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***

Thursday, November 30, 2006

More Clues Deliberately Destroyed In Culberson Case?

As you already know, there are many parts to Carrie's case that are not posted on her website or any message forum because we do not want to take any chances on the leads being damaged or destroyed. No matter how small or insignificant they may seem, they simply cannot go live until they've been gone over and are found to be safe for publication. There are even things that I am not even aware of and I can accept that if it leads to locating Carrie.

With that being said, I go back to this past August --- August 26, 2006 to be exact. My group was in route to Ohio to join several others for the weekend to remember Carrie who would be missing on that Monday the 28th for a full decade. What I didn't know on the 26th was that something very eerie and out of place was going down just down the road from where the mystery all began. You'll want to keep reading if you've been following this case.

Fast forward to Mid day on the 28th the anniversary of Carrie's disappearance. The day we all were not looking forward to but had to prepare for. The day was spent going over the last day of Carrie's life with her mother Debra Culberson and the members of the Midwest Coalition. We drove out to the places were Carrie was last known to be seen just before Vincent Doan murdered her and hid her body along with his co-conspirators.
At the end of our tour, we ended up at a location I requested to see because of the AETV presentation "Where Is Carrie Culberson". It was the "other" barn that Doan's mother took American Justice TV producers out to and claimed that it needed to be searched but nobody would check it out. I wanted to see this location because I have a video and photo log of every point of interest in the Culberson case. As we drove closer to the location, we were SHOCKED to see that "other" barn was BURNT to the ground.

Following directly behind me, Carrie's mom and the others were looking and wondering ---- WHY was this barn burnt down and when? I can clearly remember the burnt smell nearby and the weak feeling I had come over me standing in the clearing. It was so strong I had to go back to car and sit down I was so upset. At the time I thought that my emotions were all out of control because we'd just been near the junkyard where Carrie's body was but now that these reports have come out that this barn was burnt just two days before we arrived, I believe my feeling was something more. It was a feeling of pure out evil and someone trying to stop us from ever finding Carrie.

We left the barn's location and the photos and information we had was to be given to the police department ASAP. I made no mention of it and nobody discussed it, although we found it very odd. We've waited and now, it appears that our suspicians are becoming ever so clear. Somebody is continuing to toy with the community and those who continue to quest to location Carrie Culberson. What was at the barn that made it so necessary to burn it down right before the anniversary of her 10 year disappearance? Did you know we'd be out there? Was there something that we could've found?

It appears that there is more to Carrie's disappearance than what most of us can really understand. I believe that there are some people who don't really know anything but like to think they do, and like to stir up painful memories for kicks. Then there are the ones who really know, and they like to do a little something here and there just to let some us know that they have the leverage of this whole situation.

It appears this is a very diabolical situation that only a doctor can understand. It is what it is, and why we cannot just get her back, is beyond me.

One thing is for sure. We are not ready to give up and we will find Carrie.

See related article from Channel 12 News below:

Potential Clues May Have Burned In Culberson Case

LAST UPDATE: 11/29/2006 6:24:24 PM
The murder of Carrie Culberson has been one of the Tri-State's most talked about crimes for the past decade. Culberson's abusive boyfriend, Vince Doan, is spending his life in prison for murder, even though Carrie's body has never been found. New talk about where her remains might be had detectives asking lots of questions in recent months. Then something strange happened that Local 12's Deborah Dixon tells us has cops more curious than ever. The F.B.I. helped dig up the floor of a barn in Brown County two springs ago because of information Carrie Culberson was killed and buried there. It was during this dig, that people started talking. Different people were saying the same thing. Debbie Culberson still lives in Blanchester. So, people can tell her what they hear and what they know. Recently, the information about the right barn got hot...really hot. That's exactly what Penn was doing, and people in town knew it, when something very curious happened. The barn owned by the same family as the other barn burned to the ground in the middle of the night. It was two days before the tenth anniversary of Carrie's disappearance.Wayne township responded. They determined the barn burning is suspicious. Detective Penn said a burned out barn won't keep him away. Deborah Dixon, Local 12. The Messer family filed suit against the police departments that dug up the barn floor two years ago. Since the F.B.I. was involved and the dig was ordered by a judge, the suit is not expected to go far.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

When a Disappearance Causes Positive Changes

Often times when we think of a disappearance, it's surrounded by all the sad and negative aspects. We think of the pain and suffering the family goes through and we should. Having a loved one vanish is something that is very traumatic and it's very difficult to understand and accept. There's no goodbye in most cases and most of the time, there's always constant questions and many sleepless nights.

