Elizabeth Ennen, 15 and Kailee Clapp, 14 — Kidnapped and Found (Deceased)

Two beautiful girls–their lives gruesomely snuffed out by people they knew.

Elizabeth Ennen, 15, went to babysit for a long-time family friend in Lubbock, Texas on Jan. 5, 2011…never to be seen alive again.

Kailee Clapp, 14, last seen by her sister getting ready for bed at their McCook, Nebraska home at 10:30PM on Jan. 20. The next morning, she was gone.

  • Both were sweet, much-beloved girls
  • Both disappeared in January
  • Both senselessly slain
  • Both bodies were found within days of each other, after the suspects confessed
  • And, unluckily for the suspects, both were killed in states with the death penalty

But the similarities end there.

Elizabeth Ennen was a good student who was always eager to help people out. She had babysat for Carmen and Humberto Salinas a number of times before–in fact, Virginia had known Carmen for about 15 years. So, she had no reason to suspect anything would happen.

But something did happen on January 5, 2011.  Carmen and Humberto went out (separately) but he returned home a few hours later, saying his wife called him after hearing the kids were supposedly giving Elizabeth a hard time.

He said they played with the kids a while, then she started acting weird and asked him to drive her home. He says he did, and watched her open the screen door of her house before driving off. He returned a short while later with her purse, saying she’d left in the car. Of course, Virginia panicked because Elizabeth had never made it inside.

Salinas tells her she probably ran off with his oldest son, who she apparently had a crush on. They drive around looking for her and call police. He helped her file the missing persons report and actually does most of the talking with investigators. And that was that.

Shortly after, Virginia realized there’s no way her child ran away without her phone, purse or medication and begins trying to convince police her daughter was kidnapped–but her pleas fell on deaf ears.

Until sometime the next week when police discovered the son has an airtight alibi for that night…and that parts of Humberto’s story just weren’t adding up.

Two weeks after she goes missing, police check the surveillance tapes from the hotel and a whole different story unfolds.

They saw a scared Elizabeth hurry out of the room, putting her coat on and carrying her shoes, before Salinas shoves her against the wall and forces her back in. They exited the room again a while later, but when she moves away he grabs her again, manhandling her down to then car.

He returned, alone, 30 minutes later. Stayed for four minutes, then left to take Elizabeth’s purse to her mom and start weaving his tale.

The same day police finally check the video, they arrested Salinas and charged him with aggravated kidnapping.

And 2 days later, he told them where to find her body in a field outside of town–apparently strangled to death. Police insist she probably died that night–long before a “witness” claimed to see the two of them in a dollar store parking lot.

Why would he all of a sudden sexually assault and kill her? That’s just one of the many questions still needing to be resolved while Elizabeth’s family mourns their loss.

Surprise! He’s no boy scout. Salinas went to jail for 12 years for repeatedly dropping his 4-month old daughter onto a steel box. Yes, on purpose. He was charged with assaulting his wife too a few years back, though he did no time on that. And a few other charges here and there.

I would bet a million dollars Virginia’s “friend” never shared all that.

Since he’s already in jail, the police are waiting for the final results from the autopsy and other tests so they can present all of it to a grand jury, instead of slapping him right now with the murder charge.

Apparently, it was hard to feel down around Kailee Clapp very long as she loved to  laugh and make others do the same. But when her older sister went to wake her for school one Friday morning, her bed was empty and the door from her room leading out to an alley was slightly ajar, although nothing else was missing besides her.

They called the police who came to take a report. And, like Elizabeth, they decided she must be a runaway.

A flurry of text messages among her friends ensued and Kailee’s father called mom Nora that afternoon saying he had spoken to Stathis Kirkpatrick, and while he initially said he hadn’t spoken to Kailee in two weeks, he then said he spoke to her the night before.

At that point, police interviewed Kirkpatrick several times, catching him in lies about phone calls, where he was that night–and even finding blood in the back of his truck and on clothes and a comforter in his room.

