CUE Center brings families closure

May 6, 2012 by  
Filed under Featured, General

In her 18-plus years as an advocate, Monica Caison has seen it all: The car stereo store owner who staged his disappearance to avoid creditors. The 9-year-old boy missing four months before being found dead, tucked into a suitcase and stashed behind a drug store. The killer who sent her a map pinpointing the location of his last victim.

All those cases drew a focused response from Caison’s Wilmington-based nonprofit, the CUE Center for Missing Persons, a sprawling network of volunteers whose growth in recent years is underscored by its rapidly expanding reach across the country.

But the organization was not always this big.

The tragedy that lifted CUE from obscurity to mainstream was the disappearance of Peggy Carr, a 32-year-old kidnapped at random by two men in a parking lot outside a city shopping center in April 1998.

Then a nascent and relatively unknown organization, CUE took a leading role in spearheading the quest for Carr in a case that galvanized much of the community. As the search unfolded over seven months, CUE helped feed, house and alleviate the financial and emotional strain on Carr’s family as searchers pursued her whereabouts.

CUE built on the credence and knowledge it gained during that formative time 14 years ago to grow from a blip in the voluminous world of missing persons to a nationally recognized support system. Today, it enjoys a reputation as a nationwide web of volunteers, still headquartered in the Port City, willing to marshal resources for missing persons and their families at a moment’s notice.

Carr’s mother, Penny Carr Britton, grew so close to Caison and CUE as the search for her daughter unfurled that she remains actively involved with the organization to this day. In March, she attended CUE’s eighth annual national conference, a gathering of field experts, families, search and rescue groups and law enforcement officials in Wilmington every year.

“When we got here, we didn’t know a soul. We didn’t know what to do,” Britton recalled about 1998, when she and other members of her family traveled from Ohio to assist in the search. “For seven months, Monica walked me through my life.”

Stepping in

In the years before Carr’s case became a high-profile drama, CUE had established itself as a mainstay for families on the emotional rollercoaster that follows the disappearance of a loved one. But the group had been struggling to define its mission, operating more on the periphery than the center.

Carr’s disappearance marked a turning point. The case swung nationwide attention on this corner of North Carolina. People seemed captivated by first the mystery of why she vanished and then the callousness of her murder. But it also shone a spotlight on CUE as the organization sought to assert itself as a community stalwart and family advocate.

Carr was months away from her wedding when two strangers abducted her outside a shopping center at the corner of Oleander Drive and Dawson Street on April 22, 1998. Held at gunpoint, she was forced to drive about 40 minutes to the edge of a soybean field in rural Bladen County, where the assailants killed her and left her body beneath berry bushes.

For the next seven months, nobody but the killers knew her whereabouts. As the search progressed, Britton and other family members, many of whom uprooted their lives in Ohio to live in North Carolina while the case developed, grasped for answers.

CUE, meanwhile, stepped in to relieve what anxieties it could, Britton said. The group not only nudged the case forward, but covered the family members’ hotel expenses, brought them dinner every night and did other small things to ameliorate their stress. Caison glued herself to Britton’s side, becoming a shoulder to lean on as she walked Britton through the whirlwind of emotion and bureaucracy that confronted them.

“I always tell people, that was our landmark case,” Caison, a stark blonde whose vigor, focus and dynamic personality make her a charismatic figure among victims’ families. “It was a crash course in seven months for every avenue I’d be working with for the rest of my life.”

Caison runs the organization from her home off Gordon Road in an office decorated more like a police station than a nonprofit center: Hanging from the wall are maps of the United States, missing persons posters and framed portraits of murder victims. A row of black file cabinets stand at the back wall. By her desk sit boxes overflowing with papers and manila folders.

From headquarters, Caison can connect with search teams, law enforcement officials, caseworkers and fundraisers from coast to coast. While the group has sought answers in cases ranging from teenage runaways to suicides and murders, the group claims as its token feature the attention it places on cases gone cold, in which the victim vanished years or even decades ago.

“What interested me about Monica is she would take the cases everybody else had given up on,” said Marshia Morton, a CUE volunteer based in Missouri. “She would beat the bushes and rattle some chains until she had a direction to go on.”

Still expanding

Recent developments have further solidified the organization’s status as a national order. Earlier this year, CUE rolled out a state director program in an effort to bolster its presence and streamline resource delivery. The plan envisions installing four outreach coordinators in each state within five years to act as liaisons to raise money, identify needs and assist families. Twenty-seven coordinators are now spread across 12 states, including four in North Carolina.

