Thursday, January 18, 2018

Murder of Kimberlee Graves, Police Seeking Clues

Unsolved Murder of Kimberlee Graves
Kimberlee Graves 

January 9, 2018, the murder of 41-year old Kimberlee Graves has police asking the public for help.

Read more here: 

Murder of Kimberlee Graves





Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Opioids in the Workplace, Is Your Employee a Drug Trafficker?

Addiction to Opioids

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sales of prescription opioids quadrupled during 1999 to 2014. Referred to as an opioid crisis in America, it seems we all know someone battling an addiction to prescription medications.

Opioids include prescription pills (including Vicodin, Oxycontin, and Percocet), as well as heroin and fentanyl, a drug that can be injected, taken as a lozenge or through a skin patch.

Nationwide 1 in 4 people who are prescribed opioids will struggle with addiction. The depth of the problem is highlighted in a disturbing CDC post, “Almost all prescription drugs involved in overdoses come from prescriptions originally; very few come from pharmacy theft. However, once they are prescribed and dispensed, prescription drugs are frequently diverted to people using them without prescriptions. More than three out of four people who misuse prescription painkillers use drugs prescribed to someone else.

In addition to the personal toll to the addicts and the American family touched by opioid abuse, the CDC also estimates that the total "economic burden" of prescription opioid misuse alone in the United States is $78.5 billion a year, including the costs of healthcare, loss of productivity, absenteeism, increased injuries, addiction treatment, theft, criminal justice involvement, and legal liabilities.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) estimates 68.9 of all drug users are employed.

The Drug Enforcement Agency estimates employed persons who misuse opioids account for 64.5% of medically related absenteeism and 90.1% of disability costs.

The use of opioids in the workplace is a growing battle for American business. According to a National Safety Council (NCS) survey, 57 percent of employers perform drug tests. However, more than 40 percent do not test for synthetic opioids like oxycodone, one of the most abused narcotics on the market making accurate national statistics unreliable.


An NCS survey also found 29 percent of employers reported impaired job performance due to use of painkillers, with 15 percent citing injuries due to drug use. Up to 70 percent of employers said their workforce has been negatively affected in one way or another.


The Impact of Drugs in the Workplace

Use of drugs impairs decision making and causes physical impairment, a deadly condition when at work. It causes an overall decline in employee morale, an unsafe working environment and increases employer liability.

It is estimated at least one of six employees use drugs at work and the toll on the workplace costly:
·         Addicts are 1/3 less productive as their counterparts
·         Five more times likely to cause accidents
·         Are absent up to 20 times more often
·         Five times more likely to request worker’s compensation
·         Contribute to 40 percent of all industrial work fatalities
·         Health care costs for addicts is three times higher than other employees
·         Admitted to selling drugs to coworkers
·         Admitted to stealing from employers and coworkers

It is estimated 70 percent of 14.8 million Americans who use illegal drugs are employed. It is safe to assume if you have drug abusers on the job, you probably also have drug dealers operating within your company.

As a drug dependency increases, it is common for addicts to buy drugs from friends or coworkers and even steal from their companies, co-workers, and clients.  

Experts have also found the number of heroin addicts have increased and common for an opioid user to transition to using heroin when they begin running out of pills and money. Heroin is significantly cheaper than opiates and can be easier to obtain. Heroin laced with fentanyl is becoming increasingly popular because it can be 50 times stronger than heroin.

The drug dealer of today is no longer the shady guy driving a pimped-out Cadillac, meeting his clients in a dark alley or badly lit street corner. Dealing drugs to coworkers are preferred over standing on the corner selling to strangers and for a drug trafficker, less risky.

At work, a dealer has a clientele that has a job and can afford the drugs, and someone they can establish trust with while selling under the radar of management in the restroom, parking lot, lunch-room or cubicle.

Oftentimes workplace dealers will sell drugs on credit or a “front” according to the book Undercover Investigations in the Workplace by Eugene Ferraro. Drugs are sold to an employee with the agreement of paying later, usually on payday. Co-workers make the perfect client for a drug dealer and quite a lucrative business, with one Oxycontin pill demanding up to $50-$80 per pill on the street according to a CNN Money article Prescription Drugs Worth Millions to Dealers.

