Wednesday, March 17, 2004
By KELLEY WALKER PERRY
Editor’s note: This article is based on interviews with Lloyd Israel of Fairland and Carla Baron, a nationally known psychic who has been asked to assist law enforcement, from federal to local agencies, in many criminal cases. Baron has her own national syndicated radio program and has been on television — most recently as part of a Court TV special, “Psychic Detectives,” which premiered last February. There has not yet been a positive identification of human remains found last week by authorities.
Skepticism will always exist. It takes more courage to believe.
Lloyd Israel reported his son, Trevor Israel, missing on Aug. 12, 2003. Until March 10, he held onto the hope that he would see him again.
That hope was fueled by a father’s love for his child — and by five psychics who offered the idea that Trevor was alive and well and working someplace down south.
Only one woman told him what he already knew in his heart to be true: Trevor had committed suicide.
Around the time of Trevor’s disappearance, search teams looked in fields and wooded areas near the pull-off in a cornfield located on County Road 600 West, south of Boggstown Road, where his abandoned blue 1992 Saturn was found.
Even with the help of special search dogs from the State Emergency Management Association, they didn’t find anything. The search was called off due to lack of information and impending bad weather.
In early September, Lloyd Israel called renowned psychic Carla Baron in Los Angeles for help. Baron has been asked to assist in providing closure in many unfortunate events, ranging from missing persons to arson.
“It’s not something that you ask to do; it’s just something I’m able to do,” she said. “It’s not like you choose to do this.”
Baron, a former concert pianist and opera singer, is no crystal-ball gazer.
She claims to be clairaudient, meaning she can perceive sounds or words from sources broadcasting from a spiritual or ethereal realm.
During a taped telephone reading dated Sept. 7, she can be heard talking to someone she says is Trevor Israel.
He walked her through the events as they had taken place, she said — from his overwhelming feelings of anxiety, inadequacy and hopelessness, to driving to the field near Boggstown and rushing into the corn, the leaves scratching his sleeves as he ran past.
“Trevor felt overwhelmed with failure, with life. He was consumed by a feeling of inadequacy. He had no real relationships, no friends, to fall back on,” she said.
He chose the serene cornfield near Boggstown as a place where he could end his life in peace and solitude.
“It’s a private thing when you commit suicide. It’s between you and God. For the most part, it’s a very private experience,” Baron said.
Trevor took the handgun — a .357 Magnum — in his right hand, pointed it at his head and ended his life at age 25.
Yet, it was very difficult for Trevor to admit there was a suicide, Baron said.
“Souls of those who have taken their own lives have a difficult recovery period. Suicides have a hard time accepting what they’ve done to themselves. The recovery is a very long time in coming,” she added.
Baron depicted the details of the area where the body would later be found — up a slight incline in a cornfield, with a wire fence and a telephone pole nearby.
During the reading, she talks to Trevor about the search dogs — “and he’s wondering why you missed him,” she tells Lloyd.
“He says, ‘My dad will find me’,” she adds.
Lloyd told investigators what Baron had said, and urged them to look again. They didn’t find Trevor during that search, either.
“At the time, I was kind of glad they didn’t find him,” he said.
He consulted five other psychics. They all separately told him the same thing: that Trevor had gone off with someone, was working down south, and was doing fine. They said he would contact his father around Christmastime.
So Israel sat by the phone, and heartbreakingly checked and rechecked the mail, but he never heard anything.
“I wanted to believe what the others were saying,” Israel said. “I was hoping that he would contact me.”
But when a body is meant to be found, it will be, Baron said. Investigators resumed their search last week and found human remains about a half-mile up the road on County Road 600 West — exactly as Baron had described it for Israel.
It doesn’t always work out that way.
“This isn’t an exact science. Psychics don’t solve cases. They assist in providing the unknown, the missing piece of the puzzle,” she said. “I read what you already know, on another level — you just can’t unlock it.”
Israel went to the site for the first time on Sunday. A neon-orange stake marks the spot where the body was found, not far from where Trevor had parked his car.
Although Israel is unable to make the arrangements until the body has been identified and released, the Israel family is already planning a simple cremation and a private ceremony. Israel has purchased the urn; his son’s ashes will be placed in a vault at Forest Lawn Cemetery.
“She was the only one who was really accurate,” he said, of Baron. “I’m afraid it is him. I was hoping he just left, like the other ones said.”
Believing Baron — that she did, in fact, communicate on some level with Trevor — has taken a great deal of effort for a former skeptic like Lloyd.
“You will always have skeptics,” Baron said. “But it’s much harder to believe. It takes a lot more courage to believe.”
It has been even more difficult for Israel to come to terms with this fact: Believing in Baron’s abilities means the end of hope for his son.
“I just take it one day at a time. As time goes by, it might get easier,” he said.
New Developments in the Amanda Tusing Case
February 04, 2004
Hollywood based psychic Carla Baron is consulting with the Tusing family and investigators about the mystery surrounding 20 year old Amanda Tusing's death 3 years ago.
"We're going to check out what she told us, because there is a possibility she could be right," said Craighead County Sheriff Jack McCann.
In recent weeks, an undisclosed woman in the community has come forward, telling investigators she line danced with Amanda at the Eagles Lodge in Jonesboro on the night she disappeared. Amanda's fiance Matt Ervin never corroborated that information. He's told investigators that he and Mandy had dinner at Dixie Cafe and later stopped at a grocery store before going to his apartment. One of Amanda's school teachers spotted them at Dixie Cafe.
"We feel comfortable about where she was during those hours," said McCann.
But as for the possibility that the two were spotted at the Eagle's Lodge, that information is being looked into.
"There's a certain energy or quality of that energy when I'm speaking of an individual or looking into that file so to speak that didn't match up with Mandy's energy," said Baron.
Doug Mathis with the Eagles Lodge doesn't think Mandy was there that night either.
"Her name would have been in the book," said Mathis.
"The woman that came forward, her name is in the book, Amanda Tusing or Matt Ervin's is not," said McCann.
Psychic Carla Baron has also offered information about the possible murderer.
"I believe that this was not random, that this was a person she had interacted with before. I get a sense of the dynamic between these two individuals," said Baron.
Baron says she also knows the first name of the possible suspect. This information has been given to Sheriff McCann, and based on this knowledge he believes the murderer could still be in Northeast Arkansas.
"We're looking at all the interviews, checking out the names, and seeing their physical descriptions to see if we can get a match with someone we've already talked to," said McCann.
Wednesday, February 04, 2004
By Stephen Hankins
The Craighead County Sheriff's Department is revisiting some areas of the investigation into the 2000 death of a 20-year-old Dell woman, The Sun has learned.
In addition to a previously unreleased timeline that began when Amanda R. "Mandy" Tusing called her fiancé in Jonesboro from her Dell home on the evening of her disappearance, criminal investigator Gary Etter also proffered information about eyewitness accounts that placed the young woman in two locations simultaneously.
In addition, both Sheriff Jack McCann and Etter said they may be searching for a woman that Hollywood-based psychic Carla Baron, who has consulted with Etter and Tusing's mother, Susan Tusing, called "the spitting image of Mandy -- her absolute twin," which could explain the sightings.
Etter confirmed Monday that a number of people came forward to offer information surrounding Mandy Tusing's disappearance on a stormy Wednesday night -- June 14, 2000.
On the day of her disappearance, the petite young woman called her fiancé, Matthew Ervin, then 21, from her Dell home at approximately 6 p.m., Etter said. Ervin, an Arkansas State University graduate, told investigators nearly four years ago that he met Mandy about 7:15 p.m. at his Jonesboro apartment.
Mandy Tusing took Ervin, formerly of Gosnell and who made a living selling insurance, to dinner at the Dixie Cafe, 2406 South Caraway Road. There, Etter said, Ervin and Mandy were seen by a schoolteacher who knew both of them and the teacher's wife.
"There was no doubt about that," Etter said. "We spoke with the teacher and his wife. They confirmed the day was Wednesday and that it was about 8-ish when Mandy showed them her engagement ring."
The fact that Mandy ate dinner between the time she drove her black 1992 Grand Am to Jonesboro and the time she died has never been in question, police said.
