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  1. Police seek help finding a Raleigh woman missing since 2009 Published Sat, Jun 02, 2012 12:17 PM Modified Sat, Jun 02, 2012 12:18 PM By Thomasi McDonald Terry Lynn Tersak vanished without a trace almost three years ago. Tersak called her cousin, Jamie Pendergraft, in Garner one June night in 2009 and told her she was driving from Asheville with her young son for a visit. Her husband, Stefan Tersak, said that he remembers his wife speaking to Pendergraft on the phone but that she caught a ride with a woman named “Jen†the next day. He said the Clayton address his wife gave for him to pick her up the day before Father’s Day was bogus. He said he saw his wife briefly several months later, but then she disappeared permanently. Terry Tersak, 33 when she disappeared, was so estranged from her family that nearly two years passed before her father and brother filed a missing person’s report with the Asheville Police Department in late May 2011. Stefan Tersak never reported his wife as missing. The lead investigator in the case thinks Stefan Tersak, who has custody of their son and is living in Austin, Texas, knows more than he’s letting on about his missing wife. “He claims she just up and left,†said Detective Kevin Taylor of the Asheville police. “That’s certainly a possibility. But I have checked her credit card activity, I’ve checked with the Social Security Administration, bank accounts, her credit history and driver’s license in all 50 states. There’s been no activity since she disappeared.†Character questioned It is a mystery rife with marijuana, strip clubs, marital discord and, possibly, foul play. “Her dad kept telling me she is probably hiding from bill collectors. He acted like she’s been known to disappear,†Pendergraft said. “I begged him to call the police. He kept asking me not to call, and I didn’t know who to call. I was only 22 at the time.†Stefan Tersak describes his wife as a chronic marijuana smoker and pill popper on probation for misdemeanor drug convictions. She was supposed to enter drug treatment to better cope with their son, Xander, who is autistic. Instead, he says Terry Tersak abandoned her family. “I’m operating under the assumption that she’s split and dancing from strip club to strip club to avoid arrest for probation violation,†Stefan Tersak said. “She was a pothead, no doubt about it,†said her friend, Barbara Yelvington, 45, of Clayton. “She was not an addict. She was not a drunk. She was a one-or-two-beers kind of girl.†Stefan Tersak thinks her disappearance was planned. “When I drove to Clayton (to pick her up), I found out she had given me a wrong address,†he said. When he returned to Asheville, someone had entered his storage unit. He figured his wife “ambushed†him. “She cleaned the place out while I was in Clayton to pick her up,†he said. “When I went to the police, they said, ‘Your wife left with your stuff? That’s a divorce matter. Get a lawyer.’ †Months later, in October, Stefan Tersak said his wife showed up at a new apartment he was renting in Asheville. “She stopped by, and we had a brief conversation. She told me she had been living in Boone,†he said. “When Xander saw her, he had a fit, then he ran†away from her. Vehicle not taken But Taylor wonders why a woman intent on leaving her husband did not take her vehicle. Terry Tersak’s family and friends say that months before the Tersaks moved to Asheville from Benson, Terry’s grandmother died and left her $36,000. They say she paid $12,000 to purchase a 2002 Chevy Blazer. Stefan Tersak said his wife paid only $4,500 for the SUV and “blew through the rest of the money†buying drugs. Taylor said Stefan Tersak traded the car in to a dealer for another vehicle months after his wife disappeared. Husband supported Asked to comment on the case, Michael Teague, a forensic psychologist at Fort Bragg who retired from the Raleigh Police Department, said he does not think Stefan Tersak is responsible for his wife’s disappearance. “He’s stirring the pot too hard to want it to go away,†Teague said. “She’s attractive and has such a wide range of behaviors. My God, who knows what could have happened between Asheville and Raleigh?†Last month, Stefan Tersak set up a website,, devoted to finding his missing wife. He stated that his wife’s “preferred occupation is stripping†for the Pure Gold chain in Cary, Southern Pines and Garner. “She used to say she could drink, get her exercise in and work all at the same time,†he said. “She thought it was a very efficient use of her time.