Chasing Rainbows – The Missing Who are Elderly- Part II

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If we only knew the resources needed to care for our elderly, particularly those with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, we’d be shocked. It is on the increase – 71% in the past decade!  According to the Alzheimer’s Association:

  • Every 66 seconds, someone in the United States develops this disease;
  • Family caregivers spend approximately $5,000 per year caring for a family member with Alzheimer’s;
  • Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death , and one without prevention or a cure or a mechanism to slow its growth;
  • Caregivers have very high-stress levels, and provided about $15.1 billion in uncompensated care from those surveyed in 2015;
  • Comparison of  Statistics my two home states –
  • Connecticut – Those receiving Medicaid- Title 19 funding, $ 883 million was spent on the cost of care for this disease to date in 2016, with it being the 6th leading cause of death;
  • South Carolina – Those receiving Medicaid- Title 19 funding, $ 561 million was spent on the cost of care for this disease to date in 2016.  South Carolina is the 8th highest state in the U.S. re prevalence of Alzheimer’s  with an 86% increase since year 2000!

Numbers don’t lie, no matter what the economic state of our nation. “The rich get richer and the poor get children …and Alzheimer’s”, to paraphrase the old saying.  Chronic unemployment, poverty, lack of access to nutritious food, lack of availability of medical care, increased crime and stress on communities, all contribute to  people’s minds and bodies wasting.  What can be done? I do not have the answers.

However, I know that with dedication, perseverance, and innovative investigation,  Cue Center for Missing Persons  is ready to assist in locating our elders, wherever they may be.   A mandatory part of the equation is always the need for a collective consciousness for the community to do the right thing, stepping forward with any information that may contribute to a successful recovery of a missing person.

Here are four additional examples, to my Part I blog.  Knowing that many of the people in the registry have been missing for several years, gone missing as a young or  middle-aged person, we can only speculate that  in 2016, there are considerably higher  numbers of the people now classified as elderly had they disappeared in the 1980 and 199os.

 Examples of the Missing Elderly from the Cue Center Registry

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1)Brevard, North Carolina – Edna Glaze, age 76 went missing in March 1996 after walking or being dropped off at a hardware store followed by a music store. Edna was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

http://www.ncmissingpersons.org/missing-persons/missing-north-carolina/edna-glaze-2/

 


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2) Chippewa County, Michigan -Joseph Clewley, age 73, went missing in July 2008 south of Paradise, Michigan on the North County Pathway. He was an avid hiker with a cabin, with significant medical conditions of a physical nature. http://www.ncmissingpersons.org/missing-persons/missing-other-states/joseph-clewley-2/

 


CUE Texas Shirley-Hunt-jpg3) Henderson, Texas –Shirley Hunt, age 72, went missing in June 2007. Shirley was last seen walking from her residence in Henderson about 3 p.m.  Shirley was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease; http://www.ncmissingpersons.org/missing-persons/missing-other-states/texasshirley-hunt-148×150/


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4) Pleasanton, Kansas- Richard Clark, age 67, went missing in October 2005. Richard was a former truck driver and diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. He was last seen in his community at a local grocery store and /or truck stop.  http://www.ncmissingpersons.org/missing-persons/missing-other-states/texasshirley-hunt-148×150/

 


Please assist us by reading and circulating this information. You may never know if it triggers a memory or piece of information to assist in their recovery. The elderly are precious citizens. 

Listen to this recent Shattered Lives podcast with Kimberly Kelly of Project Far From Home to get a better understanding about searching for the elderly with dementia and Alzheimers.

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References – http://www.alz.org/facts/overview.asp

http://www.ncmissingpersons.org/

 Secrets of McClellanville and the Death of Brittanee Drexel

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When loss of life is involved, particularly in a cruel, violent manner, it is only natural that there is public outrage. People rush to judgment to try to justify their opinions in the heat of the moment – in the acute phase. Concerning the location in which a crime occurred, we often broad brush all residents and their culture as inherently evil. This is wrong. No town or city should be thought of as a reincarnation of White Pines Bay – the fictitious location of the Bates Motel or Amityville, New York, just because a criminal element has frequented a town.

