd, 2017. The then-23-year-old vanished in Stillwater, Oklahoma, but was in the process of moving back in with her parents in Wichita, Kansas shortly before she disappeared. Darian was spotted one final time on October 26th, 2017, near a wooded area at the intersection of Country Club and McElroy. She has never been seen or heard from again. She left her cell phone and other personal belongings behind, and she also has not been active on any of her social media accounts since then.

On December 4th, 2017, investigators searched the wooded area near where Darian was last seen. During this search, Darian’s hooded sweatshirt and wallet containing her credit cards and ID were found. Darian herself still remains missing and the Stillwater Police Department is investigating her disappearance. She did not have a vehicle and investigators have stated that she might have had a mental health crisis at the time of her disappearance.

If you have any information that could lead to Darian’s whereabouts, please contact the Stillwater Police Department at 405-742-8357.

The Murder of Jada Rankin

Jada Rankin was only 15 years old when she was shot and murdered in front of her grandmother’s Detroit, Michigan home on October 16th, 2016. Jada had spent that evening with her family, celebrating her brother’s birthday. She was standing outside her grandmother’s home with her family around 2am when a driver began speeding up and down the street. Jada’s brother shouted for the driver to slow down. The driver then opened his car door and began firing shots into the crowd. Jada was the only person hit—she was shot once in the abdomen.

Jada was quickly transferred Sinai Grace hospital, but she unfortunately passed away a short time later. Jada’s killer has never been identified and police do not have a good description of him. His vehicle is described as a “gray or silver sedan, possibly a mid-2000 Chevy Impala or Lumina.” It is unclear if police believe that Jada or her family members knew her killer. Her case is still actively being investigated.

There is a $13500 reward in place information that leads to the arrest of the person or persons responsible for Jada’s death. If you have any information that could help the investigation, please contact Crime Stoppers of Michigan at 1-800-SPEAKUP.


Saturday, October 12, 2019

The Murder of Jill Behrman

Jill Behrman murder: Here's a timeline of her case

Jill Behrman vanished at the age of 19 on May 31st, 2000. At the time, Jill was a student at Indiana University. On the day she vanished, Jill went for a bike ride in Bloomington and never returned home. Her family members were immediately worried and reported her missing very shortly thereafter. Just two days later, Jill's bicycle was found in a field north of town. From that point forward, it was believed that Jill had met with foul play. This sparked a extensive search for the young woman.

Unfortunately, the searches for Jill initially came up empty. Almost a year passed without any progress in the case. Then, in 2001, a woman named Wendy Owings came forward and stated she was in the car with another woman name Alisha Sowders and a man named Uriah Clouse when they hit Jill while driving around under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Wendy told authorities that Jill was not dead after she was hit, but they believed she significantly injured so the women decided to kill her. Wendy claimed they dumped Jill's body in a creek and then abandoned her bicycle on the other side of town. This confession seemed promising at first, as one of the three women lived nearby the location where Jill's bicycle was found.

Wendy's confession sparked yet another extensive search for Jill in the area where Wendy claimed she was dumped--but unfortunately nothing was found. Still, detectives continued to investigate this lead while prosecutors were considering pressing charges without a body. However, the case would soon take a few unexpected turns. 

From left to right: Wendy Owings, Alisha Sowders and Uriah Clouse

On March 9th, 2003, almost two years after Jill's disappearance, human remains were found in a remote area in Morgan County. Just days later, those remains were confirmed to be that of Jill Behrman. She was not found in the creek where Wendy claimed she had been dumped. An autopsy also revealed that Jill's injuries were not consistent with being struck by a vehicle. In fact, Jill had died of a gunshot wound to the back of her head. At that point, Wendy changed her story and denied her involvement in Jill's death. She was already incarcerated for an unrelated charge at the time she made the confession about Jill's death, so it was believed that Wendy was coerced into a false confession. She and Alisha were cleared of suspicion. However, Uriah Clouse remained a suspect. 