At approximately the same time Ervin said he and Mandy Tusing were ordering dinner in south Jonesboro, a Greene County woman claimed she line-danced with Mandy on the east side of town.
The woman, who asked to remain anonymous, told a Jonesboro Sun reporter recently that she and a date were at the Eagles Lodge social room, 305 North Airport Road, when she saw a woman she swore was Mandy Tusing learning dance steps.
The private club featured line dancing lessons from 7-9 p.m. that rainy Wednesday evening, the woman said. She said she remembered Mandy because "there were only three of us who did not know the dance," and that she (the young woman she called Mandy) and another young woman, whom she said seemed to be a friend of Mandy's, all learned the steps together.
Etter Tuesday retrieved the signature book that listed guests and members who signed in to the social room on June 14, 2000. Although the Greene County resident's name is there, neither Mandy Tusing's nor Matt Ervin's signatures appeared in the book, Etter said.
Ervin told police the couple had eaten dinner, driven past Indian Mall, Hastings Books, Music and Video, and made a purchase at Kroger, all in that same 7-9 p.m. window.
From the Kroger store, Ervin said, he and Tusing made their way back to Ervin's South Church Street apartment, where they watched television.
Ervin told police that because of the storm, he pleaded with Mandy to stay with him that night, rather than drive the hour from Jonesboro to Dell in the rain, Etter said.
However, the young woman refused, the detective continued. She had a 1 a.m. curfew at her home in Dell, and besides, she looked forward to attending a class at Mississippi County Community College the following day, Etter said. Also, Mandy had landed a job with veterinarian "Rock" Cato at his Blytheville clinic, and looked forward to becoming a vet herself, Etter said.
Ervin told police that he kissed Mandy Tusing goodbye at his door about 11:30 p.m., and reminded her to call him once she made it home.
But the call never came.
Etter said Ervin told police that he called the Tusing home at 1:20 a.m. June 15 and received no response. He told police that he called again 20 minutes later, the investigator said. This time, Susan Tusing, Mandy's mother, answered and told him Mandy was not at home, Etter added.
Ervin told police that he drove from Jonesboro east toward Dell while Mandy's father, Ed, and Mandy's twin brother, Andy, drove west from Dell toward Jonesboro.
Ervin told police he found Mandy's Grand Am -- with its doors locked, keys in the ignition, its windshield wipers in mid-swipe, her purse and mobile telephone inside -- on the right side of the road, parallel to Arkansas 18, near a home just one mile west of Monette, Etter said. The detective added that Ervin drove to Monette, where he called Ed Tusing and relayed the news of the vehicle's discovery on his mobile phone.
Etter said Ervin remained out most of the night and into the morning of June 15, searching along with McCann, investigators from the county's Eastern District sheriff's sub-station, Arkansas State Police investigators and scores of residents who formed search parties.
Sightings of Mandy Tusing were fielded by McCann and investigators during the days following her disappearance, Etter said. None of the reported sightings could be confirmed, he added.
The young woman's body, still clothed in the same attire she wore when she was last seen by Ervin, was discovered the following Sunday, June 18, as it floated in the water of Big Bay Ditch -- nearly 14 miles west of the location where her fiancé found her Grand Am.
A preliminary autopsy report indicated her death was consistent with drowning.
Police consider her death a homicide.
McCann has chased leads in Mandy Tusing's death in southern Missouri, Fort Smith, Texarkana, Monette and Florida. So far, little, if anything, has panned out, Etter said.
The California psychic, who Etter said had "surprised" police with her observations, has in recent weeks offered Susan Tusing and the Sheriff's Department a psychological profile, physical description and at least one initial of the man's name who she considers to be Mandy Tusing's murderer. She has also said the alleged murderer has killed before, although it is not in his nature, and that she could describe the alleged perpetrator to a sketch artist and feel secure that image would mirror the killer.
Baron said Friday that a woman "who is the spitting image of Mandy -- her twin" may be the person reported seen at locations in Arkansas and Missouri around the time of Mandy Tusing's death.
She said the idea of a young woman who strongly resembled Mandy Tusing could be muddying the police probe and added that, as a variable in the investigation equation, a "twin" was, for her, a first.
Police are still looking for that woman and as of Tuesday may have developed her name.
Copyright © 2004, Jonesboro Sun
Sunday, January 11, 2004
Editor's note: This is the final installment of a series of articles about the investigation into the death of a Dell woman in June 2000.
By Stephen Hankins
A three-hour telephone session with a West Coast psychic provided Susan Tusing of Dell with a sense of well-being, and law enforcement with bits of information that may ultimately help in the investigation into her 20-year-old daughter's death.
Craighead County Sheriff's Department criminal investigator Gary Etter noted psychic Carla Baron of Los Angeles said Amanda R. "Mandy" Tusing was murdered in 2000, and provided him with vivid details about a male perpetrator.
The psychic even offered to Etter what the sheriff's department never garnered from the FBI -- a complete physical description, psychological profile and personal history of the alleged killer.
Tusing said some of Baron's remarks during their session resulted in tears. Others chilled her, she told The Sun.
One brought both.
"Here I am at home in Dell," Tusing said. "She is in California.
"(Baron) asked me if there was a blue book close to where I was sitting. There was."
The book, "God's Little Book of Promises for Mothers" was purchased about a year after her only daughter was found dead in Big Bay Ditch, Tusing said.
"The book has different sections," Susan Tusing said. "Sections on conflict, grief, that kind of thing."
Once it was determined that the blue book was within Tusing's reach, Baron said she told the mother to "open it randomly to a page, quickly, without looking, and to place her finger" somewhere on that page.
"That was a message from the daughter to her mother," Baron said. "It was so beautiful, so poignant at the moment that Susan broke out in tears."
Baron said she communicates non-verbally with the souls of those who have died, "like how a mother and daughter will communicate without speaking, just through another dimension." Also, she said she asks these souls "in a very kind way" if they would like to communicate with her.
The psychic said she received emphatic, positive responses.
"Yes," Baron said. "Indeed she wanted me to help. Very much so."
"It was a message that actually applied right at the moment," Baron continued. "In this case, this is her daughter saying there may have been a grander scheme to all this."
The message was a New Testament Bible verse, Tusing confirmed Friday -- 1st Thessalonians 5:15.
"It read 'See that no one repays another with evil for evil; but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people,'" Tusing said. "I had to think about it a little bit.
"You know, we think about if we find who it is and we go to court, we hope he gets the death penalty," she added. "That was my first thought. Then I thought it was Mandy saying 'Don't let this tear you down.'"
Baron said the message had to do more with leaving bitterness behind than with punishment for Mandy's killer.
"This is her saying, 'Don't let this crime, this thing that happened, consume you,'" Baron said. "Don't let it consume you and change the goodness that you are all about."
Tusing said Friday that she felt an overwhelming sense of well being since speaking with Baron, and that she was happy, not surprised, with Etter's willingness to work with the psychic.
"I'm feeling good about it," Tusing said. "My family has been very supportive.
"They are behind me 100 percent," she added. "Whatever it takes to find her killer, we're ready to do it. I'm excited about this. I think it was the time to do it."
Baron said she felt this was a "destiny time."
"She's trying to bring this into the national spotlight," Tusing said ... That's how strongly she feels about this -- about her work."
Baron explained that her job was not necessarily to solve mysteries, but rather "to help in giving pieces of the puzzle -- helping put this thing right.
"We're not here to solve the cases," Baron said. "Psychics are only as good as enlightened detectives and family.
"It's a group effort between all these factions."
The psychic added that once she is asked to help with an investigation, she finds it difficult to forget.
"It gnaws at me," Baron said. "I'm not afraid to be wrong.
"But pretty much on a regular basis, I'm dead on, or I wouldn't bother," she added. "Mandy was the unwilling object of someone's affections. This happened to her not because of something that she projected. She was at the wrong place at the wrong time. She was nice to the wrong person."
The mother was more hopeful. The fact that she was able to contact Baron by entering the psychic's name on an Internet search engine offered relief to a woman who has gone for nearly four years with few answers to questions that surround her daughter's death, she said. The consolation that came with that relief produced new hope that some of those questions will be answered.
