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  1. #1
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    HI - Noel, 11, & Daniel Santiago, 7, Honolulu, 12 July 2002

    Honolulu authorities say it is very difficult to simply disappear from the Hawaiian island of Oahu: the only way off the island is by air or sea, which is why Navy investigators with NCIS (Naval Criminal Investigative Service) and the Honolulu Police Department are baffled that three members of the Santiago family -- Navy Chief Victorio Santiago and his two sons, Noel and Daniel -- have been missing since July 12, 2002.

    Police say that Victorio was happily married to Ruby, but fights started when she enlisted in the Navy because Victorio felt she was not spending enough time with their two boys. As the marriage started to strain, cops say the fights escalated to physical abuse.

    http://www.amw.com/missing_children/case.cfm?id=49540

  2. #2
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  3. #3

  4. #4
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    This case has not gotten a lot of attention in several years. Yet, in July of this year, the boys' uncle wrote a short but sad plea in the Honolulu Advertiser still hoping that they might be found after 14 years. I have taken a strong interest in this case, not only for the boys but also their father Victorio. I have begun a blog and I will repost what I have here. I am not interested in promoting my own blog here. I have also created the Doe Network's first entry for this case and it should be online in the next couple weeks according to their Missing Persons coordinator, Donna Zorn. I have omitted the most recent age progression photos since they are already on this thread and I have image limits. I will post the only known picture of the father in another thread.
    ________________________________________________
    Introduction to the Case (10/13)


    It's very difficult to piece together the different pieces of this story. What we know has been left to us in a smattering of newspaper articles and public records. Even those tell us very little than the basics. The story centers around a father and his two young sons. Victorio Santiago was a Navy Chief. Chiefs are senior enlisted members of the Navy. Making Chief is a huge achievement. It is unclear what Victorio's job was. It appears at the time of his disappearance he worked on the US Navy base in Pearl Harbor. Since 2010 this has been a joint forces base with Hickam Air Force Base.

    Victorio Santiago was married to his wife Anna Roberta Borje. Some sources identify her as Ruby. In all public records she is identified as Anna Roberta. It is unclear when the couple married. Their first son, Noel (occasionally rendered as Neal) was born in 1991. Public records in Washington State for the couple go back as far as 1993 and include mostly property buys, although the couple's power of attorney paperwork is listed in public record databases as well. Their second son, Daniel, was born in 1995.



    Public records databases are notoriously difficult to track down through Google. Several bogus websites promise access to multiple public records, but these are usually little better than scams in my opinion. It does appear that the Santiago family lived in various Navy towns including San Diego, Port Orchard (Bremerton), Guam, and Lemoore. Most websites have Noel born in Guam and Daniel in Lemoore.


    Anna Roberta also joined the Navy. The details about this are unclear. It appears that at some point in her marriage to Victorio she enlisted as a Navy corpsmen, the Navy's equivalent of a medic or enlisted medical personnel. This isn't stated explicitly, although some of the details point toward Anna being a Navy corpsman. By 2002, the couple was stationed in Hawaii with their two sons. It is not clear how long they had lived there.


    Anna and Victorio appear in the public records in Hawaii June 24, 2002. Anna filed a restraining order against Victorio. A hearing was set for later in the first week of July. The hearing summary referenced a divorce, but no other details were included. The court awarded Anna custody of Noel and Daniel. According to the record, Victorio accepted the terms of the restraining order without much controversy. The court did not file abuse charges against Victorio. A history of abuse would become a common theme in the story.


    Custody aside, the court ordered the couple to split their vehicles. This detail will become interesting momentarily. Anna took the van presumably because she had the boys. Victorio took a "Plymouth." The court set the vehicle exchange date for July 9, 2002 at Anna's workplace, the Navy branch clinic at Makalapa.


