3 . "UPDATE_Ongoing Time Consuming _Investigation "
Posted by LadyBug on Dec-16-99 at 02:41 AM (EST)
Hope endures for missing girl
But Mikelle Biggs' track is cold
Darien Biggs holds hope his daughter Mikelle will be found.
MESA, AZ. Hope endures for missing girl (The Arizona Republic ) Authorities have interviewed 500
psychics, tracked every known ice cream vendor in the state and dug through 35 mine shafts in the
CAN YOU HELP POLICE?
Dec. 14, 1999
Authorities have interviewed 500 psychics, tracked every known ice cream vendor in the state and
dug through 35 mine shafts in the Santan Mountains. Seven thousand leads. And Mesa police are still
no closer to an arrest in the Mikelle Biggs case than they were the day last year when the
12-year-old vanished from her neighborhood. On Monday, detectives spoke publicly about the case
for the first time. "There is no answer to this one yet," Sgt. Steve Stahl said. "There's no closure.
There's no body. And obviously, there's no suspect yet." But the two lead investigators and their
sergeant say they won't give up until all leads are exhausted. "I don't think we'll ever drop the case
until it's solved, but there may be a time where we scale back," Stahl said. Mikelle's Jan. 2
disappearance attracted worldwide attention and has since sent detectives chasing tips from
Pennsylvania to Mexico.
Despite sorting through more than 7,000 leads, Mesa detectives Butch Gates and Jerry Gissel and
Sgt. Steve Stahl (from left) have still not been able to solve the disappearance of Mikelle Biggs.
The two lead detectives on the case -- Butch Gates and Jerry Gissel -- have worked for weeks
straight, canceled their vacations and risked their lives for answers to the mystery: What happened
to Mikelle Biggs? Theories have run the gamut, from drug smugglers taking her to Mexico, to an ice
cream truck hitting her, to a sexual predator snatching her from the street. It has become an
obsession. "You just can't get it off your mind," Gissel said. "You see photos of her at the grocery
store and think about what else you can do. It just totally consumes you." "We'll feel like failures until
we solve this thing," Gates added.
Although Darien Biggs, Mikelle's father, said he has been at odds with police at times, he is thankful
they haven't given up.
"Of course, I expected the world," he said. "And that's almost what I've gotten. It seems like they'll
go to the ends of the Earth if they get a lead, no matter how hokey it sounds."
Mikelle disappeared shortly before 6 p.m. on Jan. 2 at Toltec Street and El Moro Avenue as she
waited for an ice-cream truck. She had been alone for only a few minutes.
Her little sister, Kimber, had gone home because she was cold, but Mikelle lingered, waiting for the ice
cream truck that no one else in the middle-class neighborhood reported hearing. Clutched in her hand
were two quarters her mother had given her.
Mikelle was last seen wearing bell-bottom jeans and a red shirt printed with the name of the school
where she was an honor student, Lindbergh Elementary.
Police found only Kimber's bicycle, which Mikelle had been riding, and the quarters she left behind.
Since the news broke, leads have flooded the Police Department. Two people have spend countless
hours prioritizing them and passing the most urgent ones along to the detectives, Stahl said.
Agencies across the Valley have helped in the investigation, and detectives throughout the Mesa
department have stepped in or picked up extra cases the lead detectives couldn't handle.
A "missing juvenile" report hangs onto glass outside Room 239, which detectives call the Mikelle Biggs
Room. Inside the cramped space sits a telephone, computer and thousands of pieces of paper. Maps
hang on the wall, binders are stacked around the room.
"Every lead was looked into or is still being looked into," Stahl said. "Each lead takes on its whole new
"Just when you think you've whittled it down to maybe five viable areas where you can send five
people . . . one of those leads mushrooms into an 80-person lead or something."
They've thought they've been close.
Shortly after the disappearance, police were monitoring Mikelle's personal Web page when a message
for Darien Biggs came over.
