Lauth Investigations International has joined the cold-case search for missing expectant mother Milagros Perez Peraulta, who was abducted from the sidewalk in front of a New York State building on South 5th Street in Brooklyn, New York on August 30, 1976. Investigators are preparing to bring new light to this cold case by virtue of ancestry databases and comprehensive due-diligence.
At the time of her disappearance, Milagros was only 22 years old and four months pregnant. She was living with her boyfriend on 33rd Street in Astoria, NY. On August 30, 1976, Milagros was exiting what was at the time a New York State unemployment office building. She was pulled into a vehicle by a Latino male in his late 60s, or early 70s, believed to be a man named Raul who lived in her neighborhood. At the time of her disappearance, discrepancies in reporting within missing person investigations could have delayed the search for the expectant mother.
Missing person cases present their own set of unique challenges with diverse nuance—circumstances that are only further exacerbated by the passage of time. Leads de-materialize, evidence is eroded, and witnesses disappear. However, blowing the dust off a cold case means getting fresh eyes on the information available, and fresh approaches to existing leads. This can increase the likelihood of case progression, even after decades. Lauth investigators are hopeful to unearth new leads in Milagros’ case through ancestry DNA databases in hopes of identifying living family members who may be able to answer crucial questions in the case.
Lauth investigators are prepared to turn over every rock in pursuit of answers on what happened to Milagros Perez Peraulta. If you have any information on Milagros’ disappearance, please contact Lauth Investigators through our confidential tip line at (317)-675-6701.
As missing person casese go cold, there is a lonely echo across generations that reverberates off the void left by missing loved ones. For one woman, solving the disappearance of her mother’s brother, Jerry Moore, has become a personal mission to bring her family the closure they deserve.
Jerry Wayne Moore, who vanished over 25 years ago in October of 1996 in McKenzie, TN. He stands 5’4”, weighing 135lbs, with reddish brown hair and brown eyes. He has a cleft in his chin, a scar on his left hand, and a tattoo of a rose on his left arm.
Jerry disappeared after visiting with his mother on October 5, 1996. He walked away from his car without ID, money, a coat, or even a flashlight to navigate in the pitch black of night. The circumstances of his disappearance deeply troubled his family, because they did not consider him likely to want to disappear on his own. At the time of his disappearance, Jerry was a newlywed, getting ready to move into a new house, start a new business, and move to Arizona with his brand-new bride. Jerry has always been a big outdoorsman—hunting, fishing, swimming, and a huge fan of baseball.
When Jerry’s mother didn’t hear from him, she knew he was deceased because he was always checking on her, and would never let her worry. To many in Jerry’s family, it also didn’t make sense that he would vanish into thin air when his health had been in decline. Jerry had been hospitalized not too long before he went missing. He’d been having seizures and had a bout of pneumonia that left him temporarily on a ventilator. While under a doctor’s care, Jerry was also receiving disability benefits in order to support himself because he could not work. Without those benefits, it’s highly unlikely he would have simply relocated. His family did not consider him economically or physically well enough to simply disappear.
Jerry’s disappearance has directly altered the course of his family. His mother’s physical and mental health took a huge hit before her death. Following Jerry’s disappearance, she flat-out refused to reenter the home they had shared—even to retrieve her belongings—because the reminders of her son were much too devastating. One of Jerry’s sisters was diagnosed with cancer a year after his disappearance due to an onset of stress, and his brother passed away as well. Now, the daughter of his last surviving sister is trying to make sure that her family is finally able to get answers in his disappearance, going to the lengths of becoming a private investigator in order to get to the bottom of her uncle’s disappearance.
As she watched her family suffer for years without her Uncle Jerry, his niece, Dillon was inspired to become a private investigator so that she could continue the search on behalf of her grandmother, her aunts and uncles, and her own mother, Jerry’s only surviving sibling. Though she is not currently practicing as a private investigator, her body of knowledge continues to benefit missing persons and their families through her advocacy. Jerry’s disappearance inadvertently changed the course of Dillon’s entire life, giving her a passion for helping other families of missing persons. She is able to empathize with the rotting silence of long years without answers and how families are left in an arresting state of limbo with no forward and no backward. Dillon is in the process of forming a non-profit that will focus on providing quality resources for families of missing persons. She plans to call it Justice’s Journey.