In the meantime, Kailee’s mom called police back to show them a possible bloodstain in the alley behind her home, which she discovered while taking the trash out.

Still, none of it phased Kirkpatrick. When confronted, he asked to speak to his grandmother and girlfriend. He broke up with the girlfriend, saying he’ll be going away for a long time and that she “screwed him over” by saying he wasn’t at her house. (He had to know police were on the other side of the glass, don’t you think?!)

He then changed his tune and said he did go see her, saw her get abducted, got attacked trying to save her, but followed the abductor to Bartley cemetary, where her (burned and mutilated) body could be found. It was.

The motive? Seems to be Kirkpatrick was interested in Kailee and she didn’t feel the same. I think we’ll see more come out about that, as well as what really happened that night–rumors have been swirling on both points.

After being held on a $1 million bond, he was charged with first degree murder, assualt with a deadly weapon, tampering with evidence and unlawfully dumping a body at his arraignment on Thursday.

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Juliani Cardenas — Update — Found (Deceased)

More than a week after Jose Rodriguez snatched 4-year-old Juliani Cardenas from his grandmother’s house, police and divers are still searching the Mendota Canal for the silver Toyota. So far, they’ve brought up 10 cars, 1 truck and one motorcycle but there’s still no sign of Rodriguez and the boy.

However, we do know a little more now about why they’re so certain the two are in there:

  • There are fresh tire tracks going into the canal at the location pinpointed by the witness (that’s not new)
  • Canal workers also say a buoy at that spot was broken sometime between Tuesday and Wednesday morning
  • The farm worker witness may have provided police with good tips on previous occasions
  • He also allegedly had a close up view inside the car as he passed them in his truck, a few minutes before he saw the car go into the canal from his rear-view mirror
  • No vehicle they have pulled out matches the tire tracks

In short, it’s really not looking good that the boy will be found elsewhere.

One positive development is the dealer who sold Rodriguez four new tires in April 2009 came forward and provided the receipt, so police can compare that make and model of tire to the tracks found…No word yet on how that turned out.

I’ve also learned a few more things about Rodriguez’s state of mind, which could indicate that he was highly unstable that day…

  • A co-worker reported that Tabitha and Rodriguez had lunch with a group of them at her job the Friday before this happened and everything seemed fine
  • But Tabitha has also said Rodriguez lost his job the week before–a potentially big stressor for anyone, especially these days
  • He was also apparently very concerned that Tabitha wasn’t going to let him spend time with Juliani–which may have intensified when he tried to see the boy that morning and she sent him away
  • And while no one has said it, I think it’s safe to say he may have translated that into concern that she may try to keep him from his own child (she’s 8 months pregnant)
  • He “usually” just drinks, according to the mom, but has also done drugs “from time to time”

Again, it’s not looking good, but police are still trying to find leads that lead down other paths than the canal.

Update 1/29/11 —

The 13th vehicle they pulled from the canal was Rodriguez’s. He and Juliani were not inside but the front windows were rolled down and police seem pretty certain they were in the car when it went into the water. They were going back to the canal today to start looking for their bodies.

Update 2/1/11 — Found

Juliani Cardenas’ body was found in the canal this morning. No sign of Rodriguez yet–police have issued an arrest warrant in case he did get out of the car. But they feel his body will be found in the canal as well. Since he is obviously larger and heavier, it would not be surprising if it takes longer for him to surface.

Update 2/12/11 — Found

It appears the body of Juliani’s kidnapper Jose Rodriguez has been pulled from the canal, 11 miles south of where the car went in. While they’ll need DNA to make a positive identification, it matches the description of Rodriguez and there are no other missing persons it could be.

Juliani’s mom made a statement that she was relieved he’d been found in the canal and wouldn’t be around to hurt them any more. She is due to give birth to Rodriguez’s baby in several weeks.

I personally hope there’s evidence to show Rodriguez did not mean to go into the canal that day, and that perhaps he had lost control of the car while he was trying to escape with the boy.

