BOB HARROD - STILL MISSING
Missing John Preciado was run down
July 20 2014
An elderly Mentone, San Bernardino man who went missing in the early hours Friday 18th July, was tragically run down and killed the same day, it's been revealed.
John Preciado, 86, was discovered to be missing from his residential care home at breakfast time, and while staff, law enforcement and family searched, poor John was run down and killed only a couple of miles from his old home in a San Bernardino. The driver failed to stop or report the accident.
'San Bernardino police say Preciado was crossing West Rialto Avenue in the middle of the 700 block when he was struck by an eastbound car, possibly an older model Toyota, around 8:50 p.m.', The San Bernardino Sun reports.
Anyone with information on this collision or the hit and run vehicle is encouraged to contact the San Bernardino Police Department. [071914 1030 TC].
Accused says kick not aimed at Kim
July 20 2014
The OC Weekly reports that in the Kim Pham Santa Ana nightclub murder trial, Vanesa Zavala has been subject to a strong cross examination by OC Deputy DA Troy Pino, during which she broke down in tears and could scarcely be heard.
Zavala's claims that she was actually kicking out towards Kim's male friend, Binh Dinh, in self-defence were rejected by the prosecutor. He asked why, if that was the case, she'd never mentioned being 'rushed' by Dinh, in her statement to police. He also led her, step by step, through video footage of herself where she appeared to pull and throw Kim (who was tusseling on the floor with a woman who's never been found) by her hair, and prepare to kick her.
You can read the full details here. Defence has now rested for Zavala and will present its case for her fellow accused, Candace Brito, Monday.
Vet's body buried in moving ceremony
July 20 2014
When airman Thomas Stanley Lyons was buried with full military honours in Lake Worth, Florida, last Friday, the ceremony was described as a positive one, despite the sorrow. Because Tommy, as his family call him, had been missing for 60 years; ever since the C-124 Globemaster carrying him and 51 other men crashed into a glacier in Alaska in 1952.
The aircraft was discovered two years ago but the recovery and identification of the remains of the 17 men found was only possible this year. Tommy's wallet with his papers and ID were still perfectly intact. Although Tommy was a Brooklyn boy, his sister Geraldine Evans asked that he be interred in South Florida National Cemetery, closer to her present, Boca Raton home.
Extended family members were present, as well as men who had served with Tommy. Perhaps the saddest note was struck by Tommy's nephew, who revealed that Tommy's mom had lived to be 101, and only missed her son's return by a year and a half.
A video of the arrival of Tommy's casket at the airport can be seen here.
Sobs in court as Kim's injured face shown
July 13 2014
The murder trial has begun in the case of two women accused of the nightclub beating death of Annie Kim Pham last January. In an ironic coincidence, the nightclub in question - The Crosby - which the owners closed permanently, reopened with a burst of publicity as The North Left, at the same time. It remains under the same ownership.
Defence for the accused, Candace Brito and Vanesa Zavala, have made it clear they will argue that Kim Pham '...didn't deserve to die, but the fact is she died because she took umbrage over a bump," and 'the victim was the aggressor'. Both accused have entered not guilty pleas to murder and assault charges.
The nature of the defence means the trial is likely to be extremely tough for the family and friends of Kim, whose death ultimately gifted life to the recipients of the organs she had previously chosen to donate. Wednesday, there was sobbing in court as a photograph of Kim's bruised and battered face was shown.
During the opening days of the trial video footage was repeatedly played that showed Kim fighting on the floor with a third woman she is said to have struck first, but it is two others - who prosecutors say are Zavala and Brito - who run up and seem to kick and punch Kim in the head, from a standing position. Both defence and prosecution are using cell phone footage as crucial evidence in the case.
One eyewitness testified he only saw Brito kick Kim in the head, another (who also videoed the fight) said he saw the two accused strike out, but didn't see if the blows landed. Defence say the eyewitness to the kick, the nightclub security guard, has changed his story as he originally told police he saw a 'bleached blonde'. Both defendants have dark brown hair.
Senior Deputy Dist. Atty. Troy Pino said it is Zavala who launched the final kick that saw Kim collapse and go limp on the ground. The OC Coroner's report on Kim ruled that she died of blunt force injury to the head, but could not distinguish if one or a combination of blows led to her death.
Perhaps the most telling part of the footage shown to the jury was the sound of one of Kim's friends screaming: 'It’s over. It’s over! Get the (expletive) off her!'
The trial continues Monday.
Ashton Sachs searched Wiki murder info
July 13 2014
Newly released Grand Jury transcripts have shed light on the prosecution case against Ashton Sachs, in the shooting dead of his parents and paralyzing of his 8 year-old brother in San Juan Capistrano, last February.
The LA Times reports that Sachs only came under suspicion when his cell phone records revealed he'd looked up degrees of murder and booked airline tickets back to his apartment in Seattle from CA. He had also arranged for his vehicle, which he'd left outside one of his parents' many places of business, to be brought back to Seattle.
Sachs is said to have blamed his parents for his 'messed up life', depression and favoring his siblings, and to have paced the floor for 15 mins after breaking into their home, before deciding to shoot them dead.
Sachs is alleged to have shot his mother eight times, his father seven, his brother twice (leaving him permanently paralyzed) and shot at his sister once, missing her. His sister, 17, testified she did not see who shot at her and found her little brother lying bleeding on the hallway floor, where he had managed to drag himself.
Sachs has pleaded not guilty. He is due to be arraigned late July.
Construction workers save senior lady from inferno
July 11 2014
There's a wonderful story coming out of Kansas city, MO, today.
An explosive fire in a resident's garage was spotted by Chris Mitchell and some other construction workers nearby. They leapt to the rescue of the senior lady inside, a Mrs Able.
She slammed the door in their faces, afraid.
They persevered though, and got her out, just in time. The lady in question is very grateful now, and unharmed but a little shaken up, we are told.
Read the story on KCTV5, here. It's a good one. And to the cheerful, unassuming construction workers of KC - time you got some Superhero logos on those t-shirts of yours. Congratulations and well done. We often only get a chance to be heroes once in our lives; you grabbed yours with both hands.
* Just noticed - their t-shirts already read 'Frontline' and one almost says hero, apart from one letter. What a coincidence!
Update: 'Ma'am, your house is on fire.'
Only in Missouri! Mrs Able's promised to bake her hometown heroes an apple pie - bet it'll be a good one. Read here.
Mike Herdman died instantly in cliff fall
July 5 2014
The Ventura County Medical Examiner's Office has ruled that much-loved Arcadia firefighter Mike Herdman died instantly, in a tragic, accidental fall from a cliff while searching for his lost dog, Duke, who was eventually rescued.
Although it hasn't been possible to establish exactly when he died, the Medical Examiner is sure that the nature of Mike's injuries meant his death would have been immediate.
Once again, we can only state our admiration for everyone who tried so hard to find Mike and his dog, from his hiking companion Taylor Byars, to the many, many SAR and LE professionals, as well as members of the public.
Mike leaves behind a wife and six year-old daughter. Our deepest condolences to them and the rest of his family and friends. Donations to the family can be made here at the Fire Family Foundation and should be earmarked 'Mike Herdman'.
Missing Claudio Cuajicalco Leonardo goes home
July 5 2014
An amazing community and country-to-country effort has helped reunite a missing man with his family in Mexico, 12 years after he went missing, the OC Register is reporting.
Claudio was working in Stanton, then just seemed to completely disappear and his family back in Mexico didn't hear from him for years. A kind Anaheim resident, Luz Vanegas, spotted a distressed-looking Claudio at a bus stop recently... and you can read the rest of the touching story of how the Salvation Army, Mexican Consulate, and simple good samaritans, helped reunite Mr Cuajicalco Leonardo with his grateful family, at the OC Register, here.
What woman found in rural OC may have looked like
July 5 2014
Back in March, we ran a news story that OC Sheriff's Office were appealing for help identifying a female's body found in Casper's Wilderness Park. Although found January 6th, details had only just been released and the biggest clues seemed to be her Auburn brand windbreaker-style jacket with 'Coach Williams' logo (and a volleyball or water polo ball), and a distinctive gold dental bridge on her left lower jaw.
Officials have now released drawings of what she may have looked like. A petite female aged at least 30, with shoulder length, wavy dark brown hair with light highlights, who may have broken her nose at some point.
Her remains are thought to have been in the park at least six months, so it is likely to be someone who disappeared before around July 2013.
In addition to the jacket, the deceased was wearing:
More photographs of the clothing can be seen here.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Orange County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Unit at (714) 647-7055. Anonymous tips may also be submitted to Orange County Crime Stoppers at 855-TIP-OCCS (855-847-6227) or online, here.
Mrs and Mrs Harrod: Fifth Wedding Anniversary
June 29 2014
Today, June 29th, 2014, marks the fifth wedding anniversary of Bob and Fontelle Harrod.
Bob disappeared less than a month into their marriage back in 2009, and Mrs Harrod was away from their Orange County, Placentia home, packing up her things in Missouri. She got to say goodbye, but never with the thought she wouldn't see him again and that every wedding anniversary would be spent alone, without the long lost love she had waited nearly 60 years for.
On the Fifth Wedding Anniversary of Mr and Mrs Robert Merle Harrod we mark it here with a dancing, country lady and gentleman made of wood. Wood is the traditional gift for fifth anniversaries.Their senior years are gently reflected in the careful handcarving and it was a gentle thought and careful - but very long journey - that brought them into our hands here at bobharrodmissing.
Mr and Mrs Harrod should have been able to dance quietly together on each of their passing anniversaries. It wasn't to be. Perhaps for their sixth wedding anniversary, Mrs Harrod can at least have the comfort of knowing at last, where her husband is. We truly hope so.
Everything and more to bring missing Mike home
June 29 2014
Over the past two weeks, a story of great courage, desperation, care and sorrow has filled the news. Much-loved Arcadia firefighter Michael Herdman went missing June 13, while hiking in the Lost Padres National Forest near Fillmore, Ventura Cnty, with his dog Duke and a friend, paramedic Taylor Byars.
Duke took off. Probably chasing some exciting creature. Mike, at 36 an highly-experienced hiker who would have known just how dangerous exciting creatures can be in the California wilderness, took right off after him. Barefoot and just in shorts and t-shirt. He wasn't going to let his boy go missing out there. Mike's friend, who was new to hiking, also searched.
The friends got separated and Mike never returned to the camp. Neither did Duke. Somehow, Mike's friend managed to find his way out of the wilderness alone, without Mike to guide him back, and reach help. He'd left the supplies behind for Mike and from the description of the fishermen who helped him, the journey was a very tough one.
And right from the start, searchers made it clear it wasn't a matter of if they would find Mike, but when. Firefighters who could not join the search, along with the public, held their breath and waited anxiously, just willing Mike and his dog to be found safe.
Many SAR personnel risked their lives in the extreme conditions, trying to bring them home, and some were injured. An assistant fire chief was bitten by a rattlesnake and in ICU received a record number of anti-viren treatments.
As days passed, Duke the dog was spotted but eluded rescuers, and the footprints Mike had left did not help lead search teams to wherever he was. After a long nine days though, a dehydrated and hungry Duke was finally found by a hiker, in the car park where Mike had parked his vehicle. Duke couldn't show anyone where Mike was though.
As the huge amount of resources used in the search of over 50 sq miles had to be scaled back, determined volunteers silently prepared their backpacks, waiting in line for the day they were needed. Mike was coming home; they would make sure of it.
It was an aircrew who finally found Mike's body, Friday June 27th. He was laying on a steep ascent, partially obscured by scrub, 1,200 feet above where he had last been seen. Mike Herdman was coming home, but in death the strong firefighter needed the help of others to make that happen.They didn't let him down.
Mike's last act before his death was to try and save his dog. It was a task he couldn't finish. Besides bringing Mike home, it was the one thing left that those who cared for Mike could do for him. It was done. Duke is safe with Mike's family now.
Arcadia and Ventura Fire Departments, the Ventura County Sheriff's office and many others, did everything they could for Mike. The hiker who found Duke should not be forgotten - hikers find so many of our missing. Nobody could have done more. He would have been so proud of them all.
Mike's caring 'herd', as they say, have a fundraiser for him and the grieving family he left behind, here.
Rest in peace, firefighter Mike Herdman.
Senior Carl Salayer search 'desperate' now
June 21 2014
Sadly, Carl Salayer has been located deceased. His body was found Wednesday, June 25th in thick undergrowth about half a mile from his home, NBC San Diego reports. Hundreds of volunteers and professionals had come together to search for this vulnerable man.
Our sincere condolences to Mr Salayer's wife, family and loved ones.
Huge searches are taking place for a 67 year-old Ramona man, missing for five days now. Carl Salayer disappeared from his home in Handelbar Rd, Ramona, San Diego Cnty during the night of Monday 16th/early morning Tuesday 17th June, and is incredibly vulnerable.
Mr Salayer has a feeding tube, Parkinson's, and Alzheimer's, and it's not known if he was even fully dressed as his wife Sheryl didn't see him leave. On top of that, he is timid and may hide from searchers.
Mr Salayer is 6'3", 150 pounds and has blue eyes, and gray, balding hair with a moustache.
Lack of meds may mean he is in real trouble now and unable to move. SAR teams from Riverside and San Bernardino have been called in to help with this extensive search, but locals still need to keep their eyes open. Mr Salayer is unlikely to be upright now, so it would be a good idea to look in places where he might have fallen or hidden, rather than looking for someone wandering the streets.
If anyone does encounter Carl Salayer and he's conscious, please don't frighten him. Call 911 or the Sheriff’s Department at (858) 565-5200.
...NOT in San Diego County!
June 20 2014
Missing Rocklin senior Dennis Knibbs (amended from Kibbs in earliest alerts) has been safely located, no thanks to us at bobharrodmissing, when we managed to put Rocklin in San Diego County in our previous story. And spell Sacramento wrong.
Fortunately, the dedicated searchers in Placer County knew exactly where they were when they found Mr Knibbs in a field near Kathy Lund Park. You can see some of those quiet heroes below.
Our warmest congratulations to all the professionals and citizens of Placer County, for the utmost care they showed for their missing senior. What a lovely place to know you live in. And many apologies for our foolishness here.
88 year-old Dennis Kibbs missing, needs to come home
June 19 2014
He has disappeared from his care home, in Rocklin,
Dennis Kibbs is 88 years old and was last seen at his 6400 block of Wisp Court care home around 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, according to CBS Sacremento (Sacramento!). Here is a lovely photo of dear Dennis holding a bird feeder.
Despite huge search efforts from Rocklin PD, invoving K9s and air searches, Mr Kibbs still hasn't been found. Mr Kibbs is 6 feet 2 inches tall, he weighs 180 pounds and has white hair with a mustache. He was last seen wearing a light shirt and gray pants with suspenders. He has a large tattoo on his right arm.
The Rocklin Police Department considers Mr Kibbs 'at risk' due to his age and medical conditions and this is a Silver Alert. Please keep your eyes wide open Rocklin citizens, and call 911 or Rocklin PD on 916-625-5400 if you see him. Also, don't let him wander off. Tell dear Dennis you'll help him feed the birds or something, if you see him. Anything that will keep him safe until authorities can get him safely home.
Air, sea and road searchers outrun by mobility vehicle
June 14 2014
Obviously cast from the same mold as the 89 year-old English vet who ran away to the D-Day commemorations last week, this English 70 year-old took a long road trip - on his mobility vehicle.
Perhaps deciding that his family vacation on the aptly named peninsula of Land's End was a little limiting, the unnamed senior drove his vehicle along a highway just as far as the battery would take it, and helicopters, coastguard and police vehicles failed to catch up with him.
They take their searches seriously there, being surrounded by cliffs and ocean, and pulled out all the stops.
Searchers needn't have worried. He was eventually located yesterday, safely ensconced in a village hotel. With more than a hint of wonderment, coastguard Alan Loveday said: "He had motored all the way up the road, from Land's End."
Barb finds her long lost Dad
June 14 2014
59 year-old Barb Stewart has been reunited with the Dad who gave her up for adoption 50 years ago, the Today show reported this week.
Barb, a mom from Illinois, says she had a very happy upbringing with the aunt and uncle who adopted her after the death of her own mother when she was a tiny baby, but after discovering she was adopted at age 6, often wondered about her biological father.
Facebook brought them together in the end. See the touching reunion on the today show here.
As Dep. Chief, Ward Smith wasn't afraid to dip his toe in the water
June 9 2014
At Placentia Police Department, Deputy Chief Ward Smith is to step in as Acting Chief when current Chief, Rick Hicks, retires in three weeks' time.
Ward Smith, who was promoted to Deputy Chief in 2012, has over 30 years' service with Placentia PD, and in his 'about' page says his office is 'open to the public' and it's important that the Department 'is responsive to the needs and concerns of the community'.
In fact Deputy Chief Smith isn't afraid of making a splash in the name of community spirit. You can see him doing exactly that, right here, for a good cause if you scroll.
Josephine's killer sentencing delayed
June 8 2014
The 2005 'cold case' of 90 year-old Josephine Kelley has featured here before. Josephine was a vulnerable, senior lady who was bound, gagged and suffocated with a pillowcase over her head, while two people ransacked her home. She died of 'homicidal asphyxia', according to the SB coroner.
Michael Mitchell was found guilty of Josephine's murder April 4th, 2014. Kiesha Smith was found guilty of Josephine's murder April 17th. Sherry Beck took a plea bargain, and agreed to testify against the other two.
According to Beck, via the San Bernardino Sun: '...she was the one who pointed out the Muscupiabi house for Mitchell and Smith to burglarize and that she suggested the house because she was mad at Derrick Hassett, Kelley’s grandson, for cheating her during drug deals.'
She changed her mind later however, knowing his grandmother was there, and wasn't present at the time of the murder. She is expected to receive a 17 yr sentence.
Now all the accused in her case have been convicted, but the sentencing of her convicted murderer, Michael Mitchell, has been delayed until July 10th. Originally, he was due for sentencing May 2nd. It will take place at San Bernardino Superior Court. It appears Mrs Kelley, so near the end of her life anyway, was horribly murdered for purely mercenary reasons - the small price her used possessions could bring.
We will be reporting on the sentence, and can only hope it gives the offender ample time to reflect on his choices, when it comes to getting money to sustain whatever it was he desired at the time.
We haven't been able to find any details about Beck's sentence - if any. We will update if we do. And the sentencing of Smith is also eluding us at the moment. We will post updates as soon as we can find them though.
Josephine's case was solved after a $10,000 reward was offered, and a tip came in. There's a $50,000 reward on offer in Bob's case.
Twitter, what's bobharrodmissing doing?
June 8 2014
The answer to the question in the headlines is - we still don't know. But Bob's missing Twitter account has a few followers now, so we are hoping we haven't done anything drastically wrong so far, and might improve in future!
Here it is: https://twitter.com/findbobharrod. If you contact us and get no answer, it's not that we're being rude... we just haven't figured out how to answer yet. Sorry!
Bob's birthday, when Ford made waves
June 1 2014
Bob was born June 1st, 1928, in Mcfall, Missouri.
1928 was the year Ford chose to (re) introduce its Model A, to replace the famous Model T, after 18 successful years of commercial production. The Model A was initially produced in 1903, but was superseded by the Model T, and then came back, full circle, to replace it.
When Bob Harrod disappeared in 2009, it is said he had a Model T in his garage. So although Bob was a Model A generation, it was the Model T that stuck in his mind - probably the vehicle his own dad held in high esteem, and talked to his young son about.
In his older years, Bob had the money to go back into his history and make dreams of the long deceased, but loved, come true. He bought a Model T and kept it in his garage, along with a lot of other memories that some disparaged as clutter. It's been claimed by others since he disappeared in 2009, and is long gone.
Lets hope the hands that have that vehicle now keep it gleaming and pristine. In memory of Bob Harrod, and those Bob Harrod respected and loved.
Wishes for a peaceful birthday for you, Mr Harrod. May some wonderful person bring you home soon.
All about @findbobharrod
June 1 2014
BobHarrodMissing has a Twitter account now. We have no idea what we are doing, so are just sticking with the mantra that the world is welcome in the search, and anything connected with OC, MO, seniors, lost love or missing people is probably relevant!
Those of you who have followed Bob's case closely may spot references and links that you'll understand, but others may find a little incomprehensible. We apologise in advance for any obscurity. We are just hoping this will let more people know Bob Harrod is still missing, and will encourage searches for him. Whatever your opinion of why Bob Harrod went missing, everyone must surely agree 81 year-olds surely shouldn't be allowed to disappear off the face of the earth, without everything possible being done to bring them home.
Hidden Cash may have a hidden cost?
May 30 2014
A mystery man, said to be a millionaire real estate agent, has been causing great excitement and no little chaos across California in the past few days. Using twitter, under the handle Hidden Cash, he has been hiding envelopes stuffed with cash and then tweeting clues to where they're hidden.
He started what he terms his 'social experiment' in San Francisco, then moved on to Burbank. Thousands of people got the clue for that - 'Sounds like where a robin or eagle might keep their money' - and police had to be called to control the crowds that descended on a shopping center. Each envelope contains a few hundred dollars, and he asks finders to let him know when they've discovered the cash.
The mystery money dropper left envelopes at Huntington Botanical Gardens today and says he plans to make further drops all over LA tonight.
There has been criticism, from people concerned about the cost to LE from policing crowds and ensuring safety, but Hidden Cash says he has no intention of stopping. In a statement, he says the original idea was for a 'pay it forward scavenger hunt' in San Francisco only, but the positive response encouraged him to take the idea further.
There is also a 'big announcement' coming, but Hidden Cash urges people not to be cynical about what that will be. Here at bobharrodmissing, we're hoping it will be an announcement he's organizing searches for Bob - there is a $50,000 reward on offer, after all, and he sounds like a man who could do it. That's probably too much to hope for though.
Update: The craze for giving money away is spreading across the USA!
Mission Viejo deaths; son thought to be responsible
May 30 2014
There has been another tragic, multiple-victim family killing in SoCal, this time in Mission Viejo. 21 year-old Michael Sheer shot to death his mom Lydia, dad Mark and 15 year-old sister Amy before turning the gun on himself, in their Pacific Hills Drive home, Monday.
Their bodies were discovered Tuesday, after a family member raised the alarm. Police had received reports from locals of the sounds of shots and a man yelling Monday, but were unable to locate where the sounds had come from.
Mission Viejo is a very close, safe city with an extremely low crime rate, which hadn't experienced a homicide since 2011, before this sad event.
Most of the family were active members of their local church and community, although Michael is being reported as being quiet and reserved, and with several interests - football, bodybuilding and music - that, like his educational achievements, seemed to lack a certain consistency.
These deaths have occurred while the case of the killing of the Sachs family in San Juan Capistrano, allegedly by 19 year-old Ashton Sachs, is still in the news. It will be very sad if one family annihilation has somehow influenced another.
For anyone thinking of suicide, or affected by suicidal thoughts, help is available in SoCal, via the California Suicide Prevention Network (CSPN). Their helpline is: 1-800-273-TALK(8255).
Seven dead, seven injured around University of CA
May 24 2014
Seven people have been shot dead and seven injured - one critically - near the University of CA campus, Santa Barbara in Isla Vista. The shooter is among the dead, it's reported.
A spokesperson for Hollywood director Peter Rodger, has said he believes the gunman was his son. Family say they warned authorities after becoming alarmed at a YouTube video he had posted, concerning suicide and killing people. Police interviewed him after that, but found 'no history' of guns, but just an inability to make friends.
The video made by the alleged killer can be viewed here. We are not mentioning his name on this site deliberately (Update: identity now confirmed).
Update: The identities of three of the victims have now been confirmed. They are Katie Cooper, 22, whose family live in San Bernardino, Veronika Weiss, 19 and Christopher Ross Michael-Martinez. In addition, there are reports that three people were stabbed to death in the apartment the suspect shared with others, and he had previously written online about thoughts on killing his roommates, who 'annoyed' him.
It has also been confirmed that the suspected gunman was Elliot Rodger, son of 'The Hunger Games' assistant director, Peter Rodger. Although possibly being wounded by deputies, he appeared to have inflicted a fatal gunshot upon himself, after crashing his black BMW. A cyclist was injured during the incident but survived. Several female students appear to have had a lucky escape Friday night, when Rodger banged on the door of their residence but they refused to answer.
Elliot Rodger had been seeing several therapists and his family had recently alerted police to their concerns about him. Besides posting videos, Rodger also wrote a manifesto over 100,000 words long, and someone of the same name also belonged to an online forum (now offline) dedicated to hating those who provide non-effective solutions for men who cannot find a girlfriend.
