(Introduction to show begins)
ERIC MEADOWS (WCAN Co-host): Hello to all of our listeners, you're listening to another episode of "Missing Pieces". Todd I'd like to welcome you and your guest to the show tonight, how are you doing?
TODD MATTHEWS (Missing Pieces Host): Doing really good…really good. It's a busy time of the season, right? I'm really having a difficult time hearing you tonight.
ERIC: Let me make a few adjustments. How's this?
TODD: Much better.
ERIC: I do want to welcome you and your guest, and I want to wish everyone a happy holiday. So, who do you have with you tonight?
TODD: Tonight we have Gloria Denton; she is the mother of April Beth Pitzer. Gloria, how are you doing?
GLORIA DENTON (Guest): I'm doing fine. Thank you Todd and Eric for having me.
ERIC: You're quite welcome.
TODD: Very happy to have you. Another southern voice…good to hear another southern voice. So, you're almost new at this. This is has not been that long….it probably seems like a lifetime to you, since your daughter went missing. June 28, 2004 your daughter went missing while living in San Bernardino County. She was on her way home. Correct?
TODD: How did you find out? When did you realize she was not coming home?
GLORIA: I was in the process of moving from Longview Texas back to the state of Arkansas. She and I were in constant contact. At that time I was in Arkansas with a load on the 22nd of June. I was going back to Texas for the last load. She was very excited and said: "Mom I can't wait to get home. I can't wait to see you. I love you so much". That's really the last thing she ever said to me. The plan was that when I got back to Texas, I was going to call her and send for her. I kept trying and trying…calling the cell number that she had where she was staying at. I couldn't get an answer….couldn't get answer. Prior to going to this guy who she referred to as "Uncle Chuck", prior to going to his home she had been befriended by an elderly lady named "Barbara Kilibrew" and had been staying at her home. So, I was trying Barbara's, but couldn't get an answer there either. Later to find out that Barbara had been in the hospital. Well in the meantime my phone in Texas had been disconnected, so I was using…going up the street to my niece's house, trying to get a hold of April on the cell phone. Never could get an answer. Finally on July the 4th, I got Barbara to answer her phone. She said to me "Well, how's it feel to have your baby home?" I'm like….I said: "Aprils not home" and she said: "Sure she is." I said: "No, she's not Barbara" and she's like "You're kidding me." I said: "No, I'm not" and I said: "Ah…She's not there?" and she said: "No. I saw April on the 27th of June. She came by and got her clothes, said her good-byes to all of us and she told us she's coming home". I said: "Well, that was the plan". I immediately knew that something had happened to April. I was real surprised that this Uncle Chuck wasn't even answering his telephone. Because in the future, he always has. And then when Barbara said that, I knew that something had happened to April.
TODD: She was 30 years old.
TODD: White female, 125 pounds, brown hair, hazel eyes, medium build, beautiful girl.
GLORIA: Thank you.
TODD: Very pretty girl. She was going to just travel through I-40 and I know that I-40 goes in Barstow California, goes right through Arkansas and right through my backyard here in Tennessee. Just a cross country and a lot of people do go missing along that pathway. Do you know about how far she got? How far you think that she got? Because I understand some clothing was found.
GLORIA: I don't think she ever got out of Newberry Springs. I don't believe she got anywhere. Her clothing….it seems….when April got out there…it's just a sad story. I had mailed her two boxes of clothes. When I finally got a hold of this guy, this Uncle Chuck it was like on July 16th, 17th…somewhere in there. He said: "I'm sorry I haven't been in touch with you, but I've been helping a friend move". I thought: "Yah right…for a month…uh-huh." Anyhow, I asked him when was the last time he'd seen April. He said: "Well, ah…I got up and I went to work on…" and we nailed it down because it was the morning after he had taken her to Barbara's to get her stuff, which that would have made it June the 28th. He said: "I got up that morning at 6:00 am, went to work, April was asleep in her bedroom and I came home that evening at 5:00 pm and April was gone and a couple of changes of clothes and her I.D." I always thought that was odd that he made a point to say that her I.D was taken too. I said: "Well where did she go?" He said: "Well she went to spend a couple of nights over with Steve and Tonya's house". And I said "Oh." He said: "And I haven't seen her since then." I said: "Where are her clothes?" "Where are her things?" And he told me very plainly "Oh, their here. I'm looking at her desert boots right now. And there's her gym bag". Money was depleted at that point. I told him: "Chuck, I don't know how I'm going to get there, but I'm coming there and please do not do anything with her clothes or anything. Please keep everything there for me." He told me: "Ok, I will." In the meantime a missing person's case had been taken. And a female detective Marie Spain was working April's case at that time. I called her and I said: "Chuck Hollister responded and he's at his house." And she said: "Ok, I'm gonna go out there." So she goes out to Chuck's home and he tells her: "Went to work at 6:00 am, came home at 5:00 pm and April and all her clothes were gone, everything she owns is gone."
