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Deorr Kunz

July 10, 2015 at Timbercreek Campground near Leadore Idaho.

People on the trip: The parents, Jessica Mitchell, Vernal “Deorr” Kunz sr. Maternal Great Grandfather Robert “Bob” Walton and friend of Great Grandfather, Isaac Reinwand. (Parents didn’t really know Isacc before the trip)

Parents run into Leadore to purhase a few things. The parents say they took Deorr and that there was someone staring an abnormal amount at him. However there are no other witnesses that recall seeing him in the store.

Parents claim they went to fish at a nearby reservoir, leaving Deorr with the grandfather and they returned because they wanted to show him minnows they thought Deorr would like however the grandfather has said he thought that the kid went with them. While Walton insisted that the boy was last seen with his parents, Mitchell and Vernal have maintained that they left their son in the care of his great-grandfather as they went exploring the campsite. Both of their accounts of the child’s disappearance suggested that DeOrr must have been alone for at least 20 to 45 minutes before anyone noticed his absence. 

He never went anywhere without his Toy Money, cup, and blanket, all of which were left at the campsite.

Deorr had been wearing boots several sizes too large for him.

Call to 911 made at 2:35

No signs of the child were found, missing posters were posted everywhere, everyone was on alert looking for the missing toddler. However due to how secluded it was, and other information it seems highly unlikely that the child was kidnapped.

Klein Investigations came in to look and quit, basically saying the parents knew more then they were letting on.

Sheriff at the time, Lynn Bowermen listed them suspects after they failed several polygraphs and after he claims they couldn’t keep their story straight. In interviews mother has claimed that she was stressed, sleep deprived and blocking things out so she was remembering more things.

A year after, the couple was evicted for not paying rent, and the landlord allowed investigation of the property. They Found in the search include four matchbox cars that were previously described by the parents as “missing and they did not know where they were,” as well as a camo jacket, that boy’s parents say he was wearing on the day he went missing, according to the report.

The couple had been engaged, however split after the disappearance. Jessica is now married.

Robert Walton died in June of 2019. The family had claimed that he felt guilty and that guilt took a hold of him and impacted his health. However he said that he wasn’t that close to Deorr and didn’t hold him and kiss him like women do.

Marshburn investigations, there have been several PI’s in the case. There has been a hit of human remains up at the site of some sort. Campground was closed for a while. Current sheriff list them as “Uncleard persons of interest”

Father still has the Monkey and a truck in his vehicle.

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Rico Harris

Rico Harris was once a promising basketball star. In his days at a Los Angeles community college and Cal State-Northridge in the 1990s, he was eyed by the NBA and even considered a possible first-round draft pick. But substance abuse problems kept him from going pro. He eventually played for the Harlem Globetrotters briefly in 2000 before a head injury caused by a former player hitting him on the head with a baseball bat left him unable to play. He was also arrested over 100 times, most of them for public intoxication. Most nights he would spend a night in jail and get out and sometimes he would even beg on the streets to support his drug addiction.

At 30 years old, he is O.D. on pain medication. Once this happened, it obviously scared him, because he checked himself into rehab until he became sober. Then he moved into an apartment with a friend from rehab.

Then he was in a long-distance relationship with a woman in Seattle. Her name was Jennifer Song. He and his roommate were fighting about Jennifer. His soon-to-be ex-roommate was not happy about this, so Rico moved out, leaving his roommate with all of the bills. He made the decision to move in with her in Seattle, and he had a job interview lined up in Seattle as a property appraiser—a professional, non-athletic opportunity he was supposedly excited about.

But first, on October 8th, he said he went to visit his family in the LA suburb of Alhambra. But some people speculate that he and Jennifer’s relationship was on the rocks. But he told his family he was so happy and just wanted to visit them. He gave his brother a brand-new cell phone. He also had a private conversation with his mom, and she said he seemed to be looking for answers, but she wasn’t sure what kind. He also said he didn’t even stay too long at his mother’s house. He packed a few random items in his car and then was off to leave. His mother said it was really odd that he traveled a whole six hours just for a few items. She personally thinks he was there for some other reason.

Harris left Alhambra shortly after midnight—very early on the day of October 10, 2014—to begin the 17-hour drive to Seattle. His job interview was scheduled for the following day, the 11th. He missed his interview, and his family realized something was very wrong.

His mother did receive a call at 1 a.m. on October 10th, telling her not to worry and that he had left to go home. His excuse for leaving his mom’s house was that he had a promotion coming up on the 11th of October.

This trip seems very strange to me. Why would you just go to your mom’s house for a night and then leave? Or better yet, why wouldn’t you go visit your mom after your promotion? Unless this was your way of saying a last goodbye? Maybe he was getting ready to run away?

He called his girlfriend, Jennifer, and according to her, he hadn’t slept in over 30 hours, so she told him that going into the mountains to sleep was the best idea.

Harris drove north on I-5. Investigators determined that he purchased gas in Lodi, about 40 miles south of Sacramento. At 10:45 a.m., he called his girlfriend from north of Sacramento and left a message saying he was going “into the mountains” to rest. At 11:15 a.m., he turned his phone off, and no one has heard from him since.

His family and girlfriend waited until Oct. 14 to report him missing to the police. That same day, a Yolo County sheriff’s deputy spotted a black Nissan Maxima parked in a parking lot along Route 16, north of Rumsey, CA, for the second straight day. This area is quite rural and scenic; the road winds around Cache Creek. It is nearly an hour from I-5.

At 8 am, he called his girlfriend, and she said he still sounded very tired. Shortly after, he called his mom to tell her she was okay.

At 10:45 am, Jennifer got a text message saying, “I am doing well, and I love you.” This is the last time anyone has had any contact with him. Jennifer stated that she had attempted to contact Rico several times by phone. And he didn’t answer, which was very unlike him. 8 hours passed, then she called his mom, and she assured her he was fine and was convinced he had to wait 48 hours to file a missing person report.

After 48 hours, the police issued a notification for his vehicle but not a full missing person investigation report. On October 24, the Yoller county sheriff pulled onto Route 2-15 for a routine patrol. He noted a black vehicle.

The car belonged to Harris. It was out of gas and had a nearly dead battery. Inside was his wallet, minus one credit card and his ID. His phone was not in the car. There was also a bottle filled with some kind of liquor and an empty bottle that smelled of the same liquor.

The Yoller contacted his mother and notified her and then started a search for Rico. It is a rugged terrain area, and even experienced hikers would need some type of equipment. It’s incredible how this 6’9, 300-pound man vanished. They did, however, find one shoe print that matched his shoe size.

First Sightings: Two motorists reported seeing someone fitting Harris’s description in the area on Oct. 11, a full day after his last voicemail to his girlfriend. One said he was walking along the road; the other said he was sitting on a guardrail overlooking the creek about two miles from the parking lot. Near the spot on the guardrail, authorities located his backpack along the side of the road.

Phone: Harris’s phone and charger were in the backpack (along with jumper cables, according to at least one source). His phone contained images of the creek and Harris striking playful poses, along with accidental videos in which Harris appears to be having a good time, singing, and tossing things around his car. All were timestamped on October 10.

Last sighting: This one is interesting. On Oct. 19— more than a week after he arrived in the area and well after the search had begun — a man said he saw someone the previous day fitting Harris’s description and wearing clothes consistent with what Harris was last known to be wearing. The motorist said the man he saw was walking toward the parking lot where Harris’s car had been. The car had been towed days earlier. Police found footprints between the creek and the parking lot consistent with Harris’s shoe size.

Investigators were also able to find Harris’s backpack, left by the side of the road about 1,500 feet (460 m) from the guardrail he was reported to have been sitting on the morning after his last phone call. In it, they found his phone and charger and some other items not considered relevant to Harris’s whereabouts. The phone contained pictures of the creek and some selfies, including one in which Harris was standing in front of a sign welcoming drivers to Yolo County, striking a playful pose. There were also some videos, apparently taken unintentionally, showing Harris singing along to the music playing in his car and casually flinging CDs around the passenger compartment. They were timestamped for the night of October 10, demonstrating that Harris had been alive and in his car at that time. [2]

Courtesy The vehicle of Rico Omarr Harris was found near a campsite off Hwy. 16 near Cache Creek in October 2014.

There have been no further sightings of Harris, who, at 6’ 9” and 300 pounds, would presumably stand out in a crowd.

So…What Happened?

One theory is that Harris died in the woods. We all know that even the most thorough searches have failed to locate bodies not far from where they were last seen. But unless the last sighting was a misidentification, it would mean Harris —who had lived his whole life in urban Los Angeles—had been in the woods for more than a week, presumably with no camping gear or other supplies. With this being the case, and with him having alcohol in his system and possibly other drugs, he could have overdosed and died in the woods.

Another theory is that he took a wrong turn, ran out of gas, and tried to walk to the nearest town. Not knowing the way and being drunk, he could have gotten lost in the woods and passed out, either getting lost in the woods and never being found or possibly dying out there of dehydration and starvation.

The lead investigator doesn’t think Harris is in the woods, though. Detective Dean Nylund of the Yolo County Sheriff’s Office doesn’t suspect foul play. He believes Harris ended up in the area after getting lost (evidently his phone indicated his route there was haphazard), sticking around for a while pondering his situation in life, and then, once he found his car had been towed, walking or hitching a ride somewhere. This doesn’t explain what he was doing in the woods for more than a week, but it would mean he is very likely still alive. If this is true, why hasn’t he ever contacted anyone? Was he trying to start a new life?

Dean Nyland, the detective working the case for the sheriff’s office, has ruled out the possibility of foul play in Harris’s disappearance. The photos and video on Harris’s phone suggest he came to Yolo County voluntarily and alone; no evidence of any kind of struggle was found in or near the car. His backpack and phone also do not show any signs that they were taken forcibly; Nyland believes Harris may have left them where he found them, either accidentally or purposely, to avoid being tracked via the phone. Nyland believes Harris may have made a wrong turn after getting gas and followed the road up into the hills of Yolo County. Seeing the parking lot, he may have decided to take a nap before driving further. When Harris woke up later that day, Nyland believes, the unresolved issues from his past came into play, and he may have decided not to continue to Seattle just yet. “To him, this must have seemed like heaven,” he said, showing a reporter the spot on the guardrail overlooking the creek where one driver reported seeing Harris the next morning. In the accidental videos on the phone, he adds, Harris seemed like “a free man.” After wandering the area for a few days, including those during which he had been sought, he returned to his car and found it gone, Nyland believes. At that point, he either walked away into the woods or towards another town. “We have no sightings, so he probably got a ride,” the detective says. That is his theory.

