Category Archives: Cold Case

Charles Toliver

The case of Charles Toliver. Are police doing enough? Probably not. This is Tennessee:

CLINTON – It has been almost 10 years since Charles Lee Toliver – and nearly all of his belongings – disappeared.

Left behind is a trail of conflicting stories, a police report the family says is incorrect and a stack of mail returned to Toliver at an address that was not his from places his family says he never lived.

Toliver, 30, was flamboyant, hyperactive and a skilled spinner of tall tales, according to his family. His only income was a $512 per month disability check. His parents, Danny and Constance Toliver of Strawberry Plains, never learned what that disability was but suspect a mental or emotional illness, possibly bipolar disorder. He made choices that dismayed those who loved him. He had been in prison for theft.

“We never approved of some of the things Charlie did and said, but he was our son, and we loved him,” Constance Toliver said. “With Charlie, you never knew what was going to happen next. He was a roller-coaster ride you couldn’t get off of.”

The ride ended abruptly with his disappearance in February 2000.

“This has destroyed our family,” Danny Toliver said. “We don’t do Christmas anymore. We don’t do nothing. I’m at the point where I don’t even like to talk about it any more. The only thing that keeps me going is making myself believe he is still alive.”

When Charlie Toliver disappeared, his parents say, he was living with Edward J. McGimsey, then chief of the Anderson County Rescue Squad. Constance Toliver said that she accused McGimsey, face to face, of either harming her son or not telling all that he knows about the disappearance.

Today, McGimsey is 46, a retail store manager and a part-time News Sentinel employee. He initially agreed to a scheduled interview but later canceled.

“I discussed this with my family,” he said. “They feel that under the circumstances, and with the way the Toliver family has been towards me as far as their false allegations, that I should not do the interview.”

The Tolivers feel their son’s disappearance was not taken as seriously as it should have been.

“Maybe that was because Charlie was gay, or maybe because he had been in prison, or maybe both,” Constance Toliver said. “We’re just glad that a new detective has finally been assigned to the case.”

An ATM photo, a tattooed convict

Related document
A copy of the missing persons report on Charlie Toliver

About a month after Toliver vanished, someone used his ATM card in Calhoun, Ga., to withdraw exactly $300 from his SunTrust bank account, leaving another $200 untouched. His parents said they were shown a security camera picture of that transaction by the first detective assigned to the case. “The fellow using the card had his jacket pulled up over his head,” Constance Toliver said.

ACSD declined to release the photograph to the News Sentinel. The News Sentinel requested a copy of the missing persons report, which is a public record. Only one page of a two-page report was provided.

Before meeting McGimsey, Toliver had lived in Knoxville with Ernie Lee Luhellier, then 35. Also known as Tony Luhellier, he was a heavily tattooed convicted rapist whom Toliver met in prison. He was released in August 1996, and later he and Toliver borrowed $17,000 from real estate agent Selina Overstreet to buy a house together at 1815 E. Glenwood Knoxville.

Overstreet said Luhellier had a job and occasionally bought cars at auction and resold them, and that the pair got additional income by renting out a room in the Glenwood Avenue house.

Despite Toliver’s small income, he and Luhellier also bought two houses on a single lot directly across the street. “They had big ideas about fixing up houses and selling them or renting them,” Overstreet said, but nothing ever came of the plans.

Eventually, Luhellier moved into one of the houses across the street, where two women also appeared to be living. According to neighbors. McGimsey began regularly visiting Toliver at 1815 E. Glenwood. In 1999, Luhellier quitclaimed his interest in that house to Toliver, who sold it to McGimsey for $45,000.

By late 1999, Constance Toliver said, her son was living with McGimsey in Clinton.

On Jan. 5, 2000, when Charlie Toliver renewed his driver’s license, he gave his address as 1822 Glenwood Ave. – the house that Luhellier owned and had moved into months earlier after he left 1815 E. Glenwood.

On Feb, 6, 2000, Constance Toliver said, Luhellier called and claimed that McGimsey and her son had been in a fight. “He said there were holes in the wall, and I think he said there was blood,” she said. She and her husband drove to Clinton to check on their son and talk to McGimsey.

“There were no signs of a struggle, no blood, no holes in the wall,” Constance Toliver said. “But there was no sign of Charlie, either. None of his clothes or his things were there, except his dog. He would never have left his dog behind.”

When two weeks passed with no word from him, his parents filed a missing persons report. Constance Toliver said she and her husband were both distraught, and she was medicated, so it is possible that they made some incorrect statements or that the officer taking the report may not have understood everything they said.

The report states that Charlie Toliver had telephoned his father two days before the disappearance and said he was going to Atlanta. Constance Toliver says that her husband was out of town and had no cell phone.

The report lists her son’s address as 278 Taylor Lane, Clinton. Property records show McGimsey bought that land in 1999. Records in the State Fire Marshal’s Office show that a 1999 model Oakwood double-wide trailer owned by McGimsey at that address burned down in February 2001, from a fire of unknown origin.

Constance Toliver today is certain that her son’s Clinton address was 155 Laurel Hollow Road.

The News Sentinel was unable to resolve the discrepancy between her recollections and the address on the police report.

Photo by Adam Brimer

Mail addressed to Charlie Toliver showing return to sender notifications. After Toliver disappeared in 2000, his family received returned mail addressed to him at places they say he never lived.
About this series
Each month the News Sentinel is highlighting the nature of missing-persons cases as well as specific disappearances through the decades in the East Tennessee area.

According to the missing persons report, Danny Toliver stated that McGimsey had told him there had been an argument between McGimsey and Charlie Toliver “about (their) relationship … (Charlie) was upset over believing that Mr. McGimsey was seeing someone else” and wanted to stay with friends in Atlanta.

According to the report, Danny Toliver states that McGimsey told him he dropped off Charlie Toliver at the first rest stop inside Georgia, where the Atlanta friends were to meet him. Charlie Toliver was believed to have had about $200 cash on him, according to the report.

What happened to Charlie?

Today, the Tolivers say McGimsey told them their son had met a man on the Internet and wanted to meet him in Georgia. Charlie Toliver’s aunt, Mary Toliver, said McGimsey told her basically the same thing.

In an e-mail to Mary Toliver, McGimsey said: “I keep hoping every day that one of you will call me to tell me Charlie has called or come back, so we can all rest easier. I hope you believe me, Mary, when I say I didn’t, and wouldn’t, do anything to hurt Charlie. I hope he’s OK and I really wish he would hurry up and call somebody or get back. Regarding the prayer e-mail, I’m praying for him to be all right and to come back soon. You do the same, OK?”

About a month or two after the disappearance, Luhellier brought the Tolivers a stack of their son’s mail. Some was addressed to Charlie Toliver at Luhellier’s house address. Other envelopes were return mail, bearing yellow address-forwarding labels to places where he never lived, according to Constance Toliver.

Postal Service officials to whom the News Sentinel showed those envelopes said that in 2000, no such label would have been printed without someone filling out – and signing – a form. Those forms were kept on file for a couple of years and then destroyed.

Two of the addresses were in towns in Tennessee and Missouri where Luhellier is believed to have previously lived. One of those addresses, in Hayti, Mo., is also on Charlie Toliver’s bank statement.

The News Sentinel was unable to locate Luhellier. On Aug. 13, he was released from a Missouri prison after serving seven years for statutory sodomy and burglary. He was to return to Tennessee and register as a sex offender, but he has not registered here or anywhere, Missouri authorities say. They do not know his whereabouts and have asked U.S. Marshals to investigate further.

The Tolivers live in a dark limbo of uncertainty about their son’s fate. They feel confident that Kenny Bradley, a new detective recently assigned to the case, will press the investigation. But they also worry that too much time has passed for the case to be solved.

“Everything goes away with time. Lots of evidence could be lost by now,” Danny Toliver said.

Constance Toliver is plagued by unrelenting sadness, nightmares, sleepless nights – and a terrible fear of something even worse.

“I am afraid that we are going to die without knowing what happened to Charlie,” she said.

Anyone with any information about the case may call Detective Bradley at 865-457-6255.

Jim Balloch may be reached at 865-342-6315.

Vito Spano a adressé une conférence des Vicitms

L’ancien chef de la brigade des affaires non résolues de New York, Vito Spano a adressé une conférence  des Vicitms au Colorado hier. “Vous devez toujours être un militant», explique Spano: Je ne sais pas si c’est édifiant et déprimante. La dernière fois que j’ai rencontré des fonctionnaires de police pour le cas de Thérèse était il ya un an. Pierre Boisvenu est venu avec moi pour répondre à la SQ. Lors de la réunion était terminée Pierre m’a dit: «vous avez besoin de revenir chaque année” et mon cœur coulé.

Je peux vous dire que faire cela et maintiennent le fonctionnement normal, les relations stable est très difficile car elle encourage l’isolement et le cloisonnement. C’est différent pour Pierre. Son cas est allé à un procès, l’offender est incarcéré. Oui, dans 10 ans, il aura la commission des libérations conditionnelles à traiter, mais pour l’instant il obtient une grande satisfaction à aider les autres.