The author claimed he had Mikelle, and he would exchange her at a certain time and location. "The
man-hours devoted to that one lead were astronomical," Stahl said. "It was almost like the Delta
Force in scramble mode."
Investigators tracked the message to a Phoenix home, conducted airplane surveillance and sent out a
SWAT team. But the note was a prank sent by a 12-year-old boy.
Mikelle's family members say they've learned not to get too excited when a new lead comes in. "It's
happened a couple times," Tracy Biggs said. "They say, 'We think this one just might be it, but don't
get your hopes up.'
"I haven't let myself get my hopes up on any of it. . . . If I did, it would just be an up-and-down
Investigators have hypnotized people, used polygraph and voice-stress analyzers and even used FBI
profilers. They've contacted sex offenders known to hang out at a nearby park, which Mikelle passed
about an hour before she disappeared. Investigators have spent days trooping through unstable
caverns and mine shafts across the state, using sophisticated equipment to detect whether a body is
in the pitch-black pools.
Many of the leads are bogus -- those sent by revenge-seeking drug dealers trying to attract police
attention and psychics who have visions as vague as "a green car next to the light pole," Gates said.
"Although there's no closing lead, they've gone above and beyond everyone's expectations," said Kym
Pasqualini, director of the Nation's Missing Children's Organization.
Tracy Biggs said she misses the little things about her daughter -- reading Christmas stories every
night in December, playing 21 questions at the dinner table, getting an unexpected hug while washing
dishes. And although she tries to focus on the positive, "it gets frustrating, depressing."
"Sometimes I get so full of anger I want to put my fist through the wall," she said.
The hardest part, she said, is not knowing whether her little girl is dead or alive. "Whether she's
found alive or not, we just want to have her found," Biggs said.
"We need some closure just so we know. "But there's no way you can give up hoping that she's alive
Police urge anyone with information about the Biggs case to call (480) 644-2002.. In addition, there's
a $75,000 reward fund available to anyone who provides the key tip to the Silent Witness Program,
Christina Leonard can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (602) 444-7972.
4 . "Never Give Up Hope !"
Posted by LadyBug on Aug-18-00 at 03:12 AM (EST)
What happened to Mikelle. Is there an update? Is anyone from nearby Mesa, AZ vicinity?
5 . "Lady Bug"
Posted by pinky5 on Aug-18-00 at 06:11 AM (EST)
LAST EDITED ON Aug-18-00 AT 06:14 AM (EST)
I couldn't find any info on Mikelle(except for the missing person site), but the
Arizona Republic newspaper covers Mesa:
They have an archive but you must have a passport
which includes giving a cc# & past articles cost
$2; so I passed.
The Mesa police dept doesn't have any press release information on any thing:
6 . "Hopeful "
Posted by LadyBug on Aug-22-00 at 09:34 PM (EST)
Pinky5, I have sent a message to the Arizona Republic News requesting an update, and to the author
Christina Leonard of the Dec 14'99 article. She no longer works that department, my inquiry has been
forwarded on to the Mesa Police Dept. Keep all eyes on the following news site.
I recall another sketch of an aged person wanted for questioning (not person on these threads)who
had been seen in the Mesa area at the time and who also bore similar features (at a younger age ) in
the bay area, CA, also wanted years ago for questioning regarding disappearance (s). Does anyone
remember those sketches?
Those sketches were posted in another forum at the time Mikelle went missing but those posts and
images, in a wbmstr frenzied and heartless state of mind, were remove. In fact the entire missing
children site was removed which certainly didn't help the kids or their loved ones. :(
7 . "Police check whether Montanan linked with missing Mesa girl "
Posted by Ishtar93 on Feb-01-01 at 07:11 PM (EST)
Police check whether Montanan linked with missing Mesa girl
Feb. 01, 2001 07:30:00
Police say they are checking whether the mysterious disappearance of a Mesa girl might be linked
with a Montana man accused of butchering a boy and of feeding human flesh to neighbors.