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JonBenet Ramsey

Christmas 1996 was a beautiful time for the Ramsey family. John, Patsy, Burke, and JonBenet (Named after her father). They lived in Boulder Colorado They celebrated with gifts and parties. They had even planned to leave on vacation, to go visit more family and then go on a Disney Cruise.

Patsy was in remission from ovarian cancer.

John’s eldest daughter from a previous marriage, Elizabeth, had died in a car accident 5 years prior.

The Ramsey’s were well off, they had a decent amount of money, their home had recently been a part of an open house tour for charity.

JonBenet was a pageant contestant, which would push her case high in the media, but it was JonBenet herself who actually pushed to be in the pageants, she liked it. Her parents thought of it just like any kid playing soccer, or any other sport.

The house did have an alarm system, however it had been turned off because the kids kept setting it off accidentally.

December 26, 1996 Patsy went to wake the children, only to find the JonBenet wasn’t in her bed. She headed down the staircase to look for her when she found the ransom note on the stairs.

Read ransom note, so many questions on ransom note:

The amount, 118,000 dollars was the amount of a bonus he’d recently gotten, so he would have that much money liquid in his account.

SBTC a group of individuals that represent a small foreign faction?

The Word Beheaded… strong… scary, and not actually the way she will die.

Is the not a mislead, distraction, or real?

The paper came from inside the house and it is suspected their may be a first draft.

The 911 call came at 5:52 am

Play/read 911 call.

No call ever came, they waited and waited, eventually growing anxious John searched the house again and that is when he himself found the body…. did she die when the police were called?

He moved the body a bit, removed the duct tape from her mouth and tried to loosen the cord around her wrists.

The autopsy revealed that JonBenét had been killed by strangulation and a skull fracture. The official cause of death was “asphyxia by strangulation associated with craniocerebral trauma.

There wasn’t a ton of blood… where was the blood from the wound. Was she already dead or near dead from the strangulation and that’s why? And if not where did the blood go?

There was blood in her panties and a small stain. There was also some DNA from under her fingernails, which didn’t match anyone in the house.

There were strange marks on her face on the right side of her neck and face that could have possibly been a taser.

Broken window in the basement, though John said he had done it a few months before and hadn’t repaired it yet.

Many people have confessed over the years, but none made sense so I’m not going to focus a whole lot on them.

Patsy died of Cancer in June of 2006

John remarried in 2011

19 comments

Alana Kela

Alana’s exact date of birth is unknown. Alana was a transgender pageant model who also worked at a nightclub Alana left Hawaii and went to Chicago She performed in The Baton Show Lounge in Chicago, was known for her Tahitian dance styling, referred to herself as a “hula girl,” and was also an accomplished model and pageant competitor. She was a transgender model who was the second alternate in the 1985 Miss Continental pageant. We don’t have a lot of information on Alana other than she was a transgender woman who was also a model. As far as her personal life tho we don’t have much information.

Alana worked as a model for Starra, a clothing boutique catering to transgender women and cross-dressing men.

Alana is briefly featured in archival footage of the feature-length documentary called “The Queens.” In this footage her friends discuss her murder. This just came out March 2019

There are two speculations on how she died. One claims she died on the second floor of a building With a bullet wound in the back of her head. Witnesses say

Before she died, Alana appeared in an episode of “Trash TV” show. With host Jenny Jones she spoke about her transition from male-to-female and her work as an escort and a performer. They also spoke about family life, friends, and Alana’s career as a showgirl at The Baton Show Lounge in Chicago, Illinois.

Alana worked as a model for Starra, a clothing boutique catering to transgender women and cross-dressing men.

Alana is briefly featured in archival footage of the feature-length documentary called “The Queens.” In this footage her friends discuss her murder. Along with expressing the transgender community.

Not much is known to the public about Alana’s death; I’ve found rumors online that she was murdered on her porch with a shotgun while wearing a nightgown and I’ve read comments saying she was shot with a handgun as she stepped out of a cab in New York City, but those are false. Kela was found dead on a second floor landing in an unknown building (to the public) in Manhattan, New York. My best guess is that it was an apartment building, but it hasn’t been clarified.

Some believe that Alana was the victim of one of her clients-to earn money, like most trans women do, Kela was a high-paid escort. It is believed that this particular client was infatuated with Alana; wanting more than to be a paying client-Alana wasn’t interested. He may have been stalking her, ultimately surprising her at the top of the second floor of the building; shooting her with the reasoning “if I can’t have you, no one will” but this hasn’t been substantiated. With no DNA and a “mysterious man in a black coat who hung around the crime scene before and after” not being questioned, it’s hard to tell if the case will ever be solved. 

Another theory is that Alana relocated to New York to re-start her career as a madam of her own escort service. Cunning, she stole a client list from a rival, more successful agency and when it was discovered that she would be attracting this rival’s big customers, Kela was taken out by either the madam or one of her escorts. This also cannot be substantiated.

https://youtu.be/ble_FNTRsTg
https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-1985-02-04-8501070590-story.html
https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Drag_pageantry
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Cami Sheppard

Cami was born in Thailand April 1, 1975 she and her twin brother Kim were adopted by our mom Erlene S Shepherd. Cami went to school and grew up in Holladay, Utah but sadly lost her mom to breast cancer at age 15. She loved nature,  the mountains and animals, her biggest love was birds..  Cami later on had 4 children 3 sons and 1 daughter, she also leaves behind a granddaughter and a grandson. 

Her sister received A voicemail from Cami stated her phone got stolen do not send text messages or anything.

2 weeks later Cami went missing she was a mother of four. Her sister said she went through some hard times but she never went a couple of weeks without contacting someone.

West Valley City police say around 12:30 p.m., they received a call from a crew working construction at 4100 South Redwood Road and the site of an old Kmart store.

April 6th Her body was found. Behind a vacant K-mart in a sewage drain, A survey crew stumbled upon a body in a sewage drain. The confirmed it was Cami. Police claimed that Cami went into the drain to keep warm. Her family doesn’t buy it. Her apartment is directly behind the spot where her body was found. If she was cold she would have gone home.

Her autopsy confirmed that there were no signs of a struggle. There is also not any information if the autopsy confirmed if there were drugs in her system or not.

April Her body was found. Behind a vacant K-mart in a sewage drain A survey crew stumbled upon a body in a sewage drain. The confirmed it was Cami. Police claimed that Cami went into the drain to keep warm. Her family doesn’t buy it. Her apartment is directly behind the spot where her body was found. If she was cold she would of gone home.

As painful as that was for Kristi, what one of the detectives then told her made the situation far harder to bear. The way the cops saw it, she had brought her death on herself. The detective suggested to Kristi that the 120-pound Cami had somehow lifted the 150-pound rusted lid off the drainage on her own and crawled down into the watery depths to get out of the cold.

Numb with disbelief, Kristi stared at him, realizing that the officers viewed her sister as one more addict whose drug-related death didn’t merit a serious investigation. Cami had always been afraid of water since as a very young child she’d fallen into a canal in Thailand and almost drowned. She could never have lifted the lid on her own. And why would she? Her apartment was a minute’s walk away.

“If we don’t have any leads,” the detective continued, “I’m just preparing you that we may have to close the case.”

The detectives got into their car and drove off. As the door shut, Kristi fell to her knees in shock, confusion and wordless rage at how they had blamed Cami for her own demise. “I was having such a hard time processing it all, that it even happened,” she said. “It was like it was just a bad dream.”

Cami’s sister says she has sent screenshots anytime someone logged into her sisters account and sent them to the WPD and she has also requested that her cellphone to be tracked and those requests have gone unheard. Her sister feels like they haven’t made her a priority at any point in this investigation.

Last year it is to beleived that that person who was logging into Cami’s go-fundme account and posting it to her facebook trying to collect money on Cami’s behalf. It continued from April to November The person who owns the gofund me was Brenda Combs. The gofund me has been taken down since but you can view her facebook here.

Now, in no way am I stating she is wrong we don’t always know what goes on behind the scenes of an investigation. If anyone has listened to Cold we know that there is a lot of things that the police don’t tell us or even lead us on to knowing because they can’t let the killer know they are on to them if they are ever going to make an arrest. Maybe they have mapped out her phone records and have found the ping as to where her last location was and where her phone was stolen and where the last person was who sent those facebook messages was. We don’t know this information maybe they have done nothing. But if anything that listening to cold has taught me is that there is a whole bunch behind the scenes stuff that we don’t get to know about.

We do know the detectives claim they have been investigating the case they went to the DA’s office to get a search warrant for cell phone records belonging to Cami Sheppard. This was denyed by the DA’s office

spokesperson for the police department said: “It is our understanding that Cami did not have her phone for two weeks prior to her disappearance. We consulted with the district attorney’s office regarding obtaining a search warrant for the phone and it was determined that seeking a search warrant would not be possible because although Cami Shepherd’s death is suspicious, there is not evidence that would classify it as a homicide or prove that a crime was commited that led to her death. Without proof of a crime, we are unable to get a search warrant.”

What someone does with a cell phone to track it is called Geo forensics I learned this at Def con among other things. (AKA exploding butt plugs and furry parties)

February 2nd her sister reported her missing this is two weeks after she received the voice mail.

The families private investigator theory is that she died and someone panicked and threw her body in there. Either she died and that person didn’t want to bring light onto themselves or there is the foul play here.

This is why having a if I go missing is so important and why this story hit me hard. I think everyone needs and if I go missing folder. If they had it in Cami’s case they could have accessed her Cell phone records and Social media and might have more of a lead than what they already have. Especially if there was possibly foul play involved
No suspects or person of interest have been named at this time this has been called an accidental suicide.

He still wants to find the person behind the cell phone text and is seeking information about who was with Cami on the night she disappeared.
Jensen wonders if there was some sort of an accident and someone panicked before dumping Shepherd’s body in the drain. If that’s the case, he says, the person would be smart to come forward immediately and offer an explanation.
This is to believed to be the same person who had stolen her cell phone. But it is not confirmed.

Maybe they have mapped out her phone records and have found the ping as to where her last location was and where her phone was stolen and where the last person was who sent those facebook messages was. This is to believed to be a big key in her disappearance her family says.

What I find interesting is that she had been missing Since Febuary, but her posts didn’t start back up for the go fund me until her body was found in April. -November 2018 So if someone was trying to post and act like she was still alive why wouldn’t they do it back in Febuary not when a body has been discovered? Was this just a way to taunt the family?

According to her sister Cami’s life wasn’t easy Cami became pregnant at 16 by her boyfriend, with whom she had four children in succession by the time she was 21. Cami and her boyfriend fought constantly, their children raised by the man’s parents. She started using cocaine and crack in early 2000, then meth in 2003, when she also encountered problems with the law with a March 2003, third-degree felony forgery conviction in an Ogden district court. A marriage ended in divorce and shortly after she became homeless.