The directors, for example, are responsible for helping families file missing persons reports, elicit news coverage for their case and spread awareness about their missing loved one online and in the community through websites and billboards, among other things.

Dawn Drexel, one of two coordinators serving in New York, is among many whose participation stems at least in part from personal tragedy.

Drexel’s daughter, Brittanee, has been featured on a series of national television programs, from “Nancy Grace” to “Good Morning America,” since vanishing three years ago. A 17-year-old looking forward to high school graduation, the Rochester, N.Y. teen disappeared in Myrtle Beach in April 2009 during a spring break trip with friends.

In the investigation’s early steps, authorities tracked Brittanee’s cellphone to a swampland in Georgetown County, about 50 miles south of Myrtle Beach. Over the next two weeks, CUE mobilized some 200 searchers to scour the treacherous terrain.

Plump bugs swarmed. Snakes slithered. ATVs had to roll through the woods every few minutes to scare the alligators back into the river. Canine handlers carried six-shooters to protect their dogs, Drexel said.

Though Brittanee’s whereabouts remain unknown, Drexel’s experience put her on a path toward advocating for families undergoing similar heartache.

“She teaches you a lot of things, how to remain strong,” Drexel said about Caison. “She’s built me up to the point where I’m now able to advocate for Brittanee and also help support other families going through the same thing.”

In addition to advocating for missing persons, CUE runs internship programs for university and college students.

Allie Jeffords, a student at Ashley High School, chose CUE as the subject of her senior project. As part of her work, she enlisted family members and friends to assist her in throwing a fundraiser on a recent weekend outside K-Mart on South College Road to collect donations of money and office supplies.

Jeffords has known Caison since she was a child.

“She always instilled in us how important it was for the missing persons to be heard,” Jeffords said. “They do have a family member out there that needs to find them.”

To better coordinate its widespread string of volunteers, the group hopes to launch an online database in coming months to store and aggregate volunteer and resource information in one, centralized location accessible from anywhere in the world.

Christy Davis, a CUE volunteer whose Florida-based company, International Technical Industries, is creating the database, said the Web-based tool is expected to streamline the assembly of search teams and other resources. Also, the program might improve its chances of winning grant money by tracking hours volunteers spend in the field.

Rallying search parties quickly is an important capability in an arena where time may mean the difference between life and death, an open or closed casket.

In interviews, CUE members said the organization exists in part to bridge a gap between families and law enforcement. The latter, constrained by increasingly tight budgets and finite manpower, are sometimes unable to muster resources that families believe their cases deserve.

The volume of missing persons reports filed each year is staggering. In 2010, 85,820 people were reported missing nationwide, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. But law enforcement officials say a vast majority of those involve people skipping town voluntarily. Since state and local governments have been forced to shed officers to fill budget gaps, detectives more than ever have to weigh relevant facts before launching a full-fledged investigation.

“You can’t treat everyone like an abduction. You don’t have the resources to do that,” said Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous. “You have to look at each case and look at the merits of it and see if there’s any real indicators” on whether they left of their own volition.

Evangelous has personally witnessed those frustrations expressed among families. In 1991, his cousin in Massachusetts vanished.

The police handling her case failed to treat it seriously, the chief said, despite the family’s assertions that she was an unlikely runaway. As it turns out, the man with whom she was last seen had killed her, stored her body in a plastic bag and left her in his closet. Police visited the man’s home but never searched inside. Officers eventually arrested the culprit, but only after he dumped the body in another location. He is now in prison.

Evangelous said CUE has become involved in various cases being investigated by city detectives over recent years. That includes the disappearances of Allison Jackson-Foy, 34, and Angela Nobles Rothen, 42, whose remains were eventually found in the woods off Carolina Beach Road. Both died at knifepoint. Their killings have not been solved.

Jackson-Foy’s sister, Lisa Valentino, now serves as a state outreach coordinator in New Jersey.

From missing to searching

Caison’s troubled teen life made her an unlikely candidate for matriarch of such a sizable missing persons organization. Through hours of interviews, she chronicled her life’s progression, from the beginning as a poor girl on the southside of St. Petersburg, Fla, to a missing persons advocate whose work brings her to far-flung corners of the country.

Always close to her family, Caison’s rebellious streak kicked off after her parents divorced. She ran away from home multiple times as a teenager, with her parents reporting her missing more than once. She hitchhiked around the country and lied about her age to find work, staying for a while before she circled back home.

