Author Archive | Yogini

Birthday Vigil for Lilly Aramburo


Sunday, November 16th would have been Lilly Aramburo’s 25th birthday. More than 16 months have passed since her family and friends last saw Lilly’s sweet smile or listened to her kind words. Her absence is felt every day by many who knew and loved her.

Justice In Miami is inviting everyone to join Lilly’s friends and family this Sunday for a Birthday Vigil in Lilly’s honor in Miami Beach. The gathering will take place on 80th Street & Collins Ave to celebrate Lilly’s life. Bring a candle and a prayer, together we can start the healing process.

Sadly, life hasn’t been the same since June 2, 2007. It won’t ever be back to normal until the truth about what happened comes to light and the persons who did this are brought to justice.

WHEN: SUNDAY, November 16th, 2008
WHERE: 80th Street and Collins Ave in Miami Beach, FL
By the water…
If you’re interested in attending, please let me know and I’ll make sure to keep you updated. If you cannot make it, (wherever you are) please light a candle and dedicate a prayer for Lilly.

Let Lilly’s name not be forgotten.

Thank you for your continued support.


Reward for Elnora Charles – Missing From Tucson, AZ

If you live in Arizona, please keep your eyes open for Ms. Elnora Charles. If you have a tip, please contact 911 or 88-CRIME.
clipped from
Reward offered in missing person case

The Tucson Police Department has announced that the Carole Sund/Carrington Foundation is offering a $5,000 reward for any information leading to the safe return of Ms. Elnora Charles. Ms. Charles is 63 years old, stands 5’1” tall, and weighs 170 pounds. She was last seen wearing a black and red flower dress and prescription eyeglasses.

Ms. Charles was last seen by a family member driving northbound on 1 st Avenue at Fort Lowell Road at around 7 p.m. on November 15, 2007. Her car was found abandoned in the Catalina Mountains two days later.


Anyone with information is asked to call 911 or 88-CRIME.


Lilly Aramburo Case Alert on Nancy Grace

My friend, Lilly Aramburo, vanished 6/1/07 from her fiance’s condo in Miami, FL.  Recently, an article about Lilly was published on the cover of the Miami New Times. Now, just a few short weeks later, Nancy Grace featured her on her show as a Case Alert.

You can make a huge difference! Lilly deserves justice and that is why I am asking you to contact Nancy Grace and ask her to investigate Lilly’s disappearance.

If you have any information, PLEASE contact Miami Dade Police at 305-418-7200 or call Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477 or 866-471-8477. You can also report your tip online anonymously

Thank you for all of your support! And special thanks to Levi from War on Crime for making this happen!! =) Nancy, THANK YOU!


Resources for Finding Missing Persons

Please read my guest post on the Subliminal Pixels blog entitled “Free Online Resources for Finding Missing Persons.” It is a first post in a series detailing how to use Social Media to raise awareness for charitable causes, specifically for raising awareness and finding missing persons.  In the coming posts I will go into much more specific detail on tips and techniques used to do this. Please follow the link to read the full post.

Comments and Stumbles are appreciated!!


Missing Mother – Viriadiana Maldonado

Help find this young mother. Viriadiana has been missing since October from North Charleston, South Carolina.
Please call the Comen Detective Agency at 571-2667, if you have any information regarding the disappearance of Viriadiana Maldonado.

A $1,000 reward is being offered if she is found by midnight on January 10th.

clipped from

The family of a missing woman hopes a $1,000 dollar reward can help bring her back. Viridiana Maldonado’s, 21, has been missing since October.

She was last seen at her North Charleston apartment.

Police said at a news conference Thursday morning they don’t think she left home on her own free will. They’re hoping someone will know where she is.

Maldonado’s sister says she’s been getting text messages from her sister that don’t sound right. A translator for the sister of Maldonado says, “The way she sent those text messages is not her … She never asked for her children, you know, like text messaging: ‘How are the kids doing?’ or ‘Take care of them.’ Because if she left, she would know the kids had to stay with somebody. I don’t think the mother would just leave the kids not knowing what’s going to happen to them.”

If you know where to find Viridiana Maldonado, call the Comen Detective Agency at 571-2667.

A $1,000 reward is being offered if she is found by midnight on January 10th.


Justice in Miami

Lilly Aramburo Missing Mother

Lilly Aramburo Missing Mother

Thank you for visiting Justice in Miami, currently it is under construction.

Our mission is to empower citizens affected by the loss of a missing person. This site will focus on advocacy efforts, resources, support and advice for using social media and the internet to raise awareness for your missing loved one.

Were you looking for Justice in Miami for missing South Florida mother, Lilly Aramburo? Click on the link to go to the blog.