Ce n’est pas vrai avec cold-cases. Vous allez en arrière et en regardant ces faits anciens. Je regardais une photo de Louise Camirand, l’autre soir, il a ruiné ma soirée. Très difficile de garder veillée dans ces circonstances.

Je dois y aller, ma fille me demande de lire son livre,  Arche du Père Noël


The former head of New York City’s cold case squad, Vito Spano addressed a Vicitms conference in Colorado yesterday. “You should always be an activist” says Spano: I don’t know if that’s uplifting or depressing.  The last time I met with police officials for Theresa’s case was a year ago. Pierre Boisvenu came with me to meet the SQ. When the meeting was over Pierre said to me, “you need to come back every year” and my heart sunk.

I can tell you that doing this and maintaining normal, stable relationships is very difficult because it encourages isolation and compartmentalization. It’s different for Pierre. His case has gone to trial, the offender is incarcerated. Yes, in 10-years he will have the parole board to deal with, but for now he gets tremendous satisfaction from helping others.

That’s not true with cold-cases. You’re going back and looking at these old facts. I looked at a picture of Louise Camirand the other night; it ruined my evening. Very difficult to keep vigil under these circumstances.

Gotta go, my daughter wants me to read her Santa’s Ark. Here’s the article:

Cold-case expert urges victims’ families to be vocal advocates
N.Y. expert urges conference attendees to be vocal advocates
By Kirk Mitchell
The Denver Post

The former head of New York City’s cold-case squad urged families of murdered and missing loved ones to be vocal advocates of their families.

“You should always be the activist,” said Vito Spano, the former commander of the New York City cold-case unit. If they do so, the chances improve that their family member’s case will get a better look.

Spano spoke in Denver on Saturday at a conference of Families of Homicide Victims and Missing Persons attended by more than 300 members including those who flew in from Texas, Illinois and Tennessee.

Spano, who now works for the New York attorney general’s office, supervised investigations between 2001 and 2004 of dozens of killers, including mobsters brought to justice

Spano said family members can make suggestions to detectives in a diplomatic way about submitting evidence for specific tests using modern technology.

At the Saturday conference, family members of victims met with police, including cold-case detectives and Denver Police Chief Gerry Whitman, about specific cases in a session from which the media was excluded.

The Colorado victims group started with 11 members in 2001 and now has 750 members, spokeswoman Stefanie Clarke said.

Colorado State University officials also presented their findings Saturday of a study called “Forgotten Victims: What Cold Case Families Want from Law Enforcement.”

CSU researchers looked at the experiences of 36 family members of victims of homicide from 10 different parts of the state.

In Colorado, the number of unsolved homicides since 1970 has grown to 1,487 and continues to rise as the rate of cases solved has dropped from 91 percent in 1963 to 61 percent in 2007. A homicide becomes a cold case by definition in Colorado after it is unsolved one year after the murder.

Prabha Unnithan, director of the Center for the Study of Crime and Justice, said it used to be that most homicides were committed by people close to the victim, such as a spouse, a business partner or a friend. After committing murder, many of them would confess. Now the connections between killer and victim are less concrete, and difficult to establish, he said.

Former CSU Professor Paul Stretesky, who led the nine-month study, said communication with family members of victims can improve the chances that a case will be solved.

Victims often believed police stopped investigating because of limited resources and many believed their race and age and criminal background affected aggressiveness of officers in solving the cases.

In numerous cases detectives or prosecutors told victims they knew who killed their loved one but couldn’t prove it.


Rattled Baby, Over You…

I’ve been shaken up for about 24-hours by this picture:

This is a picture of Brianna Maitland’s car – how it was found, backed into an old abandoned house in Vermont back in March, 2004. Brianna hasn’t been seen since.

Here is a picture of Brianna:

What got me thinking of Brianna is I got an email from a relative of Maura Murray. Maura’s been missing from New Hampshire since February 2004. Every few months, me and this relative write to help each other, keep each other updated with how things are going.

Here is a picture of Maura:

Now here is a listing of all the people who have gone missing from Vermont and New Hampshire over the past 25 years:

1. Rachel Garden, missing from Newton NH, southeast of Manchester, March 22, 1980.

2. Russell Bovit, missing from Last Resort Farm in Walden VT , May 11, 1986

3. Sonya Moore, missing from Penacook, NH, November 2, 1989

4. Cheree Hawkens, last seen at Burlington Airport, Burlington VT, January 18, 1990

5. Heidi Dawn Wilbur, last seen at a convenience store in Middletown Springs VT, February 9, 1991

6. Audrey Groat, last seen at the Park and Ride in Northfield VT, August 21, 1993

7. Bethany and Tina Sinclair, missing from West Chesterfield NH, February 4, 2001

8. Hang Thi Phuong Nguyen, missing from Manchester NH, March 16, 2001

9. Lorne Richard Boulet Jr., last seen on Perry Brook Road in Chichester NH, July 29, 2001

10. Karen Shirley Dube, missing from Ware NH, Sept.1, 2001

11. Courtney King, missing from Pelham NH, January 9, 2004

12. Timothy James Young, last seen on Daniels Pond Road in West Glover VT, January 20, 2004

13. Maura Murray, last seen on Rt 112 in Haverhill NH, February 9, 2004

14. Brianna Maitland, last seen at Black Lantern Inn, Montgomery VT, March 19, 2004

 15. (Removed)

16. Jessica Ann Capille, missing from Bethlehem NH, December 8, 2004

And here is a map with indexes of where they disappeared from:

And this is a list of all the unsolved murders in Vermont and New Hampshire in the last 35 years:

1. Joanne Dunham, Charlestown NH, October 1968

2. Jane Doe, Bedford NH, October 6, 1971

3. Daniel O’Connell, Loudon NH, October 30, 1971

4. Kathy Gloddy, Franklin NH, November 22, 1971

5. Paul Olsen, Madison NH, March 24, 1973

6. James Teta, Rindge NH, August 25, 1973

7. Anne Psardelis/Diane Compagna, Raymond NH, September 29, 1973

8. Domingo Valdes, Pelham NH, June 14, 1974

9. Maurice and Ellen Wilkinson, Center Ossipee, August, 16, 1974

10. David Longfellow, Manchester NH, November 24, 1974

11. James O’Brien, New Boston NH, April 12, 1975

12. Judy Lord, Concord NH, May 20, 1975

13. Madlyn Crouse, Nashua NH, February 27, 1976

14. James Sullivan, Gilmanton NH, February 21, 1977

15. Casmiro Jablonski, Newmarket NH, July 6, 1977

16. Joan Gray Rogers, Hardwick VT, July 15, 1977

17. Shari Lynn Roth, Livermore NH, August 21, 1977

18. Jaclynne Snyder, Lee NH, September 4, 1977

19. Pauline Miller/ Ray Blanchette, Manchester NH, October 24, 1978

20. Cathy Millican, New London NH, October 24, 1978

21. Kenneth Jache, Weare NH, October 14, 1979

22. Mary Elizabeth Critchley, Unity NH, August 9, 1981

23. Yvonne Fine, Concord NH, September 7, 1981

24. Laura Kempton, Portsmouth NH, September 28, 1981

25. Mary Harrison, Winchester NH, October 30, 1981

26. Sylvia Gray, Plainfield NH, May 28, 1982

27. Pamela Brown, Barre VT, July 17, 1982

28. Tammy Little, Portsmouth NH, October 16, 1982

29. Bearnice Courtemanche, Kellyville NH, May 30, 1984

30. Ellen Fried, Kellyville NH, July 20, 1984

31. Eva Morse, Unity NH, July 10, 1985

32. Lynda Moore, Saxtons River VT, April 15, 1986

33. Sarah Hunter, Pawlet VT, July 1986

34. Heidi Martin, Hartland VT, May 1, 1984

35. Steven Hill, Hartland VT/Plainfield NH, (In CT River)July 1986

36. Barbara Agnew, Hartland VT, January 10, 1987

37. Lynn Snyder, Rollinsford NH, April 18, 1987

38. Judith Whitney, Winchester NH, November 8, 1987

39. Patricia Scoville, Stowe VT, 1988 (An arrest was made)

40. Sharon Johnson, Bedford NH, July 28, 1988

41. Pamela Webb, Franconia NH, July 18, 1989

42. Craig Lane, Peterborough NH, January 8, 1989

43. Carrie Moss, New Boston NH, April 24, 1991

44. Stella Bolton, Portsmouth NH, February 16, 1991

45. Rita Roy, Manchester NH, May 20, 1991

46. Theresa Reed, Plymouth NH, September 6, 1991

47. Lisa Begin Wright, Laconia NH, December 18, 1991

48. Cheryl Peters, Morrisville VT, August 9, 1993

49. Angela Ann Blouin, Derby VT, May 30, 1993

50. Mindy West, Manchester NH, October 4, 1998

51. Mary Morales, Vernon VT, March 3, 1999

52. Louise Chaput, Pinkham Notch NH, November 15, 2001

53. Amie Lynn Riley, Manchester NH, August 15, 2003

54. Christina Lunceford, Nashua NH, August 1, 2004

And here is a map where they were found:

Now what if some of these missing persons and unsolved murders were related to unsolved cases in Quebec?