†Terry Tersak’s family say she worked as a stripper because her family was struggling financially. “Yeah, she was stripping,†Pendergraft said. “That’s because he didn’t bring any money in.†Terry Tersak’s father agreed. “I jumped all over his case to get a job,†Thomas Pendergraft said. Terry Tersak grew up in West Raleigh, the oldest of two children. Her father described her as an independent person who had a hard time when her mother, Lynn Pendergraft, died of cancer in 1991. Stefan Tersak, 54, met his wife in 2000. He is twice-divorced and is wanted in Lancaster County, Pa., for failing to appear in court for violation of a 1999 domestic violence order. That order stemmed from a complaint filed by Stefan Tersak’s second wife, Taylor said. Jamie Pendergraft said her cousin was unhappy and trying to get away from a controlling and abusive husband. “I don’t want to say what I think happened,†Pendergraft said. “She was very scared of him.†Asheville police are asking anyone with information about Terry Lynn Tersak’s whereabouts to call Taylor at 828-259-5945. News researchers Peggy Neal and Brooke Cain contributed to this report. Read more here:
  2. Charley Project Profile:
  3. Case Information Status Missing First name Terry Middle name Lynn Last name Tersak Nickname/Alias Date LKA June 01, 2009 00:00 Date entered 09/27/2011 Age LKA 33 to 33 years old Age now 36 years old Race White Ethnicity Other Sex Female Height (inches) 61.0 Weight (pounds) 100.0 Circumstances City Asheville State North Carolina Zip code 28806 County Buncombe Circumstances Last known to be living at this address with her husband and son Anyone with information is asked to contact the Asheville Police Department at 828-259-5945.
  4. Trenton missing baby case haunts lone investigator 24 years later Published: Tuesday, March 06, 2012, 8:20 AM Updated: Tuesday, March 06, 2012, 11:34 AM Alex Zdan/The Times TRENTON — The trail appears to have gone completely cold, except for a lone investigator still working the case. Twenty-four years ago this morning, 7-month-old Melissa Diane McGuinn disappeared without a trace. On that day back in 1988, a mentally handicapped housemate of Melissa’s mother first asked permission before taking the baby outside. When she returned with a neighbor shortly afterward, the baby was not with her. A huge search ensued, and though police quickly determined that the housemate, Wanda Faye Reed, was responsible, the child’s body was never found. Reed initially said she threw Melissa into the Delaware River, but years later changed her story to maintain she sold the baby for $200 worth of drugs. Neither scenario could be trusted. Police later found that, due to Reed’s mental state, she could be led to say virtually anything. In all the time that’s passed since that cold morning, the key question of what happened to Melissa has never come close to being answered. “That’s our missing link: What happened to her?†asked New Jersey State Police Detective Sgt. Wanda Stojanov. Stojanov has been searching for the answer since 2008, when she was assigned the case while working in the Missing Persons Unit. Despite a transfer to the Stolen Auto Unit, she’s still trying to make progress on the case, knowing that nobody else is available to do it. “Part of that is being a mom myself,†she said in Trenton yesterday, outside the home on the 600 block of Lamberton where the McGuinns and Reed used to live. No parent would want law enforcement to drop the case, no matter how long it takes. “I’d like to know ... there’s someone who’s still looking.†Two days after the child’s disappearance, Trenton police arrested Reed and charged her with kidnapping, but they couldn’t levy a murder charge without Melissa’s body. Reed’s mental capacity, described as that of a 7-year-old child, made a conviction even more daunting, and the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office dropped all charges in December 1989. Despite three days of initial searching and a psychic leading city police and firefighters on a fruitless search of the Delaware River in August 1988, no trace of Melissa was ever found. Her mother, Rebecca, and father, Robert, moved to Arkansas and Reed headed to Louisiana. In 2008, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children contacted the State Police to ask if they would take on the case. The national center later produced an age-progressed image of Melissa, using the faces of her mother and two brothers born after her disappearance