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David Barwick

This is a short story. I couldn’t find a lot of information on David Barwick but I think that even though there isn’t a ton of information on a case it still deserves to be told.

On June 13, 2014, David Barwick died in his brother’s arms after being shot while walking down the street in Jacksonville, Florida. David and his brother were walking home from Judy’s Pub on the west side of town when the shooting occurred.

David Barwick would do anything for another person. “He would help you out, but the second he needed help, he wouldn’t ask or expect anything in return,” his sister Melissa Babcock said. She described her brother, lovingly, as “the hard-headed kind.”

Barwick doesn’t have an opportunity to ask for help anymore, but help is exactly what his family needs now.

On June 13, 2014, David Barwick and his brother James spent a few hours at Judy’s Pub on the westside of Jacksonville, Florida. At 2:00 the following morning, the brothers left the bar on foot to head home.

Roughly a mile down the road, David was shot multiple times, per the family. James held his younger brother as they waited for help, but David would pass away in his arms.

David Barwick was 33. He left behind two sons who were 14 and 9 at the time.

Babcock remembers her brother David fondly. “We made memories everywhere we went,” she recalls, with a smile.

david barwick jacksonville florida murder cold case

David Barwick walked his sister Melissa down the aisle at her wedding. (image via Melissa Babcock)

The Barwick children spent their childhoods collecting experiences and creating lasting memories with their family. Babcock shares story after story of the retreats to Suwannee Springs, sibling competitions like swimming races, camping out in nature, and certainly, lots of laughter. Babcock nurtures those same traditions with her own children with yearly trips back to Suwannee during the summers.

David “loved to laugh, be around friends, cook out, sit around a fire with friends and family,” Babcock says of her brother. “He loved his family.”

David walked his sister Melissa down the aisle for her wedding and was present when her first child was born. “My son just turned 19 and David should’ve been here to celebrate with us. David was there when he was born!” Melissa said.

Time since David’s death has been difficult, especially as the family recently hit the five-year mark with no resolution. His two boys and their grandmother celebrate his birthday with a balloon release each year.

For Melissa, she reflects on her childhood for comfort. Remembering the times when she and her brothers would enjoy the luxuries their grandparents offered, showering the kids with food and love. David loved his grandmother’s cooking so much, he would often be found at her table.

While the Barwick family looks to law enforcement for answers, they have a hard time understanding why such tragedy happened to their family. “It doesn’t begin to make sense,” Babcock said. She shares her multiple attempts to get answers only to be met with silence. She works diligently to ensure that her brother’s case will be solved.

She hopes to one day bring some sort of peace to the family. “Our father is dying,” Melissa said. “I want to bring him peace of mind so bad, but I can’t,” she cried.

“I miss his smile, his jokes, his laughter – everything. He was just a good person,” Babcock said.

If you have any information on the unsolved murder of David Barwick, please call the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office at (904) 630-0500. To remain anonymous and possibly be eligible for a $3,000 reward, call First Coast Crime Stoppers at (866) 845-TIPS.

https://www.legacy.com/amp/obituaries/timesunion/171383060
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Richard Uffelman neighbor killer

A 46-year-old man convicted of murdering his neighbors while their video camera recorded the shootings was sentenced Monday to spend the rest of his life in prison.

Before he was sentenced, Richard B. Uffelman, who had engaged in a Hatfield-McCoy-type feud with his neighbors, reiterated his claim that he was defending his home from attack when he killed Michael and Florence Phillips on Aug. 29, 1989, in Machiasport.

″It was all in a father’s defense of his family,″ Uffelman told Justice Robert Browne in Washington County Superior Court. ″I was set up to be murdered in a bizarre video game.″

Browne rejected Uffelman’s claims. He sentenced Uffelman to life in prison for Mrs. Phillips’ slaying and gave him a concurrent 50-year sentence for her husband’s killing. Uffelman’s attorney said it is likely he will appeal. The slayings were recorded by a video camera the Phillipses had set up in their kitchen to record alleged acts of harassment by Uffelman in a feud between the neighbors.

Testimony during Uffelman’s trial in October revealed that he had wired his home with elaborate security systems and stockpiled an arsenal of 38 firearms. Uffelman had testified that his two sons participated in the shootings. The boys, now 12 and 14, were removed from their parents’ custody after the killings and now live in a foster home.

″We don’t need a videotape to be legitimately horrified,″ assistant attorney general Jeffrey Hjelm said during the sentencing hearing. ″His conduct that afternoon was completely unjustified.″

Hjelm said Uffelman acted like an assassin in gunning down the couple, and had involved his sons in the crime.

″The net of violence was cast far and wide and included Michael and Florence Phillips and Uffelman’s own family as well,″ he said.

Uffelman’s attorney, Kevin Wall of Camden, N.J., urged the judge to take into account his client’s mental condition when sentencing him.

″I suggest that this was an ongoing mental problem that culminated at this time,″ Wall said. ″He went over the edge. He continues to hold fast to the belief he was defending himself and his family.″

Uffelman spoke for about 45 minutes in his own behalf, describing the reasons for his actions.

″We were a family living in extreme fear,″ he told the judge. ″I did not want to shoot these people. We’ve lost everything.″

Uffelman said that on the day of the killing he thought the Phillipses had fired at him. ″I even thought I saw smoke. That’s the only thing that would make me shoot out of the living room window.″

Browne, however, followed the prosecutor’s sentencing recommendation. ″This tragedy should never have happened. Whatever the provocation was, it did not justify your response,″ he told Uffelman.

A Superior Court jury found Uffelman guilty and criminally responsible in mid-October for shooting the Phillipses. After convicting Uffelman, the jury in Aroostook County, where the trial was moved because of publicity about the case, rejected his secondary defense of insanity.

Wall has said the case may be the first in which the victims unknowingly videotaped their own deaths.

The videotape played during the trial showed the Phillipses leaving their house for a walk on the evening the crime was committed.

Following a nearly silent, 10-minute period, 20 to 25 shots rang out, blanketing the front of Uffelman’s large, stately house with smoke. After a few minutes, Uffelman, carrying a rifle, was seen leaving the house and heading toward the road.

Three more shots were heard before Uffelman returned to the house with the rifle. A few minutes later, Uffelman and his two sons, who were 10 and 12 at the time, walked from the house toward the road, also carrying rifles. One more shot was heard, and Uffelman and his sons returned to the house.

The tape then shows the arrival of several state and county police officers.

Wall said after the sentencing it was likely Uffelman would appeal his convictions to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court.

″He’s a mentally ill man,″ Wall said, ″and he will go to his grave believing that he is not a murderer.″

Residents of this hamlet on the rocky coast of Maine believe that the feud between two neighboring families here was what the war between the Hatfields and the McCoys would have been like if there had been videotape.

In August 1989, Michael Phillips and his wife, Florence, trained their video camera on the home of their neighbor, Richard Uffelman, in an effort to gather evidence for a harassment suit, and then set out on a walk. The camera recorded what followed: a barrage of gunfire by Mr. Uffelman and his two sons, 10 and 12 years old, who shot at the Phillipses from the Uffelmans’ living room.

Afterward, Mr. Uffelman stepped out to where the Phillipses lay wounded and fired at them point blank with a hunting rifle, killing them both.

Mr. Uffelman, a 45-year-old part-time postal clerk, was convicted of murder last October and is to be sentenced next Monday. A Very Rare Crime

The shooting and Mr. Uffelman’s conviction have aroused a tense dispute in this northeastern corner of Maine, whose murder rate is the third-lowest in the nation, after those of New Hampshire and Vermont.

Some families that have known Mr. Uffelman for years believe he is paranoid and are afraid he will get out of jail and take revenge for run-ins he has had with them. Others say he is only an eccentric who was goaded by Mr. Phillips, who was 38, and Mrs. Phillips, 41.

Testifying at his trial, Mr. Uffelman said he had been defending his home against what he believed was an imminent armed attack. Mr. Phillips, in fact, was carrying a pistol in a holster when he was shot by the Uffelmans.

“I’d like to go down to the courthouse to see him sentenced, but my wife and my friends are afraid,” said Bob Kord, the former chief Selectman in Cutler, a nearby fishing village that clings to the side of a steep, narrow inlet of the Atlantic.

Mr. Kord hired Mr. Uffelman as Cutler’s sole police officer in 1978 but moved to dismiss him a week later after he shot a dog in the center of town. Cutler’s peace officer was not supposed to carry a gun. ‘I Really Lived in Fear’

After that, Mr. Kord said, Mr. Uffelman threatened to kill him and destroy his house with a homemade rocket.

“The only crime we’ve had in Cutler in years was once someone stole some branches from a balsam tree for Christmas wreaths,” Mr. Kord said, sitting in his log cabin overlooking the ocean. “But I believe Uffelman’s solution to life was, ‘Get out a gun and blow it away.’ I really lived in fear he would come down the road and shoot me.”

On the other hand, Joan Ackley, who used to baby-sit for the Uffelman boys, said she had often overheard on her car radio scanner Mr. Uffelman’s calls to the state police to complain that the Phillipses were harassing him.

They threw bottles at his house, took letters out of his mailbox and once shot at his swimming pool while his family was in it, Mrs. Ackley recounted. After that incident, the state police arrested Colby Kilton, the husband of Mrs. Phillips’s niece, but he was never charged.

“The Phillipses would be alive today if they hadn’t been harassing him,” Mrs. Ackley said. “As far as I am concerned, they committed suicide.” A Fort With 38 Guns

The precise incident that provoked the feud between the two families, who lived across an isolated stretch of shoreline road from one another, is unclear. But both families took the feud seriously.

After the killings, when the police searched Mr. Uffelman’s house they found he had turned it into an elaborate fort. He had 38 guns, several electronic security systems, sirens in the gables and aircraft landing lights mounted on the corners of his house. There was trip wire hidden on his lawn, a secret room and a secret passageway. He kept German shepherds under his front porch.

With a Marine Corps manual, Mr. Uffelman also tutored his sons, Rick and Jerry, on how to use M-1 carbines to lay down “suppressive fire” in case of an attack, he testified at his trial.

While the two families feuded, the state police, the county sheriff’s department and the district attorney investigated their various charges. In the six months before the killings, Mr. Uffelman filed 47 complaints with the state police.

The problem for the authorities was whom to believe, said Sgt. Wesley D. Hussey of the state police, who is stationed in nearby East Machias. “Both parties had multiple witnesses, family members, friends, telling opposite stories,” he said. “You couldn’t honestly say one side was more credible than the other.”

