Sunday, December 24, 2006

12/24/06 Home for the Holidays--Erin Pospisil

This is a letter written to Erin in 2003 by her stepmother, Carolyn:


Today is 1 year and 204 days since I saw you last. Tomorrow will be our 2nd Christmas without you. Every day is hard but the holidays, Christmas and New Year’s especially, seem to be the hardest. Got out the stockings this morning. Amber and I got into an argument because I won’t let her use yours. And somehow it is the only one that seems to have survived the move. Almost as if your Pooh was supposed to be our only stocking this year.

I am finding it even harder to do Christmas without you this year. Not that last year was easy. Last year we were just convinced that if you had run away that the holidays would definitely bring you home. I think that your persistence to uphold traditions is making memories harder to get away from this year.

The joy in your eyes from the first Christmas light display of the holiday season, the care you always took to look your “very best” on Christmas Eve at Grandma & Grandpa’s house. Watching you take what seemed like forever to pick out Christmas presents for your brothers and sister. Laughing while we tried to figure out “exactly what we messed up” on that batch of cookies. The look on your face when you and your brother dragged home the “bargain” Christmas tree from the lot up the street, because you said the house didn’t “smell right with a fake one”. Calling the lady at the flower shop to find out exactly what kind of a tale you guys told her to get a live 6 ft tree for $3 anyway. The joy in my heart when she told me what wonderful children I had. Finding out that you actually gave her $15 but you had bought a tree for the neighbors who didn’t have one at all. Knowing that their 50% off trees were $12. Imagine the look on that Mom’s face when her kids dragged the tree in their front door! Watching that really bad remake of the Rudolph cartoon “just one more time.” Knowing that you would be the last one to sleep on Christmas Eve. Trying to convince you that if you don’t go to sleep soon, Santa will never skip our house all together. The “But, Mom…” when I told you that 5 am is too early to wake up your brothers, even if there are presents to open. Telling you that you could have the contents of your stocking but only if you took it back to bed with you. Doing this all over again at 6 am. Taking you for a walk at 6:30 so that we could look for “reindeer tracks”. (And trying to buy another hour for your brothers.) Following a trail of pine needles in the snow up to First Avenue. Gee, wonder how those got there.

After Christmas Bargains. “Cause we can use it next year!” Even though I know we’ll look at it next year and try and figure out what we saw in it in the first place.Planning “Erin’s Huge New Year’s Eve”. No, you can’t have a 50-person guest list. No, the glitter confetti is out of the question. There is still glitter in the rug from 4 years ago. Going to 4 stores before we found exactly the right brand of sparkling grape juice. Going over cookbooks trying to find that “one recipe for those Chinese looking things you eat with your fingers.” Calling Grandma because we never can find the recipe. And because she knew what you were talking about right away!

I love you Erin. I want you to know that you are in my heart every day. Wherever you are, I send you my love. May the same angels that rejoiced at Jesus’ manger birth, protect you today. Praise God for giving us His Son. Praise God for giving me you.

Peace, Love, and Angels,


Erin Pospisil
DOB: Apr 14, 1986
Missing: Jun 3, 2001
Age Now: 20
Sex: Female
Race: White
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Brown
Height: 5'3" (160 cm)
Weight: 125 lbs (57 kg)

If you have information about Erin, please call the Cedar Rapids IA Police Department at 1-319-286-5491

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

12/19/06 Home for the Holidays--Jessie Foster

My daughter, Jessica Edith Louise Foster went missing in March 2006. Her sister Crystal talked to her on the 28th and when they ended their call, it was with 'talk to you tomorrow'. They were planning on going to Calgary, Alberta for their step-sister's wedding reception. We have never heard from Jessie since that call.

Jessie was home for Christmas last year. She came home from Las Vegas last November, visited us in Kamloops for a while then went to Calgary to visit her Dad-Dwight & stepmom-Tracy and all her friends. She made sure she was back by Dec. 8th for her younger sister, Katie's 19th birthday.

We had a very long visit with her, but we still did not expect it to end when it did. We had plans to go to Jessie's Grandpa Grant's house for Christmas dinner, so on Christmas Day, we got up, opened presents, and had a good morning. Then she surprised us all by saying she was leaving to go back to Las Vegas that day. None of us knew this was her plan, and we could not change her mind no matter what. So we all got in the SUV around noon, Jennee (Jessie's youngest sister), Katie, Crystal (Jessie's older sister), her stepdad-Jim and I - and drove her to the airport.

