isimeus.jpg

i rather be misconstruted [sic] than be under conclusions
u aren’t the least of my ruins…
— from “Chaous [sic]and Confusion,” a poem by Irma Simeus.

A wig, a hairbrush, a sandal. A dead woman inside a Honda.
Saturday, West Palm Beach, FL, and the cops come to check out an abandoned car in the housing complex on Elmhurst Road. Inside the car they find Irma Simeus, age 22. Near the car they find the wig, the hairbrush, and the sandal.
Irma’s family says the car and the other items were hers.
They also tell the media they don’t know who would kill Irma, a single mother to 4-year-old Javon. Irma’s sister tells a local TV station that Irma had no enemies, but they are “gonna run through it to see if there are people she perhaps rubbed shoulders with the wrong way…”

When i close my eyes I can still see your smile
and i can still feel the times
where your advice would console me.
Apart of me feels like maybe you not leaving me lonely
because these memories carry me.
They talk to me and I feel them all so suddenly.
Sometimes I still feel like you are here with me.
— from “Memories that keep me sane,” by Irma Simeus.

Irma Simeus just completed college. She studied to be a medical assistant. One of her profiles on a poetry site, “intensedtherapy,” provided a succinct self-description: “I write my emotions pure and simple and i capture my emotions thru my words. I have been writing since i was about 11 or 12 and haven’t stopped ever since.”
Irma’s family says she loved to create. Not just write, but sing. Poems found online, attached to an e-mail address that also brings up Irma’s MySpace profile in a search of that site, read like lyrics.

And i can’t believe i fell for your lies
but than usually i am the one who puts on the disguise.
And the phony way that you used to care for me wasn’t nothing but a phase
because i am moving on to financial success
while you let your financial assets go down to waste.
— from “Standing Ovasion [sic]” by Irma Simeus.

Some of Irma’s poems appeared to be intensely personal. One, “My Angelic Demon,” was remarkable for the anger it showed. Reading Irma’s verse it was hard to not wonder if the poem was connected to some real and perhaps even potentially dangerous events in her personal life. A portion of the poem:

Damn revenge is a bitch.
Honestly I never thought about lyin to you
but shit you thought i was pregnant so what else could i do?
Too bad you never knew I was the one who turned your metro off too.
The same chick that accessed all your passcodes
and did things you never thought i would boo.
I found out about the side bitch so I did what the fuck that i had to do.
Laughing to myself thinking about how I also was the master behind the office calls too
Shit it wasn’t my fault that I got people in places that will lie for me too.
But my favorite part is sending the fake letter you thought
was from my Doctor’s Office you fool.
You think you got An Std but karmas a mother ain’t it boo?
i would actually tell you that now you are a fool
just like the child you think that you fathered from me too.
The best part of it all is i know it’s all a lie
But You think it’s the truth.

If Irma Simeus was addressing a real ex in that poem, I imagine the police may want to speak with him.
The following is from the Palm Beach Post article about Irma’s murder:

Detectives have yet to specify how Simeus was killed but are calling the death a homicide. Anyone who was in the Elmhurst Road area, west of Haverhill Road, on Friday night or early Saturday morning can call the sheriff’s Violent Crimes Division at (561) 688-4000 or Crime Stoppers at (800) 458-TIPS (8477).

Maybe, if someone has reason to call those numbers above with answers to this mystery, we’ll find out why the wig, the brush, and the sandal trailed up to that blood-spattered Honda at the end of that road. Find out if Irma’s “Angelic Demon” had the scales fall from his eyes and decided it was time for his own brand of revenge.
[WPTV.com and the Palm Beach Post. Additional link: article written by Irma Simeus for Helium.com.]

isimeus.jpg

i rather be misconstruted [sic] than be under conclusions
u aren’t the least of my ruins…
— from “Chaous [sic]and Confusion,” a poem by Irma Simeus.

