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Episode 108

Michael Bryson, J.J. Day and More Recent Cases

September 20, 2021   Tags: , , , , ,
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This week Billy and Paul take a look at several recent cases. On November 26th, 2020,  Alexis Sharkey went to Thanksgiving with friends. After getting home she had a disagreement with her husband, then left the house. Her naked body was discovered in the bushes off of Red Haw. Michael Bryson disappeared from the Hobo Campgrounds in the Cottage Grove Area in Lane County, Oregon, in the early morning hours of August 5th, 2020.

25-year-old J.J. Day was last seen at 9:12 AM at Beyond/Hello in Bloomington on August 24th, 2021. Five year old Summer Wells was at home with her family on June 15th, 2021. She went downstairs to play with toys in the Beech Creek Community house in Hawkins County, Tennessee. Within minutes, she vanished. Three women were physically attacked in the last year in the West End of Portland, Maine. Other women have reported being watched or followed by a man in the car. Who is responsible for these attacks?

The Murder of Alexis Sharkey:
Alexis Sharkey married her husband Tom in December of 2019. In January, the couple moved to Houston, Texas. The 26-year-old was a businesswoman and mentor. She was an executive with the Monat hair care products. She had a following on Instagram where she posted about hair care, herself, and travel.

In October, Alexis took a trip with friends to Marfa. It was on that trip she revealed that her new marriage was not going well. According to The Daily Beast, Alexis said Tom had “been putting hands on her.” The friend also said Tom messaged Alexis the whole trip. He was sending “nasty” messages. One night on the trip she told the friend more details. She said he strangles and chokes her. She’d even blacked out and woken up on the bathroom floor.

Other friends said he was controlling and manipulative. The couple had agreed to separate even though they were still living together. Alexis already had the divorce papers drawn up and their bank accounts were separate. She also started decreasing her social media presence during that time. According to an article in The Medium, Alexis seemed “petrified” and scared for her life.

On November 26th, 2020--Thanksgiving--Alexis texted with her mom Stacey. She went over to her friend Tanya’s house and celebrated with friends. Around midnight a DJ named Sebastian Marmolejo, who Alexis may have been seeing, picked her up from Tanya’s. The pair went to a bar. They left at 3 AM. Alexis then went back to Tanya’s house to pick up her car and then go home. 

Black Friday was always a busy day for Alexis working with Monat. She used social media in the past to make large sales on that day. But this Black Friday, Alexis’ social media was completely silent. 

At 5:30 PM, a text came from Alexis’ phone to a group chat. It read she wanted to go out and asked what everyone’s plans were. Everyone was busy, but they made plans to have a girls’ night on Saturday. It was the last communication from her phone.

At 11 PM, Tom texted one of Alexis’ friends’ boyfriend John to see if they had heard from Alexis. John called Tom. Tom told him Alexis was missing. The call lasted 45 minutes. 

On the call, Tom said he and Alexis had gotten into a fight, and she angrily left the house barefooted. She jumped the fence and then got into a black car. Tom said he went to look for her, but couldn’t find her. He said to cool down he pulled into a gas station and stayed there for two hours and then started calling people. 

On November 28th a discovery was made in the bushes off of Red Haw--a service road. It was Alexis’ body. The area is near Katy Freeway and Eldridge Parkway. It was just a few miles from her home.

According to reports there was no sign of a struggle and no obvious cause of death. But she was found nude. After two months, the cause of death was released--strangulation. It’s believed Alexis’ body had been dumped the night before. KTRK reported that Alexis’ remains were clean, like she’d just stepped out of the tub.


The Disappearance of Michael Bryson:
27-year-old Michael Bryson loves to travel and help people. He’s been on two mission trips in Africa. Michael had also struggled with substance abuse but by August 2020, he seemed to be getting his life back on track. He was planning to go to school to be an electrician. 

On August 3rd, he stopped by his parents’ house in Harrisburg. Michael said he was riding with a friend for a week-long birthday camping trip. They were going to go to the Hobo Campgrounds in the Cottage Grove Area. 

Michael was seen at the campgrounds on the third and forth. The night of the 4th, a rave was held at the campgrounds. Somewhere between 40 and 60 people were there. Michael was on stage to do a set. 

At about 4 AM, he was on a bus at the campgrounds. It’s unclear what made Michael upset enough to get off the bus, but he did. All of his belongings--keys, backpack, clothes--were in his friend’s car. He had powered his phone off when he arrived at the campgrounds.

5 PM on the 5th, Michael’s parents were told that he was missing. They immediately went to the campground to search for their son. By the time they arrived, land and water teams were searching for him as well. The search lasted for 19 days, but there was no sign of Michael. 

Michael’s parents said most of those at the rave left the day Michael went missing. One of the partygoers said he walked away from camp. Another said a group of individuals picked him up on the road. 