Previous police contact with Rodger involved an incident where he made a citizen's arrest of someone for the theft of three candles, an incident where he alleged an assault but was found to be the aggressor, and family concerns that led to a visit from law enforcement. Rodger's weapons were registered and legal and police found no grounds to arrest him or request a mental health order.
Marathons, medals and support for marines
May 24 2014
Memorial Day, Monday May 26th, sees the Laguna Hills Memorial Day half marathon, 5k and 10k. The city has 'adopted' the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment of the 1st Marine Division, out of Camp Pendleton, and $3 will be donated to the battalion's support committee, for every race participant.
There is also a chance to achieve a 'Joint Chief of Staff'' (commemorative only!) medal in just five years, for dedicated competitors willing to compete in every marathon until 2018. Full details can be seen here.
A full list of memorial weekend events can be found at the OC Register, here.
Camp P's men fight fire with heroism
May 24 2014
A very moving story has made the news this week, made all the more poignant by its happening so close to this memorial weekend.
A bunch of marines at Bob's old marine training ground, Camp Pendleton, saw the recent fires encroaching upon the wooden crosses of fallen comrades, and raced to save them.
One marine in particular, knew the mom of his fallen friend was coming to visit the site this memorial weekend, and there was no way he was going to let that cross burn. You can read about the touching loyalty and courage of their actions here.
Meanwhile, on a Facebook page, Camp Pendleton's busy thanking firefighters - and some are forming a fan club too, it seems!
There are some details of weekend events at Camp Pendleton here, but it's also worth noting that Tuesday 27th there's a blood drive, and O Negative and AB donors are urgently needed.
Life of Charm for lost Freeway
May 18 2014
A tiny Chihuahua's rescue by a California Highway Patrol (CHP) officer, from a median on Interstate 680 in Walnut Creek, hit all the headlines last week. CHP tweeted a photo of an officer trying to tempt the terrified little dog with an energy bar, and avoid being nipped. He wasn't succesful in that, but he was successful in the rescue.
Now Contra Cost Animal Services, who named the dog 'Freeway', have announced she has been reunited with her young owners. They had been searching for her since she escaped from their backyard. Her real name is Charm.
Chief Rick Hicks set to retire in June
May 17 2014
Placentia Police Chief Rick Hicks has announced he is to retire on June 30th, after three years in the post. Chief Hicks, a former Cypress Police Chief, was appointed as head of Placentia PD in 2011.
More details to follow.
Fire chief hid in vegetation for 15 days
May 17 2014
In a surprising twist, wanted former Cal Fire chief Orville 'Moe' Fleming has been found riding a bus in South Sacramento County. Fleming, who was wanted for questioning over the stabbing to death of his girlfriend Sarah Douglas, has managed to evade an intensive manhunt for over two weeks, that stretched from Canada to Mexico.
During a hastily called press conference yesterday, Sacramento Sheriff Scott R Jones and detective Brian Meux explained that someone looking like Fleming was spotted by a detective engaged in the search, at a bus stop in Elk Grove just before lunch time. The officer called for backup, followed the bus, and Fleming was arrested peacefully when he exited.
Fleming wasn't armed, and during questioning admitted to killing Sarah and then fleeing to Elk Grove, abandoning his fire truck and hiding out in some dense undergrowth nearby. He lived there for 15 days, occasionally venturing out to stores at night for food and to buy a change of clothes from a thrift store. He shaved his moustache and nobody recognized him, although police say he still looked very similar to his photographs. 'Good, old-fashioned police work' found him in the end, Sheriff Jones said.
Fleming had been able to hear the helicopters overhead trying to find him, but despite 'numerous' searches of the area where his truck was found, using dogs and ground crew, Fleming was able to remain 'hiding in plain sight', police say. They added that they are satisfied he received no assistance, has been co-operative and will now face murder charges over what is 'essentially a domestic violence homicide' during the course of a 'romantic relationship', unconnected to Sarah's previous escort work.
Investigations into the existance of a sex tape featuring firefighters are continuing, but no tape has yet been found.
Hunt continues for wanted fire chief
May 10 2014
Wanted Cal Fire chief Orville 'Moe' Fleming has still not been located, following the stabbing of his partner, Sarah Douglas, at their Sacramento home. The search is being complicated because of Fleming's advanced skills and knowledge of the great outdoors, the keys he has that gives access to remote shelters and food stores, as well as his ability to change his appearance. Police think he may have headed to the mountains and the hunt has gone statewide now.
Fleming's not only believed to be armed and dangerous, but it has also been revealed he was recently fired after missing five days at work and that armed guards are now patrolling fire training grounds he may have access to. Authorities think he may be receiving help from, or have another woman with him.
Allegations of sex tapes involving firefighters are also being investigated by police, in connection with this case.
Anybody who thinks they may have seen Fleming should contact Sacramento Sheriff on 916-874-5115, or their local Law Enforcement immediately.
Happy Days' Mom speaks at caregiver awards
May 10 2014
Like Bob Harrod, 85 year-old actress Marion Ross is lucky enough to have escaped being affected by Alzheimers' or dementia in her senior years. But she understands and empathises with those who are, and those who care for them.
Marion - who played Mrs Cunningham, mother of The Fonz's friend Richie in cult 70s TV show Happy Days - was guest speaker at the Alzheimers' Association, Orange County's 'Visionary Women' 8th Annual Caregiver Awards. It was held at Rancho Las Lomas, Silverado Canyon on Friday May 9th. The OC Register reports she told the assembled guests: 'God bless you for being who you are and doing all this.'
Besides a luncheon, the event also included an art boutique, silent auction and a fashion show. Marion's presence certainly generated good publicity for a worthwhile event and cause; it's estimated there are around 60,000 unpaid caregivers in Orange County alone, and one in three Americans die from Alzheimers' or dementia-related conditions, with two thirds of those being women. The conditions are also a growing factor in the cases of missing seniors throughout the nation.
However. Marion's glamorous presence seems to have overshadowed the five caregivers who received the awards. We haven't been able to find a trace of their names on the pre-event press/event releases, in the OC Reg article or, indeed, on the Alzheimers Association Facebook. We did find a special lifetime award given to Gloria Zigner of Orange Coast magazine, for her journalistic and fundraising efforts.
Perhaps those extraordinary honorees' names will appear later. Our congratulations go out to them, whoever they are. Incidentally, on the OC Alzheimers' Facebook linked above, they have just received a very kind offer from a local company, Business Elements. It will donate $1 (to a total of $500) to them, for every new like they get on their own Facebook page, here. It sounds such a good idea, but they only seem to have had three new likes so far.
Hunt for fire chief after woman's death
May 4 2014
Sacramento police continue to search for missing Cal Fire battalion chief Orville 'Moe' Fleming, following the fatal stabbing of 26 year-old Sarah Douglas at their Fox River Way Home. The two were in a relationship, although the nature of that relationship has become the subject of fierce debate between the families of the victim and Fleming.
Sarah was killed in her home Thursday May 1st, and her family have now revealed she was talking to her sister on the phone at the time she was attacked. They say Sarah was heard to exclaim 'You scared me!' as someone appeared to sneak up behind her in the house, followed by bloodcurdling screams and the phone going dead.
55 year-old Fleming's white fire truck has been located in Elk Grove, where he has ties, but so far there's been no trace of him. He is also reported to have many other ties throughout California, is likely to have a firearm and is at risk of killing himself.
Any who sees Fleming is urged to call Sacramento Sheriff's department immediately on 916-874-5115, or contact their local police.
* In other fire news, San Bernardino officials report the 2,190 acre Etiwanda fire in Rancho Cucamonga has been largely contained. Three injuries have been reported, but no fatalities.
Bruno's home, Bruno's retired and more...
May 4 2014
Anyone who has been anxiously following the recovery of shot Anaheim police dog Bruno will probably have heard by now, he is finally home with his family. Check out 'his' Facebook page for a lot of gorgeous photos and recent updates about his May 2nd homecoming.
Bruno is to retire, and a public ceremony will be held at an Anaheim City Council meeting, May 13th when Bruno will be officially sold to his handler for a nominal $1. At the same time, it looks as though he's set to become something of an ambassador; he's to be Grand Marshall at Anaheim's 4th of July Parade. In a crowded press conference at Yorba Regional Animal Hospital Friday, Dr Steven Dunbar spoke of what a good boy he'd been and easily forgave his headlong rush to be out of there just as fast as his legs - and handler R.J. Young - would allow. Take a look at this picture in the LA Times and this video here to see exactly how keen Bruno was to get to Officer Young's police vehicle, and home.
Dekraai pleads guilty to eight murders
May 2 2014
Scott Dekraai, who shot eight people dead at Seal Beach in 2011, has entered a guilty plea to all eight counts of special circumstances murder today (Friday). He also pleaded guilty to a single count of attempted murder in the wounding of his oldest target, Harriet Stretz, age 73. Mrs Stretz , the lone survivor of the massacre, had just stopped by the hair salon (where all but one of the people were killed) to see her newlywed daughter, hairdresser Laura Lee Webb Elody. Mrs Elody died at the scene.
The guilty plea has been widely anticipated since Dekraai's attorney hinted this would happen, last Friday, and the Orange County DA's office told victims' families to expect a 'major development' this week.
The plea follows long delays, legal wranglings and hearings where accusations were exchanged between prosecutors and defence. These aren't done, and the OC Register reports that sentence will be announced after the defence motions to have the death penalty taken off the table have been considered. DA Tony Rackauckas has insisted prosecutors have a duty to victims in such an horrendous case, to seek the death penalty.
Dekraai's attorney, Public Defender Scott Sander, said that Dekraai had not been offered any sort of plea deal in exchange for pleading guilty and "He wanted the victims to know he will not be challenging at any point, now or in the future, him being in custody for the rest of his life."
Dekraai's main target during his rampage appears to have been his former wife, hairdresser Michelle Fournier, with whom he was involved in a custody dispute. He has called his other victims random, 'collateral damage'. However, it's noticeable that all the victims were within a 15 year age group (47-65) that fit his former wife. The sole exception was Harriet Stretz at 73 - who was also the only person to be wounded, rather than killed.
The Victims of Dekraai are:
Rest in peace, all of the deceased, with peace to their long suffering families as well. One other undoubted victim is the effectively orphaned child of Dekraai and Michelle Fournier - we hope he thrives and wish the best for this young one.
End in sight for Seal Beach killings trial
April 26 2014
A 'vaguely worded' statement Friday, by Public Defender Scott Sanders, hinted that OC's worst (alleged) mass murderer, Scott Dekraai, may plead guilty to killing eight people in a Seal Beach hair salon in 2011.
This would mean a trial scheduled for June 9th would not take place and the next stage would simply be the penalty phase.
However a guilty plea would probably be dependent on the death penalty being taken off the table - something OC prosecutors have been actively pursuing. Controversy over OC investigators' tactics (taping informants in jail) and disclosure of evidence to defence may mean they are forced to compromise though. A hearing into the allegations of prosecutorial misconduct is ongoing, and likely to last another two weeks.
Update: We had just completed this story when the OC Register posted a story quoting prosecutors saying they had emailed victims' families saying a 'major development may take place Monday or Tuesday'.
Shot K9 home soon?
April 26 2014
We are sure no one has forgotten the sad story we ran March 29th, about Bruno, the Anaheim police dog shot in the jaw while working. That terrible injury (his lower jaw was fragmented) and his handler's devastation and devotion, tend to stick in the mind.
The good news is, Bruno's better. So much so, he may be able to come home in a week. On the April 18th update on the OC Police Canine Association FB page, full details of Bruno's surgeries were set out. Pins, plates and bone grafts from his rear legs were used to replace his damaged jaw, and there's a lot of other medical information there for those interested, as well as lovely photographs too.
Just from our layman's point of view, Bruno looks to have a tongue and some teeth in his lower jaw and, more importantly, looks happy, alert and very eager to go home with his loving handler, Officer RJ Young.
In honor of Bob Harrod, a devoted dog owner himself, we donated to Bruno's medical costs. Many other people were inspired to help too. Now the OC Register is reporting that Bruno's case has even inspired the idea of two monuments in Anaheim, dedicated to retired K9s. One will be erected in the dog park in La Palma Park, one in Olive Hills Tennis Courts and both monuments will have a special section dedicated to K9s killed or wounded in action.
Bruno's retirement hasn't been officially announced yet, but here at bobharrodmissing we hope he doesn't get returned to front line duties, and gets a chance to work as a backroom boy, or even retire altogether and work at taking care of his loving family, pictured above. Dear Bruno gave the job his all when he could, and paid the price - nobody could ask for more.
Seal Beach trial mired in controversy
April 21 2014
At a pre-trial hearing Friday April 18th, attorneys for accused Seal Beach killer Scott Dekraai said they want the possibility of the death penalty taken off the table, if OC prosecutors are not removed from the case. Dekraai's accused of shooting eight people at a Seal Beach salon in 2011.
Controversy has been raging over the long-delayed trial, with prosecutors accusing defence of frivolous delays, and defence accusing prosecutors of misconduct in failing to turn over information to them. Investigators and officials have even had to go into the witness stand, to give evidence about how the case is being conducted. Even DA Rackauckas's spokesperson, Susan Kang Schroeder, was called to give evidence, despite the DA's objections.
DNA/dentals for Gorman victim
April 20 2014
LA County Coroner's unit is still working to identify the remains found in a ravine brush fire off Ridge Route, near Gorman, on March 16th. DNA and dental matching with missing persons is still being carried out, but no matches have been made so far. Full test results may not be available until towards the end of the month (April).
Although the official cause of death has been delayed, pending further tests, LA Sheriff's Dept officials are certain the man - known as John Doe 59 at this time - is a victim of homicide and didn't die in the fire. They also believe he may have been killed four or five years ago.
Anyone with any information is asked to call LA Cnty Sheriff's Dept. (Homicide) on: 323-890-5500
Or contact LA Crimestoppers anonymously, here.
OC Medals..and a doggone surprise
April 19 2014
The 26th Orange County Sheriff's Department's (OCSD) annual Medal of Valor Ceremony took place April 17th at the Hotel Irvine, Jamboree Blvd, Irvine. Sheriff Sandra Hutchens presented 52 medals to a grand total of 45 sworn and professional staff members, amongst them Deputy Michael Higgins, who saved the life of fellow deputy, Juan Lopez, stabbed by a knife wielding suspect in Laguna Niguel. Deputy Lopez received a purple heart for the wounds he received, and Christine Byerley, the dispatcher at the time of the incident, was honored too. Deputy Higgings received a Medal of Valor.
A short video clip of the ceremony can be viewed here, along with an amazingly cheerful interview with Reserve OC Deputy Joe Sadler, which is worth viewing just to hear him declare: 'I fractured my skull, broke my neck, fractured my ribs and punctured my lungs that morning. I was very fortunate..'
Deputy Sadler does add, however, that the fortunate part was having colleagues around to rescue him.
This (sadly unnamed and rather surprised-looking) K9 pictured below received a medal too. If you glance through the photos of celebratory supplies for the event on OCSD's Facebook page, you won't spot any dog treats though. Let's hope they were tucked away somewhere!
All those honored need to have demonstrated exceptional valor, courage, merit and lifesaving. Sadly, we haven't been able to find a complete list of all those honored, so we just have to extend our congratulations, admiration and thanks to all those brave souls in the photo above, whoever you are!
CA responds to plea with the best it has
April 19 2014
A yellow labrador cadaver dog on her first operation with Task Force 5 - Orange County's emergency response team - has helped recover someone's remains from the devastating Washington landslide that happened last month. The dog, Riggs, was aided by her handler Sue Vodrazka, who is a veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Dept. They were part of the 18-person team sent by California's Office of Emergency Services, in reponse to a request by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Team members came from LA, Sacramento, San Diego and Riverside, as well as OC.
Riggs is two years old and this was her first operation out in the field, following intensive training. Her reward for her vital work was a game of catch with Sue. Other dogs sometimes prefer a game of tug of war, but either way it's special as it is usually only after a successful find they are allowed to play their favorite game.
The OC Register reports Riggs and Sue were the only dog and handler amongst the team called up from the West Coast and they faced unimaginably difficult conditions there; cold and rainy, with mud 70 feet deep in places. The operation was, sadly, a search and recovery one only, as there was no longer any hope of rescuing the six people still missing alive.
Although the mission was a sad one, the team have to be thanked for their hard work and bravery, which has resulted in some resolution for one bereaved family, at least. A video at this link gives some idea of the conditions SAR workers faced.
Some other members of the team were:
Heartfelt thanks and respect from bobharrodmissing to every single person and dog who did their best to help.
Never give up on victims, says DA
April 12 2014
In Orange County, the 6th Annual Victims' Rights March and Rally took place under a hot sun, Friday, April 11th. It began at the office of DA Tony Rackauckas, and ended at the Old Orange County Courthouse, Santa Ana. It was a huge success. DA Rackauckaus opened the event, and during the ceremony asked loved ones of victims to stand and hold up the buttons and posters he could see they were carrying.
It was, he said, about: 'Remembering those we have lost, honoring those who have survived, and celebrating the tenacity and strength of the people who carry on the fight for justice.'
The reason everyone was there, he added, was to: 'Never forget the ones we have lost, to heal from the harm that's been caused; to triumph over evil......You are here today because you belong to an unfortunate fraternity. You did not choose to be violated. You did not choose the pain. You did not choose to be in this fraternity.
But what you did choose, especially by being here, is to survive, fight and stand up to evil.'
The DA also quoted Winston Churchill, from one of his more pragmatic speeches, where he compared the US to a 'giant boiler'. We relate to the comparison here at bobharrodmissing, but prefer this one, where Sir Winston Churchill talks about his US mom and;
'My Mother whose memory I cherish across the vale of years'.
Lady Randolph Churchill (NY-born Jeanette, known as Jennie) had died 21 years before he made that speech, and he knew how she had died at age 67, and he'd had the opportunity to honor her at her funeral, and revisit her burial place over the years. Later in the same speech, Sir Winston says:
'Sure I am, today, now, we are masters of our own fate..'
This seems so poignant in terms of a rally for victims of crime; some, like Bob, whose loved ones still live with the pain of not knowing where they are. They cannot be masters of their own fate until their loved ones are found, and their cherished memories are tainted by that great unknown. We are glad DA Rackauckas seems to be an admirer though, and hope he is just as tenacious.
Santa Ana PD led the Honor Guard and the pledge of alliance was sung by Deputy DA Anna Chinowth.
Guests of honor and keynote speakers were: Collene Campbell, sister of murder victim Mickey Thompson and mother of murder victim Scott Campbell; Ruth Allen, wife of murder victim Philip Cousins; Ryan Hawks, son of murder victims Thomas and Jackie Hawks; Donna Bjion, sister of murder victim Katherine O'Connell; Rachel Alvarado, mother of murder victim Lanette Alvarado, and Dr Henry Nicholas III, brother of murder victim Marsy Nicholas.
John Steves - his wife Mara was killed by a DUI, later jailed for 17 years. The perp had taken meth and other drugs, had two previous convictions and hit Maria while she was on the sidewalk. Blandina Gomez-Benitez - a freshman at Orange High School and participant in the Orange County Gang Reduction Intervention Partnership (OC GRIP). Ms Gomez-Benitez is the youngest ever speaker to participate, and described her journey from a troubled, at-risk student to one full of enthusiasm and planning for her future. DA Rackauckas believes the young lady may become anything she wants; even a marine or FBI agent. He didn't mention the position of OC District Attorney as an aim, but we at bobharrodmisssing.com encourage Ms Gomez-Benitez to aim just as high as she can...
LE representatives present at the Rally came from Brea, Huntington Beach, Los Alamitos, Orange, Santa Ana, Anaheim, Buena Park, Irvine, Newport Beach, La Palma, Orange County and US Postal Inspection Service.
DA Rackauckas ended his speech by saying: 'This march and rally reminds us each year of all that we must do, and strengthens our resolve not to give up... I wish you peace and strength until we see each other, next year'.
DA Ramos: We need to show we care
April 9 2014
A moving memorial was held Monday by the San Bernardino District Attorney's Office, to honor murder victims during National Crime Victims' Rights Week.
The event at the Government Center Rotunda was attended by around 400 people, and attorney and speaker Russell Perry reached out with a touching message to families of other victims whose deaths have become cold cases. Russel's own father was shot and killed in 1992.
'I'm sorry, it's going to be a long road. Stay in contact with the detectives assigned to your case. Make sure you do not give up hope.'
Perry's case was the last prosecuted by SB County DA Michael A Ramos. He said: 'We need to show the families who have lost loved ones that we care about their losses and we realize their pain is something that lasts an eternity.' He also acknowledged: 'We've come a long way - but we have a ways to go.'
Sheriff John McMahon led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance and Deputy Sheriff John Hayes played a powerful bagpipe tribute to the county's fallen officers.
Awards for Exemplary Service to Victims of Crime were presented to physicians working at the Children's Assessment Center. Dr Claire Sheridan, Dr Amy Young and Dr Mark Massi collected the awards on the Center's behalf.
Critical missing Yucca senior found
April 9 2014
75 year-old Oscar Nava was found safe Monday April 7th in Indio, after going missing from his Yucca Valley home on Saturday. His car was found abandoned the next day, and a police search only found his wallet.
Mr Nava was treated in hospital, CBS reports.
DA Tony Rackauckas to lead Victims' Rally
April 6 2014
The Orange County DA's 6th Annual Victims' Rights March and Rally will take place Friday, April 11th, 2014. Led by District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, a dedicated advocate of victim's rights, the program will comprise of three events:
A reception at the OC DA's Office at 401 Civic Center Drive West, Santa Ana, starting at 9.30am.
A march to the Old Orange County Courthouse at 211 W. Santa Ana Boulevard, Santa Ana, at 10.30am.
And finally a Rally at the destination of the Old Orange County Courthouse.
Before that, in San Bernardino, District Attorney's Michael Ramos' Office will be holding a National Crime Victims' Rights Week Memorial Monday April 7th. It takes place at the San Bernardino County Government Center Rotunda from Noon to 1pm.
The DA urges people to 'join us as we come together as a community to support victims'. Full details of all the events to be held can be found on the San Bernardino DA's website, here. DA Michael Ramos is also scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the State Capitol March on Tuesday, April 8th at 11.30am.
For further details of events and more information about National Crime Victims' Rights Week, please see the Wednesday feature, here.
Conviction in Mrs Kelley's cold case
April 5 2014
Michael Mitchell Jr age 29, has been found guilty of the murder of 90 year-old San Bernardino resident Josephine Frances Kelley, nine years after her death. Much-loved Mrs Kelley was found bound and suffocated in her San Bernardino home in 2005. Her horrified daughter discovered her body. The home had been burglarized.
'Thank goodness for the San Bernardino police department, it's a blessing!' daughter Susan Hassett said.
Mitchell will be sentenced May 2nd and meanwhile, the trial of 29 year-old Keisha Renee Smith - also charged with Mrs Kelley's murder - is underway.
Sherry Ann Beck has already pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in Mrs Kelley's death and will be sentenced on April 11th, the Press Enterprise reports.
This was a cold case where the resolution of the case came about after a tip, following the offer of a $10,000 reward.
Robert found near crashed vehicle
April 5 2014
Very sadly, 93 year old Terra Linda resident Robert Leslie Davis was found deceased Tuesday April 1st, near his vehicle, which had off veered 130 feet down an embankment off state Highway 101 near Bolinas.
Airbags had been deployed so the accident was obviously quite severe, although Robert had been able to leave the vehicle afterwards.
Robert was last seen at 8pm February 26th when he said goodbye to his daughter after their very long-standing, weekly dinner meeting at Marin Joe's in Corta Madera. Robert was a WW2 Veteran who served as a pilot with the Army Air Corps.
Robert's family made exhaustive efforts to find him, including offering a reward, launching a website and conducting endless searches themselves. Our deepest condolences to Mr Davis's loved ones at their tragic loss.
We salute you Lt. Col Davis (retired). Thank you for your service. Rest in peace now.
Appeal for missing 93 year old
March 30 2014
Senior Robert Davis hasn't been seen since leaving a restaurant in Corte Madera, Marin County CA, after his weekly dinner meet with his daughter. He has been visiting the same restaurant, Marin Joe's, for 15 years and insisted on driving himself. The 93 year-old Veteran should have taken Highway 101 north, to his home in Terra Linda, but never arrived.
Conditions were poor and wet that day and Robert's family are desperate to find him. They have set up a website with full information, here. Extensive searches have been carried out, but it's not certain if Robert took the 101 route, or if he became lost or disorientated.
Anyone anywhere in the region is asked to please keep their eyes open for Robert or his vehicle (pictured below) - a silver Toyota Camry, 4-door, CA license 4SEY 056. It has one front right hubcap missing.
