On my way to work, I caught a news story on the radio about an air and land search that was going to take place this morning in the Chautauqua Gorge-area for a missing Jamestown woman. The mass of law enforcement agency personnel had gathered for a briefing at a small airport I pass by on my way to work. Seeing this large, international group (some had come from Missisauga, Ontario) gave me an ill feeling. Most of the people I've talked to the past couple of weeks assume that Yolanda Bindic is dead.
A quick study of the case: 25 year-old Yolanda Bindics, a mother of four, went missing August 10th after leaving her place of employment at The Dollar Store. Her van was found in an Arby's parking lot down the street. The FBI is investigating and two people have been named "persons of interest" including Jamestown Police Officer Michael Watson and a former boyfriend and father of one of Yolanda's children, Clarence Carte. Officer Watson was placed on paid administrative leave while the investigation is taking place. Mr. Carte is considered a "fugitive of justice" as he is wanted in Florida for violation of probation on a robbery.
Obviously the locals have a lot of speculation about the case. Even Chautauqua Word editor Michael Salamone jumped into the fray in an August 19th post on his blog that wondered whether there was more to this story than what was being reported. Allusions were made in that post to a book, Ripe For The Picking, about the investigation and failed trial in the 1988 murder of Jamestown woman Kathy Wilson. I picked up this book after selling my chick lit for store credit at Barbara Berry's Bookshop yesterday.
I skimmed huge chunks of the book, mostly because it was information I had already read. Living in this area, it's an odd feeling to read a book that talks about people that I know and work with. I told Matt he should read it. I would consider saying that I have doubts about the information presented in the book, but you really can't dispute the simple questions the author raises about the investigation of Kathy Wilson's murder. The main question I would have is why law enforcement officials never compared the fingerprints found on the van Mrs. Wilson was last seen in to two men who could be considered suspects in the case. One of those men actually confessed to killing Mrs. Wilson, but according to investigation files police never followed up on that lead. Odd stuff.
So now we wait and see if the search that's to take place today just 8 miles from where I sit will reveal where Ms. Bindics has been these past 23 days.
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