Clouse continuously denied his involvement in Jill's death, and eventually investigators closed in on another suspect: John Robert Myers II. Myers had reportedly made incriminating statements about the case to his friends and family members. In March 2006, a grand jury began an investigation into Jill's disappearance and death. About a month later, on April 9th, 2006, Myers was arrested and charged with Jill's murder. Little information was revealed about any direct evidence that linked Myers to the crime, and he pleaded not guilty to the charges.

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John Robert Myers II

In October 2006, Myers went to trial and was ultimately found guilty of Jill's murder. He was sentenced to 65 years in prison. Myers continued to deny his guilt after his conviction. Years later, in September 2019, a District Court judge in Indianapolis took another look at the case and ultimately decided to vacate the murder conviction against Myers. The decision came after it was deemed that Myers received "ineffective assistance of counsel" during his trial, which is a violation of Sixth Amendment rights. It was also determined that Myers' attorneys made inaccurate statements to the jury during opening statements.

After years of thinking justice had been served, Jill Behrman's family is back at square one. Jill's mother still believes Myers is responsible and hopes that the State will decide to retrial him.
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Friday, October 11, 2019

The Disappearance of Jael Hamblen

Jael Hamblen (20) and her infant son, Joel, pictured together in May 2014. At the time this picture taken, Jael and her son were living in Anchorage, Alaska with her roommate, Kendra White (32), and Kendra’s two children.
On the morning of October...
Jael Hamblen (20), and her infant son, Joel, pictured together in May 2014.

At the time this picture taken, Jael and her son were living in Anchorage, Alaska with her roommate, Kendra White (32), and Kendra’s two children.

On the morning of October 11th, 2014, Jael and Kendra left their children with Kendra’s mother for the weekend. Jael then spent the afternoon shopping with her best friend’s mother before meeting up with Kendra at TGI Friday’s for dinner. Lissa Lake, the woman who Jael went shopping with, said that Jael was in a great mood in the afternoon. However, according to Kendra, Jael’s mood had changed for the worse by the time they met for dinner. A guy she was interested in had let her know he wasn’t. Kendra suggested that Jael should go out and have fun to cheer herself up, but Jael ended up returning home after dinner. Kendra said that she last saw Jael return to her room after a shower at 10pm.

Around 10:30am on the following morning, Kendra texted Jael from her bedroom about going to a movie together. Jael did not reply. At noon, after her knocks went unanswered, Kendra entered Jael’s bedroom and found that it was empty. Kendra thought Jael had decided to go out the previous night and initially did not worry about her. At 2:02pm, Kendra texted the following the Jael: “Hey where are you? I didn’t even realize u left the house.” Once again, Jael did not reply. Kendra tried texting Jael once again at 3:45pm, stating: “I haven’t heard from you all day what’s the deal?” That text also went unanswered. Additionally, all calls to Jael’s phone went straight to voicemail. Sometime between 10pm on October 11th and 12pm on October 12th, Jael vanished without a trace. She was reported missing by her mother on October 14th, 2014.

Five months later, in March 2015, hikers found Jael’s purse buried in the snow along a trail in Chugiak, Alaska. Her social security card and cell phone were among the contents of the purse. Investigators say that it is unlikely that Jael placed the purse there herself, as the weather on the night she disappeared was below freezing, and she didn’t enjoy hiking. After analyzing Jael’s phone, investigators revealed that Jael never actually received the texts that Kendra sent her on the afternoon of October 12th. This means that the phone was shut off or the battery had died by the time the texts were sent. There has been no activity on Jael’s phone since the morning of October 12th.

Anchorage police are still investigating Jael’s case. If you have any information about her whereabouts, please report it here.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

The Murder of Kailee McMullen

During the early morning hours of June 29th, 2017, 43-year-old Ronald McMullen Jr. (pictured right) called 911 and frantically told dispatchers that his daughter, 22-year-old Kailee McMullen (pictured left), had been shot in the face. The 911 operator is heard asking Ronald, “did she do it?”, to which Ronald replied “Yes.”

Paramedics and police officers were sent to Ronald’s home located in Norman, Oklahoma. When asked what happened, Ronald told police that Kailee had been playing with a wheel gun that went off when he tried to take it from her. Ronald was covered in his daughter’s blood, but he kept trying to wipe it off with a towel in front of police. He eventually had to be restrained from wiping blood off as crime scene investigators took photographs of him. Ronald also exhibited other odd behavior in front of police—at one point, he began laying on the ground and covering himself with dirt. This all seemed very suspicious to officers, but Ronald maintained that Kailee’s death was an accident that she caused herself.

