Top 10 FBI Most Wanted: Missing persons cases
The majority of missing persons cases are solved, yet many families and friends continue to wait, day after day, for their loved ones to be located.
Their faces are seen on the walls lining grocery store entrance ways and highway billboard signs — the missing among a population so intricately connected through social media and tech devices.
The majority of missing persons cases are solved — in 2020, 543,018 missing persons cases were registered with the National Crime Information Center (NCIC). That same department removed 480,832 in that same year, largely due to cases in which people were discovered or returned home, according to the FBI.
Yet that still leaves many families and friends who continue to wait, day after day, for their loved ones to be located.
The FBI, in coordination with local law enforcement agencies, regularly updates a list of the most wanted missing persons cases in the United States. Cases that have gone cold are often re-invigorated with new rewards for information leading to answers. In all situations, the FBI asks the public to partner with the agency to help find those who have seemingly gone out of reach.
Below are the top ten most wanted missing persons cases from the FBI database for December 2021.
Joe Esuaro “Che” Dominguez
Jose Esuaro “Che” Dominguez went missing on Aug. 2, 1981 while on his way to meet friends at a park in Stockton, Calif.
Just 16 years old at the time, Dominguez attended Franklin High School, where he was a jazz trumpet player and a member of the wrestling team.
Eight years after his disappearance, one individual was charged for alleged involvement in his disappearance — however, charges were dropped after testimony fromn a key witness fell through, according to the FBI.
The California Attorney General’s office believes Dominguez was a possible victim of foul play.
Dominguez’s family continues to spread the word about his 39-year disappearance. The FBI is offering a $5,000 reward for information that ultimately leads to Dominguez.
Shaniece Harris disappeared in 2017 from Rock Hill, N.Y.. She was last seen at around 8:30 p.m. on May 27. While she has not made contact with anyone since that time, her vehicle — a 20017 Volkswagen Jetta — was found abandoned roughly six miles outside of Rock Hill on South Woods Drive, according to The Charley Project.
Reports do not indicate whether any of Harris’ clothing or accessories worn the day of her disappearance have been discovered. She is described as having a tattoo on her forehead that reads, “Sparkz.” A tattoo on her left hand reads, “Rest in Peace.”
The FBI, along with the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office and Sullivan County District Attorney’s Office, is offering a $10,000 reward to anyone who is able to provide information that leads to an arrest.
Natasha “Alex” Carter and Susan Gail Carter
Just 10 years old at the time of her disappearance, Natasha Carter — known as “Alex” to close friends and family — has not been seen in 21 years. Her last known location was in Beckley, W. Va.
Natasha Carter’s mother, Susan Carter, has also been missing since that date.
Susan Carter was considered a non-custodial parent at the time of Natasha Carter’s disappearance and was involved in a custody fight with Natasha Carter’s father. Susan Carter allegedly told her husband he would never see his daughter again, according to the FBI.
Susan Carter may now go by Susan Gail Carter Webb and is believed to have likely altered her appearance. Natasha Carter’s grandmother has stated that her granddaughter was afraid of Susan Carter, according to the FBI.
In an effort to bring new life to this cold case, the FBI has released updated age-enhanced photos of Natasha Carter and Susan Carter.
A $10,000 reward is available to anyone who provides information leading to the location of Natasha Carter and the arrest of those responsible for her disappearance.
William Ebeneezer Jones, Jr.
Three-year-old William Jones, Jr. was playing in a neighbor’s yard in his Vineland, N.J. neighborhood on Dec. 17, 1962 when he seemingly vanished. Wearing a light blue snowsuit and matching hat at the time of his disappearance, he was last seen around 11:45 a.m., according to the FBI. He was just three feet tall and 30 pounds at the time.
His 2-year-old sister was with him at the time of his abduction — she allegedly told their mother a man had taken her brother away, according to the Charley Project.
Shortly after his disappearance, a search party was launched throughout the neighborhood — yet no trace of Jones was ever uncovered.
