(Introduction to show begins)
TODD MATTHEWS (Missing Pieces Host): This is Missing Pieces. I’m Todd Matthews. Tonight we have Marianne Asher-Chapman. Welcome Marianne.
MARIANNE ASHER-CHAPMAN (Guest): Hi.
TODD: Hope you enjoy the show. I know you’re a little nervous but I think everything will be good. You have a missing daughter, right?
MARIANNE: I do.
TODD: And her name is Angie Yarnell, missing since October 25th, 2003. That’s why we’re doing this special episode; we’re trying to hit the anniversary date, and she’s missing from where?
MARIANNE: Yeah, it’s getting really close to the 4-year mark, you know. Her name is Michelle Angela Yarnell, but we refer to her as ‘Angie’.
TODD: So she always went by Angie. And that was in Ivy Bend, Missouri?
MARIANNE: Ivy Bend, that’s right, it’s a peninsula of the Lake of the Ozarks.
TODD: Ah, okay. She was born May 20th, 1975, so she’s about 5 years younger than me. Very pretty girl.
MARIANNE: Thank you.
TODD: Can you tell me a little bit about what happened 4 years ago?
MARIANNE: Well, the day that I found out that she had gone missing, it was my granddaughter’s 5th birthday and we always have a birthday party for Samantha, the granddaughter, at my home. I live about an hour and a half away from where Angie lived, and we had some people over and Angie’s brother, her only other sibling, Eric, that’s the father of Samantha, and my husband, Tommy and I, and some friends. And, Angie, all day, didn’t come and I had been calling her off and on the past week but she wasn’t answering my calls, which she always normally did, but I knew that she had been job-hunting, so I kind of thought that maybe she’s just really busy and still I thought it was unusual. But, anyway, when it came to be about 5 o’clock, and the party was at 1 o’clock in the afternoon, I called her number again and I just said, “Angie, if I don’t hear from you this evening, I will be at your doorstep really early in the morning.” I really, to this day, I regret that, but I didn’t know. And then, 2 hours later, her husband, Mike, was at the door; it was getting dark, it was 7 o’clock. I said, “Well, finally” you know, and he came in, I hugged him and I looked past him and I said, “Where’s Angie?” and I saw that Angie’s 2 dogs, which were like her children, were out in the car. It was her car too, by the way. And I saw that the dogs were out there but no Angie and Mike came in and sat down on a rocking chair in the living room. Mike, is an extremely introverted person, but he came in and at that time, there was only my husband, Tommy, my son, Eric, and myself and the baby that was here; everybody else had left, and he sat down in the rocking chair and he said, “She’s gone now.” And I said, “What do you mean, she’s gone?” He said, “Well, she’s been gone for a week now” and he was extremely nervous, very, very, very nervous. He kept getting up and going outside, he said, “to check the dogs.” I didn’t know if maybe he was, he’s a smoker but he knows that he can’t smoke in my house, and I thought that maybe he was just going out to take a couple quick drags of a cigarette and come back, and he kept doing that and doing that, and he left the dogs out in the car. And I said, “Well, where did she go? You’ve got her car. How did she go?” He said, “Well I think she must have ran off with another man.” And I said, “Who was it?” and he said, “I don’t know.” And I said, “Well, why would you say that?” and he said, “Well, that’s all I can think. I came home from work and she was gone and so I figured she must have ran off with another man.” And, so I guess it was just an assumption, but I knew that she hadn’t run off with another man. Angie and I were extremely close, extremely close. Everybody, everybody in the family, everybody knows that half the time you couldn’t get through to Marianne’s because Angie and her Mom were on the phone; and we were just really close. And he said she’d been gone a week already, so after he left, my husband and my son looked at each other and they commented that they thought maybe that he had a gun. I don’t know even how to think things like that, that’s unnatural for me, but anyway, I guess that’s sort of beside the point, but he was just extremely nervous and I said, “Well, did you report her missing?” and he said, “No.” So the next day I went and reported her missing.
TODD: How long had they been married?
MARIANNE: About 3 years.
TODD: So you knew him really well yourself, right?
MARIANNE: I did, but you know over that period of time, even to me he finally came out to where he was using full sentences. This is a man that would just sit and just be quiet all the time, and you just never knew…you just never knew what he was thinking, you never saw any emotion of any kind. And at first I thought, Angie is going to be embarrassed, and I actually liked Mike, and then somebody, one person…I don’t remember who is was, all they did was they made one comment, they said, “You know Laci Peterson’s family liked Scott and defended him in the beginning.” And that’s all it took…totally I was changed, you know, and that’s true. So…but that’s pretty much how I found out that she was missing. I was just in a…
TODD: Well when you went and made the police report, how did that unfold when you went to make the police report, because you were doing it rather than her husband?
TODD: Now how did they take that?
MARIANNE: I went up the street; I live in a small town, in a different county though, and I didn’t know and I asked them what to do, and they told me I needed to go to the county where she went missing from. So I went to that sheriff’s department and they took a written statement and that was about all there was to it. I don’t think that they thought that there was a crime there and, to be honest, it was highly under-investigated for a whole year until I started getting some media attention, and then I even got national media attention when I went to New York. The Montel Show called me; they had just seen an article that a reporter here in Jefferson City had written. It was something to the effect of ‘Disappearance of Daughter Leaves Mother Baffled’ or something like that, and they happened to run across that and they called to invite me to be a guest, and once they did that, a couple of things happened. The first thing…it was just a whirlwind trip, I was there on a Tuesday and on Friday they aired the show. But the day that they aired the show, my friend, who is the reporter I was referring to, she called a man with a radio show in Morgan County, where Angie went missing from, and was telling him, “Local woman to be on national TV program, blah, blah, blah” and he read all about it and he made a big thing out of it on the radio, and her husband, Angie’s husband, disappeared that day! It was said that he might have went to Louisiana to help clean up after Katrina, and if that was the case, there are so many scenarios, you know? I started to think of his cargo but that’s…whatever. But another thing happened when I went to New York, the police, probably afraid they might look bad, stepped up their investigation then, and they actually had a couple cadaver dogs and land and water searches. And a couple psychics stepped in and the police actually worked with the psychics but nothing ever came of it.
