Boston’s Mysterious Vanishing Men, part 2

To read part 1 please click here

To view an interactive map of all cases click here

A note from the author Cryptid/Elise:

It has been almost a year since I wrote a blog post called “Boston’s Mysterious Vanishing Men” and it has been an incredible journey for me since then. I have experienced heartbreak in talking more with loved ones of the men I wrote about, anxiety over sharing my work to a larger and larger audience, and pride in my readers and my city in working to find solutions to this bizarre problem. I want to make it perfectly clear that I do not have an answer, and I do not know what is really happening. I do not know if these water deaths are accidental or intentional, preventable or inevitable. But I believe that each of the men I write about has a story that deserves to be told, and that it just might help us stop these tragedies in the future. 

I apologize profoundly for taking so long to write another post. It has been a difficult year for me, with many personal and health related problems keeping me from investing the time that I believe these cases deserve. Finally feeling strong enough to delve back into this work, I bring to you a part 2 of “Vanishing Men” As you may notice, many of these cases occurred outside of Boston, but there are incredible connections and similarities. It is my hope that these cases combined with the others can start to piece together this puzzle more and more until perhaps some day the mystery is solved. I want to give a final reminder as you read however, that these are not merely “cases” but also individuals, people with loved ones. Please read and respond to these posts with utmost respect. Thank you.

The cases so far:

Jerald Gelb (44) 8/2001

John Daverio (49)  3/2003

Daniel Mun (20) 12/2003

David W. Crockett (45) 1/2004

Dustin Willis (26) 3/2007

John Pike (23) 6/2007

Neo Babson Maximus/Charles M. Allen Jr. (22) 10/2007

William Hurley (24) 10/2009

Eugene Losik (26) 2/2010

Justin Marshall (30) 6/2010

David Mark (24) 2/2011

Christopher Martin (24) 12/2011

Franco Garcia (21) 2/2012

D’Anthony Green (23) 7/2012

Pedro Colon-Rodriguez (69) 10/2012

Jonathan Dailey (23) 10/2012

Joseph A. Gage (32) 1/2013

Eric Munsell (24) 2/2014

Shilo Morgado (36) 8/2015

Josue Quispe (18) 10/2015

Dennis Njoroge (21) 11/2015

Zachary Marr (22) 2/2016

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Jerald Gelb had a Master’s degree in computer science and was a former employee at IBM. He suffered a mental breakdown after being let go from his job in his 30’s, and his family members suspected he was battling schizophrenia. On August 16th 2001 he showed up unexpected at his parents home in Brookline, Ma. He spent the night, but was gone by approximately 5am the next morning when his parents checked on him. Jerald was 40 when he went missing, wearing a red sweatshirt, and has not been heard from since. The area he disappeared from is very close to the Muddy River, a small offshoot of the Charles.

If you have any info on Jerald please call the Brookline Police Dept. at (617) 730-2222

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Daniel Mun was a 20 year old from Kirksville Missouri. He was a biology student at MIT and a member of a frat house. He was good at sports, particularly tennis, and was remembered as very friendly. Daniel went missing on December 5th 2003 at about 4am, and may have been intoxicated at that time. Daniel’s roommate recalled that he did not seem stressed or sad before his disappearance, though there was apparently a concerning note found in his computer suggesting a suicide was possible. Daniel’s body was found under the ice near the Harvard Bridge in March of 2004. His MIT ID was in his pocket, and he was wearing inline skates (not ice skates). Daniel’s death was ruled a suicide.

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David Wayne Crockett was a service tech at an auto shop in Wareham, MA. He was an avid mechanic and loved car racing and motorcycles. He went missing in January of 2004 after last being seen at a restaurant near the water of Buttermilk bay. Three months later on April 3 2004, his body was discovered under a dock at the Continental Marina only 100 yards away. The water had supposedly been frozen until recently and authorities said it appeared to have been in the water for some time, though the marina owner described the body as “very visible”. David’s death was ruled an accidental drowning.

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John Pike was a 23 year old Syracuse University graduate in Public Communications, where he made Deans List and honors society. He was an athlete and avid musician, the drummer for a band called Ra Ra Riot. In June 2007 his band had played a show and was attending an after party in Fairhaven MA. Several friends saw John step outside at about 3am, but were concerned when he did not return later. His girlfriend received a text from him around this time saying he loved her, but this was not unusual. The house backs up to a Buzzards Bay beach, but Pike was notorious for his dislike of water and the tide was out. Later on that day at about 3pm John’s phone was found in shallow water on the west side of Wilbur Point. The next day his body was found about 200 yards away in 7 feet of water. Police said no foul play was suspected. Ra Ra Riot was enjoying growing success and John was passionate about the band.

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Charles M. Allen Jr. was a senior psychology major at Umass Dartmouth. In his past he had been a relatively famous online gamer, well known for his abilities in the  Valve game Half-Life. His passions shifted in college toward Tennis, and his dream was to become a professional player. “Charlie” had recently legally changed his name to “Neo Babson Maximus” perhaps in a effort to have a ‘famous persona’. His loved ones still knew him as Charlie, and insisted his name change was unrelated to his disappearance or mental illness. Charlie suffered from Bipolar disorder, though until not long before his disappearance it was well managed with medication. The trouble seemed to begin when Charlie’s sister contacted him asking him why he had deleted his facebook. Charlie became alarmed and insisted he had not. He told her that he believed he was in danger after sending some emails to “important people” and that she needed to be careful. He also said that the “answer” was in the “periodic table” then hung up. He later left a voicemail on his parents phone that sounded as if he was running through the woods. He was not heard from again until several days later when he reportedly broke into the second floor of a strangers house at 3am on October 13th 2007. He seemed confused and told the stranger he thought he was at his friends house, then he hurried off. Charlie’s car was found abandoned at his University’s parking lot, his backpack was found on Slocum Rd. and his shoes were found off Chase Rd.

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His computer at home had been completely wiped. He has never been found.

If you have any info on Charlie please contact the Dartmouth Police at (508) 910-1700

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Justin Marshall was a star high school football player, went to West Point, and graduated from Notre Dame. He then graduated from Suffolk Law with honors, and was working at Boston City Hall in Mayor Menino’s legal department. In June of 2006 Justin was out with friends in the Charlestown neighborhood on Pier 6, when the others in the group realized he was missing around 1am. His body was found in the water nearby. There has been little follow up to indicate a cause of death or other info.

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Christopher Martin lived in New Bedford and worked at Barden’s Boat Yard in Marion. He was 24 years old  and intoxicated when he was last seen in Downtown New Bedford at 1:30 am on December 17th 2011. His girlfriend reported him missing at 3:45 am. His body was discovered in the water behind a seafood restaurant the next morning, tangled in several life preservers. Authorities found this suspicious, as it appeared that someone may have tried to help Christopher. The stairs to the water near where he was found had been ripped up. No further information is known at this time.

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D’Anthony Green was a 23 year old student at Suffolk University. He was very athletic and active, as well as artistic, enjoying everything from photography to skydiving. Because he lived alone, the exact date he went missing is unknown. He was found in the water, having been there ‘several days’, wearing his running pants under his regular pants, as if he had been coming or going from a work out. D’Anthony was a very capable swimmer with no history of suicidal tendencies, leaving his family suspicious about his death. Despite this, police ruled his death a suicide.

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Pedro Colon-Rodriguez had immigrated from Puerto Rico to Boston. He had five children with his late wife, whose death hit him hard. In his recent years he had become a heavy drinker, and spent most of his time with Cambridge’s homeless community. He was well liked for his giving nature. In early October 2012 Pedro went to Cambridge Hospital for treatment of a fall related injury. He was not seen again until his body was discovered in the Charles River monday the 8th. He was still wearing his hospital bracelet. Pedro was found the day before Jonathan Daily, leading to his case being largely underreported.

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Joseph A. Gage was a 32 year old New Hampshire native with a degree in Mathematics from University of Hartford. He was athletic, a musically gifted guitar player, and loved to travel. On January 1st 2013 at about 3am, witnesses reported seeing Joseph crossing the Harvard Bridge with another man. Halfway across they hailed a cab, but instead of getting in Joseph apparently intentionally hurled himself over the rail of the bridge and into the Charles. Despite an intense search and theoretically knowing the exact location of the body, Joseph was not recovered until March 14th. One site described his death as a “tragic accident”.

