9-1-1 Victim or Missing Person? Sneha’s Story – Guest Post Thursday

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Photo courtesy of Guest Blogger’s Facebook Page

September 11, 2001

In the aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attacks, Sneha Philip’s image was one of the thousands on flyers plastered around New York City’s Ground Zero. Surrounded by so many missing-person photos, it was easy to miss the detail that differentiated the 31-year-old Indian-American physician from the others. The flyer of Sneha Philip read, “Missing since Monday, September 10th.”

As with many victims of the World Trade Center bombings, the remains of Sneha Philip were never found. It isn’t clear if she was in the vicinity of the World Trade Center when the twin towers came tumbling down. In fact, no one saw Sneha on September 11; the last confirmed sighting of her was on the evening of September 10.

Sneha was ruled legally dead in 2004 but was not declared a victim of the terrorist attacks. That decision, however, was reversed on appeal, and today, she is officially listed as a victim of the September 11 attacks, and her name appears on the National September 11 Memorial.

Sneha Philip and her husband Ron Lieberman lived in the Battery Park City section of New York City, four blocks from where the World Trade Center stood.

Both Ron and Sneha were physicians. Ron was a doctor at Jacoby Hospital while Sneha was in her third year of residency at St. Vincent’s Hospital, now Richmond University Medical Center.

Ron left home for work at 11:15 a.m. on September 10, 2001; Sneha had the day off, but it would hardly be a day of relaxation.

That morning, Sneha had been arraigned in court on a charge of filing a false complaint to the police. She had accused an intern at work of grabbing her inappropriately, but police found no evidence supporting the claim. Sneha was charged with filing the false report after refusing to recant her claim.

When Ron returned home at 11:15 p.m., Sneha was still gone. He assumed she had spent the night with either a brother or a cousin who lived nearby; she often did so when he worked late.

Sneha, however, still had not returned home the following morning, September 11, when Ron left for work at 7:30. After an airplane hit the first tower at 8:46 a.m. (EST), Ron called home to check on Sneha but received no answer. At 10:30 a.m., Ron phoned home again, shortly after the second plane crashed into the second tower. Due to the burgeoning chaos, however, the phone lines were dead.

After the lines were restored several hours later, Ron phoned home but again received no answer. He was able to reach Sneha’s brother and cousin, but Sneha had not spent the evening of September 10 with either of them. Ron was soon able to reach other relatives and friends who also knew nothing of Sneha’s whereabouts. When Ron was finally able to return to the couple’s apartment, he learned no one who had been in the building that morning had seen Sneha.

Ron filed a Missing Person report with the New York City Police Department. The police were inundated with such reports and didn’t have the manpower to thoroughly investigate all of them.

When Ron returned home at 11:15 p.m., Sneha was still gone. He assumed she had spent the night with either a brother or a cousin who lived nearby; she often did so when he worked late.

Sneha, however, still had not returned home the following morning, September 11, when Ron left for work at 7:30. After an airplane hit the first tower at 8:46 a.m. (EST), Ron called home to check on Sneha but received no answer. At 10:30 a.m., Ron phoned home again, shortly after the second plane crashed into the second tower. Due to the burgeoning chaos, however, the phone lines were dead.

After the lines were restored several hours later, Ron phoned home but again received no answer. He was able to reach Sneha’s brother and cousin, but Sneha had not spent the evening of September 10 with either of them. Ron was soon able to reach other relatives and friends who also knew nothing of Sneha’s whereabouts. When Ron was finally able to return to the couple’s apartment, he learned no one who had been in the building that morning had seen Sneha.

Ron filed a Missing Person report with the New York City Police Department. The police were inundated with such reports and didn’t have the manpower to thoroughly investigate them all.

Gallant initially theorized Sneha may have stopped for a drink and/or supper at the nearby Millennium Hotel and that something may have happened there that led to her disappearance.

The hotel was closed down after the attacks, and the entire area where Sneha was last seen was in ruins. If something happened to her at the hotel, it would be virtually impossible to prove.

However, five days after the attacks, a clerk at the Century 21 Department Store contacted police after seeing Sneha’s missing person flyer. The clerk recognized Sneha and recalled her being with another woman in the store on the evening of September 10. Her companion appeared to be of Indian descent. Sneha told the clerk the woman was a friend.

Ron and Ken viewed the tape again and could see two women leaving the department store together. They believe Sneha to be one of the women but cannot say for sure. None of Sneha’s friends or relatives could identify the woman.

The woman who may be Sneha was carrying two large bags of merchandise which were not found at her apartment, suggesting she never returned home.

This possible sighting of Sneha with another woman led Ron and Ken to speculate she may have stayed at this woman’s home on the evening of September 10. The woman could also have been visiting the city and staying at a hotel. They theorize the woman may have been an old friend whom neither Ron nor Sneha’s inner circle knew. If this were the case, Sneha might have been heading home at the approximate time of the attacks on the World Trade Center.