As police pieced together the events over the following few days, they noticed many inconsistencies in Ronald’s story. The gunpowder residue found on Kailee’s face indicated that the gun was fired from around 18 inches away from her face. If Kailee had fired the gun herself, it could not have been more than 14 inches away. Police have stated that it is likely that the gun was fired out of Kailee’s reach. Additionally, there was evidence that somebody had tried to clean up the scene before police arrived. Police were able to confirm that there was a gap of time between Kailee’s death and the time they were called, because Ronald reportedly called Kailee’s mother before calling 911. In fact, Kailee’s mother was already on the scene when paramedics arrived, attempting to administer CPR to her daughter.

Police also spoke to Kailee’s friends and family about her relationship with her father, and learned that they had a dark past. Many described him as a “very controlling father” with abusive tendencies. In 2009, Ronald was accused of sexually abusing Kailee. No charges were ever filed. In the months leading up to Kailee’s death, she told her friends that her father had begun sexually abusing her again. He also allegedly slapped her in the face during an argument two months before her death.

On July 5th, 2018, Ronald McMullen was arrested and charged with first-degree murder in connection with Kailee’s death. He pleaded not guilty and remains behind bars as he awaits trial.
UPDATE (October 2019): A jury has found Ronald McMullen guilty of murdering his daughter Kailee during June 2017. His fate is now in the hands of a judge, and he faces life imprisonment.

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Saturday, October 5, 2019

List Series: Disappeared in Distress

Missing persons' investigations often focus on the actions & behaviors of a person prior to their disappearance. Family members and close friends of the missing person are often interviewed during this process in order to provide insight into the missing person's mood and the events leading up to the disappearance. There are quite a few cases in which investigators learn that a person was in distress before disappearing, and oftentimes these individuals behaved quite uncharacteristically before vanishing without a trace. These cases are often quite daunting and lead to more questions than answers. Below is a list of eight such cases in which an individual disappeared while in distress. 

8. Ebonee Spears

Ebonee Spears has been missing since January 15th, 2016. The 30 year-old woman was last seen near her home in Wilmington, North Carolina. According to her family members, Ebonee was acting strangely in the hours leading up to her disappearance. At some point between 5:30 and 7pm, Ebonee’s friend saw her walking up and down Nixon Street. The friend sensed that something was wrong, so he picked Ebonee up and took her to the nearby Community Boys & Girls Club. He told her to wait right there for him, but instead Ebonee walked to the local police station. She asked to use a telephone, and she was directed to a payphone. Ebonee reportedly was then heard cursing and storming off.

Ebonee then went back to the Boys and Girls Club. According to witnesses, she started to head home from the club around 8:30 or 9pm. Ebonee was last seen around her apartment around 10:45pm. At that point, she approached a man outside of her building and asked if she could bum a cigarette. The man told her that he did not have any left. Ebonee then muttered something about going to the store and walked away. She has never been seen or heard from again.

Ebonee's family members state that Ebonee had been recently diagnosed with lupus prior to her disappearance. She was reportedly telling people that the medication was 'messing with her head'. Ebonee remains missing today. [read more]

7. Toni Sharpless

Toni Sharpless vanished after behaving erratically at a party during the early-morning hours of August 23rd, 2009. At the time, 29 year-old Toni and her friend Crystal Johns were attending a party the Gladwyne, Pennsylvania home of former 76er Willie Green. Around 4:30am, Toni apparently got into an altercation with another guest in the kitchen, which resulted in her pouring champagne on the floor and kicking things around. Willie told Toni and Crystal they both had to leave the party after that. The two women left in Toni’s car, and Toni was reportedly very angry and upset while leaving. After driving a few blocks, Crystal told Toni that she was too drunk to drive. This angered Toni, and she ended up kicking Crystal out of her car. Toni then drove off alone and has never been seen or heard from again.

