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  1. #1
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    OR - Michael Rhine, 24, Portland, 24 July 2003

    http://www.bootsnall.org/mike_rhine.pdf



    WHERE'S MIKE? THE UNCERTAINTY IS GETTING TO HIS FAMILY
    BYLINE: MARGIE BOULE - The Oregonian



    Will it be harder to disappear in the age of the Internet? When posters can be transmitted from country to country and e-mails translated to any language, when cryptic goodbye letters can be accessed online by anyone?

    Mike Rhine may find out. That is, if Mike is still alive somewhere on this Earth. His friends and family aren't sure.
    There's a lot of pain in that uncertainty.

    Mike disappeared from Portland a year ago June without a word. Although he'd been going through some rough times, "He was 24 years old," says his mother, Margaret Rhine. "He's an adult and self-sufficient. Part of you thinks, 'Don't worry. He'll be back.' " But she can't stop looking, and neither can others who love Mike.


    Family members have made repeated trips to Central America looking for the tall, young man with curly red hair. His 90-year-old grandfather flew to Costa Rica last December to search for Mike.

    Margaret is using the power of the Internet to look for her son. She tracked his early travel, she monitored his bank card purchases until his money ran out. But a year ago the cyber trail went cold. So she set up a missing person Web site (http://redapple.web.aplus.net//index.html).


    So far, all it has yielded is dead ends.

    Mike always had a big sense of adventure. He was an athlete, drawn to soccer and then mountain biking, hiking, in-line skating and especially skiing.


    "He called himself an adrenaline junkie," Margaret says. "He loved to hike up mountains and ski in remote places." Mike once wrote of his love of "making tracks where no other man has ever made tracks before."

    "He was always kind of pushing the envelope," says Shepard DeLong, who met Mike at Sunset High School.

    But Mike got more than just a thrill in high places, Shepard says. "He felt like he gained meaning, breathing cold mountain air and finding magic in the snow piling up, and the beauty of mountain settings."

    After graduation in 1997 Mike and Shepard moved to Utah, where they worked at resorts and skied for the next few years. Then Mike broke his leg and returned to Portland. After it healed, he lived in Ashland, then moved to Bellingham, near Mount Baker.

    But Mike had trouble settling any place for long. Maybe that's why he was drawn to books about wanderers. "I gave him a copy of 'Desolation Angels,' by Jack Kerouac, about a year before he left," says Nathan Javens, another friend since high school. "He totally got into the Kerouac phase."

    Kerouac wrote about the romance of being on the road. But nobody expected Mike to just take off. In fact, he'd returned to Portland in the spring of 2003 to learn to operate heavy construction machinery. Margaret and Mike's dad, David, who'd just moved to Vancouver, took out a loan to pay Mike's tuition. Mike was living with his aunt, uncle and grandfather in Portland.

    "He was having some very bad problems," says Elaine Tanzer, Mike's aunt. "He was wound up to the point he couldn't sleep. . . . We'd asked him to see a counselor, and he had."

    Margaret also had grown concerned about Mike. "We started noticing some paranoia. He thought someone was vandalizing his car at school. We'd look and look, and we couldn't see it."

    Mike's friends think he was just sliding into isolation. "The longer he lived alone, he seemed to become more detached from society," Nathan says.

    But there was an edge to his isolation. The happy-go-lucky kid had turned into a young man becoming frustrated with what he saw as society's hypocrisy.

    "A kind of bitterness was creeping in," Shepard says. "Mike couldn't take what he saw as the cruelty of the world," Elaine says.

    When it finally hit Margaret that Mike was gone, she went to her computer. Using materials Mike had left with her, Margaret tracked his bank account activity. He'd withdrawn his savings and cashed in stock his grandfather had given him. After selling his car in Bellingham he'd taken a ferry to Alaska, flown to Cancun and made his way to Belize.


    And then Mike's grandfather received a package from Guatemala. In it were letters to all Mike's family members. Goodbye letters.

    "If I must depart this world so soon," he wrote David and Margaret, "I would like to leave something in its place. Here is a collection of thoughts, feelings, adventure of the last month of my life."

    Mike's dad immediately flew to Guatemala; he found no trail. In ensuing months there were more trips south. Then David placed a large ad in a Guatemalan newspaper.

    "There was a huge amount of response," Elaine says. "People said they'd seen Michael in Guatemala City in a marketplace, begging and acting bizarre. A sighting had come in that very day."

    Elaine, her husband and David flew to Guatemala City and began combing the market area. "We kept walking around, looking, looking, looking," Elaine says. "There was this incredibly intense feeling of, 'I know he's here and I'm going to find him.' "

    At night they went to parks where homeless people slept, looking for Mike. By day they walked streets, enlisting the aid of police and drug addicts.