TODD: So the story changed there.
TODD: Now; Uncle Chuck, do you know this man?
GLORIA: No. Spoke to him numerous times on the telephone. He always seemed polite. He has since died. He died of cancer; unfortunately, about three months ago. But to his dying breath, he swore that he does not know what happened to April Beth.
TODD: Was he ever a suspect interviewed by law enforcement?
GLORIA: He was interviewed; yes, as a person of interest and he will always be. You know because I dug her clothes up. They were scattered across the Mojave Desert. At a mine that he and another guy (Undisclosed Name). They would go out there and they would mine and plus come to find out that they cooked drugs out there and everything else. It was just a drug hangout. So, if April's stuff was at his house….and let me tell you, the story changed again. About six weeks after that, when Marie Spain was there, she said: "Well, can I come in and look around to see if there's anything around that might give me a clue as to where April might have gone?" Well, he wouldn't let her come in the house. She had no warrant and couldn't make him let her come in. So about six weeks later another detective; a male, Detective Hinijoas goes to the house to try and see if he gets anywhere with Chuck. Chuck let's him come in to the house and said: "Ok, the truth is April left. She didn't want her Mom to have to buy her ticket. She met a truck driver and took off with this truck driver and he was gonna take her home. She left all her stuff her and said she'd be back in three weeks to get it and here it is." So, if April's stuff was there in his trailer, then how did it get thirty miles away in the desert and me dig it up?"
TODD: Well, that's what we're going to talk about. How you got to that point. But I'm going to give the phone number to the investigating agency; the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, 760-256-4838. You've already got the cast listed with the NCIC, the local investigator case number. It's very important that if anyone has any tips to please contact that agency, to pass that tip along. Now what got you to that point? What got you to the point….how did you know to go to this mine?
GLORIA: Ok, from the very beginning I got my phone bill out, because actually April had been diagnosed bi-polar and when Barbara called and made the police report, I called as soon as I was contacted by the sheriff's department. I called and was told that it would be assigned a detective. Well, it was like a week that went by, with my calling every day. Actually they weren't alarmed, because of the fact that she and her husband in Texas have been having trouble, she'd gone to California, she was diagnosed bi-polar and was off her medication. I was point blank told: "If we look for everybody out here that are bi-polar and off their medication, we'll never get any real crimes solved."
TODD: Well, I can understand their frustrations at some point. It seems very callus to family members, because there are thousands and thousands….
GLORIA: I understand.
TODD: Sometimes their not legitimate…it's not a legitimate case. Not excusing the facts of course.
TODD: You've got to really sift through them and I've learned that from direct experience at times. I've been sent down some trails that just weren't right.
GLORIA: Right, right.
TODD: So, you went out there.
GLORIA: Well, the coroner; David Van Norman (guest on Episode 15)…when nothing was happening and I later found out there were only 5 detectives that work a 22,000 square mile area…
TODD: Mostly desert.
GLORIA: Yep, yep. So, I knew their hands were really tied and like I said, I was only a voice on the phone. So, I did what no mom wants to do, I started calling morgues. And David Van Norman, who is the chief coroner there with San Bernardino he's just been an angel sent by God. He started helping me. In fact, he's the one that sent the kit for the DNA, my DNA to be submitted and her father's. He was working another missing person's case. Well, rumor had it all along that April had been murdered and thrown out there in one of those mines that Chuck and (Undisclosed Name) regulared. Then in December, well they were checking in San Bernardino; in that area, and Newberry Springs; that area, for the mines. Well there were no listings tied to either of their names. Then in December of 2004, a person said to me that the mine was located in Ludlow California. So I called Detective Sang and she immediately found where it was and went out to the mines. She called me on the 22nd day of December and told me that they had gone to the mines and that they had taken cadaver dogs and the cadaver dogs all laid down at this air shaft. See at these mines, these air shafts are twenty, maybe forty feet from the main entry to the mines. From the way I understood it, the dogs were laying down at this air shaft, itself. So they went down in to the mines and there were three other shafts drilled out through there and they were under water…a couple of them. Anyhow, these dogs laid down and they brought out another search and rescue team with more dogs and all the dogs went to this shaft and lay down there. They searched for 12 hours and it started raining. You just have to see this desolate desert place that they were at to see that they just had to get out of there to understand they just had to get out because the mine could have collapsed and also they could have been stuck in there. So, then they went back on the 27th of December of 2004 and Marie called me from out at the mines and said "Gloria, I'm going to tell you this because I know that you know what it means. We let the dogs out again and the dogs wouldn't lay down this time. That means, April's been moved. I think that this one shaft that had not been, that the dirt hadn't been disturbed before…there's a lot of disturbance there now and it's just a black hole that goes on and on and on and it's under water that's about forty or fifty feet of water. I think that's where April's at."