After decades with no answers, Dillon is attempting to fund an independent investigation into her uncle’s disappearance. A GoFundMe account has been established to pull in the necessary monies. You can donate to that GoFundMe campaign here: https://gofund.me/f1bef1f7
Cold cases like Jerry’s can often seem like a black hole after so many years without answers, but make no mistake that there are real people still out there who are searching for Jerry. He deserves to be brought in from the cold and given a proper burial.
The family of Jennifer Leyanna may finally get long-awaited justice following the arrest of a Maryland man who has been arrested and charged with her murder. This case was thrust back into the news cycle when Jennifer’s remains were located in the backyard of a Maryland residence earlier this week.
Jennifer Leyanna, 41, was last seen in Hartly, Delaware, on October 9, 2020 about 18 months ago. The last time she had contact with her family was that same day when she spoke to her mother on the phone. Her mother told WMDT-TV back in 2021, “It didn’t click that there was anything wrong, usually she’ll say ‘take care of Natalie,’ but this time she said ‘mom please take care of my baby girl.”
Investigators had been investigating her disappearance with the possibility of foul play, determining that she was “likely dead as a result of criminal actions.” This trail of investigative measures lead them to Leonard “Buddy” Church from Henderson, Maryland.
Following his identification as a suspect in the case, public records confirmed that Church actually lived on the same block as the backyard in question. After he was arrested, Church was extradited to Delaware where he was charged with first degree murder and given a $2 million cash bond upon arraignment.
News like this is always bittersweet for families of missing persons, many of whom are desperate for answers, no matter how devastating, and that was no different for the family of Jennifer Leyanna. Upon hearing the news of the discovery of Leyanna’s remains, her family received a wealth of support and good thoughts from those following the Find Jennifer Leyanna Facebook page. On Tuesday, the page posted an update simply stating, “She’s home where she belongs.”
Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact Detective Mark Ryde by calling 302-741-2730.
The search for a Rhode Island man who faced prosecution in the United States has now come to a close following his hospitalization for COVID-19. Authorities located Nicholas Alahverdian, 34, in all places, Glasgow, Scotland, after developing a serious case of coronavirus that required him to be placed on a respirator. Alahverdian was wanted by Interpol, and faces extradition to the United States with regards to a 2008 charge of first-degree rape in Utah, leading to a faked death investigation.
Back in 2008, when he was residing in Orem, Utah, Alahverdian was going by the surname “Rossi.” While on Myspace, he met a 21-year-old woman with whom he developed a relationship. When she finally ended the relationship, Alahverdian still owed her some money. Despite promises to pay her back, she asserted that Alahverdian sexually assault her. However, the crucial DNA material from the survivor’s evidence collection kit was not tested until almost ten years later in 2017 due to the nationwide phenomenon in which state departments experience deep backlogs in their evidence collection kits, or as they’re commonly known, “rape kits.” Once the DNA was finally tested, it came back as a match to another sexual assault case in Ohio. Unfortunately, Alahverdian was already believed to be dead due to a faked death scenario.
“Investigators also learned that Nicholas Rossi had fled the country to avoid prosecution in Ohio, and attempted to leave investigators and state legislators in other states to believe that he was deceased,” said a statement released from Utah County Attorney David Leavitt’s office on Wednesday. “Mr. Rossi was discovered to be living under an assumed name in Scotland.”
In addition to charges that Alahverdian faces in both Ohio and Utah, he is also wanted by Rhode Island State Police for charges related to failing to register as a sex offender. He is also wanted at the federal level by the FBI for charges relating to credit card fraud committed in the name of his foster father, totaling more than $200,000.
