There are 2300 people that go missing every day in the US. Some return after a few hours, some days and even some after years, but the number stays pretty consistent to 2300. But, with those found and new ones going missing by the end of the year it comes out to 83,000 plus people missing in the United States. Many of the cases you never hear anything about, because they never reach the national level by the media. Then there are cases that everyone has heard about because something about the case made it stand out.
On this website, that covers not only famous missing person cases but also cases you have never heard of, the popularity of a story doesn’t always have something to do with whether it was a national story or not. By asking MPofA Facebook readers and from the popularity of a story on the MPofA blog, I have come up with this list of the top missing person cases for 2014. Click on the links to read more about the stories.
Terrance Williams and Felipe Santos have been missing for 10 years, but their story really didn’t gain much attention till 2013, when comedian and actor Tyler Perry offered a $100,000 reward for information on them, after he saw the case on Investigation Discovery. I did a lot of research on the story and wrote about the case in 2014, and it has received the most “hits” on the website since it’s posting in February. What is known is that both men were last seen with Cpl. Steve Calkins, a police officer with the Collier Sheriff’s department. Calkins was given a polygraph test according to the SP Times that he failed. Click the link to read more.
The remains of a woman who was found inside a suitcase alongside the highway was the second most popular story. Laura Simonson went missing in 2013, but it wasn’t till 2014 before her remains were found in a suitcase. Nearby was another suitcase with another missing woman, Jenny Gamez’s with her remains inside. Before the suitcases were found, I received information from a source that wanted to remain anonymous that told me they knew Steven Mark Zelich from Milwaukee, Wisc. had Laura. After Laura and Jenny’s remains were found, Zelich was arrested.
On September 14, the Charlottesville Police Department received a call for a missing 18-year-old female from the University of Virginia, Hannah Elizabeth Graham who was last seen Friday night/Saturday morning between midnight and 1 a.m. The police primarily used the surveillance video from the businesses in the area where Hannah was walking to try and figure out what happened to her. After premier detective work by the Charlottesville police, Jesse Matthew was identified as one of the people seen on the surveillance video and after being questioned was charged with the kidnapping of Hannah. In October, Hannah’s remains were found behind a vacant home on Old Lynchburg Road. Police Chief Longo wiped away tears during a press conference when he announced the discovery of her remains.
Beverly Carter, 49, a realtor from Arkansas went missing on Sept. 25 after she went to show a house on Old River Drive in Scott. After a strange text message, Beverly’s husband drove to the home and found the door wide open. Fear ripped through the real estate community as they all relayed stories of their concerns about showing a home to a stranger. Five days later, Beverly’s body was found in a shallow grave and Aaron Lewis admitted to kidnapping Beverly because “she was a woman who worked alone.”
Rebecca Adams, and her two children, Michelle and Jaracca and Brandon Jividen, Rebecca’s boyfriend of two years disappeared from Kenai, Alaska on May 27, 2014. They left breakfast on the table and their car and personal belonging behind and just disappeared. Although the case is similar to the disappearance of the McStay family, there has been not as much attention to this case. It could be because the trail has gone cold and media has moved on or it could be there was no major force to push the case into the lime-light like Patrick McStay did for his family. Although the search was the biggest the state of Alaska has ever done, the family remains missing. In June 2017, the remains of the family were found – The police stated: Brandon Jividen, 37, fatally shot his girlfriend, Rebecca Adams, 23, and her children, Michelle and Jaracca Hundley, before turning the gun on himself.
In July 2014, I received a message asking me to let everyone know that Erin Corwin, 19, was missing. She told her husband that she was going to take some photographs at Joshua Tree National Park, but she never returned. Her car was found about two miles from her home on the base at 29 Palms. Erin’s body was found 140 feet down a mine shaft in Joshua Tree National Park and Cpl.. Christopher Brandon Lee, 24, who was suspected of having an affair with Erin was arrested.
|Catherine, Jacob and Sarah Hoggle|
In September 2014, Catherine Hoggle of Montgomery County, Maryland, borrowed her father’s car and took her two children, Sarah, 3, and Jacob, 2, to get pizza. She returned with just Sarah and said that Jacob was at a friends house. The following day Catherine took Sarah to daycare and came home. When Catherine’s husband wanted to go pick them up, Catherine asked to stop at a fast food place first and while he waited in the car, she slipped out the back door. Catherine was located a few days later walking down the street, but she would not tell anyone where the children really were. She was arrested and in November, a psychologist evaluate her to not be competent to stand trial. Sarah and Jacob are still missing.
Teleka Patrick, 33, a first year medical resident at Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo went missing on Dec. 4, 2013., after she received a phone call that upset her. Her car was found abandoned a week later on I-94. Information over the next several weeks came out that pointed to a relationship between Teleka and Marvin Sapp, a gospel singer in Grand Rapids. Sapp told ABC news that Teleka kept sending him letters which he never responded too and requested a protection order from her, but oddly Sapp left a message that sounded like a love post on his Facebook page on the day that she went missing, that later disappeared from the page. In April 2014, Teleka’s body was found in Lake Charles. Her death was ruled accidental.
Then there is several cases that made national news when they went missing years ago and made national news again when they were finally found in 2014. Holly Bobo went missing from Tennessee. In September 2014, a skull was found that turned out to belong to Holly Bobo. Zach Adams and Jason Autry were arrested for kidnapping and murder of Holly, and Blake Aaron Barnett, an ex-boyfriend of Holly’s was arrested and charged with assault and kidnapping.
Latasha Nevitt is not only the one of the most popular stories on the website, it is also the most commented on. I first wrote about Latasha in 2012 when she went missing, leaving three children behind. So, many people commented on her article wondering where she was. In March 2014, her remains were found by city water workers in a heavy-duty plastic bag and stuffed into a drain pipe near Morgan Park. No one has been arrested for her assumed death.
And there are two cases involving children that are still missing. Malik Drummond’s case made national news almost immediately as the authorities did everything they could to find him and then there is Relisha Rudd’s case where the Washington DC police chief stated to the media she released an Amber Alert and it was found out later, she never did.
Relisha Rudd, 8, was reported missing from Prince George County when a social worker became concerned for her and called the police around February 2014. The mother told police that Relisha with staying with a friend named “Dr. Tatum,” so that she would not have to stay in the homeless shelter with her. The search for Relisha sent the police to a motel in Oxon Hill where they found a deceased woman. No Amber Alert was released by the Police Chief till media attention forced the police chief to admit that it had not been done, like she said it had been. In March, Dr. Tatum’s body was found in a D.C. park, his death was considered suicide. Relisha is still missing and her case is no longer seen in national news and rarely in local news.
UPDATE: Malik’s remains found Dec. 2015. Malik Drummond, 2, from Searcy, Ark. was last seen in his bedroom according to his family in November 23, 2014 and he has not been seen since. The police continued to look for him and divers even searched a river that is five miles away from where the boy lives, but found nothing. This case is no longer receiving national attention as authorities continue to rely on tips to search for the boy, although local news is still reporting on his case. There is not one person the authorities are concentrating on and have resolved that his disappearance must be a result of foul play. Lie detector tests were given to the family but the results have not been disclosed.