Last October 2005, Tara Grinstead vanished from her home in Ocilla, Georgia after arriving home from a night out with friends. To date her disappearance remains unsolved and there just does not seem to be any resolve to this case in sight. Numerous message forums and websites have sprung up and most of them are posts of inaccurate information and defamatory comments towards the family and aquaintances of Tara. Tara's case seems to have caused some major divides both online and in the general community where she disappeared from. It's baffling to see the way some people have presented themselves.

As an advocate of the missing, my family went down to Ocilla to aid in the search for Tara on two occasions. During that time, I became familiar with some of the people who were geniune in their search for Tara. One of those people I met was Brett Walker, who at the time was a student of Tara's at the school where she taught.

Every time I was at the command post, Brett was there, just working away. Walker and another person from that same group of youth drove the 250 plus miles from Ocilla to Cartersville, Georgia for Sueann Ray's funeral that we had in March shortly after her body was discovered. When I first met Brett, Sueann Ray was still currently missing.

As time drug on, I stayed in contact with Brett and he told me on several occasions that he felt like he needed to begin doing something for the missing and was serious about it. Shortly after he decided he wanted to help, I learned that he had enrolled in classes to become a paramedic and a K9 handler which assists in the search and recovery of missing people. His story was something I wanted to share with my viewers here on this blog. There's been so many negative things that have come out of this mystery surrounding Tara's disappearance. I felt like we needed to show something positive on how Tara has changed somebody's life in a positive way.

Below is a small interview I did with Brett Walker and with his permission, I'm going to post this for all of you to learn more about him.
We can all learn something about Tara and while she remains missing, we need to remain focused on our search for her. We need to put more positive and less negative towards this search. Fighting amongst ourselves, posting things that hold no backing, are simply unnecessary. All the energy that is misplaced, could come together and build a large team to help find her. Have a look at the information this young man gave me and how he's changed with this disappearance of Tara Grinstead.

Explain how you knew Tara Grinstead and the impact she sad on your life up until she vanished last October 2005

Brett Walker: I knew Tara Through school, and through her father and stepmom. My mom works at the same school she worked at. I knew her from her Father and My grandfather working together. She made a impact on my life, by just being herself she was a wonderful teacher, friend, and a sholder to lean on, know matter what you needed she would make sure you got it. She made learning fun, many problem students who had failed all other classes who come out on top in her's she just made learning fun!

After Tara mysteriously disappeared, what was it that made you decide to step forward to assist to help with the command center?

Brett Walker: I was actually there from night 1 helping go door to hand out filers and see if anyone knew anything assisting the command center came later. The reason i helped was because I wanted her found she was my teacher and friend and I just wanted to help get her back!
How soon after Tara’s disappearance did you realize that you’d been called to do something in the missing person field and why?

Brett Walker: Well I guess you would say i didn't realize i was called to this field I kinda FELL in so to speak. I had always been interested in K9 search and rescue and the dirctor of the Tara Center at the time got me in touch with Angie Batten from Dog South, and from then on I was hooked! I just want to help bring some peace and mind to families of missing loved ones..

Describe how Tara’s disappearance has impacted your life and do you think your life would’ve taken a different course had Tara not disappeared?