While it certainly won’t change the outcome, I do think it would be a  consolation to Rodriguez’s family and possibly a small consolation to Juliani’s family as well.  I imagine no mother wants the guilt of having loved someone who could kill her son, not to mention the potential impact on her new child who would certainly find out someday that her dad purposely killed her brother.

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Adji Desir — Disappeared, FL 1/10/09

Adji is not your typical six-year-old. Due to developmental issues, he has the mind of a two year old. He can’t speak, and only understands a few words of Creole.

And he has a tendency to hide when he’s scared…not good considering Immokalee is smack dab in the midst of the Florida Everglades. And he’s afraid of strangers, so he may try to hide from searchers as well.

All of which makes his disappearance from his grandmother’s house one Saturday afternoon even more alarming.

The Details
Adji was playing outside her home in a cul-de-sac of the Farm Worker’s Village development with a group of other kids all day. He came in to eat dinner, then went back out. Grandmother checked on him from her window, and he was fine. But when she checked again in 15-20 minutes, he was gone.

The kids he was playing with said he was just there a few minutes ago and didn’t know where he was now.

Mom was at work as a nursing assistant in a retirement home. Step-dad was around most of the day but left to run home for a short while. When he came back around 5PM, Adji was gone. (The family was cleared early on in the case, including Adji’s father, who lives in Haiti.)

The family searched for two hours before calling police, who immediately showed up with the FBI. They combed the village, knocking on doors, searching homes multiple times, checking trash cans and any place a little boy might hide. But they came up empty.

A week of intense searches by land, by air and boat, with bloodhounds followed…still no sign of the little boy. More than 2,400 leads have been investigated to date and all have come to naught.

Two of the girls he was playing with later said they last saw Adji walking away from the group down the road, towards the bridge over the canal. Neither of the girls recalled seeing him after that.

Another child said the Adji said he was going home because nobody would let him ride a bike. (Not sure how he could say that, since he didn’t speak…)

Could someone have taken him without being noticed by the kids? Could he have wandered off and hurt himself? Or been attacked by the abundant wildlife in the area–including alligators, panthers and wild boar?

No one knows.

The Challenging Location
Someone who is close to the case posted on Scared Monkeys that Farm Worker’s Village is government housing, with about 350 residents, largely immigrants who work on the nearby farms. They speak a mixture of Spanish, English and several Creole dialects.

Yet there is only one way in and out of the Village. So parents have always felt safe letting their kids play outside, even late at night.

The community itself is located near the corner of “two main back road highways.” Both are traveled mostly by truckers transporting produce to other markets. But it draws people going to the nearby casino too. And it’s surrounded by the dense brush and swamps of the Everglades as well.

So when you don’t have any clues, it’s kind of hard to know which way to go.

The Search Continues
Police and FBI went door-to-door in the Village and Immokalee community on the two-year anniversary of Adji’s disappearance a few weeks ago.

They handed out new fliers and are trying to build a Triangle of Trust between residents, law enforcement and Adji’s family to encourage people to come forward with anything they may know–no matter how small it seems–so they can finally bring little Adji home.

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Lindsey Baum — Disappeared WA 6/26/09

A 10-year old girl vanishes on 4-block walk home from a friend’s house in McLeary, WA–home to only 1,500 people. There’s no evidence of a kidnapping, a struggle–of anything. Another little girl, literally, gone without a trace.

The Details
Lindsey left another friends’ house where they had been swimming with a group of friends a little after 8PM. She and her friend Michaela went to Lindsey’s home so she can shower and change before going to Michaela’s house to see if she can spend the night. Lindsey’s 12 year-old brother Josh decided to accompany them.

Lindsey had brought along her brother’s bike, which did not have a chain. She pushed herself along on it until they reached the Shell station, where she decided she was tired of it and left it there. Lindsey and Josh fought about who should get the bike and take it home.

