Man Loses, Regains Self

Talk about finding yourself.

A 54-year-old Wisconsin man, missing for more than three months, logged on to the Internet and discovered his own identity.

Kevin Mura, of Crivitz, about 40 miles north of Green Bay near the Michigan border, disappeared Aug. 26 after dropping off relatives at Chicago's Midway International Airport (search).

He apparently abandoned his blue Dodge Caravan (search) in the airport's short-term parking lot, and, according to what his family can glean, then hitchhiked around the U.S., spending time in Arizona, Colorado and Florida.

All the while, he was, and remains, in a dissociative fugue, a psychiatric condition similar to amnesia in which an individual blocks out his own identity, usually as a reaction to stress.

"He does not know who he is," his wife of 28 years, Jan Mura, told the Green Bay Press-Gazette.

Having left his wallet at home in the rush to the airport, Mura had no clue to his true identity. But he did know he didn't know.

Finding himself in a small Iowa town, he sought the aid of a psychiatrist and a Roman Catholic priest.

Together, they went to the public library and decided to search the Internet for reports of missing persons.

"He knew he lived in a big city near water," one of his three sons, Chris Mura, told the Press-Gazette. "They thought it was Chicago."

Crivitz is neither big nor on the water, but Mura used to live in Green Bay, which fits the description.

Up popped a photo of a familiar-looking white-haired, white-bearded man.

On Dec. 9, the priest called the Mura family to let them know Kevin Mura had been found.

Another son, Ken Mura, said the family, having sought in vain for months, was overwhelmed.

"You go three and a half months, you figure you're never going to know," he told WBAY-TV of Green Bay, "then suddenly one day, boom, it's there."

The three brothers immediately went to Iowa to see their father, but were very disappointed that he still didn't recognize them.

"It keeps going," Ken Mura told WBAY. "Normally, amnesia, you get it and then you can remember from that point on, but that's not happening."

The fugue could last several more months, and once he snaps out of it, Mura will probably not be able to remember anything that happened during the dissociative state.

But he has retained much of the knowledge he'd picked up during his lifetime, including his woodworking skills.

"He kept looking at the hardwood floors in the church and saying they needed sanding and refinishing," Chris Mura told the Press-Gazette. "He doesn't know who he is, but he knows he knows how to sand floors. He doesn't know why he knows that, but he does."

— Thanks to Out There reader Sandy C.

Bad News, Good News, Bad News

CENTRAL POINT, Ore. (AP) — Southern Oregon roommates Adam Vickers and Kyle Wisdom thought it would be funny to stage a grisly murder and fool one of their friends into thinking that Wisdom had shot Vickers dead.

Turns out police in Central Point were not at all amused.

The panicked target of the prank, Daniel Maerz, called police to report a shooting on Wednesday morning, and police rushed to the scene, ordering a lockdown of a nearby elementary school on their way.

After realizing officers had arrived at their house, Wisdom and Vickers walked outside.

Neither was injured, although both had been drinking earlier in the morning, Central Point police Sgt. Jeff Britton said.

"They immediately said it was a joke, that they were just goofing around," he said. "They wanted to scare [Maerz] into thinking something happened."

Britton said Wisdom and Vickers had consumed "quite a bit" of alcohol before staging the murder scene.

Police handcuffed both men and took them to the Jackson County Jail on charges of disorderly conduct, conspiracy to commit a crime, initiating a false report and reckless endangering. Both were being held on $12,000 bail.

Maerz, 20, was also arrested after police found that he was high on methamphetamine (search), Britton said. He was taken to jail for possession of meth, and was being held on $10,000 bail.

Britton said Maerz was angry both at being arrested and because his friends had fooled him.

"He was upset, mad at them," Britton said. "But he was relieved to find his friend was not deceased."

— Thanks to Out There reader Tami S.

Man Paid Support for Non-Existent Child

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Gov. Bill Richardson's (search) office is calling for an investigation into how a man was forced to pay child support for a child that didn't exist.

Steve Barreras was hauled into court, peppered with threats and paid out $20,000 in child support. Then his ex-wife was ordered to produce the child in court.

So last week Viola Trevino picked up a 2-year-old girl and her grandmother off the street and promised them a trip to see Santa Claus.

Instead, she allegedly took the girl into court and said she was her daughter.

The elaborate ruse stretched over five years and involved fake DNA evidence, a forged Social Security number and birth and baptismal certificates.

State District Judge Linda Vanzi ruled the child did not exist.

— Thanks to Out There reader Greg M.

Wrong Place, Wrong Time

NEZPERCE, Idaho (AP) — A man picked the wrong location for an alleged drug deal. Telling an eyewitness to mind his own business was also not a good idea.

It was in front of the home of Lewis County's sheriff-elect, who was sitting on his front porch.

"They really picked the wrong house to be in front of," said Phil Steen, who will be sworn into office next month.

Steen had only lived in the home about three weeks when he decided to enjoy the evening air last Saturday. But some suspicious activity on the street impaired his view.

Steen saw what he thought was a drug deal in the street. When those involved noticed him watching, they simply told him to "look away," Steen said.

Instead of looking elsewhere, Steen ran the suspects' license plates. It led to a search of two houses and a vehicle, then the arrest of James MacArthur, 46.

MacArthur is charged with possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of drug paraphernalia.

About 16 grams of marijuana was confiscated, along with a rifle and a shotgun, Steen said. The investigation is continuing.

Home Intruder Caught, Duct-Taped to Pole

GEORGETOWN, Guyana (AP) — A would-be thief got a taste of his own medicine in Guyana when he was caught and attached to a utility pole with the same duct tape he intended to use to bound a family and rob them, police said Tuesday.

Sabanah Gravesande, 13, was watching television at her home Monday in the capital of Georgetown when two men entered her family's house and tried to tape her mouth shut, police said.

Neighbors heard her screams as she and her grandmother scuffled with the men, authorities said.

Neighbors came to their assistance and caught one of the unidentified men, tying him by the neck to a nearby utility pole with the tape until police arrived and took him away.

His legs and hands were also duct-taped as hundreds of people looked on, some openly guffawing at the spectacle.

Police said they would charge the man later this week, indicating that he was a cocaine abuser trying to raise money to support his addiction.

Guyana (search), a former British colony in South America, has a population of 700,000.

Cookbook Clipper Menaces Library

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (AP) — A culinary enthusiast who has made a habit of snipping recipes out of cookbooks at the Bloomington Public Library (search) has library staff sizzling mad.

Librarians first noticed pages were missing from several cookbooks last summer. Since then they have pulled nearly 100 cookbooks from circulation because of missing or damaged pages — an estimated loss of $2,000.

"What bugs me so much is [that] this is a library. You can take the books home for free and just copy down the recipes," said Jane Chamberlain, the library's manager of adult services.

The perpetrator apparently has a sweet tooth. One 189-page book of cheesecake recipes, for example, has only about 50 pages left in it, librarian Mary Cruser said.

"How they have done this and escaped detection is beyond me," Cruser said, adding that librarians believe the culinary culprit trimmed the recipes in plain view of staff and security guards.

Among other cookbooks that have been pared are "The Ultimate Brownie Book" and "Sylvia's Family Soul Food Cookbook." Books left untouched: volumes on Asian, Indian or Mexican cooking and all of Julia Child's offerings.

Librarians said many of the books are out-of-print and might be irreplaceable.

Compiled by's Paul Wagenseil.

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