After years of searches and investigation by multiple law enforcement agencies, the rural town of McClellanville, South Carolina has unequivocally been pinpointed as the place where 17-year-old Brittanee Drexel spent her final days on earth, rather than her upstate New York home. If this is so with irrefutable evidence, we must believe it. But, in the hearts of the Drexel family and friends, this cannot be imagined, without a perpetrator, without her precious body.

Given this information, it does not mean that all residents of McClellanville are heartless. We have to ask, why have someone not come forward, particularly with a $25,000 reward publicized for credible information.  If I had to speculate, perhaps, they may be scared, frightened of retribution. Their silence could mean that they don’t have a good reason to trust law enforcement. Possibly residents feel that any information they may have “in the cobwebs of their mind” times 7 years ago is insignificant. Possibly they do not believe that offering any information will lead to a monetary reward for them personally, so why risk it?

Such is the thinking that tries men’s souls and keeps families and law enforcement constantly on edge.

History and Demographics

128657464991113191800301197_BRITTANEE_DREXELMcClellanville, situated in northeast Charleston County is on US Route 17 heading 23 miles northeast to Georgetown and 38 miles southwest to Charleston. McClellanville is populated by 500 or so people – a Mayberry RFD by some standards. This town, in the parish of St. James –Santee was incorporated into the Church of England in 1706, but settled by the French as early as 1605. It has always been an agricultural economy. They feature many historic properties, small town life, Bible school and their trademark is their shrimping fleet and seafood industry.  Natural resources include Jeremy Creek, running through the center of town, and south toward the Intercoastal Waterway adjacent to Romain National Wildlife Refuge (66,287 acres).  Nearly 57% are age 25 to 64, with almost 20% – age 65 + years.

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They showed their resilience in 1989 when Hurricane Hugo destroyed much of the town. People were saved by crawling into a space above a false ceiling in the high school-storm shelter.

What Happened to Brittanee?

It doesn’t make sense to me that a possible human trafficker or sexual predator would “stick around Mayberry” for several days with an innocent teenager who could clearly be distinguished by her northeastern dialect without notice.  Crime never makes any sense… Brittanee was abducted and held against her will we are told. Was she “free to do errands for this man” but clearly under his control around town under threat of death, or forced to perform other favors in a hotel or abandoned property?  Did the perpetrator have ties to McClellanville or was he a transient predator? Did Brittanee reach out and try to secretly ask for help which ultimately lead to her death? Was she persuaded with initial sweet talk and lies that her family didn’t care about her and to come on an adventure? We may never know.

As a northeasterner, I drove from Myrtle Beach through McClellanville to Charleston a couple of years ago and barely noticed this nondescript town.

I thought this at the time, as I am a suburban –city slicker at heart. Now, I will never forget as it has a much deeper meaning now.

How do we encourage people to have e a conscience for the betterment of others no matter what the risk? This is God-fearing, church going folks after all!  It would truly help if the media put a positive spin on proactivity. The little town ofMcClellanville could be known forever as “the town that saved a family, saved a girl with such promise from New York!” They did the right thing for missing persons everywhere!  Let us all hope and pray that they do!

maxresdefaultProfiles and Contact Information for Brittanee-

http://helpfindbrittaneedrexel.com/submit-a-confidential-tip/

http://www.ncmissingpersons.org/fbi-offers-reward-in-09-brittanee-drexel-case-rochester-teen-likely-killed/

Missing Persons – The Unchosen Path of the Elderly Who Disappear

 

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“To keep the heart unwrinkled, to be hopeful, kindly, cheerful, reverent –

that is to triumph over old age.”  Thomas Bailey Aldrich

Numbers don’t lie…

On average, 90,000 people are missing in the USA at any given time, according to staff at the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System-NamUs, a national database for missing people.