Brett Walker: In the beginning it was really hard. I still miss her and still want to find her. I feel that I probably wouldn't have taken the path in live I am taking now if she had not disappeared. I probably wouldn't have been introduced to Dog South.
What do you think Tara Grinstead would want the community of Ocilla and others to remember about her since this tragic event?
Brett Walker: Just what a wonderful person she was and how she made such an inpact on her students and anyone she came into contact with, I mean you could be all down and out and she would just bring out a smile in you.
What do you think about all the negative publicity and negativity surrounding facts, fiction that has clouded around the area of Ocilla Georgia since the disappearance of Tara?
Brett Walker: I don't really like it, I have found myself many times attempting to defend her honor when I hear something negative about her, and have corrected many people who have spreaded rumours.
Do you believe that there are some facts and material surrounding the disappearance of Tara that could help solve this case that have intentionally hid by those who have the ability to do so?
Brett Walker: Yes Definatly!
What do you hope others can learn from your deciding to take a stand for those lost and missing because of this one particular case?
Brett Walker: I used to think This can never happen in my town a small town in southern Georgia, but the truth is it can happen anywhere. I wish more people would take a stand for the missing. I am 20 years old and when i first started it was a month before my 18th birthday. Some people say I am too busy to get involved with stuff like this, when it first started I was going to high school, college, and working a monday-friday job and still found time to dedicate my life to helping find Ms. Tara.
Is there anything else that you’d like to let our blogging community know that you feel is important?
Brett Walker: Please pray for Tara, and rember rumours only hurt the search for Tara!
Related Links:

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Update in Rachel Cooke Disappearance Mystery

Just days ago news broke that a man by the name Michael Moore had confessed to the Jan. 10, 2002 disappearance and then murder of Rachel Louise Cooke. Many of us in the missing person arena were stunned to see this man's face and the news because many of us have followed Rachel's case from the beginning and have all come to know her dad, Robert Cooke because he's such a strong advocate for the missing.

With all missing person mysteries, it always takes you back a few feet when you finally see the person that is believed to be responsible for the disappearance of these loved ones. No matter how you picture these evil people, it's always so strange to see them.

Michael Moore's stunning confession came after he was already serving time for the 2003 murder of another young woman by the name of Christina Moore. His confession and the details of Rachel's murder were gruesome and hard to hear. Michael Moore claimed that bored and needing someone to rob, he went down the road when he ran across Rachel Cooke out jogging that fateful day.

With the confession, Rachel's family had the understanding that Moore was going to plead "guilty" to Rachel's murder, but that is not what happened.
The day Moore was to appear in court along with Rachel Cooke's family and attorney's Michael Moore reneged his guilty plea and changed his plea to "innocent". This added more devastation and disgust to the already suffering family of Rachel Cooke who has been waiting for nearly five years to learn their daughter's fate, and now to bring justice.

Just days after Michael Moore changed his plea, the District Attorney's office temporarily dropped the murder charges against Michael Moore for Rachel Cooke's murder. They claim that they will seek a Grand Jury's indictment for Rachel's murder because they believe he is responsible for her death.

While Rachel's family believe they'll never see Rachel alive again, at this point, they would like to be able to find Rachel and bring her home for a proper burial. They have gone far beyond the call of duty to educate other young women and men on the dangers out there. They are one of the kindest families anyone will ever meet. They did not deserve this to happen to them, nor has any family who has been victimized.

I'm sure there will be a long hall ahead of the Cooke family. This man appears to be toying with their emotions regardless of his involvement with Rachel's disappearance, and for that, I think he needs to be treated like the animal he is. There's some sick people in this world, and I'm just glad this one is off the streets.

I just hope that no matter what happens that Rachel can be found and brought home. This has gone on too long and she needs to be found. As painful as it may be, the truth is better than waiting with not answers at all. May God help the Cooke family through this ordeal.

Related Link:

Cooke's Parents Talk About Moore's Plea
By Rebecca Taylor

(CBS 42) GEORGETOWN Two Georgetown parents are being victimized again, they told CBS 42's Rebecca Taylor -- ever since convicted killer Michael Moore was brought into court with the expectation that he would plead guilty to the murder of Rachel Cooke. Instead he plead not guilty.Cooke disappeared while jogging near her parents' northwest Georgetown home in 2002.Last week convicted killer Michael Moore, already in prison for murdering a Round Rock woman in her home in 2003, reneged on a plea deal after police say he confessed to killing Rachel Cooke.Janet Cooke said she wakes up every day and talks to the daughter who isn't there anymore."I say good morning," she said. "And every night before I go to bed, I say good night. And it's hard for her not to be there anymore."Rachel Cooke went missing nearly five years ago. Her parents now believe she is dead. But, they said, they need to know if convicted killer Michael Moore is to blame."My plea to him is, tell the truth," said her father.But Moore has reportedly retracted a prior confession to killing the 19-year-old -- throwing prosecutors last week into a tailspin, and giving Rachel's mother and father more heartache."I know he has a son, and I'd like him to think what if it was his son -- that somebody was taking advantage of," Robert Cooke said.Robert Cooke doesn't know if Michael Moore killed his daughter. If he did?"I don't want him ever on the streets again," Rachel's father insisted. "He's doesn't belong here. He's not a human being. He needs to stay behind bars."While he waits for answers, he embraces the memories of his little girl."She was a daddy's girl," he said.But he can't stop the thoughts that come to him in the night -- just what might have happened to his little girl."You wake up to it," he said. "In fact, sometimes you have a nightmare and you wake up, you realize that the nightmare was not as scary as your real life."Still, they are holding out hope that they might find answers, so that Rachel -- in some way -- might finally come home."It would mean everything," said her mother. "It would give me that closure that I so dearly want."Until then, Janet Cooke will continue to talk to her daughter -- hoping she'll lead them to her killer."I've told her," she said. "'Let us know -- find some way. -- Let us know.""He's trying to victimize us a second time," said Robert Cooke.Janet Cooke said she would let a jury decide, but she said she has her suspicions."It would not surprise me in the least," she said, "if (Moore) just kills for the killing..."Moore was convicted in February of killing Christina Moore in her Round Rock home. She was 14 weeks pregnant. The two are not related

Monday, November 06, 2006

Shouldn't We Be Combing the Landfills for Stacey & Amy Too?

Last November some of you may recall a post on this blog called "All She Wanted, the Disappearance of Stacey Lynn Balas". It was a detailed description of the 1996 disappearance of a young woman from Northern Ohio who vanished without a trace after closing the local Subway shop where she was employed.
At the time it was going on nine years that Stacey had been missing and suspicion had fallen a long time earlier on the last person to see Stacey that night --- Larry Wade. Larry Wade was later arrested and charged with a violent rape and attempted murder of another woman less than three months after Stacey vanished, but up until last year (2005) he was never cooperative in the investigation into the disappearance of Stacey.
Friends, family members, and others were left with only memories and the haunting mystery of what happened to Stacey on that fateful Novemeber night in 1996, as they never believed she would leave on her own accord.

Just as the anniversary of Stacey's disappearance was to come and go as it does every year, the District Attorney's office announced that they were charging Larry Wade with Stacey Balas' 1996 murder although her remains have never been located. Immediately Larry Wade claimed he was innocent and it appeared he was going to fight the charges. He was due for parole from his current prison sentence in June 2007. Apparently the State of Ohio realized just what a threat Wade was and had more information regarding this case than many of us knew about and they decided to move on this just at the right time.

In May of 2006, Larry Wade changed his plea of NOT GUILTY to GUILTY and I believe this was done to avoid facing any possible death penalty. Wade told authorities what I had feared along with many others who had silently searched for Stacey all along. Larry Wade claimed that he had disposed of Stacey's body in a landfill. This makes it difficult if not impossible to ever locate Stacey. Which brings me to the purpose of this blog entry today..........

Just weeks ago we learned that Joanna Rogers who had been missing for two years was located in a landfill in Texas. An in depth search began for Joanna after her suspected killer confessed to her murder and told authorities pretty much where he disposed of Joanna. The county was able to set aside special funds to begin a massive excavation for Joanna and this search went on for at least two or possibly three months until she was found. The search was tedious and I'm sure it was unpleasant.

My question here is if we have a case like Stacey Balas and that of Amy Derewitz where these killers have confessed to the murders of these young women, and they've pretty much given the location of where these people were disposed of, how can it ever be acceptable to just tell the family, "we know what happened, but the chances of locating your loved one is probably never going to happen" when we've had a clear example of how it can be done?

The Derewitz family have told me that they pretty much know the area where Amy is located, but this place has been closed down or condemned, and therefore no searching will take place. How on earth could anybody deal with driving past a place knowing their loved one's body is lost in that pile of trash, murdered at the hands of some sicko and they cannot even have one piece of them back? I just don't understand.

We have had Lori Hacking located, John Fiocco, and Joanna Rogers that massive excavations were done until they were found. People this should be available for every single person because these cases do not end just when somebody is arrested and put behind bars. Although the family knows their loved one is dead and they'll never be home again, they need to have that physical body they used to hold back for a proper burial. This eats away at me to think that this is happening. There has to be a way to find funding for this.