Following the discovery of Alahverdian’s various crimes and attempt to fake his death to evade prosecution, many have been left with the question of how individuals who are believed to have faked their deaths can ever be held to account for their actions. In Alahverdian’s case, law enforcement was heavily involved, if not hamstrung by the rape kit backlog that delayed the testing of the evidence. However, many families of victims of violent crimes, large-scale frauds, or related crimes, sometimes have no recourse with the main suspect in their case manages to evade justice. In Alahverdian’s case, his identity was ultimately discovered once he was forced to check into a hospital for COVID-19, but such circumstances may not occur in other cases. While it’s true that the FBI can work with other foreign state intelligence agencies to search for high-profile targets on their list, it can still be difficult to conduct boots-on-the-ground investigations that can lead to major developments in a search. To further exacerbate matters, when the individual has gone the extra mile to fake their death, the case becomes even more complicated.
If corporations, families, or private individuals believe a person of interest has faked death in order to escape accountability, there are options outside of the traditional law enforcement route. Private investigators and private intelligence firms sometimes have the resources and manpower to send investigators outside the United States borders to look for evidence of a faked death scenario in their case. Private investigators have access to verified databases that can extend nationally, and often do not have the caseload of state or federal investigators that would otherwise prevent them from chasing down every lead in a faked death scenario. While state or federal agencies may not be able to deploy agents on a particular case, private investigators have complete autonomy from state and federal agencies as long as they are acting within the confines of their license. The value in this autonomy is found in the investigator’s ability to trigger a field investigation outside of U.S. jurisdiction without waiting for approval. In this way, more valuable time is not lost in the case, which increases the likelihood that both witnesses and crucial evidence in the case can still be recovered.
The hunt for a 28-year-old male boater reported missing on Chippewa Lake in Ohio ended in great sadness on Sunday, 27th of June, when his body was recovered from the water. According to witness accounts, the unnamed man jumped from a boat into the water at roughly 9pm on Saturday and did not resurface. Some reports suggest that the boat may have been occupied by a group of people, although this has not been officially confirmed.
After the alert was raised, Chippewa Lake was closed off to the public while the Ohio Department of Natural Resources led efforts to locate the missing man. Several additional agencies including the Medina County Sheriff Office, the Medina Count All Hazards Team, the Westfield Fire Department, the Medina Park District, and Wooster Township Dive and Rescue all rallied to assist in the search.
Local Communities Rally
Volunteers are reported to have searched alongside the numerous rescue crews overnight, while divers and Ranger boats took to the water on Sunday morning in the hope that the man might still be found alive. As one of the largest of Ohio’s natural lakes, and spanning 325 acres, Chippewa Lake represented a vast body of water within which to mount such a challenging rescue effort.
After almost 24 hours of searching, the worst fears of all involved were realized when the missing man’s body was discovered. Although his identity has not been shared with the public, the Medina County Coroner Dr. Lisa Deranek confirmed that he resided in Seville. In a Facebook post, the Sheriff’s office described the investigation as complicated before expressing, “Our thoughts go out to the victim of the incident. The patience of the community is appreciated during this difficult time.”
The Loss Of A Loving Family
“This is very tragic,” the county coroner continued, sharing that the man “came from a very loving family.” Sharing her empathy for their loss, she continued, “they were all there waiting the entire time, until we were able to recover his body, more than 24 hours straight. You don’t always see that in these kinds of situations, believe it or not. They’re just a very loving family, a wonderful and supportive family.”
Speaking to 19 News, friends of the unidentified man in his twenties are reported to have said that he grew up boating on Chippewa Lake. A witness shared that the man’s hat blew off into the water, and he jumped in to retrieve it. Framed by this unfortunate and unexpected turn of events, the investigation continues in an effort to understand how such a tragedy might have occurred. An autopsy and toxicology screen have been initiated through Cuyahoga County, but results are not expected to emerge for four to six months.
Safety On The Water
Chippewa Lake is a popular destination for boaters, offering the added draw of sights of a neighboring abandoned amusement park that has been closed since 1978. Following this recent fatal incident, safety on the water has been drawn into debate. Medina County Park District Director Nate Eppink stated that while a park district boat was on the water for much of the day on Saturday, they were no longer out on Chippewa Lake at 9 pm in the evening. He shared, however, that a ranger was stationed on Kennard Road, “a minute around the corner, in the close vicinity,” when the call came in. There are reportedly no immediate plans to increase lake patrol, but Medina County Park District recently purchased the adjacent Chippewa Lake Amusement Park property and has expressed intentions to develop the site in the future. Eppink also shared his sentiments on such a loss of life, saying “This was a tragic event and our hearts go out to the family.”