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Shiloh Morgado was from Vallejo California, and lived in Westborough Ma. He had two children. Shiloh was known by many to be a “tech wizard” and was happiest while doing things like building his own computers. His body was discovered near Quincy Yacht Club on August 30th 2015, at around 6am. No foul play was suspected.

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Already the similarities between these cases and those in the previous post may be jumping out at you. You’ll notice in this group several technologically gifted men, several musicians, and many very intelligent individuals.

There are multiple men missing in a cluster around Buzzard’s Bay that I found intriguing.

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Again, as far as I can tell, the locations of these similar deaths are not sporadic, and do not happen along every coast or waterway. There seems to be several “hot spots” in Massachusetts alone, indicating that whom or what is causing the deaths may have a sort of “territory”. Whether it is a single migrating cause or two separate causes I cannot say.

I have charted the cases I have researched so far here to better illustrate the cluster areas.

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As most of Eastern Massachusetts is surrounded or in close proximity to water, it stands to reason that other cities should be seeing similar deaths if this was a “normal” occurrence, particularly areas with high populations of young people and bars (cities such as Salem and Provincetown come to mind). And if this was a problem related to college aged drinkers, surely students in the western MA college areas have many lakes and rivers that could pose dangers?

The average temperature of Boston Harbor varies greatly between October and March (the peak months for disappearances). Here are some stats:

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Even at it’s coldest, Boston’s water never dips below freezing point at 32°, nor does it come close to the estimated 28° of the Atlantic when the Titanic sank. Death from hypothermia in freezing water can happen in as little as 15 minutes, but even in that small window it seems that someone could be crying out for help or trying to climb out of the water.

Normally alcohol in the system increases ones chances of hypothermia, but there is evidence to suggest that sometimes the exact opposite is true. Charles Joughin survived the 28° water after the Titanic for an astounding two hours until a lifeboat picked him up. Joughin was an avid drinker, carrying a flask with him everywhere, and said that thanks to his intoxication he barely felt the cold.

While this may be an unusual case, it does make one think. I have never heard of a case of a drunk college kid falling off a pier, climbing back out, laughing it off and going home to warm up. (If this has happened to you or someone you know, please let me know in the comments.) My only other thought on the matter is that perhaps in many of the cases the men suffer shock from the coldness of the water almost immediately as they hit it, causing them to gasp deeply and inhale water, speeding up the drowning process. Still, it seems unlikely that so many men would not survive the critical moments after entering the water, as hypothermia is a slower process.

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I hope you have found part 2 of my research interesting and informative, and I hope you join me in the comments for discussion! Thank you.

 

 

Some More Thoughts on Zachary Marr

“Empty handed I entered the world and barefoot will I leave it”

The words were scrawled on yellow columns, one word to each, which were lining the walkway I traveled down. The graffiti seemed particularly fitting for the occasion. I was walking down a path to the place where Zachary Marr had died.

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The quote was a shortened, bastardization of a quote by a Japanese Monk, Kozan Ichikyo. He wrote it the day that he died in 1360. The full version is

“Empty-handed I entered the world
Barefoot I leave it.
My coming, my going —
Two simple happenings
That got entangled.”

The winding path sandwiched between TD Garden and the Zakim bridge was presumably the same as the one Zach had walked just a few weeks before. I tried to imagine what he was thinking or seeing on that bitterly cold February night. Had he also read the words along the posts? Or were those written sometime after he had gone into the water? The sidewalk, if one followed it, led to a wide area directly beneath the Zakim, where the Charles River’s salty water lapped quietly at the cement footings.

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It was an almost pleasant area by the light of day, a secret seeming place. Across the water to the right, one of the State Police buildings abutted the water, their patrol boats docked about only a few hundred feet from where Zach Marr had been that night. Despite the location, no one except the cameras attached to the bridges underbelly had seen what happened. Or at least, no one that we know of. For a reason we still cannot understand, Zack seemingly walked to this place, then along a catwalk under the bridge that runs parallel to the train tracks, separated by a fence.

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The catwalk ends in a dead end, while the train tracks continue across a steel beam bridge.

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Zach then apparently (according to reports of the cctv footage which has not been released) climbed up onto the railings by the water, and stepped off into the darkness.

I would give nearly anything to see that footage. Not for any sick pleasure or macabre entertainment; I suffered from nightmares for some time about Zach. In fact, the idea of seeing the video fills me with a sense of unrivaled dread. But something in me needs to see it, in some strange way. Maybe I feel like I will learn something I couldn’t understand before? Maybe I believe I will feel somehow vindicated? What was he wearing when he went over that railing? Was he moving clumsily, drunkenly? Or in the same surefooted, trancelike state I had seen on so many other eerie cctv videos of similar cases? Did it look like a simple accidental slip? Did it look like a resolute suicide? And even if I had these answers, what would they mean?

As I walked along the length of the catwalk I noticed the signs of homeless people’s camps; beds made of old blankets and cardboard, snack wrappers and cups, even some articles of clothing that could have been anyones. (Zach’s? Someone who was there that night? If he was somehow murdered, a suspect?)

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The weather was warmer now, more bearable, survivable. There was probably no one else around the night Zach was here. It had been the coldest night of the year in Boston in recent memory; hypothermia could happen in only a short time and most of the cities homeless population would have had to seek shelter in more protected places. Still, I wondered if the police had tried talking to any of the regulars around North Station. I doubted it.

For most people Zach’s death was quickly accepted as just another accident. Just another drunk college age boy who wandered off into the water. I of course have difficulty accepting that. That theory leaves too many unanswered questions, and is simply too similar to the hundreds of other cases like it. I feel in my gut that something else happened that night, that there are still more puzzle pieces that need to be collected and fitted together before we can understand what.

Did you know any of these people?

I am reaching out to the public for information on a list of people who have either gone missing or died in Massachusetts. If you knew any of them and can give me any info, even if it’s just to tell me you do not want them included in my investigations, please reach out to me. The list is comprised of people that might fit with my previous investigated cases, and most I could find very little info about.

Jerald Gelb (40) Aug. 16 2001

David W. Crockett (45) April 3 2004

Daniel Mun (20) Dec. 5 2004

John Pike (23) June 2nd 2007

Charles M. Allen Jr. (22) Oct. 13 2007

Justin Marshall (30) June 6 2010

Christopher Martin (24) Dec. 17 2011

D’Anthony Green (23) July 30th 2012

Joseph A. Gage (32) Jan. 1 2013

Shilo Morgado (36) Aug. 30 2015

If you can tell me about any of these men, or if you knew someone else that you feel might have been a victim of the Boston Drownings, please comment or message/contact me. I will keep any info you want private. Thank you.

Ten Disturbing Unsolved Disappearences

Hundreds of thousands of people go missing all over the world every day. Most cases are solved; the victims were lost, runaways, abductions, murders. But the cases are closed and the mysteries are solved. However this is not always the case. Some cases are so bizarre that the mystery is never solved, and some people are simply never found. But in modern times with our advanced technologies, how can people just vanish? And how can we not know what happened to them?

Over the last year I have become fascinated by stories of strange disappearances, and these are just a sampling of the hundreds I have researched. Each of these cases stuck with me for one reason or another, resonated with me in some way, and still haunt me even as I type.

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Maura Murray grew up in Hanson, MA. She was a cadet at West Point for 3 months. She did well in school and on her SATs, but at 21 the nursing student’s life was beginning to spiral out of control. In November of 2003 she got into some trouble for using a stolen credit card to buy pizzas for her UMass dorm, but her charge was to be dismissed after 3 months good behavior. In February of 2004 Maura’s father came to visit her in Amherst and stayed at a hotel. According to him he was there to help Maura buy a new car, as her old Saturn was starting to die. Later that night she borrowed his car to go to a party, but on the way home at 3:30am she crashed it into a guard rail. Despite this Maura got to go home without a sobriety test, and managed not to get into trouble while on probation. From looking at her computer records police discovered that Maura began to do research on hotels in rural Vermont and New Hampshire. On February ninth she called her work and told them she would be away for a week due to a death in the family. The death was a fabrication. But for some reason Maura wanted to get out of town, and that night she packed up a bag, took out almost all the rest of the money from her bank account ($280) and drove off in her black saturn sedan. She stopped at a liquor store and bought a fair amount of booze. Maura then headed into the mountains of New Hampshire, an area where she had gone frequently with her father on trips growing up. At around 7pm Maura crashed into a snowbank in Haverhill, NH. A passing bus driver stopped to help her, but she begged him not to call the police, and assured him that AAA was on their way. The bus driver left, but he was haunted by the troubled young girl, and called the police when he arrived home. Police arrived on the scene at 7:46pm and found the car abandoned. The snow around the car was stained with wine, and a coke bottle in her car smelled of alcohol. Maura, her black backpack, wallet, and phone were gone. There was a rag stuffed in her car’s tailpipe, a trick her father had taught her previously to stop the car from smoking. Despite the bizarre scene, Police investigated the case as a missing person, and suspected no foul play.