"I hope we find out who killed her," Susan Tusing said. "I hope we solve this."
Copyright © 2004, Jonesboro Sun
Story Date: Saturday, January 10, 2004
Editor's note: This is the second of a series of articles about the investigation into the death of a Dell woman in June 2000.
By Stephen Hankins
Susan Tusing said her family is prepared to do what it takes to discover who killed her 20-year-old daughter, Amanda, more than three years ago.
So, one day while she was reading over her daughter's Internet Web site, she found herself at other Web locations that included information about psychics and how some had aided in police investigations.
"I actually was at another psychic's site when I first learned about Carla Baron," Tusing said. "The more sites I visited, the more mentioned Carla."
One of the stories Tusing read concerned the disappearance of a Penn State coed from South Korea named Cindy Song. The young woman had vanished after Halloween night parties in 2001. Ferguson Township Police Department Detective Brian Sprinkle worked the leads and had accepted Baron's help in the investigation.
"She's the only psychic I ever worked with," Sprinkle told The Sun. "She didn't solve my case for me, honestly.
"But she is in California, and we're here in Pennsylvania," the detective added. "She described a scene for me, depicting a park with some park benches, a pavilion and trees. Amongst these trees was a carving on a tree. From her home in California to here -- 3,000 miles away -- we actually found what she was talking about."
The carving was Japanese slang for a nickname Baron had from halfway across America given to the missing woman -- song bird.
"Is (Baron) credible?" the detective asked. "Yes. I think she's very credible.
"Has she helped with the case?" he continued. "She's provided a lot of information. A lot of details regarding suspects, crime scene, body dump, that kind of thing. My whole take on this is she is a third party looking in the box, giving a different perspective."
This week, Craighead County Sheriff's Department Criminal Investigator Gary Etter and Tusing both consulted with Baron about circumstances surrounding Amanda Tusing's death.
"I really had no idea where to turn," Tusing told The Sun. "I considered a psychic before."
"It was a passing thing that I thought of occasionally," she added. "People are skeptical of psychics. I was, too, to an extent.
"I was to a point where I had to do something. I was willing to give this a shot.
"I had to try something that I said at one time I would not do. I think anybody who has lost a child like that and there is nothing left to really go with -- no more leads, they're drying up -- I think that's the next thing you look at. The question became, 'should I or shouldn't I?' I emailed Carla Baron, just for information."
Tusing said she wanted to know about Baron's methods and received a response the following night.
"We talked at great length about working with detectives and my concerns about that," Tusing said. "I talked to Gary Etter about working with her.
"He was cautious," she added. "He told me he had worked with another psychic before, and it wasn't always pleasant. He told me he would check in to it, talk with Sheriff (Jack) McCann, and they would discuss it. I told him we would leave it up to them."
Etter said the psychic told him details pertinent to Amanda Tusing's death that surprised him -- bits of information Baron should not have known.
"I think she's worked on some high-profile cases," Etter said. "She is very different than the psychic I worked with on a different murder case."
The 3-hour session with Baron resulted in the psychic providing her with a description of a man who had been seen by several of Tusing's friends after Amanda's disappearance, but prior to her body being discovered floating in the waters of Big Bay Ditch, Tusing said.
"By the time I went to bed after the session I was a wreck," Tusing said. "But I felt good about it. I really did.
"My friends did not talk about who they had seen," Tusing said. "Not even among each other, because of the situation."
On the Net:
Amanda Tusing tribute site: hometown.aol.com/lorikoteles/index.html
Copyright © 2004, Jonesboro Sun
Story Date: 1/9/2004 9:30:57 AM
Editor's note: This is the first of a series of articles about the investigation into the death of a Dell woman in June 2000.
By Stephen Hankins
A well-known West Coast psychic has consulted with the Craighead County Sheriff's Department in the agency's investigation into the 2000 death of a 20-year-old Dell woman, The Sun has learned.
Sheriff Jack McCann Thursday confirmed that Carla Baron, a Los Angeles psychic who claims to have assisted police in a number of investigations nationwide, talked at length with both criminal investigator Gary Etter and with Susan Tusing, mother of Amanda R. Tusing, whose body was found floating in the rain-swollen Big Bay Ditch.
Susan Tusing requested Baron's assistance, and was offered her help free of charge, the sheriff said.
"We are going to check out what (Baron) had to say," McCann said. "Etter talked to her at length and she gave us her thoughts."
Etter said Thursday that Baron had told him "some things that surprised me that she should not have known," that relate directly to the investigation.
Baron said Thursday that Amanda Tusing was murdered and she offered Etter a complete physical description of the killer, as well as a psychological profile and personal history of the man.
"The perpetrator -- that was something that came up the strongest," Baron said. "It's not the boyfriend.
"I think I can make that statement," she added. "It's definitely not him."
Tusing began her drive from her fiance's Jonesboro apartment through heavy rains to her Dell home at approximately 11:30 p.m. on June 14, 2000, police said. When she had not arrived there by 1:30 a.m., the fiance telephoned her parents. He located her 1992 Pontiac Grand Am -- with its key in the ignition and her wallet inside -- approximately 90 minutes later on Arkansas 18 west of Monette. The vehicle was found about 14 miles by road from where a Lester couple located her body floating in the water four days later.
Baron said she was "very secure" about her physical profile of the man.
"I could give the description to a sketch artist right now and feel confident in the outcome," Baron said. "It very much matches what has been seen, visibly, by others.
"Certain things were distinctive about him."
McCann said he was willing to consider an artist's rendering of the suspect as part of his department's investigation.
"If she says that, you can bet your butt we'll do it," McCann said.
In addition, Baron said one of the most perplexing pieces of the puzzle -- the "why Amanda?" question -- was, for her, solved.
"I could tell why this happened," she said. "I knew it was a 2-lane highway and I believe I can see he came from the opposite direction than Amanda came."
Also, Baron said the murder "was not a random" event.
"Amanda had no idea whatsoever," Baron explained. "It was unfortunate and not random.
"She was targeted by someone who had seen her," she continued. "It was not the next person driving down the road. It was a trap that was laid for her. That came up a zillion times. I can't say the nature or why. That would be obstructing the investigation."
Baron did confirm a few things law enforcement already knew, Etter said.
"(The perpetrator) was familiar with the area," Baron said. "That's why he was there. I honestly believe the way her car was perfectly positioned along the roadside was (done by the killer) -- all done very quickly.
"It's kind of odd that the person I'm seeing has been spotted by other people and I described him down to the last little detail," she added. "I don't think it's the first time this person has done it. There is still hard evidence to find, and I think this person is around town.
"He confessed, in his own way, to a female who he trusts who is guarding this information. He is somewhat remorseful, because this kind of behavior is not in his basic personality makeup. He just snapped. People will be surprised when they find out who it is."
Susan Tusing said Wednesday that she was comfortable with the decision to consult Baron because Tusing has no doubts that sheriff's investigators "have left no stone unturned" in their efforts to find her daughter's killer, and that Etter and McCann have always "gone the extra mile" regarding the investigation.
"Our family could not have asked for a better detective than Gary Etter, or for a more thorough investigation," Tusing said. "This is something we thought long and hard about doing."
Copyright © 2004, Jonesboro Sun
By LINDA BARRON- Blytheville Courier News
January 9, 2004
Los Angeles-based psychic Carla Baron has been contacted and commissioned to assist in the unsolved 2000 murder of 20-year-old Amanda Tusing of Dell.
Baron said she likes to refer to herself as an investigative psychic, and she does not get involved with official cases for money. "I don't charge anything for helping in solving these cases," she said.
According to reports, Tusing, who had been visiting her fiance in Jonesboro, began her drive home in stormy weather about 11:30 p.m. June 14, 2000
At about 1:30 a.m. June 15 the fiance called Tusing's parents because she had not yet arrived home and then went out to look for her, according to reports.
Reports indicate the fiance located Tusing's vehicle about an hour and a half later on Highway 18 west of Monette with the keys still in the ignition and her wallet still in the car.