TODD: It’s funny when you do the newspaper interviews and then the big national media, they focus on it, and it does make changes. It does cause people…believe me, I’ve seen people that didn’t want to talk or that didn’t want to assist in a case, period, sing a completely different song after national media picks it up. But it sounds like you’ve got a little bit of 2 things going on with it; it sounded like it had a positive and a negative effect, because a person that you felt like has information, or possibly has information, has disappeared.
MARIANNE: Yes, and the detective that was handling the case, I’ve since gotten a different one, they had some departmental changes at that sheriff’s place, but he, in all fairness, he thought, “Well, maybe she did just run away with another man.” But see, I consider it, possibly against the law even; to just take the word of whoever you would look at first.
TODD: uh huh
MARIANNE: Because the area she went missing from is not considered a very good area and there’s a lot of unsavory-type people there, so therefore it’s kind of a case of if you’re not blonde, blue-eyed and wealthy, you’re just not going to get the attention. But when I went to Montel, it was almost like winning the lottery.
TODD: uh huh
MARIANNE: Because I know from experience, all of us in this ‘club’ with missing loved ones, we all contact every TV station, everybody and everything we can think of and we all get these polite little letters back. But, somehow, I got seen, and I put up a couple billboards with my daughter’s information and face and I got a reward from The Carol Sund/Carrington Memorial Reward Foundation, and they did this for me twice. They do it for 6 months at a time.
TODD: uh huh
MARIANNE: And the third time that I asked them would they re-instate it, they couldn’t because their funds were very low. But my mother has since put up $5,000 again for her, so I can still use the same flyers since it didn’t mention the organization that…but anyway…
TODD: Well, you know when you first made the police report, to me that seems like a critical time to ask you…do you suspect any foul-play? And I know that sometimes in the smaller towns like here; I’m in Livingston, Tennessee, a very, very small community and I think everybody knows everybody here, and it might just seem like just that, maybe they just stepped aside and they’ll be back, because it’s hard to imagine somebody not coming back.
MARIANNE: That’s true. And with her leaving right before Thanksgiving and Christmas, those first couple holidays of the first year, I still had it in my head, there’s no way she would not come back or, at least, send a card, because she and I are both big card people. She takes after me; we send cards all the time. And, speaking of a card…about 10 days after I did the missing persons report, I got a postcard supposedly from Angie, and it was from the state of Arkansas. It was postmarked Harrison, Arkansas, and in it, it said, “Mom, we are going tomorrow to visit Gary’s family in Texas. Will write when we are settled.” At first, it really did throw me off, for 2 or 3 days. I mean, I called everybody and said, “She’s going to be okay. She’s with somebody named Gary.” And then I got to looking at it, and it just hit me just like a hammer, I mean it was obvious…she didn’t write that card. She did not write that card.
TODD: Now, you’re sure, this is not her writing?
MARIANNE: I’m certain of it. It’s not her writing. But somebody worked very hard to try to copy her writing but it’s not her writing.
TODD: Have law enforcement looked at this card?
MARIANNE: They did, and they supposedly sent…I know that sounds bad to say ‘supposedly’ bit its true…they supposedly sent…
TODD: Well, you don’t have confirmation that it did happen.
TODD: So you have to suppose that it did.
MARIANNE: They said they sent it to a Virginia Forensic Crime Lab to see if they could pick up any DNA under the stamp, which is probably a self-adhesive stamp anyway. I haven’t seen the kind you lick in years, but you never know. Then they said that they might consider a handwriting analysis, but that has been at least 3 years ago and I’ve never, ever, ever heard back. I’ve asked several times, “Did you ever hear?” “No, not yet. Not yet. They’re just very busy people.” So I don’t know.
TODD: Do you have a copy of this card?
MARIANNE: Oh yes. Oh yes.
TODD: Now this is something I could probably do for you. I do have access to somebody that can do a handwriting analysis. I’m not saying that it’s something that you could use it court, probably, I mean, this is a legitimate thing but at least it might give you some idea or some expert opinion to put back into law enforcement, and maybe help move things a little bit. After we wrap up the show, maybe we can make arrangements for that, and we’ll work on that.
MARIANNE: That would be really good. That would be good. And, if indeed it maybe is hers, but maybe she was under a lot of stress or coerced or whatever, then that’s a piece of the puzzle that we would know that on November 7th, I believe it was, that she was alive on that day anyway.
TODD: So it would have to be someone who had access to her handwriting to even be able to make it look like it.
MARIANNE: And Angie, she sent me postcards all the time. Little cards and homemade cards, and everything was full of hearts and glitter-glued on and confetti would fall out in my lap when I opened them. She just got such a kick out of. But this card was so different; there were no swirly little letters the way she always did. It was not how Angie writes.
TODD: Well, a good handwriting analyst can look at this and tell if a person is under stress and that type of situation, or somebody that’s labored trying to work on something to try to look like something else. I know there are earmarks that show that.
MARIANNE: I know I had one man that claimed to know about it but he’s not an expert, but he seemed to think that it may have been her writing but she was trying to disguise it. And, this Gary thing, she knows I know nobody named Gary. She knows that. And he thought that maybe it was her writing but maybe she was trying to give me a signal or a sign. I don’t know. And she was trying to disguise her own writing, so I’d question it? I don’t know. If the police forensics or some real lab were to analyze it and say it was hers, I would believe them.
TODD: But you’ve not seen anything back? Any type of print or verification that something’s been looked at, that’s a lot to…
MARIANNE: They won’t even let me look at the files. I don’t know if it’s legal or not, but they tell me that I am not allowed to look at anything in her files.