On the evening the Phillipses were shot, Mr. Uffelman testified, he had fallen asleep on a couch after reading a 40-page report he had sent to Maine’s Attorney General about the Phillipses. His son Jerry awakened him in a scared voice saying, “Daddy, they’re coming!”

Thinking the Phillipses might throw poisoned food at his dogs, he said, he picked up a shotgun and stood at a picture window so they could see him. As the couple passed, Mr. Uffelman testified, Mr. Phillips poked fun at him by making gestures with his hands around his head. Sons Followed Orders

Then, as the Phillipses turned and came back, one of his sons yelled, “Daddy, he’s got a gun!” Mr. Uffelman — thinking, he said later, that his family was about to be shot — opened fire, and his sons automatically followed “standing orders” to cover him.

According to police testimony, the two boys fired from 20 to 25 rounds, hitting the Phillipses several times. The flashes from their guns are visible on the videotape, although the Phillipses are not seen being hit.

On the tape, Mr. Uffelman can be seen coming out with the hunting rifle to fire the fatal shots, and then Mr. Uffelman comes out again, with his sons carrying their weapons.

This time, said Jeffrey Hjelm, the Assistant State Attorney General who prosecuted the case, Mr. Uffelman fired his shotgun into the chest of Mr. Phillips, who was already dead.

Rick and Jerry Uffelman were not charged in the killing because the authorities were not certain how much control their father wielded over them, Mr. Hjelm said.

Moreover, the state has taken them away from their mother and placed them in foster homes. If the state did charge them, he added, under Maine’s juvenile law they would most likely be sent to a foster home, the same outcome.

At the hearing on Monday, Mr. Uffelman could be sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.

The Phillipses left a 12-year-old son, Mike, who hid inside during the shooting. After Mr. Uffelman was convicted, the boy said his former neighbor “was always yelling at us with a bullhorn and shining spotlights on us.”

“My mom and dad bought me a new bike,” he said, “but they wouldn’t let me ride down the road because they were afraid he’d do something to me.”

Still, a local cleric who has ministered to Mr. Uffelman blames the Phillipses. The minister, who spoke on the condition that his name not be used, said of Mr. Uffelman: “He was a crackpot, so nobody wanted to believe him. It’s my belief they deliberately pushed him till they pushed him over the edge.”

https://www.investigationdiscovery.com/tv-shows/fear-thy-neighbor/videos/a-dead-man-cant-talk-but-the-video-says-it-all
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Dorthy Good/Sarah good- Salem witch trials

Dorothy Good was the daughter of William Good and Sarah (née Solart) Good. Dorothy and her mother Sarah were accused of practicing witchcraft in Salem at the beginning of the Salem witch trials in 1692. Only four years old at the time,she was interrogated by the local magistrates, confessed to being a witch and purportedly claimed she had seen her mother consorting with the devil. Mary Walcott and Ann Putnam Jr. claimed the child was deranged and repeatedly bit them as if she were an animal. Honestly, I remember when I was little I pretended to be a tiger or dog all the time as a child… But my mom claims I am a demon so I guess that makes sense. I also pretended to be a witch and well you Aubrey aren’t pretending you are a witch.

Dorothy, written as “Dorcas” on the warrant for her arrest, received a brief hearing in which the accusers repeatedly complained of bites on their arms. She was sent to jail, becoming at age five the youngest person to be jailed during the Salem witch trials. Two days later, she was visited by Salem officials. She claimed she owned a snake given to her by her mother that talked to her and sucked blood from her finger The officials took this to mean it was her “familiar“, which is defined as a witch’s spiritual servant in human form. Think of it as Sabrina her familiar is Salem they are here to protect the witch in any way they can kind of like a cool spirit in animal form as a sidekick.

Dorothy was in custody from March 24, 1692, when she was arrested until she was released on bond for £50 on December 10, 1692. Which today is £50  is $7820.00 today. She was never indicted or tried. Her examinations by the magistrates were conducted on March 24, 25 and 26

Although Dorothy was just a child, the depositions accuse her of physically hurting and torturing the girls, as can be seen in Ann Putnam, Jr.’s, deposition:

“The deposition of Ann Putnam who testifieth and saith that on the 3th March 1691/92 I saw the apparition of Dorothy Good, Sarah Good’s daughter, who did immediately almost choke me and tortured me most greviously; and so she hath several times since tortured me by biting and pinching and almost choking me tempting me also to write in her book and also on the day of her examination being the 24th of March 1691/92 the apparition of Dorothy Good tortured me during the time of her examination and several times since.”

Dorothy Good spent seven to eight months in jail before being released and, as a result of the experience, she was never the same, according to the book The Salem Witch Trials Reader:

“Eighteen years later her father, William Good, was to write that ‘she was in prison seven or eight months and being chained in the dungeon was so hardly used and terrified that she hath ever since been very chargeable, having little or no reason to govern herself.’ By ‘very chargeable;’ he meant a financial burden: When she came out and for the rest of her days, he had to pay a keeper to take care of her.”

they apprehended a child of Sarah G. and Examined it, being between 4 and 5 years of Age And as to matter of fact, they did Unanimously affirm, that when this Child, did but cast its eye upon the afflicted persons, they were tormented, and they held her head, and yet so many as her eye could fix upon were afflicted. Which they did several times make careful observation of the afflicted complained, they had often been Bitten by this child, and produced the marks of a small set of teeth, accordingly, this was also committed to Salem Prison; the child looked hail, and well as other Children. I saw it at Levit. Ingersoll After the commitment of Goode. N. Tho: Putman’s wife was much better, and had no violent fits at all from that 24th of March to the 5th of April. Some others also said they had not seen her so frequently appear to them, to hurt them. … On the 26th of March, Mr. Hathorne, Mr. Corwin, and Mr. Higison were at the Prison-Keepers house to examine the Child. The child told them there, it had a little Snake that used to Suck on the lowest Joint of her Fore-Finger. When they inquired where, pointing to other places, the child told them, not there, but there, pointing on the Lowest point of the Fore-Finger; where they observed a deep Red Spot, about the Bigness of a Flea-bite

 After her mother’s death, Dorcas Good wandered the streets, lost, and confused without her mother to guide her. She, later on, died poor & homeless in the streets of Salem Town, M.A. at just sixteen years old.

However Sarah Good her mom was tried.

Sarah Good was one one of the first women to be accused of witchcraft during the Salem Witch Trials of 1692.

Good was the wife of William Good and, at the time of the Salem witch hysteria, was a poor, pregnant beggar who would often wander door to door asking for handouts while her husband worked as a day laborer.

As a result, Good was a prime target for the accusation of witchcraft in the small Puritan-run town where nonconformity was frowned upon.

For years before the hysteria even began, Good and her husband had a number of disagreements with other Salem residents that made them very unpopular in the town.

Sarah Abbey testified during the trials that three years prior she had allowed Sarah Good and her husband to stay in her home but eventually kicked her out because she was “spiteful” and “malicious” and ever since then the Abbey family lost numerous cattle to mysterious illnesses, which she believed was the work of Good’s witchcraft.

Sarah Gadge also testified that after she refused to let Sarah Good into her home one day, Good muttered something under her breath and the following day one of her own cows died mysteriously as well.

Good was officially accused of the witchcraft in February of 1692 after two girls, Abigail Williams and Betty Parris, began behaving strangely and having fits.

When questioned by adults about who was causing these fits, the girls accused Sarah Good along with Tituba and Sarah Osburn, according to the book Salem Witchcraft:

“It must be borne in mind, that it was then an established doctrine in theology, philosophy, and law, that the Devil could not operate upon mortals, or mortal affairs, except through the intermediate instrumentality of human beings in confederacy with him, that is, witches or wizards. The question, of course, in all minds and on all tongues, was, ‘Who are the agents of the Devil in afflicting these girls? There must be some among us thus acting, and who are they?’ For some time the girls held back from mentioning names; or, if they did, it was prevented from being divulged to the public. In the mean time, the excitement spread and deepened. At length the people had become so thoroughly prepared for the work, that it was concluded to begin operations in earnest. The continued pressure upon the ‘afflicted children,’ the earnest and importunate inquiry, on all sides, ‘Who is it that bewitches you?’ opened their lips in response, and they began to select and bring forward their victims. One after another, they cried out ‘Good,’ ‘Osburn,’ ‘Tituba.’ On the 29th of February, 1692, warrants were duly issued against those persons. It is observable, that the complainants who procured the warrants in these cases were Joseph Hutchinson, Edward Putnam, Thomas Putnam, and Thomas Preston. This fact shows how nearly unanimous, at this time, was the conviction that the sufferings of the girls were the result of witchcraft.”

The three women were arrested and examined on March 1, 1692. They denied any wrongdoings until Tituba, a slave owned by Reverend Samuel Parris, admitted that they had all met with the devil and agreed to do his bidding.
Sarah Good’s Memorial Marker, Salem Witch Trials Memorial, Salem Mass. Photo Credit: Rebecca Brooks
Although she admitted to working with the devil, Tituba at first blamed Sarah Good and Sarah Osbourne for tormenting the afflicted girls. She then admitted to hurting them as well when other unnamed witches forced her to do so, stating during her examination:
“Sarah Good and Osburne would have me hurt the children but I would not…no there is 4 women and one man they hurt the children and then lay all upon me and they tell me if I will not hurt the children they will hurt me.”

Tituba then apologized for hurting the girls and promised not to do so anymore. It is not known exactly why Tituba confessed to being a witch but it is believed that since she was not a Puritan and already held a low status in the village, she was more concerned with escaping the gallows than with the consequences of confessing to witchcraft, something Puritans believed would damn one’s soul to an eternity in hell and result in being cast out of the community.
Many historical sources have tried to paint Good as a sad, sick, broken-down old woman during the trials, yet Good’s behavior in and out of the courtroom gave no indication of this, according to an article in The New England magazine:
“Calef says she had long been counted a melancholy or distracted woman; and Upham says she was broken down by the wretchedness of her condition and ill-repute. Her answers to the questions propounded to her, as the reader will see, give no evidence of coming from a person ‘broken down,’ or ‘forlorn.’ She appears to have answered with a fair degree of spirit. During most of the first week in March, while on trial before the local magistrates, Sarah Good was taken to Ipswich jail every night and returned in the morning, a distance of about ten miles each way. From the testimony of her keepers and the officers who escorted her to and from jail, we learn that she exhibited considerable animation. She leaped off her horse three times, railed at the magistrates, and endeavored to kill herself.”
On March 7, Osbourn, Good and Tituba were sent to a jail in Boston to await trial. Good remained in Boston until June 28, when the just officially indicted her on multiple charges of “certain detestable arts called witchcraft and sorceries, wickedly and feloniously hath used, practised and exercised, at and within the township of Salem within the county of Essex aforesaid.”
She was charged with using these acts of witchcraft against three people: Sarah Bibber, Elizabeth Hubbard and Ann Putnam, Jr.