TODD: Well it makes me want to ask a question and it's not to say anything bad about Larrensworth, but were there no…if they thought a body was there, is there nothing they could have , I know they couldn't stay there physically, constantly…but any type of overseeing of this area so that nothing could get in and out?
GLORIA: No, but I've always wondered why. Even worse yet, while they were out there…who shows up while their out there? But (Undisclosed Name). And he was interviewed there, at the mines. So, he knew they were looking for April.
TODD: So, how is he related to this?
GLORIA: (Undisclosed Name).
GLORIA: He and Chuck, the mine…claims that were coming out of it….were attached to him.
TODD: So that's where the drug trade possibly happened.
GLORIA: He lived in a trailer on Chuck's property and he and Chuck were attached at the hips. He showed up out there, at the mine and was questioned at the mine, while they were doing the search.
TODD: Was he ever dismissed as a person of interest?
GLORIA: He's been questioned, but that's it. Just questioned.
TODD: I noticed that you believe that maybe April was falsely diagnosed with bi-polar disorder?
TODD: That happens a lot. I think that some natural depression cycles that people go through, in the past and you just endure it and it's natural. There's like post partum. There are many reasons they go through periods of depression. I think people are so quick to get medication to correct it.
TODD: When you shouldn't probably have it yet (meaning medication). Sometimes you just have to let nature take its course. You have a reason to be depressed.
TODD: You just have to deal with it, rather than trying to evade it.
TODD: Do you think that played a part in what happened?
GLORIA: Her depression?
TODD: Her depression and her taking medication that she wasn't really needing.
GLORIA: Yes, I will always believe that. She was, you know….she loved her two little girls more than anything in this world.
TODD: How did this medication affect her? How did it change her?
GLORIA: She went through…I mean, she was just zombiefied. Then she would just cry, cry, cry, cry, cry. She felt like she had just gone crazy. She felt like she maybe the doctors were right. Maybe she didn't deserve….or wasn't deserving and wasn't, couldn't be a good mother to her kids because she was crazy. You know? She just…it wasn't April…it just absolutely wasn't April.
TODD: So the medicine actually just took her to this different level…she was a totally different person?
GLORIA: Totally different person.
TODD: (Sigh) Well did you ever; looking at hindsight twenty-twenty…did you discuss with her about possibly not taking this medicine? Of coarse she was a long way by then.
GLORIA: Right. She got off the medicine and it's just all so bizarre. How she ended up out there. She just wanted to be appreciated. Wanting her husband and she loved him very much and it was like a divorce (snapped fingers). It was jut like boom. She just basically had no choice in the matter. Her in-laws are millionaires. They very plainly said: "We own the court systems here. You're going to have to…" and I quote "You will to have to dig deep in to your pockets and you're still not going to win."
TODD: That's the divorce situation.
GLORIA: The home, the kids….everything. April really thought that they would see how important she was in their lives if she got away.
TODD: Well, you know. I don't want to cast any blame against anything unnecessarily. But Barbara comes to mind and the in-laws come to mind. Including the ex-husband. Have they been cleared of any possible connections?
GLORIA: Oh Absolutely. He would never. He adored April…he really did.
TODD: Her ex-husband?
GLORIA: He loved her, but he was overwhelmed with the medicine and he didn't know what to do. His family just; his separated mom, had all of it that she could take. It was basically the money or April. Unfortunately, some times people make bad decisions. It breaks his heart.