According to updated statistics (February 2015) presented at caregiver.org:

In 2012, 14.8% of the 65+ population were reported to be below the poverty level. Among the population aged 65+, 69% will develop disabilities before they die, and 35% will eventually enter a nursing home.

Most but not all persons in need of long-term care are elderly. Approximately 63% are persons aged 65 and older (6.3 million); the remaining 37% are 64 years of age and younger (3.7 million).

“The prevalence of cognitive impairment among the older population increased over the past decade, while the prevalence of physical impairment remains unchanged.”

Against this backdrop, there remains no hard statistics related to the number of elderly persons who go missing each year in all categories and circumstances. We do have snapshots.   In July 2013, Journalist David Lohr wrote about the number of missing persons who have wandered off as a consequence of one of the better-known forms of dementia – Alzheimer’s disease.  According to the article in the Huffington Post,

There has been a steady increase in such reported cases from non-profit organizations.

“There’re approximately 125,000 search-and-rescue missions where volunteer teams are deployed for missing Alzheimer’s patients every year,” said Kimberly Kelly, founder and director of Project Far From Home, an Alzheimer’s education program designed for law enforcement and search and rescue” personnel.”

Dealing with a missing person with cognitive impairments requires special skills and knowledge regarding how to search and locate these victims efficiently.

Some elderly persons are “sharp as a tack” at 80; other’s mental faculties can begin to decline at 50; Still others can function with some independence into their 90’s and beyond. It all depends on a combination of genetics, environment, intellect, and lifestyle.

I worked with seniors for many years in clinical settings such as hospitals, nursing homes, group homes and state institutions.  No matter the circumstance, I learned from each patient. Whether their personality was “cranky mean” or “sweet as pie,” they all had histories and a lesson to offer me. Professionally, they were a different, preferred challenge, compared to working with kids.

If one peruses the wall of missing persons on the website of the Cue Center for Missing Persons, it doesn’t take much scrolling before several elderly missing persons are located, intermixed with all of the other missing persons of varying ages. My goal is to simply highlight a handful in this category. Too often the general public treats the elderly as “disposable people” rather than persons from whom we can learn a great deal and deserve respect for their contributions and sacrifices in life.

Backstories – to the Following Missing Persons – Included in this list is a healthy, hardy walker who went missing at a campground, a woman who cashed a check at her bank and was never seen again, a man who was dropped off at his condominium and never located, a women who frequented bus trips to New York and often went off on her own as a “free spirit”, not wanting to stay with the group. They range in age from 65 to 85 from several different geographic locations across the country. One has been missing for 12 years, others less time. One day missing is too long!  PLEASE, review the profiles and study the circumstances and photos of each person – Bonnie McFadden, Floyd Price, Sandra Love Quay, Deward Killion. I encourage you to share this blog far and wide, as they are very important people who should NEVER be forgotten “just because they may be considered old.”

CUE CENTER FOR MISSING PERSONS PROFILES:

Arkansas-Bonnie-Mcfadden

Bonnie McFadden

Missing from Arkansas

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Deward Killion

Missing from Oregon

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Floyd Price

Missing from Mississippi

Sandra-Love-Quay-227x300

Sandra Love Quay

Missing from New York

 

“I love the elderly… After all, I will be one among them in about 30 years”

(Ladyjustice- 2016)

 

 

 

 

References-

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2014/09/23/missing-persons-children-numbers/16110709/

https://www.caregiver.org/selected-long-term-care-statistics

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/26/wandering-alzheimers-_n_3653267.html

Three Missing Girls From Connecticut – A Lifetime Ago or was it Yesterday?

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Debra Spickler, Janice Pockett and Lisa White missing from Tolland County, CT

 

Shattered Lives Radio recently featured the cases of three missing girls from Tolland County, CT. Appearing on the episode were family members and investigators who updated listeners on their latest efforts to solve the cases and return the girls to their families.