There are three depositions on file against Dorothy, by Mary Walcott, Ann Putnam, Jr., and Mercy Lewis, but it does not appear that she ever stood trial.

Sarah Good wasn’t tried until June of 1692. No actual evidence of the crime was ever presented during the trial and one of the young accusers was even caught in a lie when she claimed Good’s spirit stabbed her with a knife, according to an article in The New England magazine:
“During this trial, one of the witnesses who sat in the room, cried out that Good had stabbed her, and had broken the knife-blade in so doing. The point of the blade was taken from her clothes where she said she was stabbed. There-upon a young man arose in the court and stated that he broke that very knife the previous day and threw away the point. He produced the remaining part of the knife. It was then apparent that the girl had picked up the point which he threw and put it in the bosom of her dress, whence she drew it to corroborate her statement that someone had stabbed her.”

Good never confessed to being a witch but, according to court records, she did break down during her examination by Judge John Hathorne and accused Sarah Osbourne of tormenting the girls, possibly to divert attention from herself:
[Hathorne]: Sarah Good do you not see now what you have done? Why do you not tell us the truth? Why do you thus torment these poor children?
[Good]: I do not torment them,
[Hathorne]: who do you imploy then?
[Good]: I imploy nobody. I scorn it.
[Hathorne]: How came they thus tormented?
[Good]: What do I know? You bring others here and now you charge me with it.
[Hathorne]: Why who was it?
[Good]: I do not know but it was some you brought into the meeting house with you.
[Hathorne]: We brought you into the meeting house.
[Good]: But you brought in two more.
[Hathorne]: Who was it then that tormented the children?
[Good]: It was Osburn.
Good was ultimately convicted but her execution was pushed back until the birth of her child. Good’s infant died in prison shortly after its birth and local officials brought Good to the execution site at Proctor’s Ledge on July 19, along with Rebecca NurseSusannah MartinElizabeth Howe, and Sarah Wildes.

According to an article in The New England Magazine, as Sarah Good stood on the platform with the other women, Reverend Nicolas Noyes called Good a witch and urged her to confess. Good replied:
“You are a liar. I am no more a witch than you are a wizard, and if you take away my life God will give you blood to drink!”
The five women were hanged and most likely buried near the execution site because convicted witches were not allowed to be buried in consecrated ground.
Twenty-five years later, in 1717, Reverend Noyes suffered an internal hemorrhage and died choking on his own blood.
Sarah Good later appeared in Arthur Miller’s 1953 play 
The Crucible as a poor beggar woman who is looked down upon by Salem society.
In 1992, the 
Salem Witch Trials Memorial was built in Salem, Mass and a marker was established for Sarah Good.
In 2017, the 
Proctor’s Ledge Memorial was built in Salem, Mass and a marker was established for Sarah Good.
Sarah Good Historical Sites:
Salem Witch Trials Memorial
Address: Liberty Street, Salem, Mass
Proctor’s Ledge Memorial:
Address: 7 Pope Street, Salem, Mass
Site of the Salem Witch Trials Executions
Address: Proctor’s Ledge, wooded area between Proctor Street and Pope Street, Salem, Mass
Former Site of the Salem Courthouse
Address: Washington Street (about 100 feet south of Lynde Street), opposite the Masonic Temple, Salem, Mass. Memorial plaque located on Masonic Temple.



http://salem.lib.virginia.edu/n62.html witch trials
https://www.biography.com/news/salem-witch-trials-facts
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/188867470/dorcas-sarah-good
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Cami Shepperd:

Cami was a loving mother who had been through some tough times but finally seemed like she was getting her life back on track when she went missing.

Cami was born in Thailand April 1, 1975 she and her twin brother Kim were adopted by Their mom Erlene S Shepherd.

Cami went to school and grew up in Holladay, Utah but sadly lost her mom to breast cancer at age 15. Her sister knew better than anyone her sister’s lengthy history of abuse, selling sex on the street, and years of meth use. She’d tried to be there when she could to support Cami’s struggles to pick herself up after each relapse.

Her sister knew better than anyone her sister’s lengthy history of abuse, selling sex on the street, and years of meth use. She’d tried to be there when she could to support Cami’s struggles to pick herself up after each relapse.

Finally, it seemed, with the help of a support network made up of family, friends, church members and nonprofits dedicated to the homeless and victims of sex trafficking She was making a turn in her life for the good.

She’d moved into her first apartment after more than a decade on the street and found work at the local Deseret Industries thrift store. And Cami had found a purpose: She had gone back to school to start the long journey to become a prosecutor for the state or federal government, so she could personally bring to justice the kind of men who had preyed on her when she was on the streets.

At the time of her disappearance, she had attempted repeatedly to get the police to draw attention to her concerns about sex trafficking. According to her family, they were ignored.

Her friends and family said it wasn’t unusual for her to not have contact with anyone for a few weeks but she always did contact someone within a few weeks to let everyone know she was okay. She was claimed to be missing on February 2nd 2018 and was found deceased on April 6 2018

Two weeks before she was reported missing her sister received this voice mail.

A voicemail from Cami stated her phone got stolen do not send text messages or anything.

West Valley City police say around 12:30 p.m., they received a call from a crew working construction at 4100 South Redwood Road and the site of an old Kmart store.

April 6th Her body was found. Behind a vacant K-mart in a sewage drain, A survey crew stumbled upon a body in a sewage drain. The confirmed it was Cami. Police claimed that Cami went into the drain to keep warm. Her family doesn’t buy it. Her apartment is directly behind the spot where her body was found. If she was cold she would have gone home.

Her autopsy confirmed that there were no signs of a struggle. There is also not any information if the autopsy confirmed if there were drugs in her system or not.

Last year it is to believe that that person who was logging into Cami’s go-fundme account and posting it to her facebook trying to collect money on Cami’s behalf. It continued from April to November The person who owns the gofund me was Brenda Combs. The gofund me has been taken down since but you can view her facebook here.

Cami’s sister says she has sent screenshots anytime someone logged into her sisters’ account and sent them to the WPD and she has also requested that her cellphone to be tracked and those requests have gone unheard. Her sister feels like they haven’t made her a priority at any point in this investigation.

Kristi was increasingly frustrated with West Valley detective assigned to her sister’s case. She was uncertain what if anything the police were doing. She worried that because of Cami’s history of drugs and sex work, her disappearance wasn’t taken seriously. “If I was missing, they would have looked harder,” she said. “I felt the family had to do more because the police were doing nothing.”

West Valley City Police Chief Colleen Jacobs disagreed. “Our detectives have been in areas she was known to frequent, shelters, homeless camps,” she said a few weeks into the time Cami that went missing. “We will investigate every avenue we have available to us.”

Now, in no way am I stating she is wrong we don’t always know what goes on behind the scenes of an investigation. If anyone has listened to Cold we know that there is a lot of things that the police don’t tell us or even lead us on to knowing because they can’t let the killer know they are on to them if they are ever going to make an arrest. My first thought on hearing this was maybe they have mapped out her phone records and have found the ping as to where her last location was and where her phone was stolen and where the last person was who sent those facebook messages was. We don’t know this information maybe they have done nothing. But if anything that listening to cold has taught me is that there is a whole bunch behind the scenes stuff that we don’t get to know about.

We do know the detectives claim they have been investigating the case they went to the DA’s office to get a search warrant for cell phone records belonging to Cami Sheppard. So, therefore, they are not able to legally search her phone. I am unsure if the families personal private detective has done any geo forensics.

What someone does with a cell phone to track it is called Geo forensics I learned this at Def con among other things…. (aka how to hack butt plugs and furry parties but that’s another story) They basically can ping where the last location of the phone was last located. It can also be used to ping other phones in that same area.

Kristi took her sister shopping at a nearby Deseret Industries thrift store with a voucher Cami got from the bishop at a local congregation. The sisters picked out a comforter, pillowcases and dishes for Cami’s new home. On the front door she hung a picture of Jesus Christ to mark her home as Christian. She shared the studio apartment with two cats, Hope and Faith, and occasionally an injured pigeon she would try to nurse back to health. Pigeons and doves were angels, she would tell her friends, and if they were close then she was safe.

She’d also signed up with Salt Lake Community College for computer basics classes, the only problem being that she didn’t have a computer to do homework on. Nevertheless, she was determined to fulfill her dreams of going to law school and prosecuting traffickers. And she had the perfect playing card, she’d tell friends, to show jurors that she had survived the world victims came from: a missing tooth in her bright, defiant smile, knocked out by an old boyfriend.

Momentos are left at a vigil for Cami Shepherd in West Valley City on Monday, April 16, 2018.

Adapting to life inside four walls wasn’t easy, said cousin Arlen Shepherd. She’d feel alone, leave for a day or two, then go back. Over time, she felt safe enough to sleep in her bed and know no one would hurt her.

Arlen Shepherd tried to get her to keep her home “a safe haven,” he said, and not let people in. But that ran contrary to the unwritten rule of the homeless, born out of the interdependency that life on the demands of the street, which is to always offer help when you can to others. So she’d let in someone she’d grown to trust, such as a homeless mother with a child. Word got around where she lived, however, and soon she complained to friends that people seeking a place to sleep would try to kick her door down if she didn’t let them in.

Cami’s determination to change meant she would try to do too much, Kristi worried. “She tried to stay clean, go to school and work and it would get stressful and she would cave,” Kristi said.

The pressures built up in November 2017, when she started dating a 42-year–old carpenter and neighbor. The carpenter requested anonymity out of concern over local traffickers possibly connected with Cami’s disappearance.

They watched movies and cooked meals at each other’s apartments. She’d bake and fry chicken, while he made soul food. He gave her a painting he’d done of a Chinese junk forging out to sea, waves crashing against a rocky shoreline. But Cami struggled with how to respond and act around “a regular guy,” as opposed to a “john,” several sex workers said she told them.

Her sister’s fate washed over her. It was as if her heart had been ripped from her chest.

As painful as that was for Kristi, what one of the detectives then told her made the situation far harder to bear. The way the cops saw it, she had brought her death on herself. The detective suggested to Kristi that the 120-pound Cami had somehow lifted the 150-pound rusted lid off the drainage on her own and crawled down into the watery depths to get out of the cold.

Numb with disbelief, Kristi stared at him, realizing that the officers viewed her sister as one more addict whose drug-related death didn’t merit a serious investigation. Cami had always been afraid of water since as a very young child she’d fallen into a canal in Thailand and almost drowned. She could never have lifted the lid on her own. And why would she? Her apartment was a minute’s walk away.

“If we don’t have any leads,” the detective continued, “I’m just preparing you that we may have to close the case.”

