November 8, 1986, 2007, 2004: The Disappearances of June Gilkerson, Irina Malezhik, and Amos Mortier




WHAT HAPPENED?


I couldn't find 1 case for November 8 that had enough information to be a whole story, so instead, I did a quick overview of 3 different people who disappeared on November 8 throughout the years. These cases are entirely related, but are alike in date, and that they never received national attention, like the vast majority of disappearances.

THE DISAPPEARANCE OF JUNE GILKERSON


June was last seen in Midland Texas on November 8, 1986 by her husband of 7 months. He claimed to have seen her at 9 am, when she told him she was leaving to go volunteer at the Midland Restitution Center, a halfway house in time. She wished to become a probation officer one day, and was doing the volunteer work to get experience and learn more about the job.


However, June never arrived. At 3:15 pm, 2 days later, her coworkers found her car in a hotel off the highway. Her purse, car keys, and shoes were left in the car. Employees of the hotel said that the car had been there since about 10:30 am on the day of her disappearance.


Here's where things get a little bit crazy. It turns out, June had been seeing one David Russell Alderink for about 6 months before she disappeared. But it wasn't just a standard affair. Alderink was one of her clients, on probation for burglary and assigned to the Midland Restitution Center.


Crazier yet, the night before she would disappear, June had told her husband, whom she had only been married to for 7 months, that she planned to leave him and file for divorce. She told friends that she planned to move in with and start a life with Alderink, and that she might be pregnant with his child.


Alderink was kind of a terrible dude. For his community service, he worked at the local library under the supervision of the library's custodian, Kenneth Wayne Parker. He told investigators that he and Parker had plotted to abduct women and sell them into sexual slavery in Mexico. Parker believed that he could sell the women for $10,000 each.


Alderink, looking to make some money, offered to give June to Parker in exchange for $7,500 of the expected sale price. Allegedly, he asked June to meet him at a bowling alley so they could "say goodbye to one another". He was supposed to be leaving to go to his hometown in Michigan, and his probation would be reassigned there. When June arrived, Alderink got into her car and drove her to a Farm-To-Market. He said they stopped on the road where Kenneth met them, duct taped her mouth shut, handcuffed her, and put her in a sleeping bag. She was driven away in the back of Parker's truck, and then he hopped on his flight to Michigan.


Parker later told Alderink that he had taken June only about 14 miles south of Midland before he shot her to death. She fought with him and tried to run, and so he killed her. He burned her body with some old tires on a relative's property.


Alderink pleaded guilty to his role in June's abduction in 1988. It is unclear if he turned himself in, or if investigators caught him. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison, and has since been released.


Parker was convicted of kidnapping and given 2 consecutive life sentences for the crime. His release date is 2048, at which point he would be over 100 years old. However, the former library custodian maintains his innocence. If sufficient evidence surfaces that proves June was murdered, he could be tried for the murder, as well. However, at this point, her body has never been located.

THE DISAPPEARANCE OF IRINA MALEZHIK


Irina Malezhik, a 47-year-old woman, was last seen on October 15, 2007 walking out of the lobby of her apartment building in Brooklyn. She wasn't reported missing until November 8 by a friend. All of her belongings and identification were left behind at her home.


The police obviously got a very lagged start on the investigation, given that she was missing for nearly 25 days by the time she was reported missing. However, they learned that the day after she was last seen, 4 checks signed with her name were deposited into the joint bank account of a couple, Dmitriy and Julia Yakovlev. Authorities were able to determine that Irina's signature had been forged. The couple got a credit card out in Irina's name the next day.


In July of 2009, the couple was charged with stealing Irina's identity and stealing more than $37,000 from the missing woman. They had used her money to go on a shopping spree, buying, among other items, expensive matching watches. They certainly stole her money and identity, but had they killed her?


Before her disappearance, Irina had told others that she was expecting a call from a person she only knows as Dmitriy, and that she was afraid of him. The couple had maintained their innocence, theorizing that she moved back to her native Ukraine. They stated they did not know her.


But later on, Dmitriy admitted that, okay, he did know Irina. She had tutored him in English, and once, he lent her money to buy some furniture.


The fact that he knew Irina, and had stolen her identity nearly immediately after she was last seen as enough to arrest him for Irina's murder. He was also charged in relation to the death of Viktor Alekseyev, a jewelry importer who's dismembered body was found in New Jersey the year before. When the police dug up the couple's basement looking for Irina, they found nothing, but found belongings of the dismembered man.


On top of this, the Yakovlevs are suspects in the disappearance of Michael Klein, a NYPD employee who was a victim of identity theft. He went missing in 2003. Dmitriy was charged with stealing his identity, but nothing directly related to his disappearance or likely death. He claimed that both Michael and Irina had owed him money, so they had given him permission to use the cards as repayment for the debt they owed him.


Julia pleaded guilty to identity theft in March 2011, but claims she had nothing to do with Irina's disappearance and that she does not know where she is. She faced only 2 years in prison while her husband was convicted of all 15 charges brought against him, including the murders of Irina and Viktor. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison.


Irina was a federal court translator at the time of her disappearance, and though she often worked on sensitive cases involving fraud and organized crime, police do not believe that it was connected to her disappearance. She was a quiet, private woman who worked very hard.

THE DISAPPEARANCE OF AMOS MORTIER


Amos Mortier was a 27-year-old man who disappeared from Madison, Wisconsin on November 8, 2004. He was handling one of the cities largest marijuana operations, and police believe he may have been murdered due to some drug-related issues.


After a series of unanswered phone calls to Amos, friends went to his home to check in on him. There, they found a half-rolled joint and records still spinning on his DJ turntables, indicating that someone must have interrupted him. The friends removed some items, including a safe (that turned out to be empty) before they would call the police to report their friend's disappearance.


Amos' dog was missing, as well. At first, his mother thought that perhaps she had injured himself while taking his dog for a walk. Friends and family searched everywhere in search for them. A neighbor would find the dog soon enough, wandering the streets. But there was no sign of Amos.


According to papers, Amos Mortier received monthly shipments of marijuana grown in Canada between 2000 and 2004.


The prime suspect in the disappearance of Jacob Stadfeld, whom some say had stolen 30lbs of weed from Amos. He was awaiting trial for drug-related charges, but there is no evidence that proves that he killed Amos.


While Amos' mother knows that her son didn't lead a crime-free life, Margie Milutinovich lived her son. He was "a sweet guy with an infectious laughter" who loved collecting gems, making music, and eating at upscale restaurants.


Some believe that a person who they only know by the name of "Green" is responsible for Amos' death. "Green" had intimidated Amos and owed him about $80,000 in drug sales. A witness says that this unnamed person tricked Amos to coming into an isolated spot, and he was killed in the struggle. Then, his body was taken to a hog farm and dumped there as food for the hogs. They allege that he went back to Amos' house, emptied the safe, let the dog outside, and fled.

OVERALL


It is interesting to read about the "major" disappearance cases. There are so many cases that we know the entire details and background of just by hearing the name. Natalee Holloway and Madeleine McCann and so many others are so popular with movies, books, documentaries and internet sleuths alike covering their cases years and years later.


But there are so many people who disappear. These are just 3 people who disappeared on the same day, among many others. Their cases aren't on the popular True Crime shows or podcasts, and don't have Wikipedia pages dedicated to the mystery. Sometimes, people just go missing. And friends and neighbors and family look for them, but the news never makes it past regional. There are too many like this.


This isn't to say not to be interested in or fascinated by the "popular" true crime cases. But to remember that not every family who frantically realized their loved one didn't come home, or has to live every single day without closure for their son or wife or mother or friend are thrust into the spotlight, making legislative changes. Some stories just don't make it to the mainstream. And there are thousands of people mourning their loved ones with no idea what happened to them, while the vast majority of people have no idea something happened at all.


June, Irina, and Amos are just a few in the extremely long list of people who have disappeared and never made national headlines. But their lives are important. And even if the sleuths on Reddit and the true crime fanatics with blogs and podcasts don't cover them and theorize about them, I truly hope someone does. Because they deserve justice and closure, too.

REFERENCES:

http://charleyproject.org/case/june-carpenter-gilkerson

http://charleyproject.org/case/irina-malezhik

https://defrostingcoldcases.com/what-happened-to-amos-mortier/


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