According to reports, Tusing's body was located four days later floating in the Big Bay Ditch, about 14 miles from where her car was found.
Autopsy revealed Tusing died by drowning, but that she also suffered a blow to the back of her head.
After all leads were followed and expired and Tusing's parents, Edwin and Susan, and the Craighead County Sheriff's Department had exhausted all efforts, including the exhumation of the body to search for more evidence, Susan Tusing said she looked into the idea of contacting a psychic.
"I was a little reluctant at first because there were a couple of psychics from out of state who called with information that turned out to be totally wrong," Tusing said, "but we had nothing else to go on, so I asked my husband and Gary Etter (a Craighead County Sheriff's Department investigator) for their thoughts, and they said 'why not, let's try it.'"
Tusing went on to say that while searching for the right person, she found Baron's Web site, read about the cases she had helped with, including the Elizabeth Smart case, and decided to contact her.
"I sent an e-mail last Friday (Jan. 2) to Carla, and she responded, so we had a telephone conversation for an initial consultation visit, then on Monday we did a reading for about three hours after we consulted Mr. Etter in a three-way call," Tusing said. "Then Carla called Mr. Etter and talked to him for about an hour with the same information she had given to me."
Baron said that before she actually takes on an official case like this one she always asks the soul of the departed one for permission to do so, and that she felt like "Mandy wanted me to do this."
According to Susan Tusing, during the three-hour reading, Baron gave a detailed description of the man who was responsible for killing Amanda Tusing, along with a complete psychological profile and personal history of the man.
"As for what I see, the fiance did not commit the murder, and it was not random," Baron said. "The fiance does not fit the description of the killer."
The description of the killer Baron gave to Tusing and Etter matched closely with the description of a person seen at random by others who thought the person was insignificant, according to Tusing.
Etter confirmed that with Baron's description a composite of the killer is something the Sheriff's Department is working on right now, trying to locate the proper person to accomplish the task.
"We are in great hopes that the information Carla gave us will lead to the apprehension and arrest of Mandy's killer," Susan Tusing said. "So far I have been really impressed with the heartfelt professionalism Carla has shown to us and what seems to be sincerity in her efforts to help us."
According to Tusing, one of the first things Baron said to her was that Amanda was trying to tell her mother something and that she (Tusing) should go over and pick up a blue book. "So I found a blue book that I purchased titled "God's Little Book of Promises for Mothers."
Tusing said Baron told her to open the book to any page and read the first thing she saw. "What I read was a scripture from I Thes. 5:15 (NASV) which read, 'See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people.'"
According to Baron, the little blue book incident took place while a conversation about capital punishment was taking place.
"Mandy's unsolved murder story never made the big-time news, but we are in hopes that with Carla's help we can get it further out to those other than the people in local areas who might be able to help us find the killer," Susan Tusing said.
The details of the conversation and the descriptions given to police are not being revealed to the press due to the possibility that it could impede an ongoing investigation.
"Just as soon as we know more, we will let the public know more and as soon as we get this composite finished, it too will be released," Etter said.
Tusing said, "If anyone criticizes me for contacting a psychic or for any of the actions following the consultation and reading, all I have to say to them is walk a mile in my shoes before you say anything about what I'm doing. I'm going to do everything within my power, no matter how it looks or seems to others, to find the person responsible for taking my little girl from me."
Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003
Prolonged silence has lowered hopes of finding Cindy Song alive
By Mike Walbert
Collegian Staff Writer
The vast field behind State College Park apartments is sprawling with bright green rolling hills. Sprouts of wild grass shoot up in sporadic clumps throughout the field in between the bare trees that have changed with the season.
It's quiet here. The silence is deafening.
Police once searched this area behind where she used to live, hoping to find a solid clue as to her whereabouts. A psychic brought in by lead investigators relayed vivid images of the field and provided some tips with the intent of sparking a new lead.
They all led to the same place, though -- a puzzling dead end.
Saturday marks the two-year anniversary of Hyunjung "Cindy" Song's disappearance. The friendly, outgoing 23-year-old integrative arts major -- who kept creative scrapbooks packed full of past concert tickets and family photos, whom some describe as a survivor and an optimist -- simply vanished that fateful early morning on Nov. 1, 2001.
Today, a team of investigators from the Ferguson Township Police Department -- headed by the case's lead investigator Det. Brian Sprinkle -- will travel to Wilkes-Barre, in Luzerne County, in an attempt to crack any new leads in the case. They will look at evidence at suspected killer Hugo Selenski's property, where the bodies of five victims have been found, and where Paul Weakley, an alleged accomplice-turned-informant says Song is buried.
"[The Wilkes-Barre investigation] is switching gears from a homicide investigation to a missing person investigation," Sprinkle says.
Meanwhile, for nearly two years, a closely-knit college community has sat by idly, anxiously waiting to hear something -- anything -- of Song's whereabouts.
How could an attractive, smart Penn State student just up and disappear in this area? She couldn't have been kidnapped or murdered. No one wanted to think about that being a possibility because it just never happens here -- ever.
The hope and optimism that was so incredibly strong in the months following Song's reported disappearance has slowly begun to dwindle. Some still hold faith that she's alive and that she will be found someday, safe and sound. Others have slowly, over the years, prepared themselves for the worst.
Others yet have come to a much grimmer conclusion.
"Cindy's dead," Sprinkle says. "I don't have any belief that Cindy is alive."
Oct. 31, 2001
It started off as any other Halloween night for college students usually does. Too old to trick-or-treat and too young to stay in, there was excitement to dress up and go out on the town with friends. A week of classes and stress needed an intervention of relaxation, and this Wednesday night would be just that for Song and the rest of Penn State.
Her costume was all in place. She'd be a Playboy bunny -- with a little bit of flair. She wore a white skirt that had a cotton bunny tail attached to the buttocks. Her pink sleeveless shirt had an embroidered image of a bunny on it, matching nicely with her red knee-length hooded coat and brown suede knee-high boots. A pair of bunny ears delicately sitting on her head and black false eyelashes topped her ensemble off.
The costume was complete. It was the last thing Song would be seen wearing.
The night began at Players Nite Club, 112 W. College Ave., where the popular downtown dance club was holding a big Halloween party. She and her friends danced and partied late into the night, staying until about 2 a.m.
The group then left Players, moving throughout downtown. They made stops at The Americana, 119 Locust Lane, and then to Park Hill, 478 E. Beaver Ave., for some post-Players fun.
A trip to the South Garner Street Uni-Mart between 3 and 4 a.m. was the last activity of the night. Song's friend, Stacey Paik, gave her a ride home to her State College Park apartment around 4 a.m. on Nov. 1.
Then, she was gone.
"I tried to call her all day, and her phone was off," Paik said a week after the disappearance. "It's just kind of strange -- she usually calls me."
Youngjoo "Catherine" Kim roomed with Song that fall. The two had been acquaintances for a little while, but were never close friends. Then in the summer of 2001, Song and Kim began to spend more time together and bonded. They decided they would become roommates and move into State College Park apartments together for the fall 2001 semester.
That fall, Kim, now 23, experienced some family problems back home in Philadelphia and had to leave for an extended period. But she kept in touch with Song and, two days before she vanished, Kim spoke with Song on the phone. Song wanted her to come for Halloween to participate in the festivities, but Kim said she'd wait until the next day -- Nov. 1.
That day, Kim arrived as planned. Her roommate, however, was unusually absent.
"I was expecting her to be there," Kim said. "But she wasn't."
Finally, the news filtered its way to Kim, who found herself in disbelief. Cindy was nowhere to be found.
"I was actually not thinking anything happened to her," she said. "I just didn't want to think that anyone kidnapped her or anything."
On Nov. 3, Song was reported missing to the Ferguson Township police. Investigators searched her apartment Nov. 6. There was no sign of forced entry or a struggle. Everything seemed to be in place, nice and neat.
Her wallet, purse and keys were missing. But those were items Song would've taken with her. Things didn't add up.
Where could Cindy have gone?
"She just literally vanished. That's just what I'm thinking," Kim said. "Can people just evaporate into thin air? It makes me think like that."