The detectives got into their car and drove off. As the door shut, Kristi fell to her knees in shock, confusion and wordless rage at how they had blamed Cami for her own demise. “I was having such a hard time processing it all, that it even happened,” she said. “It was like it was just a bad dream.”

In a text sent to ABC4, the spokesperson for the police department said: “It is our understanding that Cami did not have her phone for two weeks prior to her disappearance.  We consulted with the district attorney’s office regarding obtaining a search warrant for the phone and it was determined that seeking a search warrant would not be possible because although Cami Shepherd’s death is suspicious, there is no evidence that would classify it as a homicide or prove that a crime was committed that led to her death.  Without proof of a crime, we are unable to get a search warrant.”

The families private investigator theory is that she died and someone panicked and threw her body in there. Either she died and that person didn’t want to bring light onto themselves or there is the foul play here.

This is why having a if I go missing is so important and why this story hit me hard. I think everyone needs and if I go missing folder. If they had it in Cami’s case they could have accessed her Cell phone records and Social media and might have more of a lead than what they already have. Especially if there was possibly foul play involved

No suspects or person of interest have been named at this time this has been called an accidental suicide.

Jensen the families private detective said one can’t rule out that person yet. He said Cami Shepherd was either victimized two different times by two different people or victimized twice by the same person.

He still wants to find the person behind the cell phone text and is seeking information about who was with Cami on the night she disappeared.

Jensen wonders if there was some sort of an accident and someone panicked before dumping Shepherd’s body in the drain. If that’s the case, he says, the person would be smart to come forward immediately and offer an explanation.

“It’s just a matter of time that they’ll be caught, so they need to come forward and we can mitigate the damages,” he said.

Either some foul play was done here or just a freak accident or drugs were taken place. But these questions still remain. Who had Cami’s phone, why were they posting on her facebook? Who was with Cami when she died? Who moved her body into the train. And the most important question why?

What do you think happened Aubrey?

If she had been doing drugs and overdosed the person or people with her may of panicked and dumped her body int the drain in order to not get caught or blamed for her death. Cami was also known for her drug use if some type of drugs were being used it could of giving someone a reason to freak out when she overdosed a panic.

Or did something more sinister happen? With her acts of change kindness and her time and effort into the not for sale non-profit group did she happen to know something being in that lifestyle in her past did she know something someone didn’t want her to know? Was this foul play or an accident?

So there is something I think that needs to be said.

Across America, homeless women sell sex in no-tell motels or on the street to pay for a room night by night and for the drugs they need. They work in the back streets and blight-ridden thoroughfares of cities that are forgotten by city planners and the suburbs alike — unless you want to score drugs or pay for sex.

Because the women are housed, in the barest sense of the word, they are not included in the federal-government organized, national homeless census, Point in Time.

“They’re not counted, they’re not visible,” said Luciane Fangalua, who met Cami while chairing the Utah League of Women Voters’ human trafficking task force in early 2016, which sought to educate policymakers and legislators about the complex issue. “We don’t want them to exist. They’re an invisible group that we use and discard.”

These women are the forgotten casualties to be found at the intersection of homelessness, poverty, sexual violence and addiction. And it’s the desperate cravings of addiction that pull them into the world of trafficking, one fix at a time.They’re not counted, they’re not visible. We don’t want them to exist. They’re an invisible group that we use and discard. – Luciane Fangalua

As children victimized by traffickers and predators, only to be rescued by Tim Ballard’s Operation Underground Railroad, they attract both sympathy and support. But as adults, they age out of the compassion they would have received as a child.

“We have a great deal of compassion as a public for children who suffer neglect and violence, but we don’t necessarily reach all the victims to help them,” said Salt Lake City Councilwoman Erin Mendenhall, a longtime advocate for street sex workers, many of whom live and work in her district. “When we don’t reach them, the outcome for some is that they end up as an adult in sexual exploitation and human trafficking.”

And they could be anyone. Cami’s story is just one example of a daughter raised in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by a dedicated single mother. She had siblings who tried all they could to support her, no matter the choices she made. While she was never interviewed by a reporter, through extensive interviews with family, friends, street sex workers, advocates, counselors, law enforcement and attorneys, a portrait emerged of a complex, determined woman who refused to be broken by predatory men or the lifestyle some subjected her to in exchange for drugs.

Women and men who sell sex have many names. Words like “whore,” “hooker” and “prostitute” have been rejected by trafficking survivors and their advocates for the moralizing and criminalizing baggage they carry, while contemporary terms like sex worker are viewed by some as problematic, because they imply a freedom of choice, rather than coercion by others or factors like addiction and poverty.

John Cornish hugs his wife, Gina Salazar, during the vigil which was held for Cami Shepherd in West Valley City in April.
John Cornish hugs his wife, Gina Salazar, during the vigil which was held for Cami Shepherd in West Valley City in April.

“When you’re talking about sex work, there’s a moral, political and social history to it,” said University of Utah professor Annie Isabel Fukushima, a consultant for the national anti-trafficking network, National Freedom USA, after a reporter referenced issues surrounding language.

“Just call her Cami. That’s who she is. She’s Cami.”

In Salt Lake City, homeless and medical services outreach nonprofits estimate a population of between 500 and 600 street sex workers. In this twilight world, women like Cami appear on the street, then disappear, their fate unknown.

Nationwide, the number of sex trafficking survivors is at an “epidemic level” said Laura Lederer, a state department adviser on sex trafficking. Not that she has hard statistics to back her claim; for all the talk of so many politicians about the moral imperative of fighting human trafficking, the U.S. government has yet to fund a national trafficking study. The best she can point to, in order to substantiate her claim, is the rising number of homeless youth in the U.S.

A 2017 research study by the University of Pennsylvania and Loyola University, conducted at youth shelters in 13 cities in the U.S. and Canada, found 15 percent of homeless youth are sex-trafficked, with young women and LGBTQ youth particularly impacted. The National Network for Youth estimates that 4.2 million youth from ages 13 to 25 experience homelessness, which means that at minimum over 630,000 youth each year are victims of sex trafficking.

That’s the equivalent of a city the size of Boston.

Many are runaways, some fleeing abuse at home, others escaping violence at a foster care home. Many homeless youth simply age out of the foster care system and end up on the streets with nowhere to go. This is where invisible lives begin, with homeless youth sleeping in cars, couch-surfing, engaging in survival sex in exchange for a bed for the night, most haunted by the trauma of abuse they experienced as a child.

Renee LaGrant and Karey Parker embrace at a vigil for Cami Shepherd in West Valley City on Monday, April 16, 2018.
Renee LaGrant and Karey Parker embrace at a vigil for Cami Shepherd in West Valley City on Monday, April 16, 2018.

“Women use because of childhood and adolescent trauma,” said Matt Pierce, who for 18 months, until April 2018, did medical outreach in a supplies-stocked van in Salt Lake City several days a week for a local homeless nonprofit.

“Addiction and opiates, particularly heroin, numb the body and mind to old experiences,” but sex work only compounds existing trauma, he said.

Society, Lederer said, deals with homelessness, addiction and trafficking as separate issues.

“In reality these disparate issues are inextricably bound together,” said Lederer, who has interviewed more than 300 survivors in 22 cities, learning in the process that 84 percent were addicted. Cami’s story, she said, “is emblematic of the complexity of this problem,” in that for her, as for so many, all these problems intersect and start to spill out into public view, with tragic consequences.

“Survivors tell you everybody likes a nice victim, no one likes an angry, devastated person,” Lederer said. “These aren’t pretty stories. It’s the opposite of ‘Pretty Woman.’ And it’s very hard to put them back together again. We just have to do better. There’s just so many people we are failing.”Survivors tell you everybody likes a nice victim, no one likes an angry, devastated person. These aren’t pretty stories. … We just have to do better. There’s just so many people we are failing. – Laura Lederer, a state department adviser on sex trafficking

Victims and survivors of sex trafficking come from every strata of society, from the impoverished to the wealthy. Traffickers hang out at the homeless shelter, the corner store, or the suburban mall, always looking “for someone in need of something,” said Utah Attorney General veteran trafficking prosecutor Russell Smith. He related the story of a Nevada FBI agent who, despite having his daughter’s boyfriend to dinner, had no idea the 19-year-old was grooming his 17-year-old daughter for prostitution. The two first met when he struck up a casual conversation with her at a mall.

Traffickers can range from a boyfriend or a roommate who uses drugs and coercion as a means of controlling their victim, through a solo operator illegally running out of a motel, a nail salon or a massage parlor — what law enforcement call commercial sex operations, typically staffed with women held by fraud and coercion. From there it extends to gangs running women on a few streets or out of hotels through online sex ads, to highly organized international criminal operations that traffic women from one country to another.

Traffickers, whether alone or in groups, exploit vulnerabilities, and they’re not always male. Smith recalled one woman who loved to brag about how she had “used a Utah citizen’s disability as a way to manipulate them into performing commercial sex acts.”

Victims-in-waiting, Smith said, “are not hard to find.”

“It impacts people across gender, class, ability and background,” Fukushima said. “It touches people regardless of their income and capital.”

If Cami is a poster-person for sex trafficking victims, she’s also somewhat unique in her determination to bring traffickers to justice and emblematic of the challenges survivors face in trying to tell their stories.

For years she tried to report her traffickers to police departments and state investigators when the majority of survivors out of fear or mistrust would have nothing to do with reporting a crime. She wrote an anonymous article in early 2016 about her life for an educational study on trafficking prepared by nonpartisan policy group Utah League of Women Voters that went to Utah legislators. She held a public event on March 2016 in Liberty Park to tell people about trafficking. But trauma, meth-induced paranoia, and other issues derailed her attempts to give law enforcement information that could lead to arrests.

“The only reason nothing gets done is that we are drug addicts and homeless,” Cami wrote in an April 2017 Facebook post.

If she couldn’t get cops and prosecutors to bring them down, she vowed to become an instrument of justice for other trafficked women. So she decided to go to school and eventually prosecute the men herself.

One cop who worked with Cami and believed she was a victim of traffickers was Salt Lake City Police Sgt Michele Ross. She was convinced that behind the paranoia and incoherence that dogged Cami’s repeated attempts to get justice, there lay a traumatic history of sex trafficking. “For one person to be so persistent, makes me believe there was something to it,” Ross said. “You just don’t see it very often. There has to be something there.”

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Cami Sheppard

Someone used Camis cell phone to post on social media months after her body was found.

A voicemail from Cami stated her phone got stolen do not send text messages or anything.

2 weeks later Cami went missing she was a mother of four. Her sister said she went through some hard times but she never went a couple of weeks without contacting someone.