Mikelle Biggs, 11, had been standing at a streetside curb a few doors from her home to await an ice
cream truck heard nearby when she vanished on Jan. 2, 1999.
Her sister had given up and had gone home. When Mikelle didn't show up, her bicycle was found in
the road along with the money her mother had given her for ice cream. Despite repeated and
extensive searches, Mikelle's whereabouts have remained unknown.
In Montana, Nathaniel Bar-Jonah, 43, of Great Falls was charged in December with kidnapping, killing
and butchering 10-year-old Zachary Ramsay, who vanished on Feb. 6, 1996. Montana authorities say
the boy's remains have never been found.
Bar-Jonah, who denied having killed the boy, also is accused of having fed stew, chili and burgers
containing human flesh to neighbors.
Police said they found bone fragments in Bar-Jonah's former garage that DNA tests show don't belong
to Ramsay but do belong to a child aged 8 to 13.
Bar-Jonah, who long has been in trouble for violence involving children, has been in jail since
December 1999, when he was arrested for impersonating a police officer in what police said was a
failed attempt to take a boy from school. He also is charged with having sexually assaulted three
boys, and he reportedly is charged with tampering with a witness and assault with a weapon for
allegedly having tried to hang a child.
Recently, about 20 Great Falls women received letters with a Phoenix postmark and signed with
Bar-Jonah's name speaking of wanting to eat the women.
"They were pretty shook up," Brent Light, the county attorney in Cascade County, Mont., told the
East Valley Tribune.
The letters bore the return address of Arizona state Sen. David Petersen, a Mesa Republican. They
were mailed on Jan. 18. In a report about the investigation, the Tribune said Petersen did not return
a call seeking comment.
Bar-Jonah was in jail at the time the letters were mailed. He apparently he was free when Biggs
"Was he in Arizona?" Mesa police detective Jose Martinez asked Wednesday. "Was he accounted for
on that date?"
Martinez said the FBI continues to help with the Biggs investigation.
Meanwhile, Royal Canadian Mounted Police were checking their missing children's records to see
whether any cases might have happened during times Bar-Jonah was in Alberta or Saskatchewan.
Authorities said they could place him crossing the border several times and that he apparently was in
those two cities during the mid-1990s.
Bar-Jonah's history of violence began in 1975, when he pleaded guilty to nearly choking an 8-year-old
boy to death in Webster, Mass. He received probation. Two years later, he pleaded guilty to
kidnapping and trying to kill two Shrewsbury, Mass., boys he abducted at a movie theater parking lot.
He spent nearly two years in prison before being transferred to a state mental hospital, where he
stayed for 11 years. Shortly after his release, he was arrested in Oxford, Mass., for assaulting a boy
sitting in a car outside a post office.
Under a plea agreement, Bar-Jonah received a suspended jail sentence in that case on condition he
move to Montana with his mother.
In late January, Mary Patrone, a Connecticut probation officer, told The Hartford Courant that
Bar-Jonah had abducted and assaulted her 26 years ago, when as a 9-year-old she was walking
home from a friend's home. She said she recognized Bar-Jonah from a recent newspaper photograph.
Connecticut state police were investigating whether the bone fragments found in the Bar-Jonah
garage might be linked with the disappearance of 7-year-old Janice Pockett in Tolland 27 years ago.
The alleged attack on Patrone occurred 10 months before and less than 20 miles away from where
8 . "gee...."
Posted by birgitta on Feb-01-01 at 07:50 PM (EST)
what kind of horror is this???
canīt say anything more,i just canīt understand this things going around......
9 . "You Will Find "
Posted by LadyBug on Feb-01-01 at 08:19 PM (EST)
...the 'Bar-Jonah Update' thread in 'True Crime' forum. He's a monster and drew the attention of
children with toys. Mikelle and her sister thought they heard the ice-cream truck ( the familiar tinkle
tune), that is why they went to wait on the corner for the ice cream truck. They waited..waited and
sister went on home.