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When we think of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, it was a different time as compared to 2016. Living life was less complicated, free-spirited, trusting, even innocent. And yes, there was turmoil and a revolution of change all at the same time! There was the Vietnam War raging, civil rights marches in the south, an explosion of creative expression from the music world – the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, folk music, Woodstock, campus protests, marijuana and psychedelic drugs to “free the mind” and “flower power.”

On the home front, in our neighborhoods and backyards, our parents never gave a thought to shady people lurking in the shadows or those not to trust.  We were sent outside to play, perhaps for the entire day, but you had better be back for supper!

No one locked their doors. Children went off on their own and DID accept rides from strangers.  They ran away from home. They hitchhiked to their next destination down the road, in a fearless, invincible way.  Those children were classified as juveniles, they ran away, probably to return in a few hours, so why worry? They were arrested for truancy, underage drinking and the like.  No doubt children were abducted, molested, and were also victims of human trafficking (although this term would not evolve for many years).

So where did three young girls from Eastern Connecticut, specifically Tolland County, the Vernon- Rockville area, or those visiting the area, fit into this backdrop?

Missing girls

Debra Spickler was 13 years old from Mystic, CT visiting her aunt in Vernon CT. Last seen on July 24, 1968, at Henry Park, Debra and her cousin were walking towards the area of the local swimming pool. The two girls became separated.  Debra’s cousin looked for her afterwards, but she has never been seen again.

Janice Pocket was 7 years old in 1973.  She left her house at 3 p.m. on her bike, to retrieve a butterfly she had left under a rock.  Her mother retrieved her bike about a half mile away, but Janice was never seen nor heard from again.

Lisa Joy White, 13, lived in Vernon, CT and went to visit a friend in the Rockville section of Vernon in the evening of November 1. 1974. After visiting her friend Lisa began walking up Prospect Street towards the center of Rockville alone. That was the last time she had been seen.

 

Important Information

No physical evidence has ever been identified in any of these three cases which span from 1968 to 1974. The only piece of evidence, which was located in Janice Pocket’s disappearance, was her bicycle which was unable to be processed.

The Cold Case Squad meets as a group monthly and has uncovered dozens of leads and tips with thousands of old documents to review and electronically scan.

As part of their evidentiary search, they are most interested in obtaining any photos or videos taken during the summer of 1968 in the location of Henry Park, in Vernon, CT, particularly depicting landscape and people in the background at events occurring in the park where Debra Spickler went missing.

Any information will help build the culture of this time frame.

The public should be assured that this is an open-ended, ACTIVE investigation in which all possibilities will be considered.  In addition, a collective $150,000 Reward is being offered for information. 

Guests Appearing on Shattered Lives Radio

  1. Daniel Cargill- Retired Ct State Trooper; Lead Cold Case Analyst; Tolland County Cold Case Squad;
  2. Lt. William Meier, Vernon Police Department; Began as 2014 Investigator with the Tolland County Cold Case Squad;
  3. Janelle Candelaria- Criminal Intelligence Analyst, Department of Criminal Justice, Office of the Chief State’s Attorney, Rocky Hill, CT;
  4. Mary Engelbrecht- Younger sister of Victim Janice Pocket;
  5. Aprille Falletti- Younger sister of  Victim Lisa Joy White

 

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Contact with information:

To send material contact dcj.tollandcounty.coldcase@ct.gov

Social Media from the Families of the Tolland County Missing Girls and Contact Information:

Mary’s Facebook page- https://www.facebook.com/Janice-Pockett-missing-since-July-26-1973-110441258981451/

Aprille’s Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/Lisa-Joy-White-age-13-missing-since-November-1-1974-788363764535343/

Every missing person is somebody’s child

(Monica Caison, Founder of the Cue Center for Missing Persons)