April Her body was found. Behind a vacant K-mart in a sewage drain A survey crew stumbled upon a body in a sewage drain. The confirmed it was Cami. Police claimed that Cami went into the drain to keep warm. Her family doesn’t buy it. Her apartment is directly behind the spot where her body was found. If she was cold she would of gone home.

The families private investigator theory is that she died and someone panicked and threw her body in there. Either she died and that person didn’t want to bring light onto themselves or there is the foul play here.

Last year it is to beleived that that person who was logging into Cami’s go-fundme account and posting it to her facebook trying to collect money on Cami’s behalf. It continued from April to November The person who owns the gofund me was Brenda Combs. The gofund me has been taken down since but you can view her facebook here.

Cami’s sister says she has sent screenshots anytime someone logged into her sisters account and sent them to the WPD and she has also requested that her cellphone to be tracked and those requests have gone unheard. Her sister feels like they haven’t made her a priority at any point in this investigation.

Now, in no way am I stating she is wrong we don’t always know what goes on behind the scenes of an investigation. If anyone has listened to Cold we know that there is a lot of things that the police don’t tell us or even lead us on to knowing because they can’t let the killer know they are on to them if they are ever going to make an arrest. Maybe they have mapped out her phone records and have found the ping as to where her last location was and where her phone was stolen and where the last person was who sent those facebook messages was. We don’t know this information maybe they have done nothing. But if anything that listening to cold has taught me is that there is a whole bunch behind the scenes stuff that we don’t get to know about.

We do know the detectives claim they have been investigating the case they went to the DA’s office to get a search warrant for cell phone records belonging to Cami Sheppard.

What someone does with a cell phone to track it is called Geo forensics I learned this at Def con among other things.

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah (News4Utah) – Police launched an investigation after a body was discovered by a survey crew in West Valley City Friday afternoon.

West Valley City police say around 12:30 p.m., they received a call from a crew working construction at 4100 South Redwood Road and the site of an old Kmart store.

The crew was checking the draining in the parking lot when they came across a body down a drainage culvert. 

Police say they don’t yet know how long the body has been there. It was partially submerged when it was found and they say it unidentifiable at this time.

Cami was born in Thailand April 1, 1975 she and her twin brother Kim were adopted by our mom Erlene S Shepherd. Cami went to school and grew up in Holladay, Utah but sadly lost her mom to breast cancer at age 15. She loved nature,  the mountains and animals, her biggest love was birds..  Cami later on had 4 children 3 sons and 1 daughter, she also leaves behind a granddaughter and a grandson. 

She knew better than anyone her sister’s lengthy history of abuse, selling sex on the street, and years of meth use. She’d tried to be there when she could to support Cami’s struggles to pick herself up after each relapse.

Finally, it seemed, with the help of a support network made up of family, friends, church members and nonprofits dedicated to the homeless and victims of sex trafficking She was making a turn in her life for the good.

She’d moved into her first apartment after more than a decade on the street and found work at the local Deseret Industries thrift store. And Cami had found a purpose: She had gone back to school to start the long journey to become a prosecutor for the state or federal government, so she could personally bring to justice the kind of men who had preyed on her when she was on the streets.

Across America, homeless women sell sex in no-tell motels or on the street to pay for a room night by night and for the drugs they need. They work in the back streets and blight-ridden thoroughfares of cities that are forgotten by city planners and the suburbs alike — unless you want to score drugs or pay for sex.

Because the women are housed, in the barest sense of the word, they are not included in the federal-government organized, national homeless census, Point in Time.

“They’re not counted, they’re not visible,” said Luciane Fangalua, who met Cami while chairing the Utah League of Women Voters’ human trafficking task force in early 2016, which sought to educate policymakers and legislators about the complex issue. “We don’t want them to exist. They’re an invisible group that we use and discard.”

These women are the forgotten casualties to be found at the intersection of homelessness, poverty, sexual violence and addiction. And it’s the desperate cravings of addiction that pull them into the world of trafficking, one fix at a time.

Cami’s story is just one example of a daughter raised in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by a dedicated single mother. She had siblings who tried all they could to support her, no matter the choices she made.

In Salt Lake City, homeless and medical services outreach nonprofits estimate a population of between 500 and 600 street sex workers. In this twilight world, women like Cami appear on the street, then disappear, their fate unknown.

A 2017 research study by the University of Pennsylvania and Loyola University, conducted at youth shelters in 13 cities in the U.S. and Canada, found 15 percent of homeless youth are sex-trafficked, with young women and LGBTQ youth particularly impacted. The National Network for Youth estimates that 4.2 million youth from ages 13 to 25 experience homelessness, which means that at minimum over 630,000 youth each year are victims of sex trafficking.

That’s the equivalent of a city the size of Boston.

Many are runaways, some fleeing abuse at home, others escaping violence at a foster care home. Many homeless youth simply age out of the foster care system and end up on the streets with nowhere to go. This is where invisible lives begin, with homeless youth sleeping in cars, couch-surfing, engaging in survival sex in exchange for a bed for the night, most haunted by the trauma of abuse they experienced as a child.

Victims and survivors of sex trafficking come from every strata of society, from the impoverished to the wealthy. Traffickers hang out at the homeless shelter, the corner store, or the suburban mall, always looking “for someone in need of something,” said Utah Attorney General veteran trafficking prosecutor Russell Smith. He related the story of a Nevada FBI agent who, despite having his daughter’s boyfriend to dinner, had no idea the 19-year-old was grooming his 17-year-old daughter for prostitution. The two first met when he struck up a casual conversation with her at a mall.

Traffickers can range from a boyfriend or a roommate who uses drugs and coercion as a means of controlling their victim, through a solo operator illegally running out of a motel, a nail salon or a massage parlor — what law enforcement call commercial sex operations, typically staffed with women held by fraud and coercion. From there it extends to gangs running women on a few streets or out of hotels through online sex ads, to highly organized international criminal operations that traffic women from one country to another.

Traffickers, whether alone or in groups, exploit vulnerabilities, and they’re not always male. Smith recalled one woman who loved to brag about how she had “used a Utah citizen’s disability as a way to manipulate them into performing commercial sex acts.”

For years she tried to report her traffickers to police departments and state investigators, when the majority of survivors out of fear or mistrust would have nothing to do with reporting crime. She wrote an anonymous article in early 2016 about her life for an educational study on trafficking prepared by nonpartisan policy group Utah League of Women Voters that went to Utah legislators. She held a public event in March 2016 in Liberty Park to tell people about trafficking. But trauma, meth-induced paranoia, and other issues derailed her attempts to give law enforcement information that could lead to arrests.

“The only reason nothing gets done is because we are drug addicts and homeless,” Cami wrote in an April 2017 Facebook post.

If she couldn’t get cops and prosecutors to bring them down, she vowed to become an instrument of justice for other trafficked women. So she decided to go to school and eventually prosecute the men herself.

One cop who worked with Cami and believed she was a victim of traffickers was Salt Lake City Police Sgt Michele Ross. She was convinced that behind the paranoia and incoherence that dogged Cami’s repeated attempts to get justice, there lay a traumatic history of sex trafficking. “For one person to be so persistent, makes me believe there was something to it,” Ross said. “You just don’t see it very often. There has to be something there.”

“I did not ask to be raised by an adoptive single parent with no father ever in my home or in my life,” Cami wrote in the sketch. “I did not ask to be molested by a man in my ward as a small child.” Her molester, Kristi said, went to prison after being convicted of child sexual abuse.

While multiple relatives of Cami recalled the prosecution and incarceration of Cami’s abuser, no one could recall his name. “All of us just shut that out,” Kristi said.

Their adoptive mother juggled multiple part-time jobs, along with her kids, to pay bills, but then died unexpectedly of breast cancer in 1991, when the twins were 15.

Cami became pregnant at 16 by her boyfriend, with whom she had four children in succession by the time she was 21. Cami and her boyfriend fought constantly, their children raised by the man’s parents. She started using cocaine and crack in early 2000, then meth in 2003, when she also encountered problems with the law with a March 2003, third-degree felony forgery conviction in an Ogden district court. A marriage ended in divorce and shortly after she became homeless.

What led to her becoming homeless, other than her descent into addiction, her family doesn’t know. Those are Cami’s lost years, relatives said, long periods of silence punctuated only by an occasional voice mail: “Hi Sis. It’s me. I’m still alive. Love you.”

In her one-page autobiography, Cami documented her allegations of being trafficked. An unnamed “boyfriend/drug dealer,” she wrote, gave her injections of meth and GBH, commonly known as the date-rape drug, which rendered her semi-conscious, “so that he can charge $20 a person to men” who were lining up to rape her. She also highlighted how “a man whom I loved and thought was my protector” had secretly videotaped them having sex and sold the material online.

Kristi witnessed the aftermath of a trafficking incident in summer 2013 after Cami told her she’d been held in a house, drugged and repeatedly raped. When Cami told her sister her back was burning, Kristi lifted her shirt and found her back marked by cigarette burns.

Cami’s 12 reports to three local law enforcement agencies included complaints of being given unidentified drugs by boyfriends that rendered her unconscious, sexual assault allegations, and nonconsensual filming. None resulted in subsequent prosecutions. What’s apparent from the reports is how Cami’s drug addiction and trauma rendered her value as a witness to her own victimization painfully problematic.

Fukushima wasn’t surprised to learn that Cami wasn’t able to coherently report her own trafficking.

 Cami often showed her fiery temper, verbally abusing officers she thought weren’t sympathetic or looked down on her, or getting in the face of homeless men she saw abusing their girlfriends.

Her temper also got the better of her when she saw her on-and-off again boyfriend, in line at a downtown homeless clinic for services, months after she’d reported him to the police for hitting her and putting a gun to her head. She tried to stab him and was arrested.

Cami decided to go directly to the public and in the spring of 2016, organized an anti-trafficking booth beneath the majestic trees that ring Liberty Park. On the phone, sister Kristi talked her through her nervousness in the days running up to her Liberty Park event. Her family rallied round to help, with cousin Arlen Shepherd’s brother printing T-shirts for her with a logo she’d designed of a unicorn with the words “Not for sale” emblazoned across its ribs. No one interviewed for this story, however, attended the event. In some cases, that was because of frustration.

“It was her fight, not mine,” Kristi said. “I wanted her to be clean and a mom.”

The day before, Cami called Kristi, “I told her to remember what she was fighting for and make the best of it.” Cami manned the booth, wearing her T-shirt, and talked to people who approached her about trafficking. Afterward, she told Kristi how glad she was she had done it. “It was a good start,” she told Kristi. “The next one will be bigger.”

But with each step she took away from the underworld of drugs, violence and abusive, controlling men, addiction, paranoia and living on the street dragged her back to the drug-dealing sex traffickers she’d fought so hard to escape.