    The record stays silent on July 10th. On July 11, 2002, Anna filed for divorce from Victorio. Victorio appears to have been on leave from the Navy at this time, perhaps to sort out personal affairs. He was not due to return to work until Friday, July 19th. This is a typical way of charging military leave in order to avoid to extend one's leave through the weekend by coming back to work on a Friday ever how briefly.


    A pause is warranted here. In the handful of news articles written about the case one article alluded to letters written by Victorio. These letters have been described as disturbing. Victorio expressed suicidal ideation in one. Minna Sugimoto, a former news anchor and writer for KHNL, wrote that Victorio apologized "for what he was about to do." Whether that meant kidnapping or worse was left unclear.

    (Note: I have reached out to Sugimoto and one other reporter. So far no response.)


    Early in the morning on Friday, July 12th, Victorio violated the terms of the restraining order and drove to Anna's house on the Navy base. There is no clear sign where Victorio was staying. Another strange detail from this night is that Victorio was driving a 2000 Daewoo Laganza, a rental car. What happened to his Plymouth? More importantly, what happened to the rental car. The car has never been recovered.


    Two stories appear in tandem on this night. Some accounts, unverifiable, stated that Victorio came to the house to reconcile with his wife. However, Sugimoto's article alludes to other motivations (what he was about to do). Did Victorio intend to reconcile? Was this a ruse of some sort? Whatever the case, Victorio struck his wife and she took refuge in the bathroom. Victorio took the boys and left.


    After fourteen years no one has heard from Victorio, Noel, or Daniel Santiago.


    The event took nearly a week to make the news. It appeared in small blurbs as police tried to locate the father and sons on Oahu. The paucity of news reports early on seemed to indicate that most parties involved believed that Victorio would return. This is a forgivable mistake since, according to some accounts, Victorio regularly took the boys out and returned without incident. However, it seems short-sighted. Victorio would have lost his career from the domestic violence alone, let alone kidnapping his children and violating a restraining order. He stood to lose everything - his career and his sons. That Victorio never returned is not surprising, it's logical and self-preserving.


    By 2003, the family seemed to understand that Victorio was not coming home. News agencies interviewed Victorio's extended family in Hawaii. Two of his brothers, Gilberto and Ariel, were both in Hawaii. Ariel was reported to have been in the Navy as well. Anna, to my knowledge, has never had a published interview.


    In 2007, Minna Sugimoto revisited the story on the five year anniversary. This was the same article in which the cryptic "for what he was about to do" appeared. In 2016, Gilberto Santiago wrote a letter to a local newspaper in which he stated that nothing had changed. His brother and nephews were still missing after fourteen years.

    Investigating agencies have only published three photos of Victorio, Noel, and Daniel. Some agency, probably NCIS or NAMUS, have created three sets of age progression photos over the years. The most recent age progression photos were published in 2012. There are no age progression photos of Victorio. His photo looks like a photo from a military identification card. The background of the boys' original photos is obscured and it looks like it could be two cropped out portions from the same photograph.



    There are several more paragraphs of questions that I could write, but I want to save those for later posts. For now this will suffice. There are still some inescapable questions. Why did Victorio have a rental car? Where did both cars go? Could he have flown out of Hickam Air Force Base on a space-available military flight? Could he have flown out of Honolulu International Airport without much scrutiny in 2002? Investigators have stated there is no evidence that Victorio and the boys flew or boated out of Oahu. Yet there is also no evidence of suicide or homicide.

    My goal here is to re-ignite interest in the Santiago case. There are a finite number of possible outcomes for this case, and I believe that new thinking and ideas may help resolve this case. Victorio may never want to be found because he is, essentially, a fugitive. However, if Noel and Daniel are alive they would now be adults in their early-to-mid twenties.



    I don't think a reconciliation has to be the first step or maybe a step at all. A sign that they're alive and well would be a good first step. Perhaps a dialogue between the parties with no expectations. All that would be necessary at first is to ease the minds of several people who have worried themselves for fourteen years.
    The more we can consolidate all the disparate information into a single, indexed the source the more likely this case can resolve.