TODD: And that’s understandable. I do understand that. I’ve heard that. I do have something as an example…Samantha Bonnell, I know her mother, Mary Weir; she was able to identify her daughter. She found her on the DoeNetwork as an unidentified person deceased in San Bernardino, and she had to think she was in The Carolinas, but she was actually originally missing from Alaska. There was an error on her NCIC report but she was never allowed to see it so she couldn’t confirm it; I’m wondering if you could actually call law enforcement and say, “I know I can’t see it but can we confirm this date.” The dates were way off on this one and everybody assumed that they were working from the same page but they weren’t. If that data had been accurate in the NCIC then the unidentified body would have been immediately discovered. So what would be wrong with you calling law enforcement and saying, “Hey, I know I can’t see it, but can you confirm you have this date as the missing date? Can you confirm that you have this information? Can you confirm this for me? And if you hit on something, that’s an opportunity to work it out.
MARIANNE: That’s a really good idea.
TODD: Well, at least you’ll know
MARIANNE: Honest to God, I swear to you, they have never…I have called them many times, I have a new investigator, I have called him many times in the past 2 or 3 weeks, he has never returned my calls, not once…not even one time. I can’t get them to return my calls. I even called the sheriff; he didn’t return my call. I can’t get anybody to talk to me.
TODD: What if you sent a letter in writing to them?
MARIANNE: I don’t mean to put them down; I really don’t. I’m really not trying to put them down but it is just the truth.
TODD: Especially when you need them, I mean, you need them and you know your instinct tells you, “don’t make and enemy of them.”
MARIANNE: No, I would never alienate them. I would never that but I can’t, but short of camping out in their lobby, I don’t know how to talk to them, you know?
TODD: Yes. Well, you know, they are not giving you the respect…they’re not in your shoes. I know you’re waiting for data…you’re waiting for date every day. I know you’re spending the rest of your existence waiting for just the smallest shred of data.
MARIANNE: I’m totally consumed. There’s no way not to be consumed. There’s just no way, you know. This is my daughter and this Thanksgiving and this Christmas are going to be the fifth one without her. For the longest time, I constantly worked every angle, everything I could think to figure out ways to try to find out what happened Angie. I’ve walked the woods down there many, many, many times, and it’s a dangerous place down in there to be walking around. There have been so many rumors going on down in that neighborhood about ‘the missing girl.’ They just call her ‘the missing girl.’ The first investigator has told me some of the stories that he’s heard from some of the locals about ‘the missing girl’ and, just when you think there’s nothing left, that would shock you…oh, you’re wrong!
MARIANNE: You know its hideous things. There’s a man down there that lived next door to them and he was a known…he and my daughter did not get along. They argued in public. She didn’t like him. In her eyes, he was a bully, he was a druggy, he was just someone that she would never associate with and she could be really picky about the people she associated with. Well, this certain person has ran around, according to my first investigator, and done a lot of talking about ‘the missing girl.’ But the night that Mike came in and sat in the rocking chair, the very instant…the second that he said, “She’s gone now,” I know it’s going to sound crazy, but it was whispered in my ear, it was neighbor man, and I didn’t know his name, I didn’t know anything about it, but I knew that Angie had disdain for him but I knew nothing about him.
TODD: uh huh
MARIANNE: And I’ve learned a lot about him and he’s a criminal from way back and I think that he could be involved.
TODD: Well, you know, I’ve even mentioned the missing report…I want to get back to this before I forget. Do you know if there’s an NCIC number for this?
TODD: Okay, so there is one?
MARIANNE: There is.
TODD: Okay, we need to add that to her page file. That will make it easier if anybody is trying to report data that they can possibly get past anybody that’s not receptive. Maybe at the local law enforcement agency the can use this national number to move things along a little more fluidly, I’ll say that. So we’ll get that listed on the page.
MARIANNE: I did give them a DNA sample; they swabbed the inside of my mouth. That’s when they were going to send the card off to see about the saliva underneath the stamp and as far as I know, my daughter’s father who lives in Denver, Colorado, went in to the police station in North Denver and gave his DNA too. So, I’m always wondering, since our DNA may be on record somewhere, and there’s a certain body in a morgue somewhere, no telling where, would they check?
TODD: Well, not necessarily. You know, you submitted DNA for a specific purpose and that swab was sent, and we’re saying supposedly because we have no idea where it’s at, but I don’t think that it was automatically entered into the National DNA Database. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it was.
MARIANNE: Pretty often, all you have to do is pick up the local paper, and there’s a body found and so…when…before this happens to you in life, if this happens to you, people don’t even realize that they would ever have to pick up the phone and call authorities and ask them about certain aspects pertaining to that body they just found. Is it male or female? Are there any marks on the person, to see if it’s your own child or not? You know, it’s just unnatural to do things like that, but that is my newfound life.
TODD: Well, we’re definitely going to provide you with the data so that you can take some steps toward the National DNA Database. There is one and it’s something that you can call and maybe help get the ball rolling. You will have to have the assistance of law enforcement in with it, but you can call and at least start the ball rolling and try to get some information going. So we can definitely help you there too, I think. We’ll even put that information on your case file page on Missing Pieces, so it will be there.
TODD: For reference and for anybody else that is in your particular situation.
MARIANNE: You know, there are so many missing people and all these families…there are just more than anybody ever realizes. We try always…we are constantly looking for something online to help us. You know, I have recently become friends with a lady here in my town and her name is Peggy Florence, anyway her daughter went missing, yesterday was the 4-month mark. I remember that well, too, because for some reason, 4 months was the awfulest time ever for me. (The missing daughter’s) name is Jasmine Haslag. Peggy, the mother, she’s a very outgoing person and she’s working constantly to figure out ways for us to have campaigns for missing people and to improve things. I mean, I used to be more like that, but I’m afraid I’ve become more weary a lot more nowadays, but there is a bill in the House that’s called H.R.2103. Are you familiar with that?