She tried to work with investigators at the Utah Attorney General’s office, leaving sometimes incoherent messages on a trafficking hotline that she had information. “She’d call, we’d set up meetings with her, but she never connected,” said SECURE Strike Force chief Leo Lucey. He believed she was trafficked, “and wish we could have done something about it.”

Glimmers of hope

Cami finally got off Salt Lake City’s streets in February 2017, moving into a one-bedroom studio in a Westside apartment complex called the Redwood, thanks in no small part to the efforts of Asian Association of Utah’s trafficking victim case manager Gina Salazar.

Kristi took her sister shopping at a nearby Deseret Industries thrift store with a voucher Cami got from the bishop at a local congregation. The sisters picked out a comforter, pillowcases and dishes for Cami’s new home. On the front door she hung a picture of Jesus Christ to mark her home as Christian. She shared the studio apartment with two cats, Hope and Faith, and occasionally an injured pigeon she would try to nurse back to health. Pigeons and doves were angels, she would tell her friends, and if they were close then she was safe.

She’d also signed up with Salt Lake Community College for computer basics classes, the only problem being that she didn’t have a computer to do homework on. Nevertheless, she was determined to fulfill her dreams of going to law school and prosecuting traffickers. And she had the perfect playing card, she’d tell friends, to show jurors that she had survived the world victims came from: a missing tooth in her bright, defiant smile, knocked out by an old boyfriend.

Momentos are left at a vigil for Cami Shepherd in West Valley City on Monday, April 16, 2018.

Adapting to life inside four walls wasn’t easy, said cousin Arlen Shepherd. She’d feel alone, leave for a day or two, then go back. Over time, she felt safe enough to sleep in her bed and know no one would hurt her.

Arlen Shepherd tried to get her to keep her home “a safe haven,” he said, and not let people in. But that ran contrary to the unwritten rule of the homeless, born out of the interdependency that life on the streets demands, which is to always offer help when you can to others. So she’d let in someone she’d grown to trust, such as a homeless mother with a child. Word got around where she lived, however, and soon she complained to friends that people seeking a place to sleep would try to kick her door down if she didn’t let them in.

Cami’s determination to change meant she would try to do too much, Kristi worried. “She tried to stay clean, go to school and work and it would get stressful and she would cave,” Kristi said.

The pressures built up in November 2017, when she started dating a 42-year–old carpenter and neighbor. The carpenter requested anonymity out of concern over local traffickers possibly connected with Cami’s disappearance.

They watched movies and cooked meals at each other’s apartments. She’d bake and fry chicken, while he made soul food. He gave her a painting he’d done of a Chinese junk forging out to sea, waves crashing against a rocky shoreline. But Cami struggled with how to respond and act around “a regular guy,” as opposed to a “john,” several sex workers said she told them.

Her sister’s fate washed over her. It was as if her heart had been ripped from her chest.

As painful as that was for Kristi, what one of the detectives then told her made the situation far harder to bear. The way the cops saw it, she had brought her death on herself. The detective suggested to Kristi that the 120-pound Cami had somehow lifted the 150-pound rusted lid off the drainage on her own and crawled down into the watery depths to get out of the cold.

Numb with disbelief, Kristi stared at him, realizing that the officers viewed her sister as one more addict whose drug-related death didn’t merit a serious investigation. Cami had always been afraid of water since as a very young child she’d fallen into a canal in Thailand and almost drowned. She could never have lifted the lid on her own. And why would she? Her apartment was a minute’s walk away.

“If we don’t have any leads,” the detective continued, “I’m just preparing you that we may have to close the case.”

The detectives got into their car and drove off. As the door shut, Kristi fell to her knees in shock, confusion and wordless rage at how they had blamed Cami for her own demise. “I was having such a hard time processing it all, that it even happened,” she said. “It was like it was just a bad dream.”

After just two weeks Cami blurted out a marriage proposal.

“No, we can’t do that,” her boyfriend recalled telling her. With both of them newly sober, he felt their sobriety had to come first. He felt overwhelmed, but then realized she felt the same, if only by her own emotions.

Cami stood there for a moment in silence, then left. Rather than continue with the stark, emotionally charged terrain of their relationship, she returned to a familiar, if deadly one: trading sex for meth. In the face of rejection, she returned to a world where she’d find if not safety or even comfort, then at least numbness.

“It was almost like she didn’t know how to handle things when they were good,” Kristi said.

In the days running up to her disappearance in early December, Cami scribbled her way through a “bad high,” as she described it in a notebook full of half-started, scrawled letters typical of meth addicts struggling to fill endless hours while high. “This dope is making me feel like bugs are on me,” she wrote. She worried that “someone has my key to my house and they smoked in my house. I can smell it too.” She wrote how she wanted to get back her sobriety so she could see her children and grandchildren for Christmas. On Dec. 13, she scribbled a three-page letter to whoever might find her journal.

“I am sorry I made a mess of things here,” she wrote.

Three days later, she disappeared.

A disappearance and discovery

Those who saw Cami at the Christmas party on Dec. 16, thrown by the Asian Association of Utah at the drop-in center for street sex workers, were struck by her thinness, a sign she was on meth again. A heavy-set man in a truck had dropped her off at the association’s nondescript, backstreet offices near downtown Salt Lake City. It’s a location known only to the association, their “working girl” clients, along with sometimes pimps, johns and local cops. He’d looked like a “trick,” several attending the party said.

Cami Shepherd lived in this second floor apartment in West Valley City prior to her disappearance. The state of the apartment made Cami's sister, who took this picture, deeply concerned about Cami's fate.
Cami Shepherd lived in this second floor apartment in West Valley City prior to her disappearance. The state of the apartment made Cami’s sister, who took this picture, deeply concerned about Cami’s fate.

Salazar had presents for all of her clients, but Cami left the gift of china Salazar had for her behind. Three days later, Salazar and another AAU case manager took the present to Cami’s apartment. At first, a woman inside wouldn’t open the front door, but when she did, two men and two women filed out, and Cami was nowhere to be seen.

The apartment smelt rank. Salazar opened the blinds and took in the holes punched in walls, pieces of glass on the floor, a used syringe in the bathroom. She scribbled out a note to her longtime client expressing concern about the condition of her home and that she would shortly lose her housing if she didn’t pay her rent, and left it beneath the Christmas present.

As the weeks went on, Cami’s circle of family and friends became increasingly concerned by her silence. “She always called me for the holidays, to wish me merry Christmas, happy New Year,” said Zito, her third-grade teacher and lifelong friend. “The longer that we went without hearing from Cami the more frightened I became.”

Kristi filed a missing person’s report with the police in early February 2018 and began to search for her sister. In the first days of her search, she checked out her sister’s haunts: the motels, gas stations, truck stops, ERs and the downtown shelter, the Road Home, handing out flyers she’d had made up.

After Cami disappeared, her sister found dried food in a pan on the stove, which had been there for weeks in her West Valley apartment. Her sister took this picture after filing a missing person's report.
After Cami disappeared, her sister found dried food in a pan on the stove, which had been there for weeks in her West Valley apartment. Her sister took this picture after filing a missing person’s report.

Every time in the past she’d looked for Cami, she’d found her within two days, usually near the downtown shelter. “This is the first time I haven’t been able to find her,” she said in late March.

Kristi was increasingly frustrated with West Valley detective assigned to her sister’s case. She was uncertain what if anything the police were doing. She worried that because of Cami’s history of drugs and sex work, her disappearance wasn’t taken seriously. “If I was missing, they would have looked harder,” she said. “I felt the family had to do more because the police were doing nothing.”

West Valley City Police Chief Colleen Jacobs disagreed. “Our detectives have been in areas she was known to frequent, shelters, homeless camps,” she said a few weeks into the time Cami that went missing. “We will investigate every avenue we have available to us.”

The detective talked to one homeless man several times who’d been identified by a homeless woman with mental health issues as Cami’s killer, but, Chief Jacobs said, there was no indication he had had “any recent contact with Cami or that there was any nefarious activity.”

Reported missing Febuary 2nd

Her sister’s fate washed over her. It was as if her heart had been ripped from her chest.

As painful as that was for Kristi, what one of the detectives then told her made the situation far harder to bear. The way the cops saw it, she had brought her death on herself. The detective suggested to Kristi that the 120-pound Cami had somehow lifted the 150-pound rusted lid off the drainage on her own and crawled down into the watery depths to get out of the cold.

Numb with disbelief, Kristi stared at him, realizing that the officers viewed her sister as one more addict whose drug-related death didn’t merit a serious investigation. Cami had always been afraid of water since as a very young child she’d fallen into a canal in Thailand and almost drowned. She could never have lifted the lid on her own. And why would she? Her apartment was a minute’s walk away.

“If we don’t have any leads,” the detective continued, “I’m just preparing you that we may have to close the case.”

The detectives got into their car and drove off. As the door shut, Kristi fell to her knees in shock, confusion and wordless rage at how they had blamed Cami for her own demise. “I was having such a hard time processing it all, that it even happened,” she said. “It was like it was just a bad dream.”

In a text sent to ABC4, the spokesperson for the police department said: “It is our understanding that Cami did not have her phone for two weeks prior to her disappearance.  We consulted with the district attorney’s office regarding obtaining a search warrant for the phone and it was determined that seeking a search warrant would not be possible because although Cami Shepherd’s death is suspicious, there is not evidence that would classify it as a homicide or prove that a crime was commited that led to her death.  Without proof of a crime, we are unable to get a search warrant.”

But Jensen said one can’t rule out that person yet. He said Cami Shepherd was either victimized two different times by two different people or victimized twice by the same person.

He still wants to find the person behind the cell phone text and is seeking information about who was with Cami on the night she disappeared.

Jensen wonders if there was some sort of an accident and someone panicked before dumping Shepherd’s body in the drain. If that’s the case, he says, the person would be smart to come forward immediately and offer an explanation.

“It’s just a matter of time that they’ll be caught, so they need to come forward and we can mitigate the damages,” he said.

If she had been doing drugs and overdosed the person or people with her may of panicked and dumped her body int the drain in order to not get caught or blamed for her death. Cami was also known for her drug use if some type of drugs were being used it could of giving someone a reason to freak out when she overdosed a panic

Or did something more sinister happen? With her acts of change kindness and her time and effort into the not for sale non-profit group did she happen to know something being in that lifestyle in her past did she know something someone didn’t want her to know? Was this foul play or an accident?

Cami Shepherd, who was born in Thailand, came to Utah as a young child with her twin brother. At the time of her disappearance she had attempted repeatedly to get police to draw attention to her concerns about sex trafficking. 

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Adriann Barrett

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