A wig, a hairbrush, a sandal. A dead woman inside a Honda.
Saturday, West Palm Beach, FL, and the cops come to check out an abandoned car in the housing complex on Elmhurst Road. Inside the car they find Irma Simeus, age 22. Near the car they find the wig, the hairbrush, and the sandal.
Irma’s family says the car and the other items were hers.
They also tell the media they don’t know who would kill Irma, a single mother to 4-year-old Javon. Irma’s sister tells a local TV station that Irma had no enemies, but they are “gonna run through it to see if there are people she perhaps rubbed shoulders with the wrong way…”

When i close my eyes I can still see your smile
and i can still feel the times
where your advice would console me.
Apart of me feels like maybe you not leaving me lonely
because these memories carry me.
They talk to me and I feel them all so suddenly.
Sometimes I still feel like you are here with me.
— from “Memories that keep me sane,” by Irma Simeus.

Irma Simeus just completed college. She studied to be a medical assistant. One of her profiles on a poetry site, “intensedtherapy,” provided a succinct self-description: “I write my emotions pure and simple and i capture my emotions thru my words. I have been writing since i was about 11 or 12 and haven’t stopped ever since.”
Irma’s family says she loved to create. Not just write, but sing. Poems found online, attached to an e-mail address that also brings up Irma’s MySpace profile in a search of that site, read like lyrics.

And i can’t believe i fell for your lies
but than usually i am the one who puts on the disguise.
And the phony way that you used to care for me wasn’t nothing but a phase
because i am moving on to financial success
while you let your financial assets go down to waste.
— from “Standing Ovasion [sic]” by Irma Simeus.

Some of Irma’s poems appeared to be intensely personal. One, “My Angelic Demon,” was remarkable for the anger it showed. Reading Irma’s verse it was hard to not wonder if the poem was connected to some real and perhaps even potentially dangerous events in her personal life. A portion of the poem:

Damn revenge is a bitch.
Honestly I never thought about lyin to you
but shit you thought i was pregnant so what else could i do?
Too bad you never knew I was the one who turned your metro off too.
The same chick that accessed all your passcodes
and did things you never thought i would boo.
I found out about the side bitch so I did what the fuck that i had to do.
Laughing to myself thinking about how I also was the master behind the office calls too
Shit it wasn’t my fault that I got people in places that will lie for me too.
But my favorite part is sending the fake letter you thought
was from my Doctor’s Office you fool.
You think you got An Std but karmas a mother ain’t it boo?
i would actually tell you that now you are a fool
just like the child you think that you fathered from me too.
The best part of it all is i know it’s all a lie
But You think it’s the truth.

If Irma Simeus was addressing a real ex in that poem, I imagine the police may want to speak with him.
The following is from the Palm Beach Post article about Irma’s murder:

Detectives have yet to specify how Simeus was killed but are calling the death a homicide. Anyone who was in the Elmhurst Road area, west of Haverhill Road, on Friday night or early Saturday morning can call the sheriff’s Violent Crimes Division at (561) 688-4000 or Crime Stoppers at (800) 458-TIPS (8477).

Maybe, if someone has reason to call those numbers above with answers to this mystery, we’ll find out why the wig, the brush, and the sandal trailed up to that blood-spattered Honda at the end of that road. Find out if Irma’s “Angelic Demon” had the scales fall from his eyes and decided it was time for his own brand of revenge.
[WPTV.com and the Palm Beach Post. Additional link: article written by Irma Simeus for Helium.com.]