    I will post a collection of sources in another post.


    Posted below are the photos and age progression photos:












    Age progression 2005

    Age progression 2005
    These appear to be age progression photos from around 2009




    These appear to be age progression photos from around 2009





    This is a stand-alone photo. I don't have a date for it. There is not a corresponding age progression photo of Noel that accompanies this one.


  5. #5
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    Nov 2016
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    Historical flight data and some other updates (11/4)

    Gathering data on flights that occurred many years ago has proved to be a daunting task. There are databases available. Some don't go back to 2002 and others try to charge money.


    Luckily, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics does have this information in ready supply. It does seem like it's restricted to domestic flights.


    As best I can tell there were no red-eye flights the morning Victorio Santiago fled his wife's house on Radford Terrace. This might have been implausible to begin with since post-9/11 TSA requirements were spreading throughout the country. It is unclear when TSA took over Honolulu's airport operations (except maybe here). Despite the relatively close distance between Radford Terrace and the airport, it seems unlikely Victorio Santiago went there to escape, but not impossible.








    You may notice that I added a beginning address. I scoured the 2 court records for Victorio Santiago and his wife once again. Here is a screenshot:




    N73 may refer to a specific Navy department or division using typical staff codes. Currently, N73 refers to a training directorate for the Navy Warfare Training Systems. However, Bldg 1323 is the Navy Gateway Inns and Suites. While these building numbers could have changed since 2002, it would make sense that Victorio stayed there during his estrangement from his family. MSCM Deloy may refer to a person, perhaps Victorio's supervisor. In the Navy rating (jobs) classification system an MS would have been a mess specialist and CM would refer to a Master Chief in that particular rating.


    So, that is the beginning address in the above map. If that is accurate, Victorio was about three miles from his wife's residence at the time. The final address is the airport, but it seems unlikely that Victorio flew out. If he did fly out it would not have been the night of the abduction.


    However, Victorio's rental car was from Thrifty Car Rental which was also nearby his wife's residence and the airport. It is still unclear why he had this rental car or what became of it after the abduction.


    Did Victorio not exchange vehicles on July 9th as scheduled and then suddenly show up after midnight on July 12th?


    I have reached out to two reporters to no avail. I keep my fingers crossed.


    I still sincerely hope this case ends with all parties doing well.

    This is the only known image of the father:



  6. #6
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    Nov 2016
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    A few weeks ago I noted that Victorio's direct supervisor in the Navy appeared to be a mess management specialist. Since 2004 this job has been known as "culinary specialist" in the Navy.

    http://goatlocker.org/resources/sele...d/fy1997e7.txt

    These is the selection list for Chief Petty Officer in 1997. This information is published publicly although it's difficult to find it archived before the year 2000. Victorio made Chief that year and he was a mess management specialist. Though Filipinos are in every Navy job, it was especially common to see them in this job.

    This would have been about the 9th or 10th year Victorio was in the Navy and that is pretty quick to make Chief Petty Officer. In some news reports he was listed as being a "5.0 sailor." This seems to confirm that. Whatever his faults, he was a good sailor.

    There's a break in the public record from Kitsap County (near the Bremerton naval base) and Victorio's appearance in Hawaii's public records in 2002. Victorio and his wife appear in the Kitsap County property records through about 1999 (see: http://kcwaimg.co.kitsap.wa.us/recor.../docSearch.jsp - it works best to search for "Santiago" in general and use a browser search for "Victorio" afterward).

    It doesn't really help in the search directly, but it helps to fill in some bits and pieces of the narrative. Maybe it will ring a bell for someone.

  7. #7
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    Victorio Santiago, as a third class petty officer, on the USS Niagra Falls ca. 1990-1993. That's him in the lower right hand corner. This came from a member of the USS Niagra Falls' reunion Facebook page. Some others claimed to know him and I intend to speak to them if they are willing. He would have been about 25-28 years old here. He does not appear in the 1993-94 cruisebook. It seems that he moved on by then to either Bremerton or Lemoore. The USS Niagra Falls was homeported in Guam from 1983 until it was decommissioned in the mid 1990s. This was the time the Santiago's oldest son, Noel, was born. It was noted on some websites he was born in Guam and this would confirm that.