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A wide search for Maura began, but the 21 year old was never seen again. Her odd behavior may make sense given the clues; Maura was probably heading up to NH to clear her head and wait out the final week of her probation. She seemed to be an alcoholic, and a DUI crash (her second in a week no less) would be a violation of her probation and get her into serious trouble. She had never called AAA that night, and likely planned to hike to the nearest town and sober up before contacting assistance. But she never made it. Maura seemed to have been heading east, and recently someone claimed to have seen an abandoned black backpack, empty and frozen, in the woods near Pemigewasset Overlook, 30 miles east from Haverhill on the Kancamagus Highway. Did she end up lost in the woods on the freezing night? Was she abducted on the side of the NH highway? Police had wondered if she was trying to run away, but her cards have not been used and there have been no confirmed sightings. It seems clear Maura was fighting with many personal demons, but there is no evidence to suggest that she ran away or committed suicide. Tragically, no further traces of Maura have ever been found.

If you have any information on Maura please contact New Hampshire Cold Case Unit Tips at  coldcaseunit@dos.nh.gov or call at 603-271-2663 or 603-271-1255.

Brianna-Maitland

About a hundred miles away in Montgomery Vermont and only one month later  in March of 2004, Brianna Maitland would also disappear, leaving her abandoned car behind her, in circumstances eerily similar to Maura Murray’s. 17 year old Brianna had been going through her own personal issues; she had moved out of her parent’s house after a fight, had dropped out of high school, and had recently gotten into a violent fight with a girl at a party. But Brianna seemed to be working to get her life back in order. She was working on a high school equivalency program and had a job at a restaurant. On March 19th 2004, Brianna was out shopping with her mother when she wandered off. She returned agitated and upset acting, but where she had been or what had happened are unknown. That night she went to work as usual. She was last seen leaving that night by colleagues, then was never seen again. The next day police were called to the scene of a car crashed into the back of an abandoned house. It was Brianna’s.

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Her wallet and most possessions were still in the locked car, and a few things were scattered on the ground outside. But Brianna was nowhere to be seen. One of Brianna’s friends would later imply that the teen owed money to some bad people. But to this day no trace of Brianna has been found.

If you have any information on Brianna please contact police at 802-524-5993 or at the State Police Crime Information Tip Line at 802-241-5355. Anonymous tips can be submitted at www.vtips.info.

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Iraena Asher may have been a beautiful New Zealand model, but she struggled with internal demons. The 25 year old was a known sufferer of bipolar disorder, and without medication was prone to having ‘episodes’ where she would become paranoid and manic. But the day before she went missing, October 10th 2004, Iraena’s loved ones said she seemed completely fine. Despite her appearances, at 9pm that night Iraena made a frantic call to Auckland police, expressing concerns for her safety. She was at a new boyfriends’ house, and was feeling “pressured” into sex, among other things. Rather than send an officer out however, police inexplicably sent a cab to pick her up. A cab which subsequently got lost and could not find Iraena. Shortly after her call Iraena was found walking down a street by two people, wearing only a sweatshirt and underwear. The people thought she might have been on drugs and took the scared woman to their home where they calmed her down and gave her some food and a nightgown. Iraena begged them not to call the police, and the guardians decided to wait until morning to decide what to do. However after being tucked into a bed for the night, Iraena slipped out of the house and into the night once more at about 1:10am, leaving her nightgown on the ground behind her. She was last seen at about 1:30am by a couple who claimed the woman was naked and talking to a streetlamp, before she frolicked off onto Piha beach.

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Iraena was never found, not a trace of her, but a Coroner theorized she likely drowned. He could not be sure whether her bizarre behavior was a due to her bipolar, or some kind of drug.

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Brandon Swanson was living in Marshall Minnesota, and attending a technical college for wind turbine engineering in Canby about 30 miles away. He knew the area like the back of his hand…a fact that would make his subsequent disappearance that much more bizarre. On May 14th 2008, 19 year old Brandon was celebrating his last day of classes with friends in Canby. He headed home, but one way or another his car ended up in a ditch. He called his parent’s around 1am and asked if they could come pick him up. Brandon’s parents told everyone later that Brandon sounded sober and clearheaded. He had said he was in Lynd, a town southwest of Marshall, and seemed to know precisely where he was. His parents made the drive, but saw no sign of Brandon’s car. Brandon flashed his headlights to try to signal them, and they did the same back, but they couldn’t see each other on the dark country road. Frustrated, Brandon told his parents to pick him up at the nearest obvious landmark; he could see the lights of the town of Lynd ahead, so he headed for it. He stayed on the phone with his parents to be safe, talking to them. He mentioned that he was cutting through a field sometime after 2am, when suddenly he yelped out “Oh shit!-” and the call abruptly ended. Brandon’s parents searched for hours, then called police. The next day Brandon’s car was located in a ditch just as he had described…but on Lyon Lincoln Rd. in Taunton MN, over 20 miles from where he had claimed to be the previous night.

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Brandon seemed to have been heading toward Porter when he vanished, possibly having mistook it for Lynd, and indeed tracking dogs brought SAR northwest by the the Yellow Medicine River before the trail went cold. But how could he have been so disorientated in an area he travelled every day? To this day no trace of Brandon has ever been found, despite intense recovery efforts and the wide use of cadaver dogs.

If you have any information regarding Brandon, please contact either the Lincoln County Sheriff at 507-694-1664 or the Lyon County Sheriff at 507-537-7666.

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British student Myles Robinson loved to go skiing with his family in Switzerland. The 23 year old was with his family in the remote resort village of Wengen for the holidays in 2009. They loved the seclusion; Wengen has no cars on its streets and one must take a train in. On December 21st 2009, Myles spent time with friends at bars in the village, having a good time. He had recently gotten a business degree and his future looked promising. His girlfriend was coming to Wengen soon for New Years and he was excited to be with her. He walked his friend to her hotel after 2am and was caught on CCTV, the last time he would ever be seen alive. The next day a search began, and a tracking dog led teams down a small path, in the opposite direction Myles should have been heading to return to his hotel. The path led a mile outside of town to an area known as Mönchsblick Point, a lookout at the top of a steep 300 foot high cliff. But the path was difficult in summer, let alone winter, and at this time of year the cliff was incredibly dangerous. So dangerous that authorities withheld their discovery, not wanting anyone to search the area until it was safer and no rocks and ice were falling from the cliff face.

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But despite the danger, members of his family ended up searching at the bottom of the cliff regardless, and that was where they found Myles’ body. His injuries were consistent with the 300 foot fall through trees, and he had lost his shoes on the way down. One was never recovered. The coroner concluded that Myles had been intoxicated, though his friends say that he was coherent and didn’t seem too bad off. The toxicology report revealed traces of other drugs in his system as well, and some believe it is possible his drink was spiked. Why Myles wandered to the edge of a cliff 20 minutes through the woods away from his hotel, alone, on a winter night, is still unknown.