A few houses down from Michaela’s, Lindsey sees one of her mom’s co-workers and asks her to tell Josh to go home. (This is different from various news reports that a family friend “intervened,” but is based on search warrants released by the police which identify this woman–obviously after interviewing her.)  Josh balked, but the girls asked her to tell him again, which she does, and he left.
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Lindsay and Josh
Lindsey and her brother often fought–some residents say it could get quite physical and that Lindsay was afraid of Josh. Even their mom made a statement to the press that Lindsay would have fought back against whoever might have tried to take her, using her long fingernails that she certainly wasn’t afraid of using on her brother.

But other residents say they were typical siblings. We do know Josh wasn’t your typical, happy-go-lucky 12 year old and seemed to have no real friends. We also know from a comment on her MySpace page that Lindsay was happy her brother was sent to juvenile detention a few weeks prior to this, for a felony he pleaded guilty to. (Details of which are unknown since he’s a minor.)

For these reasons, some have speculated quite openly about whether he could have been involved. But police said early on that everyone in the family had been cleared and was not a suspect.  And it seems highly unlikely that he could have committed such a “clean” crime, by himself, leaving nary a trace.
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According to Michaela’s mom, the girls decided to see about Lindsey staying at their house on the way over. Michaela’s parents both said no to the sleepover for various typical reasons. So Lindsey was only there briefly before her friend’s father told her she should get going before it gets dark.

Lindsey apparently decided to not call her mom for a ride and to just walk home. That was somewhere between 9:15PM-9:30PM. The friends’ parents say they didn’t think anything of it because it was still daylight. (Note: it apparently didn’t get dark in McLeary until around 10:30PM that day.)

Michaela watched her friend walk down Maple Street, until trees got in the way. One witness saw her on Maple Street, and a neighbor on her way to work spotted her about 2 blocks from Lindsey’s home–and that was the last time she was ever seen.

By 10:00PM (curfew time), Lindsey’s mom Melissa got nervous. She tried her daughter’s cell, found it in the charger and home, and set out on foot to find the girl. Initially, she thought Lindsey must have run into friends along the way.

Melissa reaches Michaela’s mom around 10:25PM, who with her husband, joined the search by car. Finally, her mom called police around 10:45PM.

Police initially theorize that she ran away. Melissa says there’s no way, for several reasons:

  • She was afraid of the dark and always refused to go outside anywhere near “the Witching Hour” between midnight and 1AM
  • She had no change of clothes or cell phone
  • She’d clearly been expecting to spend the night with her friend, so why would she decide to run away 2 blocks from home?

The Investigation
This is truly a case of vanishing without a trace as police have NO physical evidence to even investigate–including nothing unusual on her computer or cell phone.

Speculation and theories have swirled around potential “persons of interest” including local pervs, her brother and an alleged fellow teen she was chatting with online from Pennsylvania. We know from search warrants for the online “friend’s” IP address that he was accessing his account from Reston, VA for several weeks–but stopped 2 days before Lindsey disappeared. And when he finally did log on again several weeks later, it was from an IP out of Bellvue, Washington.

There were also reports Lindsey claimed a white SUV or van appeared to be following her sometimes. But again, nothing more has come of it yet.

The police are still trying to identify strangers from a recently released video taken at the Shell gas station she would have passed that night, although she did not appear on the surveillance tapes there either coming or going. One guy did come forward and explain he was passing through town. But apparently the others remain unidentified.

In all, police had conducted lots of searches, but still have no real clues as to what happened to the young girl.

The FBI is urging neighbors to think about anything unusual they may have noticed about people they know–strange behavior, strange injuries–and both the FBI and police seem to think someone in the community probably took her.

The CUE Center for Missing Persons recently announced it will launch a campaign geared toward getting hunters in the McLeary area to search parts of the dense nearby forests they are familiar with.

Posted in Disapppeared, Runaway Classification | Tagged | 1 Comment

Carlina White — NY 8/4/87 — Found!

Carlina White, kidnapped and found 23 years laterCarlina White was snatched from Harlem Hospital in August 1987, just 19 days after she was born.

After coming down with a fever, (real) parents Joy White and Carl Tyson took their newborn daughter to the hospital, where she was put on an antibiotics IV. Someone who looked like a nurse comforted them and told them to go home and get some rest.