TODD: Does it have another name?
MARIANNE: I don’t know what the other name of it is.
TODD: I think it might have been named after an individual.
MARIANNE: Yes, I believe it has. I don’t know if it was Jason Jolkowski or…I forget who it’s named after, but anyway, you know the National Center for Missing People (Adults) are seriously closing their doors. Their staff is down to 2 people.
TODD: uh huh
MARIANNE: They can’t…because they get no money for adults and there should be $7 million allotted yearly to this organization to help.
TODD: I can see a huge shift back to the volunteer efforts like this one now because the funded efforts are starting to shut down…
MARIANNE: They are.
TODD: …and I think people don’t have any place to go to; you have no options. I could do one of these shows, 10 shows a day every day; probably for the rest of my life, and still never talk to everybody I’d like to talk to. There’s just no way. And we try to find people that’s had little exposure; we try to find cases that are good ‘case in points’ where there are a lot of reference points where we think it can help not only the person we’re doing the show with, but the people that can listen. You know, there are a lot of good, valid points in this case and maybe somebody can take it as a reference point and help their own selves with it. So, it’s just something we’ve all got to try to do, you know. I don’t know if we’ll ever get any more funding. I don’t know if anybody will get any more funding, but I know they’re trying. But, in the meantime, we’ve got to keep going.
MARIANNE: Yeah. It’s just impossible to think that I will never find Angie. I just…it’s impossible. I mean I do want I can to just function and everything, and I do what I can to honor her, all the time.
TODD: uh huh
MARIANNE: But, some days it’s just way, way, way too blue.
TODD: Now, she had a child, right?
TODD: So it was another grandchild you had, right?
MARIANNE: Yes, my son’s.
TODD: Now, her husband? Now, we know that after the Montel thing, he’s gone. Have you heard anything from him, ever?
Michael Yarnell (Angie's husband)
MARIANNE He lived with his stepfather at the time, and it’s been said that his stepfather said that when he came home from work, my son-in-law, Mike, his everyday clothes that he wears all the time, were actually literally tumbling in the dryer, when he came home and evidently Mike had borrowed or bought or obtained somehow, a brown van from a neighbor man and had taken off. And nobody knows where he is…of course, people know where he is, but they won’t tell me. The stepfather, I’m sure he knows where he’s at, but he won’t tell me.
TODD: Now, are police not at all interested in where this man is?
MARIANNE: I don’t know. The last time I asked one, they said that they’d really like to find him, but I don’t think they have a warrant out for him. The first investigator told me that Mike had passed a Voice Stress Test.
TODD: uh huh
MARIANNE: And that he had cried the entire time. I question whether he even had a test. I’m sorry, there are so few resources for these little towns; I mean, these are one-horse towns with a population of about 2,000 people, maybe, and some of them are even less. And these counties are just sprinkled all about and, if you know very much about Missouri, Missouri is by far the biggest Methadone state in the country. I mean, by a large, great number bigger than…it’s a horrible problem.
TODD: uh huh
MARIANNE: And these little counties are full of that stuff going on and there are a lot of criminals.
TODD: It’s the same world here, you know, I’m living in small-town Tennessee, and it’s the same. You know, we see a lot of it now, and some of the people I see, they’re perfectly capable of walking away and just never coming back, of their own accord. It’s easy, and it’s easy to be biased. I’ve seen people, you see them walking the streets, and if somebody told me they just walked off, I’d believe it, because I’ve seen them wander around like zombies.
MARIANNE: I feel that my daughter…she might have possibly gotten involved with it. She definitely…Angie was very outspoken, and she may have threatened to…she might have seen something, she might have threatened to say something to the wrong group of people, and that was just the end of it because they couldn’t let that happen. I’m not saying that she didn’t get involved, but it’s really very hard for me to imagine, but I think that at the core of many of these cases, you’re going to find things like that. You know, that they just got around the wrong people, and thought they were friends but they were not.
TODD: Are you able to work well with her father in trying to coordinate any efforts or is it just sort of a lost cause?
MARIANNE: No. He shows absolutely no interest whatsoever in finding Angie. What he would say is, “Well, women do run away. That’s what women do.” Because I did…because he was an abusive husband.
TODD: uh huh
MARIANNE: Highly abusive. Extremely abusive.
TODD: Do you stay in contact with your mother?
MARIANNE: Oh yes.
TODD: I mean, that’s not a time that a daughter or son normally would turn from their parents. To me, that’s the first place that you want to go to. You know, I still today, if anything happens, you go to Mom and Dad. That’s your comfort zone.
MARIANNE: And that’s your birthright, in fact, in my opinion. That would be it. I see people, I hear people talk about, well let’s say some mother and daughter, they had a spat about something and they haven’t talked in 3 years, and I begged these people, “Please don’t. You know, what I wouldn’t give for what you are just blatantly throwing away.”
TODD: uh huh
MARIANNE: It is just unreal. You know, Angie was just my girlfriend, my best little girlfriend. You know, I will never give up. I will never give up. Never, never will I give up my search for Angie. But, even if I do get weary some days, I pick it up, you know.
TODD: Now do you think it would have…have you talked to many people out there that also have missing children?
MARIANNE: Oh yes, many, many. There’s a site called "Hope to Support" and it’s in the National Missing Adults Organization and it’s an online support group and I am a senior member. I don’t even get on it very often but I still get on it a lot more than most of them, and I feel that I know a whole lot of these people from just emailing back and forth. One of your guests you are going to have next, I’ve talked to her on the phone several times and we’ve emailed many, many times, and I’ve talked to a lot of people with missing people.
TODD: Does it give you comfort to talk to somebody else, I mean when you’re sharing each other’s…you’re telling your stories?