Sneha’s friends and family believe if she were in the area at the time of the attacks, she, as a doctor, would have tried to help the wounded. Had she done so, she most likely died in the attacks.

Police initially believed it possible that Sneha disappeared of her own accord.

In addition to her legal troubles related to the alleged false complaint, Sneha had been reprimanded at work several times for arriving late and for a drinking problem. She was on thin ice; one more screw up and she would be fired.

Several acquaintances alleged Sneha had a substance abuse problem, that she and Ron were having marital troubles, and that she had engaged in several lesbian affairs. Those contentions are denied by both Ron and Sneha’s families.

Despite the initial suspicions, most investigators came to the conclusion that Sneha perished as the twin towers of the World Trade Center collapsed on that awful day.

Police could never identify either woman seen on the department store video. They believe if it is Sneha on the tape, the other woman is the key to learning her fate.

The second woman was described as possibly being of East Indian descent, approximately 5’2, 115-120 pounds, with short black hair.

In 2002, Ron Lieberman petitioned to have Sneha declared a victim of the September 11 attacks.

A Circuit Court declared Sneha Philip legally dead in 2004 but also ruled evidence to conclude she had died in the September 11 attacks was insufficient. In January of 2008, an appeals judge agreed there was no proof Sneha had perished in the Twin Towers but concluded it was the most likely explanation for her disappearance.

Sneha Philip is now officially listed as a victim of the September 11 attacks. Her name is located on Panel S-66 of the National September 11 Memorial’s South Pool.

The September 11 victim’s fund closed in 2003, and Ron never collected any monetary compensation from it.


THIS LIST OF LINKS IS NOT AN ALL-ENCOMPASSING SOURCE CITING. ALL OF THE INFORMATION USED IN THIS ARTICLE CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE. LINKS BELOW WERE USED AS SOURCES AND ARE RECOMMENDED READING FOR SYNOVA’S READERS. Synova strives to cite all the sources used during her case study, but occasionally a source may be missed by mistake. It is not intentional and no copyright infringement is intended.

Further Reading:


More About Our Wonderful Guest Blogger:

Ian Granstra

Ian Granstra is a writer and a native Iowan now living in  Arkansas.
Growing up, he enjoyed watching real-life crime shows and further researching the stories featured. He wrote about many of them on his personal Facebook page, and several people suggested he should start a group featuring his writings. Ian founded the Facebook group “Murders, Missing People and More Mysteries” in August of 2018 he writes about many cold cases. The group also features many current criminal cases in the news.
When Ian isn’t writing, he enjoys exercising, traveling and collecting sports cards. He’s also a big animal lover (his Facebook nickname is “beaglelover.”)

This week’s Recommended Reading:


I Survived the Attacks of September 11th, 2001 (I Survived 6)


The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (Authorized Edition)


If you enjoy this content don’t forget to sign up for Synova’s Weekly True Crime Newsletter. You will receive exclusive content directly in your inbox. As a gift for joining you will also receive the Grim Justice ebook free.

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All information used to create this content is a matter of public record and can be easily found online or can be verified by the guest blogger. Any participation or alleged involvement of any party mentioned within this site is purely speculation. As the law states, an individual is innocent until PROVEN guilty. I do not own the photos used in this post. All photos are used under the fair use act. No copyright infringement intended. Any and all opinions are that of the guest blogger and don’t necessarily reflect the views of Synova Ink©2017-2019. All rights reserved.


If you’d like to check out Synova’s true crime books follow this link to her Amazon Author Page.

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Groomed & Trafficked – The Ashley Higgins Disappearance

ashley_standish_higgins_1Photo courtesy of The Charley Project

It’s the oldest unsolved missing person case in Orange County California. Two girls take a bus from Costa Mesa to Vegas and only one returns. What happened to Ashley Higgins and who was this mysterious older boyfriend she was going to see? Was he the man Ashley’s mother seen in the paper, the man arrested for running a prostitution ring?


Ashley Standish Higgins, 19 had recently graduated from the Newport Harbor High School and gotten an apartment in Costa Mesa, California. She shared the place with an older African American male named Lee Pippin. His name will come up later in this strange tale.

November 5, 1982, Ashley and her friend Melissa took a bus from Costa Mesa California to Las Vegas. Ashley was going out to meet her boyfriend and Melissa went along for the ride. When the two girls arrived at the Tam O Shantar hotel and met the boyfriend, Melissa got a terribly uneasy feeling. The boyfriend was a much older man and he gave Melissa the creeps. Everything about the situation worried her and she tried to convince Ashley to leave with her. Ashley refused. The last time anyone saw her she was heading down to the lobby to see a ring her boyfriend wanted to show her.

