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The most popular missing person cases of 2013

Here is my outline of the most popular cases of 2013, with links to the full stories.  

Terrilynn Monette, 26, a second grade school teacher at Woodland West Elementary School in Harvey, La. went missing on March 2, 2013. She was last seen sleeping in her car at Parlay’s Bar.  In June, her body was found inside her car in Bayou St. Johns by a diver. Back in March, the Missing Persons of America website stated that Terrilynn probably accidentally drove into the water, possibly in Bayou St. John.The authorities must have shared the same theory as they continued to search the water ways until she was found.

Hakken Family

 Cole, 4, and Chase Hakken, 2, went missing from Tampa, Fla. in April after their parents, Joshua and Sharyn Hakken took them from their grandmother’s house who had custody of them.  They tied her up and fled to the ocean to board a 25-foot sailboat.  When the sailboat arrive in Cuba, Cuba did something that no one suspected, they put all four family members aboard a plane and sent them back to Tampa.  Cole and Chase were returned to their grandmother and Joshua and Sharyn Hakken were charged with kidnapping, child neglect and interference with custody.

In April, Jessica Heeringa that was working her shift at a gas station in Norton Shores, Mich. went missing.  A customer that came in to buy gas called the police when he found no one at the cash register.  Police had surveillance video of a van they believed may be connected to the case and a sketch of a suspect, but nothing else has come out.  Jessica is still missing.

Amanda Berry

In April, Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight from Cleveland, Ohio were found  after missing for years.    They had been held captive in Ariel Castro’s home.  They were found when Charles Ramsey heard Amanda Berry yelling for help from Castro’s home.  He came to her aid and helped her kick down the door.   Michelle was the first to be abducted by Castro in 2002.  Then Berry was abducted in 2003 and DeJesus was abducted in 2004.  Ashley Summers who was living in the same neighbor and went missing in 2007 is still missing.

In June, Elaina Steinfurth, 18-months-old went missing when her father Terry Steinfurth came to pick her up for visitation.  Angela, Elaina’s mother went to her room to get her and came back and told the father she was not there.  In September, Elaina’s body was found in a box in the garage of her home.  Angela and her boyfriend Steven King were indicted by a Grand Jury.  Angela received life with eligibility for parole and Steven pleaded guilty in December.

Adrienne Salinas, 19,  went missing from Tempe, Az. in June.  She left her apartment at 3 a.m. in the morning to drive to her boyfriend’s home but crashed her car.  She called for a taxi, but the cab driver could not find her.  In August a property owner called the Apache Junction police and said he found remains in a wash near State Route 88 and Lost Dutchman Boulevard.  The police were only able to find partial remains and the coroner identified them as belonging to Adrienne but no cause of death was determined.  No one has been arrested nor named as a person of interest in her case.

Hannah Anderson, 16, went missing from Lakeside, Calif. and her brother and mother
DiMaggio and Hannah

were found slain inside the home of James Lee DiMaggio that burned to the ground on August 4.   Police located Hannah and DiMaggio six days later in the wooded area of Cascade, Id. by a group of horseback riders passing through.  When the police caught up to them they stated that DiMaggio brandished  a gun and he was shot and killed.  Hannah was not hurt during the incident.  Social media became entranced with the case after Hannah began using social media to talk  about the case.  There is still speculation if she went willing with DiMaggio or not.

On September 17, 2013,  the Custer County Sheriff’s Department in Oklahoma came across skeletal remains in two different cars in Foss Lake.  One was a 1952 Chevy and it held the remains of Nora Duncan, Alive Porter and Clebrun Hammock that went missing in 1969.  The other car was a 1969 Chevrolet Camaro.  The remains in the car turned out to be Jimmy Allen Williams, 16, Leah Gail Johnson, 18, and Thomas Michael Rios, 18 who were reported missing in 1970.

Willow Long, 7, disappeared around Sept. 7, 2013.  Willow was left at home with her younger brother and  her 22-year-old uncle Justin DeRyke while her mother Clara DeRyke was at a local bar.  At first it was believed she walked away from her home.  Then on the 10th, Willow’s body was found wrapped in a bag submerged in water in a rural area south of Watson.   DeRyke was arrested and later told police that he became angry at Willow for scratching him and she ran out the door and tripped falling into a brush impaling herself in the neck with a stick.  He stated he didn’t want to see her suffer so he stabbed her to death.

In October a little 4-year-old girl, named Maria was found in a gypsy camp in Greece that many believed could have been Lisa Irwin.  The officials noted she had blonde hair and light eyes and didn’t match the rest of the family.  DNA tests later proved that Sasha Ruseva, a Roma women living in Nikolaevo in central Bulgaria was the mother of Maria.  She gave birth to her in Greece while working as an olive picker on January 31, 2009, then gave her away when she was 7-months-old to her employers.

The McStay family went missing in February 2010 from Fallbrook, Calif., but their story reached a peak in 2013 when remains were found in a shallow grave in Victorville.  The police believed they had crossed the San Ysidro border in San Diego County and went into Mexico and never returned, long ago.  Theories abounded what happened to the family, but few expected how it would turn out, especially me.  I will never forget that fateful Thursday in November, when Patrick McStay, Joseph’s father told me his family, Summer and Joseph and their two children, Gianni and Joseph Jr., had been found in those shallow graves.  Who murdered this family is still something I wonder about every day.  I am hoping in 2014, an arrest will be made.

In November, the remains of what the authorities believe are the missing Jamison family of Oklahoma were found by a deer hunter in the Sans Bois Mountains.  Bobby Jamison, his wife, Sherilynn, and their daughter, Madyson of Eufaula, were last seen October 9, 2009, near Red Oak, where they were looking to buy property.  Their truck was found eight days later by hunters, with their dog, who was barely alive, inside.  The couple’s IDs, wallets, coats and an envelope with $32,000 in cash was also left in the truck.  Connie Kokotan, Sherilynn’s mother believes that the family was killed by a cult.

Click here to read the most popular missing children cases of 2012.

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