Read All She Ever Wanted - Last November's Story on Stacey

Friday, November 03, 2006

Joe Mammana Puts Up Rewards For Missing & Unsolved Cases

The first time I had ever heard of Joe Mammana was this past July when I was in Indiana for a meeting and weekend to remember Niqui McCowan. Patti and Ed Bishop (along with some others who were present at this meeting) educated Debbie Culberson and I on just who this man is.

Joe Mammana is a businessman who is best known for his high profile crime advocacy and putting up high rewards for missing and unsolved cases. Mammana's most well-known case is the Natalee Holloway case in which he supplied the million dollar reward for.

Mammana turned from a life of crime and violence to begin assisting families and victims in a time of need and in my opinion, he's doing a wonderful thing.

In the last few weeks Joe Mammana has turned up the heat on some of these missing person cases to help find resolve along with the founder(s) of the Midwestern Coaliton for the Missing - Patti Bishop and Darlene Pitts. Mammana has chosen 20 missing person cases from the Midwest to have a $100,000 reward that is in effect for 20 days. The twenty cases for twenty days at $100,000 totals 2 million dollars and Joe believes that this sum of money may quite possibly bring resolve to several of these cases within this time frame.

I believe that this is a great idea and I want to tell you why. This is a lot of money at stake and if someone has information that could give them amount of money, they'd be nuts to continue not give up that information. I support what Joe is doing and although my communication with him was brief because I was working to connect him with Debra Culberson, I believe this man is smart and his tactics work.

See article below:

Seven families of missing Hoosiers have rekindled hope of finding their loved ones -- or at least finding out what happened to them -- thanks to a Philadelphia businessman who is putting up big rewards.
Family members of six of the seven gathered Downtown on Thursday at the Omni Severin Hotel to plead for information and to dangle the lure of $100,000 -- in each case -- to anyone who offers information that locates the missing person or leads to arrests and convictions in the cases.
The Indiana seven are among 20 missing persons cases nationwide tagged with rewards totaling $2 million put up by Joe Mammana, who owns an egg farm and is a former Marine. He has a degree in criminal justice and a police record for charges of aggravated assault, drugs, fraud and theft.
In recent years, however, he has become a crime fighter, putting up sizable rewards in high-profile cases, including that of Natalee Holloway, the Alabama high school student who vanished last year in Aruba.
Last month, Patti Bishop, stepmother of Karen Jo Smith, who disappeared in Indianapolis on Dec. 27, 2000, contacted Mammana about her vision for a "Squeaky Wheel Tour'' to draw attention to missing persons cases.
Mammana liked the idea and agreed to fund rewards to try to draw out information. In short order, he and Bishop devised a plan to offer $2 million for 20 cases for 20 days -- Sunday through Nov. 24 -- with $100,000 dedicated to each case.
Thanks to Bishop's involvement and her knowledge of Indiana cases, the state is heavily represented on the list. The other 13 cases are from Missouri, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Alabama and Arkansas.
"Someone knows something,'' said Kristin Hensley, Plainfield. Her husband, Harold "Brad'' Hensley, was 29 when he went missing Jan. 11. "We just need to get the story out there.''
Hensley is the most recent to go missing of the Indiana cases; Shannon Sherrill has been gone the longest -- she was 6 years old when she disappeared Oct. 5, 1986, from Thorntown.
"There hasn't been a day go by that I haven't hoped that she's found,'' her father, Mike Sherrill, said. "I just hope somebody somewhere comes forward and helps me find my daughter.''
Some of the cases previously have included rewards, but none as large as $100,000 or the cumulative $2 million the families hope will buy them attention. Some investigators share that hope.
"It's my hope that this money will bring someone forward,'' said Lt. Donald Bender of the Indianapolis Police Department's missing persons division. The concept regularly works with the CrimeStoppers program, he noted.
Bishop quoted Mammana, the benefactor: "People will turn in their own family for money.''
Family members and investigators often are frustrated in the belief that people have information but are afraid to come forward. The reward money, they said, might be just the incentive those folks need, said Darlene Pitts, sister of Lola Katherine Fry, Greenwood, missing since Nov. 14, 1993.
"This might shake the right bush,'' she said.

Patti Bishop's Missing Step-Daughter Karen Jo

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