Melissa left the hotel and promised to meet up with Ashley at the bus stop on Sunday to head back to Costa Mesa together. Unfortunately, Ashley never arrived at the bus stop. Thinking she just missed her friend, Melissa headed home. Melissa was arrested immediately upon her return. While Ashley was an adult, Melissa was a 17-year-old minor on probation. She wasn’t allowed to leave the state. She would go on to get into drugs and it would be a long time before she even realized her friend was a missing person.

While Ashley was away, her roommate, Lee Pippins made several calls to Vegas. He called hotels, police, and hospitals. Why would he make so many strange calls to Vegas while his roommate was away? Strangely he also called a few select cities including Albuquerque, New Mexico. When law enforcement checked Ashley’s credit card it appeared Pippins had been using it.

What happened to Ashley Higgins? Who was this older African American man she met in Vegas? Why was her roommate making so many strange phone calls? Why was he using her credit card?

At first, law enforcement wondered if the woman wanted to disappear. It wasn’t uncommon for a 19-year-old to run away. The family refused to believe this. Why would she run away when she knew she was to inherit a large sum of money soon? Wouldn’t it make more sense to stay, collect the inheritance, and then leave?

Shortly after Ashley’s disappearance, her mother notices a newspaper article about the arrest of a man named Richard Leon Johnson. She immediately recognized him claiming she had seen him at her daughter’s apartment. Johnson was arrested for pimping and pandering. Could Johnson be Ashley’s boyfriend?

In 1978, Richard Johnson had been indicted by the El Paso County Grand Jury on pimping and pandering charges. His house and four vehicles were seized and eventually repossessed, but he somehow remained free and received probation. Disturbingly, Johnson was already on probation for pimping charges, but instead of being incarcerated he received another probation. If that isn’t disturbing to you then read on my friend. The Colorado Springs Gazette-Telegraph reported on April 18, 1978, that the prostitutes that were set to witness against Johnson couldn’t be located. What happened to these witnesses? Did they ever turn up? Were they murdered?

Later investigations revealed Johnson’s prostitution ring closely aligned with the cities Ashley’s roommate, Lee Pippins was calling on the weekend of November 7, 1982. Also, nearly a month after the pretty blond-headed girl went missing, her credit card was used to rent a car in Las Vegas. We all remember who had it that fateful weekend, right?

Were Pippins and Johnson grooming an innocent girl for their human trafficking ring, or were they, innocent bystanders? I hardly think they were innocent, but how could they not be tied to this case?

Everyone hoped Ashley had run away and she would appear when it was time to inherit her money, but she never came.  It was pretty obvious by this point that Ashley Higgins met with some sort of foul play.

Ashley’s brother, Andrew is a retired police officer and he’s spent nearly forty years looking for answers. He truly believes his sister has been found somewhere in the Pacific Northwest and is currently classed as a Jane Doe. If you have any information on this case, please contact the Costa Mesa Police Department at 714-754-5157.

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Distinguishing Characteristics:

  • Height: 5’2″
  • Weight: 120lbs
  • Hair: Blond
  • Eyes: Brown
  • A c-shaped scar on one knee
  • A surgical scar on chin
  • previously fractured hip from a childhood car accident
  • Front two top teeth are false

THIS LIST OF LINKS IS NOT AN ALL-ENCOMPASSING SOURCE CITING. ALL OF THE INFORMATION USED IN THIS ARTICLE CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE. LINKS BELOW WERE USED AS SOURCES AND ARE RECOMMENDED READING FOR SYNOVA’S READERS.
Further Reading:

Crimewatchers

Facebook

Websleuths


All information used to create this content is a matter of public record and can be easily found online. Any participation or alleged involvement of any party mentioned within this site is purely speculation. As the law states, an individual is innocent until PROVEN guilty. I do not own the photos used in this post. All photos are used under the fair use act. No copyright infringement intended.©2017-2019. All rights reserved.


If you enjoy this content don’t forget to sign up for Synova’s Weekly True Crime Newsletter. You will receive exclusive content directly in your inbox. As a gift for joining you will also receive the Grim Justice ebook free.

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This week’s Recommending Reading:


Human Trafficking (In the News)

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Runaway Girl: Escaping Life on the Streets

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TrafficKing: Jeffrey Epstein human trafficking case


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Missouri Missing – Luther O. Boyt

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In the middle of moving back home to care for his dying father, Luther Boyt disappears without a trace. He was last seen at a local gay bar having drinks with friends. Witnesses say he was happy and although he had a couple drinks, he wasn’t drunk. What happened after he left, and why did authorities find his car abandoned in a local park?


Luther Boyt, a Louisiana native had moved to the Kansas City area in 1966. He worked as the director of Vital Statistics at the city hall until retirement in 1989. Boyt lived in a beautiful home on Janseen Place and loved to throw lavish parties. His hobbies included buying antiques and traveling.