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Emma Fillipof had always been a free spirit. The 26 year old vegan had set off to live on her own in Victoria, Vancouver BC after becoming depressed and stressed by her parents divorce. She worked at a seaside restaurant and spent a lot of her time writing poetry. But in the weeks leading up to her disappearance she began to struggle with her new life. She journaled about her loneliness, and expressed unease that someone might be stalking her. She had to stay at a women’s shelter several times, and finally on November 26th 2012, she called her mother and begged to come home. Emma’s mother made plans to fly out to Victoria to get her immediately. On November 28th Emma went into a 7 Eleven and bought a pre-paid cell phone. Surveillance video indicated that she seemed anxious to return outside, as if avoiding someone. She then tried to take a taxi to an airport, but was ejected after not having adequate fare. She returned to the women’s shelter for a time, then went back to the 7 Eleven and bought a pre-paid credit card. The next time Emma was seen, she was walking barefoot in front of the Empress Hotel, seeming disoriented. An acquaintance recognized her and called the police, who arrived and spoke with her for 45 minutes. Apparently convinced Emma was alright and having no reason to take her, they left her at about 7:45pm. That was the last time Emma was ever seen. Her cellphone was never activated, and her credit card was found by an alcoholic man who used it to buy cigarettes and could not remember where he had found it (he was ruled out as a suspect). The rest of Emma’s possessions were found locked in her van, indicating she did not run away. Her mother arrived in Victoria just three hours after Emma had last been seen. Though a search began and a reward was offered, nothing could be found of Emma. In May of 2014 a man walked into a Gastown Vancouver convenience store and ripped a poster of Emma off the wall, crumpling it. When the concerned employees questioned him, the ‘creepy’ man reportedly said “It’s one of those missing persons posters, except she’s not missing, she’s my girlfriend and she ran away ‘cause she hates her parents.” The man was caught on CCTV and police were called, but he has yet to be identified, and it is unknown if he actually knows Emma.

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If you have any information on Emma’s whereabouts, or you have information on the man in the Gastown CCTV video image, please call 911 or contact the Vancouver or Victoria Police. The family is offering a $25,000 reward for information that leads investigators to her whereabouts.

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Lisanne Froon and Kris Kremers were best friends studying in beautiful Panama. The Dutch girls decided to go on a day hike on the Pianista Trail north of Boquete on April 1st 2013. They packed a bag with only a few items; swim tops, sunglasses, a camera. They didn’t expect to be gone long, and certainly never imagined that they would never come back out of the Panama jungle. Lisanne and Kris documented their adventure with photos, posing in front of beautiful lookouts and waterfalls. But at around 4:30pm something went wrong. A call to the Panama emergency number was logged on Kris’ iphone, but it did not go through. 20 minutes later, a call to 112 (the emergency number in the Netherlands) logged on Lisanne’s phone, but it also failed to go through. The next morning Lisanne’s phone attempted to call several emergency numbers over the course of several hours, but none went through. The phone was then powered off to conserve battery. Over the next several days the phones would periodically be turned on, distress calls made without answer, then desperately turned off once more to conserve battery. On April 5th Lisanne’s phone finally died. On April 6th Kris’ phone was turned on once more, but no calls were made. The phone was activated for the final time ten days after the girls went missing. The fact that the girls were missing eventually became clear and a search began. On April 5th trail guides walked the trail and rivers, searching for the girls. On the 8th a helicopter searched from the sky and a larger rescue team scoured the jungle, sending signals for the girls to see. But not a trace of them was found. Ten weeks later, locals would find the girls’ back pack with items still inside, including both cellphones, and a camera that seemed to have documented some of the last moments of their lives. Miles away, an even more grim discovery would be made…Kris’ shoe, with her foot still inside, and a piece of Lisanne’s pelvic bone.

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The girls’ camera had over 90 photos taken about seven days after they first went missing, between 1-4am. Most were black, as if the lens cap was on. But there were three that were taken that had some puzzling clues.

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One photo showed a nondescript area of the jungle in the darkness, an area of light around its taker created by the flash. The picture doesn’t seem to be focused on anything, and was instead likely used to create a light source.

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The next photo was similar, though this one included a further clue; A stick with bits of a red plastic bag tied to it. Had the stick been an attempt to signal for possible help from above through the trees?

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The final image was never formally released, but was visible on a Dutch television program. It seems to be a close up of Kris’ hair.

All the photos were taken one week after the girls first ran into whatever trouble befell them. Some theorize that they girls were trying to see in the dark, or scare off the sounds of approaching predators. Others believe that they could hear or see rescue parties in the distance but couldn’t move due to injury or fatigue, and were trying to use the flash to signal them. This theory falls in line with the dates of rescue parties; the girls could have heard the helicopters and tried to signal it by waving the stick with the bright bag attached.

And what trouble had caused the girls to become lost or trapped in the jungle? A cougar or large predator is unlikely, and though Panama has several venomous snakes, the odds of being bit by one are akin to being struck by lightning. The most likely scenario was a slip and fall from one of the cliffs along the trail, some with drops as high as 100 feet, perhaps while posing for a photo. The fall could have severely disoriented or injured one or both girls. Off the trail and injured, without phone service, at the bottom of a cliff, the girls could do nothing but sit and wait. Flooding and scavenging animals would explain the distance between the bag and the few remains found. Unfortunately this is just speculation, and we will likely never know what really transpired in those final ten days.

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30 year old Cullen Finnerty had football in his blood. He came from a family lineage of tough football playing men, and was considered to be one of the best college level quarterbacks of his time. He was on the Baltimore Ravens and the Denver Broncos for brief periods of time. He was a good friend, husband, and father, and at 6’2″ and 240 pounds he seemed invincible. But there had been times when Cullen’s life was filled with paranoia. Two years before his death he had voiced concerns that he was being followed and was in danger. Days before his death, Cullen had complained of aches and was taking pain medication for a football injury. A known nap taker, Cullen had slept little for the past few nights. On May 26th 2013 Cullen headed off with his brother -in-law and father-in-law for a Memorial day weekend fishing trip, a trip he must have hoped would lead to an ease of his anxiety and some rest and relaxation. Cullen travelled to the Baldwin River in Michigan with his pontoon boat and set off. But later that evening his wife received a frantic phonecall; Cullen was distressed, saying once again he felt he was being followed by two men. He told her he was abandoning his boat to escape into the woods. She heard rustling and questioned him, and he mentioned a bizarre statement about taking off his clothes. Though she tried to console him, he soon hung up. Meanwhile, Cullen’s brother and father-in-law were concerned when Cullen was not at the predetermined meetup spot. They began to drive around searching for him. Cullen’s brother-in-law called him and asked him where he was. Cullen gave GPS coordinates, but although  they went to the location, Cullen was not there. Though his loved ones frantically tried to find him as his panic rose, eventually all he could say was “I don’t know where I am.” And soon he stopped answering the phone. Cullen’s family called police almost immediately, and they pinged Cullen’s phone, but it only led to more questions than answers. Cullen’s phone pinged in multiple locations, miles apart, something that made no sense and shouldn’t have been possible. Over the next couple of days, searchers would scour the swamps of Michigan searching for Cullen. On May 28th, Cullen’s body was found by his friend and former coach, laying face down in the woods, only 100 yards from a road. His cause of death was far from obvious, and a coroner would later conclude an unlikely cause. Cullen had died of Pneumonia. The coroner theorized that in his disorientated and panicked state, he had vomited and then aspirated. Over the course of the night pneumonia formed. The coroner also determined that Cullen had a common condition suffered by football players, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). Though not advanced enough in Cullen to have obvious effects, it was possible it had contributed to his confusion, or have possibly mixed adversely with his prescribed painkillers. Though Cullen was sure he was being followed, police disagreed; they found no signs of foul play or any other people in the area that night.

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30 year old Kayelyn Louder had led a relatively normal life until September of 2014. She had been a social worker at a boys school, but had recently been let go. She lived in a Murray, Salt Lake City Utah condo with a friend and her beloved dog who she scarcely left home without. On the night of September 26 2014, Kayelyn began to act strangely. She placed an anxious call to 911, claiming there was a fight outside her condo which involved firearms. Police arrived and found no fight…only a peaceful wedding reception next door. The next day, Kayelyn called 911 once more. She was convinced that someone had broken into her apartment. She claimed she believed there was more than one intruder, as she had heard someone say something akin to “check in there”. While on the phone, Kayelyn’s friend had awoken and and walked in, trying to calm her, assuring her that their door was locked and there was no one in the house. Kayelyn eventually calmed, but later that evening she walked out of her home into the rain outside, barefoot and with none of her possessions, and was never seen alive again. Over nine weeks later. Kayelyn’s body was found in the Jordan River, about six miles from her condo. A coroner could not establish a definitive cause of death, and labeled in “undetermined due to water exposure”. Regardless, police did not believe that foul play was involved. It seemed to most that Kayelyn had suffered a psychotic break that lead to her death. However she had never shown signs of mental illness before, and how she had walked six miles barefoot and wearing clothes obviously unfit for the weather, to the river, without being seen remains unclear. Police released a surveillance tape from the day she disappeared showing her taking her dog out to go the bathroom. They claimed Kayelyn can be seen behaving strangely and talking to herself, but to me she just seems to be talking to her dog. In fact, police seemed to focus strongly on Kayelyn’s perceived mental state while investigating her disappearance.

