Remains found in Minnesota ID’d as missing woman Carrie Olson

Photo of Carrie OlsonTwenty-nine-year-old Carrie Olson went missing from Rock Island, Iowa on December 28, 2013. Now, more than three months later, remains found over 300 miles away in Hastings, Minnesota have been identified as hers. A property owner stumbled across the remains on his land in an isolated, wooded area on April 5. Investigators are working on determining how long the body has been in the area, as well as the time and manner of death.
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Skeletal remains found in 1997 identified as missing Phoenix mother Susan Cook

Photo of Susan Denise CookThis is an odd story. Susan Cook went missing from Phoenix, Arizona on December 14, 1996. I can’t find very much information on the case, but what we do know is that she was last seen by her husband in her apartment at 8130 W. Indian School Road. Female skeletal remains were found approximately six months after Susan’s disappearance in the area of 87th Ave and West Dobbins Road. Despite the fact the remains were discovered in an area less than eleven miles away from her apartment, they weren’t tested against Susan’s DNA until recently. In January 2014, the tests confirmed that the remains are Susan’s. At the time of her disappearance, Susan was thirty-two years old and married with two children. Police have confirmed they are treating Susan’s death as a homicide.
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Police digging in backyard of missing mom Patty Vaughan’s husband

Image of Patty VaughanI haven’t written the chapter on Patty Vaughan in my book, Missing Wives, Missing Lives, just yet, but her case is one of the next on my list to write about. Turns out the police have been digging at her husband’s former property in Texas this week in search of the missing mother of three. I’m so glad to see some action taking place on some of these cold cases!
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Karla Villagra-Garzon’s body found; husband charged with murder

Photo of Karla Villagra-GarzonIn a sad update to the case of missing NJ mom Karla Villagra-Garzon, Elizabeth Police have announced that they have discovered her remains in a Chatham Township residence that has been vacant since Superstorm Sandy. Reported missing on February 24 by her husband, there have been few details available about an ongoing search. Originally investigators said that Karla’s husband, Abayuba Rivas, was cooperating with the investigation, but word comes tonight that he has been arrested for first-degree murder. Bail has been set at 2 million dollars.

Husband and wife charged with murder of missing 20-year-old Heather Elvis

Photo of Heather ElvisIn an interesting turn of events in the missing case of Heather Elvis, who has been missing from South Carolina since December 18, 2013, the man she had been having an affair with and his wife have been charged with her kidnapping and murder. Sidney Moorer, 38, and his wife Tammy Moorer, 42, were both originally charged last month with indecent exposure (from two separate incidents in different locations on December 17 and 18) and obstruction of justice (giving misinformation about Heather and their whereabouts on the night she went missing). Investigators searched their home after they were taken into custody and what they found led them to charge the couple with kidnapping and murder.
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“Missing Wives, Missing Lives” Cover Reveal!

Image of book by JJ Slate titled "Missing Wives, Missing Lives"I’m very excited to reveal the cover for my first book, designed by the talented Jacqueline Cross! Missing Wives, Missing Lives will be published this summer by RJ Parker Publishing, Inc. It will be available in paperback, eBook, and audiobook.

I have always been drawn to missing persons cases, especially those that have remained unsolved for many years. Missing Wives, Missing Lives will highlight true stories in which a wife has vanished, presumably at the hands of her husband, and the undying efforts of her family and friends to bring her home. I cover the tragic stories of Stacy Peterson, Susan Cox Powell, Michele Harris, Lisa Stebic, Dawn Viens, and many more. The families of these women have suffered through a horrific experience of not knowing exactly what happened to their loved one and they continue to search for answers years later. It is my hope that keeping the stories of these women alive will bring an end to the searching and give those families the closure they deserve.

Latasha Nevitt’s remains identified

Latasha NevittNearly two-and-a-half years after she was reported missing from her Chicago home, Latasha Nevitt (note: some news outlets report her name is spelled Latashia) has been found. A team of water department workers discovered her remains in a Morgan Park sewer basin last week. Latasha, a thirty-year-old mother of three and Everest University student, was last seen on October 15, 2011, walking to a convenience store near her home. According to family members and friends, they searched the area thoroughly when Latasha went missing, but they did not search the sewer. Workers described finding the body in a black, heavy-duty plastic bag stuffed in a valve basin in the sewer, a space where workers go to shut off the water main.