During the summer of 2000, Boyt sold his manson and planned to assist his mother who was caring for his ailing father. By the end of November the move was nearly complete. on November 25, 2000, Boyt was seen at the Buddies’ Bar having drinks with friends. He was happy and seemed fine. Around 2:30 am on the 26th, Boyt leaves the bar and is never seen again.

Later the same day, movers arrive at the house to finish moving the last of Mr. Boyt’s furniture, but the owner never arrives. Friends become worried and begin searching for Luther Boyt. His car is found in Penn Calley Park the next day. Everyone said there would be no reason for Boyt to drive to the well-known gay hookup spot.

Strangely, inside the car was $360 which Boyt had apparently stashed under the floor mat. A friend later recalled he had said something about stopping by an ATM and getting cash to pay the movers.

Sadly, three days after Boyt’s disappearance, his ailing father died. It was on what would be Boyt’s 60th birthday. Family and friends are adamant that Boyt would not have willing gone to that dangerous park alone at night, so what happened to him and why was his car abandoned there? Whatever the case, Mr. Boyt’s friends and family need answers and nineteen years later they are still searching.

If you have any information about this cold case, please contact the Kansas City Police Department at (816) 234-5136.


The following links are for the benefit of Synova’s readers and are not an all inclusive source listing.

Further Reading:

Reddit

Charley Project

Missouri Missing – Facebook 


All information used to create this content is a matter of public record and can be easily found online. Any participation or alleged involvement of any party mentioned within this site is purely speculation. As the law states, an individual is Innocent until PROVEN guilty. ©2017-2019. All rights reserved.


If you enjoy this content don’t forget to sign up for Synova’s Weekly True Crime Newsletter. You will receive exclusive content directly in your inbox. As a gift for joining you will also receive the Grim Justice ebook free.

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Each week Synova highlights obscure cold cases on her blog as a victim’s advocate with the Missouri Missing organization. She never charges for her services. If you’d like to help support Synova in this worthy cause, please check out the affiliate links below and on the sidebar of this page. By purchasing one of her books or using these links, you will be supporting Synova’s work on cold cases and will ensure her ability to continue to give a voice to the victim’s family. Thank you.


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Snatched from a Sandbox – Douglas Charles Chapman

A young boy plays in the sand pile out in front of his home in rural Maine. Dad was at work and Mom was inside finishing up a quick phone call. It was only a few moments, but when the poor woman went outside to check on her child, he was nowhere to be found.


June 2, 1971, Douglas Charles Chapman was playing a few yards from his front door when he was snatched. Rural Alfred, Maine was considered a safe place to raise a family, and to this day the list of Missing Persons can be counted on your fingers. So, what happened to the three-year-old?Police initially thought the boy had wandered off into the wooded areas surrounding his home. Nearly the entire town turned out to look for little “Dougie.” Helicopters and tracking dogs were employed in the search. The dogs quickly picked up Dougie’s scent but lost it at the edge of the road. Police then began to suspect the boy had been kidnapped and carried away by a vehicle.Lt. Brian McDonough used lie detector tests and interviews to eliminate the family members as suspects, but the case grew cold. Back before the days of Amber alerts, internet, and social media the police had very little to go on. Many years later it was discovered that a sex offender lived close to the family, but he had since died. The man’s name was never released publicly. Was he a pedophile that targeted the little boy, or was he a victim of human trafficking?Decades later a man has come forward claiming he may be the lost child. The man’s name is Eric Waite. The details of his past are unusual and cloudy. A Reddit thread was created concerning this man’s journey. A DNA sample has been requested to clear the matter up, but strangely the mother of Douglas Chapman has refused. Her reasons are unclear. Maybe she doesn’t believe Mr. Waite, or maybe there’s another reason. I guess time will tell. We’ve all heard about those conmen who try to take advantage of the victim’s family. Let’s hope Mr. Waite is the long lost son and not a twisted conman.

**UPDATE**

New information has come in since this post was written. Mr. Waite is not the boy. The mother had already done a DNA test with law enforcement and it did not match. Mr. Waite claimed it was a scam and wanted her to take another test. This further testing is what the mother has refused.

It appears Mr. Waite is still fighting this and it has gone on for years. Please keep this poor family in your thoughts. They have suffered enough pain without the added cruelty of this disturbed individual.

Please share this story so we can find the REAL Douglas Chapman.

In the meantime, if you have any information about this 48-year-old cold case, please contact the Maine State Police Department at (800) 228-0857.


The following links are for the benefit of Synova’s readers and are not an all inclusive source listing.Further Reading:Charley ProjectNamUsNews Center Maine


All information used to create this content is a matter of public record and can be easily found online. Any participation or alleged involvement of any party mentioned within this site is purely speculation. As the law states, an individual is Innocent until PROVEN guilty. ©2017-2019. All rights reserved.