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Henry McCabe was a Minnesota Revenue Department employee. On September 6th 2015, 32 year old Henry was out at a club with some friends. During the course of the evening Henry had several drinks, and a friend took his wallet from him to cut him off. Later, Henry and a different friend were heading home when Henry supposedly convinced his friend to let him off at a Fridley gas station at around 2am (though no CCTV footage was found of Henry at any area gas station to confirm this). That was the last time he would be seen alive. At about 2:30am a voicemail from Henry was left on his wife’s phone. Henry could be heard screaming in terror and groaning in pain, and a guttural growling and a voice saying “stop it” were also audible. Some of the call can be heard here.

A subsequent search for Henry would reveal nothing until 2 months later, when a kayaker found his body in Rush Lake, about 7 miles from Fridley and consistent with the location of his last cell phone ping. His cause of death was ruled to be “probable drowning” despite the bizarre voicemail. There were no signs of trauma to his body. How he got 7 miles away while severely intoxicated to ultimately drown in a lake was never considered.

Henry had survived years of Civil War in his home country of Liberia, and some wondered if his death was somehow connected. To this day the voicemail and other bizarre facets of the case cannot be explained.

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So those were just some of the cases of missing people that have haunted me most. Many are cases I reference when discussing other cases as well. Hopefully by sharing I can once again shine some light onto a few cold cases, as well as convince others to be safer in the future. We may live in a small, technologically advanced world, but every day people still simply vanish into the ether.

 

 

Boston’s Mysterious Vanishing Men (Follow Up)

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I want to start off by thanking everyone for the immense amount of interest and support that they have shown in the days since publishing my Boston’s Mysterious Vanishing Men blog post. I never expected it to go so viral, and the response has been surreal.

I have been contacted in various ways by friends and family of some of the men who’s stories were shared in that post, which was incredibly humbling. That being said, I want to reach out to those loved ones to tell them that if there is anything I have written that they wish me to change or omit, please contact me to do so. I have already been asked to do so and readily obliged. The last thing I want to do is cause more pain for those loved ones. I have NEVER stopped viewing these men as people. They are not just cases or statistics to me. They are individuals with stories, and in researching them for so many hours I have grown attached to them.

I have also been sent hundreds of stories of similar cases from across America, some even begging me to investigate. Unfortunately, I am all too aware of these other cases. The reason I chose to focus on Boston was because it is my home, and the place I am familiar with. But I also stuck to Boston because looking into the rest of the cases across the U.S. would probably consume the rest of my life. If you know of similar cases in your hometowns, I urge you to try to make your city safer in ways similar to my plans, which I will discuss shortly.

I have been asked a couple of times now what my goals or motives for this investigation are. All I have ever wanted to do is highlight cases that I have found interesting, to call them into question in case justice still needs to be sought, and to stop similar events from occurring in the future. I wanted to raise awareness to keep others safe. But I also want to try to relieve the stigma surrounding young men drinking and dying. For the cases in which that may apply, I want to remind people that everyone makes mistakes in their life. But these men should not have died, and their deaths were preventable.

Which leads to my next point: Where do we go from here?

My next goal is a multi-step plan to make the city safer. I am working with Someone who is drafting a letter for local bars along the water, asking them for safer and more conscientious business practices when serving alcohol. I will also be contacting several people in power asking for improvements to safety along the harbor. As it stands, the area near Long Wharf where several of the men went missing or were found dead is considerably unsafe. I want the installation of better guardrails, better lighting, more surveillance cameras, and hopefully even the hiring of several night guards trained in water rescue and CPR.

If these cases truly come down to men falling in the water, why shouldn’t we be doing everything possible to prevent it?

Now, there is the chance that these are not merely coincidences. As many of my readers have postulated, there is a chance that some of these men were killed. I have been overwhelmed by the eagerness to try to get to the bottom of the mystery (encouraging curiosity into the unknown was my intention of this blog!) and by the sleuthing taking place in the comments! I wanted to foster a place where people could discuss freely, so I tried to publish as many of the comments as possible. However, there have been a few which I have not felt comfortable allowing, mostly ones which speculate on personal facts on the individual men. I do not think that such unfounded speculation is helpful at this juncture, and furthermore I don’t want to offend loved ones of these men. The second kind of comment I have not been allowing are ones which try to create a profile of the ‘killer’.

While I appreciate the enthusiasm, I do not think this should be attempted by anyone but professionals, nor do I think we have enough info at this time to create a successful profile. My greatest fear is that this will turn into a witch hunt. I do not want to cause a hysteria that will result in hurting innocent people. So please refrain from trying to pin blame on a certain kind of person (uber drivers, truckers, etc.).

What needs to happen instead is everyone coming together to make Boston, or their own cities, safer! Everyone needs to use the buddy system. No one should drink to excess. If you feel uneasy, trust your gut. If you see something, say something! If you notice an intoxicated person, get them help! If we maintain vigilance, whatever is happening to these men will stop, one way or another.

In the coming weeks there may be petitions to sign and letters to write, so I hope that all of you that have shown such passion for these cases will be there then as well. It is only by working together that we can invoke change, and thanks to all of your sharing and raising awareness, that is now a very real possibility!

So thank you again everyone for helping me share these men’s stories.

-Elise Soper (CryptidAntiquarian)

Boston’s Mysterious Vanishing Men

To read Part 2 Click Here

To view an interactive map of all cases Click Here

If you were to hear of a young man disappearing after a night of partying and ending up dead in a river, you might be quick to call it a tragic accident. You might think it was common almost, for young foolish drunk men to die in this manner. But why would you think that? One possibility is that you have heard of the sheer number of cases that seem to indicate this scenario. But what if this isn’t what is occurring at all? What if something far more sinister is taking place?

The trouble with these cases, the thing that got my attention, is also the very thing that seems to make them so dismissible. They are incredibly predictable. In fact in many cases they are practically cookie cutter. But some are so similar that they seem to go far beyond coincidence.

After my obsession with unexplained missing persons cases was sparked by David Paulides (as chronicled in my last post) I couldn’t help but begin to notice them more, and then Dennis Njoroge went missing. I saw flyers posted all around Boston, his eyes following me daily, and my heart fell. I had a bad feeling in my gut as I began to connect him to other cases. I remember telling friends gravely that if the precedent was correct, he would be found dead in the Charles River.

One month after he went missing, Dennis was found in the Charles. The Police did not suspect foul play, but very little information has ever been made public (and not for lack of trying let me tell you).

I don’t know what happened to Dennis, and maybe the police and his family do. Maybe he was a troubled boy who met a tragic but self inflicted end that cold December night. The fact is I might never know the truth due to the privacy of the family, but regardless, Dennis sparked in me the desire to go back and examine other similar cases in my city. Other cases where the truth seems hard to come by.

I decided to begin my own investigation of sorts, and I’m going to use this page to track my findings and hopefully bounce ideas off of others who are interested.

Here are the cases I have found so far, showing name, age, and month/year missing.

John Daverio (49)  3/2003

Dustin Willis (26) 3/2007

William Hurley (24) 10/2009

Eugene Losik (26) 2/2010

David Mark (24) 2/2011

Franco Garcia (21) 2/2012

Jonathan Dailey (23) 10/2012

Eric Munsell (24) 2/2014

Josue Quispe (18) 10/2015

Dennis Njoroge (21) 11/2015

Zachary Marr (22) 2/2016

And now I will take a closer look at each of the cases.