Born in 1959, he would now be 62 years old.
The FBI field office in Newark, N.J. is responsible for this case.
Katelin Michelle Akens
While on a trip to Virginia, Katelin Akens failed to board a flight home to Arizona, prompting a missing persons report for the 19-year-old. Akens was last seen on Dec. 5, 2015 near Oak Crest Drive in Partlow, Va. during a visit with family — she was scheduled to fly home that same day.
Akens was last seen by her step-father, who claimed he dropped her off at a mall in Springfield, Va., where she was set to board the public metro to the airport, according to the AWARE Foundation.
Two days later, Akens’ belongings were found in a ditch, including her suitcase and identification. The luggage, recovered by the Virginia Department of Transportation, was found with a broken wheel and empty contents, aside from a wallet, which identified the suitcase as belonging to Akens.
Akens has an arm tattoo depicting five butterflies and a tattoo on her right foot with three stars. Any information regarding Akens and her disappearance should be directed to the Richmond, Va. FBI office.
Vanessa Morales was 15 months old when she was taken from her home in Ansonia, Conn., following the brutal murder of her mother, Christine Holloway.
Holloway was discovered Dec. 2, 2019 in her home — Vanessa Morales was last seen Nov. 29, 2019 by family members, according to the FBI.
Vanessa Morales’ father, Jose Morales, was charged with murder and tampering of evidence in Holloway’s death — he has pleaded not guilty to both charges. Jose Morales appeared in court in November 2021, stating he is seeking a new lawyer by February 2022. He has not been convicted in the disappearance of his daughter.
Any information related to the disappearance of Morales should be directed to the FBI field office in New Haven, Conn.
John Bui Tran
John Tran was last seen April 2, 2005 at a party in Randolph, Mass. He had recently moved to Dorchester, Mass. from California to attend Quincy College, with a liberal arts focus on theater.
Tran was regularly seen riding his bike around campus, often carrying a dark backpack — he worked at a pet supply store in Quincy, Mass. and regularly donated blood, according to the FBI. He was 28 years old when he went missing in 2005.
The FBI, in association with Massachusetts police, announced in November 2021 they are offering a $10,000 reward for any information leading to Tran or his remains.
Michaela Joy Garecht
Charges have been filed against David Misch in the kidnapping and murder of Michaela Garecht, but the FBI is still asking the public for information that could lead to her whereabouts.
Garecht was abducted from a Rainbow Market parking lot in Hayward, Calif. on Nov. 19, 1988. Just 9 years old at the time, Garecht went inside the grocery store with a friend, leaving their two scooters outside.
Garecht’s scooter was moved closer to a gold-colored sedan — when Garecht went to retrieve her scooter, she was pulled into the vehicle, according to the FBI.
Fingerprints pulled from the scooter proved to be a match for Misch, who was in Santa Rita Jail at the time awaiting trial on charges related to the 1986 cold case killings of 18-year-old Michelle Xavier and 20-year-old Jennifer Duey.
While Garecht awaits trial, the FBI asks that any information leading to the remains of Garecht be directed to the San Francisco FBI field office.
Jane McDonald-Crone was 34 years old when she departed from her Magnolia, Texas home on Nov. 12, 1993, with the intent of attending work at a tool company in Houston.
The mother and North Harris County College student never returned home.
At the time of her departure, McDonald-Crone was driving a 1982 blue Ford Mustang, which was discovered miles from her home by law enforcement on Nov. 16, 1993 — no sign of foul play was detected, and all identification belonging to McDonald-Crone was gone.
She was seen the evening of Nov. 14, 1993 dancing at a Harris County, Texas nightclub with a man, according to the FBI.
In March, 2021, a homeless woman in Nuevo Leon, Mexico, claimed to be McDonald-Crone. To date, the FBI still classifies McDonald-Crone as a missing person and continues to seek information related to her whereabouts.