The disappearance of Madeline McCann is arguably the most internationally famous missing child case since the Lindbergh baby vanished in 1932. The story received an unprecedented amount of media attention throughout the globe due to the international nature of the case and the public relations campaign that struggled to keep the child’s face out there in the public eye. Now, in 2019, Netflix has released an eight-episode docuseries, The Disappearance of Madeline McCann, about the case, taking a hard look at the investigation and media coverage surrounding the case since Madeline disappeared 11 years ago.
Madeline McCann was just three years old in May 2003, when she accompanied her family—mother Kate, father Gerry, and a set of younger twin siblings—on a family vacation to Praia da Luz, Portugal. During the course of their stay at a resort community, it became regular practice for Kate and Gerry to put the children down for the night before travelling less than 200 feet away from their apartment to a tapas restaurant where they had dinner with friends. The parents were not worried for their children’s safety because—according to the McCanns and their friends—the window to their apartment was in full view of their regular table at the tapas restaurant. According to statements from the McCanns and their party, the parents would walk back over to the apartment hourly to check on their children. After checking the children several times, it wasn’t until 10:00 PM that Kate McCann realized her daughter was missing, and immediately raised the alarm.
The documentary chronicles the roller coaster of investigative measures and leads over the course of the investigation. Over the years, there have been multiple leads in the case that appeared promising, such as a famous sighting by one of the McCann’s party of a man walking in the vicinity of the McCann’s apartment carrying a sleeping child. Praia de Luz local, Robert Murat, was a suspect early on in the investigation due to his inexplicable special interest in assisting law enforcement and his continued insertion of himself in their investigation. He was eventually cleared by Portugal authorities. Many angles in the investigation concern the likelihood that Madeline was abducted from her bed by a predator who had been casing the apartment during the McCann’s stay at the resort. The docuseries, The Disappearance of Madline McCann, goes into heavy detail about how simple it would be for a predator to abduct Madeline, and then—within a window of less than 2 hours—have been able to smuggle her out of the country to jump jurisdictional lines and cover their tracks, all in the interest of introducing the child into the dark world of sex trafficking.
While support for the McCann family has remained in the years since Madeline went missing, the vitriol that Kate and Gerry McCann have endured comes from allegations that they themselves might have played a role in their daughter’s disappearance. Law enforcement in Praia de Luz made note that the two smaller children sleeping in Madeline’s room remained asleep during their time in the apartment at the onset of the investigation. Despite a great deal of commotion and adults moving from room to room as they searched for Madeline, the set of young twins did not wake or stir at any time. This led to suspicions that the children might have been drugged in order to ensure they would not wake while the parents were across the way at dinner. Both Kate and Gerry McCann were physicians at the time of Madeline’s disappearance, with Kate having reportedly specialized in anesthetics before moving into private practice.
The docuseries makes a point to highlight the importance that media coverage can play in any missing persons case. It was a subject of note that the McCanns hired public relations representatives to help keep the campaign to find Madeline alive in the media, with high saturation of her name in the UK, Portugal, and throughout the globe. Of the thousands of missing child cases that are currently open throughout the world, Madeline’s face is one of the most famous—along with Elizabeth Smart and Jaycee Dugard, two young girls who were abducted, were kept captive, and were eventually reunited with their families following a successful, albeit years-long investigation. Talking heads in the series note that although Madeline’s case was an extreme example of media coverage, the question remains how other missing children’s cases would have benefited from the same amount of attention the McCann case received. Despite hundreds of tips and leads that have surfaced over the years, the truth of what happened to Madeline McCann still remains a mystery.
Carie McMichael is the Media and Communication Specialist for Lauth Investigations International. She regularly writes on private investigation and missing persons topics. For more information, please visit our website.