to theorize what Melissa would look like in her early 20s. Stojanov is hoping someone will come forward with new information that Melissa is alive somewhere, possibly unaware that she is the person who generated front-page headlines in Trenton in 1988. “There’s still leads,†she said. Even today, the McGuinn case is a web of motivations, secrets and lies. The McGuinns and Reed and her common-law husband were bonded by a shared home, Stojanov said. “There’s so much to this story, I don’t know where to begin some days,†she said. The neighbor whose home Reed went to and who walked her back home and several witnesses put Reed in the vicinity of Lamberton and Coates streets, but gone for just eight minutes. Because of that, Stojanov thinks the theory that Melissa was thrown into the river is implausible. Standing behind the family’s former home and looking at Waterfront Park across Route 29, Stojanov said it would be difficult to make it to the Delaware and back so quickly. “I don’t know, it just doesn’t seem like it’s possible, but we don’t rule it out,†she said. If Melissa died but her body was not tossed into the river, it could have remained undetected on land, Stojanov said. The city detective who handled the abduction is dead, and most of the men on the force are since retired or passed away as well. Robert McGuinn died in 2008. To rule herself out as a suspect, the girl’s mother, Rebecca McGuinn, came to New Jersey this past August to take a polygraph. McGuinn passed the review, popularly known as a “lie-detector test,†leading authorities to believe she didn’t participate in any potential conspiracy. “If there was anything, she didn’t know about it,†Stojanov said. “I think if there was, they wouldn’t have called the police so fast. Because they didn’t like the police, and the police didn’t like them.†“She seemed credible,†Stojanov said. Reed remains the most likely suspect, as she had the strongest possible motive. “She might’ve been jealous,†Stojanov said. “There was a party the night before … and people were paying attention to Melissa instead of her child, (2-month-old) Jimmy.†Reed claimed it was the neighbor with whom she came back who bought the baby in exchange for drugs, but Stojanov has interviewed the woman twice and she’s been cooperative. Polygraphing her is an option, though. Rebecca McGuinn is still invested in the case, watching and hoping from far off. “The mother cares,†Stojanov said. “The mother does care, otherwise she wouldn’t have tried to come back to New Jersey.†Anyone with information on Melissa McGuinn should call the New Jersey State Police’s Missing Persons Unit at (609) 882-2000, ext. 2893, or toll free at (800) 709-7090.
  5. NamUs Case file: Charley Project Profile:
  6. Non-Family Abduction MELISSA MCGUINN Age Progressed DOB: Aug 3, 1987 Age at Missing: 7 months Missing: Mar 6, 1988 Missing From: TRENTON, NJ Sex: Female Race: White Hair: Blonde Eyes: Blue Height: 2'4" (71cm) Weight: 16lbs (7kg) The photo on the right is a composite drawing of what Melissa may look like at age 24. She was last seen in the company of a woman who was living with her parents. The woman is mentally incompetent and gave conflicting reports about Melissa. Melissa was last seen wearing white flowered quilted overalls, a dark pink hooded-sweater, and pink socks. ANYONE HAVING INFORMATION SHOULD CONTACT National Center for Missing & Exploited Children 1-800-843-5678 (1-800-THE-LOST) Trenton Police Department (New Jersey) - Missing Persons Unit 1-609-989-4170
  7. Lost in the Last Frontier ( exclusive) Active and open doesn’t mean investigating in missing persons cases By Megan Edge Story Created: Mar 23, 2012 at 4:08 PM AKDT Story Updated: Mar 23, 2012 at 8:37 PM AKDT ....... ENDANGERED MISSING PERSON†runs across the top of a more recent flyer. In the middle of June 2009, John Melvin Wipert was working as a caretaker at Ptarmigan Lake Lodge in the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park when he disappeared with two of the lodge’s horses. He was unfamiliar with the area and is suspected to have been taking the horses to Beaver Creek. Urban Rahoi, who hired Wipert, had returned to the lodge in the first weeks of July to drop off groceries, and found the door off the hinges, a horse starving and dehydrated in the stable and rotting bacon on the counter. Rahoi found a note reading “Gone to check out the cabin. Back tomorrow night,†but the closest cabin was more than a day’s ride away. Wipert remains yet another unsolved Alaska mystery. .....