According to Ferraro, “We have caught employees-dealers (earning less than $10 an hour from their employer) who never carried less than $10,000 cash to work.”
Paydays are usually the biggest days for drug trafficking activity. However, to pay for drugs, addicts often turn to their employers to fund their habits.

With addicts in the workplace, there is a higher incidence of theft of equipment, tools, products and part inventories where drug trafficking and abuse is occurring. Aside from being at increased risk, both abusers and drug dealers are more likely to become involved in additional criminal behavior, stealing from their employers and fellow employees. 


What are the signs of drug trafficking and abuse in the workplace?

Are they driving an expensive car that is far beyond the means of what they make working? Flaunting money? Are your employees leaving without notice to meet clients? High turnover and absenteeism or meeting in the bathroom or parking lot? What may appear on the surface look like comradery, could be the sign of something more.

41-year old Robert Avery worked as the Parental Involvement Director at a Gadsen, Ala., Head Start program. Instead of offering educational and health services to low-income children, Avery was arrested for selling the prescription drug “roxycontin” to undercover agents from the program facility.

Even police departments are not immune. November 20, 2017, Jellico Police Department Dispatcher and Fireman Robert Rookard, was arrested in “Operation Thanksgiving Harvest” for selling drugs at work.
Robert Rookard arrested for drug trafficking at work.

In August 2017, more than a dozen Atlanta USPS workers were rounded up for running an illegal drug distribution operation. Sixteen employees working at post offices across Metro Atlanta were arrested for accepting bribes in exchange for delivering kilogram packages of cocaine.

When the FBI received a tip that drug dealers were running packages of drugs through the mail system, they began an 18-month sting putting a fake drug dealer on the street to see how many postal workers they could get to sign up. In a bribery agreement, workers agreed to provide special addresses to the drug trafficker, intercepting and delivering the packages to the dealer, who just happened to be working with law enforcement. The number of postal workers who agreed to participate astounding.

While some companies may assume there is no liability for the actions of an employee, one company is feeling the devastating effects.

October 13, 2017, Chicago Tribune article “Oak Park appeals board upholds pantry's closure after employee accused of selling heroinit was reported The Village of Oak Park in Chicago, closed the Austin Food Pantry after 55-year old store manager Edgar Lucas was arrested on 17 counts of heroin sales and possession at the establishment. Charges include 5 counts unlawful delivery of a controlled substance determined to be heroin. In the aftermath, the city revoked their business license. 

In an appeal, the store owners stated they had no knowledge of the employee’s drug activities and appealed the decision, but Village of Oak Park trustees upheld the decision to permanently close the business. In a written ruling, trustee Cara Pavlick said Austin Pantry owners were "negligent, reckless and careless at a minimum in allowing their business to be operated as a place for the sale of illegal narcotics on numerous dates." 

Austin Pantry closed permanently for drug trafficking arrest of an employee.
Drug use and trafficking are often difficult to spot and many times even harder to prove. However, every employer and Human Resources department has a responsibility to ensure a safe environment for all employees, immediately addressing any infraction or suspicion to reduce liability within the workplace and protect your company.


Private Investigators – A Weapon in Battle to Reduce Illegal Drug Use
An internal investigation sometimes involves drug-testing – some use dogs – and some use undercover operatives. Wall Street and other large corporations began using private investigations long ago and the demand ever increasing.

General Motors reported that substance abuse by some of its 472,000 employees and their dependents cost the company $600 million in 1987. To combat the problem GM instituted undercover operations at 10 mid-western plants and at that time said it would not hesitate to use such investigations in the future. That was then, and drug use in the workplace has only increased.

While employers are encouraged to practice a covenant of good faith and dealing with all employees, protecting the workplace should be the primary goal, and many times requires professional private investigators who will work along with law enforcement to ferret out drug use and other illegal activity.

Conducting a private investigation not only reflects your company is being proactive, careful documentation can help achieve a conviction and reduce liability.

Thomas Lauth, owner of Lauth Investigations International specializes in undercover investigations for both blue-collar and white-collar companies. Having spent over 20 years in the field as a private detective, he believes diligence is key to combatting workplace crime. “One can never be too careful or diligent when protecting their company. When working with clients, we tailor our investigation to the needs of the client.”

When hired by a client, Lauth’s investigative team provides an assessment and tailors the investigation to the needs of the client company. Working with human resources, the business is profiled to determine the best course of action.

The most effective way to detect drug trafficking and abuse in the workplace is to conduct a covert investigation planting an investigator within the company. Typically, the investigator goes through the hiring process like any other employee, informing minimal staff, allowing the undercover private investigator to protect their identity and integrity of the investigation.
From there the investigator fits in with employees, developing friendships to gain information about drug activity. In Lauth’s experience, “Many times, our investigators uncover additional illegal activities, resulting from the initial investigation,” says Lauth.

Periodic background checks can also assist companies in identifying employees who are high risk for illegal activity. “At Lauth Investigations we recommend conducting background checks of all employees, not just newer employees but those who have worked for the company even 5-10 years. Much can change after the hiring of an individual," Lauth says.

For those who may be concerned office morale may be damaged, Lauth points out a background check can be conducted legally without the employee’s knowledge. 

“Background checks can reveal drug offenses, fraud, theft and other criminal activity that is on the record with a police department or court and one of the most important steps a company can take to protect their company.”

For more information contact Thomas Lauth, Lauth Investigations 317-951-1100.
Written by Lauth Investigations Feature Writer Kym Pasqualini.










Thursday, December 28, 2017

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Amazon Gift Cards Supports Crime Victims

You can now support MissingLeads.com by purchasing Amazon Gift cards through our partnership with Amazon. 

Your help is greatly appreciated.

Every gift you give, helps us give a voice to victims of unsolved homicide and missing persons. Please consider helping today by visiting the link below, then clicking on the Amazon link!



https://www.missingleads.com/partner-in-crime

Friday, December 1, 2017

The Collector, a Serial Killer and Beauty Queens

In our new article, we revisit the 1983 disappearance of "Scarface" and "Spring Break" actress Tammy Lynn Leppert and the many others the "Beauty Queen Killer" preyed upon.

Visit www.missingleads.com/blog/ to read the full article.


Monday, November 27, 2017

Upcoming Article - The Collector, a Serial Killer and Beauty Queens


“The Collector, A Serial Killer, and Beauty Queens,” is my upcoming article about the 1983 disappearance of Tammy Lynn Leppert, a beauty queen, model, and actress in the movie Scarface.
In the article, I revisit the events that led up to the day Tammy vanished and her possible connection to serial killer Christopher Wilder, dubbed the Beauty Queen Killer.
After weeks of researching books, police reports, archived articles, documentaries, and extensive map research, I am finally done!
Tammy is not forgotten!
Make sure to read this upcoming article and others on www.missingleads.com

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Help Find a Dangerous Fugitive Wanted by US Marshals


You can help us find a dangerous fugitive. 

Find out why this former police officer Daniel Heirs is wanted by the US Marshals by visiting our website at www.missingleads.com

#findfugitives #missingleads #truecrime

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Become Our Partner in Crime


In partnership with "true crime" authors, we tell the stories of unsolved homicides, long-term missing persons, and aid in the search for America's most dangerous fugitives. We are looking for Partners in Crime so please visit our website at www.missingleads.com.

We are looking for feedback on the new website so please visit our site and leave us a note about what you think.


Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Missing Women, Humboldt Mystery


Somewhere in the beautiful and foggy forests of northern California lie the answers to the disappearances of many women in Humboldt County. Click here for more.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

I Am Back!



In October 2014, I was in the hospital after a left hemispheric brain stroke. I was learning how to use my right arm and hand again. I was barely walking. In these years following, I have struggled cognitively and often wondered if I would ever write again. I worried I could never return to crime victim advocacy which is where my heart has been for over twenty years. The good news is I have faced the battle head on and won! My work is not done!




#StrokeWarrior 
#TrueCrime
#MissingLeads

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

A sister's mission - Justice for Mikelle Biggs

Mikelle Biggs
Missing January 2, 1999
It has been 17-years since 11-year old Mikelle Biggs vanished from her Mesa neighborhood on January 2, 1999. Her disappearance sparked the largest search for a missing child in Arizona's history.

Mikelle would have turned 29-years old today. The day Mikelle vanished, her younger sister Kimber, now 26-years old, had been outside walking the family dog while Mikelle had been riding Kimber's bicycle. The girls had been waiting for the ice-cream truck and Kimber recalls becoming cold and going inside her home for only a few minutes.

In in interview on March 31, 2016 with Angela Schuster of Cronkite News, Kimber recalls the moment she discovered her sister was gone, "It's almost like a Twilight Zone kind of thing. It was gray and foggy, and all I saw was my bike in road."

Mikelle's disappearance has weighed heavy on Kimber's heart. Growing up, Kimber was trying to cope with Mikelle's disappearance and the impact it had on her family that no words can adequately describe.

While experiencing fear that is common to someone with a missing family member, Kimber was also plagued with guilt thinking it had been her fault her sister had been abducted - fellow students at her school had not made coping any easier, even asking Kimber why she had left her sister alone.

Reassurance Mikelle's disappearance was not her fault that she received from her parents Darien and Tracy Biggs had not really been understood by Kimber until years later.

The trauma and "suspended grief" associated with the disappearance of a loved one is not often understood. According to professor emeritus at the University of Minnesota, Dr. Pauline Boss, when a loved one is missing, the ambiguity is one of the worst traumas a family member can experience. "People suffering this kind of loss often blame themselves," says Dr. Boss. The majority of her work is to remind the family members that the situation is not their fault. Dr. Boss is also the author of Loss, Trauma and Resilience.

Mikelle with sister Kimber Biggs.
When Mikelle went missing, Kimber became the oldest child of her younger brother Nathan and little sister Lynelle While there is a an empty space in the Biggs family, Kimber takes her role as big sister very seriously, spending time with her younger siblings, as she knows the pain of losing her own big sister.

Even though it has taken years to process the trauma associated with the loss of her older sister, Kimber has grown into a remarkable young woman who now has a child of her own. She has also mustered every ounce of courage and strength, becoming the primary  - and very outspoken advocate for her sister, creating Justice for Mikelle Biggs and publicly speaking in news interviews to gain answers. Even Phoenix Police Department's Missing and Unidentified Unit and Arizona Missing and Unidentified Persons created by Det. Stuart Somershoe, reached out to Kimber to help with the first Arizona Missing Person's Day held October 24, 2015, at Arizona State University's West Campus.

Having known Kimber since she was a little girl, she is a young woman who epitomizes the word "strength" and needs the continued support of the community.

"Society is really rough on the families of the missing. They don't understand quite what to do, and unfortunately what people tend to do therefor is stay away, says Dr. Boss. "Please don't stay away from these families."

The greatest source of strength comes from the heart but also from an external support network. One of the greatest birthday gifts Mikelle could receive is the continued support of her little sister Kimber in her effort to find answers to ensure the Bigg's family receive the justice they are so deserved.

We can support Kimber's effort by sharing the Facebook site Justice for Mikelle Biggs 

Anyone who has information about the disappearance of Mikelle Biggs is asked to call Mesa Police Department at 480-644-2211 or the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST.

Justice or Mikelle Biggs Facebook link: (https://www.facebook.com/mikellebiggs/?fref=ts)









Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Please say their names . . .

I read 'Please Say Their Names' today on the Streeter Family Blog . . .


Please Say Their Names
Stacy McCall, Suzie Streeter and Sherrill Levitt

The time of concern is over. No longer are we asked how we are doing. Never are the names of our loved one mentioned to us. A curtain descends. The moment has passed. Lives slip from frequent recall. There are exceptions: close and compassionate friends, sensitive and loving family. Still look. Still ask. Still listen. Thank God for them. For most, the drama is over. The spotlight is off. Applause is silent. But for us the play will never end. The effects on us are timeless. What can be said, you ask? Please say “their names” to us.

Love does not die.

Their names are written on our lives. The sound of their voices replay within our minds. You may feel they are dead. We feel they are of the dead and still they live. They ghost-walk our souls, beckoning in future welcome. You say, “They were our loved one”; we say, ” They are”. Please say “their names” to us and say “their names” again.

It hurts to bury their memory in silence. What they were in flesh is no longer with us. What they are in spirit stirs within us always. They were of our past but they are part of our now. They are our hope for the future. Please understand we cannot forget. We would not if we could. We know that you cannot know, yesterday we were like you. Understand that we dwell in both flesh and spirit. We do not ask you to walk this road. The ascent is steep and the burden heavy. We walk it not by choice. We would rather walk it with them in the flesh, looking not to spirit worlds beyond. We are what we have to be. What we have lost, you cannot feel. What we have gained you may not see. Please say “their names” for they are alive.

We will meet them again, although in many ways we’ve never parted. Their spirits play light songs, appear in sunrises and sunsets. They are real and shadow, they were and they are. Please say “their names” to us and say “their names” again. They are our loved one and we love them as we always did. More each day.

PLEASE, SAY THEIR NAMES

~ Author Unknown

There are just no words but I do know know how important it is to their families they are not forgotten. Sending much love and HOPE to the families of Stacy McCall, Suzie Streeter and her mother Sherrill Levitt (Springfield Three) who vanished June 7, 1992 from Springfield, MO. Someone knows . . . this is a reminder to them that it is not too late to come forward and the only 'right' thing to do.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Advocate Flashback with USA Network (The 4400 Show)


Flashback to about 2005. USA Network and the show '4400' PSA in partnership with my former agency Nation's Missing Children Organization & National Center for Missing Adults. A personal reminder that I was born to advocate BIGTIME!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Olivia Newton John's missing boyfriend reportedly found alive! Tell me what you think.

Good news? Finding someone alive always is the "best news" but there are other things we should also take into consideration with this particular kind of missing person case.

missing person caseA decade ago, I handled the missing person case of Patrick McDermott, Olivia Newton John's boyfriend. Daily Mail and MSN.com reports McDermott is reportedly alive and well living in Mexico. Hearing the new, I am sure it was nothing short of a miracle for his family and friends.

Originally reported on Dateline in 2010, the source appears very credible. Texas private investigator Philip Klein wrote a book in 2012 that detailed his investigation, Lost at Sea: The Hunt for Patrick McDermott. where he details his communications with McDermott and McDermott's legal counsel.

I have always waited until absolute confirmation from the FBI or investigating law enforcement agency before making comment. However, if it is true that he is in fact safe and sound and has requested his privacy, I do have something to say about that! 

Most might think that someone intentionally going missing for such a long period of time might be common, it is not. While I am grateful to hear such good news, I also have a problem. First, a case like this lessens the urgency and public concern for other missing person cases that "depend" upon ongoing dissemination of information. An individual selfishly vanishing without notifying friends and family only perpetuates the assumption that everyone that goes missing has left on their own, and n"no worries" because they are safe and sound. 

His family, his child, and his friends have suffered nearly eleven years of trauma "not knowing" if he was alive or deceased, reportedly even wondering if he committed suicide. In addition, immediately following his supposed fall overboard, law enforcement and the Coast Guard dedicated an enormous amount of investigative resources and search efforts . . .even my former agency provided assistance. We averaged 100 calls per day from law enforcement and families reporting new missing person cases throughout the country.

If Patrick McDermott is indeed okay, then welcome home buddy but in my opinion, you owe many a sincere apology because the resources that were expended on the search for you (while you were drinking Margaritas in Mexico), could have been used for someone who really needed help. One more thing . . . you should be required to fully refund the Coast Guard and investigating law enforcement agency. Just my opinion.

I would love to know your opinion. Do you think Patrick McDermott should "man up" and publicly apologize? Reimburse the extensive search and rescue efforts? Or both?

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Someone Knows - The murder of Gabrielle Di Stefano

On August 15, 1982, 14-year-old Gabrielle Di Stefano had vanished but she was not reported missing to law enforcement until August 25th.

On September 15, 1982, a badly decomposed body was found in an open field in the area of 2000 North 600 West in Harrisville, UT. The area had been under construction at that time and the body was identified as Gabrielle. She was located in a trench, wrapped in yellow plastic. Her death was caused by a gunshot to the head.

Law Enforcement Contact: Weber County (UT) Sheriff's Office (801) 778-6999.

It is never too late to exercise your moral duty.