WABC story about the disappearance of Hannah Emily Upp.
Please be sure to read the update at the bottom of this post.
Earlier tonight, Arielle Schechter sent an interesting e-mail out to members of the Facebook group devoted to finding missing NYC middle school teacher Hannah Emily Upp. Someone claims they’ve seen Hannah since she vanished on August 29, 2008. Arielle’s e-mail:

I just received a call from a man who says he was with Hannah on Monday. He said that he met her in Green Point at about 5:00am on Monday, and they went to Coney Island together, and he left her there at about 9:00pm. He said that her hair is shorter than in her picture. The police are investigating his claim.
– Arielle

The New York Daily News reported Friday that Hannah may have been having more trouble adjusting to her life as a grad student and teacher than anyone knew. From the paper: “One source said Upp – an NYC Teaching Fellow who was about to get her own classroom – skipped work the day before she disappeared.”
The same source stated that while other teachers were prepping their classrooms on August 28 in anticipation of the first day of school, Hannah withdrew forty bucks from an ATM and took herself to a movie at a theater in Times Square.
However, the Daily News went on to say that “education sources” told them Hannah did go to school that day. The same article quoted Hannah Wood, one of the admins of the Facebook group, saying that Hannah Upp was “more frustrated than unhappy.”
That statement is similar to some things Arielle Schechter said in our conversation yesterday. Hannah’s first year of school wasn’t all that different from the first year of teaching for many educators; it’s frequently a trial by fire.
I hope the lead alluded to in Arielle’s e-mail is real, but you cover enough of these cases, it’s hard to scoot your cynicism aside. High-profile stories frequently invite the delusional or attention-starved. Still — it’s better to hope than not.
UPDATE
I’m afraid my cynicism was founded. Hannah Wood sent out another message to the Hannah Upp Facebook group shortly after this entry was first published. It read, in part:

We are so sad to report that, unfortunately, the tip we received has turned out to be of no use. We sincerely apologize that the message went out before we, and the police, were all fully aware of what was happening.
In the coming days, we should brace ourselves for more messages like this, from people who are more concerned with creating problems than with solving the mystery of Hannah’s disappearance.
Though this is undoubtedly painful and brutally disappointing for all of us, we are committed to maintaining this Facebook group and to a sustained publicity campaign. If, for every ten false messages, we receive even one valid and useful piece of information, we feel it would be worth it…

Wood went on to recommend that anyone contacted by someone claiming to have seen Hannah not engage the tipster, but direct them to call the 30th Precinct. She noted — correctly, I think — that a tipster with “Hannah’s best interests at heart […] will do so.”
I alluded to this in a post I wrote Saturday evening about the disappearance of Orlando toddler Caylee Anthony — the more high profile cases like this become, the more it is likely that some raging assholes will come out of the woodwork.


WABC story about the disappearance of Hannah Emily Upp.
Please be sure to read the update at the bottom of this post.
Earlier tonight, Arielle Schechter sent an interesting e-mail out to members of the Facebook group devoted to finding missing NYC middle school teacher Hannah Emily Upp. Someone claims they’ve seen Hannah since she vanished on August 29, 2008. Arielle’s e-mail:

I just received a call from a man who says he was with Hannah on Monday. He said that he met her in Green Point at about 5:00am on Monday, and they went to Coney Island together, and he left her there at about 9:00pm. He said that her hair is shorter than in her picture. The police are investigating his claim.
– Arielle

The New York Daily News reported Friday that Hannah may have been having more trouble adjusting to her life as a grad student and teacher than anyone knew. From the paper: “One source said Upp – an NYC Teaching Fellow who was about to get her own classroom – skipped work the day before she disappeared.”
The same source stated that while other teachers were prepping their classrooms on August 28 in anticipation of the first day of school, Hannah withdrew forty bucks from an ATM and took herself to a movie at a theater in Times Square.
However, the Daily News went on to say that “education sources” told them Hannah did go to school that day. The same article quoted Hannah Wood, one of the admins of the Facebook group, saying that Hannah Upp was “more frustrated than unhappy.”
That statement is similar to some things Arielle Schechter said in our conversation yesterday. Hannah’s first year of school wasn’t all that different from the first year of teaching for many educators; it’s frequently a trial by fire.
I hope the lead alluded to in Arielle’s e-mail is real, but you cover enough of these cases, it’s hard to scoot your cynicism aside. High-profile stories frequently invite the delusional or attention-starved. Still — it’s better to hope than not.
UPDATE
I’m afraid my cynicism was founded. Hannah Wood sent out another message to the Hannah Upp Facebook group shortly after this entry was first published. It read, in part:

We are so sad to report that, unfortunately, the tip we received has turned out to be of no use. We sincerely apologize that the message went out before we, and the police, were all fully aware of what was happening.
In the coming days, we should brace ourselves for more messages like this, from people who are more concerned with creating problems than with solving the mystery of Hannah’s disappearance.
Though this is undoubtedly painful and brutally disappointing for all of us, we are committed to maintaining this Facebook group and to a sustained publicity campaign. If, for every ten false messages, we receive even one valid and useful piece of information, we feel it would be worth it…

Wood went on to recommend that anyone contacted by someone claiming to have seen Hannah not engage the tipster, but direct them to call the 30th Precinct. She noted — correctly, I think — that a tipster with “Hannah’s best interests at heart […] will do so.”
I alluded to this in a post I wrote Saturday evening about the disappearance of Orlando toddler Caylee Anthony — the more high profile cases like this become, the more it is likely that some raging assholes will come out of the woodwork.

Police in Harris County, TX say 38-year-old Dannette R. Gillespie waited in the car while her daughter — all of 15 years old — and Vanessa Anne Ocampo robbed and killed bar owner Eugene Palma.
dgillespie.jpgFor their efforts, the teens and Ms. Gillespie pulled in a whopping $15. Fifteen bucks and charges of capital murder.
Reports out of Houston, TX say it all went down on Wednesday, Sept. 3. Gillespie, her daughter and Ms. Ocampo were on the lookout for someone to rob. They ended up in the bar owned by the Eugene Palma, age 75, Gene’s Better Times bar. The trio hung around until Mr. Palma headed home in Cadillac convertible. Police reports say they didn’t know Mr. Palma — I’d say the Caddy was probably all the bait they needed.
During police interrogation, Vanessa Ocampo told the cops that once the group followed Palma home, Dannette Gillespie doled out knives and told the girls to go rob the elderly man.
So Ocampo, along with Gillespie’s daughter (not named in the press because she’s a juvenile) exited the car and ran up to Palma’s garage. The girls allegedly stabbed the bar owner a number of times and took the only money he had on him, enough to put 4.5 gallons of gas in the car, at best.
Eugene Palma was found dead, face-down in his driveway, on Thursday morning.
A palm print on Palma’s caddy led the cops to Gillespie and the girls. Gillespie and her daughter were arrested in Houston. Vanessa Ocampo was picked up in San Antonio.
[Chron.com – Houston Chronicle]

Police in Harris County, TX say 38-year-old Dannette R. Gillespie waited in the car while her daughter — all of 15 years old — and Vanessa Anne Ocampo robbed and killed bar owner Eugene Palma.
dgillespie.jpgFor their efforts, the teens and Ms. Gillespie pulled in a whopping $15. Fifteen bucks and charges of capital murder.
Reports out of Houston, TX say it all went down on Wednesday, Sept. 3. Gillespie, her daughter and Ms. Ocampo were on the lookout for someone to rob. They ended up in the bar owned by the Eugene Palma, age 75, Gene’s Better Times bar. The trio hung around until Mr. Palma headed home in Cadillac convertible. Police reports say they didn’t know Mr. Palma — I’d say the Caddy was probably all the bait they needed.
During police interrogation, Vanessa Ocampo told the cops that once the group followed Palma home, Dannette Gillespie doled out knives and told the girls to go rob the elderly man.
So Ocampo, along with Gillespie’s daughter (not named in the press because she’s a juvenile) exited the car and ran up to Palma’s garage. The girls allegedly stabbed the bar owner a number of times and took the only money he had on him, enough to put 4.5 gallons of gas in the car, at best.
Eugene Palma was found dead, face-down in his driveway, on Thursday morning.
A palm print on Palma’s caddy led the cops to Gillespie and the girls. Gillespie and her daughter were arrested in Houston. Vanessa Ocampo was picked up in San Antonio.
[Chron.com – Houston Chronicle]