If you enjoy this content don’t forget to sign up for Synova’s Weekly True Crime Newsletter. You will receive exclusive content directly in your inbox. As a gift for joining you will also receive the Grim Justice ebook free.

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SIGN UP HERE


Each week Synova highlights obscure cold cases on her blog as a victim’s advocate with the Missouri Missing organization. She never charges for her services. If you’d like to help support Synova in this worthy cause, please check out the affiliate links below and on the sidebar of this page. By purchasing one of her books or using these links, you will be supporting Synova’s work on cold cases and will ensure her ability to continue to give a voice to the victim’s family. Thank you.

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Where Are All Wisconsin’s Women Going? Another Woman Missing 30 Years

cheryl_a._duvall_1

Cheryl Spaeth-Duvall has been missing for approximately 30 years. I say approximately because no one seems to know exactly when she vanished. After not hearing from her for two months, her ex-husband calls in a missing person’s report. This isn’t odd on his part since she would go a month sometimes without calling. Why didn’t her live-in boyfriend call?


Cheryl was 38 years old when she went missing from Manitowoc, Wisconsin. She was reportedly living with her boyfriend John Neuser on a dairy farm out on South Parkview Rd. There is very little information to go on in this case, but in 2007 family members convinced the local police department to reopen Cheryl’s case.

Neuser continued to live on the dairy farm long after Cheryl’s disappearance and didn’t move until 2006. After the case was reopened the police searched both his previous and current properties for evidence in this case. They would not comment on what they found but hoped new advances in forensic science will solve this decades-old cold case.

Cheryl’s Stats:

  • Hair: Blond
  • Eyes: Blue
  • Height: 5′ 2″
  • Weight: 100lbs.
  • previously broken foot
  • 13 sets of ribs instead of standard 12

The police have labeled the ex-boyfriend as a person of interest, but are quick to say that he is not currently a suspect and has not been charged. It has been reported that Neuser has hired an attorney and is not cooperating with police.

If you have any information concerning the case of Cheryl Spaeth-Duvall, please contact the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Department at 920-683-4200.


The following links are for the benefit of Synova’s readers and are not an all inclusive source listing.

More information:

https://www.newspapers.com/clip/17235417/24_jan_2008_missing_woman_case_still_a/

https://www.newspapers.com/clip/17614923/20_may_2012_cheryl_spaeth_duvall/


All information used to create this content is a matter of public record and can be easily found online. Any participation or alleged involvement of any party mentioned within this site is purely speculation. As the law states an individual is Innocent until PROVEN guilty. ©2017-2019. All rights reserved.


If you enjoy this content don’t forget to sign up for Synova’s Weekly True Crime Newsletter. You will receive exclusive content directly in your inbox. As a gift for joining you will also receive the Grim Justice ebook free.

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SIGN UP HERE 


Each week Synova highlights obscure cold cases on her blog as a victim’s advocate with the Missouri Missing organization. She never charges for her services. If you’d like to help support Synova in this worthy cause, please check out the affiliate links below and on the sidebar of this page. By purchasing one of her books or using these links, you will be supporting Synova’s work on cold cases and will ensure her ability to continue to give a voice to the victim’s family. Thank you.


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The Strange Case of Jayme Closs

800JaymeCloss-FBI

Someone burst into a rural home in Barron, Wisconsin in the early morning hours of October 15, 2018. Neighbors heard something that sounded like two gunshots, and twenty minutes later 911 received a garbled emergency call from Mrs. Closs’ cell phone. When police arrived, the mother was deceased, and the father died shortly after the police arrived. Thirteen-year-old Jayme Closs was missing. Where can this quiet, well-mannered teen be?

There’s a ton of online theories on this case, but the evidence released thus far doesn’t point to any of them. As of today, the parents are deceased, and Jayme is considered missing and endangered. The murder weapon wasn’t found on the scene, and the police are quick to say that Jayme is in no way a suspect in this case.

It’s been eleven days, and hundreds of tips have poured in, and the authorities are checking every one of them. The FBI is offering a $25,000 reward for information that leads to the whereabouts of Jayme.

The family members made an emotional plea for information on October 24th proclaiming their love for their missing loved one. The authorities are looking for two vehicles. Surveillance videos picked up a red or orange Dodge Challenger or Charger and a Black SUV believed to be a Ford Edge or an Acura MBX.

In a small town of 3,500 people, 2,000 volunteers gathered to search for the missing teenager. Unlike other cases, the authorities have kept the searches well organized in hopes of finding the one clue that could save a child’s life. Unfortunately, the searches haven’t yielded the smoking gun everyone was hoping for. Citizens are left to wonder why this happened and how could it have happened in their otherwise safe community.

If you have any information, please contact 1 (855) 744-3879

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ATV Ride to Oblivion

samantha sperry - Graves county sheriff's office

Samantha Sperry, 25 spent the evening of Tuesday, March 27, 2018, with friends. According to witness statements, Samantha and her boyfriend’s father, Dusty went for an ATV ride through the wooded area. Dusty stumbled out of the woods the next morning alone. Samantha hasn’t been seen since. What happened to this young mother? Why did her boyfriend leave her there and go back to her house to spend the night?

The timeline, in this case, is a bit skewed. The only version we have comes from the two men who admitted to doing meth the night of Samantha’s disappearance. I will try to lay it out as we have it.

Disappearance of Samantha Sperry timeline

On the evening of Tuesday, March 27, 2018, Sperry and her boyfriend, Rhen Hendrickson visit his father Dusty Holder. Holder claims the two had an argument and Henderson took Sperry’s car and returned to her house for the night. Holder and Sperry rode ATVs through the woods until they became stuck in the mud. For some reason, they decided to stay with the ATVs until sunrise. He claims they kept them running trying to keep warm until they eventually ran out of gas. The next morning, witnesses saw Dusty stumble from the woods soaking wet claiming that he spent the night out there. Samantha Sperry was nowhere to be found and no one called it in.

Wednesday evening, Rhen returns to his father’s place in Samantha’s car and hears the story from Dusty. Rhen suddenly becomes suicidal, calls his mother and tells her this around 7 pm. He drives Samantha’s car about half a mile before abandoning it beside the road. He enters the woods alone. At 7:20 pm, the frantic mother calls police telling them her son is going to commit suicide in the Kentucky woods.

Here’s another strange part of the story. The police call the fire department search team off claiming that Henderson is possibly armed and dangerous. At the time there had been an active shooter situation under investigation and Henderson had ties to that case. The search for the suicidal man wouldn’t begin until Thursday morning.

In the meantime, Samantha’s family is frantically trying to reach her and call in a missing person’s report. Sheriff Redman claimed she was a meth user that had just walked away and she would return. Finally, after spending an entire day focusing on the suicidal man in the woods, they add Sperry to the Missing Persons’ list.

Five days later, Rhen Hendrickson emerges from the woods dehydrated and suffering from Hypothermia. He his taken to the hospital for treatment. The family of Samantha is left to wonder what happened to this young mother.

Samantha Sperry had recently separated from her husband. Police questioned him and the two men who were with her at the time. On Monday, April 9, 2018, Dusty Holder is arrested on drug charges and outstanding warrants. A couple weeks later, Rhen Hendrickson is also arrested on drug charges. Both sit in jail as the community is left to wonder what happened to this woman. Blood was found in Samantha’s home and vehicle and was sent off for analysis. Now everyone waits and wonders.

If you have any information on this case please contact the Grave County Sheriff’s Department (270) 247-4501

More information:

BRING Samantha Home Facebook Page

NBC News article

Missing or Murdered? – The Madeline Edman Mystery

madeline edman

Madeline Edman, 15 – picture taken in  2005

Madeline Edman, 15 went missing from La Crosse, Wisconsin on July 29, 2005. Madeline and her mother were doing laundry at the local laundromat on the corner of St. James & Calendonia St. Madi decided to leave before her mother was finished and walked out the door. Her mother thought nothing of it but began to get worried when the teenager hadn’t returned home by that evening.  Kathy Edman filed a missing person’s report for her daughter, but no clues ever emerged.

Some reports say her grandmother thinks the teenager isn’t missing at all. She thinks the girl wanted to disappear. Due to her troubled childhood, and her mother’s arrests perhaps this is the case, but as a child, someone needs to care and look for her. It’s not like she’s an adult and made this decision. The local police agree with my point of view on this case. Her case is classed as a “possible endangered runaway,” but the police haven’t ruled out homicide, or human trafficking. The authorities have created an age progression photo hoping to generate leads. If Madi is still in the area of La Crosse, there hasn’t been official sightings to verify it.

I find it strange that a teenager can go missing and yet her own family assumes she ran away. If you travel down Calendonia street you will come across a Catholic church. Could this troubled teen have sought refuge there? Has any investigation gone in this angle? I don’t know, but I think it would be a good place to start. Maybe someone felt sorry for her and helped her disappear.

Two months after her daughter’s disappearance, Kathy Edman was arrested and charged with encouraging or contributing to the delinquency of a child, drug possession, and distribution to a child under 17.

In 2008, a body was recovered only 172 miles away from the laundromat that closely resembled the missing teen. It was later ruled out and Madeline Edman’s case remains unsolved.

Here is a brief description:

Missing Since: Jul 29, 2005
Missing From: La Crosse, WI
DOB: Apr 27, 1990
Age Now: 28
Sex: Female
Race: Biracial
Hair Color: Brown
Eye Color: One eye Brown – One eye Blue
Height: 5’4″
Weight: 100 lbs

If you have any information, please contact: WISCONSIN CLEARINGHOUSE FOR MISSING & EXPLOITED CHILDREN & ADULTS  1-800-THE-HOPE (1-800-843-4673)


The following links are for the benefit of Synova’s readers and are not an all inclusive source listing.