There are numerous theories about what might have happened to Toni, but unfortunately she still remains missing today. Although she was intoxicated at the time, Toni's loved ones still describe her behavior as unusual. Her car was later scanned on an automatic license plate reader in Camden, New Jersey--but unfortunately investigators were unable to ever track it down. There are currently no suspects or persons of interest in Toni's disappearance. [read more]

6. Shacaiah 'Blue' Harding

Shacaiah 'Blue' Harding vanished at the age of 19 on July 23rd, 2018. According to her family members, Blue was behaving very out-of-character in the weeks leading up to her disappearance. She was reportedly living on the streets of Billings, Montana at the time. On the day she vanished, Blue updated her Facebook page numerous times, expressing that she was upset about a failed relationship amongst other things in her life. She posted her final post shortly before midnight, which reads, "All depressing but I'm typing it like it's everything but.. relying on feelings suck." All of Blue's social media activity ceased after that, and she has never been seen or heard from again. 

Although Blue's family members described her behavior as unusual prior to her disappearance, they maintained that she always kept in touch. They knew something was wrong in August 2018, after weeks had gone by without any word from Blue. She was finally reported missing on August 20th, 2018. There is unfortunately very little information available about Blue's case. She remains missing today. [read more]

5. Jeremy Jourdain
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On the evening of October 31st, 2016, Jeremy Jourdain was attending a party in Bemidji, Minnesota with friends and some family members. According to other partygoers, nothing seemed amiss with the 16 year-old at the party--at first. Then, around midnight, Jeremy announced that he no longer wanted to be at the party. Suddenly and without warning, he took off running from the residence. Relatives who were also at the party tried to follow him, but they were unable to see where he went. It’s possible that Jeremy tried to walk back to his home in Cass Lake, located over 14 miles away, but he never returned and has not been seen or heard from again after that.

It is unclear what exactly drove Jeremy to take off running from the party. After he was reported missing, authorities announced that they believed Jeremy was missing on his own accord--despite the fact that he did not take any money or personal items with him, nor did he have a history of running away. There has been no sign of Jeremy since that October 2016 night and he remains missing today. [read more]

4. Lauren Colvin
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During the afternoon of January 10th, 2019, police in Panola County, Texas received a 911 call from 32 year-old Lauren Colvin (also known as Lauren Thompson). During the call, Lauren told dispatchers that she was running through a wooded area of Panola County, Texas, and that somebody was chasing her. Dispatchers stayed on the phone with Lauren for over 20 minutes, and through phone pings the police were able to locate the area where the call was placed. Within minutes, police found Lauren’s car stuck in the mud on the side of the road near the Rock Hill community. However, they were unable to locate Lauren herself. 

Police were later able to identify some of the people Lauren was with prior to vanishing. Nobody has been publicly identified, however police did state that a male friend was in the car with Lauren when she ran off the road and got her car stuck in mud. The male friend reportedly told Lauren that he was going to walk to his house to get another vehicle to help Lauren’s car get out of the mud. At that point, Lauren began sprinting off into the woods, where she later called 911. A massive search for Lauren was launched in that area, but searchers were unable to locate her. However, searchers did find a shoe that was later confirmed to belong to Lauren. 

Lauren still remains missing today. Authorities announced early on that they did not have any reason to suspect foul play, however it has still not been ruled out. [read more]

3. Ryles Chapman
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25 year-old Ryles Chapman has been missing since December 18th, 2013. He disappeared from his family’s property in the Bocega area of Dothan, Alabama. At the time, Ryles was living on said property in his family’s pool house. On the evening he vanished, Ryles was seen running from his parent’s home, wearing only boxers, while screaming that somebody was chasing him. He did not bring his cell phone or any sort of personal identification or money  when he left. Ryles never returned home and has never been heard from again after that. His family reported him missing on December 20th.