[“Caylee Anthony” – Google News]
findingcaylee.jpgI make no bones about it — I find the nature of much of the current coverage of the Caylee Anthony case kind of obscene.
Cindy and George Anthony, little Caylee’s grandparents, have made spectacles of themselves. The media has gladly covered each instance. Casey Anthony, Caylee’s mother, is probably the kind of narcissistic, likely even psychopathic personality who, in a way, even enjoys the attention being paid to her every movement.
What I also find obscene, I think, is the obsessive chewing over every tiny, meaningless detail of the circus surrounding the case (parsing the actual details that may point to what really happened is a necessary evil). I find it obscene that people insert themselves into the story — by going to the Anthonys’ home — surely making it a point to do so when the cameras are around — by starting fights in the street. To some degree, even the searches for the child end up being unseemly affairs. I get the sense that some of those people don’t want to find the little girl to bring peace to anyone; they want to be the one who finds the body and gets an interview on national TV.
That’s the part of stories like this that disgusts me — how they always end up drawing a huge number of attention whores into the mix. People who have no real interest in the case, just in getting their own names out there.

hannahupp3.bmpLast night, just after midnight, group administrator Hannah Wood sent the following information in a mass e-mail to members of the Facebook group devoted to finding missing New York City middle school teacher Hannah Emily Upp:

We wish we could be writing to you saying she’s been found, but right now we must allow ourselves to be comforted by the United Federation of Teachers’ incredibly generous offer of a $10,000 reward for information leading to Hannah’s whereabouts. This is in addition to the $2,000 offered by NYPD Crime Stoppers…

Later, in the same message, Wood wrote:

It’s now been over a week since anyone last saw Hannah, and thus the quest to find her has assumed a new and serious urgency. We know that your lives will go on – they must – but we ask you from the very depths of our being to please keep our amazing, beautiful, wonderful friend in your thoughts. Continue to keep in touch: receiving your emails and messages means more to us, and to Hannah (wherever she is), than you might ever imagine…

Were this not a season for storms and politics, it is likely that Hannah Upp’s mysterious disappearance from her apartment on August 29 would be receiving major play from cable news networks like CNN and MSNBC. Since it isn’t — yet — major blogs and newspapers have taken up the slack.
Ian Spiegelman, weekend editor of the enormously popular Gawker.com, was unusually serious (for Gawker) in his post about Hannah’s disappearance. Spiegelman wrote, “This is actually important. And anyone using this thread to make a certain old complaint about the media and missing people, you’ll get banned instantly.”
Spiegelman was referring to a now pro forma complaint often issued by many in the blogosphere whenever a missing persons story about a white female gets a lot of airplay. While it is true that there is inequity in the way these cases are covered by the mainstream news (recall Fox News — for example — and its wall-to-wall coverage of the Natalee Holloway disappearance in the summer of 2005), it is also true that some stories receive the level of coverage they do because they don’t have easy explanations — it is the mystery that draws attention to the case as much as anything.
With Hannah Upp, the yeoman’s work being done by her friends from Bryn Mawr has a lot to do with the story making it to a blog that doesn’t normally touch such a story — like Gawker. As soon as it was clear that something was seriously wrong, that there was no logical explanation for Hannah vanishing into thin air, friends like Hannah Wood and Arielle Schechter began contacting anyone and everyone they could think of to get the word out. Sometimes I think we should focus less on the media’s occasional feeding frenzy on cases like this and more on the positive aspect — that Hannah Upp had friends so committed to finding her that they used every networking tool they could think of to let the world know something was wrong.
Anyone who knows anything about Hannah Upp’s disappearance — please call Detective Perez at the 30th Precinct. You can call either 212-690-8842 or 212-690-8843.
And just so it’s clear, I’ll echo the Gawker editor on this score — any of that usual bitching “about the media and missing people, you’ll get banned instantly.”
[Facebook: “We’re Not Giving Upp (on Hannah)”]