  8. Lost in the Last Frontier ( exclusive) Active and open doesn’t mean investigating in missing persons cases By Megan Edge Story Created: Mar 23, 2012 at 4:08 PM AKDT Story Updated: Mar 23, 2012 at 8:37 PM AKDT ...... Megan Siobhan Emerick left her Seward dormitory residence on foot to do laundry in July of 1973. She was 17 years old and living at the Seward Skill Center. Her roommate searched for her for three days before reporting her missing. The young woman had straight brown hair, protruding front teeth and freckles across her nose. She left her personal belongings and identification behind. A typical Alaska girl and a product of Delta Junction, she enjoyed fishing and hunting with her family on the Yukon River. She found pleasure in rock music, horses and motorcycles. Authorities speculated that the teenage girl was a victim of Robert Hansen. In 1984 Hansen claimed he committed 17 murders and 30 rapes. Only 12 of his victims’ bodies were ever recovered. The convicted serial murder claimed to be in Seward at the time of her disappearance, but denied any involvement. In 1996 Megan Emerick’s mother went to the grave not knowing the fate of her missing daughter. Megan’s missing persons case is still open and active.
  9. NamUs Profiles:
  10. Lost in the Last Frontier ( exclusive) Active and open doesn’t mean investigating in missing persons cases By Megan Edge Story Created: Mar 23, 2012 at 4:08 PM AKDT Story Updated: Mar 23, 2012 at 8:37 PM AKDT ALASKA - The bold headline running across the top of an Alaska State Trooper missing person bulletin reads “Endangered Adult.†Beneath, the name Loy Suthammavong is prominently placed in large type. Then a photograph of a 30-year-old man with black hair, a high forehead, a slight mustache and somber expression. He was last seen in Houston on December 2, 2011. Three days later the Anchorage Fire Department responded to a car fire and found Suthammovong’s car in flames – AFD declared it arson. Tuesday night, March 20, an unidentified body was found off of Eklutna Lake Road. Thursday the human remains were identified – they belonged to Loy Suthammavong. Suthammavong’s homicide case is not closed, but his missing persons case is solved, unlike many others in Alaska. Three days ago, he would have joined a John Doe, whose remains were found off Third Avenue in 2001, and “Eklutna Annie,†a young woman believed to be in her late teens to early 20s with dirty brown hair that fell to the middle of her back. She fell victim to serial killer Robert Hansen and was discovered in 1980, but was never identified. According to Alaska State Trooper Lieutenant Craig Allen, in 2011 2,071 Alaska residents were reported missing. A large percentage of those reported cases are runaway minors. The number, 2,071, is fairly representative of Alaska’s average annual missing persons numbers, said Allen. On the Alaska State Troopers Missing Persons Bulletin website, there are 70-plus active investigations dating back as far as the early 1970s, but according to troopers those don’t include all of the state’s missing people. “It all depends on circumstances.†Brown-eyed Amy Fandel has blonde wavy hair and a gap-toothed smile in a photo on a flyer. She was 8 years old when she and her 13-year-old brother, Scott C. Fandel, went missing from their Sterling cabin home. The last time their mother saw them was September 5, 1978. Her daughter was sporting a sweater, blue vest and stripped jeans. Scott Fandel wore a striped shirt and blue jeans. That night was nothing out of the ordinary. The duo had accompanied mother Margaret Fandel and aunt Cathy Schonfelder to dinner at the bar and restaurant Good Time Charlie’s. At approximately 10 p.m., they were dropped off at home. Their mother and aunt returned to the bar. The cabin the kids returned to didn’t have a lock on the front door and was in a heavily wooded area. After being dropped off they visited with the neighbor kids. At 11:45 p.m. another passing neighbor said lights were on in their cabin. Between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m., the children’s mom and aunt returned from the bar and found a boiling pot of water, a macaroni package and an open can of tomatoes on the counter. To Margaret Fandel this was normal. She assumed her son had fallen asleep while cooking up his favorite bedtime snack. The next morning when Margaret Fandel left for work her kids weren’t there. This too seemed normal. All that changed when she attempted to call her daughter at school. School officials informed her neither child had made it to class that day. Bullet shell casings were later found near the cabin. Authorities were never able to determine if they were related to the case. For many years Amy Fandel’s father was a person of interest in the case. Many theories regarding his involvement were speculated upon. There was never evidence to support the supposition. Today the siblings would be in their late 40s. An online web page has computer-generated photos of what both children may now look like. Scott Fandel has brown hair, a straight smile, blue eyes and the face of man. His sister’s smile has straightened out. She no longer looks like the doe-eyed girl she was the last time her family saw her. Their cases are considered a non-family abduction. Some years later their childhood home burned down, leaving the lost children with no place to return to. .....
