FindCarrie - AGH - Missing & Murdered Person Blog

Information on missing and murdered people and the issues surrounding their cases. ***No material on this site is to be redistributed or rewritten - Copyright Find Carrie Culberson***

Friday, March 31, 2006

Quinton Ray to Face Death Penalty

The alarm went off at 6:00 a.m. this morning as it does all other weekdays. I got up and had this terrible headache. I knew I'd be sitting in a Pickens County court room at 9:30 sharp and we'd be there to see Quinton Ray and that has not been pleasant since this whole ordeal with Sueann Ray began.
As I was attempting to get dressed, I noticed that my cell phone had a message because it was blinking. My cell phone will often times ring up until the wee hours of the morning if I dont put it on silent. Sometimes people forget what time it is ;) Listening to the message, I learned that Jeffrey Ben had been positively identified. All I could think was, thank the Lord Jeffrey has been found and Linda Miller will not lie down another night wondering where her son is. Another person found, another family able to begin healing to some extent.

Aside from the nagging headache, I woke up with this song inside my head all day, especially this morning. I wanted to include some of the lyrics to this song in here because it's very similar to what today ended up being.

Show me what it's like - To be the last one standing - And teach me wrong from right - And I'll show you what I can be - Say it for me - Say it to me - And I'll leave this life behind me- Say it if it's worth saving me

Savin Me
All the Right Reasons 2006
Arriving in the parking lot at the Pickens County court house, we saw all the local news stations and the Ray family standing outside. There was no avoiding them coming in. Sueann's sister, me, Jeannie, and Sueann's dad all locked arms as we walked up the parking lot into the court house. Today I just did not feel like dealing with the camera's in our faces or any of the junk that goes along with these court appearance.

Moments after we were seated, the DA entered the door and shortly thereafter, the clanking of chains began as Quinton made his way into the court room. I felt a cold tear run down my cheek as he took his seat with that ridiculous smirk on his face. That smirk dimmed somewhat, once the DA announced that the State of Georgia would be seeking the death penalty. There seems to be no understanding nor concern on his part for what he's facing or what has happened to Sueann. The arraignment was pushed back yet again for April 12, 2006. This was expected.
After the hearing, we all spoke with the DA and he informed us that this was going to be a very long drawn out process and it could be up to to two years before Quinton will stand trial. He told us there'd be many long days ahead and probably some very hard material for us to see or hear once it's ready to be presented to the jury. I suppose we will find a way to deal with it?

With April 12th upon us, I am not looking forward to that time at all because three days later is that dreadful day that I'll never forget. That being the day Patrice was abducted two years ago. I believe at the end of this month, I am going to pack up my things and head south the Gulf Coast and spend some time alone out on the water with the jet ski. It's time to run it wide open over the water and let a few things out. Sometimes that is what is needed to continue on the long winding road ahead.
I'd like for everyone to know that I have not forgotten all these missing and murdered people. Each one of them is important to me and my family. Sometimes my heart doesnt feel like it can hold any more sadness but I continue on as many others do because we have to take a stand for those who are unable to.
I have never regretted doing this and now it means even more to me than ever. May each family who has somebody they love missing or murdered have peace in their heart somehow tonight and may they find a way to deal with the days ahead. Jeffrey, Carrie, Sueann, Heather, and all the others, you are always in my heart.

Related Information:

Ray Facing Death Penalty

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Waiting For Word on Jeffrey

On Jan. 29, 2001, Jeffrey Ben disappeared without a trace. There have been few clues since he vanished. The five year anniversary has just passed since that terrible night. Just last week human remains were found near the area where Jeffrey was last seen. Could it be him? I've come to hold his mother, Linda Miller close to my heart since I met her at the 2005 CUE Center Conference. I had known of her through Sarah Teague (mother of missing Heather Teague).
None of us can understand what went wrong that night Jeffrey vanished and we are all left to wonder.

Anyone who visits Jeffrey's website, can see what a handsome young man he was or still is, wherever he may be. Linda tells me it will be today or tomorrow before there are results to determine if it's Jeffrey. The last four days have been hell for me as I know it has been for his family. I want to know if it's Jeffrey, or if it's one of the other two men who became missing at the same time Jeffrey did.
One thing I will never fully understand is how these people keep vanishing with no answers, no nothing.
I dont know if we will be satisified with the findings, no matter what they are. I just know that a part of me would be happy to know he's be found and he no longer is waiting for someone to find him. As with all things in this life, everything is in God's timing. Maybe it is time for us to have answers. I will wait patiently for Linda to call me. Jeffrey, I have not forgotten about you and if this is not you, we will wait, no matter how long it may take.

Additional Links:
Find Jeffrey Ben
Remains may be of missing SE Oklahoma teen

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Our Journey Continues - CUE Center Missing Person Conference 2006

This weekend my group traveled to the second annual Conference For the Missing held in Wilmington, North Carolina. Our group was one of many organizations and families that participated in the two day conference. I have to say it was so very nice to meet the people I talk to and work with throughout the year. The classes we took were wonderful, just like last year.
One part that was very touching was Saturday night, when everyone boarded a large school bus and headed down to the Wilmington riverfront for a vigil for the missing. Although it was freezing cold, the feeling in the air was so powerful. A wall was unveiled that included many missing people who had been submitted for this event. Carrie was included.

Sunday included speakers of those who have missing or murdered loved ones. One speaker that really made sense to me was Doug Lyall (father of Suzanne Lyall) who has been missing since 1998. He said that he had to face at times that he may never see Suzanne again nor learn her fate. He said that it's often hard to not become obcessed with our loved ones who have vanished but some how we have to form a sense of normalcy to survive every day life. That made a lot of sense to me.
Although I do not have anyone missing, I see the pain these families are having to endure. I know how bad I want to find out where Carrie's body is so she can be brought back home. What drives us each day is the fact we know we must continue on to help find these people and to comfort others who are going through the same ordeal. As CUE's founder, Monica Caison often says, "Somewhere, there's someone who knows something". That is so very true.
I have to say thank-you to the Klaas Kids Foundation who taught us how to handle abductions in the first few hours, as well as the K9 handler who taught how scent is so very important in a disappearance. There is always something more we as advocates need to learn. There is always room for improvement because nobody is perfect. We all need to work together and overcome the pettyness of who has more equiment or knowledge than you do. We need to come together not for us, but for these who do not have a voice right now and need someone to speak on their behalf. Cue Center's meeting was a very helpful thing for my group and we will attend next year if the conference is held.
(pictured left - Janet Cooke - mother of missing Rachel Cooke, CUE Founder, Monica Caison and Me @ the Vigil)
On another note, this Friday, March 31st beginning @ 9 a.m. we will appear in a Pickens County Courtroom for the formal arraigment hearing for Quinton Ray and his father who are believed responsible for the murder and cover-up of Sueann Ray. This will be the day that Ray enters GUILTY or NOT Guilty and Sueann's family and I have to hear him say what his plea is. We learned that it may be two years before the trial moves forward in Sueann's murder case. We are all waiting and hoping that justice prevails soon for her. It was not her time to go but someone chose to take her away.
Also, I'd like to send my thoughts and prayers to Tim Miller and the crew from Texas Equusearch who are going into a mine shaft this week looking for April Pitzer. This is a very rough area and I hope these guys are safe and successful in this search for April. Miller is one of my favorite people and is a mentor to me. I want his group safe.

Additional Links:

CUE Center for the Missing
More Photos from the Conference

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Short Term Supporters On High Profile Missing Person Cases

This is a topic I've been wanting to talk about for a while now, but I've held off to make sure when I wrote this that it would be inflammatory or rude. I wonder how many of you reading this blog have noticed the swarm of people who are hard-core in the ongoing searches for people like Laci Peterson, Dru Sjodin and Natalee Holloway for example? Ooodles of websites, chat forums and other things that support these missing people. These individuals have jumped right in the middle of a serious matter that they probably do not fully understand, and probably cannot hang out for the long hall. This really bothers me.
One that comes to my mind is one particular website that was set up for Dru Sjodin which focused on Dru and all the parts of her life. One day I return and the site is virtually vacant and there is no activity. This is ridiculous.
We do not become overnight supporters for something this serious and then drop it once the media hype passes. In my mind, I would rather not have any supporters than to have somebody be all gung ho and then abandon the person who is a victim. I dont know why but this irks me to no end. I suppose I expect everyone to take the same approach as mine, which is full speed ahead and not flaking out once it slows down.
I appreciate the fact that people are interested, but dont get online and set up profiles, sites, and chat forums if you are not intending to sticking with this. I've seen so many people come forward and say "this is it, I'm doing this" and then two weeks later you cant find them. In this area of life, you need people who can take the heat and will be there through thick and thin.
I wish we could stop these people who are exploiting these victims by setting up what I call overnight fan clubs with no backbone. We do not need a fan club, we need real advocates who care.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Brianna Maitland Sighting?

Just last week someone claims that they saw Brianna Maitland in a New Jersey casino. Brianna has been missing since March of 2004 under very mysterious circumstances.
She disappeared after a night working at the Black Lantern Inn. Her car was found the next day, crashed at an abandoned barn. Several searches turned up no trace of Brianna. The sighting has brought renewed hope to her family that she's possibly alive and well. The person who claimed to have seen Brianna in the casino recognized her from fliers posted in several areas. The police are taking a close look at the photographs to determine if it was indeed Brianna.

Brianna's family say that they are unable to tell for sure if that is indeed Brianna in the photo but there is obviously a very strong resemblence. They go on to say that they've learned over the past two years to not get their hopes up to high because at times they've been shot down again. On March 19th, Brianna will be missing for two years. If that was her on the tapes, this could be the much needed break in her disappearance mystery.

I am hoping that it was indeed Brianna and that somehow this case can come to some short of good end. I have not written in the last week much on this blog because my group has been taking a break and also preparing for the Cue Center Missing Person Conference that will be held towards the end of this month. I am looking forwad to this meeting because not only will we get to see several very special people, we will be getting more training.

Related Links:

Missing Franklin teen may have been at N.J. casino
Bring Bri Home

Friday, March 03, 2006

Saying Goodbye to Sueann Ray

Preparations to say goodbye to Sueann began yesterday at the Huey Funeral Home. I gave out the 30 photo memory books we created for Sueann's family and friends and visited with Sarah Teague and all of my other dear friends in that family close to Sueann. I did not want to send a pot of flowers that would die. I wanted something that would last. We put together an album that included 9 photos and various poems inside.
Nothing could prepare us for the actual funeral today. As soon as my family and I drove towards the funeral home, I felt a large lump in the back of my throat. It was so difficult.
Sueann's funeral was beautiful today. Looking over my shoulder during the service, I saw two very precious young people who made the 200 plus mile drive from Ocilla Georgia to join us @ Sueann's service. They were from the Find Tara group. We have gone to search for Tara on two occasions and I suppose they were returning the kindness by coming today. Sueann's family were glad they came.
After Sueann's service, we all gathered @ the relatives house. We could laugh at times but then I still felt that wave of sadness. It was so good to get to visit with my dear friends. My relationship with Sueann's relatives has grown to being family like. It's hard to explain. We all talk on a daily basis and they know my family as well. Just a wonderful group of people that have suffered a great loss.

As the day ended, Sueann's dad (Danny Jenkins) asked me to please drive with him to the Canton Wal-mart where Sueann's van was found a few days after she vanished. He wanted me to photograph the wreath he was going to place beside her cross. Although it's now known that Sueann was never back in that area where the van was found, many people still visit that place to leave items for her. We have kept it in place for the time being. I dont know at this time if we would be allowed to put the cross where her body was found. That is considered private property as far as I know.
I know that we have a long road ahead of us with the possible trials. I know that with God's help we will see this through. Visit the page on Sueann's website to see the booklet that Sueann's family requested that we created for Sueann. Many hours went into that booklet and her photo albums. They had to be just right for Sueann. We also will be adding more photos from her funeral as soon as her dad is able to email the ones on his camera. Always remember Sueann and dont forget her and others like her. Every day too many young women are murdered by someone they love.

Sueann Ray's Funeral Information Page
Help Find Heather Teague - Sueann's Missing Relative
Tara Grinstead - The Missing Teacher from Ocilla GA

Site Meter