According to news reports, Latasha’s husband, Isaac Nevitt, watched the recovery of the body from his front porch, approximately 100 feet away from where the body was found last week. He spoke briefly to the media. “Hoping it’s not her, and it’s not her, still praying for the family of whoever it is.” He also told the media that “ninety percent of the people out there” think he is guilty of killing Latasha, but insisted that they are all wrong. Nevitt is believed to be the last person to see Latasha alive. An autopsy could not determine the cause of death and at this time there is no word on if charges will be filed anytime soon.

Children of missing mom Michele Harris make public plea

MicheleHarrisI’ve been hard at work on my new book to be released later this summer, “Missing Wives, Missing Lives.” I spent most of today working on the chapter about Michele Harris. A mother of four, Michele went missing from Owego, NY on the evening of September 11, 2001, a day when the entire country was focused on the World Trade Center attacks. Is it possible her disappearance didn’t get as much media coverage as it would have if it occurred a week earlier? Many believe so, but the case is back in the news this week as the four children of Michele Harris made a public plea for information about their mother’s disappearance. Michele’s husband, Calvin Harris, was charged with her murder years later. Over the better part of the last decade, he was convicted not once, but twice, of second-degree murder, and both convictions were ultimately thrown out. He currently is awaiting his third murder trial, due to begin later this year. Calvin Harris steadfastly denies having anything to do with Michele’s disappearance, and his lawyers argue the circumstantial evidence against him is just that: circumstantial. Investigators have never found Michele’s remains, or a murder weapon for that matter. What they do have is small amounts of high-velocity blood spatter and reports from Michele’s friends and family stating that Cal was abusive and she feared for her life.

This week, her children appeared in front of the media with Cal, proclaiming his innocence and asking for the public’s help in locating her. Cal told the reporters at the press conference, “I didn’t have any involvement in Michele’s disappearance. I would never hurt the mother of my children and I would never do anything to hurt them.” Eighteen-year-old Cayla Harris also spoke. “We want to keep our family together and not lose our father again,” she stated. “We plead to those of you who can help us, to come forward with information.” The family has set up a confidential tip line for any information: (607) 215-5166. This will definitely be a trial to watch later this year.

To watch the press conference via WENY News, click here.

Where is missing NJ mom, Karla Villagra-Garzon?

Karla Villagra-GarzonI find it particularly odd there are so few details available concerning this woman’s disappearance, especially considering more than a week has passed since she vanished. New Jersey investigators are looking into the case of a missing mother who walked out of her house about 10:30 p.m. last Monday, February 24. Her husband reported her missing the next morning when she hadn’t returned from picking up medicine for her sick two-year-old. Thirty-three-year-old mother Karla Villagra-Garzon left on foot from her home at the 800 block of East Jersey Street to make the trip to her local Walgreens only a few blocks away, at 600 Newark Ave. Surveillance footage does not show her ever arriving at the store. According to her husband, Abayuba, she was wearing a brown jacket, blue jeans, and black rain boots when she left the residence. Police say that Abayuba is cooperating with investigators. Villagra-Garzon is approximately five-feet tall, 120 pounds, with long black hair, and brown eyes.

If you have any information about Villagra-Garzon’s disappearance, you are advised to call the Elizabeth Police Communications Center at (908) 558-2111.

Arrest made in Holly Bobo disappearance

campaign-for-truckers-to-help-bring-missing-holly-bobo-home-21531593I’ve followed the Holly Bobo case closely since she first went missing in 2011. The case was an odd one: a beautiful twenty-year old nursing student from Tennessee mysteriously vanished from her own house in broad daylight. Her brother was home at the time and happened to look out the window as she was being led into the woods by a man in hunting attire he mistakenly thought at the time was her boyfriend. It was only after the family realized she was missing that her brother realized he must have witnessed her abduction. Now, nearly three years later, police have charged twenty-nine year old Zachary Rye Adams with her aggravated kidnapping and first-degree murder. Officials stated yesterday they could seek the death penalty against Adams and a decision about that would be made at a later time. Details are limited, but it is known that a cadaver dog and a small Bobcat excavator were brought in to search Adams’ residence over the weekend, after he was arrested for holding a gun to his current girlfriend’s head and threatening to “gut” her with a knife. It is not clear if officials had considered Adams a suspect prior to this arrest. It is also not clear if officials have found Holly’s remains, although District Attorney General Hansel McCadams stated in the press conference yesterday that they felt there was sufficient evidence to prove that Holly had been “forcefully taken from her home without her consent” and “killed in the perpetration of that kidnapping.” It is a sad day for the Bobo family, but hopefully they will feel some comfort knowing that they will get closure in her disappearance.