    And then one day Elaine saw a tall, red-haired American begging on the street. "It wasn't Mike," Margaret says. "It was some other mother's son."

    That was a year ago. Last December someone e-mailed saying he'd seen Mike in Costa Rica. It was another dead end.

    Since then clues have become more scarce and less tangible. A few months ago someone left a message on Margaret's Web site. "Mikey not dead," it said. "Mikey just disappeared." Did Mike leave the message?

    Nathan has a hard time believing Mike would kill himself. "He had such a love of life," he says. "He enjoyed adventure . . . and the spiritual journey he was on. I don't know if that means it had to end tragically."

    Shepard is not as sure. "I don't worry about him because I know he is either dead -- and that doesn't worry me, because I know it's a nice place on the other side -- and if he's not, then he's exactly where he wants to be."

    But it's harder for Mike's family to live with uncertainty. "I want Michael to know how much we love him," Elaine says. "He is, with his brother, the center of the family."

    Margaret tries hard to hold on to hope. "Maybe it's denial, but I just have a sense he's still around." Still, she says, "I don't want to be living this."

    Margie Boule: 503-221-8450; marboule@aol.com




  2. #2
    OneLostGrl's Avatar
    OneLostGrl is offline I'm going against the grain- I'm going sane
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdinburghLass
    WHERE'S MIKE? THE UNCERTAINTY IS GETTING TO HIS FAMILY
    [/color] BYLINE: MARGIE BOULE - The Oregonian

    [/size][/i][/b][/color][/size][/font]

    Will it be harder to disappear in the age of the Internet? When posters can be transmitted from country to country and e-mails translated to any language, when cryptic goodbye letters can be accessed online by anyone?

    Mike Rhine may find out. That is, if Mike is still alive somewhere on this Earth. His friends and family aren't sure.
    There's a lot of pain in that uncertainty.

    Mike disappeared from Portland a year ago June without a word. Although he'd been going through some rough times, "He was 24 years old," says his mother, Margaret Rhine. "He's an adult and self-sufficient. Part of you thinks, 'Don't worry. He'll be back.' " But she can't stop looking, and neither can others who love Mike.


    Family members have made repeated trips to Central America looking for the tall, young man with curly red hair. His 90-year-old grandfather flew to Costa Rica last December to search for Mike.

    Margaret is using the power of the Internet to look for her son. She tracked his early travel, she monitored his bank card purchases until his money ran out. But a year ago the cyber trail went cold. So she set up a missing person Web site (http://redapple.web.aplus.net//index.html).


    So far, all it has yielded is dead ends.

    Mike always had a big sense of adventure. He was an athlete, drawn to soccer and then mountain biking, hiking, in-line skating and especially skiing.


    "He called himself an adrenaline junkie," Margaret says. "He loved to hike up mountains and ski in remote places." Mike once wrote of his love of "making tracks where no other man has ever made tracks before."

    "He was always kind of pushing the envelope," says Shepard DeLong, who met Mike at Sunset High School.

    But Mike got more than just a thrill in high places, Shepard says. "He felt like he gained meaning, breathing cold mountain air and finding magic in the snow piling up, and the beauty of mountain settings."

    After graduation in 1997 Mike and Shepard moved to Utah, where they worked at resorts and skied for the next few years. Then Mike broke his leg and returned to Portland. After it healed, he lived in Ashland, then moved to Bellingham, near Mount Baker.

    But Mike had trouble settling any place for long. Maybe that's why he was drawn to books about wanderers. "I gave him a copy of 'Desolation Angels,' by Jack Kerouac, about a year before he left," says Nathan Javens, another friend since high school. "He totally got into the Kerouac phase."

    Kerouac wrote about the romance of being on the road. But nobody expected Mike to just take off. In fact, he'd returned to Portland in the spring of 2003 to learn to operate heavy construction machinery. Margaret and Mike's dad, David, who'd just moved to Vancouver, took out a loan to pay Mike's tuition. Mike was living with his aunt, uncle and grandfather in Portland.

    "He was having some very bad problems," says Elaine Tanzer, Mike's aunt. "He was wound up to the point he couldn't sleep. . . . We'd asked him to see a counselor, and he had."

    Margaret also had grown concerned about Mike. "We started noticing some paranoia. He thought someone was vandalizing his car at school. We'd look and look, and we couldn't see it."

    Mike's friends think he was just sliding into isolation. "The longer he lived alone, he seemed to become more detached from society," Nathan says.

    But there was an edge to his isolation. The happy-go-lucky kid had turned into a young man becoming frustrated with what he saw as society's hypocrisy.