Robert is 5'9", weighs 139lbs, has gray hair and eyes and was wearing beige slacks and jacket, a yellow sweater and a white or light-colored shirt when he was last seen.
Call San Rafael PD on 415-485-3000 with any information, or your local police if you've seen anything in your locality. There is a $5000 reward for finding Robert.
Update - Mr Davis has sadly been found deceased. Rest in peace.
Sister of SJC victim; first public comments
March 30 2014
The OC Register is reporting that there were 'no warning signs. Nothing unusual' in the behaviour of 19 year-old Ashton Sachs in the months leading up to the killing of his parents, Brad and Andra, of which he is accused. This is according to Andra's sister, Lesley Summers. The Sachs were shot dead in their San Juan Capistrano home February 9th, their 8 year-old son Landon was shot and paralyzed and their 17 year-old daughter Alexis was also shot at, but escaped injury.
Ashton's former IT teacher at Dana Hills High, also revealed that he thought so highly of Ashton that he told a reporter 'I'd hire him in a heartbeat'. He hadn't heard about the killings at the time and thought the reporter was a prospective employer checking Ashton's educational background.
Soon after the killings, Ashton and his older brother Myles relocated their younger sisters to a three-bedroom home in Coronado Cays, San Diego and sought the help of their parents' lawyers to gain guardianship of their siblings. This included guardianship of their brother, who Ashton is now accused of shooting and paralyzing. The young boy is now out of hospital and in rehabilitation.
Lesley Summers, in a March 13th court declaration seeking custody of her sister's minor children, stated she was 'suspicious' of her nephews' motives in seeking guardianship and moving their sisters so quickly. She is no longer asking for custody however, and the children are now in the care of Brad Sach's sister, who court documents say hadn't seen her brother in years. Myles Sach's guardianship has been extended until April 23rd however.
Ashton's public defender, Seth Banks, believes OC prosecutors are highly unlikely to seek the death penalty in this case because of Ashton's age and previous clean record.
K9 Bruno shot, surviving with lots of love
March 29 2014
The story of an Anaheim K9 has touched the hearts of many people in OC this past week. March 20th, probation officers carrying out a routine check on Robert Moreno Jnr, 21, who had been out of jail 10 days, led to a shoot out with police. Moreno shot K9 German Shepherd dog Bruno through the mouth and lung before being shot dead himself by officers.
Since then, Bruno's fight for life and the heartbreak of his handler, Officer RJ Young, have made headline news. Bruno lives with RJ, wife Rachel and their three-month old baby. RJ spoke of the nightmare of seeing Bruno spin immediately to look for him after being shot, with half his face appearing to have been blown away. RJ wasn't allowed to visit Bruno at Yorba Regional Animal Hospital at first either, because Bruno struggled to breath with the excitement of seeing his beloved partner.
Friday, surgeons carried out further surgery, reattaching the lower portion of Bruno's tongue and removing his breathing tube.
'It was a very successful surgery,' said police Lt. Tim Schmidt.
Bruno will probably have to retire from police work but he won't be separated from his best buddy; 'He's like a son to me. Bruno will be with me for the rest of my life,' RJ says.
Donations are being accepted to fund Bruno's medical treatment, here. Bob Harrod loved his dog, Sassy, very much. bobharrodmissing.com will be making a donation in Bob's honor to help take care of Bruno. We hope he would approve.
We also extend our condolences to the family of the 21-year old suspect who died. This was such a needless tragedy all around.
Disappeared, 'Long Lost Love'
March 25 2014
A kind wellwisher has let us know that ID TV's episode about Bob, 'Long Lost Love', will be airing again Monday, March 31st, at 1pm (ET/PT).
The episode is part of Investigation Discovery's long running series of documentaries (combined with reenactments) about people who have simply disappeared. It does shed light on the circumstances surrounding Bob's disappearance and features interviews with some of those close to him; including Mrs Harrod, Bob's two eldest daughters and his housekeeper. Detectives Corinne Loomis and Dave Radomski from Placentia Police Dept. also appear.
If you haven't seen the episode yet, please take this chance to watch it if you can; aside from information, there's a chance to catch a glimpse or two of Bob on video which unfortunately is no longer available. It's from the interview he did shortly before he disappeared, while he was waiting for Fontelle to return from Missouri.
ID TV's website and schedules can be seen here.
Young Mom is trashed in death
March 21 2014
A 21 year-old Mom has ended up dead on a recycling conveyor belt in Anaheim. Jarrae Nykkole Estepp led a high-risk lifestyle and has paid the ultimate price for it. A worker discovered her body on the sorting belt on Friday March 14th. Her death most definitely is being investigated as a homicide.
Whoever decided Jarrae should be killed and put out with the trash needs to be removed from society themselves, because no-one is safe with that kind of person walking free. Jarrae's death follows close on the heels of the brutal killing of 17 year-old Aubreyanna Parks in Yorba Linda, which has also been linked to a high-risk lifestyle.
Predators who exploit and harm the young and vulnerable are the most dangerous predators of all, able to wreck communities from the roots up. People are reported to be afraid to come forward in Jarrae's case, but if someone doesn't speak out, things can only get worse.
Anyone with information can contact OC Police on 714-765-1944.
Or contact OC Crimestoppers here. It is completely anonymous. No-one has to know who you are.
Update: Two men have been charged with the murder of Jarrae and four other women; Kianna Rae Jackson, 20, of Las Vegas; Martha Anaya, 28, of Santa Ana; and Josephine Monique Vargas, 34, of Santa Ana.
Steven Dean Gordon, 45, and Franc Cano, 27, from Orange County are both convicted felons and were wearing GPS monitoring devices at the time they are alleged to have committed the murders. Both entered not guilty pleas when they were arraigned May 19th.
Who could this victim be?
March 21 2014
Following the discovery of human remains in the 100-acre brush fire near Gorman, investigators say that injuries to the skull of the victim include one probably made by a firearm. He was also reported to have been wrapped in plastic. This case is being treated as a homicide and the victim is not believed to have died in the fire.
A cadaver dog has been used at the site off Highway 138 and Ridge Route, but all that is known so far is the deceased is an adult male, had some dental fillings in teeth present in his mandible and may have been in the location for around four years. Further details are waiting on the Medical Examiner's report.
Bob Harrod went missing more than four years ago in Placentia, around 100 miles away. It seems unlikely to be him, as police consider he was disappeared by someone within his close circle which should mean someone living close by, as Bob generally stayed at home in his later years. He cannot be excluded without more information though.
Young Bryce Laspisa is also missing in the area and was last known to be much closer to where this body has been found, as his vehicle went off the road at Lake Castaic. However, Bryce has been missing less than a year and police have given absolutely no indication they suspect foul play in his case, so it is very unlikely to be him.
Sadly, there is yet another missing man from the immediate area - in fact, he was last seen at a (now closed) restaurant/bar called 'The Bar' off Highway 138, near Three Points and Pine Canyon Road, on February 6th, 2011, at a Superbowl party. Dennis Dobrovolny, 54, is thought to have driven his car home to the Almond Ranch where he lived and worked as a caretaker, but has never been seen again. Police do suspect foul play in his case and there is a $5,000 reward offered for his location.
Anyone with any information about the man's body found near Gorman should call the LA County Sheriff's Office on (323) 890-5500.
Anyone who wants to remain completely anonymous should contact LA Crimestoppers, here.
Crimestoppers can also be used to provide information about any missing person or suspicions you may have. Please don't hesitate if you think you have any information at all - you really could become a hero or saviour with just one call or email. That's not a chance a person gets more than once in a lifetime.
Male remains found, 'four years old'
March 17 2014
Male human remains have been discovered in Gorman, Castaic, following a brush fire Friday. The man is thought to have been killed at least four years ago. Bob Harrod is just entering his fifth year of being missing.
We will be updating this story when we can find further details.
Ashton Sachs remains in jail
March 16 2014
Monday's arraignment hearing of Ashton Colby Sachs in the murder of his parents, Brad and Andra, has been postponed until April 4th. Sachs is also facing charges of the attempted murders of his eight year-old brother and 17 year-old sister in their San Juan Capistrano home in February. He is being held without bail in the Central Men's Jail in OC.
OC prosecutor Ebrahim Baytieh says 19 year-old Sachs 'intended to kill every family member in the house' and planned the brutal killings 'for months'. Prosecutors accuse him of driving over 1,200 miles from his home in Seattle to attack his family in their luxury home. Surviving family members could not identify their attacker however, and when he was finally arrested in San Diego, some of the surviving family members were living with him and he was seeking guardianship over them.
A real estate agent and - according to him - close business associate of Brad and Andra, Monte Burghardt, has been giving media interviews, including on the Nancy Grace show, where he discussed the family. He apparently knows a great deal about the family's financial affairs and says all the surviving children are 'well taken care of' in their deceased parents' financial planning. Ashton has been appointed a public defender however, after he stated he had no money.
OC Sheriff appeals for help identifying body
March 16 2014
OC Sheriff's Office are again appealing for help in identifying a body, this time the remains of a woman found in Caspers Wilderness Park, South East OC.
Although the body was found back in January, details have only just been released. The petite female is thought to have lain there for at least 6 months. She is thought to be at least 30 years of age, with wavy, dark brown, shoulder length hair with highlights. She also had a distinct, gold-colored dental bridge on her left lower jaw and had possibly suffered a broken nose at some point in her life.
Clothing found near the remains are a dark, 'Auburn' brand windbreaker jacket with the words 'Coach Williams' on the front, dark yoga pants with a light stripe down the side, and a pinkish t-shirt with some sort of black line design.
Anyone who can help with information should call the OC Sheriff's Dept on 714-647-7055 or Dispatch on 714-647-7000.
Pictures of clothing items and full details can be viewed here.
Speedy trial in Kim Pham case
March 16 2014
The OC Weekly is reporting that a date of April 14th, 2014 has been set in the trial of Candace Brito and Vanesa Zavala for the killing of Kim Pham outside a Santa Ana nightclub. The fast track trial is likely to be welcomed by the defence.
A pre-trial hearing is scheduled for March 21st. Investigators are still appealing for witnesses to come forward. Anyone with information can contact OC Crimestoppers anonymously here. There is an $11,000 reward being offered for information leading to the conviction of whoever killed Kim.
How 'No' turned into a 70-year marriage (so far)
March 9 2014
The OC Register's Bill Johnson has done it again, writing an article about a 70-year marriage that's a pure delight. Grandma and Grandpa seemed to have a big hand in bringing about the marriage in 1940s Orange in the first place, as Roy Brown's proposal was initially turned down by his eventual bride, Marie.
Ten years younger than Roy, who was then in his mid 20s, schoolgirl Marie had told him she didn't want to get married, just before he was posted abroad to serve in WW2. Her grandparents however, who had been reading his love letters when Marie left them lying around, advised her to think again as she might not get another chance. She heeded their advice.
Roy had to go through the horrors of liberating Ohrdruf, a satellite camp of Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany, before he returned safely to Marie. Around 12,000 inmates were forced on a death march out of Ohrdruf in April 1945; liberators discovered only the near-dying and countless dead left behind. General Patton called it 'one of the most appalling sights I have ever seen' and refused to even enter.
Roy Brown returned to OC and Marie unscathed however and they brought a nice house in Orange eventually.....for $11,000. March 17th, they celebrate 70 years of marriage. The article will bring a smile to your face and we recommend reading it, and sparing a good wish or two for 96-year old Roy and 86 year-old Marie, on the occasion of their 70th wedding anniversary, on March 17th, 2014.
Graveside robbers at Hillside
March 9 2014
Two young women, one from Rancho Cucamonga and the other from Redlands, have been arrested on suspicion of stealing items from graves at Hillside Memorial, Redlands, over a period of months.
A child's pink purse is among the items taken from the final resting places of the deceased. Officers who searched the vehicle and homes of 22 year-old Kulreet Nakai and 26 year-old Esha Sumaya Khondoker found a collection of gravesite memorials and tributes. The pair have admitted the thefts.
The investigation is ongoing and anyone who has had items stolen from their loved ones' grave in Hillside, or has any information, is asked to call Redlands Police on 909-798-7681
'They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old;
Son arrested in Brad and Andra Sachs case
March 8 2014
19 year-old Ashton Colby Sachs was arrested in San Diego County yesterday and charged with two counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder, following the shooting to death of his parents in their luxury San Juan Capistrano home.
Police say they think Ashton left Seattle where he was studying, to steal into his parents' home in the early hours of Sunday, Feb 9th and shoot them and his 8 year-old brother. Brad and Andra Sachs were killed and the little boy has been left paralyzed. Police also revealed Ashton's 17 year-old sister was shot at but escaped injury.
A fortnight after the killings, Ashton and his elder sibling Myles sought guardianship of their younger siblings, including the brother Ashton is alleged to have shot. They also sought guardianship of their parents' estate.
Police have yet to find a motive and say they don't suspect anyone else of involvement in the crime. According to OC Sheriff's Department, Ashton is due in Court Monday, March 10th.
2008 murder suspect trial starts March 21st
March 1 2014
There are now 20 days to go before the pre-trial hearing - and penultimate stages - of the trials for the Helendale 'bunker' murders of teenage sweethearts Bodhisattva 'Bodhi' Sherzer-Potter, 16, and Christopher Cody Thompson, 18, in 2008. They were killed 'for fun' and for the purposes of robbery by 24 year-old Collin Lee, who was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole in January. His accomplice, Cameron Thompson, has already pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and attempted robbery and is due for sentencing June 6th.
Meanwhile, the final suspect, David Brian Smith of Covina, will appear at Victorville Court March 21st, accused of multiple counts of first-degree murder, kidnapping and robbery.
The case has been drawn out as there was a fundamental disagreement between the families of the victims and San Bernardino DA Michael Ramos over his seeking of the death penalty, which the families did not want. Bhodi Sherzer-Potter's mother has led the fight against it, although she is not against the death penalty. Her daughter Bodhi was however, and her mother felt bound to uphold her daughter's principles on the matter.
The old military bunker in the Mojave desert that the teens were murdered in, after being last to leave a party there, has since been destroyed.
Death of Dean Sena: man arrested
March 1 2014
An arrest has been made following the shooting of Placentia resident Dean Vedol Sena, aged 45, a loving father of two.
Mr Sena was shot at his workplace, The Brother's Liquor Store on Arrow Route, Rancho Cucamonga, Saturday February 22nd, during the course of a robbery. The suspect escaped and security guard Mr Sena was tragically pronounced dead at a local hospital.
36 year-old Diego Dominguez has now been arrested for the murder and robbery. He is a resident of Rancho Cucamonga. Police say the investigation is still ongoing and they are urging anyone with information to come forward.
Call: Det. Joseph Janowicz/Srgt Chris Fisher on (909) 387-3589
Rest in Peace Mr Sena.
Update - Wife Minda Sena says she feels only compassion for her husband's killer.
Bryce Laspisa missing 6 months
February 28 2014
A series of vigils are being held today to mark six months since student Bryce Laspisa went missing after his vehicle went off the road at Lake Castaic. He has not been seen or heard from since.
The vigils are taking place at Castaic Lake, Naperville and Rocklin. Details can be found on the Find Bryce Laspisa Facebook page here.
Judge Angel B. says man will stand trial for killing Grandmom
February 23 2014
A 22 year-old Riverside County man is to stand trial for the murder of his grandmother in July 2013, despite the fact her body has not been found, Judge Angel Bermudez has decided. Although 'no body' trials have increased steadily over the years, they are still rare.
Kyle Roger McLean was living with his 71 year-old grandmother Catharine Sutton in Graystone Lane, Murrietta, at the time the murder is alleged to have taken place, but did not report her missing when she disappeared. His maternal aunt did that when she called at the home and found her mother wasn't there.
A casual, former friend of the accused, 19 year-old Neal Erickson, will be giving evidence that McLean showed him his grandmother's strangled body in the trunk of his car, a belt still around her neck, during a methamphetamine-fuelled couple of days they spent together. He has also told police McLean admitted he'd strangled his grandmother after she reported him and Erickson for graffiting a wall around her home. Police (who did arrest the pair for vandalism the same day as Catharine is later alleged to have been murdered) say it was actually a neighbour who made the report.
Meth, blood and Catharine's jewelry and credit cards were found in McLean's room when police searched the home. Erickson says he helped him buy bleach, cleaning supplies and a machete but refused to help dispose of Catharine's body, which is thought to have been thrown over a cliff in the wilderness somewhere.
Thanks to his co-operation in the case, Erickson is already free on probation after serving around five months for being an accessory after the fact, to which he pleaded guilty. There is no suggestion he had any hand in Catharine's murder.
McLean's mother (also called Catherine but with an 'e') says her son is a meth user but added that her missing mother was supposedly crazy, delusional and paranoid about someone tampering with her things in her home.
*Please note the victim's name has been spelt both as Catharine and Catherine in media, so we have opted for the spelling used in the majority of the articles.
Kim's murder takes another twist
February 22 2014
Two women charged with the beating to death of Kim Pham outside a Santa Ana nightclub entered not guilty pleas in court Friday, Feb 21st. The issue of other, possible gang-related incidents that night have been raised by defence for Candace Brito, 27, and Vanesa Zavala, 25.
It is not clear what bearing - if any -these incidents could have upon the murder of Kim, however.
Three shot but apparently no clue to S. Juan killings
February 19 2014
The killings of Andra and Bradford Sachs and the critical wounding of their eight year-old son has rocked an exclusive San Juan Capistrano community, but there appears to be no clue to the killer. They were shot around 2am Sunday, February 9th.
Mr and Ms Sachs (divorced in 1999 but still living together) had a long and chequered history of business start-ups and failures, where sums as high as $90 million have been invoked. Disputes with tax authorities and their responsibilities as owners for their rented properties have also been issues.
However, police have found no trace of forced entry into the highly secure, luxury home on Peppertree Bend, which also had guard dogs and a high wall. And despite a statement saying the young boy was 'targeted' before being shot, police have also said this was an 'isolated incident' and the wider community is not at risk.
The Sachs's young child - believed to be adopted from Russia - is currently hospitalized and has been paralyzed by his gunshot wound. It's not known if the damage is likely to be permanent. His two teenage sisters who were also in the home at the time are unharmed. No family members appear to have made any public statement at this time.
Probable murder/suicide in Helendale
February 15 2014
In Helendale, San Bernardino County, a tragic tale unfolded last Sunday. Colleen Williamson, 82, and Michael Cobbos, 76, were found shot dead at their home in Silver Lakes Parkway in what appears to be a murder and suicide.
Anyone who can help with this very sad investigation should call Detective E Bachman or Sergeant J Gaffney, Homicide detail, San Bernardino Sheriff's Dept at (909) 387-3589.
Suspects to stand trial in Kim's murder
February 15 2014
Two women have been ordered to stand trial for the murder of Kim Pham outside a Santa Ana nightclub, The Crosby, in January. The Crosby has since closed and has offered no explanation as to why its security staff were not able to prevent a young woman being beaten to death outside the doors of the club.
Candace Brito and Vanesa Zavala both entered pleas of not guilty and are held on $1million bail. Their defence are stating Kim started the fight, although that doesn't seem to address the important question of who finished it, in such a deadly fashion. Five feet and a bit, 85lb Kim's injuries are set out here. The accused's hearing is due to start February 21st.
The third person of interest (featured in an earlier news story here and looking disturbingly similar to a young Victoria Beckham) appears to have been identified but police have 'encountered difficulties' contacting her. It's unclear from reports if any contact has taken place, or if more of the numerous witnesses that night have come forward, after the police appeal.
Hundreds of people attended Kim's (nicknamed Xu, a sweet fruit) funeral January 28th. She had recently married. Artist Federico Medina had been assigned the utility box outside the Crosby as part of a community art program, before it became a memorial, after her death. He now intends to incorporate a 'visual' tribute to Kim in his design. Kim was a talented writer so we are really hoping here that the artist will add some of her words too. Poignantly, Kim, whose own death was recorded on the cellphones of watching people, had previously written about the 'bystander effect'.
Property problems? Murder's no cure
February 15 2014
An OC double homicide in 2009 (the same year Bob disappeared) has just resulted in a guilty verdict for the killer at his Santa Ana trial. The jury took less than four hours Tuesday, Feb 11th, to convict Hilbert Pineil Thomas of first degree murder, with three 'special circumstances' that mean he faces the death penalty or life without parole.
The murders of Elizabeth Palmer and Matthew Scott were carried out for financial gain - unbelievably, Thomas was a real estate agent affected by the downturn in 2009, who thought stealing Elizabeth's Lexus car would help improve his sales. He dropped his niece off at school then murdered these poor people on the way back. Elizabeth and her beloved husband had planned to celebrate their final payment on the hard-earned vehicle when she was shot dead in cold blood at her office in Stanton, along with her boss Matthew. Thomas was a neighbor. Matthew's dad found their bodies.
Thomas then drove the vehicle around for 8 months before being arrested. It wasn't stated how many home sales he thought it generated for him. The case was prosecuted by OC Deputy DA Ebrahim Baytieh, who is giving Senior Deputy DA Matt Murphy a run for his money.
Defence said Thomas was at the 'end of his rope' because of looming bankruptcies and other problems, but perhaps members of the OC jury had property and financial problems themselves in the downturn, as many did. Evidently none viewed financial problems as any mitigation for murder, anyhow.
The same jury will begin hearing evidence February 18th to help them decide if Thomas should receive the death penalty, with a verdict likely to be reached sometime in March.
Aging photo competition, 3 days to go!
February 12 2014
There are only three days to go until the deadline for submissions for the 'Aging as Art Photography Contest' organized by the Council on Aging, Orange County (COAC).
Winning entries will be displayed March 25-27 at the Bowers Museum, Santa Ana and prizes include hundreds of dollars in cash and Bowers Museum membership.
There is a $25 entry fee for up to three photographs and additional photos may be submitted at a cost of $8 each. Full details and online submission forms are available here. Deadline is Saturday February 15th, 2014.
Crash kills family on 60 freeway
February 10 2014
An horrific crash involving a driver going the wrong way has killed 6 people in Diamond Bar on the 60 Freeway. Victims include a mom, dad, daughter and grandmother from a single family, as well as the sister of the 21-year old driver charged in connection with the crash. Alcohol is thought to be involved.
Our deepest condolences to those who have lost loved ones.
Armed invaders rob Apple Valley senior
February 8 2014
A 78 year-old man was ambushed outside his Apple Valley, San Bernardino home by two men Tuesday 4th Feb. As the unnamed victim went to enter, they pushed him inside and then one held him at gunpoint while the other methodically stole the senior's possessions.
Worryingly, security guard uniforms and accessories were among the spoils, which might well be used to perpetrate other crimes against elderly or vulnerable people. Various electronic goods and a TV were also stolen.
The men covered their faces with handkerchiefs but both are thought to be Hispanic, with one about 6'2" and the other about 5'10"; both medium build and carrying handguns. A gray sedan and a white late 90s/early 2000s full-size pickup truck were seen leaving the area after the home invasion. The white truck has oversized tyres, a kingcab and a tinted back window.
If you saw anything suspicious around the 20200 block of Zuni road, Apple Valley about 11.40 Tuesday - or know someone who has suddenly come into possession of a lot of electronic equipment and security guard uniforms for no good reason - please call:
Yorba Linda victim trafficked, say police
February 8 2014
Police believe the 17-year-old girl stabbed to death in Yorba Linda this week was a victim of sex trafficking that has infiltrated the county, the OC Register reports. Some traffickers are estimated to earn up to $600,000 per year.
Court records allege runaway Aubreyanna was beaten and terrorized into selling sex by the man she told police was her pimp, and she feared a member of her family would be killed as he knew her address.
35-year-old Larry Soo Shin has been charged with the special circumstances 'lying in wait' murder of Aubreyanna after asking her to meet there. He has been held without bail and has not entered a plea. His arraignment is due February 28th. He appeared in court with heavily bandaged hands.
Shin is a resident of Yorba Linda some distance away from the site of the murder. Aubreyanna was a resident of Gardena and her heartbroken family say she was a straight A student until the last few weeks of her life, who had just been admitted to college. They spoke to her before her death but say she told them she was too afraid to return home.
Police, fire and...cuffs.
February 6 2014
Fire and police departments have clashed in San Diego and the end result was a firefighter attending the scene of an accident being cuffed by a police officer, because he didn't move his truck. The media caught the moment and a surreal one it was too.
The Chula Vista firefighter was released from the back of the California Highway Patrol officer's car after 30 minutes, without charge. After a meeting, chiefs of the Fire Dept and Highway Patrol spoke of the 'utmost respect' between the departments. The incident will be 'a topic for future joint training', their joint statement added. The accident victims were safely removed by ambulance, their condition has not been reported.