MARIANNE: Very much so. Like my new friend, Peggy, I pray she doesn’t have to go through 4 years of this; she’s just done 4 months. I never dreamed…and you know I write letters to Angie and I have…since she went missing, I just picked up a spiral notebook one day and started writing, and I’m on my 10th book. I don’t write very often, but when I do, I write 5 or 6 pages. I number all the books and I title them all, and I’m on the 10th book of letters to Angie. It is a book actually.
TODD: Now how does that feel to be able to write to her? You’re getting value from this some how by writing these letters to her.
MARIANNE: Yes. Well, and you know the first year she was gone, I couldn’t imagine that she wouldn’t come for Christmas. We always had Christmas at my house and I bought her presents and all that, and had them wrapped and they were even underneath the Christmas tree and I knew, my heart sank all day because I kept looking out my kitchen window at my driveway, waiting, but I knew she wasn’t coming. But, nonetheless, the days leading up to that I kept buying her presents, because to not do that would be saying, “She’s never going to come home.”
TODD: Yeah, you had to go forward. I think that was your period of becoming aware, that’s what was happening.
MARIANNE: So she didn’t come, so days later, I carted everything upstairs and put it in a big box in a closet, and then comes May and it’s her birthday…
TODD: uh huh
MARIANNE: …and I bought her a couple of birthday presents, thinking that she would come, and she didn’t so soon after that I went out and I bought a big beautiful trunk, and every Christmas and every birthday I buy her a present and I put it in the trunk. Her trunk is just full of treasures, but nowadays I don’t get into the trunk anymore than I have to, but that I do know that at Christmas, I will go and buy her a bracelet or something like that and put it in the trunk.
TODD: Do you think…now it has provided you comfort for a period of time, to be able to do this, what about 10 years?
MARIANNE: Well my granddaughter, her birthday is coming up November 1st, that’s when I found out Angie was gone, and Samantha, she is just an absolute joy, she is such a joy I can’t tell you, and she’s my little friend, and she said, “Grandma, what happens if Aunt Angie never comes home for the trunk?” And I said, “Well then when you are all grown up, then you can have the trunk” but that’s just what I do now.
MARIANNE: But I used to have kind of shrines and things sitting around but I kind of ‘de-shrined’ pretty good. Last summer is when I decided to stay out of the trunk as much as possible, so I covered it with a frog-prince throw; she liked frogs. And I was at an event, and out of the blue, I didn’t even plan it, I never knew that I was going to do this but the next thing I knew, on my right shoulder blade I had her name tattooed. It has a woman’s eye with a teardrop, and inside the teardrop is a peace sign, and it says ‘Angie’ and that’s like the eyebrow. And that was sort of like in memory of Angie without actually saying it. So I said that I needed to stay out of the trunk, to de-shrine and just put her on my back.
TODD: Carry her with you around.
MARIANNE: It’s probably healthier.
TODD: Was that your first tattoo?
TODD: I didn’t know if that was something that you would do or not, you know, get a tattoo. Some people are big advocates of tattoos and some aren’t.
MARIANNE: Yeah. No, it wasn’t my first tattoo but I never dreamed I would get another tattoo ever in my life.
TODD: Now, she had a tattoo, right? Angie had tattoos.
MARIANNE: She had several tattoos.
TODD: Tell us about some of those tattoos. Frogs, she loved frogs, right?
MARIANNE: She was a frog collector. I think she had a little fairy somewhere. She got some black tribal tattoo around her right wrist, like a bracelet, and I know that she always regretted it because she soon after started wearing things to cover that up, but tattoos are pretty darn permanent.
TODD: You’ve got to think them through before you do something like that. Now, the NCIC report, do you know if they’ve included the tattoos?
TODD: For sure?
MARIANNE: When you say NCIC report, does that mean the National Missing…?
TODD: National Crime Information Center. I’ll show you an example after the show. I’ll show you an example because I want to make sure that you actually have an NCIC number and an NCIC report. It’s where they report the information to the FBI NCIC and it does a comparative analysis of the missing and the unidentified person to crimes that are possibly related. Like if there was somebody that had robbed a store with the same exact tattoos as she had, it could kick it out as a possibility…a possible sighting. So we’ve got to make sure now, and the fact that you don’t know for sure, it’s not unusual that you don’t know because a lot of people don’t know, we’re going to have to make sure that it is there and that that information is accurate.
MARIANNE: uh huh
TODD: It’s a little different than your normal police report because, honestly, that police report you have at the county level, if it’s sitting there and nobody’s doing anything with it and it’s not being circulated other than what you have online…who’s looking at it? What’s it being compared to? Who’s doing something?
MARIANNE: I see.
TODD: And see there’s…we don’t know now that that’s been done, and a lot of people assume that when you make a police report, everything is being done automatically and, a lot of it, the responsibility is going to fall back to you. Not that it should, but you are her mother and you have to make sure that it’s there, and you might have to ask.
TODD: And we’re going to help make sure that you do that.
MARIANNE: I get it. Uh huh.
TODD: We’re going to push that. We’ll help you push that issue. I’m going to give the…it’s the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office at 573-378-5481; I bet you know that number by heart.
TODD: We had a funny thing…our program director for Missing Pieces, Kimberly Bruklis, she had an event that happened to her at another job that she works. She actually had an unusual phone call, and she tried to report this tip to law enforcement, and she had a really hard time reporting this tip that she got. It was an unusual call that suggested a potential crime. She has worked so hard to try to report this to the proper authorities, and it’s been bounced around, and if she was somebody that was half-hearted about reporting this tip; if there’s something you see and you’re debating about getting involved or not, and then you try to make an actual report or a tip, even an anonymous tip to law enforcement, she would have already given up by now if she wasn’t really determined. I think a lot of people are willing to take anonymous tips or any kind of tip, but often they’re not so receptive if the person feels comfortable to do it and they’ll give up.
MARIANNE: That makes sense.
TODD: I’ve tried to pass tips, you know I’ve tried to do it myself and I had a very difficult time at times trying to pass on information. I had times, even with the Tent Girl, where it took them 3 days to call me back when I first knew who the Tent Girl was.
MARIANNE: It’s maddening isn’t it?
TODD: Oh they thought I was crazy, and I can understand it because it was a very old case and when the sheriff did call me back, and I think it was just out of courtesy because some of our family still lives in that area, and we talked about everything, the weather, everything…and then he said, “So, you think you know who the Tent Girl is?” And then after we had just a brief conversation, honestly, all hell broke loose then because I think he realized when he got the data from me, he knew it was going to happen, but he just so did not expect it.
MARIANNE: That was so amazing. I read the whole thing and it was just so amazing.
TODD: That’s how I got here.
MARIANNE: It really does give hope.
TODD: I hope so but I hope it gives the right kind of hope. You know, I mean I want to see her (Angie) come back alive and well, and hopefully, but you know something’s happened. There’s something wrong, if she is alive and well, something difficult has happened and you’ve got a long way to go, I’m sure, no matter what happens.
MARIANNE: But the thing of it is, even if she is not alive and well, which is the more likely…
TODD: uh huh
MARIANNE: …it really is; you just have to be honest with yourself about it, I still need her. You must get the body. I need to bury my daughter.
TODD: It’s a must. I mean, I don’t think people realize.
MARIANNE: Even if it meant nobody was prosecuted. I would hate to see that, but if I had the choice, I would let nobody be prosecuted, just to get my baby back.
TODD: Now, your son-in-law, what would you…now you knew him 3 years, so you really got to know him. You hugged him when he came in this last time.
MARIANNE: He came to our house the first Christmas that she was gone and Thanksgiving, and later on…I was very suspicious of him, I kind of feigned my affection for him, trying to get something from him.
TODD: uh huh
MARIANNE: I asked somebody later, I said, “How could he come to my Thanksgiving dinner?” and they said, “How could he not?”
TODD: He couldn’t not. If you could say something to him right now and there’s a very good possibility that he’ll Google his name or your name or her name and find this when it’s transcribed. It’s a very good possibility and I’ve seen it happen. I’ve seen people come home because of something like this. I’ve seen families reconnected because of something like this. What would you want to say to him right now? Do you have anything?
MARIANNE: I would just want to say…Mike, you’ve got to do the right thing. You have to step up and do the right thing. Maybe you’re not even guilty, you have to tell what you know because I know that you know something and you just have to do the right thing, you know? If I live to be 100 and Angie will be 80, she’s still my baby. You know, we always treated Mike with love. We always accepted him, and you know I’ve thought many times, maybe something got out of control and he didn’t mean to do it but, nonetheless, it happened.
TODD: uh huh
MARIANNE: It doesn’t matter how it happened, if there’s a crime here, if my daughter’s dead, I need her. I just need her either way.
TODD: And like you said, even if nobody’s prosecuted, if you just had her.
MARIANNE: If I just had her I wouldn’t care about the…honestly, if I had a choice, I would take her, of course. You know, her dogs were her children. I mean, she loved Blossom and Penny, and her dogs…she would never leave her dogs, not in a million years. She used to drive me crazy every time she came over here, she brought them big dogs and I have a big dog too, so in the winter that is kind of difficult but that was Angie. She would never have left her dogs…never.
TODD: Now, if she had her own children now that…we’ve been the people taking care of the dogs…I’ve been married nearly 20 years and my oldest son is 15, and until he was born, you know we had a dog that stayed in the house, but then once he was born, all that changed.
MARIANNE: Yeah, I know what you mean. I do. And I asked Mike, “Well, if she left, why didn’t she take the dogs?” He said, “Well, she didn’t take anything.” There is just no way that a woman leaves the house to run up to the store for milk, that they don’t pick up their purse. You don’t even think about it, you just do it. He said, “The only thing that she took was the big…” they had this big poster on the wall and it was a collage that she had made, it was a big ole’ cumbersome collage, framed, he said, “She took that from the wall and that’s all she took.” No she didn’t. I mean, we went to the house shortly after, and that was gone.
TODD: uh huh
MARIANNE: I don’t know what where all her of possessions went, but they were gone, but he’d had 8 days before he even told me she was missing. And his truck, he got rid of his truck immediately. Where the collage used to be, there’s a new wall built there; new drywall was put up there, so…
TODD: Now, who lives in this home now?
MARIANNE: Nobody. It’s gone now. I almost bought the property.
TODD: I know that’s sounds crazy, but I know exactly what you’re talking about.
MARIANNE: I almost did, so that I could look for her and I could skirt all around the neighbor man’s property, but I didn’t. It was a mobile home. It has been dragged away and a new guy bought the property and put a great, big ole’ mobile home up there. But I did, I considered buying it, but I thought that was just fruitless.
TODD: There are lots of things that you’ll think of doing, and then you’ll think better of and then, later on, wish you did do. It’s hard to follow your heart in something like this. I know you try but there’s the borderline there of what you should do and what you shouldn’t do. I know that you’re taking this day by day.
MARIANNE: It’s all I can do. It’s all I can do.
TODD: Now, if you found out that she was okay, and that she just left, how are you going to feel toward her?
MARIANNE: I can’t imagine. There are lot of different subjects on the support site, and long ago, one of the staff people wrote a question out, “If you found your missing person today, what would you do…yell or hug?” and I put, “Hug and hug and hug and hug!”
TODD: uh hum
MARIANNE: And every so often, it’s approached again, and I would hug. It would be hard to take, and I will be real defensive toward other people, with good reason, for being angry with her, but I would figure that it was beyond her control in some way or another because Angie would never abandon me like this. Never.
TODD: Not in her right frame of mind…she would never do this to you.
MARIANNE: No. Never. Never. Never. I’ve got poetry, she’s written me poetry about how much she loves me. She just never would...Angie would never do that. She wouldn’t. So but, of course, you know, that’s the normal thing mothers say.