    "A kind of bitterness was creeping in," Shepard says. "Mike couldn't take what he saw as the cruelty of the world," Elaine says.

    When it finally hit Margaret that Mike was gone, she went to her computer. Using materials Mike had left with her, Margaret tracked his bank account activity. He'd withdrawn his savings and cashed in stock his grandfather had given him. After selling his car in Bellingham he'd taken a ferry to Alaska, flown to Cancun and made his way to Belize.


    And then Mike's grandfather received a package from Guatemala. In it were letters to all Mike's family members. Goodbye letters.

    "If I must depart this world so soon," he wrote David and Margaret, "I would like to leave something in its place. Here is a collection of thoughts, feelings, adventure of the last month of my life."

    Mike's dad immediately flew to Guatemala; he found no trail. In ensuing months there were more trips south. Then David placed a large ad in a Guatemalan newspaper.

    "There was a huge amount of response," Elaine says. "People said they'd seen Michael in Guatemala City in a marketplace, begging and acting bizarre. A sighting had come in that very day."

    Elaine, her husband and David flew to Guatemala City and began combing the market area. "We kept walking around, looking, looking, looking," Elaine says. "There was this incredibly intense feeling of, 'I know he's here and I'm going to find him.' "

    At night they went to parks where homeless people slept, looking for Mike. By day they walked streets, enlisting the aid of police and drug addicts.

    And then one day Elaine saw a tall, red-haired American begging on the street. "It wasn't Mike," Margaret says. "It was some other mother's son."

    That was a year ago. Last December someone e-mailed saying he'd seen Mike in Costa Rica. It was another dead end.

    Since then clues have become more scarce and less tangible. A few months ago someone left a message on Margaret's Web site. "Mikey not dead," it said. "Mikey just disappeared." Did Mike leave the message?

    Nathan has a hard time believing Mike would kill himself. "He had such a love of life," he says. "He enjoyed adventure . . . and the spiritual journey he was on. I don't know if that means it had to end tragically."

    Shepard is not as sure. "I don't worry about him because I know he is either dead -- and that doesn't worry me, because I know it's a nice place on the other side -- and if he's not, then he's exactly where he wants to be."

    But it's harder for Mike's family to live with uncertainty. "I want Michael to know how much we love him," Elaine says. "He is, with his brother, the center of the family."

    Margaret tries hard to hold on to hope. "Maybe it's denial, but I just have a sense he's still around." Still, she says, "I don't want to be living this."

    Margie Boule: 503-221-8450; marboule@aol.com




    Since reading about Mike the other day, I have been unable to get him out of my mind... different theory's jumping through my mind then canceling them out, only to revisit the same ones over and over again.

    Could this man have recently found out he was terminally ill and chose not to tell anyone... just live the remainder of his days *his* way?
    OR
    Could this man have been in the beginning stages of Schizophrenia?
    His family states things such as -
    He was having some very bad problems," says Elaine Tanzer, Mike's aunt. "He was wound up to the point he couldn't sleep. . . . We'd asked him to see a counselor, and he had." Margaret also had grown concerned about Mike. "We started noticing some paranoia. He thought someone was vandalizing his car at school. We'd look and look, and we couldn't see it." Mike's friends think he was just sliding into isolation. "The longer he lived alone, he seemed to become more detached from society," Nathan says.

    I also noticed in his letters to home were full of things like this- "If I must depart this world so soon," he wrote David and Margaret, "I would like to leave something in its place. Here is a collection of thoughts, feelings, adventure of the last month of my life."

    Who knows, maybe I'm completely off track here but I can't get this poor boy and his family out of my mind.

  3. #3
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    seeding

    A good idea would have been to seed his bank account with $10 or $20 deposits from time to time so he never quite ran clear out of money then they might be able to continue tracking him that way.

  4. #4
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    It sounds like Michael was having the first stages...

    of a psychotic break-most schizophrenics have their first major episode in their 20's-and the descriptions of his behavior are almost textbook. The paranoia, the suspicion, and then the "taking off"- only for his family to receive reports of sightings and "bizarre behavior". If they find Michael, and I truly hope they do-they should be prepared for the real possibility that he is delusional-and may perceive them as a threat-or the "enemy"-and to be prepared for a long, hard, difficult road if he has had a psychotic break.

    I will keep Michaels family in my prayers...have they treid contacting the US Consulate in the last country he was known to be in?


    Bring Jennifer, Adrianna, and Maura home!

    BOYCOTT ARUBA!

  5. #5
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    I do not know alot about Mike's disappearance, only having come across his website last week. It was a story that stuck in my mind as well. If you read his journal entries, it may give some more insight into his frame of mind and views on the world.
    I have emailed his family and invited them to come and join this forum and will let you know what I hear back.