    Victorio seemed to like the ugly glasses.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  8. #8
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    I've still been trying to reach out to people who knew anything about this case - reporters, Santiago's shipmates, et al. No luck. I contact the right people but they simply don't reply.

    The Sugimoto article from 2007 is the most vexing. What did Santiago say in the letters? When did he write them? What did he say he was going to do? Was he on leave to take care of personal business with his wife or was he planning something?

    According to Court accounts, Santiago was staying at the Navy Lodge. According to one news article, his brother Ariel spoke to him on July 9th. Ariel was stationed in Sasebo, Japan with a 5-6 hour time difference. Did they contact one another online? Who initiated the conversation? Where was Victorio when this conversation took place? Ariel says nothing of interest came up in the conversation. Both of Victorio's brothers said he kept his personal life very private.

    I've started to entertain the possibility that Victorio did not act alone or impulsively. I would give anything to hit another gold mine of information about the case. Most of his shipmates have retired from service. Most of the reporters have moved on. Both original investigators, Phil Camero (Honolulu PD) and Bruce Warshawsky (NCIS), have long since retired.

    Many of the people involved simply have non-existent online profiles. The ones who are reachable don't want to talk.

    One last interesting note: the case was mentioned on America's Most Wanted on January 26, 2008.

    Sometimes in the absence of interesting leads or ideas I start to fear the worst about the outcome. I keep asking myself what detail am I missing? What piece of information would make a difference?

  9. #9
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    One extra note. In the court record Victorio's supervisor was rendered "MSCM Deloy." In another news article a "Master Chief Dilog" appears on the base at the same time. This seemed like a typo. "Diloy" seemed like a more appropriate rendering and, indeed, he appears right here in a 2003 newsletter from Kapi'olani Community College. It's a culinary program which would be appropriate to his job in the Navy (and Victorio's).
    Attached Images Attached Images

  10. #10
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    I think he drove that car with himself and kids in it into water maybe.


  11. #11
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    Nov 2016
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    Filicide

    The missing car makes me think that is a strong possibility. Although Thrifty seems to have had a reputation for getting their cars stolen in 2002 - particularly Daewoo Laganzas (see here: http://archives.starbulletin.com/200...ws/briefs.html)

    One reason I want to reach out to his former shipmates is to build a better psychological portrait of the man. So far I'm working with a handful of news bites and 2 photos where he looks sullen or shy. A couple pieces of information would be useful in that regard:

    1. I'd like to know if he left his hotel room at the Navy Lodge with his personal belongings.
    1a. Did he withdraw any money?
    2. These mysterious letters where he apparently stated his intentions.
    3. Shipping traffic in the Port of Honolulu. Those archives exist, but it's going to take work to find them.

    Apparently he was suicidal according to the letters. I don't know whether or not that would translate into murder suicide. By his wife's account he was also violent. Victorio denied this in the Hawaii court records and he was never formally charged for it.

    He might have gone on leave before the incident to resolve his legal issues or he could have been planning something.

    There was a dive and air search to locate the vehicle that didn't result in any findings. I have no idea when those were conducted since there seemed to be a lag between the incident and any actual investigation. By then who knows whether they would have had any serious chance of finding them.

    Vengeful filicide is a documented phenomenon with pissed off, mentally unstable spouses. Murder-suicide is a simpler hypothesis than escaping undetected (or a conspiracy to escape undetected). I'm just not ready to say it's a more likely one.

  12. #12
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    Nov 2016
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    http://khon2.com/2017/07/12/family-r...ithout-a-trace

    Sorry, having some browser issues. My post is attached as image.
    Attached Images Attached Images



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