She turned around and waved goodbye, and we have never seen her beautiful face again. We did keep in touch with her until March 28th this year...and then she simply vanished off the face of the earth.

Our Christmas' when the girls were little were always quite unreal. We always had LOTS of gifts for them. Jessie was always the most excited of all the girls. She always wanted to be the first one in the living room to see the presents.

Jessie's dad and stepmom would have Jessie and Crystal out to Calgary for Christmas pretty well every other year. Tracy has 2 daughters Jodie (who just got married) & Alisha (mother of Jessie's only niece and 2 nephews), who are Jessie and Crystal's older step-sisters. I was never crazy about the Christmas' that Jessie and Crystal spent with their dad, as I loved to have all my kids with me, but that never stopped me from sending them. After all, he loves his girls just as much as I do.

I do not have 1 Christmas in mind that I would like to talk about, because Jessie loved Christmas...every year it was her favorite time of the year. I will always remember her excitement, she almost got her sisters more excited just from how she was feeling. Jessie loved all her presents. She got lots of toys and books when she was little and loved everything. She loved to give gifts too. As Jessie got older, she was always very excited about the gifts she got for her family and she was always so generous.

Jessie (far left) and her sisters before a Christmas Concert

My Mom & Dad (and now just my Dad, as my Mom passed away March 22, 1998) always had the Christmas dinners at their place, at least until my Mom started getting older, then we had the family Christmas dinners at our place. Now Dad has the dinners at his home each year. Last year, we were planning on going to Dad's for dinner, and at the last moment, Jessie told us she had to leave and go back to Las Vegas, and she never made it to our dinner. I never did like that she left on Christmas Day, and now that haunts me, as that is our anniversary of the last time we saw Jessie.

This Christmas will be a sad one for our family. For 2 reasons, it is the first Christmas we have ever had where we won't get to see or talk to Jessie, and because it is the last time we saw her. We were not going to have a Christmas, no tree, very few gifts, but my youngest daughter, Jennee wanted to have one, reminding me that Jessie would want us to. So the tree went up and the shopping started. Now we are having a Christmas. Not our usual one though.

My daughter Crystal lives in Edmonton, and she is not coming home for Christmas...she does not want to celebrate this year. My daughter Katie will be spending Christmas Eve and part of the Christmas Day with her boyfriend's family, then coming over for gift exchange. On Christmas morning, Jim and I are driving our daughter Jennee to Kelowna (about 2 hours away) to catch a plane to Edmonton to go visit Crystal until January 6th. Crystal is turning 24 on December 29th, so Jennee will also be there for that and New Years Eve & Day. We will then come home from Kelowna and go to Dad's for dinner. I have never not bought Jessie a Christmas gift, and this year I am not. I cannot bring myself to even get something small, but when her birthday came back in May, I bought her sisters each a necklace with the name JESSICA in writing.

Future Christmas' are something I have not thought about yet. As this will be hard enough to get through, and since my heart tells me we will someday get Jessie back alive, future Christmas' will then be bright and something we look forward to celebrating again.

Well, I am sure I should have written a book about Jessie and Christmas, but I this is my letter. I hope everyone will take note of Jessie's pictures and contact information, and maybe one day, someone will recognize her and call...then we will get her back. We want Jessie back, no matter what. Good or bad news, we need to know. Jessie is such a loved person, by so many people, especially her family.

Glendene, Jessie’s Mom

Website: and

Missing Since: March 29, 2006 from Las Vegas, Nevada
Classification: Endangered Missing
Date Of Birth: May 27, 1984
Age: 21
Height: 5'6"-5'7"
Weight: 110-130 lbs.
Hair Color: Blonde
Eye Color: Hazel
Race: White
Gender: Female

Distinguishing Characteristics: Pierced right eyebrow,several ear piercings, no known scars or tattoos, straight, white teeth.

Jewelry: Ring in the shape of a triangle full of littlediamonds, with matching earrings, and a three-diamondprincess-cut ring, sometimes wears a dainty nose ring.

