The Humboldt Five: “So Many Missing From Such a Small Area”
Today, hoping to get answers for the families of five Humboldt women that disappeared under suspicious circumstances, missing person activists launched a social media campaign. The campaign includes a Facebook page for the five missing women, share-able graphics (see image above,) a hashtag (#HumboldtMissingFive) and an interactive map (see photo below) of where the women disappeared. So-Cal Advocates For The Missing and their partners urge community members to share these images and this story in hopes that clues to the whereabouts of the women might emerge.
Heather Miller, a family advocate for NorCal Alliance for the Missing, designed the map. She said she was asked by a colleague to create it and was surprised by how much she learned in the process. “I was already familiar with the cases from research I had done on …Humboldt and the surrounding counties….I think [this] gives a new perspective, by combining their information and photos with a map showing you the locations that they are missing from.”
“As I was making it,” she said, “I feel it gave me a bigger picture…[The women] are more than just a name and photo on a missing person flyer. These are real people, who are missing from real places….Someone loves them and is searching for them.”
Who Are the Missing Women:
A spokesperson for the Humboldt Missing Five page said she found it curious that “so many were missing from such a small area.” She had recently formed a successful campaign around five men who had vanished in the Bay Area and has hopes that grouping the women together will help the community think about the disappearances in new ways–ways which might lead to uncovering what happened to them.
Christine Walters: A week before she vanished on November 14th, 2008, a naked, scratched and bleeding Christine asked for help at a home on Tompkins Hill Road. She said she was being followed. After being taken to the hospital, Christine made plans to return to her Wisconsin family. She never made it.She was last seen at a copy store in Eureka. A recent post about her on Facebook was shared over 7000 times. Consequently there has been a renewed excitement about the case. A spokesperson for So-Cal Advocates for the Missing said several people have called in with possible sightings this last week in the Eureka area.
Last seen: Nov 14, 2008
Where: Eureka, CA
Description when last seen: White female, 5’1″, a little over 100 pounds. Red hair, green eyes. A tattoo on her neck and another on her hip.
Last seen: 2 Feb 2014
Where: Rio Dell
Description when last seen: White female, 37 years old, 5’5” tall and approximately 120 lbs., strawberry blond hair, blue eyes.
Danielle Bertolini– The disappearance of Danielle Bertolini and Sheila Franks has received extensive coverage locally and nationally. The two women knew each other. Family members are convinced their cases are connected. See more information on Danielle here.
Last seen: February 9, 2014
Where: Swain’s Flat
Description when last seen: White female, 23 years old, 5’2″, 105 pounds, blond hair, blue eyes.
Karen Mitchell- Karen’s case received national attention this month when her disappearance was linked to millionaire and multiple murder suspect Robert Durst. Durst lived in Trinidad at the time.
Last seen: November 25, 1997
Where: Karen was last seen on Broadway in Eureka
Description when last seen: White female,16 years old, 5’5″, 130 pounds, sandy hair, blue/green eyes.
Jennifer “Jade” Wilmer: Technically, Jade was living in Trinity County when she disappeared but she was last seen hitchhiking to Willow Creek and had previously lived in Eureka.
After her daughter’s disappearance, Jade’s mother, Susan, helped push through Jennifer’s Law which required states “to report information concerning unidentified bodies into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database. This procedure provides easier cross-referencing of missing persons and unidentified victims in the US.” (Information from here.)
Last seen: September 13, 1993
Where: hitchhiking between Hawkins Bar and Willow Creek.
Description when last seen: Brown hair, blue eyes. 5’2″ 100 pounds. Dreads. Left eyebrow has faint scar.
More on the Missing:
Heather Miller says that there are several missing men in the area, too. One, Jeff Joseph, disappeared last June. There is a $10,000 reward in his case. Miller urges people to share the information about the women and Joseph. “He is deeply missed and his family is actively searching everyday,” she said. “For families like these support from the local communities is so important! I believe that when people come together and help one another, amazing things can happen!”
If you have any information on any of these missing person cases, please contact Humboldt Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251. Or report information anonymously on the Sheriff’s Tipline 707-268-