It’s still unclear whether that woman was Ann Pettway, but Pettway apologized and confessed yesterday to unhooking the IV and taking the child. She said once she got outside the hospital and no one stopped her, she just got on a train home to Bridgeport and pretended the baby was hers.

A cousin of Pettway’s told reporters that she appeared pregnant in 1987, then disappeared, before returning home with the baby. So no one questioned it, and they’re all shocked now that it’s true.

Carlina’s Mission
Unfortunately, Carlina talks of a childhood of abuse growing up in Connecticut as Nejdra Nance with her “mom” who was always using fake IDs and aliases. And over the years, she just felt like she didn’t fit in and or look like her family at all.

When she was pregnant with her now 5-year-old daughter, Carlina asked her Pettway for her birth certificate so she could apply for pre-natal care. She received a startling response.

“I found out while I was pregnant. That lady told me she wasn’t my mother,” Carlina said. But instead of telling her the truth, Pettway explained she didn’t have the birth certificate because she’d been given to her by a woman who used drugs.

Carlina says she then began surfing websites on missing children. Around Christmas, she called the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children after finding a baby picture that looked very similar to the ones Pettway had of her and to those of her own 5-year old daughter.

New York police sent detectives to White’s home in Atlanta and to her real parents’ home in the Bronx to collect DNA samples, which were a match. But Carlina and Joy White had already met, convinced from the moment they spoke that the results would confirm the connection.

Pettway Caught and Charged
After the Whites’ reunion made headlines, officials went looking to question Pettway. She was now living in Raleigh, NC and was on probation for stealing $180 cash and clothing from the Triangle Town Center’s Belk store where she worked in May 2010.

After she couldn’t be located, an arrest warrant for violating her probation was issued on Friday, Jan. 21. She was spotted multiple times in Bridgeport, CT, over the weekend before turning herself into the local FBI office on Sunday, Jan. 23.

Pettway says she had been struggling to have children of her own after several miscarriages, went to the hospital and saw the baby.

She was charged with federal kidnapping charges in a Manhattan court earlier today. (Since the NY statute of limitations had expired, the feds were asked to take the case.)

Her lawyer did not ask for bail (smart move, given her history LOL) and she faces a mandatory minimum of 20 years to life in prison if she is convicted. After this case, she’s supposed to be extradited to NC for the probation violation.

According to the Stamford Advocate, Pettway has also criminal convictions over the years in Connecticut for forgery, drug possession and multiple larcenies. She spent a month in jail for her first crime in 1977–the other four times (including NC), she was sentenced to probation.

Update — 2/14/11

Sadly, the fairy tale reunion did not last long. Apparently, Carlina and her birth mom Joy White have been on the outs since their second meeting. First it was reported that Carlina was confused and feeling a sense of loyalty to the only family she’d really known.

But now, it’s alleged White is devastated because Carlina is demanding her share of the $750,000 settlement her parents were awarded from the hospital. Originally, the parents said they put the funds into a trust for her. But as the years passed and the chances of her being found alive fell, her parents said they spent the money on bills and such.

If that’s your biggest concern after finding your mom after 23 years, then maybe Carlina is more like her kidnapper than we thought after all.

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Juliani Cardenas — Kidnapped CA 1/18/11

missing kidnapped child Juliani Cardenas4 yo Juliani Cardenas was stolen from his grandmother’s home in Patterson, CA on Tuesday, Jan. 18. The mother’s ex-boyfriend, Jose Rodriguez, forced his way into the house about 4:12pm, pushed the grandmother to the floor and snatched the child–then made an obscene gesture while laughing and getting in the car with the crying child.

Rodriguez had made several previous attempts to grab the boy in the previous 24 hours, even going to his preschool earlier that day. But the boy was sick at home with a cold.

The Who
Rodriguez is NOT Juliani’s biological father, although he apparently became very close to the boy during his two-year relationship with Juliani’s mom Tabitha Cardenas. So he was very upset about being shut out of his life when Tabitha ended the relationship five months before, after Rodriguez physically assaulted her.