“I was definitely a juvenile delinquent,” Caison said. “I was rebellious because I wanted my family back, I wanted my parents back.”

During those influential years, Caison learned about people’s ability for self-realization and change. “I was that person who was very likely to end up in a ditch somewhere,” she recalled. But “look who I became now. Look at what I’ve done with my life and my community. So should we be so quick to judge?”

By 18, she moved to Southeastern North Carolina to live with her mother and siblings. But she found her mother involved in an abusive relationship and, fed up with her stepfather’s rage, moved into her own place. In 1985, Caison, then 22, married her longtime boyfriend, Samuel.

As she grew older, child-rearing and volunteer work came to dominate Caison’s life. Her time revolved around public schools, which her children attended. Over time, she fell into the role of nonprofit volunteer, raising money for various charities and working with troubled youth.

In the early 1990s, Caison’s volunteerism led her to Karen Brown, the founder of the Non-Profit for Public Safety and Awareness. Brown dissolved the organization soon thereafter, but not before convincing Caison to carry the torch with her own nonprofit. Inspired by tragedies in her own life and the disappearances of people she was close to, Caison chose to draw attention toward something she felt needed more: missing persons.

In 1994, CUE was born.

Since its inception, the group has processed more than 9,000 cases of missing people. CUE pours volumes of time and resources into each one, Caison said, printing fliers, buying billboards, creating websites and launching searches.

Families lauded the efforts. But while they work in conjunction with law enforcement on cases, some police officials have expressed concerns that CUE’s assertiveness can pose a risk to the integrity of criminal cases. And some other search and rescue groups have questioned CUE’s reliance on private donations instead of government funding and grants, calling its fundraising tactics over-aggressive.

Despite the criticisms, CUE has worked frequently with law enforcement officials and search and rescue officials in a variety of states to help families home in on missing loved ones.

Lori Roberts, of Wilmington, credited the group with finding her daughter’s 13-year-old friend when she vanished from Killeen, Texas. CUE offered a reward for information about the girl’s whereabouts, generating the tip that led authorities to her location.

“They suspected she was going to be trafficked over the Mexican border,” said Roberts, now a state outreach coordinator for North Carolina. She said Caison stayed in touch with the family throughout the investigation, always answering her phone, even if it rang at 3:30 a.m. “I was so scared and kept begging Monica, ‘You have to find her.’ ”

Since CUE draws solely on volunteers for its manpower, nobody accepts a paycheck. A big “0″ has always appeared beside Caison’s name under the income disclosure portion of the group’s tax forms.

A mother’s path

On the day she vanished, Carr left to run errands, leaving her fiance a note that read, “Be back soon.” While she was inside the store, a white Mazda carrying Curtis Cobbs and Bem Holloway pulled into the parking lot.

As Carr was starting her black Geo Tracker and getting ready to leave the shopping center, Holloway jumped into the passenger seat. He first tried to pay her to drive him somewhere. But when she refused, he brandished a gun and ordered her to follow the Mazda, which was being driven by Cobbs.

The gun didn’t actually work, but Carr could not have known.

The trip took her over the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge, past rusted barns and dusty convenience stores that border N.C. 87, finally ending in a Bladen County soybean field. Cobbs later testified that Holloway stabbed Carr while he watched.

The men had wanted her car, betting it would make a fine getaway vehicle in a robbery later on. But they eventually decided against using it. Instead, they dumped the GEO about 16 miles away, on the shores of Lake Waccamaw.

Britton still struggles with the knowledge of her daughter’s death. Since her body was found, Carr’s friends and family have turned the scene into a memorial complete with wind chimes, small stone sculptures and day lilies now proliferating beyond the picket fence that surrounds the site. They regularly visit the spot to clear out weeds and lay new mulch.

After killing Carr, Holloway and Cobbs went on a crime spree through Columbus and Robeson counties. They were later imprisoned for their crimes. Holloway was shot to death the next year during an escape attempt at a prison work farm near the Virginia line. Cobbs’ sentence ended earlier this year.

Britton learned about Cobb’s release for the first time on the day she was accompanied by a StarNews reporter and photographer to the murder scene in March. The reporter looked him up in the prison database later that day, and notified her that Cobbs had been let go two months before. Nobody contacted her beforehand. She thought he had more time to serve.