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John Daverio was a beloved 49 year old teacher at Boston University. He was born in Philadelphia, and moved to Boston to get a PhD from BU. He later became the Chairman of the Department of Musicology there in 1987, a position he held until his death. He was considered one of the world’s leading experts on German Romanticism and Robert Schumann, whom he wrote several books about. (Ironically Schumann once attempted suicide by throwing himself into the Rhine river.) John was considered a happy man by all who knew him, and was lovingly caring for his elderly parents, indicating that suicide was unlikely.

Daverio was last seen on CCTV leaving the BU campus on the evening of March 16, 2003 at around 8:30pm, wearing a red jacket. He had left his wallet and briefcase behind in the classroom, but was carrying a white bag which was never found. After being missing nearly a month, his body was found in the Charles River on April 14, 2003, near the Cambridge Boathouse. Police did not suspect foul play, but his death has never been explained. Those close to him refused to believe he would commit suicide.

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Dustin ‘Dusty’ Willis was from Hatteras, North Carolina. He became a PO3/E4 petty officer and Engineer in the Navy and was stationed in Norfolk, Virginia, as a crewman aboard the S.S. Donald Cook. Dustin was a musician, and was married but seperated, with a five year old son.

When Dustin was 26 the Donald Cook docked in Boston for Saint Patrick’s Day celebration. On the night of March 16th 2007 there were blizzard conditions in Boston. Dustin was out with his shipmate friends at the Black Rose Pub near Quincy Market. On their way out at around 11pm, Dustin’s shipmates lost sight of him in the storm. Friends state that he was sober at the time. He had spoken with his girlfriend several times that evening, and she confirmed this. When she called his phone the final time that evening a person that was not Dustin answered, and told her that they had found his phone. Dustin’s phone was found at about 1am on the ground near Long Wharf, but there was no sign of Dustin.

On March 21st Dustin’s body was found in 22 feet of water off Long Wharf, steps away from where his phone was found. Police surmised that he had simply become disorientated by the blizzard and slipped into the harbor.

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William Hurley was a Navy sailor from North Carolina. He was stationed in Florida. On a stop in Boston in 2007 he met his girlfriend, and the two began dating. (Ironically he was in Boston the very same night that Dustin Willis went missing.) That December he moved from Florida to Quincy to live with her. William was invited by his friend Brendan Venti to attend a Bruins game at the TD Garden on October 8th 2009. However after only the first period and a couple of beers, he claimed he was tired from work, and was going to have his girlfriend pick him up. William stepped outside and called her, and she headed to pick him up. When she was close by she asked where he was. William asked a passerby who answered “99 Nashua Street”, and warned his girlfriend his phone was about to die. She told him she would be there in a moment and was just around the corner, then William’s phone died. When she got to the location, William wasn’t there. She drove around looking for him and asking people if they had seen him, but it was as if he had vanished into thin air. The search for William Hurley began but little leads were found. At some point his cellphone was found smashed, but Police released few details.

On October 14th William’s body was found at about 2:30am in the Charles River near 200 Nashua Street, 25 feet from shore. Police ruled out a mugging gone wrong as he had no injuries and his wallet and keys were still on him. Suffolk District Attorney Spokesman Jake Wark was quoted as saying the body had been in the water “a couple of days”. Perhaps it was a simple mistake, but William had been missing for six days, not a couple.

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Eugene ‘Gene’ Losik was born in Belarus, and moved to the US when he was 7. He was an engineering grad of UMass Amherst, and a black belt in karate. He was 25 years old, living in Lawrence with his girlfriend and working for a company called Raytheon. On February 20th 2010 Gene was in the city celebrating a friend’s birthday. The group was staying at the Marriott Long Wharf hotel. After a night of partying, Gene was caught on CCTV at 2:24am leaving out the back entrance of the hotel without a jacket. He was heading into Christopher Columbus park, and friends say he was relatively sober and may have been stepping out for a cigarette. When friends awoke the next day they realized Gene was gone, and began to search. Police were led down to the docks by various scent dogs, and the water was searched by divers, but Gene was not found.

Nearly nine months later, on November 8th, Gene’s body was found near Rowes Wharf in the Boston Harbor. His cause of death is still unknown. Also unknown is why his body wasn’t found for six months, as drowning forensics indicate that it should have surfaced sooner. Some say it could have been weighted down, but the truth may never be known.

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David Mark grew up in New York and had a Masters in Geography from the University of Albany. David had Type 1 Diabetes and was insulin dependent, and also had Aspergers. He was 24 when he went missing. On March 2nd 2011 David left the home where he lived with his parents in Albany and drove to Boston, where his sister lived in the Chestnut Hill area. David went and ate at Boston Beer Works near Fenway and had a few drinks. Employees said he was in good spirits. David never showed up at his sister’s house, and never returned home to Albany. The search for him was underway fast, as his parents knew he could Get sick without his insulin. His car was found several days later in Chestnut Hill, at 10 Middlesex Rd. but there was no sign of David. His phone was last pinged at around 6:40 in Boston, near the Charleston Naval Yard.

On March 8th a Boston fishing company found David’s body in the Chelsea River, downstream from the Andrew McArdle Bridge, 15 feet from shore. Police said there was no signs of trauma. His cause of death was not made public, but police say it was not foul play.

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Franco Garcia grew up in West Newton with his Peruvian parents. He was attending a Boston College night school and studying chemistry, hoping to eventually go on to medical school. He worked full time at a CVS pharmacy in Waltham, and was musically gifted. On February 21st 2012 Franco was out with friends at Mary Ann’s Bar in Cleveland Circle. He was 21 at the time. He had made plans to spend the night with his friend Katherine Corteselli, though he flitted between several friend groups over the course of the evening. At 11:27pm he texted her a reminder: “Don’t leave without me”. Sometime after 12:15am friends lost sight of Franco, though his keys and jacket were still in the bar. At 12:18am Franco was caught on CCTV passing by an atm and heading toward Chestnut Hill Reservoir, and the area where his car was parked. He was not staggering, and friends described him as drunk but not smashed. His phone was last pinged about an hour later in the same area, but his car was left untouched. A huge search for Franco began, and his story was even shared by Bruce Springsteen. Police focused their search on the reservoir almost immediately, and searched it thoroughly, but nothing was found.

On April 11th at around 8am, Franco’s body was spotted in the weeds about 18 feet offshore in the reservoir. His wallet was still on him, and he had no injuries. Police described his death as being “consistent with an accidental fall into the water” but failed to elaborate on what that meant or why he wasn’t found before.

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Jonathan Dailey (FB)

Jonathan Dailey grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina and played violin and piano. He studied architectural technology at Appalachian State University, and later moved to Massachusetts with friend and roommate Miles Smith. Jonathan was 23 and attending a grad program at Boston Architectural College, but was taking a semester off for financial reasons. The night of October 2nd 2012, he and Miles hung out and had pizza until Miles went to bed around 9. The next morning Jonathan was gone. He had left behind everything but his phone. Though attempts were made to reach him he never answered, and his phone was soon shut off.

On October 9th at about 7:30am, a rowing instructor near Boston University (about a mile from Jonathan’s Allston apartment) made a startling discovery in the in the Charles River. Jonathan’s body was tied with chains to a cinderblock at the bottom of the river. Police assured the public that there was no threat to safety, and implied that Jonathan had committed suicide. He had no history of mental illness.

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Eric Munsell was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He went to Boston University and got a degree in aerospace engineering. He was working as an aviation engineer at General Electric, and was pursuing a Masters in mechanical engineering via the Edison Engineering Program. On February 8th 2014, Eric was celebrating his 24th birthday at the Market Lounge. He was escorted out by a bouncer at about 11:30pm for causing a disturbance on his way to the restroom. It was only 18 degrees out, but according to the bouncer Eric claimed not to have a jacket. A half hour later his phone was pinged heading toward the Harbor and not his North End apartment. He was caught on CCTV near the Marriott Long Wharf.

On April 23 at about 12:30pm Eric’s body was found in the water at the end of Long Wharf. Police did not find his death suspicious. Why he supposedly walked to Long Wharf then proceeded to fall into the water and drown is unexplained.

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Josue Quispe-Almendro was a runner, a photographer, and a religious young man. He lived in Malden with his tight knit family and was just 18 when he went missing. Josue was out running errands with his brother on October 17th 2015. He dropped his sibling off at a Bed Bath and Beyond in Somerville at about 4:30pm. He failed to return home or answer his phone. His car was found then next day at 10pm in Quincy.