TODD: It happens. You've been really busy. Now, I see that you got this listed even some of the organizations that I work with. I see the Doe Network. You've got her listed in a lot of different places. You're very lucky in that because sometimes it takes a person years and years and to get this far. So, you've been very aggressive with this. I see you've done a lot of work and I see think you've been a lot of help from what it looks like. Getting a lot of this stuff passed around like you have. Are you going and I don't want to jump around too much, but are you going to this, there's an event in Washington on Mother's Day? GLORIA: Jan and I (referring to Janice Smolinski, mother of missing Billy Smolinski, guest on Episode 19) are trying to organize to get a group of mothers to go. We've asked Dave Van Norman to speak and he would love to speak. We want everybody to know that missing adults matter too. They don't always walk away by choice the way the local laws equally interpret an adult walks away.
TODD: You can understand the reason why their viewed differently from children. There's a reason obviously. But it's still just not an excuse not to do anything.
GLORIA: Right. When they are missing as long as April. From my research, only 3% of any adults listed missing…only 3% leave by free will.
GLORIA: In my opinion, that's not many.
TODD: No, that's not a lot.
GLORIA: Most fall victims of homicide.
TODD: So, on Mother's Day, May 13, 2007 (Please note: This date has changed and is still Pending. Please contact Gloria Denton or Janice Smolinski for more information and updates) on the steps of the D.C. Capitol, help take a stand for all missing adult children. We need your support to put an end for all the profiling. We are all God's children. You helped organize this and I see you've spoken with Janice Smolonsi?
TODD: Mother of missing Billy Smolinski. We're actually going to have her as a guest in the future. So, I think you've got a good team there. What do you hope to accomplish when you go to D.C?
TODD: What do want to see happen as a result of this?
GLORIA: I want to see the DNA processed. It needs to be put in to the national DNA databanks.
TODD: And that's coming up a lot lately…that terms the national DNA database. It has grown by leaps and bounds. We still have to keep forcing issues to make sure these things are entered in to the national DNA database. You're going to do a good job bringing that up. It's really good. I think it's very much the hope of the future for a lot of these cases, to utilize that system.
GLORIA: Right. I want to give you and example Todd, real quick. December of 2005, her clothes were found. Ok? Dave Van Norman came.
TODD: And you found the clothes, right?
GLORIA: Well, yes and no. Dave Van Norman, as I stated, the coroner was helping me and he was working on another case. He got introduced to this other guy Joe Spesacolie who was very familiar and help co-author some books on the Mojave out there. Ironically his in-laws pretty much own the little town of Ludlow. Ludlow got known because it was the only water resource back during the mother load. So these mines were actually mined in 1880, 1882. Joe was out in the desert, occasionally to take people out to show them the old mines. Dave Van Norman had told him about April and word had it that she had been thrown away up in those mines somewhere. So, he asked if he could kind of look out for her. During one of these expeditions of his, he came up to this other mine. I believe it's called the Indian Queen. As he went in to one of the abandoned shacks out there, he immediately saw women's clothing thrown about. He said: "Ut oh, we've got to get out of here." He thought about April. He got a hold of Dave Van Norman, who contacted the sheriff's department, then they immediately contacted me.
TODD: How far from the original scene would the dogs actually lay down? Or were the clothes found?
GLORIA: Ok, the dogs, where they laid down…see the clothes were at two different mines…this is the irony. They were probably twelve mines from one another. Where the dogs laid down, that is called Red Dog mine. Then this other one, it's called the Indian Queen. It's like twelve miles across. What was so strange was, how the clothes had been buried, some of them had been buried, you know?
TODD: And they didn't do that themselves.
GLORIA: No. What just broke my heart was when she opened her package. She called me just a crying, because I had sent her this gown. As I was walking up the wash there, going to this building. I was wondering what they were doing in this one old abandoned shack for so long. Well, I wanted to know. I was scared to do anything and I finally I couldn't sit there any longer. I had to get up and go do some looking myself. When the sheriff's department and search team got to the top of the hill, I took off. Walking up the road, up that wind. I looked down and there was that nightgown. The dirt, it was like on a hill and the dirt had been washed over it and everything. Going up in to this old shack, there was a little deck built over it. As I started to step up, I started to see something sticking out from underneath there. I thought: "What's that?" I crawled underneath there on my stomach and I started digging. Then there was her camisole, there was her black dress, there was a flowered bra my mom had bought to send to her. A pair of caprice. I just couldn't believe it.
TODD: It's a difficult moment, to say the least. Did any of these clothes have any damage? Any weapon's damage or blood…anything?
GLORIA: She had a red and black flannel jacket that had been set on fire. Then down in that other shack that Joe had seen the first set of clothing that drew his attention. It was a nightmare. And around the neck, had a hangman's noose. It was a short nighty…a different little nighty, a summer nighty. And there was all kinds of duct tape in there. And there was iodine and gauze. Joe has always said that he thinks that they tried to patch her up, up there. That probably something happened over at the other mine and then they probably tried to patch her up there. Now that's hypothetical, they don't know if that's the case or not. But her gym bag was lying by a burned can. Then one of her desert boots was in the front of another trailer. I walked over the ravine and then there was her other desert boot.
TODD: That's a sloppy attempt to try and get rid of evidence.
GLORIA: Yep. See, it was twelve mines away from the mine that everybody had been concentrating on. You know, where the cadaver dogs went. But, when we quit the search there, Dave Van Norman and Michelle; who worked, I don't know the name for it. Maybe an awful way to put it…but she's the bug lady.
GLORIA: Yah, there you go. She came along too. She, Dave and myself…we went over to Red Dog mine because I wanted to see this place as well. As soon as we pulled up there was April's suitcase, flapping from the dirt. I walked back to the back of the mine and there was there was a pit that had been dug. There was her bathing suit bottoms, a skort, a Bobby Brook's skort that I had sent her, a jacket and then there were other things. It had been…excuse me, but they had used the restroom on it and all of that. I started walking the ravine. And I'd always said: "Now look for a black laced bra. She always…her favorite bra was that black lace bra." There was her black lace bra.
TODD: How many items of clothing did you finally gather?
GLORIA: Umm…I brought home with me, like five things. The bulk of the clothing at the other mine was left. I asked: "Aren't we going to get this?" And I was told: "We can't collect everything, I've got enough." They collected a towel, that I had sent, a big black bath towel that April wanted and I had sent it to her. And, let's see….some shorts and the black, the little black dress. But the bulk of it was left…even her black gym bag, her desert boots.
TODD: Left there? Where it was actually found? Never…
GLORIA: Never collected.
TODD: Still to this day…never?
TODD: How was that explained? "We just don't need it?"
GLORIA: They said: "We can't collect everything."
TODD: Wow. Eric, I'm sure you have….I can hear your pin scribbling, I know you got questions.
ERIC: I do, I do. Gloria, first off let me express my concern about your loss and my heart goes out to you. To have a child there one moment and then what? Five, six, seven months later you recognize that their not coming home anymore.
ERIC: Now if I'm understanding this right, the gentleman who found the clothing in the shack the first time….they called you and the local authorities?
GLORIA: They called, he called Dave Van Norman, the coroner who had told him: "When you're out in the desert, I know you're familiar with that area. Keep an eye out we have a female that went missing a year ago. If you run across her or anything that could be connected to her, please let us know."
ERIC: Ok. The local authorities, you know even though these items were found twelve miles away from the mine of….what was his name? Uncle Chuck?
ERIC: And (Undisclosed Name). They still couldn't not tie them in to this? I mean; you know, being a suspect and their stories were changing. Now, when I say their stories were changing. First the clothing were there with Uncle Chuck and then they weren't there. Then they were found in the desert. They couldn't muster enough circumstantial evidence to actually bring this to a grand jury?
GLORIA: According to them, no. And what struck me when was when we asked detective Sang: "Do you want to go over to Red Dog mine and look over there?" And she responded: "Nope, I've been there already. Don't need to go back. But that's where you're daughter is. That's where April is. That's where I believe your daughter is."
ERIC: That's what the detective said?
GLORIA: Yes. So, me and Dave, and Joe and Michelle went over there. And then, when I seen her suitcase and the black bra and stuff, I'm like "Oh my God…and this is the mine where the cadaver dogs laid down?" and "Then the cadaver dogs come back five days later and the cadaver dogs won't lay down?" One thing, that I have a gut to throw in, is that. About six weeks later, to do another search. After the cadaver dogs wouldn't lay down. That air shaft had been dynamited and blown up. As soon as I got back to the motel, I started calling and calling her. Well, no response. She was out in the field, working the field. It was probably a month before I got a response. Emailing every single day: "Why didn't you call me in 2004? In December of 2004? Those things, I'm not stupid. That suitcase and that bra, all of that…I could tell by the weather worn, it had been out there the whole time." I knew, I wanted answers. She emailed me back and she told me: "Gloria, yes those things were there in 2004. But the only thing that told me was that April might have been at the mine at some time. I can't prove that anybody but April could have been there." Oh please.
ERIC: I'm in your corner on this one. Now who had jurisdiction? San Bernardino police?
GLORIA: San Bernardino, yes.
ERIC: And it was the county sheriff that was actually doing the investigation?
ERIC: Then they haven't taken any…and I understand you said they were understaffed. They only had so many…what five detectives to work a 2,000 square mile area?
GLORIA: 22,000 square miles.
ERIC: You know, but they didn't want to take any responsibility? Was there anything else going on at that time? A more important investigation?
GLORIA: Not that I know of. And we collected a…when we were out at this Indian Queen mines; where Joe Spisatole had alerted us to. And I flew out too. And where all of her other stuff was left. Um….
ERIC: I'm sorry?
GLORIA: I'm sorry, I just went blank.
ERIC: Oh, ok.
ERIC: You were saying you had flown out there, you know where all of her clothing were found, the suitcase, the boots, the undergarments and all.
GLORIA: Yah. And…ah…I am so sorry.
ERIC: That's alright, that's alright. I understand. I can move on from there. But, it just seems that the San Bernardino County Police have not taken any ownership to this case.
GLORIA: No, oh they told me. I know where I was going. I got it back now. They kept telling me that they couldn't….there was no evidentiary evidence for them to go and arrest these guys…any of them. Ok, when we were out there at that mine we found a bloody sheet and a foam mattress. It was bagged and collected, ok? That was in January of 2005.
GLORIA: Ok? I was told it could be three to six months before we have that DNA processed. Alright?
GLORIA: Well, I can't tell you how many times I've been told two weeks. Be two weeks….be two weeks. Well now, I'm told it's probably going be another year. But, I have a new detective. A wonderful guy who's been the case about five months now. And he's done more in five months that has been two and a half years.
TODD: I have a feeling he's listening tonight.
GLORIA: I hope he is.
ERIC: I hope so, I really do.
TODD: You got a lot faith is put in him. I hope he can live up to it.
GLORIA: I mean, he called from the hospital where his son was weighing with a shot spleen and everything else. You know, he's just has been wonderful. Above and beyond. And he's conducted…and I can't tell you how many searches, already. And what is funny, in another mine. Another on further back, they did up…it's been a couple ago. They dug up, they got down in there, they dug up a roach clip. Well, they found a roach clip that had Chuck Holister's name on it, engraved on it. Then they found a cd had (Undisclosed Name) name on it. So they got their shovels and got to digging. Well they found a shovel, which who ever used it probably had gloves on it. Because there's no prints on it. But they dug and they dug up a comforter and it appears to be blood on it too. So, let's see over here, we have a bloody sheet and a mattress. And then over here we have a comforter. And everything connects to (Undisclosed Name), Chuck Hollister and another guy. Everything.
ERIC: Listen, let me take some time out now to let our listeners know that if they'd like to become a part of this conversation; that we're certainly having, they can do so by dialing 1-866-921-2205. Again, that's 1-866-921-2205. If you have any information, go ahead and give us a call. Todd, if you can take the time out now to give out either an email or a website address to where if anybody wants to deliver you any information.
TODD: Ok, of coarse we can always go to MissingPieces.info. We're going to have links to Gloria's story about April. We'll have a transcript eventually of this broadcast and possibly an audio that we hope, one hour long. It's recorded. We have about twenty pages of transcript, that's an incredible amount of material. Let me tell you. It really hits the search engines and I'm hoping it's going to help. So, we try to repeat this data quite a bit.
ERIC: Todd we have a caller right now.
TODD: Ok, ready to go.
ERIC: Go ahead caller.
CALLER: Hi, I had just had a question for Gloria. I was wondering if the man that…I think his name was Chuck the one that took the clothes. If he had some sort of criminal record, any sort of background?
GLORIA: Unfortunately, he doesn't. But the other has about a nineteen page criminal history dating back to 1983. And is currently in prison on other charges.
TODD: So, he's available for questioning at some point in time then.
ERIC: Ok. Caller you have any other questions?
CALLER: No, that's it. Thank you.
ERIC: Ok, we want to thank you for calling in.
GLORIA: Thank you.
TODD: Was there any information that possibly could…I know they don't have the testing done on the two items with blood. Was there anything that indicates in this blood that it was from the same individual? Anything?
GLORIA: I don't know. Also, we did not know until two weeks ago that there was also hair. Brown hair recovered. April's got brown hair.
TODD: Now you can put all you data in a DNA database, which I have great faith in this database. It's going to be a very powerful thing at one point in time. But to me, if the body was never recovered, it's not going to do a lot of good.
TODD: You know, it's just another step. Unfortunately, you have to do that.
GLORIA: The bad thing; Todd, is that…coroners. They can only stay in counties. Can only hold human remains so long and bodies. And then after they get so many bones, those bones are all put together and cremated.
TODD: Well, the protocols are different in different areas. It just really depends on local policy. I've known bones being held for decades. Even, decades. I know of facilities now. The body farm at Utea, I was actually involved an exhumation this past weekend, in fact. The bones will probably remain there until their identified. And that's a good practice. You know you can only have so many sets of bones. But to me, to destroy them before any type identification's made. Because you never know what the future's going to bring. Before we didn't know DNA was going to come along. Therefore, if we gather DNA, even though we destroy these bones, what might we miss?
GLORIA: Right, exactly.
TODD: I think we need to advocate for that. You might need to throw in to the…
GLORIA: That is what I intend to do. Because I don't want April being someplace, I firmly believe that she's in San Bernardino County. I believe that with everything that I have within in me.
TODD: Well, I have a couple of resources in mind for you right away. Obviously it's not been long enough for any type of age progression for this person and for what we're thinking, it's probably not necessary to do that. Laura; she lives in Arkansas, her brother Tony Allen has been missing for years. I don't know if you've communicated with her before.
GLORIA: We have met, yes.
TODD: She's in sort of the same spot you're in.
TODD: And Wayne Leng, he works at Missing People.net. He actually lives in San Bernardino County. Very nice guy. He's working on the missing prostitutes in Vancouver. It's about a serial killer that's going be on the news. It's in the archives at MissingPieces.info. (Referring to Episode 7) I think he could be somebody that….I want to talk to him about this. He's there and very knowledgeable. I think he might go open a couple of doors for us there. Or at least point in the right direction, on that end of things.
ERIC: Todd, if you'll permit me. Let me ask you a question. Is there anything that a person, a family member or a concerned individual can do about speeding up a request for DNA?
TODD: Well to be a squeaky wheel for one thing, that helps. Because people tend to deal with the things…and I hate to encourage more pressure on law-enforcement but obviously you say I'm hungry before you're fed.
GLORIA: That's right.
TODD: She's doing the right thing, I think. Gloria's really speaking out. You've held up. You know some of the people; Eric, that we've talked to…their amazing how they've held up. I don't know if I could have done it. You people are amazing.
GLORIA: Well, you know something, Todd? I know that I will be able to again. And April depended on me to always to fix everything. Boy, when something went wrong or somebody stepped on her toes or friend's toes, she was on the phone to me "Mama, what do we do?" or "I need you to do this." I know that, April wants me to do this. I know that April wants me, would not have me lay down and cry. I have my moments…oh God I have my moments, because she's the joy of my life. But I have so much energy to find out what happened to her.
GLORIA: Because I know that's what she wants me to do. And I believe God's word. And God's word tells me that I'm going to see her again. And God's word promises me that this is a temporary loss. And I'm going to claim it.
TODD: All things are, there's ah….that's the hope that a lot of people hang on to. That's what keeps a lot of people going. There's still the physical life that we still have to deal with. Justice and injustice.
TODD: And we definitely do, our hour is almost up already…we still have a little bit of time. We definitely are going to have you back at some point in time to get a progress report on this. Hopefully you have a progress to report. Definitely want to talk to you after you go to Washington.
GLORIA: Oh, absolutely.
TODD: Indeed, that's going to be a great time. We're going to stay in contact with you in the meantime, obviously.
ERIC: I do have one more question that I would like to ask.
TODD: Good, good.
ERIC: Gloria, has the media picked up on any of this?
GLORIA: Quite a bit was happening in Iraq that night, so our time got cut.
TODD: That happens, it seems like these case just because become a line-on. Just next…just to get them through as quickly as possible. Because theirs just so many.
GLORIA: Yah, so many.
ERIC: Yes, there are so many of them. Yah.
TODD: And we're covering things and I like to think things in depth. And we try to skip around and talk as many things as possible. But you know, we're uh….it's like we're climbing a mountain. We've got a lot of people to go through. I'd love to be able to talk to everybody. So we try to paint with a broad brush and touch as many things as possible.
GLORIA: Well, it's wonderful what you guys do Todd. And Kimberly, she's so sweet.
TODD: She's our program manager for Missing Pieces. She works like she takes care of the website. She…without a whimper, she takes care of everything. Everything I want changed or added or deleted, she takes care of immediately. She's an amazing woman. She gives her freely time. She really cares.