The fact he cared so much about the boy keeps her hoping that nothing bad has happened.

But during an emotional press conference this past week, Cardenas said he claimed to sometimes ‘hear voices’ and that he had been abusive toward her at other times during their relationship.

While I did not see this particular news item myself, a poster at the Scared Monkeys forum added, “His behavior up until the day of the kidnapping to me tells a story of a man who was not acting normally at all. I guess the day before he was at a relatives home and was standing and staring out the front window for a long while. He also accused his little brother of sleeping with Tabitha and he tried to strangle him.”

Jose Rodriguez, suspect on Juliani Cardenas kidnappingRodriguez also has a criminal history–having been arrested for suspected assault and battery, charged with unlawful sexual intercourse and drunken driving, and convicted of manslaughter in 1999.

So police do fear Juliani is in danger. Rodriguez was also seen on camera buying beer at a Chevron gas station about a half hour before the kidnapping.

The Search
Divers have been searching the Delta-Mondota Canal outside of Patterson since Wednesday afternoon, after a migrant worker in his 50’s came said that morning he saw a car matching the description of Rodriguez’s silver 2003 Toyota Corolla go into the canal around 5pm Tuesday–allegedly with two people, a man and boy, inside.

(Print news reports of the police spokesperson’s statements that I’ve seen say just “two people.” TV media are saying a man and a boy. So either the TV media have an inside source or they’re speculating.)

Police said they DID find fresh tire marks at the scene, but can’t be sure if they match the oversized aluminum wheels on the suspect’s Toyota.

Since then, divers have pulled five stolen cars from the water–including a silver Lexus (which they later said does NOT match the fresh tire tracks at the canal). But no the silver Toyota.

After the fifth one Saturday morning, police announced they were suspending the canal search a few days to give crews a chance to recover.
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The Delta-Mendota Canal
The canal is apparently 16 feet deep in this location, with fast moving currents from pumps upstream, which they have to get the water company to turn some of them off to even make it dive-able for short periods of time).

Add to that the fact there are, large tubes that lead into the siphon system and the canal has smooth concrete sides–and you’ve got pretty difficult and dangerous diving conditions.

Even with the borrowed $200k sonar equipment, they’ve only been able to search inside one of the tunnels leading to the siphons at this point.
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Police also announced Saturday afternoon that they’re reducing the statewide Amber Alert to a local one and will focus their search efforts within Stanislaus County.

They said they are still following leads that come in, but those are dwindling and none have panned out. Since Rodriguez also hasn’t used his cell phone or any credit cards since the kidnapping, they feel the canal is the “most probable” outcome.

***Update 1/24/11***

Just wanted to add that more info about Rodriguez’s criminal past has come in…and this may not have happened if police had done their job…

KRON 4 News is reporting that Jose Esteban Rodriguez’s violent past includes:

  • A domestic violence charge filed against him in 2008 in Santa Clara County after Rodriguez punched Juliani’s mom Tabitha three to four times in the face while she was holding a child in her hands (Juliani?).   Authorities say Rodriguez never appeared in court to answer those charges, prompting the issuing of an arrest warrant.
  • However, Stanislaus County officials had “no comment” when asked why they didn’t turn Rodriquez over to Santa Clara County on that warrant after they arrested him in 2009 on DUI charges.
  • In 2002, Rodriguez was sentenced to one year in jail and three years of probation after being caught having sex with a minor.
  • When Rodriguez was 15 years old, he was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in San Jose. He was offered a sentence in Juvenile Detention but after he failed to show up in court , the judge sent him to state prison.

Prison records show that he violated the terms of his parole FOUR times, including one time when failed to report to the parole office, and once when he was convicted of sexually assaulting a minor.

Granted, Juliani’s mom took him back and he may not have still been in jail even if they had turned him over for that 2008 warrant–but who knows? The police still need to come up with a better explanation than “no comment.”

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