14 Rhode Islanders on National Missing Persons List

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

 

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With the FBI investigating whether a missing Cleveland, Ohio woman was recently spotted in Warwick, Rhode Island, records show that 14 Rhode Islanders have gone missing in the last 35 years who remain missing to this day.  

See the List: 14 People Still Missing from Rhode Island BELOW

"Warwick Police had a complaint, then that person's face was placed on RI Most Wanted -- we utilize that for missing persons," said Rhode Island State Police Superintendent Steven O'Donnell. "They said it looked like [the missing] woman, but I don't believe it has turned out to be the case."

The woman -- Ashley Summers -- is listed in the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NAMUS), which lists 14 Rhode Islanders in the database as currently missing, ranging from someone seen last in 2011, to someone who hasn't been accounted for since 1971.  

"I'm sure there are more missing people reported in that database.  I'm not an expert at it, it's not perfect science," said O'Donnell.  "When it's an adult, sometimes they choose to disappear, sometimes there's mental illness.  When it's a child...that screams out."

O'Donnell noted that the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) contained the information about missing youth.  Two children who went missing in Rhode Island in 1985 -- Kelly and Kimberly Yates, who were less than 1 and 3 years old at the time they went missing, are contained in that list, as well as NAMUS.   

Tracking Internet Activity

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Lt. Chris Schram of the Rhode Island State Police Computer Crimes Unit spoked to how they use technology to help identify missing persons, and youth in particular.

"We assist other agencies with computer related type requests -- forensic requests on phone and computer records, or giving them guidance on the type of things to look for," said Schram. 

"NCMEC, most of it is exploited children," continued Scrham.  "NCMEC can send us a lead having us monitor a text or FB message, but what I'm more aware of is us using social media that kids may be using or on to help go back and find their whereabouts."

Scrham noted the recent Amber Alert in Rhode Island in 2013, that resulted in the return of a Portsmouth girl who had been taken to New Jersey.  

"She was 14 years old, the guy comes up from New Jersey after meeting on Facebook, she ends up going down to New Jersey," said Schram.  "The FBI tracked her with our assistance.  We found her chat in iPad -- he was the only person her folks couldn't account for, so that our lead."

"There was a West Warwick case recently hat was somewhat similar," continued Schram. "They knew [the missing girl] was active on social media, we were able to get a friend who was able to get in contact with her."

"I would say it's another tool in the toolbox," said Schram of social media, and missing persons.  "Because [youth] are so active on social media, snap chat, whatever they're using -- it's a method for trying to figure out if law enforcement can track them back to wherever they are."

On January 13, NCMEC announced that Amber Alerts can now be found on Facebook. 

 

Related Slideshow: Rhode Island’s Missing Persons, January 2015

The following, in alphabetical order, are the missing persons listed for Rhode Island on the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, which is run by the U.S. Department of Justice. Those people who have photos posted to their account were used; some missing persons did not have photos uploaded.  Generally, the photos were from the time of disappearance.  The last two photos for the Yates sisters were digitially altered to reflect what they might look like today. 

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Charles Alper

Date Last Seen: March 4, 2011

Location: Kent County, RI (Out at Sea) 

Sex: M

Age (now): 32 

For more information, click here. 

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Richard Carter

Date Last Seen: December 10, 2009

Location: West Warwick, RI

Sex: M

Age (now): 55

For more information, click here. 

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Wojciech Fudali

Date Last Seen:  December 06, 2008

Location: Narragansett, RI

Sex: M

Age (now): 28

For more information, click here. 

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Lynda Hanley

Date Last Seen: November 4, 1971

Location: Lincoln, RI

Sex: F

Age (now): 66

For more information, click here. 

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Robert Harris

Date Last Seen: November 5, 1985

Location: Jamestown, RI

Sex: M

Age (now): 50

For more information, click here. 

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Stephen Harris

Date Last Seen: November 5, 1985

Location: Jamestown, RI

Sex: M

Age (now): 49

For more information, click here. 

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William Hokanson, Jr.

Date Last Seen: March 25, 1990

Location: Newport County, RI (Out at Sea)

Sex: M

Age (now): 44

For more information, click here

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William Hokanson, Sr.

Date Last Seen: March 25, 1990

Location: Newport County (Out at Sea)

Sex: M

Age (now): 69

For more information, click here. 

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Doreen Marfeo

Date Last Seen: March 29, 1990

Location: Johnston, RI

Sex: F

Age (now):

For more information, click here. 

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Frank Mazzella

Date Last Seen: February 7, 1999

Location: Westerly, RI

Sex: M

Age (now): 55

For more information, click here. 

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Katrina McVeigh

Date Last Seen: July 17, 1992

Location: Woonsocket, RI

Sex: F

Age (now): 49

For more information, click here. 

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John Simonelli

Date Last Seen: July 11, 1994

Location: Pawtucket, RI

Sex: M

Age (now): 42

For more information, click here. 

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Kimberly Yates

Date Last Seen: August 26, 1985

Location: Warwick, RI

Sex: F

Age (now): 30

For more information, click here. 

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Kelly Yates

Date Last Seen: August 26, 1985

Location: Warwick, RI

Sex: F

Age (now): 30

For more information, click here. 

 
 

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