GLORIA: Beautiful tribute once again, on the site.
TODD: I'm looking at that; she has a personal site too that she's made a really nice tribute. I see the Arkansas Democrat Gazette has featured your story very recently, in fact. GLORIA: Yes. And Barstow, The Desert Dispatch, Northwest Arkansas, Times Record. I mean, I have beat the drums. Because I'm not going to let her be forgotten. I'm just not about to. There's so many moms…I have met so many moms in this journey. I've met three, who haven't even reported their adult children missing. Because they were involved…one was involved in drugs. One was putting tattoos on a motorcycle gang. One left her husband and children. Well, I've got two of those three moms to report their children missing. No mom should feel like, because their kid isn't perfect…because their adult kid isn't perfect. They need to feel like they felt….They feel they were bad parents and it's all their fault or be ashamed. I have noticed that a lot in talking to families. There's no reason for that and that's another reason why I want to go to D.C.
TODD: Well that's takes away everything else. A lot of them just feel like their going to cause their child to be in more trouble, if their in trouble.
TODD: By reporting, like I've told Eric, I think you remember. I have my own cousin who's in a similar situation. He's just beyond reach. Until we go and eventually gather his body, you know. It's just like he's….It's like chasing a tornado. You can't do anything with him. It's unreal. And you don't want to do anything that's going to cause him to be in more trouble. You know, I know that frustration.
GLORIA: I want to say this real quickly Todd. In 1985, I had a brother taken. He was brutally murdered. We found him six months later on his birthday. And with one spot…I mean one drop of blood…it was processed just like that. And that was in 1985.
TODD: In what city and town?
GLORIA: Little Rock, Arkansas.
TODD: Little Rock, Arkansas, ok.
GLORIA. Yah. Allan had been robbed for eighty-three dollars and shot four times and put in a shallow grave. We actually found him on his birthday.
TODD: And that homicide was solved?
GLORIA: It was solved. The guy was given, who had been in prison three times already and he was given his justice. He was given a life sentence without the possibility of parole. Three years later, he was out. All the evidence disappeared out of the police property room. He got a new trial for misrepresentation and since the shot gun was missing out of the property room, the case file was missing and the sleeping bag that my brother was wrapped in was missing. Guess what? No evidence. Misrepresentation and he walked free.
TODD: And that happens a lot. In a lot of these cases, you see a lot of the common threads that go through them. Missing evidence. That happens quite a bit. The body that we worked on this weekend, quite a bit less remains that were found in the grave than I know that were found at the time, the body found in the location. Now, where did the rest of these remains go to? And what point did they have not to reach this grave? So, that's something we're looking in to on that case.
GLORIA: I'm not going to name no names here. But, I have met a very well-known person who had a child go missing. And they know how many bones were found on the site and when the bones were returned to that person. Well, half the bones weren't there. And that person, that parent did not stop until they got the rest of the bones back.
TODD: Now, where were they?
GLORIA: They had been given for forensic studies.
TODD: And that's not an uncommon thing…but you know. It's hard to accept.
GLORIA: Why sure. You know, you wait to find your child. You know fifteen bones were found and you get back eight. You want the other seven no matter what.
TODD: No doubt about it. We work with Little Rock Arkansas and generally they seem to be pretty good in what their doing. We recently reconstructed a skull for them, which prompted EDAN. And it's actually been released in the media, just this past week. And we'll have that linked in the archives as well, since we mentioned it. Hopefully to give that person a chance to being connected, even with this case.
TODD: It helps. That's going to help you a lot. Make friends in this business, in this realm and they will help support you. And I think you've already discovered that.
TODD: Nobody wants in if you've got a good family.
TODD: Eric, what have you got left?
ERIC: Well, you know. Don't give up the fight. I know that a lot was coming at you. I want to go ahead and wish you the very best on your trip to D.C. And I know just like Todd, we're hoping that a lot will get accomplished by this. It's continuously letting our law makers know about this DNA database. It does have to go up. It really does. I'd also like to thank you for taking up your time and consideration. And bearing your soul and letting us know what happened, with bringing this to this meeting. I want thank you Todd for coming out tonight.
TODD: It's been a pleasure as always, met another amazing person.
ERIC: Yes and we're going to be revisit a lot of these shows so those of you who are listening in, keep listening in. Right here very Tuesday. Right now I'm going to bid you a goodnight.
TODD: Goodnight, everybody.
GLORIA: Goodnight, thank you guys so much.
TODD: Thank you.
ERIC: You're quite welcome.
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