The day after deputies came across Carr’s remains in November 1998, Britton visited the site to lay eyes on the field where her daughter spent her last moments. The sight uncorked her bottled emotions. She wailed so palpably that deputies and search volunteers standing in earshot joined her in crying. Caison, glued to her side, hugged the grieving mother.

The next day’s newspaper ran a photo which captured that scene, showing Britton clasped in an emotional embrace with the blonde-haired woman she’d come to consider part of the family.

Brian Freskos: 343-2327

On Twitter: @BrianFreskos

Tammie McCormick

July 31, 2011 by  
Filed under General

   

Missing Since: 04/29/86
Missing From: Saratoga Springs,New York
Classification: Endangered Missing
Age at Disappearance: 13
Date of Birth: 07/03/72
White Female
Height: 5’5
Weight: 108 lbs
Hair: Lt. Brown
Eyes:Hazel
Scars,Marks,Tattos:Homemade tattoo of “T.A.M.” on her upper left arm
Clothing: An over sized, yellow and white striped shirt; black corduroy pants; and beige, high heeled boots. Jean Jacket. She was carrying a shoulder bag.

Circumstances Of Disappearance:
Tammie McCormick, of 5 Deerleap Place, was last seen was last seen by family members the morning of April 29 before she attempted to catch the bus to the Saratoga Springs Junior High School, where she was a student. She missed the bus, and she never made it to the junior high school. She may have tried to hitchhike. She has not been seen, heard from or spotted by anyone since then.

Police were concerned early on, as she did not leave a note and did not take a change of clothing with her.

Her mother waited until two days later to report her daughter missing to the police because she thought Tammie may have stayed at a friend’s. She said Tammie often stayed overnight with her friends, but would call the next morning to say she was OK.
Foul play is suspected.

 

Investigative Agency:
Saratoga Springs City Police
518-584-1800

If you have any information on this case please contact CUE Center For Missing Persons using the contact form below or contact Cue Center at (910) 343-1131 24 hour tip line (910) 232-1687.

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Sandra Quay

June 13, 2011 by  
Filed under General

Missing Since: 06/18/11
Missing From: Manhattan, New York
Classification: Missing
White Female
Age at Disappearance: 65
Date Of Birth:08/18/45
Height: 4’11
Weight: 150
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Auburn/Grey
Special Identifiers: Chipped Tooth, wears glasses, but usually contacts.
Clothing: Unknown, but possibly black and white.

Circumstances of Disappearance:
Sandy got on a Racetown Travel tour bus from Altoona, PA to New York CIty Saturday June 18, 2011. She arrived in New York City at 9 am. Passengers on the bus said she was behaving erratically. When they reached Manhattan she left the tour at the protest of the other passengers and the driver.

She frequently goes on these tours and often leaves the group. She will go to broadway shows, central park and pick up gifts for her grandkids at Toys R Us. She sometimes rides the subway and is known to go to an unknown Irish pub.

The bus was supposed to return at 7 pm and Sandy did not show up to the pick up location in Midtown on 52nd St. The bus waited an hour and a half and then returned to Altoona, PA.

Sandy left two bags on the bus and one included her checkbook. She has a cellphone and isn’t answering it. The cellphone company said it is off. Her mental state is questionable.

Investigative Agency
Midtown Precinct ( New York)
(212) 767-8400

 

If you have any information on this case please contact CUE Center For Missing Persons using the contact form below or contact Cue Center at (910) 343-1131 24 hour tip line (910) 232-1687.

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Michael Maurice Rustin

June 10, 2011 by  
Filed under General

Missing Since: 04/19/09
Missing From: Salisbury,NC
Classification: Missing Endangered
Date Of Birth: 08/15/75
Age at Disappearane:33
Height: 5’8
Weight: 155
Hair: Black
Eyes: Brown
Clothing:Light gray and white Dickies T-shirt, dark gray sweat pants, black boots.
Jewelry:Beaded African necklace.
Identifying Marks or Characteristics: Pierced ears, several missing teeth, tattoo of the word Metro on chest, letter “G” representing life on right arm, a sword on right forearm. words “Established in 1975″ on right arm, word “Love” on left forearm, word “War” on right forearm, bomb on left hand, initials “PM” on right hand, word “Top Shottas” on top left arm, a dollar sign on right arm with letters “ESP.”
Nicknames:Mike, Mikey

Circumstances of Disappearance:
Michael was last seen on video pulling into the parking area and exiting his vehicle at the Latin Mix convenience store in the vicinity of the 900 block of Fulton Ave., in Salisbury. A Hispanic man was seen entering Michael’s vehicle and removing an unknown item and is considered an investigative lead. His cell phone is missing, but identification and other personal items left in his vehicle. According to police Ruston was taken against his will by the two men who were operating a blue Chevrolet Impala.

Investigative Agency:
Salisbury (NC) Police Department
(704) 638-5333

If you have any information on this case please contact CUE Center For Missing Persons using the contact form below or contact Cue Center at (910) 343-1131 24 hour tip line (910) 232-1687.

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Kelly Rothwell

March 18, 2011 by  
Filed under General

Missing Since: 03/12/11
Missing From: Clearwater, Florida
Classification: Endangered Missing
Age at Disappearance:35
Date of Birth:01/10/76
White Female
Height:5’3
Weight:125
Eyes:Brown
Hair:Brown
Scars,Marks,Tattoos: Flower tattoo on ankle
Nickname(s) Kel, Kell Bell

Circumstances of Disappearance
Kelly L. Rothwell, 35, of Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., was last seen at about 3:30 p.m. Saturday March 12,2011 as she had lunch with a friend at a restaurant in Pinellas County. An investigation began on Sunday when another friend asked deputies to check on Rothwell at her home where she lives with her boyfriend, 46-year-old David Perry. The friend was concerned for Rothwell’s safety due to “domestic issues” the couple had been experiencing, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.

Rothwell, who has not returned repeated calls to her cell phone from friends and relatives, did not show up for class Monday at the Pinellas Police Academy in St. Petersburg. Since starting the program in November, she has not missed a day, authorities said.

Perry, who is a retired corrections officer, has since traveled to New York, but is refusing to talk to police,  He has not been charged.

Police found no signs of Rothwell or Perry during a search of their residence on Sunday,March 13,2011. Rothwell’s abandoned car — a green 2007 Subaru Outback — was found later Sunday March 13,2011 about two miles away.

Her case remains unsolved.

Investigative Agency
Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office
727-582-6200

Website dedicated to Kelly Rothwell’s Disappearance

 

If you have any information on this case please contact CUE Center For Missing Persons using the contact form below or contact Cue Center at (910) 343-1131 24 hour tip line (910) 232-1687.

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Frederick Donald Leach

February 11, 2011 by  
Filed under General

Missing since: 03/17/76
Missing From: Laytonville,California
Classification: Endangered Missing
Date Of Birth: 12/06/26
Age at Disappearance: 49
White Male-Tan complexion
Hair:Gray
Eyes: Blue
Height:5’8
Weight: 165 lbs.
Marks, Scars: He had a scar on the right side of his face from an animal bite.
Nicknames: Bill, Donald, William

Details of Disappearance
Mr Leach was residing approximately one mile south of Laytonville, California.

Mr Leach was a mechanic by trade and enjoyed tinkering with his vast collection of vehicles and motorcycles. Fredrick’s property in Laytonville, California was nearly paid off and, at 49 years old, he was looking forward to enjoying his eventual retirement.

Mr Leach  was last seen by his son  on March 17, 1976. Later that day, his best friend  contacted Mr Leach’s daughter and said that her fathers house was vandalized, lots of stuff was stolen and he was missing.

Among the items missing were several vehicles – a 1960s Ford Falcon, two Willy’s PU jeeps and two motorcycles – a Harley Davidson and a Suzuki.

It is believed that two big trucks were seen loading everything up,

According to the best friend, the last time he saw Mr Leach, he was limping. When he inquired as to the reason, Frederick allegedly told him he had been beaten up.

It is also believed that Frederick was involved in a dispute with some people,and that Frederick would not sell them some things they wanted, and one of the guys became furious.

Foul Play was suspected in Mr Leach’s disappearance after fresh blood was found on his property shortly after he disappeared.

Mr Leach is still missing and his case remains unsolved.

Investigative Agency
Mendocino County Sheriff (California)
707-467-9159 or 707-463-4086

If you have any information on this case please contact CUE Center For Missing Persons using the contact form below or contact Cue Center at (910) 343-1131 24 hour tipline (910) 232-1687.

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Alyssa Mclemore

February 11, 2011 by  
Filed under General

Missing Since:04/09/09
Missing from Kent,Washington
Classification:Endangered Missing
Date of Birth:07/23/87
Age at Disappearance: 21
Asian female
Height: 5’1 – 5’3
Weight:130 pounds
Eyes:Brown
Hair:Black

Details of Disappearance
McLemore lived with her mother and grandmother in Kent, Washington at the time of her disappearance. Her grandmother spoke to her on the phone at 6:30 p.m. on April 9, 2009. McLemore’s mother was dying of scleroderma, a serious autoimmune disease, and on April 9 her grandmother told McLemore that her mother’s condition was worsening. McLemore assured her grandmother that she would come home. A witness reported seeing her in Kent that day, near 30th Avenue South and Kent-Des Moines Road. The witness saw a green 1990s model pickup truck, possibly with Oregon license plates, approach McLemore. She has never been heard from again. Her mother died three days later, but her family was unable to get in touch with her. The day after her mother’s death, McLemore’s cellular phone went out of service and stopped taking messages.

Authorities discovered McLemore’s cellular phoned dialed 911 at 9:15 p.m. on April 10, the day after she was last heard from. The dispatcher heard a woman asking for help, but the phone did not have a GPS sensor and its exact location could not be determined before the line went dead. Authorities believe the call came from the Kent area, however. The caller has never been identified.

McLemore has a young daughter whom she left in the care of her boyfriend, the child’s father. Her boyfriend describes her as a devoted parent who would not have abandoned the child.  Her case remains unsolved.

Investigating Agency
Kent Police Department
253-856-5800

If you have any information on this case please contact CUE Center For Missing Persons using the contact form below or contact Cue Center at (910) 343-1131 24 hour tipline (910) 232-1687.

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Jeffery Combs

July 14, 2010 by  
Filed under General

Missng from: North Wilkesboro, North Carolina
Missing since: 10/23/2008
Classification: Endangered Missing
Age at disappearance: 41
Date of Birth: 05/20/67
White Male
Height: 5’6
Weight: 190
Hair: Blonde
Eyes: Blue
Tattoos: Photo of barbwire -upper right arm/upper left arm-Photo of bulldog with name (Combs?)

Identifying Characteristics:
Due to previous injuries and  stroke both arms and hands are crippled and left arm is paralized. Gaps in teeth

Circumstances of Disappearance:
Jeffery Combs’s mother returned home from work to discover a note written by Jeffery saying, “my scooter was stolen” and he was going to the bridge on Suncrest Orchard road to look for it, and to come look for him if he was not back by dark.” Officers searched the area of the bridge on Suncrest Orchard road and located the stolen scooter along with clothing belonging to Mr. Combs. Residents in the neighborhood confirmed seeing Jeffery in the area but his whereabouts are still unknown.

Investigative Agency:
Wilkes County Sheriff (North Carolina)
(336) 903-7600

Volunteers search for Wilkes Co. man missing 2 years

The search continued this weekend for a Wilkes County man who has been missing for more than two years.

Volunteers search for Wilkes Co. man missing 2 years

If you have any information on this case please contact CUE Center For Missing Persons using the contact form below or contact Cue Center at (910) 343-1131 24 hour tipline (910) 232-1687.

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Brandi Wells

May 1, 2010 by  
Filed under General

Missing Since: 08/03/06
Missing from: Longview, Texas
Classification: Endangered Missing
Date of Birth: 11/28/82
Age at disappearance: 23
Height:4’11
Weight: 120 – 130 pounds
White Female
Hair:Blonde
Eyes:Blue
Clothing/Jewelry Description: A floral print brown and cream-colored tube top with a V cut over the hip, rust-colored gaucho pants, black strapless high-heeled sandals with a floral applique.
Distinguishing Characteristics:Wells’s nicknames are Blinky and Boo. She blinks frequently. Her hair was slightly below her shoulders at the time of her disappearance, without bangs. Her ears are pierced one time each, and she has French tips on her fingernails. Wells broke her left thumb at age ten and had a pin implanted, but the pin was removed after the injury healed.

Details of Disappearance
Wells was last seen in Longview, Texas on August 3, 2006. She planned to go to a pawnshop to get some money, but ended up going to Graham Central Station, a nightclub, instead. Wells is known to have arrived at the club at 10:30 p.m. She was unfamiliar with the area where the club was located, and had to call them several times to ask for directions. By the time she got there, her car was almost out of gasoline and she asked other customers for assistance, but it is unclear whether anyone offered to help her. She left alone shortly after midnight. She was not intoxicated at the time. She has never been heard from again.

Wells’s black four-door 2000 Pontiac Grand Prix, which has the Texas license plate number J50ZTD and damage to the passenger side just above the front wheel, disappeared with her. It was found five days later parked westbound on Interstate 20 at Texas Highway 31, just outside of Longview and 300 yards west of FM 2087. Inside were some of her personal belongings, including her wallet, purse and her ex-boyfriend’s nonfunctional cellular phone. There was no sign of Wells at the scene and no indications of a struggle, but the driver’s seat was reportedly pushed back, as if someone taller than Wells had driven it last. After Wells disappeared, there was some activity on her own cellular phone, which had disappeared with her. Three people found the phone and used it. All three individuals took a polygraph test; one of them, a man, failed it. The man has not been publicly identified, and though he has been interviewed multiple times by police, he has not been called a suspect in Wells’s case.

At the time of her disappearance, Wells resided with a roommate in Brownsboro, Texas. She is a graduate of Chapel Hill High School and, in August 2006, was looking forward to starting a new job at Wal-Mart and starting classes at Trinity Valley Community College. She dreamed of a career as a kindergarten or first-grade schoolteacher. Wells may have been taken against her will and foul play is possible in her disappearance. Her case remains unsolved.

Investigating Agency
Longview Police Department
903-237-1110

Mysterious man claims missing East Texas woman is alive

March 10, 2010
TYLER (KYTX) – The mother of a missing East Texas woman claims she may have received a break in her daughter’s disappearance.

Brandi Wells disappeared from a Longview nightclub three and a half years ago. Her mother, Ellen Tant, says a man named “Tim” called her this weekend claiming Brandi was alive and living in Kansas City, Missouri.

The call was disconnected before Ellen could get any more information. Now she’s pleading for the man to call her back.

“You know you kind of wonder if this could be a good lead, but then it’s the only hope I’ve had in 3 and a half years that she’s alive and well. So it’s all I’ve got so I’m going to run with it,” explained Tant.

Brandi Wells was last seen at Graham Central Station in Longview.

If you have any information on this case please contact CUE Center For Missing Persons using the contact form below or contact Cue Center at (910) 343-1131 24 hour tipline (910) 232-1687.

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David Lovely

April 30, 2010 by  
Filed under General

Missing Since: 08/05/85
Missing from: Fort Bridger, Wyoming
Classification: Endangered Missing
Date of Birth: 08/29/65
Age at disappearance: 19 years old
Height:6’4
Weight: 160 pounds

Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian male. Blond to brown hair, blue eyes. Lovely has large scars across his abdomen below his ribcage, the result of extensive kidney surgery in childhood.
Clothing/Jewelry Description: A white pullover sweatshirt or polo shirt, a red nylon windbreaker, a green Army fatigue jacket, brown cotton pants and sneakers.

Details of Disappearance
Lovely was moving with his family from Massachusetts to California in August 1985, when he became separated from them. His family was riding in a large U-Haul truck, and Lovely rode his burgundy or maroon 1978 Model 1100 Yamaha motorcycle with California license plates 8N3477. The motorcycle was outfitted with saddlebags and a luggage rack. Lovely’s family stopped every thirty miles to check on him.

In Evanston, Illinois, Lovely’s family wanted to stop and he wanted to keep going. They let him go. Later, Lovely called his aunt and claimed his motorcycle had broken down in Fort Bridger, Wyoming but that a “rough-looking” man with his own motorcycle had fixed it at Bingo Truck Stop. Lovely claimed to be afraid of the man. He never contacted his loved ones again. Lovely was carrying about $150 in cash at the time of his disappearance.

Nine days later, campers found Lovely’s motorcycle in an isolated area off South Baxter Road in a small draw of dirt road just east of the Sweetwater County Airport in Rock Springs, Wyoming. The keys were in it and it had half a tank of gasoline and was in running condition. An extensive search of the surrounding area turned up no sign of Lovely. His aunt stated he was close to his family and she didn’t believe he vanished of his own accord. His case remains unsolved.

Some agencies say Lovely disappeared from Huntington Beach, California. Both Wyoming and California police departments are investigating his case.

Investigating Agency
Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Department
307-872-6350
OR
Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation
307-777-7181
OR
Huntington Beach Police Department
714-536-5641

If you have any information on this case please contact CUE Center For Missing Persons using the contact form below or contact Cue Center at (910) 343-1131 24 hour tipline (910) 232-1687.

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