Josue’s body was found washed up on Saquish Beach in Plymouth on November 12th. The cause of death was not released but police said foul play was not suspected. How Josue got all the way to Plymouth is unknown.

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Dennis Njoroge was born in Kenya, and moved with his mother to Worcester MA. He was attending Northeastern University and was an aspiring filmmaker who loved Quentin Tarantino and playing basketball. Dennis was excited to soon start a co-op job at a Boston News Station. He was 21 years old. On November 29th friends saw Dennis playing basketball at the Marino Center on Northeastern’s campus. This was verified by his keycard swipes. The next day he spoke to his mother on the phone, a conversation that she felt was perfectly normal. After that Dennis did not show up for classes, and did not respond to his mother. His phone was last pinged at around 2am on the MIT Campus in Cambridge.

On December 31st at 10am Dennis’ body was found by a jogger in the Charles River on the Boston side, near the esplanade and Arthur Fiedler Footbridge. The location is directly across from the MIT campus. There was no signs of trauma, and police were investigating the death as a “non-homicide”.

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Zachary Marr (UPDATED) grew up in Harvard MA. He was celebrating his 22nd birthday with his cousins at the Bell in Hand Tavern on February 13th 2016. At about 1:30 he went outside for a cigarette, leaving his coat behind. At 1:40 he sent a snapchat to his cousin Amanda Marr that said “They won’t let me back in, lets leave”. She agreed to come out. However when they got outside Zach was gone. According to CCTV and bouncer statements, Zach never asked to come back inside. He was caught on CCTV at 1:44 walking past Boston Public Market, heading in the direction of TD Garden and Zakim Bridge. Police later found CCTV footage of Zachary “entering” the water under the Zakim (this footage has not been released). It is unclear what that meant precisely, but teams immediately began to search the water in the area. Nothing was found, possibly due to extremely low visibility. Several more searches were conducted with similar results in that area of the Charles River. On March 15th 2016 at about 5:45pm passerby’s noticed a body in the water by the Museum of Science Boston and (ironically) the Leverett Circle State Police Barracks. It was Zachary. His body was found in a location consistent with previous searches. Why he left the Bell in Hand and walked about a mile to the Charles is still unknown.

Some more thoughts on Zach Marr

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I made a visualization of where the victims were last seen vs where their bodies were found.

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I think its particularly beneficial to take a closer look in the financial district.

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The proximities of these establishments is incredible.

Furthermore, many of the the victims are related in other ways.

  • William Hurley, Dustin Willis, and Jonathan Dailey were all from North Carolina.
  • Willis and Hurley were both in the Navy.
  • Willis, Gene Losik, and Eric Munsell were all engineers. Franco Garcia was studying chemistry.
  • Garcia, Willis, Dailey, and John Daverio were all musically talented. Josue Quispe was a photographer and Dennis Njoroge was a filmmaker.

Furthermore some cases seem bizarrely linked.

Dustin Willis was a NC native who joined the Navy and was in Boston March 16 2007. William Hurley was a NC born Navy man who was in Boston that same night, and would disappear two years after Willis. Both were talking on the phone to their girlfriends seconds before vanishing. Both men’s phones were later found.

Eric Munsell was removed from a bar on his birthday without his coat, possibly told a bouncer that he didn’t have one, and vanished into the night. Zachary Marr walked out of a bar without a coat two years later on his birthday, and told his friends that he wasn’t being allowed back inside. Both were later caught on CCTV.

I can’t claim to know just now what any of this might mean. all I can do is present the puzzle pieces that we currently have, but I know we are still missing far too many.

What I am certain of is that something terrible is happening to people all over the country, maybe the world, and the Boston cases are only a small sampling of it. I hope that someday this mystery can be solved to prevent future deaths, and pain for their families. Until then I urge everyone to make sure that YOU are not the next victim. Do not go out alone. Do not go near the water alone. And if possible, avoid wearing the color red. It’s a color that shows up often in David Paulides’ missing persons cases, and William Hurley and John Daverio were both wearing it when they vanished.

More On Zachary Marr

Part 2

 

What Is Taking These People?

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Several months ago I stumbled upon a Reddit thread about creepy Search and Rescue stories.

I highly recommend checking out the threads here because they are incredible: I’m an SAR for the US Forest Service…

Being on Reddit I assumed most were nothing more than creepypastas, entertaining but fabricated. However, some were just strange enough to be believable, and I kept seeing a name mentioned in the comments. David Paulides. Multiple sugestions to read his work peppered the pages, enough that my interest was piqued. I did some googling, and suddenly I got that beautiful, terrible feeling that I had stumbled upon something more profound than I had been ready for.

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David Paulides used to be a Police Officer. He became known later as a man willing to do some hard science research on topics most people don’t want to touch for fear of sullying their name, and he wrote a few excellent books on bigfoot. But Paulides is not a loon, certainly no more than me at least. He’s just a smart man with a healthy curiosity and an open mind. One day while doing some work in a National Park he was secretly approached by some SAR workers who told him that there was something shady going on. Scores of people had gone (and were still going) missing in the parks and the Park Services were doing their best to sweep it under the rug. Paulides was intrigued and started to dig.

He messaged the powers that be and was informed that no one kept any kind of documentation on the people missing in the parks, and that very little follow up was ever done on missing persons. He resolved that since no one had a list, he was going to make one himself. Then things started to get even more terrifying.

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Paulides’ research found that the disappearances didn’t read as random at all. People were going missing in specific “cluster zones”, the most extreme being in Yosemite Park. Furthermore, there were striking similarities between cases.

  1. Tracking Canines could not find and follow a scent, even in cases where it should have been quite easy.
  2. Severe bad weather and storms would strike an area immediately after a person went missing.
  3. If a body was eventually recovered, it was either in a place that was already thoroughly searched, or in a place it simply should not have been (ex; up a sheer cliff face the person would have no reason to climb).
  4. The bodies when recovered are nearly ALWAYS missing clothing, especially shoes.

Other uncomfortable traits in many cases included things like the presence of berry patches either where the person went missing, where they were found, or in their stomach, and things like the victim having been wearing a red jacket/shirt.

What had originally seemed to Paulides to be some kind of shady coverup began to feel like something far more sinister, something possibly even out of the realm of human understanding. Could it be wormholes? Aliens? Murderous bigfoot? Paulides doesn’t speculate, and refuses to share any opinions he may have. He only shares the facts.

After years of research Paulides has written a series of books on the subject, the Missing 411 series, which I highly recommend and can be purchased from his site Here

There is also a forthcoming documentary which I am very excited for.

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However in his latest book, Paulides begins to go down a related but different road to his missing persons investigations. Paulides has found that this mystery extends out of national parks and into our own backyards. There are strange similarities in missing persons cases in cities as well, though the MO is a bit different than in parks.

City victims follow a stricter set of characteristics, namely:

  1. Victims are young, college age men.
  2. Most are very intelligent, studying subjects like engineering.
  3. The majority are out drinking and are somehow separated from friends.
  4. They are later found dead in a body of water.
  5. They are nearly ALWAYS missing clothing, especially shoes.
  6. They are found in an area previously searched or that does not make sense.

In fact, most of the stories in his latest book “Missing 411: A Sobering Coincidence” are so similar they are cookie cutter.

Of course it’s very ease to write off the stories as foolish drunk college kids getting themselves killed. But not so fast. Because these cases are not random either. They fall in cluster areas as well, often overlapping with Paulides’ other established cluster areas. The biggest cluster area encircles the entire Great Lakes region, where an inordinate amount of young men seem to be making “bad decisions”.

But I simply do not believe that is the case, and neither does Paulides, or a growing number of amateur sleuths who are no longer content with victim blaming.

I read his book and the stories of several men right in my own city of Boston who have perished under unusual circumstances in the last fifteen years, and needless to say I got a bit obsessed.

I will be dedicating an entire blogpost to my investigation on these case alone, and will link to it Here.

But just what IS taking people?

To understand the gravity of the situation you really have to understand the cases. A casual perusal of the facts is nowhere near enough to understand. Paulides has already written five books on the subject, filled with bizarre cases that cannot be easily explained, and even the cases which may seem tame enough must be viewed from a lens accounting for the sheer enormity of all the cases together. A few people disappearing is an unfortunate tragedy. A hundred people disappearing is an uncomfortable coincidence. But over 1,400 people and counting disappearing is something else altogether. The words used by Paulides and others reflect the eerie nature of the disappearances; a “culling”, a “harvest”.

