‘No one missing in Ohio is ever forgotten’: Latest Butler County search highlights missing persons cases

Fairfield Township Police are looking for help in finding Michael McKenney, 29, who has been missing since May. SUBMITTED
Fairfield Township Police are looking for help in finding Michael McKenney, 29, who has been missing since May. SUBMITTED

In the days before Christmas, Fairfield Twp. police were searching a lake for a resident missing since May after receiving a tip.

The search of the water near the Linden Lake Apartments on Dec. 20 and 23 came up empty, but it showed the case of missing person Michael McKenney, 29, remains open. Hundreds are reported missing across the county every year, according to law enforcement officials, and police look for credible tips that can help bring closure to these cases.

McKenney, who is 5-foot-8 with two full sleeves of tattoos, was last seen on May 22, but his vehicle was found the next day at Hueston Woods State Park, which straddles Butler and Preble counties. Some personal items, including a cellphone, were found in his car.

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Fairfield Twp. Police Sgt. Brandon McCroskey said his department will follow every lead “so we can try to get some closure for the family.”

That goes for any missing persons case, authorities say.

“No one missing in Ohio is ever forgotten,” said Ohio Attorney General spokesman Steve Irwin.

There are nearly 1,500 missing persons cases across Ohio, including four dozen from Butler County. Many of those cases are listed on the AG’s missing persons database.

Most of those missing from around the state are runaway juveniles, Irwin said. Many runaways will return home on their own.

The most recent juvenile reported as a runaway is Aaliyah Autumn Renee Eady, a 14-year-old runaway from Liberty Twp. The 5-foot-4-inch Black girl was last seen in the township wearing black sweatpants, black Ugg boots and a white t-shirt. One of the older reported runaway cases is from 1987.

Hamilton police continue to look for information about Cynthia Louis Carmack, a Batavia, Ohio, resident been missing since she was 15. She was last seen on June 26, 1987, at a shopping center in the 1000 bock of Parkamo Avenue in Hamilton.

The oldest Butler County case on the AG’s missing persons list is Ronald Henry Tammen, Jr., who’s been missing since April 19, 1953. Tammen, a native of the Cleveland suburb of Maple Heights, was a 19-year-old Miami University student in Oxford when he went missing from his old Fisher Hall dorm room.

Tammen’s roommate returned to the dorm room later that evening and told police he found the radio playing on Tammen’s desk with a light on, a psychology book open and his personal belongings — including car keys and wallet — left behind.

The Attorney General’s Office does not track the recovery for all missing persons, but does track open-source juvenile information. Law enforcement reported in 2019 that 97.9 percent of all reported missing juveniles were returned safely by the end of the year, according to the AG’s office. Statewide, six children reported missing were found dead in 2019, according to open-source data, Irwin said.

The AG’s office also tracks information when the Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation needs assistance with identifying human remains. BCI assisted in identifying 31 cases of human remains through Project LINK (Linking Individuals Not Known) in 2019. Project LINK preserves DNA from family members of a missing person, or intimate items, to help in the identification of unidentified human remains.

“BCI is a partner to local law enforcement with the goal of bringing everyone home safely,” Irwin said. “BCI can assist with raising the profile of missing persons through social media posts and (its) website, coordinate tip information, issue endangered missing alerts for both children and adults, coordinate DNA submissions and comparisons through Project LINK, provide training, education, and outreach.”

In 2015, skeletal remains were found in a wooded area of West Chester Twp. The remains belonged to Darlene Wilson Norcross. West Chester Twp. police believed Norcross was in the West Chester Twp. area in late fall 2014.

Anyone with information about any missing person should contact the local police department investigating the respective case.

FACTS & FIGURES

  • 1,479: Current missing persons cases in Ohio in the Ohio Attorney General’s database
  • 48 and 8: Current missing persons cases in Butler and Warren counties, respectively, in the database
  • 97.9 percent: The percentage of missing juveniles who recovered safely by the end of 2019
  • 6: Number of Ohio children reported missing found deceased in 2019 (via open-source data)
  • 31: Number of human remains cases the Bureau of Criminal Investigation assisted through Project LINK in 2019

Source: Ohio Attorney General’s Office

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