Be sure to come back to visit us again in a few days! In the meantime, be sure to join us if you haven’t already:

Join the Friendfeed Missing Persons Room.

Join the Flickr Missing Persons Group.

Join the Mixx Missing Persons Community.

Join the Care2 Missing Persons Group.

Follow me on Twitter!


President’s DNA Initiative – Free courses in DNA evidence

I started an online course last night entitled “What Every Law Enforcement Officer Should Know About DNA Evidence”. I found it by mistake but am thrilled to be learning more about the topic. Although, I’m not in law enforcement, it’s pretty straight forward and easy to grasp. I started it last night and finished it within the hour. For more info, visit The courses are free and available to law enforcement, family and victim advocates. They also provide booklets and publications like “Identifying Victims Using DNA: A Guide for Families”

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is the research, development and evaluation agency of the U.S. Department of Justice. The agency is committed to exploring crime control and justice issues. An area of focus is “DNA technology” which has increasingly become a vital tool in the criminal justice system. In order to increase and improve the use of this technology, the President announced a 5 year, billion dollar initiative, (President’s DNA Initiative), which promotes “Advancing Justice through DNA Technology”.

The President’s DNA Initiative targets specific goals:

  • To eliminate the current testing backlog of DNA samples
  • Improve DNA laboratories’ testing capacities
  • Research and Development of DNA technologies
  • Training and Assistance for criminal justice professionals
  • Provide access to post conviction DNA testing
  • The use of DNA for missing persons cases and identifying human remains
  • Protect the innocent

The UNT, Center for Human Identification (UNTCHI), with support by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), has become a recognized national center providing scientific and technical support to law enforcement agencies, medical examiners, and crime labs throughout the country.

UNTCHI in collaboration with law enforcement offers families with missing loved ones the opportunity to submit reference samples for DNA testing. The lab is one of only a few facilities that integrates nuclear and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) for analyses. Once DNA profiles are obtained, they are directly entered into the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System plus Mito (CODIS+mito) database.

In addition to testing family and direct reference samples, the DNA lab works in collaboration with the Laboratory of Forensic Anthropology in Denton, Texas to help identify the remains of victims. DNA profiles obtained from remains are also entered into the CODIS+mito database.

Information for Relatives of Missing Persons,
Coroners, Medical Examiners & Law Enforcement Agencies

University of North Texas Center for Human Identification UNTCHI personnel will work with medical examiners, coroners’ offices, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the National Center for Missing Adults, and law enforcement agencies throughout the United States with the submission, collection, and analyses of Missing Persons samples.

A missing person report should be filed with the Law Enforcement Agency having jurisdiction where the individual was last seen or last resided. The Law Enforcement Agency will determine if the missing person meets a “High Risk” criteria. The agency may ask the family to submit personal articles belonging to the missing person (Direct Reference Sample, DRS); in addition, they may need to collect Family Reference Samples (FRS). The collection and submission of FRS can only be collected and submitted by the Law Enforcement Agency. Family reference collection kits (swabs) and the required paperwork are provided by the UNTSCHI. The collection kits and testing are provided free of charge.

After analysis, the profiles will be entered into the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System and uploaded to the FBI’s National Missing Persons DNA Database.

Correspondence is mediated through the Law Enforcement Agency. If a match occurs, the Law Enforcement Agency will notify the family.

Law Enforcement Agencies, Medical Examiners, and Coroners may need to submit Unidentified Human Remains, (UHR). Identifying remains through DNA can be a lengthy process. There may be cases where there is no usable DNA or not enough relatives available for testing; however, our professional staff will pursue every avenue to obtain a profile.

Victim Advocates > What You Should Know About DNA Evidence

What You Should Know:

* What is DNA?
* Evidence Collection
* Contamination and Preservation
* DNA Testing and Interpretation
* Uses of DNA Evidence
* Identifying DNA Evidence
* Suggested Resources

DNA evidence is playing a larger role than ever before in criminal cases throughout the country, both to convict the guilty and to exonerate those wrongly accused or convicted. This increased role places greater importance on the ability of victim service providers to understand the potential significance of DNA evidence in their clients’ cases.

DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is the building block for the human body; virtually every cell contains DNA. The DNA in people’s blood is the same as the DNA in their saliva, skin tissue, hair, and bone. Importantly, DNA does not change throughout a person’s life.
The Value of DNA Evidence

DNA is a powerful investigative tool because, with the exception of identical twins, no two people have the same DNA. Therefore, DNA evidence collected from a crime scene can be linked to a suspect or can eliminate a suspect from suspicion. During a sexual assault, for example, biological evidence such as hair, skin cells, semen, or blood can be left on the victim’s body or other parts of the crime scene. Properly collected DNA can be compared with known samples to place a suspect at the scene of the crime. In addition, if no suspect exists, a DNA profile from crime scene evidence can be entered into the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) to identify a suspect anywhere in the United States or to link serial crimes to each other.