    This link is to the family website if you would like to try and contact them or read more : http://redapple.web.aplus.net/id15.html

  6. #6
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    How heartbreaking! I have a 21 yr. old son, and
    it frightens me to think something could happen
    to him such as this young man! God Bless his
    family!

  7. #7
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    his journal entries sound like he was very paranoid. He wrote about people trying to poison him and about how everyone made fun of him all the time and laughed at him and about how he is "known" everywhere...like people are out to get him.

    well its obvious that either

    a) he committed suicide, and his body is either somewhere as a John Doe or has never been found

    or

    b) he is still traveling somewhere. Has no money, maybe he got a job somewhere?

  8. #8
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    I received an email from Mike's mother and she has said she will try and join the forum for a discussion over the weekend. She sounded interested and hopefully we can help her find out what happened to her son.

  9. #9
    OneLostGrl's Avatar
    OneLostGrl is offline I'm going against the grain- I'm going sane
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdinburghLass
    I received an email from Mike's mother and she has said she will try and join the forum for a discussion over the weekend. She sounded interested and hopefully we can help her find out what happened to her son.
    Oh that's a great idea!
    I can't stop thinking about this kid... he seems so very full of paranoia.. I just know something awful was going on in his head around this time.

    Prayers to Mike and his family!

  10. #10
    OneLostGrl's Avatar
    OneLostGrl is offline I'm going against the grain- I'm going sane
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    Bump!
    This one has got me!
    Let's find out what happened to Mike!


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by gatetrekker44
    of a psychotic break-most schizophrenics have their first major episode in their 20's-and the descriptions of his behavior are almost textbook. The paranoia, the suspicion, and then the "taking off"- only for his family to receive reports of sightings and "bizarre behavior". If they find Michael, and I truly hope they do-they should be prepared for the real possibility that he is delusional-and may perceive them as a threat-or the "enemy"-and to be prepared for a long, hard, difficult road if he has had a psychotic break.

    I will keep Michaels family in my prayers...have they treid contacting the US Consulate in the last country he was known to be in?


    Bring Jennifer, Adrianna, and Maura home!

    BOYCOTT ARUBA!


    I can't help but agree with you. I worked with mentally ill clients for a long time and I think you are right on the money. All of the symptoms are classic
    schizophrenic. This young man could be living in homeless shelters or anyplace that helps the mentally ill. Without proper mental health help he won't become better...he will just keep declining. This is really sad. I wish someone he is living around would find his parents address or phone number in his belongings and contact them.

  12. #12
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    Has anyone referred this to Kelly? Sounds like a good one for her site.
    We could try looking for some Guatemala websites and start asking questions.
    Just when I think that I have seen the most depraved things a human can do to another human, somebody posts a new story...........

    Why is it that when a custodial parent fails to provide for a child it is called neglect and is a criminal matter. But when a non custodial parent fails to provide it is called failure to support and is a civil matter?


    "Just when the caterpillar thought its world was over, it became a butterfly" ~ Michelle Knight

  13. #13
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    This case has gotten to me too. I thought I had seen nearly every missing website and when I came across Mike's site I was hooked.

    I have been a lurker for a long time on this site and would love to get involved in helping Mike's family perhaps obtain some closure. How do I go about letting Kelly know?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdinburghLass
    This case has gotten to me too. I thought I had seen nearly every missing website and when I came across Mike's site I was hooked.

    I have been a lurker for a long time on this site and would love to get involved in helping Mike's family perhaps obtain some closure. How do I go about letting Kelly know?
    I sent her a PM asking her to look at this case.
    My idea about the Guatemala websites is not missing persons sites, but city sites, tourist sites or anything that has to do with Guatemala. Maybe send them an email, giving them a brief outline of his story and asking them if they have seen him, could they check around- that type of thing. Another option is to find out what charities work down there, and email them.
    Just when I think that I have seen the most depraved things a human can do to another human, somebody posts a new story...........

    Why is it that when a custodial parent fails to provide for a child it is called neglect and is a criminal matter. But when a non custodial parent fails to provide it is called failure to support and is a civil matter?


    "Just when the caterpillar thought its world was over, it became a butterfly" ~ Michelle Knight

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mysteriew
    My idea about the Guatemala websites is not missing persons sites, but city sites, tourist sites or anything that has to do with Guatemala. Maybe send them an email, giving them a brief outline of his story and asking them if they have seen him, could they check around- that type of thing. .
    I have started on this today whilst being totally unproductive at work. I have added Mike to any relevant forums and am putting together an email that I can send to relevant tourist or travel sites in the hope that someone knows something.

    I do hope that Mike's mother will come and chat with us here too. I will wait until after the Christmas break and send her another message letting her know what we are doing.

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