The incident shocked Orange County Fire and CA Highway Patrol authorites so much, they immediately sat to down to discuss the possibility of anything like that happening in OC. The result?
"None of us believe that would ever happen here," OC Fire Capt. Steve Concialdia stated firmly. "They have our backs, we have their backs."
Shock in exclusive Yorba Linda street after woman's body is found
February 5 2014
Cyclists on an early morning ride in Yorba Linda Tuesday Feb 4th were horrified to discover a woman's body lying in a quiet residential street full of multi-million dollar houses.
The cyclists were medically trained and informed emergency despatchers that the woman was dead and resuscitation wasn't possible. The victim was found near the intersection of Deodar Drive and Live Oak Lane and police immediately launched a homicide investigation.
Before the day was out a 35-year-old man had been arrested but no further details have been released.
Update: ABClocal has just broken news that the man arrested is Larry Soo Shin and the victim was stabbed multiple times.
Update: 17 year-old runaway Aubreyanna Sade Parks has been named as the victim. Rest in peace, Aubreyanna.
Third POI found in Kim Pham case
February 1 2014
KPCC reports police have identified and are interviewing the third person of interest being sought in connection with the killing of Kim Pham, who sustained fatal injuries outside a Santa Ana nightclub January 19th. The person has not been named. Detectives had previously said they were receiving little co-operation from the community.
Two women, Vanesa Zavala and Candace Brito, have already been charged with one felony count of murder and are in jail with bail set at $1 million. They will be tried together and their preliminary hearing is due Tuesday February 4 at Harbor Justice Center, Newport Beach.
Man charged in freeway death of Martha Rodezno
February 1 2014
A 33 year-old Hawthorne man has been arrested for hit and run leading to death/serious injury following the death of Martha Rodezno. She was seen to 'fly' from the passenger side of a truck on the ramp of Westbound 22 freeway, December 8th, in the early hours. The truck did not stop.
Police say they have evidence that Martha got into a truck driven by Jacqwun Laerin Turner, the arrested man, that morning.
Widow of Seal Beach victim may lose home
January 25 2014
When 12-year-old childhood sweethearts Dave and Paula Caouette took their first steps on what would turn out to be a lifetime together, they could have had no inkling that it would end in the callous shooting of Dave in OC's worse mass murder.
Vietnam Vet Dave, 64, was sitting in his Land Rover outside Salon Meritage at Seal Beach when a gunman opened fire indiscriminately in 2011, killing eight people. Dave was the gunman's final victim. Scott Dakaai is charged with the murders and his trial has just been delayed until March this year (2014) because prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. Scott's former wife, Michelle Fournier, had won custody of their child the day before and worked at the salon. She was also killed.
Two years on from that event, Dave Caouette's widow Paula is in danger of losing her home as a direct result of her husband's murder. Dave's life insurance company say he had not signed the form for the temporary insurance he believed he was covered by (he had recently been laid off) and have refused to payout, leaving Paula unable to meet the mortgage payments on their home of 20 years. Paula has taken a job at Hallmark but as her son has pointed out, it could be very difficult for her to find a new, high-paying career at 65.
The house is due to go into foreclosure next month. However, The OC Register is just reporting that Nationstar, the mortgage holders, have finally entered into some discussions about renegotiating the loan.
A fund has been set up to help Paula here.
Kim Pham dies but gifts life to five
January 25 2014
A second arrest has been made in connection with the death of a 23-year-old student who was viciously attacked outside a Santa Ana nightclub. Kim (Annie) Pham passed the day after the attack that happened in the early hours of Saturday 18th January, but wasn't officially declared dead until her wish to donate her organs had been carried out. A donation agency announced she has saved five lives.
Kim, a Westminster resident, was attacked by a group of people outside The Crosby club, despite the attempts of a security guard to break it up. Video of the attack has been released and Vanesa Tapia Zavaba 25, has already been charged with murder. The most recent arrest is of a 27-year-old woman, who has not been named. A third person has been named a person of interest but has not been traced; see photo below. A $10,000 reward has been offered for information leading to the arrests of all three people suspected in this crime. Anyone with information should call Santa Ana Homicide on (714) 245 8390.
Edly Atherley arrested in Tampa
January 21 2014
The search for the man wanted for the murder of Ashley Nichole Hall (Atherley) in San Bernardino is over. Edly Atherley was spotted by someone on South Westshore Boulevard in Tampa Saturday 18th, who then phoned in a tip. But before police could find him, Edly turned himself in, according to Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.
Edly will now be brought back to San Bernardino to face murder charges, and Ashley's family have spoken of their relief. Hopefully, the tipster will still receive the reward for their vital help. It is so important to encourage tips for other cases. More details, including the statement from Ashley's family, can be read at the links below.
OC Reg Ed steps down, saves jobs
January 18 2014
Sad news. OC Register Editor Ken Brusic stepped down as editor of the OC Register Friday, after 24 years. It was his 70th birthday Thursday. He knew 30 layoffs were coming, and had stated he would step down too - he would save some other people's jobs by doing so (hope that's not because the new Ed gets a lower salary).
We have pestered here for more coverage for Bob, but are happy to acknowledge the OC Register has given the most extensive coverage to Bob's case, and produced some fantastic investigative journalism. And look at what the Ed said, when asked about why he opened the blinds in the newsroom each morning:
"I'm allowing the light to penetrate the darkness, and it lets us see we are part of this community.'
We are very sad to see Ken go. We wish him luck. You are only 70 Ken, a youngster compared to Bob, who would be 85 now. If you should ever get bored, Bob Harrod is still missing by the way, and could do with some help. Especially if it comes from a man of integrity, talent, kindness and courage. Good luck and best wishes and thanks though Ken, whatever you should chose to do.
*Note. We know there's a mistake in the article. It should be choose and not chose. We have left it there, as it's the kind of mistake that drives a good editor to distraction. Hoping to attract that kind of attention here, though we really should have been brave enough to just leave the mistake here, without this note, for true effectiveness....just couldn't do it though.
Campfire, paper and Santa Ana winds wreak havoc
January 18 2014
A wildfire raced out of control near LA Thursday, causing mass evacuations, in places that have associations with Bob. It was reported at 6am, and quickly threatened homes and lives. Glendora declared a state of emergency, mandatory evacuations took place of 3,700 people there and in Azusa, and people were urged not to 'sit there and wait' for this 'particularly aggressive' fire to reach them.
At its height 550 firefighters were battling the blaze. The 'Colby fire' was brought under control by Thursday evening, but not before there were mass evacuations, some homes burned to the ground, and around 20 more damaged. There were reports of slight injuries to at least two people and a total of 1,700 acres were destroyed. Rental units on the historic, former summer retreat of the Singer sewing machine family were also devastated, leaving 10 renters homeless.
Together with LA County Fire investigators, Glendora police quickly worked to find the cause of the fire and made three arrests. The suspects are young men- two of them homeless, one living in Glendora. They are suspected of staring the blaze by recklessly throwing paper in a campfire they had lit to keep warm. They are being held on $20,000 bail and Glendora police Chief Tim Staabs reports: 'One is extremely remorseful', according to Fox News.
Dramatic footage of the fire can be viewed here.
FOUND!! - Wanted for murder, Edly Albert Atherley II
January 14 2014
The family of Ashley Atherley, whose brutalized body was found in her San Bernardino apartment December 3rd, 2013, have appealed again for the public's help in locating the man suspected of murdering her. He is Ashley's estranged husband, Edly Albert Atherley, age 29. He is 5'9" with black hair, brown eyes and weighs 160-170lbs. He has a tattoo comprising of letters of letters or symbols on his right shoulder, possibly gothic script with the letter being A.
Atherley may still be in the Inland Empire area but also has links to Florida and Belize. The FBI says he should be considered armed, extremely dangerous with suicidal tendencies and should not be approached. They are offering a $10,000 reward for information leading directly to his arrest. More details about this case will be in the Wednesday feature tomorrow.
If you have seen him call:
Suspected cat burglars caught
January 12 2014
A foot chase by Placentia police which ended in a car wash has led to the arrest of two suspects in a series of cat burglaries that hit Placentia. The burglaries, most of which took place in the months leading up to Christmas, saw several residents robbed of their possessions while they slept in their homes.
Abc7 reports a 17 and a 20-year-old have been arrested and confessed to the burglaries, and an assortment of stolen property has been recovered from a residence.
Anyone with information or enquiries about the recovered property should call Placentia PD on: (714) 993-8146.
New book on MacLaughlin murder
January 11 2014
Writer Caitlin Rother was at the Grossman Center, La Mesa today to launch her new book, 'I'll take care of you'. She will be appearing at other SoCal venues throughout the year, which can be found on her website.
'I'll take care of you' is the story of a famous OC murder case, of millionaire Bill McLaughlin by Nanette Johnston Packard and her lover, Eric Naposki. There aren't many reader reviews yet, but the ones available are very favorable.
The OC District Attorney's investigative unit and 'evidence whisperer' Larry Montgomery brought resolution to this case, which we wrote about in an earlier article. We are going to buy Rother's book here at bobharrodmissing.com, and tell you what we think. And wait and hope that one day there will be a book about the resolution of Bob Harrod's case too.
33 years on, property deal turns sour and murder overshadows all
January 11 2014
Maura Dolan of the LA Times reports that the 33-year-old murder of Nancy Galvani is still an open wound for her daughter Alison, a Yale professor who brought a wrongful death suit against her father, Patrick Galvani.
Alison was only five when her mother Nancy - who was in the midst of divorcing Patrick - was found strangled, bound and weighted in San Francisco Bay. Her vehicle was found in her husband's garage. Although Patrick brought Alison up, their relationship deteriorated over the years as Alison became convinced he was responsible for her mother's murder. She believes she was used as a five-year-old to lure Nancy to her death.
Four years ago, Patrick sued his daughter over a property she had helped him buy, and Alison filed a wrongful death suit over her mother against him. Although it was dismissed at the end of last year (time limitations had run out) Alison still hopes prosecutors will be able to reopen the case.
Vulnerable people trapped in Santa Ana blaze
January 8 2014
In Placentia over the holidays a cable and brush fire caused inconvenience but no harm to life. Today, firefighters have rescued four injured people from a devastating fire in a Santa Ana residence but tragically, two others have died. Very sadly, the residence was home to people with a disability.
The OC Register reports that despite the efforts of neighbours, care workers and firefighters - who extinguished the huge blaze in 15 minutes - two women could not be saved and a care worker has received very serious burns. The blaze started around 5.45am and was under control by 6am, but appears to have taken hold very fast.
We extend our sympathies to the families who have lost their loved ones, as well as those who tried to save them.
The full story can be read here at the OC Register, which appears to have a brand new layout and banner to bring in the New Year. It suits the web. We don't know if the paper issue has changed too.
OC Sheriff seeks help identifying unknown man
January 4 2014
Orange County Sheriff's Department has appealed for the public's help in identifying a man found floating about a mile off Newport Beach, near Crystal Cove, December 24th.
He was about 5'9" inches tall and 165 lbs, with dark hair. His age and race aren't known. The man was wearing Champion sweatpants with zippers in the legs, and black Asics running shoes with white soles. He was also wearing a black plastic Timex watch. The shoes and watch are pictured on the Sheriff's website, here.
If you recognize these items or can help identify this poor man in anyway, please call:
Amazing journey for little Pomeranian
January 2 2014
Meet Penny, a little Pomeranian dog like Bob Harrod's beloved Sassy. Unlike Sassy though, Penny's a little mixed. Maybe with a touch of Superdog?
Something has to explain, anyway, how little Penny went missing from her family in Ohio and was found safe and well in an abandoned Virginia hotel room one whole year later.
Henrico Police Animal Protection Unit traced her microchip. Penny doesn't look any the worse for her adventures and though we're not sure about the blue Santa suit, we are sure Henrico County Police did good! You can read what Penny's overjoyed family had to say here.
A New Year message, to whom it may concern
January 1 2014
"Can you tell me if they'll ever find her? Is she out there?"
Louwana Miller, missing woman Amanda Berry's mother. Died before her daughter was found, after 10 years missing.
"I wish this could end."
Julie Patz in 2013, mother of Etan Patz. Missing since 1979.
"You can add my brother to that list too."
Ealia Miera, blog comment as she searches for her missing baby brother David Joseph Miera, over 30 years after he disappeared.
"I've got cancer and if you've got any decency or respect for yourself or for me, you would tell me where Keith is because that's the last thing I want to happen before I die." (to killer Ian Brady)
Winnie Johnson, mother of missing Keith Bennet, 47 years after he disappeared. She died soon after.
"I am proud of you Johnny, and I hope you are able to see this message."
Noreen Gosch, in a letter to her son Johnny Gosch on the 30th anniversary of his disappearance.
"I have to say this is the worst pain I've ever felt"
Cassandra Cales, sister of missing Stacy Peterson. Their mother Christie Cales has also been missing for 15 years.
"Since I lost Bob, my life has been a nightmare. When I go to bed at night, the last thing I think about is Bob, and it's the first thing that comes to my mind when I open my eyes in the morning."
Mrs Fontelle Harrod. Her husband Bob Harrod is still missing, at the moment.
Those who search for our missing have a very, very heavy burden to bear. It is the weight of the hope of all the loved ones left behind. To all those who search for the missing of the world, from law enforcement investigators to DAs and dog handlers, volunteers to paid professionals, poster designers to search and rescuers, divers to pilots, reconstruction artists to online networkers and accidental, hiking heroes.............
For what you did in 2013, and for what you will do in this new year.
January 1st, 2014.
DoJ grant pays off in SanB
December 29 2013
San Bernardino Sheriff's understated Cold Case Team have had a massive breakthrough at the end of this year, which had escaped our notice. On November 1, 2013, the DA charged Chris Kringle Tilghman with the murder 23 years previously, of baby Cole Terpack. Tilghman is a female but her relationship to the baby has not been revealed. Five-month old Cole was found not breathing, starved and with broken bones when medics were called to his San Bernardino home in August 1990. Tilghman has also been charged with torture.
The SB Sheriff's Office reports that the Cold Case team was made possible through a $500,000 grant it received from the Department of Justice, and consists of two detectives, two deputy DAs and a criminologist.
San Bernardino DA Michael Ramos once said that the success his office has had in bringing to justice those who commit major crimes against children is 'one of the things I will always feel good about doing'. The DA seems especially affected by crimes against the vulnerable, and together with the Sheriff's Cold Case Team there is obviously a force to be reckoned with in San Bernardino, for those who harm victims who cannot speak up for themselves.
Anyone with any information about this case should call Cold Case Detectives Jerry Davenport or Ryan Ford on (909) 387-3589.
Confused victim's son sues over arrest
December 29 2013
The OC Register has revealed that Eder Herrera, who was arrested over the brutal stabbing deaths of his mother and brother in their Yorba Linda home in 2011, has filed a federal suit against the city of Brea.
Reporter Salvador Hernandez writes that Herrera is confused over why, although charges against him have been dropped, he remains an official suspect in the case. This is despite the fact his former high school friend, Itzcoatl Ocampo, had confessed to the killings before committing suicide in jail in November this year.
Spree killer Ocampo also admitted to killing James McGillivray in Placentia. McGillivray is thought to have been the first victim in a killing spree lasting from October 2011 to January 2012. He - like two other victims - was homeless and resting in an isolated location when he was attacked and brutally murdered. The murders of Herrera's mother, Raquel Estrada and her son Juan, differed significantly in that their killer first tried to attack them with -horrifically - a butter knife before using the large knife he used to kill his other victims, and they were inside their home, not homeless. Raquel also appears to be Ocampo's only female victim. Before taking his own life, Ocampo had said he killed Raquel and Juan because they had 'disrespected' him in the past.
23-year-old Ocampo began his killing spree over two years after Bob Harrod disappeared. It would seem pretty certain police will have checked where he was on July 27th 2009, when Bob disappeared anyway.....just in case. But it does seem unlikely he would have abducted one victim without leaving a sign, when all his other victims were left amongst the devastation of where they had died.
Because of the pending litigation, Brea Police authorities are no longer able to comment about the Ocampo murders and Eder Herrera's suspect status. Once again, a journalist at the OC Register has produced an excellent investigative article about a serious crime. The publication is lucky in having more than its fair share of fine reporters.
Christmas gifts for children of victims
December 23 2013
In Bob's old home state, Kansas City Police Department have been spreading a little Christmas joy. Together with Healing Pathways Victims' Services, they held a Christmas party for the bereaved children of homicide victims. The first event was held last year.
Presents were also supplied to the little ones, who included a little boy not yet two, whose mom and three-year old sister were murdered beside him. Their killer has not yet been found.
Comfort animals and blankets appeal, Running Springs
December 23 2013
Soft, comforting toys and blankets are being collected for San Bernardino County Sheriff 's and CA Highway Patrol officers to distribute to children caught up in traumas.
Donations can be dropped off at First Mountain Bank in Whispering Pines, Running Springs, but the deadline is today, Monday December 23, so kindhearted donors will have to move fast.
Sgt's last journey, home to his loving wife
December 22 2013
A grieving widow's husband has finally been brought home, 63 years after he died in Korea.
94-year-old Inglewood resident Clara Gantt was at Los Angeles International Airport as her husband's flagged draped casket arrived; alongside her was a military guard of honor. Army 1st Class Sergeant Joseph E Gantt (Purple Heart, Bronze Star with Valor) married Clara in 1948, and was reported missing in action November 1950. Later, repatriated troops said he had died from malnutrition in a prisoner of war camp, early in 1951.
Sgt Gantt had told his bride that if anything ever happened to him, she should remarry. Clara never did, and when he came home she wept, and told those watching that, 'Here I am, still his wife'. Clara called her husband's return home a blessing and added: I am so happy that I am still living to accept him....I bought a home for him, and I am in that home now.'
A burial with full military honors for Sergeant Joseph Gantt is to take place in Inglewood, Sat December 28th, 2013.
Can Californians help find Hoagie?
December 21 2013
A Newtown, Connecticut family are reaching all the way to California in the hope of finding clues to the whereabouts of missing Robert 'Hoagie' Hoagland.
Robert's mystifying disappearance happened Sunday, July 28, 2013. He was at home in Newtown, Connecticut with his adult son Max, while his wife, Lori, was away in Turkey. He was seen on cctv Sunday, July 28th around 6.45am, when he bought bagels and visited a gas station, buying gas and a map of the Eastern half of the US. He returned home, ate breakfast later with Max, answered text messages, played online scrabble, mowed the lawn (when he and Max were seen by a neighbour) - and then vanished. When Lori returned from Turkey the next day, Robert was not at the airport to meet her. Lori reported her husband missing. Lori says her husband was struggling with some issues related to their son, but nothing that she believes was enough to cause him to disappear voluntarily.
Robert left behind his silver VW car, shoes, phone, passport, wallet, keys and medication, although Lori discovered his wallet and keys to their Mini Cooper car two weeks later, hidden under a doll in their bedroom. Robert had withdrawn $600 from his account the Thursday before he disappeared but that money has not been located. He has not used his accounts since he disappeared.
Robert was a real estate appraiser in the area of Sandy Hook and this has led to speculation in the wilder reaches of the internet, although Robert and his disappearance have no connection to the tragedy that took place there. A tinfoil hat and healthy dose of scepticism may be required if you choose to explore them.
Robert's brother has hired a private investigator to help find him and Newtown PD still have an active investigation ongoing - they are unclear if his disappearance 'may amount to an abduction' or 'a homicide'. Bodies of water and terrain in the immediate vicinity of Robert's home have been searched.
Meanwhile, in the latest development, family have said that Robert's family links in Diamond Bar and others in Glendora, as well as in Southland, LA, may have led him here, to Robert Harrod's home ground. Both are called Robert. Both are around 6ft, balding and blue-eyed. There is a big age difference though, and no mistaking the two. If you can help find Hoagie for Christmas Californians, please do. If you think you may have seen him, call Newton PD or use the OC tipline if that's too far away...we hope Orange County's renowned investigators wouldn't be too busy to lend a hand with Hoagie's case, if they think they can.
Two missing Roberts, so far away in years and distance....but both really need to come home.
If you have any information about Robert Hoagland call Detective Jason Frank at Newtown Police Department on 203-270-4229
Or use the anonymous OC crimestoppers link here.
Newton, CT, police Facebook page with links to media on Robert Hoagland.
Family-run Facebook page for Robert Hoagland.
Coming home Christmas church musical
December 20 2013
A musical production, 'Coming Home', is taking place over the weekend at Mount of Olives Church in Mission Viejo. Although not aimed at families with a loved one missing, the name seems especially poignant at this time of year for those who wish a family member would come home. The musical promises to be an uplifting one, filled with old and new favorites, as well as a heartfelt message and a few surprises.
In tune with the musical good wishes, Mount of Olives will also be collecting hearty, canned foodstuffs to be distributed to the hungry in the New Year and beyond. The church is stressing that it's hearty, filling food they would like.
Coming Home takes place Sat December 21st and Sunday December 22nd at Mount of Olives, 24772 Chrisanta Drive, Mission Viejo. Doors open 7pm.
Tickets can be purchased for $10 online or $15 on the door. Nursery care is provided for children 3 years of age or under. See here for more details and to buy tickets online.
Forgetful witness takes on OC's Matt Murphy
December 15 2013
An unexpectedly hostile witness has chosen to engage in a battle of words with an OC prosecutor, during a Laguna Beach murder trial. As author R Scott Moxley points out in his OC Weekly blog though, the witness might have been wise to check out the prosecutor's biography first - it's Matt Murphy, and he has history.
His previous successful prosecutions include serial killer Rodney Alcala, Eric Naposki ('a gigantic coward', according to Murphy) and the 'special circumstances, murder for financial gain' prosecution of the three-man, one-woman gang who killed retired couple John and Jackie Hawks, for their boat and bank accounts.
In Murphy's current case, the murder of Damon Nicholson, the 'battle' appears to have been misjudged and 'bizarre' as The OC Weekly article sets out. Under Murphy's relentless questioning, the witness went from; ' I did make the statement' to 'can't remember' and then to 'not going to say anything one way or another'.
Finally, he answered Murphy with a blunt 'No' to the question of if he'd lied to detectives, but then followed it shortly afterwards with, 'Not intentionally'.
As the witness isn't implicated in the murder at all, and was simply being asked to reiterate a previous statement about being offered a computer, it does seem he put himself through a needlessly hard time on the stand.
Car plunges into canyon, men survive unscathed
December 15 2013
Two men are likely to have been left believing in Christmas miracles after they survived an auto accident that saw their vehicle drop 500ft off San Gabriel Canyon Road, the Pasadena Star News reports.
The pair are said to have climbed up from the wreckage of the overturned vehicle virtually unscathed too, which went off the road in an area of Angeles National Forest, just north of Glendora. Sheriff's Office officials are still considering the possibility of retrieving the vehicle.
It's not you, it's us!
December 12 2013
We apologise to anyone who has been confused recently by the Wednesday feature appearing on Thursdays. These circumstances should not be beyond our control but, embarrassingly, have been exactly that for the past two weeks. We hoped to get away without anyone noticing but have been well and truly caught out by some visitors with (thankfully) a good sense of humor.
As we've grown attached to our Wednesday, the name is going to stay the same. The feature itself may keep appearing on Thursdays for a while though, and so any confusion is likely to get worse instead of better in the short-term.
Luckily, we are confident some very sharp minds are interested in Bob's case and any confusion is likely to be fleeting. And we are still crystal clear about the most important thing;
Bob Harrod needs to be found.
The OC Register's Bill Johnson shows his gift of empathy again
December 8 2013
Bill Johnson of the OC Register, who has previously written very movingly about the plight of seniors, has turned his attention to the missing. In a recent article (viewable here, without a subscription) he talks about Amy Ahonen, missing since July 2011, and Martha Anaya who vanished last month.
It is a very well-written, sensitive article and demonstrates Mr Johnson's own dedication to the missing - he writes of how he has been unable to forget the case of Amy, and still belongs to the Facebook page set up to find her.
It is reassuring to think that there are journalists out there, so dedicated and sympathetic to the missing who need to come home, and their loved ones. Thank you Mr Johnson.
Child's Christmas wish is happiness for seniors
December 8 2013
A little English girl discovered one of life's sadder facts recently; that many seniors are lonely. She's only seven, but was so upset at the thought she wrote to Santa that for Christmas, all she wanted was to visit a lonely senior.
The letter was published in a local newspaper and the response was immediate. She and her family now regularly visit an elderly lady in their community, and the thoughtful little one is reported to be 'absolutely delighted'.