Following news of Song's disappearance, police hotlines rang off the hook. Tips from all corners of the state began to flood in. Investigators, enthused and optimistic that they could find the missing integrative arts major, sifted through the mounds of information, looking for that small key to unlock the mystery.
The feeling that Song had just left town for a few days, that she would jingle the keys to her apartment and step back into everyone's lives again, was compelling.
Her picture was plastered everywhere. Posters, Web sites, newspapers and television broadcasts. The HUB-Robeson Center, Willard Building, telephone poles downtown. They all showed Song's cherubic face -- with her rosy red cheeks and glimmering smile -- in the hope that the image would spark someone's memory.
Perhaps they had seen her coming out of Players. Maybe they had caught the briefest of glimpses of her in the Uni-Mart. Or maybe they had seen her after 4 a.m., when Song's trail went absolutely cold.
Bansoon Song, Cindy's mother, traveled from Seoul, South Korea and set up home in State College, hoping, waiting all the while. She wanted to be a part of the investigation and wanted to be here when her daughter was eventually returned safely.
Bansoon attended vigils for her missing daughter, usually with her head down and shoulders slumped.
"My life is my family and to not know what happened to my only daughter is devastating," she said at the time.
It was very tough for Bansoon, coming to a foreign land and not having a strong grasp of English or knowledge of the American judicial system. She couldn't understand -- why couldn't Cindy's phone records be accessed immediately by police? What were police doing?
The months passed. Gradually, they turned to years. Tips began to dry up quickly after the initial downpour.
Her face and physical features -- 5'1" tall, 115 lbs., brown eyes, jet-black hair -- were again publicized on national television to get any minute detail that could solve the case.
Unsolved Mysteries, Court TV's Psychic Detectives and CBS' Without A Trace all came calling, offering to lend a hand and bring the case to an American audience. All led to not much more than a handful of calls and even fewer substantial leads.
There was the false tip where a female caller identified herself as "Cindy." Then there was the possible connection to four college-age adult disappearances scattered throughout the Midwest. And then there was the witness who was possibly seen with Song in Philadelphia shortly after her disappearance.
All the while, frustration mounted.
Sprinkle, the lead investigator, had been under an immense pressure to find Song, all while having to address the widespread media coverage and the constant questioning of the police's procedures.
"This is the first case of this magnitude that I've handled," he said. "We get missing Penn State students all the time. But come Sunday night, they come back for a class on a Monday morning."
In his office sits a waist-high black metal bookcase jammed with more than 30 oversized three-ring binders, all containing the words "Cindy Song" and "missing person" on their bindings.
The frustration reached him, to a degree.
"It bothers me, but it bothers me more on the professional level ... As a person, I do feel for the family, for Cindy, for whatever pain she went through," Sprinkle said. "But this is a case, this is my job. I'm upset on the merits of the case."
Which makes what happened in January 2002 that much tougher for him to swallow and where a deep communication rift developed between the two parties.
After four months of no real hard information surfacing, the Song family unleashed a scathing criticism of the investigation -- in particular the Ferguson Township police and the Pennsylvania State Police -- at a Jan. 31 press conference.
"Words cannot begin to express the agony the Song family has felt since the disappearance of their daughter," Jin Han, a New York-based attorney and the family's spokesman, said at the time. "This has been compounded by the poor investigation."
"It is time a true investigation be commenced," he added.
However, the Song family failed to mention a large mistake that occurred during the crucial early days of the investigation.
Just days following investigators' first search of the apartment, the Songs entered Cindy's apartment and cleaned it, possibly wiping away crucial evidence -- a fact that was never publicly revealed by investigators until now.
"They entered the apartment and cleaned the apartment," Sprinkle said. "We extended a courtesy and we found out very quickly that it backfired."
Add to that the large cultural gap between investigators and the Song family, most of whom were based in South Korea and just weren't used to the American way of things.
The public lashing by the Song family was too much for investigators. All direct communication between Ferguson Township authorities and the Songs was terminated in February 2002.
"We did it for Cindy's sake in the case and not the family," Sprinkle said. "We pretty much cut them off."
A clearer picture?
There was a long lull in any activity following the breakdown between investigators and the Song family.
Then, in early August 2002, investigators, who were struggling to crack any new leads, turned to nationally known psychic Carla Baron for help. The well-known clairvoyant, utilized by law enforcement across the country, came to State College to "fill in the blanks."
Recently, investigators seeking psychic expertise have become more common in solving a case similar to this.
"There's been departments working with psychics going many years back, but they just won't admit it," Sprinkle said.
The danger in using a psychic, though, is that the information provided is greatly untested within the judicial system.
"I don't think you'd ever be able to base a case or search warrant on a psychic," Sprinkle said. "Nobody knows how a jury's going to react."
Regardless, the high-profile nature of the Song case was nothing new to Baron. The Los Angeles-based psychic had provided some helpful information in the Elizabeth Smart abduction -- correctly "reading" that the 13-year-old was still alive -- and had been involved in numerous other missing person cases.
The only difference, in this case, was the time period. Baron generally gets called into action days or weeks after missing person reports are filed. In the instance of Song, Baron came into the fray nearly 10 months after the Penn State student's disappearance.
The time lapse makes it more difficult for Baron to get a strong read, especially when the details or evidence of a case are fresh.
"We (psychics) should be brought in earlier," she said.
Baron's visions come to her like dreams. At times they're disjointed, jumbled and "weird." But she never discards them, never brushes them off as some fanciful imagery -- for in her mind, any small flash of pictures can be a key component to finding a missing person.
"You don't know what it means," she said. "You're sitting there scratching your head, going, 'What the hell does that mean?' But you log it like any psychic does."
Baron began to see visions relating to the case. The number 15 was very prominent, as was the field behind Song's apartment. Very few leads came from those.
And then came the carving.
One day, Baron glimpsed an image of a carving in a tree. She thought it could've been on a tree in the field behind the apartment, so she asked Kim to search for it. Kim found it in less than 45 minutes of searching the large field.
The symbol spelled out some Japanese slang. The words read "song bird," a nickname Baron had given to Song early in her involvement with the case.
The tree, with the eerie carving, was located near some deep brush. Maybe Song was hidden there, or her possible kidnapper had slipped in there to make him or herself unseen.
"It's an indicator, a bread crumb," Baron said. "[That area] is a great place to hide."
The carving, however startling, led to yet another dead end.
"It was strange ... ," Kim said. "She just had this vision of [Song] being there."
The Song case has stuck in Baron's mind, like a nagging, sharp pain that won't go away.
"I look at it quite often," she said. "I don't often get emotionally involved with cases, but this one I am ... and I don't know why."
For her, Song's puzzling disappearance has evolved into much more than a case -- it's morphed into a personal quest. She's cried for several hours just thinking about it. Finding Song has become the ultimate mystery, one that Baron will travel the globe to solve.
"I'm not going to stop working on this until we're done -- until we find her," she said.
A need for closure
Who is to say if investigators' trip to Wilkes Barre will reveal any news of Song's whereabouts? Weakley, the informant, has had his credibility questioned following a number of tips he provided that led nowhere. Police also found information regarding Song's disappearance downloaded on his computer.
"He's not batting 1.000," Baron said of Weakley.
Discrepancies and skeptics aside, Sprinkle is still in pursuit of the answers to Penn State's deepest puzzle.
"I'm not completely sold on [Weakley's] story," Sprinkle said. "But if he's going to give up five bodies, why would he lie about a sixth?"
The ambitious Song has left her mark on this tiny college town -- that much is certain.
"I felt she was very together, she had dreams. She wanted to make it big," Kim said. "She inspired me in a lot of ways to look at life more brightly."
Bansoon Song has since returned home to South Korea, where she continues the long, hard wait to hear about her missing daughter.
The university has stood by as one of its students has become a poster child for being careful in what is regarded by the majority as one of the safest places around. Its support, however, has been unwavering.
"It's certainly frustrating ... to think that family and friends have had to sit with this emptiness," Bill Mahon, Penn State spokesman, said. "It's been very frustrating and heartbreaking."
For Sprinkle, the young detective in the hot spotlight, there is a growing desire to put a stamp on this case, to unravel the mystery of Cindy Song.