Someone, IMO used that tune on a speaker system to attract kids. Ice cream companys were
contacted and they were NOT in that area that day, as I recall they were not on the streets that
day at all.
There is also updated posts in the Ramsay thread here. He has not been found. His body has not
Terrible that a child can't walk their dog, visit a park, walk to school or go to the corner for ice cream
without an armed adult...but it's a fact!
10 . "no link to Bar-Jonah"
Posted by LovelyPigeon on Feb-02-01 at 09:11 AM (EST)
Police rule out link between Montanan and missing Arizona girl
By Associated Press, 2/1/2001 21:00
MESA, Ariz. (AP) Police have determined there is no link between the mysterious disappearance of a
Mesa girl and a former Massachusetts man accused of butchering a boy and feeding his flesh to
Investigators were checking into the link that Nathaniel Bar-Jonah, 43, of Great Falls, Mont. may
have been involved in Mikelle Biggs' January 1999 disappearance. Twenty Great Falls women recently
received letters with a Phoenix postmark and signed with Bar-Jonah's name speaking of wanting to
eat the women.
Biggs, 11, had been standing at a streetside curb a few doors from her home to await an ice cream
truck heard nearby when she vanished on Jan. 2, 1999.
She never came home and her bicycle was later found in the road along with the money her mother
had given her for ice cream. Despite repeated and extensive searches, Biggs' whereabouts have
Mesa police detectives spoke with Montana authorities Thursday and determined Bar-Jonah was not
in Arizona when Biggs went missing, said Mesa police Detective Jose Martinez.
11 . "Return to Mikelle "
Posted by LadyBug on Feb-02-01 at 04:57 PM (EST)
Needed your update, thanks LovelyPigeon !
As far as I have been able to determine, Bar-Jonah, formerly David P. Brown, chose male victims.
He posed as police officer to attract them and also held sales in his garage with toys ( baseball
cards) that would attract kids.
The letters from Arizona either an attempt to draw attention to Mikelle Biggs investigation or another
I've often thought the sound the girls heard might have been a similar to ice cream vender, ORcould
it have been the sounds of a New Years Celebration whirling toy or horn?
The abduction of Mikelle may not have had anything to do with those sounds the girls heard. Those
sounds could have been a passing motorist or could have been a neighbor with the left over toy.
Is it common for Ice Cream venders travel neighborhoods on January 2 in Mesa, Arizona?
12 . "LadyBug"
Posted by Ashley on Feb-02-01 at 11:13 PM (EST)
I live in Chandler, Az. right next door to Mesa. Ice-cream vendors do sometimes travel in the winter.
We just had one come by tonite and the kids waited for at least 25 mins. before she finally got to our
Some of the kids take off on their scooters and bikes and try to find which street she is on. My son
knows that I won't let him go with them, and I hate to see that look in his eyes, but I CAN'T let him
go... because if I do I have a nervous breakdown until he gets back.
He understands.... but it is still hard. Kids should NOT have to live this way.
The police did check out the local vendors that day and they all said they weren't running that
I believe the girls heard something similar and it very well could have been coming from a car or even
someones house close by.
I do know that there is ONE man in Mikelles neighborhood who would not let police check his house.
Everyone else cooperated but him.
As far as I know a warrant was never issued and his house has never been checked.
13 . "Bar-Jona , Biggs, Massachusetts"
Posted by Sheree on Feb-04-01 at 05:43 PM (EST)
Bar-Jona is from my area. There are several cases that have been in the newspaper recently about
his abduction of young girls. There are at least 2 confirmed that I know of.
John and Magi Bish, parents of Molly Bish, missing 6/27/00 visited with the Biggs family in Arizona
right after Christmas. At least at that time their were no major new leads that the family mentioned.
That was however, before the Bar-Jona case broke into the news.