There are many, many people convinced that at least some of the cases are the work of an organization of serial killers known as the Smiley Face Killers. I’m not saying its not possible, and the work of great men like Detective Kevin Gannon and Dr. Lee Gilbertson, authors of “Case Studies in Drowning Forensics” proves that some of the cases could have been murders. But it simply doesn’t account for the sheer numbers, and some of the more bizarre cases.

Some of Paulides fans initially assumed he was making a connection to his previous Bigfoot investigations, however Paulides has made it somewhat clear this is not his intention or belief.

Other have suggested alien abduction, a more compelling suggestion certainly, but no easier to prove. Furthermore, alien abduction stories seem to sit in a category all their own, with a separate set of parameters and traits.

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Many of the disappearances involve characteristics that seem to suggest cross dimensional travel, which is difficult to grasp for anyone not familiar with Quantum Physics. Essentially, there is a belief that it is possible that there are innumerable other dimensions sitting beside or even on top of ours. One possible explanation for cases where people seem to vanish in seconds into thin air, are found in a place previously searched, etc. is the theory that they somehow slipped into another dimension. Or were taken there. Further instances that back this seemingly outlandish theory up are cases like Brandon Swanson and Cullen Finnerty. Both stated on phonecalls to others where they were, but when the others arrived to the location the men were not there. In Finnerty’s case, his cellphone was pinged and the results were shiver inducing. His phone seemed to be bouncing wildly between several points in a four mile radius, a phenomenon that simply doesn’t happen or make any sense.

But what if these men were in another dimension, adjacent to ours?

It would also explain the vast number of cases in which victims are found a significant time later dead in the water, but forensics show they have only been dead or in the water a short time. Then where were they?

The trouble is, not all cases seem to be explained by a misstep into another realm. Some simply reek of an “abduction”. In many cases, the victim begins to act strangely, feel ill, do things uncharacteristic of them, and manage to separate themselves from anyone they are with. It seems as though the victims are being influenced, controlled, or even poisoned. Some are found with high amounts of GHB (the date rape drug) or other strange chemicals in their systems. Some are even found exsanguinated. In a high number of cases coroners cannot even establish the cause of death.

So something seems to be taking people, possibly out of this dimension, then returning them dead. But what? And why?

It certainly sounds like aliens. But there are other possibilities as well. In fact, what if I told you that nearly every culture on earth has a creature that fits this description?

First lets set up the MO of this creature or creatures.

  1. It has never really been “seen”. In the instances where is has possibly been seen it has been described as dark, humanoid in shape, and “blurry” or “fuzzy”.
  2. It preys on people that are alone. Some it seems to “lead” away or off paths, luring them like a fishing line.
  3. It seems to have a connection to weather. Can possibly bring or control storms? There have also been several instances of phonecalls from the missing in which all that can be heard is “rushing wind”.
  4. It confounds tracking dogs.
  5. They seem to have preferences in type of victim, as often similar types (age ranges, gender) will disappear in a cluster. Is a cluster a territory?)
  6. It has the ability to poison or drug an intended victim while hunting them.
  7. It chooses its victims in advance, possibly following them for days before making a move (based on unusual victim behavior leading up to disappearance, and cases like Cullen Finnerty who felt has was being followed days before he went missing).
  8. It does something or takes something from its victim that kills the person without leaving any marks or obvious cause of death.
  9. It removes some or all of the victims clothing, especially shoes, scattering them.
  10. And finally, it has a strong connection to water.

So what does all of this point to for me?

For starters, I don’t believe these things are a thing we are fully capable of understanding right now.

A Reddit User had this to say on the original SAR thread, and I found it incredibly interesting.

If you ever take word of caution, take this like your life depends on it: Don’t go into the wild alone. Don’t stray from your camp at night. Don’t answer or seek out anything that calls you mysteriously in the night. DO NOT believe everything you see with your own eyes.

I need to repeat that, Like your life depends on it: Do not believe things, especially ‘out of place’ ‘people’, voices, or suspicious things that you see, even with your own eyes, especially when your gut & instincts are warning you.

There’s something out there, something that scares grown men even like me, something we won’t talk about but it’s real, has no consistent form, and it lures you.

If you are a wild thing & a hunter of human beings, there’s no better hunting ground than our busiest national & state parks. Note I said busisest. If you are a hunter of opportunity, then there’s no better prey than the young, the weak, the old, the alone.

There’s something out there, so old, so skilled, so clever & cunning, not just a being but a species, that has or have developed a specialized survival skill: luring & preying on lost or solitary humans.

Can a predator in the natural world lure, trap, summon or even hypnotize their prey? A quick google search should yield you hundreds of examples of such species in the animal, fish, bird, and insect kingdoms.

What I submit, if exist [sic] such a species, old as man, who’s success depended on the successful hunting of humans, not only would it be very clever and good at it by now, but we’d have no record or memory of it in our history, just as no insect has probably ever survived an encounter with a trapdoor spider.

I submit their hunting approach is case by case. They’re[sic] lure different depending on their human prey’s age, strength and size, but what I submit is that our oldest natural predator, an undiscovered predator, is still opperating due to it’s skill of being able to read us like a book, hit us with lure (a lure I’ve distinctly recognized several times, particularly at night, just beyond the glow of the campfire) lead us into a trap, to never be seen or heard from again.

People I submit a thing exists, something’s out there, a species, that’s not too unlike Stephen King’s “It”.

I’ve felt the lure, tasted it, smelled it. It’s the smell of food when you’re hungry, company when you’re lonely, music where there should be none, beauty where there’s danger. Nothing can explain the sensations, but deep down you’ll feel it, in your gut. Something’s not right. Something’s waiting. Something’s watching. Ask any man who’s survived long enough alone in the wild. There’s a Siren like hunter out there. It’ll own you dead to rights, if you don’t listen to your gut.

Much like this Reddit user, I believe that the things that are taking people are an IT that we have no real name for.

They do bare striking similarities with things we do have names for however.

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Art by Jonas Springbord

When I first began my research I was struck by the similarities to the Native American (specifically the Algonquian, Cree and Inuit) legends of the Wendigo. The Wendigo is a creature symbolizing the frozen north, starvation, and cannibalism. It was said to be created when a human resorted to cannibalism, and was linked to winter storms. When praying on humans, some legends said that it would fly down and rip a person right out of their shoes…

In Phillipine mythology there is a creature called a Tiyanak. It lures people by mimicking a baby crying, something that few humans could ignore. Supposedly one of the only ways to escape a Tiyanak was to take off your clothes and turn them inside out…

In some South American folklore, there is the story of the Patasola, a monster that lures people by taking the form of a beautiful woman or a loved one. She is also known for her ability to confuse and evade dogs.

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And these are only a tiny sampling of the vast list of creatures that bare strange resemblance to the missing person cases.

If there is a Thing out there, It could easily lure an unknowing person to itself by acting like a woman or child in distress, and what reason would a strong adult male have to fear such a lure? If it can take many forms or mimic many sounds, perhaps it could even look or sound like someone we trust.

But now we have entered the realm of pure speculation. Unfortunately, this It has left very few survivors, and those who have, such as Cullen Fortney of La Crosse Wisconsin, cannot remember anything about their ordeal.

The point of all this is that whether or not there is a terrifying creature out there, many many people are dying and yet the general masses are not seeing it. Most of these deaths could be prevented by not traveling alone into national parks, or by using the buddy system in the city. In areas near harbors like Boston, better guardrails and night security could prevent men from simply drunkenly falling into the water, if that is truly what is happening.

But instead of doing something productive or finding a solution to this problem, most people, such as the police, are more willing to victim blame. All humans want to believe “It could never happen to me” or “they had it coming”. But this selfish attitude doesn’t do anyone any good, and in fact has been disproven in many instances of upstanding and kind citizens meeting their ends after mysterious disappearances.

So I hope that even if you find this all a bit farfetched, it might sit in your head for a while, roll around, make you think. I hope that it might make you a little more cautious, a little more curious, and hopefully, a little more safe.