"I hope there is light at the end of the tunnel in terms of solving this," he said.
Kim, who now lives in San Francisco, about as far away from the case as you can get, has watched as her hopes of seeing Song alive begin to slowly fall. Hearing any information of what happened would be slightly comforting -- even if it's the worst.
"Now, I'm kind of more gearing toward bad news," Kim said. "There's always still hope. But it's just not a lot."
And then came the words that seem to always come up whenever Cindy Song is mentioned.
"It's just been a long time."
By TAJUANA CHESHIER
Sep 15 2003
Immediately following the disappearance her daughter, Jonnie Carter wasn't ready to hear what a psychic could reveal on the whereabouts of Bethany Markowski who disappeared from Old Hickory Mall in Jackson more than two years ago.
But now Carter said she's heard what nationally known psychic Carla Baron had to say and although the news included gruesome details of Bethany's abduction in March 2001, she hasn't given up hopes of finding her daughter alive.
"During a psychic reading she told me that Bethany's spirit is no longer with us," Carter said. "She told me things about her personality and wit that she couldn't have known."
Baron said that her psychic readings have led investigators to the resolution of more than 50 cases involving homicides, arsons and missing persons.
"I speak to the essence of a person. This is how I decide whether I'm supposed to be involved in a case or not," said Baron, who uses a psychic technique called "remote viewing" to help envision the victim and crime scene.
"I'm only allowed to see as much as would not disturb the discovery process and I have no qualms about revealing what I'm shown," Baron said during a phone interview from her Los Angeles home.
In a psychic reading, Baron is careful in revealing some of the gruesome details related to a victim's death.
"Unfortunately, Jonnie was taken through Bethany's abduction in the initial read but I don't have to take her through the nightmare everytime I talk to her," Baron said. "Jonnie needs to carry on Bethany's spirit, no matter what, and stay within the positive realm."
During Baron's recent psychic reading via the telephone with Carter, she revealed to her what she believes happened to Bethany on March 4, 2001.
"It was a situation that escalated among the people involved," Baron said. "She was being hidden in the hills in Tennessee in a forestry area for a short amount of time. In my vision it all ends on a country road off a main highway and Bethany's body was placed at the bottom of an embankment in some sort of ravine."
Baron has worked with various law enforcement agencies across the country on many cases. She currently is working nine cases, all free of charge, including Bethany's. The girl was 11 years old when she disappeared.
"I don't receive any money when working in an official capacity," said Baron, who has a nationally syndicated radio show and has been featured on Court TV's "Psychic Detectives" series.
"I don't force departments to work with me - thank God we're getting to a point where departments are coming to psychics when the case initially occurs," Baron said. "It's not about taking anything away from the investigators; it's about all of us working together toward one common goal."
Baron believes that psychics are not meant to solve cases. They're meant to "help connect the dots."
Other families with missing persons are singing Baron's praises for the work that she's done.
"Carla is very descriptive and accurate about the details," said Sharon Garry of Connecticut. Garry's sister Tina, 34, and 15-year-old niece Bethany Sinclair have been missing for more than two years from their West Chesterfield, N.H., home.
"Before Carla, I've talked to three other psychics before and one of the most aggravating things about them was their lack of detail," said Garry, who talks with Baron at least once a week. "I would have to come up with my own interpretation."
Garry's search for her sister and niece continues. Volunteers were out last Saturday afternoon searching, and Garry feels they are close to locating them.
"Carla led us to the area where she said we would find a container that was used by the man involved in their disappearance," Garry said.
But finding law enforcement officers willing to listen to the advice of a psychic is still a challenge for families.
"We've gotten a mixed reaction from officers," Garry said. "I think some of them feel like their egos are on the line."
Jackson Police Department Violent Crimes Investigator Lt. Mike Holt has been working the Markowski case since the beginning.
"The Jackson Police Department welcomes the assistance of anyone who contacts us with information regarding the disappearance of Bethany Markowski," Holt said in a written statement. "All information about Bethany's disappearance that the department has received has been followed up on, and any and all information we receive in the future will be pursued until Bethany is found."
Carter hopes local agencies will enlist Baron's help.
"I want everybody to remember that there are missing children out there and it shouldn't matter how we get them home," Carter said. "If it takes a psychic or police dogs, whatever it takes, it needs to be done."
- Tajuana Cheshier, (731) 425-9758
March 4, 2001 - Bethany is reported missing by her father, Larry Markowski, who says she disappeared outside of the Old Hickory Mall in Jackson.
April 2001 - Numerous donations pour in to aid in the effort to locate Bethany.
July 2001 - Bethany's picture appears on 'America's Most Wanted.'
September 2001 - Bethany's picture appears on numerous missing children's Web sites.
November 2001 - 84 million ADVO cards are circulated in the West Tennessee area with Bethany's picture.
June 2002 - Jonnie Carter appears on 'Montell Williams' to talk about Bethany's disappearance.
June 2003 - Bethany's picture appears on Briney Baird's golf bag during the St. Jude's PGA golf tournament.
What to know
Details of Bethany's disappearance at www.fbi.gov or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, www.ncmec.org.
To leave a tip, call: FBI, 668-9578; Crime Stoppers, 424-8477; Jackson Police Department, 425-8400; TBI, 423-5790.
A reward is being offered in the amount of $18,500 for information leading the discovery of Bethany and the arrests of the person or persons involved in her disappearance.
After disappearance, Louks' mother turned to psychic investigator
By John Tuohy and Cathy Kightlinger
August 31, 2003
A day after the death of the only suspect in her daughter's disappearance, a Greenwood mother said she thinks the man had accomplices.
"I definitely don't think he was the only one involved," Kim Louks said of Joseph Nowicki, who died of cancer Friday afternoon in Indianapolis. "I thought that from the beginning."
Her daughter, Brookley Louks, has been missing since June 24, 2002, and is presumed dead.
Investigators think Nowicki acted alone. Johnson County Prosecutor Lance Hamner, however, said he would not rule out the possibility that someone else was involved.
"All the evidence we have, though, has pointed to one person," he said.
Kim Louks told The Indianapolis Star on Saturday that her initial instinct about her daughter's disappearance was reinforced after she consulted a psychic.
Since mid-June, Louks has been corresponding with Los Angeles psychic Carla Baron, who describes herself as a psychic investigator on her Internet site.
"She just right off the bat said there are two young males involved," said Louks.
Baron reportedly assists law enforcement frequently, has appeared on Court TV and hosts a nationally syndicated radio program.
Contacted at her California home Saturday night, Baron confirmed that she has spoken with Louks. She said she does not charge any fees when helping families of missing children.
Nowicki, 54, was to have been the subject of a grand jury murder investigation into the disappearance of Brookley Louks. But the suspect died of complications from cancer in Methodist Hospital.
And Brookley Louks remains missing.
Also Saturday, the owner of an Indianapolis gun shop said he would extend a $10,000 reward to anyone who leads authorities to the body, despite Nowicki's death.
Donald Davis, owner of Don's Guns, offered this month to give Nowicki's wife the money if he revealed where the body was. Davis figured if Nowicki had committed the slaying, he could help his wife financially by confessing to it before he died.
"She probably doesn't have 20 cents to her name," Davis said. "It's not every day that $10,000 comes along."
Nowicki didn't take Davis up on the offer, the gun shop owner said, which shows Nowicki was either a jerk or "he didn't do it."
The last person known to have spoken with Brookley Louks was a Greenwood police sergeant to whom she reported a burglary.
Later that day, her car was spotted in Nowicki's driveway. Nowicki was a friend of the family who visited often.
That night, her car was found at Ind. 144 and Ind. 37 in Waverly. Police said phone records show that Nowicki made calls asking for a ride from that general area at about the same time. Divers searched White River near Waverly and lakes and creeks in Johnson and Morgan counties.
Nowicki became the main suspect when drops of the woman's blood were found in his home.
Hamner had planned to send the case to a grand jury in July after he failed to gain enough evidence to charge Nowicki. Because no body has been recovered, the prosecution could not prove Louks is actually dead or that the death was caused by a criminal act, he said then. But the grand jury session was postponed while police continued their probe.