TODD: Yeah. I’m glad you said that, that’s exactly what everybody thinks they know enough about them.
MARIANNE: It is. Right.
TODD: And I think everybody thinks they know for sure, and just talking to you and hearing about your relationship, it seems very unlikely that she would have done this. In her right frame of mind, she probably would never have done anything like this.
MARIANNE: In her right frame of mind.
TODD: She’s too close to you. And, like you said, the dogs…there are just too many factors there. You don’t just quit life cold turkey. You just don’t walk away from everything, completely.
MARIANNE: As far as I know, her social security number, there’s been nothing and it’s been 4 years.
TODD: Now, her cell phone. Did she have a cell phone?
MARIANNE: She didn’t have one.
TODD: Okay. That’s always good.
MARIANNE: She couldn’t use a cell phone down in this area where she lived, there was no service, so there was no need to have one.
MARIANNE: But I’ve often wondered where are her things but I never found out.
TODD: It’s been a long 4 years.
TODD: Now, can you imagine 10 more years looking at this?
MARIANNE: I can’t. I can’t even imagine, but if it is, well I guess I’ll see her in Heaven. I don’t know, but you know it’s really hard during the holidays especially, and everybody is so excited about this and that. You hear ladies complaining because only one of their 2 children can make it for Thanksgiving and they have to wait until Christmas to see them both…it’s really hard, you know.
TODD: uh huh
MARIANNE: And my son and his little girl come and we always have a very quiet Christmas, but Thanksgiving, I host Thanksgiving in my home and we often have 40 or more people for Thanksgiving, and there’s kind of like a big ole’ elephant in the middle of the room that Angie’s not here. You know, my mother, she repeats it constantly; “This is the worst thing that ever happened to our family.”
TODD: And that’s true. It’s true. I mean, you can…there have been deaths in our family, people that it was just very hard to let go of, but there’s a time and we know that that’s going to happen, we go through the period that we know that we’re all going to pass away. So it’s not unexpected totally, it might be a surprise at the moment, but we know that’s something we are looking forward to. But for somebody to just be wiped right out of the picture, that’s hard to fill in that gap.
MARIANNE: My stepson, Danny, he died a couple of months before Angie went missing and he was only 30 and it was real hard, but we know where Danny is now.
TODD: uh huh
MARIANNE: We know where Danny is but that was tough. It’s like, my husband and I have 2 dead children, but we don’t know where one of them is at, and maybe that one’s not. It’s just impossible. It’s just…there’s just no logic to it.
TODD: Well, you know losing a child is difficult enough, you know, to death, but to the unknown, it’s unimaginable. Unimaginable.
MARIANNE: The not knowing is the worse.
TODD: That’s why we’ve got to keep doing what we’re doing. The people that have not felt it directly, I don’t EVER want to be in your shoes…ever, ever, ever, and I want to do what I can to keep from being in your shoes and keep as many people out of your shoes as possible, and it’s good to see people like you. You don’t want anybody to have to join you.
MARIANNE: Oh, no. No, no, no. I’m not a martyr or anything like that, but I’ve thought many times, if we could just find one of the people on the Hope to Support line, one of those people, I honest to God, think I’d lay down my life just to find one other person, because nobody should have to live like this. Nobody. I wish we had…there are ways to change laws, but it’s like…when Angie first went missing, I was very much like my friend, Peggy, I was trying to get local people together that had missing people, and I found one lady and she talked to me a little bit but I think you need…there’s strength in numbers.
TODD: Oh, absolutely. You’re in a big ole’ family now. There are over a 100,000 people listed with the FBI NCIC.
MARIANNE: The ones that are listed. Yes, I know that. But the thing of it is, I wrote to my senators, I have the Whitehouse’s email, I wrote to George Bush and Dick Cheney and Kenny Hulshof, and this and that one, about needing to pass Bill H.R. 2103 into a law.
TODD: And we’ll feature it; that will be on your site too.
MARIANNE: I even wrote to the editor of the paper and they printed my letter and asked everybody to please call your senators and write to them, but I know that unless they’re in my shoes, they just won’t get it. Why would they? It’s not something to contend with. They just don’t know how to be in my shoes.
TODD: Well, it’s so horrible, you don’t want to imagine it and most people, you know, it’s easier to just like, “Oh, I can’t even imagine being that person. I can’t imagine being in that person’s shoes. I don’t want to think about it. Don’t even tell me about it.”
MARIANNE: It’s true.
TODD: It is. It’s very true.
MARIANNE: It’s unnatural for people to think that things will happen to them.
TODD: You know you don’t want to think about bad things.
MARIANNE: I got throat cancer; I did not think that I would get cancer, but I got throat cancer. Angie wouldn’t have left me sitting here with throat cancer. You know what I mean?
TODD: Did she know it before she was gone?
TODD: And your voice is still very good and clear.
MARIANNE: But I’m getting…I’m very much better, but the radiation was aggressive and it did a lot of damage, but I’m good. I’m doing real good, but things like that, you don’t believe these things will happen to you but they do and they will.
TODD: Well, you kept on being a mother and I know you’ll be a mother until the day you die yourself, there’s no doubt about it.
TODD: You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.
MARIANNE: And I keep up with my mother more too, because she’s 78 and she gets lonesome.
TODD: Has it pulled your family closer together, do you think?
TODD: Do you think it’s pulled your family together? Are you stronger as a family?
MARIANNE: I don’t know. I don’t know. Often, I think people kind of run when they see me coming. I don’t know if they mean to or not, but “That’s all Marianne knows now” you know?
TODD: Yeah. Well, I mean they have to share your pain if they’re with you because it’s all over you. Anybody that knows you knows what you’re going through.
MARIANNE: I know.
TODD: And a lot of times, people don’t want to feel that way. But I think we have to recognize it and try to do something about it.