In December 2020, a tip came in and said that a person saw something near the swimming hole that was a mile from the campground. At the location, some of the clothes Michael was last seen wearing were discovered. But there was still no sign of Michael. His father believes the clothes were planted. 

Since his disappearance, Michael’s wallet hasn’t been found and his bank accounts haven’t been touched. His parents believe he is a victim of foul play.  Michael is 6 feet, 180 pounds. He has hazel/blue eyes and brown hair. He has a nose ring, facial hair and multiple tattoos.






Missing J.J. Day:
25-year-old Jelani “J.J.” Day is a graduate student at Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois. He is currently studying Communication, Science and Disorders. Originally from Danville, he found an off-campus apartment in Bloomington. 

On August 23rd, J.J. was in contact with his family. His mom told Dateline they were in constant contact. She said he was her “bill collector child,” calling her nonstop. He was the fourth child of five.  His mom said he was excited about his classes. He’d found out he had two A’s and two B’s in his classes. 

Also on the 23rd, he texted Cara Boester. She was the director of Clinical Education. They set up a meeting for the next morning to discuss coursework. But J.J. didn’t show up to the meeting. Cara texted him, he didn’t reply. She knew his schedule and that he would be on campus for class at 1 PM. She waited but when he didn’t show, she contacted campus police. 

The next day the campus police went to J.J.’s parents house. His mother had been planning for a trip and hadn’t noticed right away she hadn’t heard from J.J. But she thought that one of his siblings must have heard from him. After hearing from the campus police, they tried to reach J.J. All the calls went to voicemail. 

J.J.’s older brother went to his apartment with the police. The apartment was in order, but his white 2010 Chrysler 300 was gone. A missing person’s report was filed. Law enforcement began to look for J.J. and his car.

On August 26th at 4:20 PM, a vehicle was found in a wooded area north of the 12th Street and Westclox Ave intersection was reported. It was an hour from J.J.’s apartment. The Chrysler was J.J.’s. It was concealed in the woods. The back license plate was gone. Inside was a hat and shirt. 

The police were able to find security video of him on August 24th. At 7:20 AM, J.J. was at the Illinois State University Bone Student Center. He was wearing a blue button-up collared dress shirt, blank pants, a black belt, black dress shoes and a blue face mask. According to his bank records he’d bought items at the Starbucks there that morning. 

Another video was discovered showing J.J. entering the store Beyond/Hello in Bloomington. It was almost two hours later. In this footage he was wearing a blue Detroit Lions baseball hat, black Jimi Hendrix t-shirt, white/silver shorts and black shoes with white soles. His car was in the parking lot. The shirt and hat from this video are the ones discovered in his car.




Summer Wells Missing:
Five-year-old Summer Moon-Utah Wells loves to play dress up and her family calls her the “boss of the family.” Having three brothers, the rambunctious child is a bit of a tomboy. 

On June 15th, Candus--Summer's mom--and her mom were planting flowers. They went inside to wash their hands, and Summer got a piece of candy from her grandmother. Then Summer went to watch TV with her brothers. A few minutes later, Candus asked her sons where Summer was. They boys said she went downstairs to play with her toys.

Candus yelled downstairs for her little girl. Summer didn’t answer. When she went downstairs Summer wasn’t there. They immediately began searching for her. Donald rushed home from work. She was officially reported missing at 6:30 PM.

At 12:07 AM an endangered child alert was issued. At 11 AM the alert was upgraded to an AMBER alert by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. At the press conference that day, the TBI said it was too early to say if foul play was involved. The area doesn’t have much cell phone coverage. They asked the community to turn over any trail cameras and to notify them of any potential hiding places. 

On June 17th, another press conference was held. During it they said everyone is of interest. Law enforcement called the circumstances around Summer’s disappearance “unclear.” According to WJHL, Donald said the dogs used to search for Summer only went to the road and then the trail ended. It made him think someone came in and snatched her.  

Press conferences were continually held. On the 26th, the TBI released they were looking for a truck seen driving near Summer’s house. It was described as a 1998-2000 Toyota Tacoma, maroon or red in coller. He had a full bed and white buckets were in the bed. Police stressed the driver wasn’t a suspect. 

The following day, searches were scaled back. Law enforcement had received over 500 tips, searched 3,000 acres. Candus then talked to the press, she said she felt her daughter was lured from the home. Donald added, “I knew she was abducted right away.”

Donald spoke to the Kingsport Times News in July. He told the paper, “Statistically speaking there’s a good chance she’s already dead. I hate to think that, I love her with all my heart. If nothing else, I’ll see her in resurrection.”

On July 26th, Summer’s brothers were removed from the household by Children Services. Donald didn’t share the reason. But remarked the house was “dangerous.” He said they’d received threats through social media. Candus, however, said the boys being removed was separate from her daughter’s disappearance.