Missing dove located, pic and photo point the way
December 5 2013
A social media post by a 13-year-old has led to the recovery of a dove, broken from a hero's memorial at Lake Arrowhead Village. The memorial was in honor of San Bernardino County Sheriff's Detective Jeremiah McKay, who was shot while protecting his community from gunman Christopher Dorner. We wrote a news story about that act of vandalism previously.
According to the Alpenhorn News, the juvenile in question made a public post on a social media site telling people to 'shut up' and that now 'he could brag'. He also posted a picture of the dove in his bedroom. A concerned citizen called that information in to Twin Peaks Sheriff's Station who quickly tracked the boy - a former resident of Lake Arrowhead - down. The dove was in his bedroom.
Both the boy and his parent (policy in San Bernardino juvenile cases now) have been issued with citations to appear at SB City Superior Court.
Update: The link above has been removed for some reason, but you can read more about the bronze dove - and see a photograph taken after it was returned - in the Los Angeles Times, here.
There is also a Facebook page for the Jeremiah Mackay Memorial Statue, which says the dove is now in very safe hands and where a good idea for ensuring it doesn't get damaged again, has been mentioned.
Crime Victims' Memorial enters final stage
December 1 2013
The competition to design a Crime Victims' Memorial at William R. Mason Regional Park in Irvine is entering its final stages. Five finalists have been selected from a total of 59 entrants, and they will now have to come up with more detailed designs by January, in time for an exhibition scheduled to run February and March. The winner will be announced April 2014, to coincide with Crime Victims' Rights Week.
The competition attracted global interest from as far afield as Australia and the UK, and almost half the entrants came from outside the US. The finalists hail from Mexico, New York and Washington, as well as one from Europe, from an unspecified country in the former Yugoslavia.
All the designs submitted can be viewed here. We're not sure which ones have made it through to the finals, but number 22 touched us here. It has someone who could almost be Bob, walking through a passage that is like a pergola, towards a beautiful tree. Around it are the words, 'Truth, Justice, Love, Freedom'. It is somehow reminiscent of an old TV interview of Bob where he was filmed through a white pergola, tending his own garden. Sadly, that interview is no longer available for viewing in its entirety. Clips from it feature in the news videos on our links page though.
Facebook, freeways and forgotten events
December 1 2013
A story in the OC Register questioning the purpose of Placentia detour signs that seem to have served no purpose for a couple of years, led us to discover that the 57 Freeway has its own Facebook page.
It's a great find for any transport buffs, or anyone interested in the evolving history of transport routes around Placentia. There is a 1970s photo of an old 'Welcome to Placentia' construction that looks like a wishing well, as well as a 1930s shot of Brea Canyon Road. It was a major throughfare then; now the SR57 is the main route for those heading to North OC or the Inland Empire.
There's a hint or two about the dangers that may have led to Brea Canyon Road being replaced as the main through route in a story in the OC Weekly here - including cliffs, dumped 'flotsam' in the foliage and road kill. Not to mention the difficulty the author found in avoiding being run down while he viewed the object of his story. It's a memorial to those who stopped there as they passed through from San Diego to Monterey, and then on into history.
It is an interesting article in that it highlights the way transport routes can stand as reminders of travel patterns, events and even the lives of people long gone. Well worth a read.
New flyer and tipline for Bryce Laspisa...
November 23 2013
Family of missing 19-year-old Bryce Laspisa have recently released a new flyer and tipline number for anyone with information to call. The tipline is completely private, confidential and callers can remain anonymous. The tipline is not administered or monitored by law enforcement.
Bryce disappeared after a single- vehicle accident near Lake Castaic, CA, August 30th, 2013. He may be worried about that, although no other people were involved or injured. Bryce's family have reiterated that no-one is in any trouble or wanted by police, and their only wish is to know that Bryce is safe and well. If anybody has any information at all about Bryce's whereabouts, or thinks they have seen him, please call the new tipline on:
tel: 949 292 4400
If anyone should have any doubts or fears about what may happen when a missing person is found safe and returns home, please check out this FB page for a young, missing woman whose case we wrote about earlier this year. Media coverage of her case ceased as soon as it was known she was located and safe.
Raymundo Gutierrez Pereda guilty of murder
November 23 2013
An 18-year-old Placentia cold case was resolved yesterday, when 72-year-old Raymundo Pereda was found guilty of the brutal 1995 murder of his former roomate. In a startling coincidence, the murder took place in a home that was later occupied by Bob Harrod's son-in-law and daughter.
Mary Ann O' Neill, 53, had initially shared her Carnation Drive home with Pereda, but he had left some time before her murder. On November 16 though, he returned to her home in the early hours and killed her with a savage blow to the head. Her body was found the next day, stuffed into the trunk of her car outside a Mexican Restaurant in Placentia.
Pereda fled from investigators and managed to avoid detection for 16 years by assuming the name and social security number of a man named Castro. In 2011 though, the Orange County Crime Laboratory decided to take another look at this, by now, cold case. The experts there came up with a match to a 2005 DUI offence that took place in Las Vegas, and Chief Rick Hicks ( also leading Bob's investigation) announced Pereda's arrest in October 2011.
Pereda faces 25 years to life, at his sentencing on January 31st, 2014 at the Santa Ana Justice Center.
This is another achievement for Orange County DA Tony Rackauckas who says he is committed to 'seeing that justice is realized' and in making OC 'a safe place to live and work'. Mr Rauckauckas is proving as good as his word so far - which is probably a very good reason to hope for resolve in Bob's case too.
Four men die in Camp Pendleton blast
November 17 2013
Bob's old training ground at Camp Pendleton was the scene of a tragic accident on Wednesday November 13th. Four bomb technicians at the Marine base were killed by unexploded ordnance, which detonated during routine clearing of a training range. The range was not in use at the time.
These are the first EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) member fatalities to occur in the US for 20 years, and there is great shock and grief amongst their small community. Death is no stranger to them, but no-one expected it to arrive at Camp Pendleton. Two other, unidentified marines were injured in the blast, and our wishes for full recovery go out to them.
EOD or bomb squads and their members have always held a very special place within the military. They have a long, distinguished history of unimaginable bravery, heroism and, sadly, death in service. They are unique individuals because they are so often required to demonstrate a very individual kind of bravery and selflessness, for the sake of their fellow troops and civilians.
All these men were under 35 and their hometowns stretch from California to Missouri. Our deepest sympathies are extended to their families, friends and fellow Members of the Marine Corps EOD.
Rest in Peace Marines.
Mom and Dad deceased; confirmation awaited on McStay children
November 15 2013
The tragic news has broken this week that members of the McStay family, who have been missing from their Fallbrook, San Diego home since 2010, have been located. The remains of the family were discovered Monday 11th by an off-highway motorcyclist, in the Mojave desert off Quarry road and Barstow Freeway, near Victorville.
Although the identities of Joseph and Summer McStay have been confirmed by the San Bernardino County Sheriff's office, the identities of the further two bodies have not. It is very likely that they are the little sons of Joseph and Summer though, Gianni and Joseph Jr. Unlike their parents, the children did did not have dental records available to enter on their Namus listings, so that may be the reason their identification has been delayed.
For anyone who has been aware of the mysterious disappearance of this family, and the speculation they had fled to Mexico, the discovery of their bodies in this location, will come as a huge shock. The Mexico theory stemmed from the fact the family's vehicle was abandoned near a border crossing into Mexico, and people resembling the McStays were captured crossing, on videotape. They had left behind their savings of around $100,000 though, freshly prepared popcorn and eggs, and their two dogs, without food or water. In retrospect it seems strange it could have been thought they fled willingly, but it's easy to be wise, in retrospect. Hope dies hard, for those who wish the missing may be found safe.
The grief of the family's loved ones will be immense. There will be little consolation that they have at last been located, at this time, but we hope as time passes, there will be a little. Our sincerest condolences go out to the loved ones of Mr and Mrs McStay, and their children. Many, many thanks to the motorcyclist too, who has become an accidental hero overnight. The publicity around this case may be daunting, but here at bobharrodmissing.com we hope that person is aware of the importance of what they have done. Calling in their discovery was a brave, kind, good and rightful thing to do.
The San Bernardino County Sheriff-Coroner's Office are now dealing with this investigation, in co-operation with San Diego police, as well as the FBI. Anyone who thinks they may have any information at all should call:
Update: 'The manner of death is suspected to be homicide'
GPS shoe gets improved connections
November 9 2013
Bob Harrod's doctor said he did not have Alzheimer's, dementia or any condition that might have led to him wandering off. Investigators don't think he wandered off either. However, for families who do have a loved one at risk, GPS tracking and satellite experts GTX Corp, together with footwear company Aetrex Worldwide, launched GPS shoes back in 2011.
The GTX Smart Shoes have the tracking device embedded in the heel, cost about $300, and there is a payable monitoring service available for customers. Family members or loved ones can also set up a geofence around a home or garden, which triggers an email or text alert message via a customer's computer/smart phone if the GPS shoes pass across it. SmartSoles are also available.
They can be much more effective than tracker necklaces, belts or bracelets, which people with these conditions often remove or forget to put on. Shoes are more acceptable because people are accustomed to wearing them and they are also more difficult for many dementia sufferers to remove.
Now GTX and Aeris Communications of Santa Ana have announced a program of collaboration, in order to provide an enhanced network service to customers of GTX Smart Shoes, at a competitive price.
Aeris GSM SIM cards are being used in the shoes, and the Aeris network connects through many network operators beside its own, to ensure the strongest cellular signal is always available, even if the device is in a remote location. It also provides a 'management portal' that allows any network or device problems to be identified remotely, and fixed quickly.
Aeris' AIP (Application Programming Interface, which allows computers to talk to each other) is also very easy to integrate. Translated, this means customers can just take the shoes out of the box, turn on the device and it starts working immediately. Great news for anybody who is a little fearful of technology.
Crowd-sourcing is also being employed by Aeris to measure network perfomance, and it's the only machine -to-machine solution provider to do this. It means large numbers (crowds) of people can give input into how devices are performing in any geographical area.
Professor Andrew Carle of George Mason University, Virginia, deserves a great deal of credit for the original idea of GTX Smart shoes for seniors; the developers originally intended to produce footwear for children and runners, but the Professor pointed out their potential to help the sharply increasing number of seniors affected by these debilitating conditions.
A pirate's tale with a happy twist
November 9 2013
A heartstopping but wonderful tale of a missing person, a mother's love and the kindness of strangers has played out in Wildomar, CA, this week. It also involves pirates and treasure seeking, hiding and fear, and tears of sadness and pure joy. Have a tissue handy if you watch the video at the link.
Young David Allen Soto walked out of Elsinore High Tuesday 5th November without food, water or money, and disappeared. He's 18 and is affected by autism and schizophrenia, and needs daily medication. Although he's 6ft tall and man-sized, David's younger than his age, intellectually. Mom explained to media he had wandered away before, but was found after a day, dehydrated but otherwise unharmed. Then, touchingly, she explained how David can live in a fantasy world and imagine he is a pirate or a treasure seeker, off on a great adventure.
What she added after that however, was very worrying indeed. "David is very, very shy," she said. "He might hide from searchers."
Riverside County Sheriff's Office, volunteers and the local community pulled out all the stops to find David, but by Thursday night things looked very bad. David would be in danger from dehydration. At which point a lovely lady named Amandia Smith turned on the local ABC news - and saw the face of a young man she had spotted wandering in a field Tuesday, pop up on the screen.
They found him, and it played out like a movie; A SAR team finding footprints in the field, heading up the mountain; a dog suddenly picking up the scent, and speeding ahead; a helicopter flying in to meet them all. Best of all for viewers, a camera caught Mom, waiting below, full of joy because she knew her boy was alive and knew he was coming home. And it caught the moment she reunited with her intrepid adventurer too - very dehydrated and on a stretcher, but smiling delightedly, and waving.
Her thanks, and those smiles, must have gladdened the hearts of the searchers, who so often witness tragic outcomes. Watch the video here, and don't forget the tissues.
Bryce Laspisa video and searches
November 3 2013
A moving video has just been released to aid the search for missing 19 -year-old, Bryce Laspisa. The video can be viewed here. There is also another version here, or here, which may be better for people with mobile devices.
If any viewers can share or direct others to view the video, Bryce's loved ones will be very grateful as continuing publicity is very much needed. Our deepest thanks and good wishes here go out to the kind-hearted person who volunteered to make the video for young Bryce. This volunteer has long been a staunch supporter of the defenceless and the missing, and thanks are really not enough. It is people like this who make the world a better place for all of us. Bless them.
Extensive searches for Bryce are still being carried out, in conjunction with Klaaskids, around the area of Lake Castaic, CA, where his crashed vehicle was found. Volunteers are warmly welcomed and full details are available on the Facebook page set up for him, here. It has the full approval of the family and Bryce's Mom posts there. There is also a webpage for Bryce, here. More information can also be seen at Lighting Their Way Home, here.
Even if you are just spending leisure time in the area, please keep an eye open for any possessions Bryce may have lost. He wore red and white Nike trainers, and a blue and white check shirt. Police think he removed something from his bag too, so call in if you spot anything unusual or out of place at Lake Castaic. Don't remove it though. Just note the location carefully.
Nobody can be certain Bryce is still in that area until he is found, so it is very, very important that people who want to help, keep an eye out for Bryce in in other parts of California - in fact, anywhere. Bryce left his car with an injury and in a shocked and confused condition and may be reluctant to come forward now, because of those events. But he has never been in any trouble and is not in trouble now. Everyone concerned just wants to see Bryce found safe.
If you think you see Bryce, it is perfectly okay to ask this nice young man if he needs any help. But as that is not possible for everyone, please, if you think you see him, make a careful note of his location and call either 911 or 323-890-5500 immediately. Every second of delay makes a huge difference. Bryce has many loyal and loving friends, and so there is a small possibility he has made new ones who believe they are helping him by not revealing his location. If anybody thinks they know where he is, please come forward. Nobody will force Bryce to do anything he doesn't want to and you will not cause any problems for him. His loved ones and authorities just need to know he is safe, that's all.
When you are looking out for Bryce, there are a few things that make him easily recognisable:
Bryce needs every bit of help he can get now. Help make the world a little better for everyone, and transform it into a wonderful place for an unfortunate few. Help find our missing.
If you have any information, contact:
Package puzzle may be solved
November 3 2013
In an update to a story from last week, police have arrested a 53-year-old woman in connection with the porch swap/theft of a package of electronic equipment from Placentia resident Mr Hong Nguyen's home. The arrest happened Friday November 1st. Mr Nguyen was very shaken up by what happened and put a lot of effort into ensuring this didn't happen to anyone else, by giving media interviews and even posting flyers.
The crime stood out for two reasons; it was captured on surveillance camera, and a package of previously-owned romantic novels were swapped for the electronic equipment, one of them entitled Redeeming Love.
There is unlikely to be any love lost between police and the person concerned - the charge has been enhanced from misdemeanor to felony theft because of prior theft convictions.
You can read more about the arrest here if you have a subscription.
Oddly, because it is the same publication, you can read an entire article about the original theft here, without a subscription. It seems odd because we thought only articles over 90 days old are free-to-view at the OC Register now and this one is only 14 days old. Perhaps it is a mistake, or there has been a policy change we are not aware of here.
No romance in package theft
October 29 2013
A woman in Placentia who swapped an expensive delivery of speakers for a box of romantic novels has been most unromantically caught on surveillance camera.
4 NBC reports that Mr Hong Nguyen was called at work Monday October 21, telling him his electronic equipment had been delivered and left on his porch. When he arrived home though, the only package in the porch contained those novels. Mr Nguyen's porch arrangement is similar to Bob's - sheltered from the view of neighbors - but he has security cameras installed, so captured the thief in action. You can see footage of the woman and the Chrysler minivan she was driving here.
Mr Nguyen is so upset he says he is going to post flyers with the video images throughout the neighborhood. Good on him. It isn't a very, very serious crime, but it really isn't nice feeling an everyday thing like a delivery isn't possible, and he is doing his bit to make his neighborhood a safer place to live. Police say it could be someone following mail trucks around, so this could happen to other people. It is probably too much to hope for that he will print out some copies of Bob's missing flyer too, and post them at the same time, but we still are hoping he will do just that.
The book visible in the video is Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. It was first published in 1991, but that seems to be a much later edition, possibly from 2010. It's set in California's Gold Country in 1850 and the author won an award for selling a million copies in 2009, the year Bob disappeared.
Placentia PD have stressed that looking out for one another is essential and probably more effective than cameras in preventing crime. They say if something is enough to make you uneasy, or you think something is wrong, don't be afraid to call police.
If anyone has any information about this crime, they can call Placentia PD on (714) 993 8164. Lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Anyone with any information about Bob's case - anything that has or does make you uneasy, or that makes you think something is wrong - should call Detective Dave Radomski on (714) 993 8176.
ID, Disappeared, Long Lost Love:
21 October 2013
Investigation Discovery TV's 'Disappeared' episode about Bob Harrod is airing again tomorrow, October 22, 2013, at 12pm ET/PT. That's noon, for anyone who likes to keep their timelines in order - no ifs, buts or maybes! Anyone reading here earlier in the year will know the first airing was eagerly anticipated - but there were odd delays and cancellations and eventually the first airing of Long Lost Love was in Australia. Without the narration. Confusion abounded, and more than a little tension amongst Bob's supporters.
No explanation was given, but eventually Long Lost Love was aired in the US and many more people became aware Bob was missing, and the program provided wonderful publicity for him. If you haven't yet seen it, it is well worth trying to catch it this time around. Several of the people close to Bob and his case consented to be interviewed, including two of his daughters, and his wife. Bob's youngest daughter and her husband, who was the last known person to see Bob, did not participate, sadly. She did provide some early publicity for Bob's case though, in the days immediately following his disappearance, and you can find those interviews on the links page.
Bob's son in law is said to have been helping out with the recent searches for missing hiker Alois Krost, in San Bernardino. Hopefully, a big public search can be held for Bob too, one day, as over four years seems a long time to have waited when an 81 year-old goes missing.
If you have missed it, Disappeared, Long Lost Love can be purchased here.
Smile CSI, funding's approved!
20 October 2013
OC City Council has just approved a grant of over $13,000 for the police Crime Scene Investigation Unit. The forensic scientists there will benefit from new equipment which will include computers and an evidence-drying cabinet.
Although the scientists will be grateful for this money awarded under State Proposition 69, it won't stretch far enough for them to be able to buy this amazing piece of equipment. It is a laser system costing over $50,000 and can "find fingerprints and trace evidence that we could just never imagine", according to Chief Deputy Stan Copeland, whose lucky Douglas County Office has just purchased one.
The money came from the Sheriff's Office Asset Forfeiture Account there. Perhaps OC will have an asset seizure windfall too, one day soon, and be able to get the benefit of high-tech equipment like this. Fifty thousand dollars is a lot of money though. The exact amount offered for information leading to Bob Harrod's location, in fact.
Volunteers needed in search for missing student Bryce Laspisa
18 October 2013
An urgent appeal has gone out for volunteers to help in a search this weekend around Castaic Lake. Bright young college student Bryce Laspisa has been missing in that area since August 30, when his overturned vehicle was found at the bottom of a 15 feet drop on the main boat launch access road at Casaic Lake. He'd driven down Lake Hughes Road.
Bryce had been on his way to visit his family in Laguna Niguel, Orange County. There's evidence Bryce used a tool to break out of the damaged car and it is very likely he was injured in some way. He may have been in deep shock and disorientated as he did not take his phone or personal possessions with him.
Bryce's family, girlfriend and friends love and miss him very much and are desperate to bring him home. He spoke to his Mom during the journey and she was expecting her boy home. Heartbreakingly, it was the police who eventually came to her door.
They are doing everything they can to find him, and locals may have seen the billboard that has just gone up. Bryce is only 19, and the renowned Klaaskids organization is conducting this further, extensive search to find him.
They need all the help they can get, and not just people capable of boots on the ground. Volunteers should be over 18 though, and bring identification with them. Even if it is too late to offer help this weekend, please keep an eye on Bryce's Facebook page, in case the search is unsuccessful this weekend. More help will be needed for the next one.
Anyone with any info should call LASD on 323 890 5500 or Klaaskids on 855 733 5557
Bryce has a big, wide smile, natural red hair, and the fair skin that goes with it. He also has blue eyes, is 5'11", is about 170lbs and was wearing white cargo shorts, a blue and white check shirt and red and white Nikes.
Bryce has been missing far too long already. If you can help in any way, with searching, publicity or information, please do. Please don't let this much-loved young man become a long-term missing person like Bob. Help find him quickly.
Freedom moves fast, perhaps slower to reach PE newsroom?
12 October 2013
Freedom Communications, parent company of the OC Register (owned by Aaron Kuschner) is reported to have announced this week that it will purchase the Riverside Press Enterprise. If the deal goes through it will give the fast-expanding company a foothold in the Inland Empire too.
A little surprisingly perhaps, the forthcoming acquisition appears to have been announced in the unconnected OC Weekly first, which mentions PE staff won't be aware 'until they read here this morning'.
The OC Weekly article linked is an opinion piece and perhaps a little critical in places. It wishes the OC Register luck though, and there we agree wholeheartedly. The OC Reg has provided extremely well-written, authoritative coverage of Bob's case since 2009. Although in recent years coverage has slipped away, when something is written again we have great expectations. Some superb journalism has been brought to bear in covering the case of Bob Harrod in the past. Any OC reporters new to his case will have a lot to live up to, but we have faith they will do it.
Rescuer would not give up
12 October 2013
It took two attempts rappelling down a 150ft cliff face, but a member of Fillmore SAR refused to give up on a trapped pet, last week. You can see a picture of the grateful hound here, as his feet touched solid ground beside his rescuer, Mr N. Brown. Apart from looking a little thin, the dog appears to have escaped virtually unscathed from its ordeal.
Almost before the dog had a chance to show its gratitude though, Fillmore SAR were called away to help search for a missing German hiker in the Lake Arrowhead area, San Bernardino. Alois Krost, a 62-year-old professor from Magdeburg in central Germany, was attending a conference and took time out to hike the difficult Pinnacle Trail with a group of his compatriots. He became separated from the main party after stopping to rest, and he hasn't been seen since Tuesday afternoon, October 1st.
Described as an experienced hiker and hunter, Professor Krost was wearing a long-sleeved, light blue shirt, dark blue jeans and lightweight hiking shoes. He has blue eyes, thinning, gray/light brown hair and a gray beard.
A very extensive search party, (which someone has claimed included Bob's son-in-law), has now been scaled down. Rim of the World (ROTW) volunteer SAR personnel are continuing to search for Prof. Krost though, and are expected to continue to do so for another week. An appeal for 'experienced backcountry hikers' has also just been made via the LA Times.
We wish them luck with the search for Prof. Krost, and hope they find him very soon. The search for this missing hiker is very urgent and his family must be distraught because this has happened so far away from them.
Once Prof. Krost is found we hope some of those many kind volunteers, if they get the chance, can lend a hand in the search for Bob Harrod too. His case is not as urgent as others now, but he still needs to come home.
Job's Daughters win, and so do homeless SoCal Veterans
5 October 2013
Too many military veterans are not as lucky as Bob, when it comes to forging a happy, secure new life after service. In SoCal, a dedicated organisation, California Job's Daughters, have just got lucky - and reaped a reward for their activating efforts.
They have just won a new Toyota Tundra vehicle in an annual program, '100 Cars for Good', held by the car company October 2nd. It will enable Job's Daughters, through their Operation Gratitude philanthropic project, to deliver customized care packages to homeless veterans throughout Southern California. They are brimming over with happiness on their Facebook page.
It is nice when people give cars away. It's even nicer when the recipients will use them to give to others in need. Congratulations, Operation Gratitude.
Placentia 49th Annual Heritage Festival and Parade
4 October 2013
Placentia residents should be putting the date of the 49th Annual Heritage Festival and Parade in their calendars now. It's scheduled for Saturday October 12th, 2013 and non-profits attending which just want to distribute or display items (not sell or raise funds) can have a booth free of charge.
The Heritage Festival takes place at Tri-City Park and includes a car show, craft show, parades, food booths, business expo and much more. There will be some road closures on the day, see map, but a shuttle bus service will be available.
The Placentia Community Foundation will also be hosting an opportunity drawing at the festival, where the winner can choose one of three dream vacations; the height of luxury in a chateau in Vancouver, a Hawaiian idyll or an Orlando theme park adventure. We are posting their flyer here as the link to it from the Placentia City website is broken - someone forgot to put the colons after http. Easy mistake.
VIPs will also be attending. We hope some kind person will remember a VIP Placentia resident who can't attend - a missing one - and be kind enough to hand out a flyer or two on his behalf. They can be easily printed out from our flyers page.
Publicity and the public become lifesavers
2 October 2013
A taxi driver, hikers and above all the media, have been credited with saving the life of missing Placentia woman Shameca Johnson.