A friend of Ryles later reported that he saw Ryles on the night he disappeared, standing on the side of US-84, near the subdivision where he lived. The friend did not report seeing Ryles with another individual. After months went by without any trace of Ryles, investigators had an area around Bocage dug up in search of possible evidence. Unfortunately, nothing was found during their search. Ryles remains missing today. [read more]

2. Karlie Gusé
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16 year-old Karlie Gusé disappeared from her family's Chalfant, California home during the morning hours of October 13th, 2018. The previous evening, Karlie was in a nearby town with her boyfriend and some friends. Around 8pm, Karlie called her stepmother Melissa Gusé and asked her to come pick her up. According to Melissa, Karlie was behaving erratically once she picked her up. Karlie eventually explained to Melissa that she and her friends had smoked marijuana, which was causing her to act paranoid and disoriented. Reportedly worried, Melissa decided to sleep in Karlie's room with her that night to make sure that she was okay.

Melissa later told authorities that she last saw Karlie laying awake in her bed around 5:30 on the morning of the 13th. Melissa herself dosed back off to sleep after that, and when she woke up again around 7:15am, Karlie was gone. All of her personal belongings, including her cell phone, were still at the home. She was reported missing later that day.

There were a few reported sightings of Karlie on the morning she disappeared, but none of those sightings have been confirmed. As time has passed, more and more suspicions have fallen on Karlie's stepmother, Melissa, and on Karlie's father. However, police have not named any persons of interest or suspects in the case. Karlie remains missing today. [read more]

1. Elaine Park
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20 year-old Elaine Park disappeared on January 28th, 2017. On the night prior to her disappearance, Elaine slept at her ex-boyfriend’s home in Calabasas, CA. On the morning of her disappearance, Elaine’s ex-boyfriend said that she had abruptly woken up that morning and appeared to be in “some sort of panic.” Surveillance footage shows her leaving her ex-boyfriend’s home at 6:05am. Elaine has not been seen or heard from since.

On February 2nd, Elaine’s car was found on Pacific Coast Highway, just south of Corral Canyon Road in Malibu. The doors were unlocked, the keys were in the ignition and her backpack, phone, computer and cash were inside the car. There were no signs of a struggle at the scene, however, there was no sign of Elaine either–and her whereabouts are still unknown. 

Police say that Elaine’s ex-boyfriend and his family have been cooperative in the investigation and that there is currently no reason to suspect that they are involved in her disappearance. Elaine's case remains unsolved. 

The Disappearance of Ryles Chapman

25 year-old Ryles Chapman has been missing since December 18th, 2013. He disappeared from his family’s property in the Bocega area of Dothan, Alabama. At the time, Ryles was living on said property in his family’s pool house. On the evening he...

Ryles Chapman has been missing since December 18th, 2013. The 25-year-old vanished from his family’s property in the Bocega area of Dothan, Alabama. At the time, Ryles was living on said property in his family’s pool house. On the evening he vanished, Ryles was seen running from his parent’s home, wearing only boxers, while screaming that somebody was chasing him. He did not bring his cell phone or any sort of personal identification or money when he left. Ryles never returned home and has never been heard from again after that. His family reported him missing on December 20th.

A friend of Ryles later reported that he saw Ryles on the night he disappeared, standing on the side of US-84, near the subdivision where he lived. In the months following his disappearance, numerous other people reported seeing him in downtown Dothan as well. After months went by without any trace of Ryles, investigators had an area around Bocage dug up in search of possible evidence. Unfortunately, nothing was found during their search.

Dothan Police are reportedly baffled by Ryles’ disappearance. Sgt. Jason Adkins stated that the leads in this case have all ended up being dead ends. He explained, “As of right now we are at a standstill, we have exhausted all of the leads that we have had in the past four years and we are relying on the public to give us any new information that we can follow up on.” If you have any information that could lead to Ryles’ whereabouts, please contact the Dothan Police department at (334) 615-3000.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

The Murder of Botham Jean

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Botham Jean (26) was shot and killed inside his own apartment by police officer Amber Guyger (30) on September 6th, 2018. Botham and Amber both lived in the same apartment building located in Dallas, Texas. On the day of the shooting, Amber worked her scheduled shift as a police officer. When she returned to the apartment building afterwards, she claimed that she unintentionally entered the wrong floor and approached what she thought was her apartment. In reality, it was Botham’s apartment, and he was inside watching a football game. 

