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Friday, October 23, 2009

Disappearance on the Beach

     Halloween is a time of mystery, but it is also a time of family. The event day celebrates some elements of the realms of the mysterious and unknown. Typically though, we picture parents taking their children trick-or-treating through the neighborhood, families attending seasonal carnivals and festivals, and families throwing parties in the home. Today I’m going to look at a missing person mystery the hits closer to home for me.

      First I will update on the story I have been following for the past two Fridays. Mitrice Richardson remains missing. I find little about the story that is updated except for the Malibu Surfside News . According to the most recent article her father is becoming increasingly visible in the public eye to tell his daughter’s story and express his concern that the case is being mishandled by police and the media. I will continue to follow this story until it fades away.

      This is usually what happens with many of these stories. They gradually fade away. The missing persons end up as a part of databases and police files. Their stories may be resurrected on the anniversaries of the disappearances, but they are then again forgotten by most, but not the families. The missing might be someone’s child, spouse, or other family member. One of my cousins is among the missing.

     I really didn’t know Kathy Sue Haskell. I had met her a few times, but we lived too far apart to really get to know one another. However, I often heard about her and what she was up to. My mother and her mother (my father’s sister) were very close and would often spend time together or speak on the phone. Kathy eventually married and had a son. She lived with her family in Corpus Christi, Texas.

     According to the story recounted by her husband, at about 10 PM on the night of October 16, 2003 Kathy said she was going to go out to “unwind”. He said that she had been stressed of late. Also there had been some marital and financial problems which probably contributed a great deal to her stress. After Kathy did not return, her husband went out the following morning and found her van parked by the beach not far from their home. The van was locked and there was no sign of Kathy.

     The police were called in to investigate. Kathy’s vehicle keys, purse, and medications were located inside the van. The beach area was searched for several days, and police checked nearby hotels and any other leads they were given. Out-of-state relatives were contacted to see if she had contacted any of them. Kathy’s father put up a reward for anyone who offered information that led to locating her and he attempted to get the story more national attention. However no sign of Kathy was ever found and the case remains open.

       As with any story of this nature there is plenty of speculation as to what might have happened to Kathy, but no proof has been found to substantiate any of these theories. It is quite possible due to the proximity of where the van was found that she could have gone into the water and drowned, but there was never a body to be found. Many people have disappeared near the ocean or other bodies of water. Since Kathy was geographically so far away from any of her family and to a great extent out of touch with most of them, and since the main information comes from her husband with whom she was not getting along very well, it is difficult to really know exactly what her state of mind was. Two weeks after Kathy’s disappearance, her husband filed for divorce and requested a restraining order to keep her from taking their son. No one has heard from her since that night she drove her van to the beach. She was only 41 when she vanished.

Kathy Sue Parucha
Missing since 10/16/03
from Corpus Christi, TX


  1. Dear Lee,

    (even newer--there is a 4,096 character limit and I have probably written 30,000.)

    I am very new here--it took me ten minutes to get to this screen where I can write a comment to you. I don't know exactly how I got here, I assume I will figure it out again next time in five minutes.

    Thank you for your responses to my Blog. I noticed that among your favorite authors is Cormac McCarthy. My son praised his books to me a couple of months ago and I have now read 3 or 4 of them. This is someone who can write.

    I consider myself middling good at many things--I write, I make photographs, I paint, I am good with plants, I cook--I get pleasure out of all of these, but don't see myself as espeically talented and have no hope of being great--like McCarthy.

    I like your writing, it's clear and communicative, easy to follow. And It evokes some curiousity in me about you.

    It also raises for me the whole question of what blogging--or writing on a web site--is really about. for me (and for you).

    After reading your blogs, I don't know why you are writing (and I saw you say somewhere, that perhaps you aren't sure, or haven't found your voice yet).

    I am hoping this now under the limit. I have made a copy of the fuller version and would be happy to send it as an email--but part of my point was that I don't know if it is worth writing or reading at all.


  2. Dear Harris,

    I am so glad to receive your response. I was hoping I would hear from you as you seem to have some particularly fine qualifications for critical analysis. And I found your blog intriguing -- I've watching for your next post. I do understand what you mean about navigating about the blog site as I have been going in circles since I started this.

    Yes, I'm still trying to figure out what to do with this blog. There are so many different approaches that other people take. From the advice I been getting though it takes a while to establish a following and guess I just need keep tweaking what I'm doing now until I find something that I feel comfortable with and garners a response from some reading audience. Mostly I'm seeing the blogging as rehearsal so to speak for something that may be to come. It's writing practice.

    I would be very interested in what else you had to say and I will leave my email:

    I will look forward to reading your observations. Also, I'm watching for your next blog posting.

    Thanks for your response


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