"If we did not have that she might very well have died out there," Detective Corinne Loomis (who works Bob's case too) is quoted saying in this Patch.com article.
Detective Loomis also details Shameca's 'remarkable' survival without supplies, exposed to the elements and in 90 degree temperatures, for 10 days in Angeles National Forest. A taxi driver and some hikers came forward to say they had seen her in a distressed state, but without the publicity they might never have recognised her, of course.
Shameca herself was unaware of the huge search underway for her. On the Facebook page set up to help with the search for her, family and friends now report she is safe and recovering well, with loving support.
It will be remarkable if new publicity helps someone find Bob too, but as this case shows, remarkable things do happen sometimes. Let's hope they happen for Bob.
Latest coroner and crime stats released
28 September 2013
The Orange County Sheriff's Department has recently released the OC Coroner's Report for 2012, containing full details of the latest statistics on deaths in Orange County. The stated aim is to provide an overview of victims' characteristics, and the frequency and location of deaths occurring in the county.
Under California law, 'deaths of a sudden and unexpected nature and those related to any type of injury or intoxication must be reported to the coroner'. In total, there were 18,915 deaths last year in OC. The Coroner investigated 5,093 of those, and carried out 1,654 autopsies. While 84% were found to be natural deaths, only a tiny 1% were found to be homicides. Firearms continue to be the most common cause of death in both homicides and suicides in the county.
Although the number of coroner cases have dropped significantly since they peaked in 2008/2009 (the year Bob disappeared), the Coroner's Department is still laboring under a heavy workload it seems. Most interestingly from the viewpoint of Bob's case, there were only 63 deaths attributed to homicide in 2012, compared to 91 in 2011, and the same number in 2009, when Bob vanished. That's a decrease of almost 45%. Graphs can be viewed here.
In neighbouring San Bernardino however, the San Bernardino Sun reports 47 homicides for 2012, a 56% increase compared to figures for 2011. Assistant Police Chief Jarrod Burguan states: "We don't know why the murder rate increased, but we're very good at determining why someone's life was taken".
The San Diego County Medical Examiner's report for 2012 contains a huge amount of useful information for anyone wanting to know more about the workings of a coroner/medical examiner's department.
Marines have defense in mind
28 September 2013
This month in California saw marines sent in to establish security in an 'unstable town' at the centre of an organized insurgency. Fortunately, the town was only a notional one within Bob's old training camp at Camp Pendleton, and all the 'civilian residents' were actually marines too. The only weapons involved used 'simulated ammunition that contains paint for marking'.
In civilian terms, that ammo sounds a lot like paintballing, an ever popular pastime in SoCal, where it is hoped some of the more adventurous players are keeping an eye out for Bob, as well as enjoying their sport.
The unorthodox training exercise was part of the Urban Leaders Course conducted by 1st Marine Division Schools September 16 through 19, which focused on counterinsurgency, urban warfare training and law of land training.
"The focus was on defense. We wanted to prepare the Marines to have a defensive mindset," said Training Sgt Charles Lopez. He also explained that nothing prepares a marine better than to 'avoid being shot during training'. Sgt Lopez has served in Iraq and Afghanistan and you can read more about him and the Camp Pendleton Leader's Course in the article here, written by Sgt Michael Cifuentes.
Rangers power up in Monrovia Canyon Park
22 September 2013
In Monrovia (where Bob made his home for many years), Monrovia Canyon Park Rangers have recently been provided with stylish, electric-assist bikes, with an eco-friendly motor that works alongside conventional pedal power.
The bikes are complete with official graphics and already seem to be catching the eye of the public.
The bikes will undoubtedly make life easier for the rangers, and on occasion even prove to be life safers, if it enables them to spot people in trouble quickly.
Over the years, Sierra Madrid SAR (search and rescue) have sometimes been hard pushed to cope with the number of missing people they are called upon to help; not infrequently in Monrovia Canyon Park. This lady who slipped down a steep ravine by a waterfall in 2009, the year Bob went missing too, was one of them. Without a companion able to alert authorities quickly, who knows how long she could have been missing?
The more people who go missing today or tomorrow, the less resources it leaves to find long-term missing. If jazzy electric bikes ease the work of Rangers keeping an eye on safety, without burning gas, it sounds like a good thing.
Nerves of steel, hearts of gold
21 September 2013
Some Texas folk have been showing what they're made of recently, and the answer seems to be fifty per cent golden goodness, and fifty per cent steel-hard bravery.
Because of those people, a relieved and grateful family of a missing man are busy arranging a celebratory meal - for all of the Texas Equusearch Team.
When 74-year-old George Breaux disappeared on Friday September 13, his family moved fast. Luckily, so did Texas Equusearch when called upon to help. Within four minutes of being assigned to his search area, Team Leader Jerry Borrer had located George at the bottom of a steep, dangerous sand incline, half-submerged in the deep water at the bottom. It is more usually a home for snakes, alligators and wild pigs. Some pictures of the rescue can be seen here.
Miraculously, George was still alive. The rescue was complicated and dangerous and involved rappeling and safety ropes, and a lot of hard effort from Jerry Borrer, search co-ordinator Alvin Tipps, and the rest of the team. But they brought George home, alive and well.
The meal's set for Sunday 29. Let's hope some members of that brave organisation get to attend and enjoy a bite to eat. If someone goes missing at the same time of course, they'll have the choice of who to put first, themselves and a nice event, or the missing person. Those good Texas search and rescue people don't sound like the kind to put themselves first to us at bobharrodmissing.com, now way, no how.
Comedy, senior style
21 September 2013
Bob seemed to gain a new lease of life at 81, when he married Mrs Harrod. Photographs of them together show them brimming over with happiness, and having fun. Although his family said he didn't drive on freeways, following an accident, Bob had actually hit the highway soon after reuniting with his childhood sweetheart and taken her on a long drive, to see old friends. They had many other social excursions too - just enjoying life to the full.
Having fun in SoCal as a senior is something Bonnie Barchichat understands. She set up comedy afternoons for seniors, where the comedians are seniors too - from the 'Senior Dating Expert', Henrietta, to the 'Wrinkled Rebel', Marty Ross. A 91-year-old tried out at her first auditions.
Bonnie says that; "It is our hope to improve and enhance the quality of lives for our seniors and growing boomer community." She adds that, "Since laughter is the best medicine, we'd like to offer everyone a dose!"
The next Senior Comedy Afternoon takes place this Sunday September 22, at the Sportsmen's Lodge, Ventura Blvd, Studio City, and includes a full lunch option. It's billed as a hot show and sounds worth checking out, for all those seniors who don't believe fun should end in your forties, and intend to live their lives to the full, the way they want to.
A cold heart cannot chill warm support for a fallen hero
14 September 2013
Very sadly, there is an additional update to the last story we ran about gunman Christopher Dorner, that we wish there was not. It should not go unnoted though.
Last February, while the hunt for Dorner was in full swing, a Huffington Post reporter approached Sheriff's Detective Jeremiah MacKay. Despite being on duty since 5am Detective MacKay smiled and told the reporter how he was happy to be helping the community. He was honest about the fears he had, of not knowing if Dorner might suddenly pop up close by, and also added;
"Everyone is here for the safety of everyone, for the safety of each other, for the safety of you."
That was on Saturday, Feb 9. By the following Tuesday, Dorner had shot him dead. Detective MacKay left behind a wife and two small children, one only four months old.
His community came together for him then, and on Sunday September 1, a beautiful memorial was finally unveiled during a moving ceremony where San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon paid this tribute: "He challenged an evil man, with complete disregard for his own safety".
Over the weekend of September 7/8 sometime, someone ripped the dove of peace from the sculpture, and probably tore a little more of the already broken hearts of Detective McKay's loved ones at the same time.
Detective Jeremiah MacKay's community are reported to have reacted passionately to this destruction, and are coming together again to rebuild and repair and yet again return a little of the help that cost the Detective his life.
We don't know what the material was that the dove was made of, but suspect it feels very cold in the destroyer's hands now; cold enough to chill them to the bone and not something they will ever find any comfort in. Whereas the memory of Detective MacKay is surrounded by warmth and gratitude for his great sacrifice, and always will be.
Rewards and the will to do the right thing
14 September 2013
Just a quick update to a story we ran a while ago, about the large reward offered in the case of gunman Christopher Dorner, who killed four people and wounded three before committing suicide in a cabin at Big Bear.
James and Karen Reynolds, who were held hostage by Dorner, have just been awarded $100,000 by LA County, bringing their total reward payout to $800,000. Although there's still a dispute over other awards, the number of people who came forward in this case, and the size of the payout, do suggest rewards can work, and people who offer information can and do receive them.
There is still a $50,000 reward for anyone who helps find Bob, just waiting to be claimed. It will be a reward very well earned, if you can help bring him home.
Victims champion will run again
14 September 2013
Just up the hill from Bob's Placentia home, the San Bernardino DA who has done so much to help victims of crime gain justice recently announced he intends to run for re-election next year.
Michael A. Ramos says he is especially affected by crimes against the vulnerable, and in this article in the San Bernardino Sun adds: "If I can hold those responsible who commit crimes accountable for their actions, then I think I'm making a difference for all residents of San Bernardino County."
He was responsible for introducing automated calls to ensure all victims of crime are made aware of their rights, and stated it was not just because his office was obligated under Marsy's law to do this, but 'because it was the right thing to do'.
Mr Ramos, who was born and raised in San Bernardino, has made major strides in tackling gang-related crime which threatens communities, and the devastating effects of human trafficking. Amongst his many achievements are A Crimes Against Peace Officers Unit, A Major Crimes Against Children Unit, A Public Integrity Unit, as well as his Gang Injunction Unit which has proved so successful.
Such initiatives come too late for Bob, sadly, and anyway his home was in a safe, bedroom community next door in Orange County. Nobody expected an 81-year-old resident to disappear there. But if Mr Ramos is helping other communities feel safe enough not to have to live behind locked gates and high walls, he is doing something very worthwhile.
Bob appears on "I have vanished"
12 September 2013
There is some fantastic news for Bob's case. ihavevanished.com, a frequently visited website for missing people, has given Bob's case a prominent place on their home page.
Bob's case has also been featured in the sidebar cases and we have been told it will remain there 'until Bob's case is solved'. Bob's case will remain in the top main stories on the homepage there for at least a couple of weeks. The admins of the website are planning to focus on a different cold case every week, starting next week, and this will ensure Bob's case is repeatedly published, as well as helping many other long-term missing.
The stated mission of ihavevanished.com is to focus on juveniles and adults missing against their will, provide timely information about them, and also to provide a platform for those cases not receiving the media attention all our missing people deserve.
Our most heartfelt thanks go out to ihave vanished.com for the helping hand they have extended so generously to Bob. Please visit the site and take a look at other cases as well as Bob's. Especially any that may be local to your area. Lets pass a little of the generosity extended to Bob, out to other missing people, if we can.
When words are not enough
11 September 2013
Bob makes the Hot Cases at On the Docket off the Record
7 September 2013
Although the general discussion about Bob's case has sadly been closed on Websleuths - as mentioned in a previous article - another has sprung up, and interest is growing.
On the Docket off the Record is discussing Bob's case now, and have promoted his case to the 'Hot Cases' section. That is very, very good news for Bob, and pretty rare for a cold case to be revived in such a strong way. We welcome the new interest in his case, and urge visitors to drop in and join up, if they would like to contribute. The more interest in Bob's case, the greater the chance of bringing him home. That's what we're all here for, and there really isn't any more time to lose.
Hot weather can drain vital resources for missing people
7 September 2013
Southern California is a chosen destination for many people who love the sun, but even some devoted sun- worshippers have been tested by the the recent run of high temperatures. San Bernardino and Riverside valleys were under a Heat Advisory Friday, KABC-TV reports, with temperatures into the 100s, and OC not much cooler, with temperatures well into the 90s.
On top of that, Flash Flood Watches were in effect Friday in some areas, with a man and woman having to be rescued by firefighters in Mentone.
Just a week ago, bus driver Ricardo Ramos found himself unexectedly turned hero when he rescued two children swept away from their mother in the street during flash flooding, in Riverside. Thank you, Mr Ramos.
Searches for the recently missing and those thought to be in acute danger, will always take precedence over those missing for a long time, when resources are stretched. Put simply, thay have more chance of being brought home alive, and that's the outcome everybody wants.
It has to mean though, that cases like Bob's often have to go to the end of the line for a while, as far as searches are concerned. No-one wants brave rescue personnel endangering themselves because they are stretched too far. Especially in SoCal, where they are needed so much for Bob.
Which is why we are introducing Roy, from West Michigan - Roy on Rescue, to be precise. He has a lot of straightforward safety info for campers, hikers and outdoor people, on all sorts of topics. The video linked here is about flash floods, and his advice is firm and blunt; know your topographics, and don't get caught in a flash flood if you can help it. He also says a lot more, of course, and although his videos aren't glossy, high production, he appears to be a very knowledgeable, helpful, nice guy.
Roy has provided this free info for campers, hikers and outdoor people, he says, and there is much more on his website. Please check it out, and perhaps help save some precious Search and Rescue resources, by taking good care of yourself.
Powerpoint publicity for Bob now
7 September 2013
Someone has made a Powerpoint presentation from the recent YouTube video for Bob. Nobody told us here at bobharrodmissing.com, so it came as a nice surprise when we found it. Let's hope there are lots more nice surprises like this out there, just waiting to be found!
Cook County online tip program a huge success
1 September 2013
Leaving Orange County for a while and heading north, an online tips program has helped bring resolve closer in the murder of a promising Chicago college student, De Shawn McCarthy. Sheriff Tom Dart says the tip line has helped break the code of silence surrounding many crimes. Launched in April, over 150 tips had been received just by the end of July.
Surprisingly unlike many anonymous tip lines, the Cook County one requires those submitting to fill out a fairly lengthy form - almost like an incident report. Even more unusually, at the end of the form users are offered the choice of providing their name or remaining anonymous.
It has set us thinking at bobharrodmissing.com, because our immediate reaction on viewing the form, was that it was too long, required too many details and people would be put off by that, and the option of providing their name.
We are obviously wrong though, as it is working very well. We think Sheriff Dart's Intelligence Team are probably way, way ahead of us. Because with a little more thought, we realized that the tipline form is not so different from the forms people are required to complete to join all kinds of social media. That familiarity would put someone at ease, and the 'required fields' guides users into providing the crucial information officers need. The form even has a box for users to provide social media usernames of the offender they are reporting.
That kind of information is rarely requested by law enforcement in face-to-face reports, yet can provide a wealth of information in this world of online communications. The form is also available in multiple languages.
Sheriff Dart himself has said he almost believes people have given up talking in favor of online communications; that depends on the setting, of course, but another important factor may be the organization behind the tip line. Every tip received is immediately followed up by the Sheriff's Office Intelligence Center and - here is the important part - immediately forwarded to the appropriate agency. Tips have been forwarded to agencies throughout Illinois, and as far away as Georgia. If they ever happen to receive any for Bob, it's reassuring to know Detective Dave Radomski on 714-993-8167 will immediately be informed.
This initiative and forward-thinking on the part of the Cook County Sheriff's Office is interesting and worthy of congratulations. We will try to follow up later, to see how it is progressing.
The pain and the pleasure of driving
31 August 2013
Millions of SoCal residents are hitting the highways this weekend and Monday. Unfortunately - but maybe not surprising to many residents - construction work is hitting the highways at the same time too. Drive safely, and have a good time. Keep cool and keep your cool, if you're driving.
One event Bob might have liked to attend with his wife, if he were able, is 'The Great Labor Day Cruise'. It is a huge, classic car event and Bob owned a classic car himself, before he disappeared. We think it was a Model T. The last day of the three-day event is Sunday, and there will be an opportunity drawing for a 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle, to raise funds for The Wounded Warrior Project. Bob liked to donate to causes, and as a marine veteran would probably have approved of this one.
Get along to Costa Mesa all you classic car owners, and have a good time. If you take the time to print out Bob's missing flyer and place it on your eye-catching vehicle, we hope you win the Chevvy and have all the luck in the world, for the rest of your life!
Searchers locate Meca Johnson
30 August 2013
Thursday it was announced searches for missing Placentia woman Meca Johnson would begin in Angeles National Forest. Today, Friday, news is just breaking that Meca has been found in a campground there.
No details have been released on her condition, but we are very much hoping she was found safe, and well.
Welcome back, Meca. A lot of people have been hoping and praying for this day - many that you've never met. You are much wanted in this world.
Update to this update: Linked article in the OC weekly above now reports Meca is safe!
According to the article, a taxi driver has also chosen to be a hero on this occasion. He recalled giving Meca a ride to Angeles National Forest, and came forward with that information. Without his help, Meca's loved ones would still be in torment. Well done and thank you, sir.
If anyone has any information about a missing person, please get that information to police. It's never too late. There are not many opportunities for most people to become heroes in their everday lives - if you get the chance, grab it.
Thank you to all the ground and air search and rescue personnel, and law enforcement, who helped bring this happy ending about. We don't know who you are, but maybe AKA 'unsung heroes' will do for now?
Placentia resident Shameca Johnson is missing
29 August 2013
A young woman living not far from Bob's residence has also disappeared. Placentia Police Department have issued an urgent appeal for any information on the disappearance of 24-year-old Shameca (Meca) Lewis Johnson. Shameca was last seen leaving her home on the 1500 block of Sierra Bonita Drive, Placentia, by the father of one of her friends on Tuesday, August 20th, between 12 noon and 2 pm. Meca shares her residence with roommates. A Facebook page has been set up for her here.
It was realized she was missing when she did not turn up for work at Sports Chalet in Brea the next day and her employers called to check out why. Meca was not due in work on the Tuesday she disappeared.
Meca has already been missing nine days and this behaviour is totally out of character. Detective Corinne Loomis says Meca has no working cell phone, no bank account and it doesn't appear likely she would have any large amounts of cash. She did not take any of her treasured personal possessions with her, or extra clothing.
Meca does like hiking and going off the trail, but would usually go with a friend. She has striking natural red hair, brown eyes, is 5'3" and weighs 105lbs. she was possibly wearing a black tank top, khaki pants and carrying a dark-colored camelback backpack - but please note, this is not confirmed.
Please be on the lookout for her, Placentia and OC residents. It would be terrible to have another long-term missing resident like Bob. Please visit Meca's Facebook page everyone, and offer any help you can, even if it can only be good wishes. Meca's Grandmother has posted there and it is heartbreaking.
Anyone with any information should contact Detective Jason Reger of PPD on (714) 993 8187. Update, Meca Johnson has been found safe! See news dated August 30, above, for further details.
MECA MUST BE FOUND!
Features: more details
25 August 2013
As mentioned earlier, we plan to introduce a weekly feature to the site here. In a surprisingly short amount of time, we have managed to source two already, which we are very grateful and happy about.
As bobharrodmissing.com is usually updated at weekends, we're thinking Wednesday mid-week would probably be a good time to post the features. We don't know if we'll have one ready for this Wednesday, and the secure form for visitors to submit their own is still being worked on, but we are trying our best.
If any of our visitors have something they'd like to write for us, or an idea for a feature they would like to pass on, please start thinking about it now - we are going to run with this idea, but need all the help we can get.
Discussion closes on Websleuths
25 August 2013
The discussion thread for Bob Harrod on Websleuths has been closed. Websleuths is the leading crime forum in the US, and posters there were among the very first to take up Bob's cause in 2009 and ask the questions that needed to be asked.
It was members there who first noticed that social media was not being used to find him, and offered their help in creating Facebook and MySpace pages and flyers, - although sadly, these were never fully utilized. Over the years, many other discussions about Bob's disappearance have been closed down or deleted. The Websleuths' discussion held strong though, and attracted many new supporters to the cause of bringing Bob Harrod home.
We have no information if this is a permanent or temporary closure, and why it has happened. We can only hope this place of excellence where Bob's strongest and most hard- working supporters have been able to gather for years, will soon re-open. Meanwhile, for members only, there are other discussions for Bob on Websleuths. The most suitable one for general discussions can be found here, but you will have to become a member to join in. It's easy and we do recommend it, if you'd like to lend an active hand in finding Bob.
Together after 50 years
25 August 2013
This happy, touching story came to our attention today. A 14-year-old teenager meets a handsome young marine on a bus travelling to Texas. Just a single meeting, and then he's posted to Camp Pendleton and the couple drift apart. She was just a young teenager and although things were different then, we all know young love doesn't really last, don't we?
Fifty-three years later, Melody Longino and William 'Billy' McCrary find each other again via Facebook. Melody pushes her friend unceremoniously off a chair when she sees Billy's name come up on her computer. That was in 2010.
Here they are in the news again this year, happily married - although Billy forgot the wedding rings and had to borrow some from his son! - and thinking about Valentine's Day. It is good to know family and friends showed their support for this lovely couple by turning out for a huge wedding in Louisiana, and sending them on honeymoon to the Bahamas. We're sure Billy thanked his son for saving the day, but we'd like to add our thanks to him for stepping up here at bobharrodmissing.com too.
Camp Pendleton and service with the marines causing a couple to lose touch aren't the only coincidences between this loving couple and Bob and Fontelle's story - we couldn't help noticing the journalist in the last story found Robert Burns' song, 'My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose' a fitting tribute to their late blossoming of happiness. We chose that one for Bob and Fontelle too, but in the poignant context of Mrs Harrod spending her fourth wedding anniversary alone.
We wish this couple and their loving families so much luck and happiness for the future, and only wish Mr and Mrs Harrod had been allowed to have the same.
Extreme fire danger calls for caution
25 August 2013
A combination of severe drought and limited escape routes has led to extremely dangerous conditions across parts of California. The latest danger has surfaced in Cucamonga Canyon, which has been closed by the Forest Service due to extreme fire danger.
A total of 1,650 acres have been closed so far and San Bernardino Sheriff's Office say the closure will be strictly enforced - individals transgressing may be finded up to $5,000, while groups can be fined up to $10,000.
We urge any outdoor enthusiasts who have been searching for Bob to practise extreme caution and follow any instructions from Fire and Forest Services to the letter. Searches can continue after the dangerous times have passed. Please take care of yourselves and your families, and spare a thought for all the brave workers out there who regularly risk their lives to protect other people and their communities.
Pinterest can create interest in Bob
24 August 2013
Keeping to our promise of last week, we have been figuring out a little more about Pinterest, and how it might benefit the search for Bob. Visitors may have already guessed we think there are benefits, from the Pin it buttons now on this website. It means information or images from bobharrodmissing.com can now be pinned and shared by members of Pinterest, and the pin button lets them know they are free to do so.
Pinterest itself says their site is meant to be 'creative and inspiring', with images that 'draw people in' to a specific topic. Users can also create boards to collect and organize information on that specific topic. Most importantly from the perspective of Bob's case, boards are intended to tell a story in a strikingly visual way.
Last doubts about if this was a suitable way to try and highlight Bob's case were resolved by these:
And here a member is inviting others to add a missing person:
There are many people on Pinterest already using it to highlight the cause of the missing. They have spotted the potential long before us. This could be an opportunity to not only pin things that might help find Bob, but to pin things that can help tell his story and inspire strangers with an idea of how important it is to find him. After all, for many of Bob's supporters, it was the heartrending story of childhood sweethearts reunited after 60 years and then torn apart again, that first drew them to his case.
There are many, many images and words we think could evoke that story. Here are just a few that have inspired us here, all of which can be repinned and shared:
Thinking and features
23 August 2013
Although missing persons cases may gradually - or suddenly - go quiet, we just wanted to let all Bob's supporters know we never intend to be quiet at all, until he's brought home.
We have been mulling over ideas here, about how to ensure Bob's profile is always maintained even if news is lacking, and have settled on features. We are going to attempt to run a weekly feature that might be of some interest to some aspect of Bob's case. We hope we will be able to find some interesting people to write for you, but we are probably going to need some help.
Ideas and connections will be welcome, but so will your own stories. If you have been concerned about Bob, and trying to help the search for him, we would like to hear your story. Even if you only read about him and shed a tear - tell us your story, it's important!
We will be making a special, secure form for you to submit your ideas or story, and really hope some of our visitors can contribute. We want to make the features very wide-ranging, so all contributions will be very welcome. Names will not be important ( unless they are to you), and we are looking for stories of interest to people interested in Bob's case - we don't expect the latest update on the police investigation!
We'll be posting more details over the weekend, so please check back.
Bob's on Pinterest!
17 August 2013
The latest addition to the ever-widening circle of social media for Bob is Pinterest.
We are very glad to see it here at bobharrodmissing.com, but are racing to catch up a little; none of us here are familiar enough to write an informed article about the benefits it will bring to his case, or detail how it will work, for those who don't know. Yet. We are working on it though, and will be updating this poor showing of a news article just as soon as we can - that's a promise.
Thanks go out once again to the kind supporter who has gone to the effort of creating this, and their support for the work of Bringing Bob Harrod Home.
Second suspect identified in 2009 killing of 76-year old
17 August 2013
A promising story has hit the headlines this week, (Aug 15), for those of us wondering how successful the new investigation into Bob's disappearance will be.
Four and half years ago, senior Long Beach resident Leam Sovansky was found brutally stabbed to death in her Peterson Avenue home. The death of this seventy-six year old lady was particularly tragic, given she had managed to escape the murderous killing fields in her birth country of Cambodia, which claimed so many lives. Her family say this devout Buddhist was last seen praying and meditating.
One new lead last month - police identified a car seen in the area - led to lots of interest and information from the community, and a witness coming forward to identify a POI (person of interest) inside the vehicle. Composite sketch here.
Now just this week, another witness has come forward to describe a second person in the vehicle. This seems to have led the LA County Board of Supervisors to approve a $10,000 reward Wednesday, in the hope further information will be forthcoming.
It is proof that witnesses can still be found, even for a cooling case over four years old, and that communities will come together to support victims, if they are asked. This development is good news for Leam's loved ones, and good news for Bob too - Long Beach isn't a million miles from Placentia. If resolution can draw near in one, four-year old case, it can happen in Bob's case too.
The life and legacy of Hellen Cook
We link to many different stories here on bobharrodmissing.com, because we don't want to miss anything that might help find him. Recently, in a story entitled 'Social media and Bob Harrod', we linked to a Facebook page where a loving family were moving mountains to find a sweet, smart, but vulnerable little lady from Missouri named Hellen Cook. Unlike Bob, who was lucky enough to remain in good mental health right up until he disappeared at age 81, Hellen was affected by Alzheimer's.
Very sadly, Hellen was found deceased by a pond on August 11, 2013. This is where Hellen had discarded items during her wanderings, and although final DNA confirmation is awaited, police and her family are certain it is Hellen. Moving, wonderful tributes are already being posted to this former director of nursing and much-loved wife, mom and grandmom.
Normally, it would be respectful to delete a link to a Facebook page searching for a loved who has been found deceased. But Hellen's family have already announced they intend to continue their campaign to help others with this devastating condition, and help set up nationwide protocols to be followed when people affected by Alzheimer's go missing.
During the height of their search for Hellen, her family thought of others. At this time of great loss, they continue to do so. They are the legacy sweet Hellen has left to this world, and what a wonderful legacy they are. They are testimony to what a beautiful person Hellen must have been.
With the utmost respect, we are leaving the original link and repeating it here, for anyone who would like to support the family's campaign. The whole of Hellen's community must be mourning with her family, and our deepest condolences are extended here. We also extend thanks to the SAR (search and rescue teams) and police who found Hellen.
Hellen has been brought home. Her family did everything in their power to make that happen. She will rest in peace now.
The very first YouTube made especially for Bob
News clips about Bob's disappearance are scattered all over YouTube, but for the very first time, someone with a heart of gold has made a video just for Bob. Some people are very experienced and accomplished with posting on YouTube, so making such a video would require little effort. Sadly, none of them appear to have taken up Bob's cause.
We believe the producer of this video is entirely new to the art however, and has bravely and generously dipped their toe into the waters just for Bob's sake. What a wonderful, thoughtful gesture on behalf of a missing man who needs to come home. Whoever it was, they obviously sought no reward - just extended a gracious hand to an elderly man and his grieving, sad and determined, blind and fiercely devoted, loving wife.
Rewards are made on earth. Awards have a more intangible basis, that usually cannot be priced or costed or whittled down to monetary values. We are hoping this kind person drops in tomorrow, August 10. Something will be awaiting collection here. It's not worth a cent. But if your values lie in kindness, support for your fellow human beings, overcoming challenges, being brave, seeking out the lost and bringing them home...you'll like it and want it. And you'll deserve it. [Note: the awards can now be found here.]
Long Lost Love and chivalry
More exciting news has reached us; Bob's 'Disappeared' episode, 'Long Lost Love', has just aired in beautiful Georgia. We are thanking you kindly, ladies and gentlemen, if you are calling in from there, to discover more about Mr and Mrs Harrod; their life and love and loss.
We hope most of the information is here, and easy to find, so we'll just bid you welcome and leave you a quote from Mrs Harrod about the love of her life. It is very small, but a provides a little gem of information about the kind of character Mr Harrod possessed.
'He always has to open the door for me and pull out the seatbelt for me, and tell me how beautiful I am.' - http://www2.ocregister.com/articles/fontelle-bob-years-2485710-couple-love.
Perhaps just one more link - to a polite and thoughtful blog which asks, 'Chivalry, does it matter?' - http://www.vibrantnation.com/our-blog-circle/chivalry-does-it-matter/.
..for a night out
Placentia Police Department and Neighborhood watch are inviting local families to a National Night Out on Tuesday, August 6 at Placentia Town Center, 5.30-8.00pm. It's a national crime-prevention event that seeks to promote neighborhood unity.
It is being promoted as a family event and seems like an ideal opportunity for anyone local to take along a few missing person flyers for Bob to remind residents he is still missing and needs to be found. Members of the police and community organizations are going to be on hand to answer questions too. This must be good news for any resident with worries about a senior, fellow resident just disappearing from the midst of their community.
It's free and looks great fun so please attend if you can and help make the event a resounding success; the Police Department needs the public's support, if they are to support the public.
You can print out any of Bob's flyers by going to the case reports page; there are quite a few to choose from now!
OC Cold Case Unit and quiet phenomena
Some of our astute viewers here at bobarrodmissing.com may have immediately made the connection between the assistance Placentia Police just announced they have asked for with Bob's case, and the Orange County 'Cold Case' investigator, Larry Montgomery. We ran a news article on him a while ago; scroll down forever until you get to the poster about Memorial Day, it is just before that.
No-one has made a statement that Larry Montgomery is lending a hand on Bob's case, and we don't know if they would tell us if we asked, or even if it would be wise to publicize it if we knew. There has to be a good chance Mr Montgomery is now reviewing Bob's case though, and that would be such good, good news after so long. Defence attorneys fear Larry- you can see a small example here - so he must be doing something crucial.
Having said that, we certainly don't want to make Mr Montgomery unpopular with his colleagues, by applauding only him and not them. Placentia Police Department have been working to resolve Bob's case from the moment they were informed he was missing ( by Mrs Harrod, thousands of miles away in Missouri). A special mention must be given to the intimidatingly sophisticated Detective Corinne Loomis, who has dealt with the baffling intricacies of Bob's case from the beginnning, and is still there, speaking out for him four years later. We are absolutely aware that police work has nothing to do with appearance, but can't help but be pleased Bob has such an elegant spokesperson.
Which brings us to Mrs Harrod. Grief etched on her beautiful face, and worn proudly, like a lapel pin for Bob. Mrs Harrod is of advanced years now, but her beauty, both of her character and her person, continues to shine through.
Bob has some wonderful people on his side now, and the nonsense that has occured on social media hardly matters anymore. No-one has to be afraid of supporting Bob any longer. There is a wrong side of history, and a right. People involved in Bob's case are making that choice right now. Please join and support us. Support Bob's Facebook pages. Get his name out there. We want to bring Bob home. We think we're on the right side of history.
CBS Los Angeles
The latest, very exciting news is that Bob's case has been featured on CBS Los Angeles. View it here. Mrs Harrod has given a very moving interview which really needs to be watched, as words can hardly describe what she is going through. Our good wishes go out to this brave lady - Bob's most steadfast and loyal supporter.
Our heartfelt thanks go out to CBS too, and to Placentia Police Department for their persistence in investigating Bob's disappearance.
Obstructing the search for Bob
News has just this moment reached us that the latest Facebook page for Bob, that does not allow comments and discussions but is purely concerned with the search for him, has been reported. Somebody has attempted to block the search efforts for Bob, and a page that provides only helpful links, maps and information to help find him. Here's the Facebook page that has been rendered redundant at the moment.
Can you help? Can you support the admins of the page, or discover who is trying to close it down?
Social media and Bob Harrod
Although many families of the missing are desperately grateful for the power of social media to help them search for loved ones (see the amazing work being done right now in Missouri, by the family of beloved Hellen Cook) - for others it is a mixed blessing. For very few, it is a curse.
The good is obvious; people want to help, and spreading the news online is the fastest way to allow many to do that, whether it's searching websites or undergrowth.
The mixed is more difficult. Relatives who value privacy can suffer under the exposure, while wanting their missing loved one to have the maximum publicity. The last known person to see the loved one may come under close scrutiny. In the case of a possible murder, families who will not give up hope may find it hard to bear the certainty of others that their loved one is dead.
The motives of those with missing relatives who regard social media as a curse and want nothing to do with it, or seek to censor and limit it to their own output, are few and far between and often worth examining.
Bob Harrod's case does have a large amount of social media attached to it. Much of it has been deleted over the years, although it has not completely disappeared, as Mr Harrod has. Much of it was deeply unpleasant towards him, and some was created by posters claiming to be close relatives. Relatives who had claimed elsewhere to love and miss him.
Mrs Harrod is unable to use a computer, and her comments to news reporters over the years have been remarkable only in their steadfast insistence that Bob was loving, with a sweet disposition, happy and would not have disappeared willingly.
bobharrodmissing.com is not the place to repeat statements and allegations that may have hampered the search for Bob, although they are available. We're concentrating on bringing him home.
We do sincerely hope though, that all social media will be fully supportive of Bob in the midst of this heightened campaign to bring him home, in the fourth year of his being missing. We certainly will be, and want to thank all our visitors for doing your bit to help highlight Bob's case. Vulnerability can range from a broken bone to an inability to speak for yourself and the need for someone to help bring you home. It doesn't matter what, reach out and help the next person down. You may not be seeking a reward, but it's bound to come anyway, eventually.
July 27th, 20013. Bob Harrod, Missing Four years.
Speaking out for Bob since 2009
History of vigils and events for missing person Bob Harrod
No vigils, events, public campaigns or public searches appear to have been held in California for Bob Harrod in the four years he has been missing. Bob has three adult daughters, one son-in-law and an adult grandson and his wife living not far from the Harrod home in Orange County. Some have given limited media interviews, some are now declining them and some have always done so.
Mrs Harrod has given extensive and repeated media interviews over the years, and although she is of advanced age, legally blind and unable to use a computer, has made efforts to distribute flyers on Bob's behalf, by traditional methods. Mrs Harrod was still a new arrival to California when Bob disappeared and she was left to cope alone.
Two of Bob's daughters made the first moves to become conservators of his large family trust very shortly after his disappearance. There appears to have been a great deal of activity around the trust since then, at The Orange County Court, and elsewhere. Media reports of Bob's assets being frozen appear to have been erroneous.
Two years after Bob's disappearance, his daughters did offer, from his estate, a fifty thousand dollar reward for Bob's return, but with this highly unusual exclusion:
A private investigator hired by them told media that there had not been 'any real response' to the reward and he considered the case 'bizarre' as Bob had 'no real enemies that we know of'.
This year the only public acknowledgement of Bob's disappearance will once again be online, it seems. Team Bob are out there supporting his cause in any way they can think of. If you are browsing the web and see him mentioned, please comment, or link or like, and help spread the word. A campaign is underway to encourage outdoor enthusiasts to BOLO (be on the lookout) in the natural areas around Placentia where it is likely Bob may be found. People need to be made aware he is still missing to be able to help.
OC Fair K9s
The annual Orange County fair is underway in Costa Mesa. The Facebook page is full of details and lots of local input, and though there doesn't seem to be any mention of anything for missing people, the Orange County Police Canine Association (OCPCA) will be putting on a show Sunday, August 4th.
This has to be worth seeing and supporting; the show includes a toughest dog competition, obediance and other demonstrations and much more. The ticket price of $11 - $12.55 includes admission to the fair.
More details about OCPCA here. And here's a link to the fans' Facebook page where people are asking if they'll be at the OC Fair this year, so it looks like admins have forgotten to add their own poster there! (Note: so sorry, they haven't forgotten at all, it was the editorial team at bobharrodmissing.com being a bit stupid...) You can download a large version of the poster by clicking on the thumbnail below.
Tickets for the OC Fair are available here.
bobharrodmissing supports OC K9s to the fullest extent. We're certain they'll support the search for Bob too, if the opportunity arises.
Memorial gives voice to silent victims
Orange County is paying tribute to its victims of crime. A crime victims' memorial is to be erected next year in the beautiful setting of Mason Regional Park, Irvine. With a nine-acre lake and over 100 acres of wilderness, the park will provide a peaceful place to 'promote help, healing and remembrance'.
The memorial has been sponsored by the County of Orange, the Orange County Board of Supervisors and OC parks, and involves a two-phase design competition. The good news for those who registered but couldn't finish their design in time is that the first submittals deadline has been extended until September 30th, 2013. The formal winner of the memorial design will be announced in April 2014.
The memorial will also provide an opportunity for individual contributions to the site, in the form of names, plaques and pavers. Perhaps this will be a chance for Bob to be given a voice as one of the many who 'cannot speak for themselves', as the organizers say. Although Bob is still missing and his fate unknown, the circumstances of his disappearance and the investigations by police make it seem very likely he too has been the victim of a crime.
The citizens and authorities in OC deserve the warmest congratulations for their thoughtful gesture.
Note: In the linked article, it states the submittals deadline for the last part of the competition is January 31st, 2013. We think that's a mistake and it's meant to be 2014. We will try to confirm this.
Updated: Although we didn't receive a reply to our mail, the date has been amended to 2014, so we guess we were correct.
'I still miss you'
Bob's loyal friend and neighbour, who moved shortly before Bob disappeared, posted another blog in time for Bob's birthday in June. See it here. Rather late, it has come to our attention here at Bobharrodmissing.com. Sorry about the delay.
Bob's neighbour wrote two, very moving blogs for Bob previously, which undoubtedly helped inspire people to support the search for Bob. They can be found on our links page. Sadly, this most recent blog is less hopeful. It shows resignation that Bob is dead, and that there is nothing to left to say - although it stresses Bob is not forgotten and the author still cares very much. That cannot be disputed by anyone with a reasonable thought in their head. Bob's former neighbour has been one of his staunchest supporters and it has not been an easy journey for him either - we can only salute his courage and tenacity. If only he had still been Bob's neighbour on July 27th, 2009, Bob might not have disappeared.
All we can add is that on July 26th, 2010, Bob's neighbour posted on his blog that: 'This old man is destined to just fade away and be forgotten. Bob Harrod was too good a man for this to be his fate'
His words inspired us here at bobharrodmissing.com. We believed him, and in the truth of his words. Bob Harrod was too good a man to remain just a statistic among the thousands of lost, and missing. Please don't give up anyone, please be on the lookout and help bring Bob home.
Facebook page maps the search for Bob
Yet another Facebook page has been created for Bob! Following Bob's disappearance, a helpful stranger set up a Facebook page for him, and handed it over to one of his daughters, in an effort to help. That original page has been pretty quiet since then, and it wasn't until a new one appeared recently that lively activity became apparent. To have two new, active pages set up for Bob in his fourth year of being missing is very good news.
The new page (under construction now) will contain information and maps regarding the search for Bob - it's intended to facilitate locating him, rather than be a place for discussion or comments. It can be found here.
Many thanks to the administrators for their efforts to bring Bob home. Links to all Bob's Facebook pages can be found on the links page on this website.
Bob's case grows quiet despite global interest
Many cases of missing persons eventually fade from public sight. It's a tragic but often unavoidable result of the large numbers of people who go missing each year.
Bob's case has grown quiet too, and superficially it might appear this was something that couldn't have been avoided or prevented, even with the best will in the world. Closer examination hints there could have been a different outcome though. The media interest generated by Bob and Fontelle reuniting after so long was surprisingly far-reaching; here are a couple of posts about it from July 7, 2009 on, of all things, a forum discussing 'geopolitical issues of our time'. Heartbreakingly, they wish the happy couple good luck and don't ever seem to have realized the tragic events that overtook Mr and Mrs Harrod.
And here on page 29 is a full-page article from 2010 about Bob's marriage and disappearance in The Kuwait Times, reprinted from a US publication.
Bob and Fontelle's inspirational and tragic story garnered attention ranging from mainstream media in the US, to Alabama politicians and those normally more interested in global politics and world affairs. Over the passing years, something went wrong though. Mrs Harrod tried her best with her open, helpful attitude towards the media, but contributions from Bob's other family members seem difficult or even impossible to find.
Bob Harrod is still missing and needs to be brought home. Fontelle was not in California when he disappeared and has repeatedly provided journalists with the little information she has. Media need new information to write new stories about Bob, and keep his case alive. Perhaps it is time other family members stepped up to help.
Metal huts and movie stars
For those of you interested in Bob's background as a marine, the second and third photographs at this link provide a good idea of the kind of accomodation that awaited young men called up to serve at Camp Pendleton in 1950. Those metal barracks would have been far from comfortable in the heat of a San Diego summer.
Just a few months before Bob arrived, John Wayne also flew in to Camp Pendleton, although he was there to shoot the movie 'The Flying Leathernecks', rather than being called up. This short, silent video clip on YouTube provides some rare footage of the camp and its inhabitants in 1950, and their excitement at the movie star's appearance.
Making the world a better place. Brotherly love. Relief. Truth.
The values in the title of this article are the enduring principles of the Masonic brotherhood. Robert Merle Harrod is a Mason. His name appeared in the Roll Call of Honor of donors up until 2009, the year he disappeared. See the 2009 annual report here: http://www.freemason.org/newsEvents/annualReports.htm
Yet Bob, 85 years old and so desperately in need of help to return home, appears to have been abandoned. At his local lodge near Placentia, appeals for help were rebuffed, despite Bob's grandson being a Mason as well.
So we at bobharrodmissing.com are appealing now to the Masonic Lodges of Pasadena, where Bob was an active member for many, many years, and where most of his friends were located. The two nearest to his then-home are located at the same address, at 200 South Euclid Avenue, Pasadena. They are:
Bob was almost certainly wearing his Masonic ring when he disappeared. It could be vital in helping pinpoint his whereabouts - at this late stage, anything durable is absolutely crucial to helping bring him home, where he belongs. There are supporters ready, willing and able to put their feet on the ground to bring this about. Right now. But they need to know what they are looking for.
Please help them, Pasadena brotherhood, they are not asking for much. Bob's ring had a red stone, and he would have purchased it while a member of the Pasadena Lodge, probably before 1990. What might it have looked like? Where might he have purchased it? Can anyone supply a photograph or link to an online retailer where a ring similar to Bob's can be seen?
If you can help in anyway, please contact Bob's new facebook page, here. Your support for a fellow Mason would be very much appreciated at this time. On July 27 Robert Harrod will have been missing for four long years, without any of the support the brotherhood promises. His elderly widow is desperate to bring him home. Keep your promise this year, please.
A lively facebook page for Bob at last
The new facebook page for Bob has become a hive of activity over the past week. Although comments and input from others is a little slow, the admin has been popping up on websites and other pages all over the place, flying the flag for Bob. The more people who know Bob is missing, the better the chances of bringing him home, so the publicity is invaluable.
Thank you for all your hard work, the admins of the page. Anyone out there who wants to show support for Bob, please add a comment, and like and share!
Clearsighted but not quite clear
In an earlier news item we discovered that the leading deception expert website, Eyes for Lies, had been asked to review a video clip of Mrs Harrod, Bob's 79-year-old-wife who was thousands of miles away in Missouri when Bob disappeared. We submitted a video of someone closer to home that day, but unfortunately it's been judged to have been filmed too soon after Bob's disappearance for any firm opinions to be drawn. Another two, very brief clips have been provided as requested, although it is unlikely they will be long enough to be of any more use.
The clips are of Bob's youngest daughter, the wife of Bob's son-in-law, who was working in Bob's house the day Bob disappeared and is the last known person to have seen Bob alive. Son-in-law has never participated in any media interviews about Bob, or in Bob's Disappeared episode, 'Long Lost Love'.
Thomas 'Tad' DiBiase, the 'no-body' expert
Bob Harrod is an elderly man who has been missing for nearly four years. Police are investigating his death as a homicide. Without his body being returned though, there can never be a prosecution for a crime, right?
Probably wrong. Someone who would be prepared to argue the point is Tad DiBiase. A former assistant DA of 12 years' standing and now Deputy General Counsel for the US Capitol Police, Tad has made the prosecution and study of 'no-body' cases his specialty. His interest was first sparked in 2006, when he prosecuted the second 'no-body' case ever to be brought in Washington D.C. An interview with him here sets out the ways he has helped ensure some killers have been held accountable and brought to justice, even though they have hidden the evidence of their crime.
Garret Glennon, Chief of Baltimore's County Circuit Court Division, says this about Tad in the cited article:
'"No-one in my county had ever tried a no-body case before...we were in unchartered waters...He confirmed our game plan, and since he had a lot of experience in this area, it gave us a lot of confidence that we were doing things right."
With Tad's help, the suspect was found guilty of his wife's murder, although her body has never been found. Showing that the victim would never have voluntarily walked away from those she loved and her home, possessions and money was also vital in proving the case.
Tad was also crucial in bringing to book the murderer of teenager Brian Carrick and providing resolution for his poor family, at last. Mario Casciaro was found guilty of the murder in a second trial and prosecutors in the case have said it will never be closed until the young man's body is brought home.
Tad DiBiase has painstakingly documented the hundreds of no-body trials in the U.S., and his website makes a great read. He is also working on a book, which bobharrodmissing.com is looking forward to reading when it is published. Tad is looking for feedback on his work, for any constructive and helpful readers and editors out there. The first two chapters can be viewed on his nobodycases.com website. We couldn't help noticing he has reached page 13 of chapter two. Number 13 is our favorite number here, because we hope 2013 will be the year Bob finally comes home.
Tad has consulted with hundred of police departments and prosecutors over the years and is happy to discuss cases. Details are available on his website, here.
Geocachers may be able to help
A dedicated group of Bob supporters are reaching out to geocachers in California to enlist their expertize and skills in finding Bob. Details about geocaching can be found here.
The initiative is in its very early stages at the moment, but bobharrodmissing.com will keep keep you updated on progress. Geocachers spend their time searching and looking for clues to hidden 'treasure' or caches, and many are active around Placentia, where Bob disappeared. Some of them are very well equipped and organized indeed, and there are groups such as this one who it is hoped may be especially prepared to help in the search for a missing marine veteran.
There are many caches hidden in areas around Placentia where Bob could also be found. This map shows the location of some of them.
This could be a chance to finally bring Bob home where he belongs. Any geocachers out there, please be on the lookout for Bob.
Bob has a proper facebook page at last!
After years of Bob having a facebook page that provided very little information or activity at all, someone has set up a new one that is much more helpful already. Viewers of this site who are on facebook, please share and like Bob's new page, and help highlight his case.
Bob's new facebook page can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/bobharrod.stillmissing
Please don't confuse it with the old one set up on behalf of some of Bob's family members and now administered by them, which is not so helpful: https://www.facebook.com/finding.harrod
Birthday thoughts for Bob Harrod
June 1st, 1928 was when Bob was born. Today, June 1st, 2013, Bob is 85 years old and still missing. He is not forgotten though. Happy birthday Bob, bobharrodmissing.com is thinking of you and your loved ones at this time.
Here at Bob's site there are no bakers - not even a good cook. Despite that, we set our hearts on baking a cake to mark Bob's birthday. Here is what happened:
New missing flyer
Salute for the fallen
Monday, May 27th Memorial Day is being marked across the nation. Poignantly, the 27th is also the date in July 2009 when Bob, a former US Marine, disappeared.
As a cook, he did his bit for his country during the Korean War by helping to fill hungry bellies and keep his fellow soldiers going; a hungry marine is not a happy marine. Cherry pies were apparently one of his specialties; wonder if they still feature on the menu today?
Bob served at Camp Pendleton, where artillery units will be conducting a ceremonial, 21-gun salute at the 11 Area Parade Field at noon on Monday. Good luck and good wishes soldiers. Stay safe and look after each other in the future, and you younger ones never forget if you leave together, you come home together - and that's not just on the battlefield.
In Placentia, a musical Memorial Day observance will be held: http://www.placentiaband.org/. Most hauntingly though, a Missing Man Flyover will be performed at the Elsinore Valley Cemetery Monday, at noon. It's an aerial maneuver usually used to salute a fallen pilot, but the coincidence of the date and name and even the time, couldn't help but strike a chord here at bobharrodmissing.com. The event details are below if anyone wishes to pay their respects to the fallen. Please also spare a thought for our missing man here at the same time, if you can.
Don't forget a lawn chair, and extra parking is available at Home Depot, so there's no need to worry about sticking to an early timeline.
Who is Larry Montgomery?
According to Detective Corinne Loomis of Placentia Police Department, he is a phenomenon. Other colleagues would probably agree. A lead investigator at the Orange County District Attorney's office, with more than 30 years' experience of homicide and serious crime, Larry Montgomery has become famous for his painstaking re-examination of cold cases. An unassuming, gray-haired figure whose outer appearance gives little clue to the quiet genius within, Larry can usually be found seated in front of a document-laden desk, rather than out in the field. Unless the 'field' includes the internet and digital communications - then he's out there. Larry is highly skilled in these areas too, and forensic computer technology has played a large part in his investigations.
As a detective with the Irvine Police Department in California he played an important role in linking the crimes committed by the serial killer known as the East Area Rapist, although sadly, this is one of the cases Larry has been unable to resolve. He was also vital in reviving the case of Placentia's long-term missing person, Lynsie Ekelund; bringing her home and bringing her killer to justice with an amazing combination of persistence, attention to detail and pure inspiration. Lynsie disappeared in 2001. Larry spent two long years poring over documents police had already examined in order to return Lynsie to her grieving mother at last, in 2010. This video interview from the TV Dateline episode 'The evidence whisperer' paints a good picture of the kind of investigator Larry Montgomery is.
A record of a credit-card transaction - that other investigators had missed - proved a vital piece of evidence in Lynsie's case. Larry followed that up by becoming producer, casting director and stage-manager of his own little one-act play then; recruiting an attractive young police officer to pose as a cub reporter and get a message to the killer that Lynsie's body had been found. It wasn't true, but investigators are allowed to twist the facts when they are working to untangle the knots of deception a killer has woven. It worked. Lynsie's killer revealed where her body had been buried, thinking it had already been found. When she was located, her blue windbreaker jacket and shoes provided silent, sad testimony that her killer, even when confessing to the crime, had continued to lie. He had said she died in bed.
Larry Montgomery the phenomenon was also instrumental in resolving the 1994 murder of billionaire Bill McLaughlin. When Mr McLaughlin, a marine veteran, was found shot dead at his home in Newport Beach, California, no weapon or other evidence was found. In 2009 Larry began looking at the case. Sorting through old telephone directories - and spotting that the number he needed had missed being entered in 1994 and he needed to check the 1995 edition - helped him locate an important witness. Keys also featured strongly. He zoomed in on the financial aspects too - girlfriend Nanette Packard's embezzlement of half a million dollars before and after Mr McLaughlin died, the money she gained from his will and the $1 million insurance policy paid out to her upon his death. She had also attempted to point fingers at a business associate of Mr McLaughlin's who had lost a huge financial court case against him.
The money did her little good; when Nanette Packard was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 for her role in Mr McLaughlin's murder, she left behind hundreds of thousand of dollars of debts, a closet stuffed with fancy clothes......and her new baby. Her boyfriend at the time of the murder, Eric Naposki, fared no better. He was sentenced to life for pulling the trigger that ended Mr McLaughlin's life.
And here we have Placentia, Orange County resident Bob Harrod still missing. He simply disappeared from a suburban home almost identical to Lynsie Ekelund's, apparently with his keys and wallet but without his glasses or his car, although he couldn't walk or see far and was happily preparing for his new wife's return from her Missouri hometown. An eighty-one year-old, hardworking former marine, poor Bob disappeared from the face of the earth in a tangle of widowhood and a new marriage, adult children and in-laws, wealth, wills and trusts; money lost and money gained, timelines with 'windows for something to go wrong' (according to Placentia Detective Dave Radomski), pointed fingers and a flood of online information.
bobharrodmissing.com has always thought Bob needed a small miracle, but the clouds have cleared now, thanks to the person who pointed Larry out. Bob doesn't need a miracle. He needs a phenomenon. And there is one right there in Orange County in the form of Larry Montgomery. Cross your fingers Bob supporters and wish for luck - hope Larry reads this and it piques his interest. Because if anyone can bring Bob home to the wife who re-found her long lost love after 60 years, only to lose him again within months, it is Larry Montgomery. He's phenomenal.
Rewards and who gets them
A little distant from Placentia - San Bernardino County to be precise - but most OC residents will have heard about the shoot-out with gunman Christopher Dorner in Big Bear Lake. While most people sensibly kept as far away as possible, others had no choice but to become involved, or chose to come forward to help catch him.
There was a $1 million reward for Dorner's location and a judge has finally decided it will be shared between four people. They range from the couple tied up at gunpoint by him in their cabin at Big Bear Lake, a ski resort employee who saw Dorner's vehicle on fire and called it in, and finally a passerby who simply spotted him in the parking lot of a mini-market. Read more about it here (there's been a bit of a row; see what you think of the judge's decision).
The $50,000 reward for locating Bob isn't waiting only for the person who physically finds him and brings him home. The smallest, seemingly most unimportant piece of information could lead to his discovery and to someone being able to claim the reward. If you knew Bob two days before he disappeared or twenty years before, you might know something that could help. Courts need hard evidence but police can work with rumors, overheard remarks and people's thoughts during the course of their investigations. They are the best people to judge if something is worth knowing or not. Give them the chance to decide in Bob's case - if you even think you might be able to help, give Detective Dave Radomski a call on 714-993-8176. I'm sure he'd be happy to listen to you.
The original mailbox
With bobharrodmissing.com being a website, and this being the age of email and cell phones, it's easy to forget it is still possible to put a letter in an envelope, place a stamp on it and put it in the mailbox.
Anybody out there with any information about Bob Harrod and his case who is reluctant to pick up a phone or send an email to law enforcement... pop a letter in the post. For whatever reason, there is a possibility there is someone out there who may have some knowledge to share but doesn't want direct contact with law enforcement. An old-fashioned letter is a good way of imparting that information while still keeping a distance.
Information is still needed, in whatever form it comes in. Who were Bob's friends, and his enemies if he had any? Where did he like to go, and who with? Where were his favorite places, even if it was in his younger days? Perhaps Bob confided in someone that he had a problem with a person - or perhaps someone confided they had a problem with Bob. Small clues can help police fit the larger puzzle together. Write today if you hold a piece in your hand.
Detective D. Radomski,
The Joshua Trees Bloom
Across California, something magical is happening. Joshua trees are bursting into bloom in a way that no-one can remember happening before. Joshua trees are the ones that cloak themselves in mystery - althought they can live for a thousand years there are no rings to reveal their age to the curious.
They are the trees relied on for thousands of years by Native Americans for food, soap and cord, and glimpsed by new settlers travelling westwards, who saw in their strangely-shaped foliage supplicating hands, reaching heavenwards.
Nobody really knows why the Joshua Trees are blooming so profusely this year, of all years. The answer, if it's found, may be quite prosaic. Some people may prefer to think it's a small miracle.
If the rare blossoming of these ancient trees marks the year Bob is finally brought home, it will be a miraculous year indeed.
OC Register goes pay-to-view
The Orange County Register, a newspaper which has provided extensive coverage of Bob's case in the past, put its online content behind a paywall at the beginning of April. Membership is available at $365 for a year, (free tickets for Angels' games included) or a $2-per-day rate. The announcement the owners made is here.
The move sparked a lively debate between two award-winning OC blogs; the liberaloc blog, where Dan Chmielewski was certain that 'the Register has every right to put up a paywall' and the orangejuice blog, where Greg Diamond thought that 'putting a price on basic community info creates problems'.
For those of us hoping for the widest possible readership for any future articles about Bob, it's not good news of course. A consolation though, is that articles over 90 days old are classed as archives and remain free to view. This means all our linked articles with information about Bob's case are still available. Fingers crossed they will stay that way.
The OC Register has done a lot to highlight Bob's case, so we can only wish the publication luck and success for the future, however it goes about trying to achieve it.
The potential of polygraphs or lie detector tests
Californian law enforcement officers investigating Bob's disappearance have confirmed that lie-detector tests were carried out. However, no information has ever been released about who accepted and who declined to take them, or what any results were.
As polygraph results are not admissable in court, it would be reasonable to question if they would be any help in solving Bob's case anyway. In the link below is a great article by the leading criminal writer, academic and former FBI agent Jim Fisher that helps explains their potential value. Coincidentally, it was a legendary Californian police chief, August Vollmer, along with his 'college cops', who originally introduced the polygraph into police investigations.
Jim Fisher's website contains a wealth of informative articles and publications and is well worth viewing: http://jimfisher.edinboro.edu/forensics/plygraph.html
Where is Bob and can you help bring him home for $50,000?
Police are investigating Bob's disappearance as a possible homicide. He disappeared from Carnation Drive, a street lined with well-kept houses in Placentia, Orange County, a suburban neighbourhood full of similar streets. Had he collapsed or being taken ill somewhere, he would have been found long ago.
He did not take his car but could not walk far. Somebody must have driven him away. Homicide victims are not usually taken very far from their homes, so Bob will probably be located within a hour or two's drive from his home. Most likely in a nature area. Here is a map to help anyone who can look for Bob. The street Bob disappeared from is indicated by the red marker. The inner, pale blue area shows natural terrain within a one-hour drive from his home. The outer, darker blue area shows natural terrain within a one and a half-hour drive from his home.
There can be no closure or peace of mind for his loved ones until Bob is back where he belongs. If you are walking, hiking or biking in these areas, please keep your eyes open. Report anything you see. You could claim a cash reward of $50,000 and earn the everlasting gratitude of those who love and miss Bob.
What Boston means to Bob Harrod's case
This is a website for missing person Bob Harrod, but we could not allow the tragedy and heroism of the events at the Boston Marathon to go unremarked, as though they had never happened. If the missing need to be acknowledged, then surely such tragic victims and downright heroes deserve to be acknowledged too. We hope Bob would approve. As a Marine veteran, we think he would.
An act of sudden terror might seem a million miles away from a case of a missing person. Someone caught up in that terrible bombing at the Boston Marathon might very well say that the case of a missing person has 'nothing to do with me'. Likewise, the loved ones of a missing person might say the same about a bombing attack miles away from them. They have a missing person to worry about, after all.
By that criteria, any person far away from both the bombing and a missing person might say neither has 'anything to do with me'. People could leave it all to the authorities. Do nothing. Sit back and wait for the authorities to handle everything. That's what they're paid for.
Thankfully, for all victims everywhere, that doesn't seem to be the American way. In a thousand ways, small and large, the community came together and took action in Boston - this link shows ten examples: http://mashable.com/2013/04/16/boston-marathon-acts-of-kindness/
Far away, people insisted on helping too: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2312125/Jeff-Bauman-Man-identified-Boston-bombers-lost-legs-appealing-help-soaring-medical-costs--thousands-dollars-donations-pour-maimed-victims.html
And here's an example of another kind of community or 'family' coming together- this time, to try and bring a missing person home, here: http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2012/march/levinson
Notice the size of the reward, and that it is the FBI offering it. If anyone out there has been thinking of searching for Bob, for the sake of the $50,000 reward that is being offered by his estate - please, don't hesitate! Rewards are there to be claimed. If you help bring a missing person home, it really will not matter to that person's loved ones if your motive was money or compassion. The result will be the same. Resolution.
If anyone has any doubts about what resolution can mean to the loved ones of a missing person, please read this poem here: http://oldpoetry.com/Anna_Gordon_Keown/Reported_Missing
It's very old, and written about the terrible toll of 'missing, presumed killed' men from the First World War. The statistics of missing people from all wars have left such a terrible legacy that there are many thousands of people today, still working to bring those lost souls home.
Bob wasn't lost during a war, or a terrible bombing attack. He just disappeared on a sunny California day on 27th July, 2009. He still needs to be brought home though. He still needs the help of his community. That would be a legacy to be proud of.
Please help bring Bob Harrod home to those who love and miss him, if you can.
Helping Mrs Harrod can help Bob too
News has reached us that Mrs Harrod, in her late seventies, legally blind and without computer or internet skills, managed to conduct her own little publicity blitz to ensure Placentia residents knew about Bob's Disappeared episode. She sent out small cards to everyone she could, letting them know that the episode was about to air.
Mrs Harrod is originally from Missouri, as was Bob. She has no network of old friends and community members to call upon in California for help. She cannot drive the hills around her home, searching for her husband. She cannot call upon local organizations she was a member of years before, and appeal for their support. She is not a journalist or a search and rescue professional. Without support, she may be unable to prevent Bob's case from fading from people's memories again, and his chances of being brought home will be greatly reduced.
But there are many people in Orange County who can do those things. The fourth anniversary of Bob's disappearance is coming up on July 27th, and even a simple candlelit vigil organized and attended by local Placentia residents could help the cause of bringing him home so much. Perhaps even residents of Bob's former long-term residence in Monrovia could be encouraged to attend, or brothers from his Masonic family might lend a hand. Some good, plain advice about such events is available here.
Accidental heroes bring resolution each year
Mrs Harrod has appealed for people to come forward with information about her missing husband. It is undoubtedly the right thing to do, because there is someone out there who must know something.
Police are investigating Bob's disappearance as a probable homicide though and sadly, at this late stage it may be sharp eyes that could be of vital use in bringing Bob home. There are many, many hikers who walk the trails in the natural areas and parks that surround the corner of Orange County where Placentia is located. Hikers have been crucial in the past, in helping to bring resolution to families of the missing. Some of the recent cases are linked below.
These people are unsung, accidental heroes but their contribution is no less for that. Please, this year, if you go hiking keep your eyes open for anything suspicious you might see on your travels, and please report it if you do. Your real reward for doing so will be the knowledge you have spared someone the agony of years of not knowing - but there is also a monetary reward of $50,000 offered for Bob's location.
Hikers, please look out for Bob this year.
In-depth review of 'Long Lost Love'
An extensive review of the TV episode can be read here. Many, many thanks to this contributor for stepping in to help Bob at the last minute, and doing it so admirably. A transcript of every word spoken in the episode can also be viewed here: http://www.websleuths.com/forums/showpost.php?&p=9179644&postcount=1135.
Reaction and opinions on Bob's episode
The documentary about Bob; Disappeared, 'Long Lost Love', finally aired nationwide in the USA on Thursday and Saturday. The narration that had been missing from the Australian version was fully restored, and the episode seemed to provoke a strong reaction in viewers - certainly on the Disappeared facebook page, here: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=526877524025840.
Many viewers noticed that some very close members of Bob's family did not participate in this opportunity to highlight Bob's case, most notably the last known person to have seen him.
A full review of the episode will be posted soon. Meanwhile, as no-one is a TV critic here, an interesting opinion on what a bad documentary doesn't do, and a good one does, can be found here: http://www.henryandjacqui.com/Radio/Television/GoodTVUS.htm.
Eyes For Lies - your vote can help
Recently discovered is a request for the leading deception expert, Eyes For Lies, to review TV footage of Mrs Harrod. This was way back in 2009, a couple of months after Bob disappeared. Unsurprisingly - as Mrs Harrod was thousand of miles away in Missouri when Bob disappeared - Eyes For Lies saw 'nothing odd to me'; here: http://eyesforlies.uservoice.com/forums/14727-topic-suggestions/suggestions/325118-fontelle-harrod-.
It seemed a little of a wasted opportunity not to have asked for a review of someone nearer to Bob on the day he vanished. Police have interviewed over 100 people but requested lie detector tests on only very few, although they have not released the results, or revealed if anyone declined. There is no footage available of the last known person to have seen Bob, but his wife, Bob's youngest daughter, did give some interviews initially. To get a review though, votes are needed. Just click here: http://eyesforlies.uservoice.com/forums/14727-topic-suggestions/suggestions/3804319-bob-harrod-s-daughter if you want to help.
Easter memories, 1950
Bob and Fontelle Harrod first met and became engaged in 1950. When they reunited in 2009, Mrs Harrod was legally blind, so radio is a fitting way to send our Easter thoughts. Here, from Easter Sunday, April 9th of that year is a lighthearted radio tale of showers and doubted senses, phonies and troublesome children, and a man happy to be living in God's land with a loving wife. If you listen to the ads at the end you'll even hear the importance given to saving every quarter you can, but not forgetting charity too. Step back in time, and enjoy.
Link to the audio: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aYAl9yeRB30.
Finally, 'Disappeared' 'Long Lost Love'
After an odd, first-time airing in Australia, followed by its sudden disappearance from the schedules, 'Disappeared', 'Long Lost Love' has finally reappeared in the USA. This show is about Bob. Please help spread the word about it as it's the only high-profile publicity his case has had in a very long time. He needs to be brought home.
About the episode
'Eighty-one-year-old Bob Harrod is overjoyed when he marries his childhood sweetheart after sixty years apart. But days before his new bride moves in, Bob vanishes. Police cannot locate him and soon find a strong motive for foul play: Bob is a millionaire.'
Link to the episode: http://investigation.discovery.com/tv-shows/disappeared/season-5-episodes5.htm
Investigation Discovery Channel. 'Disappeared, Long Lost Love.' Airing Thursday, April 4th, 2013, 8.00pm & 11.00pm PT/ET.
Schedule: http://dsc.discovery.com/tv-shows/tv-schedule.htm - but please check your local listings in case of further, unexpected changes.
Missing Persons - what to do
There are many guidelines available for when a loved one goes missing. Taking the right action at the right time can make a crucial difference, especially for vulnerable people. In Bob's case that doesn't appear to have happened. Mrs Harrod in Missouri wasn't informed he had disappeared until 9pm at night, although Bob may have gone missing in California as early as 11am. Vital time was lost.
A useful guide is available from NAMPN (North American Missing Persons Network) here, and some of the things those who care are advised to do immediately include:
Coming up to the fourth anniversary of Bob's disappearance, many of those steps no longer apply to Bob's case, but we hope his case will at least attract a little media attention. Any journalists reading, please keep the date July 27th in mind.
Date: Thursday, March 21, 2013
Calling all Placentia photographers
Here's a chance for a photographer to really put Bob's case in the spotlight. The City of Placentia is holding a photography contest - for Placentia residents only - with the winning entries to be showcased at Placentia City Hall, for 30 days.
This would be a great opportunity for a talented local to use Bob's missing poster, printable here: https://www.findthemissing.org/cases/poster/2706 in a creative photo that will catch people's attention. Or maybe there is another way of highlighting Bob's case in a photo, for those who are inventive enough?
The entry deadline is Thursday, April 25th, so there isn't long now. Please help your missing neighbour if you can, Placentia residents.
The entry form and details can be found here: http://www.placentia.org/DocumentCenter/Home/View/1433
A tribute to Bob will bring a smile to a senior's face
Apart from finding him, there is nothing material that will help Bob now. A very moving article about elderly people in nursing homes in OC provided an idea though. According to the Council on Aging Orange County, http://www.coaoc.org/ over half of people in those homes have no family or friends involved in their care - to send a simple Christmas gift or even a card. They need donations to their SmileMakers Guild to show someone cares, and they have a tribute facility.
So in tribute to Bob, Bobharrodmissing.com has donated $300 to the cause, in the hope his gift will bring a smile to a lonely, elderly person's face this Christmas. More help is needed too. Anyone local might want to think about lending a volunteering hand to this wonderful organisation. Thanks to Bill Johnson too, for such an inspirational article. http://www.ocregister.com/articles/county-498723-orange-council.html
Bob lends a touching note to Missouri history
A kind trucker lends a hand
A wonderful gesture from someone in that dedicated bunch at websleuths.com has resulted in some lovely photographs for Bob's website. Websleuths.com is the foremost crime-sleuthing community in the USA, which has had some notable successes in locating missing people and reuniting the unidentified so they can at least - at last - come home. Some of the matches they have made can be seen here: http://www.websleuths.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=488&order=desc&page=9
A truckin' member called Justiceforever has put their camera to good use for us (despite that snowstorm) and caught some great scenes of Missouri as they were passing through. More will be appearing here soon. Bob was a born and bred Missouri boy. Fontelle Harrod, his dedicated wife who is still waiting and hoping for him to come home, is also Missouri born and bred.
Justiceforever has offered to keep on snapping for bobharrodmissing.com when they can. Having such talented, generous people on Bob's side is wonderful. Heartfelt thanks.
Highway workers may hold the key
It has been revealed that there may be vital witnesses to Bob's disappearance - who are still unaware of the importance of what they saw.
On Wednesday, 29th July 2009, TV cameras were present to catch the moment when Mrs Harrod returned to the home her husband had disappeared from. The cameras also caught extensive work being carried out on the road right outside.
Were those highway workers there from Monday 27th, when Bob vanished? They don't have to have seen anything suspicious; a vehicle just driven or parked or a person/people just coming and going could hold vital clues for police. Something so commonplace it was dismissed as unimportant, could hold the key to locating Bob.
Were you working in Carnation Drive, Placentia, from Monday 27th July to Wednesday 29th July in 2009, or do you know someone who was? Please contact Placentia Police if you think you have any information at all, even if you want to remain anonymous. Bob Harrod was 81 years old when he disappeared and on July 27th, 2013, he will have been missing for four years. Help bring him home if you can.
Call Detective Dave Radomski on: 714-993-8176 or contact the Homicide Hotline on: 714-993-8166
'Disappeared' is just delayed
In what is turning out to be the long-running saga of Bob's 'Disappeared' show, Investigation Discovery TV has announced that the remaining four episodes of 'Disappeared', season five, will be shown in spring. The exact dates will be posted on the Disappeared facebook page, when available: https://www.facebook.com/DisappearedonID. Many thanks to wantjustice for the tip.
Police suggest money as a motive
In details emerging from the ID TV, 'Disappeared, Long Lost Love' episode aired in Australia, police in California have stated they are confident Bob's disappearance was not due to either an abduction or an act of random violence. But in a worrying development, the detective in charge of the case also went on to add that: 'Friends and family will protect each other. I think that the details lie in the battle for the money'.
The program also confirms that Bob's house was the subject of an extensive forensic search - although it's believed this took place more than a year after Bob disappeared - but police were unable to talk about what, if anything, was found.
As of this date, February 17th, 2013, there is still no air date for Bob's show in the US.
"Disappeared" episode disappears, re-surfaces in Australia
An Investigation Discovery (ID) TV 'Disappeared' show about Bob Harrod and provisionally entitled 'Sign of Trouble', was filmed in Placentia, CA, early in 2012. Police, two of Bob's daughters, his housekeeper and Mrs Harrod were among those who co-operated with the show. Bob's youngest daughter did not participate. Neither did her adult son or husband, who was working in Bob's house the day Bob disappeared.
Later in 2012, a 'preview clip' of the show appeared on ID TV's website, and was quickly pulled. The clip contained important information about the time of the housekeeper's arrival at Bob's, spoken by a narrator. After a while, sources at ID said the posting of the clip had been a 'mistake'.
A polite comment supportive of Bob was posted beneath details of his show but had to be removed because of an internet attack.
Since then, Disappeared, Season 5 episodes have been advertized and aired, but Bob's show has not appeared on US TV schedules, although it was advertized. Finally, in late January, 2013, the airing date of Bob's show became public and it appeared in 'Disappeared' listings, as 'Long Lost Love', schedule to run on February 18th, 2013, 9pm PT/ET.
On Friday, 8th February, 2013, the show was pulled. Bob's 'Disappeared' show disappeared from the listings without explanation.
In Australia that night, meanwhile, the show aired nationwide. In a drastically edited version, with the narrator's voice cut. Viewers in Australia reported the episode seemed 'disjointed' and 'hard to follow'. The removal of the narrator's voice also meant the loss of information about times and the names and whereabouts of people on the day Bob disappeared from his home.
As of this date, Saturday 9th February, ID TV have not provided any information on its decision to pull 'Long Lost Love' from its schedules. American viewers will have to rely on their Australian cousins for information about the show about Bob Harrod, a missing American and fellow-citizen.
"Disappeared" - see news above
Bob Harrod's disappearance will be the subject of "Disappeared" on the Investigation Discovery channel,
About the episode
Eighty-one year old Bob Harrod is walking on air when he reconnects with his long lost sweetheart Fontelle. In a whirlwind reunion after 60 years apart, the two are married and make plans for Fontelle to live with Bob in California. But while Fontelle is home in Missouri preparing for her cross-country move, Bob disappears.
If you miss the programme, the episode should be available from Amazon the next day. Link here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006W0A5VG/ref=atv_dp_season_select?ie=UTF8&redirect=true
A $50,000 reward has been offered for information leading to Bob Harrod's whereabouts. Family members are excluded from claiming this reward.
If you have any information at all, please contact Detective Dave Radomski of Placentia Police Department on (+1) 714-993-8176 or contact the Homicide Hotline on (+1) 714-993-8166.