The effective use of DNA as evidence may also require the collection and analysis of elimination samples to determine the exact source of the DNA. Elimination samples may be taken from anyone who had lawful access to the crime scene and may have left biological material. When investigating a rape case, for example, it may be necessary to obtain an elimination sample from everyone who had consensual intercourse with the victim within 72 hours of the alleged assault to account for all of the DNA found on the victim or at the crime scene. Comparing DNA profiles from the evidence with elimination samples may help clarify the results.

Using CODIS To Solve Crime

CODIS uses two indexes to generate investigative leads in crimes that contain biological evidence. The forensic index contains DNA profiles from biological evidence left at crime scenes, and the offender index contains DNA profiles of individuals convicted of violent crime. Each State in the Nation has a DNA database law that defines which convicted offenders must have their profiles entered into CODIS; some States even require that DNA profiles from all felons be entered into the database. CODIS enables Federal, State, and local forensic crime laboratories to work together—between jurisdictions and across State lines—to solve crimes.

From Understanding DNA Evidence: A Guide for Victim Service Providers, May 2001, Brochure, National Institute of Justice and Office for Victims of Crime



By David Van Norman – Civil Servant.


Including, but not limited to, Coroners and Cops

“The Taxpayer Speech:

“Matthew was, and still may be, a taxpayer. His family are taxpayers. YOU are a taxpayer. They (or you, on their behalf) needn’t go begging, hat in hand, for information. He, they, and you, have already paid for that service! You support, by paying taxes and purchasing goods and services in the community (anywhere), the infrastructure of government, which includes law enforcement organizations. You paid for my training and experience (regardless of where you live) for me to learn what I know, and for the investigators in Whatever County to do what they do. You pay for the gas that propels their cars and the computers on which they type their reports. You, as a taxpayer, citizen, victim, loved-one of a victim, or private advocate acting on behalf of the family, have EVERY RIGHT to expect professionalism, and adherence to the rules of professional conduct. If you don’t get that, someone needs to loose their job!

“Law enforcement, like most organizations, has a political side. A deputy investigator, patrolman or detective will not be concerned with the political aspect of failing to do what needed to be done. They are insulated from above by layers of supervision. A sergeant is higher up the supervisory chain, but only a few have aspirations to rise into management. By the time a police officer is promoted to lieutenant, and certainly by captain or chief, politics is about all there is. The weakest link, believe it or not, is the department chief or Sheriff. A chief is generally an appointed position (serving at the pleasure of the county administration), while the sheriff or coroner is generally elected. Either way, scandal will end their careers (and does, on a daily basis) in a heartbeat. No matter how high-and-mighty I think I am, there is always someone higher, and mightier, than me, who understands that he (or she) is held in place by a fickle public.

“Law enforcement, by its very nature, can be intimidating to deal with. But, the fact is that law enforcement has more to fear from you than you from them. Provided you plan your contacts with them, and don’t expect the moon, you should be able to assist the family.

“I appreciate that it is difficult to communicate effectively with law enforcement or other forensic specialists. There are legitimate reasons that some information cannot be released to the public. No one knows who you are – you may be the murderer. But, if your salutation is professional, and includes a concise statement of who you are, and why you are calling – and if it sounds as though you make these calls on behalf of families 20 times a day, your credibility goes up.

“One of the reasons I use email so much, is that it gives the receiver a sense of solidity – having something in hand (or at least in a computer) that verifies the sender’s veracity. My signature block is chock full of junk, but anyone reading it knows they can check me out – I’m inviting them to! My emails are designed to overwhelm. I intentionally front-load everything. It presents in the minds eye a bulldozer that WILL NOT STOP. I want them to see me coming, take me seriously, and comply with my requests. I want them to know that if they don’t comply, I won’t be ignored. Not everybody gets that message… the first time. That’s another advantage of the email format, I just send the same message with SECOND REQUEST at the end of the subject line, with the original message attached (date-time stamped), and CC it to the receiver’s supervisor. That generally gets the job done.

“My standard advice is that during your legitimate inquiries, if anyone refuses to answer your questions, you should “walk up” the chain of command – at each level asking if it is the policy and practice of the subordinate to ignore inquiries from the grieving families of decedents.

“I recommend that you call the agency, and start your inquiry with an investigator – and hook him (or her). Then tell them that you have constructed an email with information about the missing person that you would like to send to him (or her) for ‘forwarding to the most appropriate authority within your department.'”
I’d like to thank Mr. David Van Norman for allowing me to publish his advice. It is my sincere wish that everyone who reads this post benefits from it, like I did.