In addition, the belief that Nowicki kidnapped and killed Louks was based on inadmissible evidence, such as his violent tendencies, and hearsay. Hamner said some witnesses had made weak or unreliable statements.
After being held without bond on an unrelated firearms charge, Nowicki was released last month when a federal judge determined that Nowicki was dying and did not pose a risk to society.
Although Louks continues to hold out hope that her daughter will return home alive, she said she thinks she may have been killed at Nowicki's home.
Now that he is dead, Louks said she is hoping others will give police more information.
"Joe is gone. He can't hurt anybody anymore," the 45-year-old mother said.
Call Star reporter John Tuohy at 1-317-444-6418.
Article Published: Friday, August 29, 2003 - 2:34:45 AM EST
By DANIEL BARLOW
CHESTERFIELD, N.H. -- A team of cadaver-sniffing dogs is expected to assist in the family-led search for a missing New Hampshire mother and daughter this weekend, although searchers are hoping that locally trained dogs and their owners will also turn out.
This will be the fourth search for Tina and Bethany Sinclair in the area around Wantastiquet Mountain and the Connecticut River by members of their family in recent weeks.
"We've narrowed down the areas that we are searching in," said Sharon Garry, the sister of Tina Sinclair. "We're hoping that with the help of the dogs we will find something."
The dog team, along with the dogs' trainer, will fly into New Hampshire today. The search is scheduled for 9 a.m. Saturday at the base of Mountain Road.
Garry is hoping that area dog trainers will turn out on Saturday to assist. Although volunteers have turned out for prior searches, she said she wants to keep this search small to allow the animals proper concentration.
The family-led searches were brought on by information supplied to Garry by Carla Baron, a Los Angeles-based psychic investigator. Garry said searchers have located a handful of items in the woods that the psychic told them to look for.
The Carol Sund Foundation recently announced that it is offering a $5,000 reward for the safe return of Tina and Bethany Sinclair or evidence resulting in the prosecution of a responsible party.
August 23, 2003
On Aug. 19, 2003, Katie Kenney, 18, and her four-month-old son Jayden, missing since July 31, 2003, were found safe and sound. Nationally known psychic investigator, Carla Baron, accurately predicted this event days before....
BRATTLEBORO, VT. - On Aug. 19, 2003, Katie Kenney, 18, and her four-month-old son Jayden, missing since July 31, 2003, were found safe and sound.
Katie was last seen in her hometown of Brattleboro, Vt., when she asked her mother, Kathy, if she could borrow the family car for a drive to Montpelier, which is about 115 miles or so to the northwest. Kathy advised her daughter not to go, and that was the last heard from her.
The family was understandably worried, but became less so after a mutual acquaintance put Kathy in touch with nationally known psychic Carla Baron. Baron assured her that her daughter was "alive and unharmed," but possibly under a "lover’s influence or control."
"Psychics aren't always harbingers of doom," Baron said after Katie returned home. "I wasn't trying to please her with the information coming forth through the reading. I just told her what I saw."
Baron was put in touch with Kathy by Sharon Garry, who has been working with her to locate Tina and Bethany Sinclair. Tina and Bethany are Garry's sister and niece, respectively, and have been missing for more than two years. They are believed to be murder victims.
"I don’t believe this has happened," Baron quoted Garry as saying. "I knew Kathy from school, and had worked with her, ironically, some 15 years ago." At the precise moment Sharon called, Kathy Kenney was reading about the Sinclair case and Baron's involvement in it. Baron said, "I was able to assure her that Katie and Jayden were alive and OK." Baron indicated that she had no knowledge of the events in the past few weeks regarding the disappearance.
Brattleboro police said that they took the name of Katie's boyfriend (he is identified only as "Warren") and ran it through several data bases, getting a hit from the Vermont Department of Corrections. From there, state police did a welfare check. They said that no foul play was involved in Katie's case, and that mother and child were fine.
Katie called her mother and said, "You knew where I was the entire time." "But I really didn't," Kathy said later.
"The ordinary nature of this case is exactly why it's newsworthy," said Baron. "Only one in every hundred or so missing persons is found alive. When I did the reading on Elizabeth Smart, I sensed that she was alive, and kept on the move, but was in no real imminent danger from her captors."
The night before Katie Kenney's rescue was announced, Baron told the story to Stephen Seitz, a reporter who had been covering the Sinclair story in New Hampshire.
(By Stephen Seitz, New Hampshire news correspondent)
Monday, August 04, 2003
CHESTERFIELD, N.H. (AP) - With tips from a psychic and help from volunteers on horseback, relatives and friends of a missing New Hampshire woman and her daughter headed back into woods in Chesterfield this weekend.
Tina Sinclair, 34, and her daughter, Bethany, 15, have been missing since February 2001.
Saturday, searchers said they hoped to come up with concrete clues to prompt police to conduct another search of their own.
Tina Sinclair’s sister, Sharon Garry, said searchers found a five-gallon bucket near where a psychic said it would be. They also found a shovel in the same area, near the end of a hiking trail.
Tina Sinclair’s ex-boyfriend, Eugene Van Bowman, has been a focus of the investigation.
Police call Bowman a “person of interest” in the disappearance, but have not called him a suspect. The disappearance is classified as a missing-persons case, but state officials say they’re handling it as if it were a homicide.
Bowman is in prison on an unrelated charge.
This weekend, searchers included members of the Governor’s Horse Guards, a voluntary, ceremonial mounted unit that rides in parades and often escorts the governor at state functions.
Richard Lynch, the group’s leader, said some members volunteered to help after reading about the search in the newspaper. He said the riders found a cave and marked it, and recorded some spots on Global Positioning Satellite devices so police will be able to pinpoint them in future searches.
Authorities previously searched Bowman’s home, where Sinclair had been living and was last seen. Bowman told police he left the house one night after arguing with Sinclair, and when he returned, mother and daughter were gone.
Authorities have searched woods and even put divers in the nearby Connecticut River, to no avail.
By Benjamin Yelle
Sunday, August 3, 2003
WEST CHESTERFIELD - Volunteers believe they may have found clues Saturday in the disappearance of Tina M. and Bethany Sinclair.
The volunteers searched the woods on Mount Wantastiquet in West Chesterfield , not far from the house where the women were living.
While it’s too soon to tell if the clues are connected to the missing mother and daughter, Capt. Richard Lynch, a member of a ceremonial unit of the N.H. National Guard, said his group found several areas that could use a closer look.
Lynch is a member of the governor’s horse guard, which rides with New Hampshire’s governor at parades and other public events. He and three other volunteers from the guard rode their horses up and down the trails.
Lynch, who said he’s had military training in search and recovery, found two grave markers from the 1700’s. He said ground near the graves looks as if it was moved recently.
“There were a couple of suspicious lumps up there, right there,” at the graves, he said.
In February 2001, the Sinclairs were living at 182 Mountain Road in West Chesterfield, just down the road from the search area. On Feb. 3, Tina Sinclair went to pick up her daughter Bethany at the movies.
The two haven’t been seen since.
The Sinclairs were living with Tina’s boyfriend, Eugene V. Bowman, at the time. Bowman told police he and Tina Sinclair had a fight that night and he left the house. When he came back, the two were gone, he said.
Sharon Garry, Tina Sinclair’s sister, doesn’t believe Bowman’s story and thinks he’s responsible for the Sinclairs’ disappearance. N.H. State Police have said they are treating the disappearance as a homicide, but have stopped short of calling Bowman a suspect. Investigators call him a “person of interest” because he was the last person to see them alive.
Bowman is now being held in the minimum-security wing of the N.H. State Prison in Concord. He pleaded guilty two years ago to an unrelated sexual-assault charge. He is scheduled to enter a halfway house as soon as space opens up, or can be released from prison if he can find a job that meets the approval of the N.H. Department of Corrections.
Two weeks ago, Garry organized a search of the same area after a phone conversation with Carla Baron, a California-based psychic who claimed to have seen the murder of Tina and Bethany. Baron said their bodies were left in a hilly, wooded area, concealed in some type of cave.