More info on this case:

Web Sleuths

News 8000

National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

La Crosse Tribune 


All information used to create this content is a matter of public record and can be easily found online. Any participation or alleged involvement of any party mentioned within this site is purely speculation. As the law states, an individual is Innocent until PROVEN guilty. ©2017-2019. All rights reserved.


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madeline edman

Without a Trace

John Lee Hamilton

This week’s blog post is a guest post from fellow blogger Shurlock Holmes. More of his work can be found on the Crimeblogger1983.blogspot.com website.
By the “Consulting Detective” for the Hamilton Family:
Before I start with the entry, I want to thank Johnathan’s mom Angie for talking with me regarding her son’s case. I want to say ahead of time that I personally do not agree with many of her theories regarding her son’s disappearance. And that is ok. We both can agree to disagree. One thing I’d like to make clear is that even if we don’t agree I understand she is a mother who is in pain searching for her son. Law Enforcement should be more sympathetic to her plight. The persons named in this entry are not guilty of anything. I am simply naming the people involved to the best of my knowledge. I did try and contact Justin Edward Earls in advance. But was unable to get a hold of him. Also, I want to thank Marissa from The Vanished for making this entry a little easier. I’ll probably continue with updates to this entry whenever I have new information. So keep checking this entry if you are interested in this case.
In a recent development, Bastrop PD is checking for any connection between Jonathan’s disappearance and Centerville Texas which is located in Leon County and along Interstate 45.

Anyone with any information is asked to call the Bastrop Police Department at (512) 332-8600 or (512) 332-8603

NOTE: The entire timeline of this case is open to interpretation. It’s like a puzzle. We know he left his home in Houston on the 2nd, and his car was found on the 4th in Bastrop. Bastrop Police make contact with him on the 4th. The rest is open to interpretation. I urge the readers to listen to the 2nd part of the Vanished episode. Marissa did a great job obtaining info regarding this case.

Bastrop Police Department Case Number: 2015-0560
NAMUS Case Number: 33350
Doe Network Case Number: 5173DMTX
Charley Project
The Vanished Ep-Part 1
The Vanished Ep-Part 2

JOHNATHAN LEE HAMILTON

DATE OF BIRTH: 5/28/1988
HEIGHT & WEIGHT: 6’2 210 LBS
EYE AND HAIR COLOR: BROWN
LAST SEEN: 5/4/2015 Best Buy Parking lot in BASTROP, TEXAS
WEARING: LSW denim shorts, T-Shirt “EZEKIAL” written on the front, tennis shoes (BROWN SUEDE, COLEMAN LIKE-BRAND SIZE 12.5 TO 13)
MEDICAL CONDITIONS: TYPE 1 DIABETIC, suffered from BIPOLAR DISORDER. Recently hospitalized before disappearance INSULIN DEPENDANT.
PARENTS: ANGIE SIMS-HAMILTON & MICHAEL WAYNE HAMILTON
DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS: After an accident in 2012, Johnathan has a scar on his right eye after facial reconstruction surgery. He also has a plate and screws in his hip.
HABITS: was known to drink alcohol, smoke Marlboro American Spirits

  • Jonathan lived with his parents in Houston, TX
  • was disabled on a fixed income
  • Completed his welding classes a few days before his disappearance
  • On the 27th & 28th of April, he was rushed by ambulance to two different hospitals suffering from complications of Diabetes. (EVENTUALLY DISCHARGED)
  • May 2, 2015: He left his home driving his father’s vehicle (2008 GMC ENVOY) His parents haven’t seen him since.
  • 2 days later the 2008 GMC Envoy was found in Bastrop. It was parked in a handicapped parking spot. (PARKING WAS DESCRIBED AS HAPHAZARDLY)
Bastrop is approximately a 2-hour drive from Houston

The white spot is where the car was parked. Second spot second row. However, it could have been the 1st spot of the second row as well. Either way, it was one of those two parking spaces.