  11. Charley Project Profiles:
  12. Missing AMY FANDEL Age Progressed DOB: Aug 25, 1970 Age at Missing: 8 Missing: Sep 5, 1978 Missing From: STERLING, AK Sex: Female Race: White Hair: Blonde Eyes: Brown Height: 4'0" (122cm) Weight: 52lbs (24kg) SCOTT FANDEL Age Progressed DOB: Jan 23, 1965 Age at Missing: 13 Missing: Sep 5, 1978 Missing From:STERLING, AK Sex: Male Race: White Hair: Brown Eyes: Blue Height: 4'11" (150cm) Weight: 74lbs (34kg) Amy's photo is shown aged to 35 years and Scott's photo aged to 40 years. Amy and Scott Fandel were last seen at their trailer home. Amy was wearing a sweater, a red and blue vest and striped jeans. Scott was wearing a striped T-shirt and jeans. ANYONE HAVING INFORMATION SHOULD CONTACT National Center for Missing & Exploited Children 1-800-843-5678 (1-800-THE-LOST) Alaska State Troopers - Missing Persons Unit 1-907-262-4453
  13. 2012-03-30 / Front Page Thirty-one years later Detective: ‘Not giving up on Taj’ STORY BY DIANE C. BEAUDOIN Taj was 10 years old at the time of his disappearance from his Naples Street home sometime during the night. The blond, blue-eyed child has never been seen or heard from since that fateful night. Leominster Detective Patrick Aubuchon has taken charge of the case, and over the years, has retraced steps taken back at the time of Taj’s disappearance in 1981. Aubuchon did received a tip of photographs on a website several months back that resembled a young Taj. The photographs were sent to the FBI laboratory where recently they came back with a response that the photos were not of the missing boy. “Talk about disappointment,†Aubuchon began. The detective was hoping that the photos would have come back with a positive identification, as that would have meant Taj may not have been murdered. “One frustrating thing with this case is police work was different back then. There were no Amber Alerts, or sites for missing and exploited children, which could have helped. The first week he was gone, this was treated as a runaway case, and nothing was started for that whole time,†he explained. After pouring over reports and accounts of what happened that night, Aubuchon said a few things struck him that lead to Dean being a person of interest. “The landlord of the apartment house they lived in said his shovel was missing the next day, and also Annette said she found Dean’s raincoat that had a lot of mud on it. These are things that were not followed up on,†Aubuchon said. Dean was never charged in the case, and after some time, he was arrested on other crimes and has spent many years in prison. He has been diagnosed with mental illness and is currently hospitalized in a state hospital. Requests for a visit to Dean have to date been unsuccessful. Taj’s information has been on several websites dedicated to missing and exploited children, all hoping for a lead to solve the case. “I see and think about this case everyday hoping that we can find him,†Aubuchon expressed. A bin sits in the detective room filled with items that either belonged to Taj or are relevant to the case, but the puzzle has never been totally put together. According to previous interviews with Annette, she said the last time she saw her son, he was in his pajamas and gone to bed. The next morning she went into his room to wake him for school, and he was gone. His slippers and shoes were still in the room, and no other clothing was reported missing. She also stated she heard nothing unusual during the night that would lead her to believe anything was wrong. Annette was eight months pregnant at the time of Taj’s disappearance. This is Leominster’s only missing child case, and even if it is considered a cold case, there is always the possibility a lead or tip will come in to close the book on what happened to young Taj. “We will treat all tips as confidential and act on them immediately,†Aubuchon has said. If anyone has any recollections of that night in 1981, or knows anything, no matter how insignificant it may appear to be, they are asked to contact the Leominster Police Department. “I really think there are people out there that may know something to help this case out, and help us to find out what happened to this boy. It’s been a long time and many years have passed, but we are not giving up on finding Taj,†Aubuchon concluded.