Amber Guyger
As Amber approached the apartment, she heard noises and claimed to believe that there was an intruder inside her home. The door to the apartment was slightly ajar, so she was able to enter the apartment without unlocking the door. Amber stated that she saw a “large silhouette” in the corner of the living room. She said that she issued verbal commands before firing her gun twice,  striking Botham in the chest. Amber claimed that it was only after she turned on the lights and then checked the apartment number outside the door when she realized she was not in her own apartment after all. Amber called 911, and Botham was transferred to a hospital. Unfortunately, he later succumbed to his injuries. 

3 days later, Amber turned herself in to police and was charged with manslaughter. Shortly thereafter, she was released on $300,000 bond. Due to the fact that Amber turned herself in, the arrest affidavit and subsequent news reports about the case were very much shaped by her version of events. However, in the weeks that followed, witnesses came forward with a story different than Amber’s. Other tenants in the apartment reportedly heard Amber banging on Botham’s door shouting “let me in!”. Some reportedly heard the gunfire and Botham shouting “why did you do that?!”

Many people also doubted that Amber actually thought she was entering her own apartment. In fact, another tenant told police that Botham had a red doormat in front of his door, while Amber did not have a doormat at all. A search warrant was issued at Botham’s apartment, which stated that Botham actually confronted Amber at the door after she forced her way inside. Eventually, on November 30th, 2018, a grand jury indicted Amber on murder charges.

The DA has refused to release the autopsy or other related documents in this case, citing that it is still an ongoing investigation. For this reason, the public still has many unanswered questions about the case. What is known is that Amber has pleaded not guilty to the charges brought upon her. Her trial is currently underway.
UPDATE (10/02/19): Amber Guyger has been found guilty of the murder of Botham Jean. Amber testified at her trial, where she stated that on the evening of September 6th, 2018, she entered what she thought was her apartment and shouted "let me see your hands!" at Botham, who was inside the unit. She said that Botham ran towards her, shouting "hey! hey! hey!", which scared her and triggered her to open fire. However, the trajectory of the bullet shows that Botham was either getting up from his couch or cowering when he was struck. Additionally, evidence showed that Amber had a history of posting racist content and making racist comments on social media. Still, Amber maintained that she shot Botham out of fear. While on the stand, she stated,"I never wanted to take an innocent person's life. I'm so sorry. This is not about hate — it's about being scared."

Amber faced up to 99 years in prison, but was ultimately only sentenced to 10 years. This has triggered a protest amongst many supporters of the Jean family. However, Botham's brother, Brandt Jean, has shown compassion for Amber. During his victim impact statement, Brandt directly spoke to her, saying, "I wasn’t going to ever say this in front of my family or anyone, but I don’t even want you to go to jail. I want the best for you." Afterwards, Brandt approached Amber and the two hugged.

Botham Jean’s younger brother Brandt Jean hugs convicted murderer and former Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger after delivering his impact statement.
During a news conference post-sentencing, Botham's stated that she holds Dallas PD as a whole accountable for Botham's death. She explained, "10 years in prison is 10 years for [Amber's] reflection and for her to change her life. But there is much more to be done by the city of Dallas."

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

The Disappearance of Keshia Sylvester

Keshia Sylvester (29) has been missing since October 2nd, 2017. She was last seen at a residence in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana. Keshia was expected to show up to her daughter’s school homecoming; an event she had been looking forward to for weeks. She planned to do her daughter’s hair for the event, but she never arrived. After this, Keshia’s loved ones contacted her employer, who told them that Keshia had been let go from her job but had never come by to pick up her last paycheck. All of this was quite uncharacteristic of Keshia, and as a result her worried family members reported her missing.

A man named Randal Rodriguez has been named as a person of interest in Keshia’s case. Keshia worked as a chef for Randal in the months leading up to her disappearance. Over a year after her disappearance, St. Martin Parish Police searched Randal’s home. It is unclear if anything was found, and Randal continues to maintain his innocence. Additionally, Keshia’s family members do not believe that Randal is responsible for Keshia’s disappearance. However, they do believe that foul play was involved, and they are desperately hoping for answers.

If you have any information that could help the investigation, please contact authorities at (337) 394-2226.