Deceased

Monday has always been Missing Person Monday on my blog. 

As such, I'll lead with this story from Florida.
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A few weeks ago, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement made a seemingly innocuous update to the online record of former Department of Corrections inmate #621378.

The offender, Victor G. Wonyetye, Jr. who appears on the Florida Sex Offender Registry, is now listed as "Deceased."

Wonyetye was 69 years old, and had been paroled in 2012 after serving more than two decades in Florida prisons for a string of burglary-related charges.

Just prior to his death in December, he evidently violated the terms of his parole and was rearrested in Marion County (FL).


Why is an elderly offender's death significant?

Police considered Wonyetye a lead suspect in two unsolved child abductions from the 1980s: 1) then eight-year-old Tammy Belanger disappeared while walking to school in Exeter, NH; and 2) another eight-year-old girl named Christy Luna vanished while walking to a grocery store to buy cat food in Greenacres City, FL.

Unfortunately, authorities were never able to gather enough evidence to charge this man (or anyone else for that matter) for either incident.

Followers of the cases always held onto hope that eventually Wonyetye would share information about these two missing girls, and that the victims' families would someday learn the truth about their loved ones.

Sadly, this suspect will now forever remain silent.

But, what if Victor Wonyetye, Jr. was linked to another active missing person case?

I have been researching him and hope to offer something useful in the near future.  

In several upcoming posts, I'll discuss how this man became a person of interest in the Belanger and Luna cases, and offer a previously undisclosed yet possible connection of this career criminal to another unsolved crime.  
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For more of my posts on missing persons, you can click here.

30 comments:

Miss Caitlin S. said...

Ugh, how sad for those missing children. I hate that. It's amazing to me how many missing cases there are. Sometimes I think we all collectively focus on the "hot topic" story without reflecting on the fact that there are sooo many people who have vanished. Makes me very sad. I'd be interested to read your upcoming posts on this.

Brian Miller said...

and the scariest thing is the knowledge he took with him that might help in these cases...

Mommy Lisa said...

Missing children always make me so sad.

Stephanie said...

Oh heartbreaking for those families. I hope they find some peace...

messymimi said...

It's amazing, if he was the perpetrator, that he managed to not let anything slip for that long.

Pat Hatt said...

Awful how now the families will never know. Being linked to more would be even worse.

Bob G. said...

SLamdunk:
With the advent of ALL this technology, designed to all but negate the possibility of people "falling through the cracks", WHY do we have even MORE now?
It really makes you think that because we HAVE such technology to keep better records, why are we NOT doing so?

It should be getting easier to track such people...not impossible.

Good post.

Stay safe out there.

A Cuban In London said...

It's terrible that he never volunteered any information. Even if he didn't commit the crimes himself, at least he could have helped out. I feel angry when I hear of cases like this.

Greetings from London.

Audrey Allure said...

I'm now intrigued and I definitely look forward to your upcoming posts!

ladyfi said...

Oh gosh - only eight years old!

angelcel said...

I read, a long time ago now, that X% of murder / missing persons cases were probably the result of sole perpetrators - serial killers. (It was a surprisingly large number). I've always been fascinated by the criminal mind because it can be so *very* twisted and yet they have had a period when they functioned, apparently unnoticed in the outside world. When there is nothing left to be gained - in prison and close to death - some still hold on to truths that could alleviate pain from those who are left behind. Ian Brady and Myra Hindley are the oft-mentioned examples of this sick, controlling mind over here in the UK. Truly awful.

Ciara said...

It's so unfair to those families. They deserved justice and answers.

BobKat said...

Wow... I don't know why I knew of Tammy Belanger, just looked her up and have never seen this case. Yet her name was very familiar.

I know Exeter very well, lived in the area for over 10 years. There's an old park across the street from Exeter Academy - went metal detecting in there many times. There's also a very large Catholic cemetery at the edge of town; I had a friend who lived next to it.

This guy, Wonyetye, worked at a body shop in town. He's the only suspect in her disappearance but I'm not sure why? I did a quick search, found a Tammy Belanger website, but little information about her abduction.

Once again, you've got my attention. With his death a secret may go, and we'll never know for sure. Or will we?

Maxi said...

There was no school yesterday and I stayed with my granddaughter. Brittany is 8yrs old, I can't imagine not having her in my life.

My heart goes out to the families of these missing little girls.

Blessings ~ Maxi

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

I agree with Brian!

AbigailCW said...

I have always hated loose ends. It is even more difficult when they involve the life or death of a loved one. My heart goes out to the families.

Michael Offutt, Speculative Fiction Author said...

One time in a car ride, my buddies and I had one of those "If you could have one superpower, what would it be?" type moments. When it came to my turn, I said, "I'd want to know the fate of every single missing person in the world."

My friend said, "What an odd thing to say."

But it's mostly because I'm curious. Like, I'd want to know where those missing kids are. But even more so, I want to know what happened to Natalie Holloway, Amelia Earheart, and the list could go on and on.

It's one thing that kind of led me to some of the aspects of my science fiction books: the idea that you could have these two universes that are kept apart by two towers but when one starts to not function as well, they begin to overlap in areas and occasionally, one person crosses over and can't get back. That's why we have places like the Bermuda Triangle and stuff like that.

Diane Estrella said...

Did I ever give you the name of Lisa M. Buske. Her sister went missing 20 years ago and was never found. She is a part of my writers group and is self-publishing a book on this in April. So sad.

Brian Miller said...

curious....did you watch The Following last night?

Slamdunk said...

@ Brian: No I didn't. I didn't know much about the show until your question and I looked up the reviews.

Kristen @ Motherese said...

As a mother, I can't begin to imagine the anguish that a parent of a missing child must go through every day. My thoughts and prayers are with those little girls and their families.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

With cases like this, the creators of Criminal Minds don't have to go far for inspiration for their shows.

That's horrible that the families may never have closure.

Beth Zimmerman said...

I can't imagine living so long wondering what had happened to my child! Heartbreaking!

BobKat said...

I watched the "Following", looked forwards to it actually since Fringe is now gone. I was very disappointed with it... too contrived and a guy with a pace-maker doesn't make a good super-cop. The reference to Poe had or ever has potential as I love stories by Poe, but there's a lot more that this show needs than Poe, some thrown in disciples, slaughter animals and murder victims cutting their eyes out. This show needs to mature quickly to make it worth watching.

I found commenter Michael Offutt's comment most intriguing... I agree with him. It hurts inside to want to know where the missing have gone, especially since many do turn up alive years later, but many more never do.

Blond Duck said...

That's so distressing.

Christina Lee said...

Oh man, makes me so very sad. :-(

Momma Fargo said...

You go! I know your investigation will lead to some good information. Keep us posted! He looks like a chimo..just sayin'. I know, it's the jaded side of me. :)

Haddock said...

Two eight year old missing is something that needs a little probe.
Reminds me of the big fat book that I read "The Michigan murders"

terri said...

I can't hear about missing children without remembering Jacob Wetterling who went missing over 20 years ago. I can't imagine the heartbreak a parent must feel at this kind of loss.

Candice said...

So sad. :(