There has been no sign of Summer. She is white, 3 feet, 40 pounds. She has short blonde hair and blue eyes. She was last seen wearing a pink shirt and gray shorts, no shoes.


Attacks in Portland:
Beginning in October 2020, women were being attacked in the West End area of Portland, Maine. On October 25th at 7 PM, law enforcement responded to a report of screams. It happened at 32 Thomas Street. 

When police arrived, they found a 34-year-old woman with facial injuries. The victim said she was walking on Thomas Street when she noticed a car following her. The car was a light-colored Toyota sedan. The driver opened the passenger window. He asked for directions and offered the woman a ride. She refused.

After she declined, the driver got out and punched her in the face several times. Those on the scene said it looked like the driver was trying to take the victim back to his car. Instead he drove away on Carroll Street. The woman was able to describe the man. He was black, in his 30’s. He was wearing a dark knit cap, seemed intoxicated and spoke with an accent. 

An hour after the attack, another call came in. This time a 37-year-old woman said a car was following her on Brackett Street. The man rolled down his window. She ignored him and took out her phone. He made a U-turn and drove toward the medical center. 

The woman described the car as a silver or gray Toyota Camry with Texas plates. She said the man was black, 30-40, and possibly bald.

Another attack occurred on May 5th 2021. A woman was on her phone walking on Gray Street. A person tapped her on the shoulder. When the woman turned, the man punched her. She fell to the ground. The man repeatedly punched her. Then he ran off in an unknown direction. 

This assailant was described as white. Somewhere between 5’5” and 6’ tall. He was wearing dark clothing and a ski mask and hood. Police said they didn’t think the attack was related to those last year. 

On June 8th, just a few blocks from the May assault, another woman was blitzed. At 10:25 PM the 24-year-old woman was near 250 Brackett Street. She was on her way home from work. A man ran behind her and hit her twice on the head with some sort of blunt object or club. 

A bystander stepped in. The attacker ran away on Carelton Street. He was described as white, 6’, and thin. He was wearing a grey hoodie and ball cap. Portland Police spokesperson David Singer said crimes like this are rare in the area. But encouraged residents “to always be aware of your surroundings and to stay in well-lit areas, and try to walk in groups when possible.”

Just last month, Portland Police again wanted the public’s help. They said a man was approaching women in a car in the West End. Again law enforcement advised the public to “take extra care to protect themselves. This includes being alert and monitoring your surroundings and staying in well-lit areas.”

Other women have reported a man watching them from a car. But no other known women have been approached or assaulted. No one has been arrested for the physical attacks.



ASSIGNMENT:
This week we went through several cases--an unsolved murder, three missing person cases and a series of possible related physical attacks in Portland, Maine. We want to remind you of these cases. 

On November 26th, 2020, 26-year-old Alexis Sharkey went to Thanksgiving with friends. When she returned to her Houston home the next day, her husband said they had a disagreement and he says she left the house. Her naked body was discovered in the bushes off of Red Haw--a service road. The area is near Katy Freeway and Eldridge Parkway. She had been strangled. Her killer has not been found. 

Michael Bryson disappeared from the Hobo Campgrounds in the Cottage Grove Area in Lane County, Oregon, in the early morning hours of August 5th, 2020. He had attended a rave at the campgrounds. Michael is white, 6 feet tall, 180 pounds. He has a nose ring and tattoos--a shaking hands in the shape of a heart with the words “stay strong, my brother” on his rib cage, o geometric bear on his arm, a lion on his left shin, and a geometric elephant on his right shin. He was last seen wearing a white t-shirt, black sweatshirt, black shorts and white crocs. 

25-year-old J.J. Day was last seen at 9:12 AM at Beyond/Hello in Bloomington on August 24th, 2021. He’s a graduate student at Illinois State University. His car was discovered two days later an hour from his apartment. He is a black man. 6’2”, 180 pounds. He has short black hair, brown eyes and some facial hair. 

Five year old Summer Wells was at home with her family on June 15th, 2021. She went downstairs to play with toys in the Beech Creek Community house in Hawkins County, Tennessee. Within minutes, she vanished. She hasn’t been seen since. She is 3 feet, 40 pounds. She has short blonde hair and blue eyes. She was wearing a pink shirt and gray shorts with no shoes. 

Three women were physically attacked in the last year in the West End of Portland, Maine. Other women have reported being watched or followed by a man in the car. 

If you have any information on these cases, please contact us.

CODE OF CONDUCT: 

1. Do not name names publicly. Send everything to the police or to this page and we will forward to the police. 
2. Do not post side by side photos.
3. Do not contact any family members. 
4. Do not doxx each other and be civil. We all want the same thing. 

As tips come in, Jensen and Holes will work to verify them. If they look good, we will publish them here to try and get us closer to their names.

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