Nickname: "Jessie"

Case Number: 06-9384

Investigating Agency:

If you have any information concerning this case, please contact the North Las Vegas Police Department, Det. Dave Molnar, at (702) 633-1779

Monday, December 18, 2006

12/18/06 Home for the Holidays--Angie Yarnell

It's Christmas, AGAIN! I remember so vividly when it so seeemed impossible for my daughter, Angie, to have been gone for 4 months. This will be our 4th year without our lovely Angie. You would think it would get easier but it does not for me. The first Christmas Angie had been gone only 2 months so I just knew that she would come home for the holidays. I thought that, at the very least, she would send a card. Well, really I knew she wouldn't because she couldn't. I wouldn't dare to say that aloud, so I allowed myself to think it.

Angie and I were always so excited about Christmas and she was a "card person", just like me. The first Christmas she was gone we bought her presents, wrapped them, and put them under the tree. A couple of weeks later, I carried them upstairs and put them in a closet. Soon after, I bought a big trunk and put them in it. Every year since, I've bought her a gift but just took them straight to the trunk. I've filled the trunk with gifts that I've bought throughout the years at various holidays. I also have 6 notebooks full of letters to her that I've written, and videos of various TV spots regarding her being missing...all in the "famous trunk".

I remember the Christmas of 1999 fondly. Angie was such a help to me that year. I had been diagnosed with throat cancer. I had just completed the long, aggressive radiation treatments shortly before the holidays that year. I was weak and pretty sick. Angie bought me a stained glass chicken lamp. It is sort of a nightlight. I have never turned it off. I've only had to replace about 3 or 4 bulbs in all these years. I find myself staring at it every single day, treasuring it as if it were crystal. That year she also made up an elaborate basket of herbal teas and flavored honeys, etc., as my throat was such a mess. I always bought her things for her house as that is what she liked. She and her husband never had a lot of money for household decorations. She always insisted on making most of the gifts she gave. She was quite artistic, and she never forgot the pets. Blossom, her beloved dog, always came with them. Blossom was the sweetest little girl!

Today, I hate everything about these holidays. I don't let on though. We still have my son, Eric, and his 8 year old daughter, Samantha. And we still have my husband's son, Tommy Jr. So, for little Samantha's sake, we have a nice Christmas. We are so blessed to have this little girl. She reminds me of Angie. I miss Angie so badly that I'm certain that there is a hole in my heart.

Marianne, Mother of Angie Yarnell

Name: Michelle Angela Yarnell
Classification: Endangered Missing Adult
Alias / Nickname: Angie
Date of Birth: 1975-05-20
Date Missing: 2003-10-25
From City/State: Ivy Bend, MO
Missing From (Country): USA
Age at Time of Disappearance: 28
Gender: Female
Race: White
Height: 60 inches
Weight: 170 pounds
Hair Color: Lt. Brown
Eye Color: Brown
Complexion: Light
Glasses/Contacts Description: Glasses with round gold wire frames or clear contacts.

Identifying Characteristics: Pierced tongue, pierced ears, tattoo of a jagged barb wire fence in black ink around right wrist, tattoo of a green "frog" on left shoulder blade, tattoo of the word "obey" written in black cryptic writing, small surgical scars on each side of her hip.

Jewelry: Possibly wearing a white gold or silver watch, white gold or silver bracelets worn on right wrist, emerald earrings.

Circumstances of Disappearance: Unknown. Michelle was last seen at her residence in the vicinity of the 3900 block of Ozark View Rd. in Ivy Bend, MO. All personal belongings were left behind.

Investigative Agency: Morgan County Sheriff's Office
Phone: (573) 378-5481
Investigative Case #: MCS03-1296

Sunday, December 17, 2006

12/17/06 Home for the Holidays

I invited families of the missing to share a slice of life at Christmastime without their missing loved one. I will post these stories as I receive them into early January. If there ends up being few stories, it is mostly because writing about this subject matter is extremely difficult. Many are trying their best to get through the holidays and they don’t want another reminder of their loss.

The inspiration for this series came from the song “Home for Christmas”, which has been popular with soldiers serving our country for decades. I observe that the media carries stories of these men and women who are away from home at the holidays. We remember them and are grateful for their service, but we also have an empty place at the table. We desperately need for our loved ones to be remembered, too, because it is often the awareness brought about by media attention that unlocks the mystery of their disappearance and brings them home.

That our missing loved one would be “Home for the Holidays” is our fondest dream. Stay with us as we share our dreams for a Christmas miracle. Christmas past, present, and future with those whom we love and miss unfold in these stories.

May you and yours have the most blessed of Christmasses.

Kelly Jolkowski
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