TODD: Now, the federal government has a program now that, above the volunteer efforts, the volunteer efforts should continue as advocacy groups, but there is a new government program called NamUs.gov. It is going to be the first national repository of missing and unidentified persons and it’s intended to be fully inclusive, with whatever it takes to make it be such, at some point in time. So there are positive steps. It was launched July 2, 2007. I’m on one of the panels with this particular effort and I can tell you that there’s a way to go yet. The ‘unidentifieds’ are here and we’re working on trying to get the ‘missings’.
MARIANNE: How do you spell it?
TODD: N-a-m-U-s. NamUs.gov.
TODD: And we’re working on the missing person's side of things. Missing persons are a little different from the unidentified. An unidentified, you have to get permission from no one other than law enforcement, to actually get an unidentified put into some type of database. But with the missing person, you have to do just what you’re going through, “Okay, did she walk away? Did she do this? Is she running from a crime?” There are so many different things that you have to actually work out before you can classify somebody as missing. There are so many different classifications of missing. But with the unidentified, if they’re dead and they’re unidentified, that’s it pretty much. We have no other way to classify them.
TODD: But with a missing person, all the clues are missing.
MARIANNE: uh huh
TODD: There’s nothing there and there’s no way to classify it. Its huge problem but they are making some steps and it should fully phased in by 2009. People need to hear about it. We’re going to include it in your page. The more people that know about it, the more people that talk about it, there will be some government announcements that are coming up; Forensic Magazine is going to have a feature in their winter issue, and that’s going to bring more awareness.
MARIANNE: What did it take to get this? How did this come about?
TODD: Well it’s just a need. The government has known for a long time that there needs to be something like this; it’s just how to wrap your hands around it and do it, and I’ve been at some of the meetings, I’ve been in Washington, I’ve been to a lot of these meetings where they’re trying to figure out just how. You know, just how to actually do this. It’s going to happen, there’s no doubt about it, it’s going to happen but there are so many obstacles in place and a lot of them are not bad things, it’s just different laws in different states. You know, everything has to be really thought through.
MARIANNE: There are privacy laws…
TODD: Yeah, there are privacy laws and how to get around some of those privacy laws.
MARIANNE: With medical and HIPPA laws; I found out about the HIPPA laws and all that.
TODD: And these are meant to protect us; these laws are meant to protect us.
MARIANNE: Of course.
TODD: It’s hard to just waive these laws.
MARIANNE: There need to be exceptions, you know, law enforcement should be able to get into them, I think.
TODD: Responsibly…there should be a responsible way to be able to legitimately look for somebody before its too late. You can’t wait for months before you actually begin a legitimate search.
MARIANNE: They didn’t start the investigation for a year.
MARIANNE: They didn’t even start it, you know, really. And in all fairness, adults can…they have every right to walk away if they want, but I knew better. I knew better from the instant I found out.
TODD: Yeah, you know it’s wrong, morally it’s wrong, and I’ve said this before, “If I don’t come home tonight, something’s happened to me and I want someone to come look for me. I’ve run off the road; somebody’s shot me; somebody’s done something to me. Come and get me.” You know, I say that a lot. “If I don’t come home, something has happened to me and I want to come home.
TODD: There are ways; I think there are a lot of different things we can do, you know, keep telling your family that and I think that could help; it couldn’t hurt, definitely couldn’t hurt.
MARIANNE: Yes, I agree.
TODD: Well, I think we’ve worn you out. I know you’ve had throat cancer and I know it’s been difficult for you to maintain this.
MARIANNE: That’s not even the ‘biggie’ here.
TODD: You’ve been a labor of love and you’ve really hung in there and this is just the beginning, this is not the end. Montel was…they put you out there and bless him for doing that, but that’s pretty much the end of your relationship, but this is the beginning.
MARIANNE: Well, I was told there were 2 or 3 responses; one actually from Knoxville, Tennessee…
MARIANNE: …but it wasn’t her, but somebody that looks like her. And you know I have been on a couple of local shows here, local news shows, but…and of course I tack her poster everywhere you can imagine. And now, my friend and I, we tack together so when we put a poster up, she puts my daughter, I put her daughter right up next to it, so that’s kind of really helping. And when I travel, I put them everywhere.
TODD: And we’ll have her information on your page as well, just like you’ve done, you said you tack them both up. We’ll share this with her; we’ll share this episode with her.
MARIANNE: That will be so good.
TODD: We’ll put her data on there and we’ll make sure that she’s right there alongside your daughter.
MARIANNE: Good. That would be so wonderful.
TODD: I know that makes your heart feel better to be able to do that.
MARIANNE: It does.
TODD: Maybe you’re going to help bring a little focus on her as a short-term missing person.
MARIANNE: I’ve got a picture of Jasmine, her daughter, when she was a little girl and I put it in a little tiny frame and it’s sitting next to a picture of my daughter when she was a little girl, so they’re kind of side by side now.
TODD: If you can get a picture of that, we’ll put this on the website, just like what you’ve got right there. And this will be here forever, whatever forever is, we’re going to try to keep this up forever. And, we’ll keep trying.
MARIANNE: And I really do appreciate it so much.
TODD: I’m glad to give you the opportunity to talk and say what you needed to say and I know it’s hard, not everybody gives you an opportunity to get it out and I hope you feel like you have.
MARIANNE: I have. It’s been a really nice experience talking with you.
TODD: Well, we’ll say goodnight to our listeners.
TODD: And then you and I will talk just a little while longer. God bless everybody. Hope nobody ever has to go through this.
MARIANNE: I hope they don’t.
Date Missing - October 25, 2003
Missing From - Ivy Bend, Missouri
Birthdate: May 20, 1975
Hair Color: Light Brown
Eye Color: Brown
Weight: 170 Lbs.
Identifying Marks: Pierced tongue, pierced ears, tattoo of a jagged barb wire fence in black ink around right wrist, tattoo of a green "frog" on left shoulder blade, tattoo of the word "obey" written in black cryptic writing, small surgical scars on each side of her hip.
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