On the phone, Arielle Schechter’s youthful voice sounds a little frayed. Her worry for her friend Hannah Emily Upp is palpable.
hannahupp2.jpgHannah, age 23, has been missing since August 29, 2008. When she didn’t come to work to begin her second year of teaching Spanish at Thurgood Marshall Academy for Learning and Social Change in Harlem, it was clear that something was wrong.
Arielle told me that Hannah’s friends are simply doing everything they can think of to get the word out about Hannah’s disappearance. That was why she joined friends Hannah Wood, Amy Scott and Piyali Bhattacharya in maintaining the Facebook group they titled “We’re Not Giving Upp (on Hannah).”
“We need to just get as much information out there as we can and hope that the right person sees her,” Arielle said. They’re doing pretty well — at last count, the Facebook group had 1,282 members.
Arielle said that everyone is worried. Some are scared. But, she said, “we don’t know,” so they “try to not speculate.”
Hannah was a freegan, but Arielle explained that being a freegan wasn’t really that big a part of Hannah’s lifestyle. It was social, for Hannah, something fun and unusual to do. It didn’t have to be about finding free food — Hannah might find a perfectly nice picture frame out by a Dumpster and take it home.
Hannah’s vanishing is a true conundrum for those who know her. Arielle, who has known Hannah for “about 3 years,” says that nothing fits. And many of the usual issues that pop up when a person goes missing weren’t present in Hannah’s life. As far as Arielle Schechter knows, Hannah has never had any major mental health issues. Hannah Upp didn’t have a significant other, or any known problems with an ex, either.
Hannah’s job teaching middle schoolers Spanish was part of New York City’s teaching fellowship program. Hannah was taking classes towards her master’s at night and, like other teaching fellows, working at an underserved school during the day. Arielle said she thought that Hannah was good at what she did — “very creative.”
Hannah’s first year teaching at Thurgood Marshall wasn’t a picnic, but as far as Arielle knew, that was about par for the course for any first year teacher.
People have been posting flyers everywhere in Hannah’s neighborhood, and Arielle said that scent dogs will try to find some trace of Hannah along routes she was known to run.
On the Web, friends are sending out blind e-mails, to publicists, people working with publishing houses or at newspapers, anyone who can get the word out.
It’s all they can think of to do, right now. Get the word out, and not speculate too much.
Hannah Emily Upp is 5’5″ and weighs about 130 lbs. She has long, dark hair and hazel-green eyes. She has a lot of friends who want her to come home safe. Again, if you know anything about her disappearance, call Detective Perez at the 30th Precinct Detective Squad at 212-690-8842, or 212-690-8843, or call (800) 577-TIPS.

hannahupp.jpgNo one has seen 23-year-old New York City school teacher Hannah Emily Upp since Friday, August 29, 2008.
Her roommates say Hannah was planning a weekend getaway. She was going to spend some time with her mom in Philadelphia and probably return to NYC on Saturday, no later than Sunday. They last saw her around 2 that afternoon.
Some time that day she used her debit card to go to a movie by herself at a Times Square movie theater.
When Hannah didn’t come home on Sunday, her roommates began to worry. Phone calls went straight to voice mail.
When they entered her bedroom Monday evening, frantic with worry, they found Hannah’s handbag. Everything she might need was there — an ATM card, her cell, her passport and her subway card.
Hannah was supposed to go back to work on Tuesday, Sept. 2, at the Thurgood Marshall Academy for Learning and Social Change, where she taught middle school Spanish. The first day of her second year as a teacher passed, still no Hannah.
Now there is a Facebook group dedicated to finding Hannah, as well as several blog posts and news articles.
No one knows where she is.
Hannah Upp graduated from Bryn Mawr in 2007. Following graduation she moved to New York, where she secured her job at Thurgood Marshall and began doing volunteer work for AIDS organizations. The Daily News reported that she had also begun working on a master’s in education at Pace University.
Hannah had wide-ranging, unusual interests. An article published in the Daily News on July 19, 2008 featured a photo of Hannah with a couple of friends holding bags of bagels. According to the piece, Hannah and her friends were “freegans.”
Freegans are a subculture of people, usually vegans, who only eat food that is free. Freegans find what they need by scavenging on the street; the practice is called Dumpster diving. To be a freegan is to reject capitalist values and the wastefulness of society at large. It’s an act of defiance, a turning away from crass, consumer culture. Since May 8 this year, Hannah Upp had even been a member of a Meetup group for people interested in “NYC Dumpster Diving.”
While a member of the Bryn Mawr and Haverford Chamber Singers, Hannah wrote about a choir trip to Ghana for Bryn Mawr Now. Her article revealed a great deal of insight and a compelling way with words. Hannah wrote:

Returning to Bryn Mawr also meant that I was faced with the challenge of explaining how I spent my winter break, and I have surprised myself with my descriptions of the trip. Instead of the details that would excite a thrill-seeking traveler […] I find myself describing the emotion I felt while we sang a spiritual at the banks of the river where slaves were bathed for the last time before being sent off on the Middle Passage. I recall the power of the hospitality of the family that welcomed me into their home, where I would share a small bed with three others in what turned into a very cozy night. I refer to the instant connection developed with the members of other choirs when we were able to engage through a song that we had specifically learned to sing together. As corny as it sounds, music did become the instant bridge. Even though I had never met this person singing next to me and any objective comparison of our lives would indicate a complete lack of common ground, we were able to interact and share something that needs no explanation…

A fellow Bryn Mawr student, writing in her tumblelog about Hannah’s disappearance, called the young teacher “one of the kindest people I’ve ever met.” The size of the Facebook group devoted to finding Hannah is further testament to the number of people who know her and now find themselves worried about the teacher with the easy, winning smile. In a comment on the group page, a friend named Danika Hunt wrote, “I am completely distraught right now, actively keeping my mind aside whenever I can, because I can’t imagine my Hannah in this situation. Please return home safely. You’re in mine and my family’s prayers. I miss you.”
Corey Godbey wrote that he was “Hannah’s cousin Corey from KS.” Godbey continued, “I want to thank each one of you that has joined this group… and also ask you to join me… As we continue to pray for Hannah’s safety and ask God to reveal her whereabouts to us… we also need to pray (believing) for the person(s) that DO know where she is. Someone does. Somewhere. Pray with me that that person(s) will reveal what they know in the opportune moment…”
Not all disappearances are the result of a criminal act. They can come from depression, from misadventure, from someone simply wanting to just get the hell away from it all. It seems clear that in this case, Hannah Upp’s disappearance was completely unexpected and to those who know and love her, cause for great suspicion and worry.
Dropping into the subjective blogger’s voice now — I couldn’t help but notice that Hannah Upp disappeared just two days before the murder of Pace University honors student Kevin Pravia. Pravia was apparently murdered by a homeless man, Jeromie Cancel, whom Pravia met early in the morning on August 31. Cancel accompanied Pravia to his apartment. After Pravia fell asleep, Cancel took a number of electronic items and left — only to return and strangle Kevin Pravia as an afterthought.
Freegans with jobs and residences like Hannah Upp would surely come into quite a bit of contact with the homeless, who sometimes have no choice but to Dumpster-dive.
Let’s hope Hannah didn’t encounter Jeromie Cancel or someone like him. Since it seems as though Cancel has been more than willing to confess to what he’s done, it is unlikely she ran into him, or he might have already said so. Still, there had to be a certain danger factor in pursuing the freegan lifestyle, since among the homeless, there will always be a small number of people like Jeromie Cancel, who have profound and potentially dangerous emotional and mental problems.
If you think you have information that might help in the search for Hannah Emily Upp, please call (800) 577-TIPS or get in touch with Detective Perez at the 30th Precinct Detective Squad, by calling either 212-690-8842, or 212-690-8843.
[Facebook and New York Daily News. See also: Neil Gaiman’s Journal.]