  • The Bastrop PD was alerted to the car as well as a man who was “acting strangely” in the Best Buy parking lot
  • Officer Jason Pierson and Officer James Altgelt made contact with Johnathan. (THERE IS AN ISSUE ON HOW THEY VERIFIED HIS IDENTITY. ONE OF THE OFFICERS STATES HE DID SO VIA DRIVER’S LICENSE. WHICH COULDN’T HAVE HAPPENED. HE LEFT IT AT HOME. I BELIEVE THE OFFICER LIKELY FORGOT AND ASSUMED THAT HE VERIFIED WITH THE DL SINCE THAT IS PROB WHAT HE DOES THE MAJORITY OF THE TIME.)
  • The officers discovered the Missing Persons’ report filed by his parents and notified them by phone. The Hamiltons made the 2-hr drive to the Bastrop Police Dept.
  • While on the drive, Johnathan called his dad stating that he didn’t need to be picked up. He was going to leave the keys in the car which was out of gas.
  • The call was made from a cell phone from a good Samaritan. The good Samaritan’s name is JUSTIN EDWARD EARLS.
  • He apparently also called his ex-girlfriend. He told her that he had been robbed. Justin denies the robbery ever happened or was even mentioned.
  • Angie asked the Bastrop P.D. to detain Johnathan until they arrived, but they told him they couldn’t since he hadn’t broken any laws.
  • The Hamiltons even called a family member that lived nearby to ask him to pick up Johnathan since the police couldn’t hold him.
  • When the Hamiltons arrived they found the car parked where it was reported. One of the windows was rolled down and the car was ransacked. Papers from the glove box were scattered all over the floor. A bottle of perfume had been dumped in the passenger seat and the keys were missing. Johnathan’s insulin was in the car, but his meter was not.
  • THEY THEN PROCEEDED TO LEAVE TO GET GAS AND GET SOMETHING TO EAT. WHEREUPON THEY MEET JOHNATHAN’S DAD’S COUSIN. A KENNETH ERIC HAMILTON. ACCORDING TO THE ANGIE AND HER HUSBAND. KENNETH ADVISED THEM TO SEARCH THE WOODS TO FIND JOHNATHAN. AND IF HE WAS HIS KID HE WOULD “TAKE HIM INTO THE WOODS, TIE HIM TO A TREE, AND BEAT HIM.” (YEAH WOW, BUT PUT THAT IN CONTEXT OF HIM SAYING THAT IN REGARDS TO JOHNATHAN TAKING THE CAR FOR 2 DAYS AND SHOWING UP IN BASTROP AND NOT LEAVING THE KEYS TO THE CAR. THIS IS BEFORE HE HAD BEEN MISSING FOR A PROLONGED PERIOD.)
  • Kenneth E. Hamilton apparently took a call from the Bastrop P.D. on the 4th.
  • Kenneth Eric Hamilton (the family member that lived nearby) said he never made contact with Johnathan.
  • Later, he told the family that Johnathan wanted to purchase a new car for his dad and wanted Kenneth to take him to the dealership. (HE DIDNT HAVE THE MONEY FOR GAS LET ALONE A NEW VEHICLE) Besides this, the dealership was only across the street from Best Buy. Why would he need a ride?
  • There was a theft reported around the time of Johnathan’s visit. Nothing of value was taken, but some of these items were later found in the car Johnathan abandoned
COVERT CHEVROLET DEALERSHIP
  • The Hamiltons have had no contact with the cousin since 2015
  • Later that day the Hamiltons made contact with a few officers from Bastrop P.D. According to the Hamiltons, they felt intimidated by the officers. The officer began running checks on the Hamiltons and searched both cars. ONE OFFICER STATED “IF I WASN’T ON DUTY. I’D TELL YOU A STORY.” (?)
  • apparently sometime that day a police officer gave Johnathan a courtesy ride to Walmart to get money.

One of the routes he could’ve taken to get to the address. I know this is showing the driving route. Google’s walking route is the same, it just takes more time. (36 minutes)

  • Johnathan appeared at a residence located at 313 FARM TO MARKET 969 at around 11 pm.
  • He came upon the residents of the house and told them he came out of the Colorado River while canoeing but lost the oars. (SOME OF THE WITNESSES SAID HE WAS WET. OTHERS STATE HE WAS DRY. EVERYONE AGREES THAT JOHNATHAN WAS NOT IN HIS RIGHT STATE OF MIND)

313 FARM TO MARKET 969 AERIAL VIEW

  • After making contact with the residents he left the area with Justin Edward Earls who according to him to Walmart where he purchased a gift card, a bushel of bananas, and coffee. (IN ANOTHER VARIATION OF THE STORY HE BOUGHT HIM A BUSHEL OF BANANAS, A $25 GIFT CARD, AND A PACK OF WINSTON CIGARETTES. NOTE THAT THIS ISN’T THE BRAND HE USUALLY SMOKED.)
  • After that, Justin took him to Taco Bell where he ordered plain chicken tacos. Then after he had eaten he started acting normal again.
  • Justin and Johnathan then parted way and agreed to meet back up at a Taco Cabana. While at the taco place he called his grandma and told her he was sick and ended the call by throwing up.
  • In one variation of the story, Justin drops him back off at the Best Buy parking lot. The other has them parting ways at the Taco Cabana and agreeing to meet back up there.
  • Justin claims when he showed back up he couldn’t find Johnathan. Justin claimed he slept in his car all night hoping Johnathan would return, but he never saw Johnathan again.