On Saturday morning, Garry said the first search had given her an idea of areas to focus on. She said much of the information she received from Baron matched the layout of the trails around the mountain.
Before the first search, Baron told Garry the bodies were buried near a white bucket half-buried on the side of a cliff.
“It’s definitely in a position described by Carla Baron,” Garry said.
Searchers also found pieces of cloth, and a jug that appeared to contain a flammable liquid next to a burnt tree and a shovel. The jug was also described by Baron, they said.
Garry said the searchers planned to mark all the evidence and ask state police to look at it.
At the last search, N.H. State Police Trooper Jayson Almstrom was present in case any evidence was found.
State police searched the area extensively in the weeks following the Sinclairs’ disappearance, using dogs, planes, helicopters, and divers in the nearby Connecticut River, Almstrom said.
No state police were at the search Saturday.
Tina Sinclair’s brother, Wayne Smith of Brattleboro, said he’s been disappointed by an apparent lack of concern by state police. He said he’d like to see the FBI take over the case.
“It’s a little frustrating for me. …It’s like (the investigation) is at a standstill right now,” he said.
Smith said roughly 20 volunteers searched Saturday, about the same as the previous search, but several people were first-timers.
“It’s definitely a good turnout,” he said. “We’re grateful to everyone.”
Smith said the family plans to set up another search in a few weeks. He plans to make up fliers and advertise more, hoping for an even bigger turnout. He can be contacted at 802-380-6562.
“This is emotionally trying,” he said.
By Stephen Seitz
Sunday News Correspondent / Union Leader
Sunday, August 3, 2003
Chesterfield - Family members of Tina and Bethany Sinclair hope they have found some concrete evidence to spur a second search of Mount Wantastiquet by law enforcement.
The woman have been missing since February 2001. Aided by volunteers and tips from a nationally known psychic, the family has been searching the northern side of Mount Wantastiquet for clues; their latest search took place yesterday.
“We found a white five-gallon bucket at about the place (psychic Carla Baron) said it would be,” said family spokeswoman Sharon Garry, Tina Sinclair’s sister.
Searchers also found a shovel in the vicinity, which is at the end of a hiking trail.
Volunteers this time out included members of the Governor’s Horse Guards, the ceremonial unit that occasionally escorts Gov. Craig Benson to state functions. The volunteers and their troop of horses was headed by Capt. Richard Lynch.
“I read in the paper last week that the search was being conducted and some of us volunteered,” he said. “I’m a trained Civil Air Patrol pilot, and I’ve conducted searches from the air.”
By mid-afternoon, Lynch and his crew had found a likely spot.
“There’s a cave near the power lines,” he said. “We’ve tagged the area, and done some GPS readings, but we’ve touched nothing.”
Garry said the idea was to find credible evidence to bring to the authorities so that a professional search could be done.
“The searchers feel very encouraged,” she said. “The gold detector responded positively. We’re taking photos and doing what we can meticulously. It’s good to have trained professionals looking. There’s no manual for this.”
Anyone with information on the case is urged to contact State Police Troop C at 358-3333.
August 1, 2003
Editor of the Brattleboro Reformer:
In response to certain public “misinformation” out there, I'm going to take a leap as a "frustrated family member" and attempt to clear up some inaccuracies regarding the investigation for Tina and Bethany Sinclair.
Addressing the issue of “unsealing the search warrant and investigation details of this case to the press”, let me make something perfectly clear -
You, the general public, or even we, the friends and family of Tina and Bethany, as frustrating as it might be, do not need to be aware of all the details of this investigation to know that this is a very grave situation. “Unsealing the evidence” will not help us know any more than we already do!
That is exactly what we DONT want! Why do we want to give the defense in this case all of the information to help them build on so that they have a case that might get this guy off and lose a conviction? Why would you want that information out there jeopardizing the integrity of the case and threatening the only chance we will have to make sure the person responsible might see the light of day again? Unsealing the information can only serve to satisfy your curiosity and damage this case in every possible way!
If you are concerned that a mother and her child have been missing for two and a half years, and the person who might be responsible is not only a convicted child molester, but is also walking among you, then you might want to take this situation seriously by writing/calling your elected officials and law enforcement agencies to prompt them to do whatever it takes to solve this case. He could be the guy in line at the grocery store, a service tech that comes to your house to fix something, or the man wandering on your "safe" New England streets.
Now let me clear up some seemingly sorted details for those individuals who would like to know what we, the "frustrated family members", know.
On Saturday, Feb 4, 2001, Tina Sinclair, 35 at the time, went to pick Bethany, then 15, up at the movies in Keene, NH, where she met Bethany's date, and his mother. Upon returning to the home that they shared with Eugene Van Bowman, on Mountain Road in W. Chesterfield, NH, according to Eugene, he and Tina had an argument and he left. He says that when he returned, Tina and Bethany and some of their belongings (not her 15yr old cat or her car) were gone. They have not been seen since. There has been no activity concerning SS numbers, credit cards, cell phones or substantiated sightings of the two.
The police were called during the week because Bethany did not show up for school and her friends who were used to speaking with her daily, hadn't heard from her. The local police got involved on February 10th and began questioning friends and family members. The state police were not involved until April and only at the pleading of family members. The first search warrant was not executed until mid-April, nearly two months after they vanished. The FBI has still had absolutely no input in this case despite the pleadings of family members for them to get involved.
But with all due respect to the authorities, how many times do they have to dig up concrete floors, wells and septic systems, river banks and use cadaver dogs before common sense tells you what they are looking for?
Friends and family have been silently searching for evidence and leads all along to try to find out what has happened to Tina and Bethany. Despite being quieted by Law Enforcement and threats of legal action for impeding an investigation, along with trespass warnings, we have done all that we could, and will continue until justice is served!
People may have opinions about the use of psychics in missing person investigations, but all over the world this is an avenue that has been explored, and is progressively and successfully being used in otherwise unsolved cases. I don’t care what “the dictionary says” … if a loved one of yours was missing I hope one would explore all one could in order to find them!
Carla Baron has been phenomenal in her insights and the detailed information she has given us in how to locate Tina and Bethany. Along with validating information we already knew to be true, we have now gone against the wishes of state police investigators and organized our own searches and media events. We are aware that the state police have enlisted the services of “psychics” at least a few times in the last two and a half years. However, we would like for law enforcement to place trust and faith in psychic investigator, Carla Baron, who has proven to us, family and friends of Tina and Bethany, to be the most accurate, professional and promising link in finding them that we have ever found.
Community members need to get involved. We need to do whatever we can to keep the avid interest of the general public and media in maintaining support and motivation here.
I will not rest until I find my sister and my niece, and the person responsible for taking them from us is justifiably prosecuted. I hope I have your support!
July 23, 2003
Editor of the Brattleboro Reformer:
It is with a big loud “finally” that I shout out to the community, family and friends who participated in the search for some closure into the disappearance of Tina and Bethany Sinclair. I am stunned that so much time has gone by and they still have not been found. I am in awe of the efforts put forth by Tina’s sister, Sharon, and feel that we can all benefit from her determination and dedication, and further help her by reaching out to offer our help.
If a psychic can lead them towards this resolution, then why not try? If it was your kin, would anything stop you? Would any part of any day go by that you did not wonder and dwell on what happened? Just trying to understand their fear, frustration and heartbreak cannot come close to their actual reality.
To everyone who participated in, or who may have wanted to but was unable to, your efforts, understanding and well wishes do not go unnoticed. It is almost impossible to believe that one of our own community members and her young daughter can just vanish. About the only thing that is right, and what I would expect our community to do, is apparently exactly what is happening.
May you never stop looking until you find them.
July 23, 2003
Editor of the Brattleboro Reformer:
The family and friends of Tina and Bethany Sinclair would like to extend our appreciation and heartfelt thank you’s to the supportive members of our community, who came out to help us search for evidence in the investigation of the beloved mother and child, missing for two and half years.
To the Vernon Fire Department’s men and women, Brattleboro area rescue personnel, and friends and family who came out and offered help. Also to area businesses who donated items and services for this event.
We have not and will not give up. Please join us on the next search on Mountain Road in West Chesterfield, N.H., on Saturday, Aug. 2.