  14. 30 Years After Sister's Disappearance, Concord Man Seeks Answers Joe Chartier was 19 when his 17-year-old sister disappeared from East Chelmsford, Mass. By Krista Perry March 28, 2012 Joe Chartier considers himself a realist: he knows it's unlikely that his sister, Judy, will be found after she went missing on June 5, 1982, but that doesn't mean he is going to stop looking for answers. Judy Chartier was 17 when she was last seen in East Chelmsford, Mass., after attending a party in Billerica. Chartier - one of Judy's seven brothers - was 19 at the time and decided not to go to the party with her. Chartier said Judy went to the party with her boyfriend at the time, but the pair may have argued and she left the party to bring him home to East Chelmsford. It was then her intent to return to the party, Chartier said, but Judy and the 1977 Dodge Swinger she was driving have never been seen since she dropped off her boyfriend. "It's been difficult, I don't really talk about it a lot," said Chartier, who still checks in with the police once in a while on the case and keeps up-to-date on any Jane Doe bodies that may have been found matching Judy's description. "She was very sweet, she loved animals. She was nice to everyone, she didn’t have a mean bone in her body. We were best friends, we did everything together." As Judy got older, Chartier said she started hanging out with the wrong crowd. Chartier suspects someone who was at the party that night knows what happened to his sister but won't talk about it. A series of strange occurances after Judy went missing lead him to believe foul play was involved, he said. "Just before she went missing, she said to my father that she wanted him to check the trunk of her car. She said there was something in it and she was scared, and that was the day before the day she went missing," Chartier said. "We suspected maybe they were using her as a (drug) mule ... so we’re not sure if someone killed her because of what she saw or knew. We have really no clue." Another strange incident happened shortly after Judy disappeared - a phone call came to the house from a woman to claimed she knew what happened to Judy but couldn't talk about it because someone had threatened to kill her. "We know someone knows something," said Chartier. According to the Charley Project, the U.S. Secret Service was investigating a man named James Mitchell DeBardeleben for counterfeiting when they discovered he may have been connected to a number of murders. The U.S. Secret Service searched DeBardeleben's car and found a map of the Chelmsford region where Chartier disappeared, and a receipt for a motel dated June 4, 1982 - the night before Judy disappeared. According to the Charley Project, however, "the leads never panned out." Chartier said every so often the police make his sister's photo public again, hoping someone will see it and want to talk about it. "I don’t think she ran away, I highly doubt that. She was so close to my mother .. she was spoiled to say the least. When she was hanging around with me, she wasn’t in the wrong crowd, but it had something to do with partying in Billerica. It was someone or something involved in that group of people because (DeBardeleben) was in the area, he was known for this and he was friends with people who were at that party," said Chartier. Chartier's parents have since passed away and now he sees it as his responsibility to find closure. "I don’t have hope she’s alive. I wish, but I don’t think she is. I think something happened that night. I don’t think she would have stayed away this long if she could have contacted my parents," she said. "I think someone killed her, for what reason I don’t know, but I know that the crowd she was with that night, some of them were good kids but there was some of them from that area I would never ever be around because I couldn’t stand them." Chartier said sometimes he can't help but feel like had he gone with Judy that night she'd still be around. But now, 30 years later and in the age of social media, Chartier is hoping someone will see Judy's picture on Facebook or the Internet, know what happened and talk to the police about it. "I'm hoping someone's conscience gets the best of them," he said. Anyone with information concerning this case should concact Chelmsford Police at 978-256-2521.
  15. NCMEC Poster: