I normally don’t do missing person stories. I usually leave them for the armchair sleuths of the internet. I am no sleuth, but if I can help get the word out even a little bit, then I do what I can.
Back in October, someone entered the home of 13-year-old Jayme Closs in Barron, Wisconsin. In just four minutes Jayme’s parents, James, and Denise Closs, were shot to death and Jayme had been kidnapped. She has been missing ever since.
The FBI is offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to the whereabouts of Jayme Closs.
If you have any information regarding the whereabouts of Jayme Closs, or if you have had contact with Closs, please contact the Barron County Sheriff’s Office tip line at 1-855-744-3879. You may also contact your local FBI office, or the nearest American Embassy or Consulate. Submit an anonymous Tip online
I have no great insight to give on this case. By most reports, all leads have been pursued and have come up empty. The only thing I can offer is that if the person or persons responsible for this heinous crime have left the state of Wisconsin, they will more than likely be eligible for the federal death penalty since murder committed during a kidnapping is a capital crime. However, Wisconsin itself does not have the death penalty.
Like everyone else, I hope and pray that Jayme is still alive and will be found safely.
Thanks to Debi for the tip.
If you or someone you know lives in a small town or neighborhood and knows of a crime that you think deserves more attention than it’s getting, please contact me.
Gustavo Martinez Gonzalez and his Ford F-150
ABC 15 in Arizona is reporting that 52-year-old Gustavo Martinez Gonzalez went missing after leaving to sell his truck on craigslist. Mr. Gonzalez was last seen on June 10th.
He is described as being 5 feet 6 inches tall, about 180-pounds with black hair and brown eyes.
He was last seen wearing a black T-shirt, black shorts, and black Puma sneakers. He is missing the top portion of his left index finger.
His truck is a 2012 Ford F-150 FX4. Gonzalez removed his license plate because he believed he was selling the vehicle.
Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to call the Phoenix Police Department’s Missing Persons Unit at 602-534-2121.
If you’re selling a vehicle on craigslist, I recommend not only meeting the buyer at a police station and taking someone with you in case there’s trouble. Ultimately, I would never recommend doing any business on craigslist.
I pray to God for Mr. Gonzalez’s safe return. Unfortunately, when a victim disappears from a craigslist deal, rarely do they return if ever I’m sorry to say.
19-year-old Ethan Gorden of Clay County, Florida, went missing from his home on August 27th. Before his disappearance, he had received around 30 threatening messages over Snapchat.
Gorden’s mother, Maddie Gorden, said the messages said things like, “I’m going to kill you,” “you are a piece of crap,” and “I’m going to get you.”
Ethan is 6’3′, 160 lbs., has brown hair, blue eyes and a tattoo. He drives a 2003 Saturn Ion with a Florida plate with the Miami Dolphins on it.
If you see Ethan or have any information about his disappearance, you are urged to call 911. Further information can be found at the FINDING ETHAN – BRING ETHAN HOME Facebook page.
Three-year-old Evan Brewer of Wichita, Kansas, was unfortunately caught in a custody battle that may have cost him his life. His father, Carlo Brewer, had been concerned for the safety of his son while the boy was living with his mother, 36-year-old Miranda Miller. Miller and her boyfriend, 40-year-old Stephen Bodine, lived together in a home Miller rented. The couple had only been together since February.
At first Miller and Brewer shared custody through an informal arrangement, but then Miller allegedly started limiting Brewer’s visitation to the point where members of Brewer’s family had to send Evan gifts through a third-party. Mr. Brewer had even filed an order of protection for Evan stating Evan had been injured and was always filthy and didn’t have appropriate clothing. Miller continued to avoid authorities who kept trying to make welfare checks on Evan. Eventually Miller and Bodine were evicted from the rental property and while the landlord was cleaning out the property found a concrete structure where the smell of death permeated the area. The body of a small boy was found inside the concrete. The body may have been there as far back as March.
While DNA results will be forthcoming, Evan’s grandfather, former Wichita Mayor and current gubernatorial candidate Carl Brewer, confirmed the body belonged to Evan. So far no cause of death has been determined, but Miller and Bodine have been arrested. Miller was charged with aggravated interference with parental custody while Bodine was charged with aggravated assault. Carl Brewer had even tried reaching out to multiple government agencies including DCF and Governor Sam Brownback’s office to try to find his grandson.
I’ll post more updates as they become available and as time allows.
Makayla Massey’s missing poster
16-year-old Makayla Massey was last seen in her Victorville, California, home on August 25, 2017. Police say Makayla was using the social network/app MeetMe to possibly sell herself for sex. She reportedly posed as a 19-year-old with the names of Anita Green, Anitta Argintino, Anita Franchise, and Anita Massey. She is said to not have had her own cell phone, but instead used an iPod that has wifi capabilities.
Makayla Massey is described as a white female, five feet 4 inches tall and weighing 146 pounds. She has brown hair with lighter-colored hair at the ends, according to her mother, and blue eyes. She was last seen wearing gray sweat pants, a white shirt and carrying a black Adidas backpack.
Anyone with information regarding Makayla Massey’s whereabouts is urged to contact Detective Dana Weinberg at 760-243-1989, 760-559-5362, or the Victorville Sheriff’s Station at 760-241-2911. Callers wishing to remain anonymous may call the We-Tip Hotline at 1-800-782-7463 or visit www.wetip.com.
MeetMe has been around since the MySpace days of social media and has devolved into nothing more than a hook-up site. Like most social apps, you don’t necessarily need a phone to access it. You can use just about any device that has wifi capability, like in this case, an iPod. Please, regularly check your kids’ devices for any activity that could put them in harm’s way.
Sadly, child sex trafficking is nothing new to social media. Pimps and traffickers have been using social media since the days of MySpace, luring impressionable kids with tales of money and fame only to turn them out on the street or online.
Joseph J. Williams
Joseph J. Williams of Claiborne County, Tennessee, went missing after responding to a craigslist ad for a job on April 25th. Family members say he went to go work on a job with someone named Ben he met on craigslist six months ago.
Anyone with contact information is asked to call the Claiborne County Sheriff’s Office at (423) 626-3385
While Mr. Williams’ disappearance may not be completely related to craigslist, I’d be remiss if I didn’t say it reminded me of the story of Richard Beasley. Beasley and an accomplice would place craigslist ads for non-existent ranch hand jobs. He killed three people who responded to his ads and almost killed a fourth. He committed these crimes because he was already facing jail time on other charges and was planning on stealing his victims’ identities in order to evade capture. Beasley was not only convicted of murder but was sentenced to death. He’s currently awaiting execution on Ohio’s death row.
My thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Williams’ family in hoping for his safe return.
44-year-old Vicente Cruz, of Austell, Georgia, went missing after going to meet someone who wanted to look at his truck he was selling on craigslist. Mr. Cruz went missing in Atlanta on May 1st, however, his vehicle was located on the 2nd with blood inside the truck. Police say it’s too early to comment on the blood, but they do believe foul play could be involved. No arrests have been made and police are asking for the public’s help.
Cruz is described as 5-foot-9, 230 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes, according to police. He was last seen wearing blue jeans, gray tennis shoes, green hat and a checkered shirt.
If you know any information about Cruz, you can call the Atlanta Homicide/ Missing Persons Unit at (404) 546-4235.
While I hope and pray Mr. Cruz is returned safely to his family and friends, this is already an all too familiar occurrence. In 2015, Bud and June Runion, also from Georgia, were lured to their deaths when they went to look at a muscle car that was advertised on craigslist. Their accused killer is said to have shot them both just so he could steal from the elderly couple.
Simply put, craigslist is the textbook definition of unsafe. The amount of violent crime committed through its pages is nothing short of staggering. As long as these crimes continue to pose a threat to life and limb craigslist should not be used for any kind of transaction.
59-year-old Ellis Vogt, of Fayette County, Tennessee, went missing in the summer of 2016 after hiring a caregiver off of craigslist. Back in February, his body was found and the caregiver, Pamela Bingham, had been arrested for theft for being in possession of some of Mr. Vogt’s property.
Recently, it was made public that Bingham has been charged with second-degree murder. According to an affidavit, butcher knives were found next to Mr. Vogt’s body that matched knives that were missing from his kitchen. Bingham allegedly went to great lengths to throw anyone off her trail…
Investigators said they discovered a burn barrel still smoldering outside Vogt’s home. They also discovered blood-soaked towels, a DVR recording device for the surveillance system, and a crowbar.
And why did she allegedly brutally murder a man who was just looking for someone to assist him around his home?
Surveillance video captured Bingham in the Walmart parking lot of Oakland, Tennessee on July 30, 2016, the day after Vogt was reported missing. The video shows Bingham making purchases inside the Walmart, but does not show that Vogt was with her.
I would lay odds that everything she bought from Wal-Mart was probably trivial at worst and a flat-screen TV at best. This goes a long way in showing how low criminals who use craigslist are willing to stoop just to buy themselves some cheap crap.
I originally posted about 59-year-old Ellis Vogt, of Fayette County, Tennessee, here. He went missing during the summer of last year after hiring a caregiver off of craigslist only known as ‘Janie’ or ‘Jaynie’. Sadly, Mr. Vogt’s body was found earlier last month and was just recently identified.
Janie/Jaynie has been identified as Pamela Bingham after she was arrested in Oklahoma after being found in Mr. Vogt’s missing van. While no cause of death has been rendered yet, police have stated that Bingham is a person of interest in Mr. Vogt’s death. She is currently being held on $250K bond.
Hiring a caregiver from craigslist for either yourself or a loved one is a risky move. At best they could not be bonded or well-trained, and at the worst they could be a con artist, sexual predator, or even a killer. This article can help you on how to decide where to get a caregiver. It may cost a little more to avoid using craigslist, but isn’t it worth it for the safety alone?
Ellis Vogt and ‘Janie’
59-year-old Ellis Vogt, of Fayette County, Tennessee, has been missing from his some since at least July 30th. Police are also looking for a woman known only as ‘Janie’, whom Vogt hired off of craigslist to work as a caregiver. Vogt has previously had a stroke and requires medication.
The unknown woman and Vogt may be traveling in Mr. Vogt’s 1999 dark green Plymouth Voyager with Tennessee handicap license plate 100DD31.
If you have information about where these two may be, call the Fayette County Sheriff’s hotline at 901-466-0030.
I’ll post updates as they become available and as time allows.