MFM blog update: timeline of a disappearance

A year ago, Andy’s family was coming to the realization that something had gone wrong. Instead of making an illegal and dangerous border crossing from Mexico to the U.S. somewhere in southern Arizona, Andy had disappeared. Now, just over a year later, they still do not know what happened to him. But they have worked with me on developing a timeline of Andy’s travel between Mexico and the U.S. which is posted today.

barrio brujas: turning to the other side

This summer Eddie has described what he considers troublesome developments when it comes to how his family is handling Andy’s disappearance, now nearly one year ago. “The family of Monse, they’re going to these people like card readers, they are like, you know, what you call this…?” “Like psychics?” I asked. “We’re dealing with those those brujas, you call them, brujas,” Eddie said.

Dental records – and an approaching anniversary

On the corner of my desk there’s a sealed manilla envelope that I’ve been avoiding. As I work on other things, cook, clean, and do everything else to avoid sitting down and opening it, it sits, waiting. The envelope has two copies of Andy’s dental records. Eddie mailed them after our last conversation, an extra set like the ones he’s taking to aid groups, medical examiners and law enforcement at every opportunity. “I sent two copies,” Eddie said.

Filing the report

It’s been awhile since I’ve heard from Eddie. His latest call, just before the end of March, is unexpected but follow-up on my part is probably overdue. There’s no new information about Andy. Instead Eddie has called to give me report numbers. Eddie’s wife has filed a missing persons report with NAMUS, a national missing persons database.

First Contact: Reaching Out In Search

What is it like to lose someone? It’s a question we dodge like wisecracking heroes under fire in an action movie – if we’re fast and witty enough, we tell ourselves, we’ll never have to know. Most of the time, for most people, this works pretty well. When it doesn’t, we have questions that need answers. I responded to Eddie’s email with a list of contact information collected during my reporting – law enforcement, humanitarian volunteers, medical examiners and website listings that had formed a resource sidebar in one of my stories.

“Fidel” Arrested in Sonora, Mexico

Mexican law enforcement arrested suspected cartel member Mancinas Fidel Franco near Cananea on Saturday, January 21, 2012. He has been transferred to Mexico City and may face extradition to the United States on human trafficking charges in part related to the deaths of 11 immigrants killed in car accidents in 2009. Fidel is described as a leader in the Pacific Cartel, also known as the Sinaloa cartel and using the alias Labrador Roberto Lopez. Most reports included Fidel’s arrest as a minimal addendum to high-ranking Sinaloa aide Luis Alberto Cabrera Sarabia’s death in Durango gunfire a day earlier – but on these details, they all agree. My source, Eddie, called Thursday to tell me the news and discuss his family’s reactions.