Mystery O. Riley
Emmitt Owen Riley was last seen on May 29, 2007, by most accounts. He went to see a movie that evening, but left early, “bored” was his reason. The movie? The 3rd Pirates of the Caribbean. No wonder, huh? He worked at the theater, and free movies for the employee plus a guest, along with popcorn and a soda, were the only benefits. His guest stayed to see the last 20 minutes of the movie. Owen did not. Where did Owen go, and why? We may never know these answers.
There are several reasons for this blog. The first is to honor Owen’s life. He was a young man of 20 years and 50 weeks at the time of his death, or thereabouts. We don’t have an actual date or cause of death these 11 weeks later (as of 8/18/07). Our county coroner’s office takes anywhere from 12 – 16 weeks to produce a final report. Owen’s body was found in the Petaluma River on Saturday, June 2, 2007. We’re still waiting to find out how and why.
Owen was a musician, writer, and entertaining conversationalist, who chose to stay quiet much of the time. He was an observer, and talking took away from that endeavor. He worked mostly nights, which suited him, as he was a nightowl much of his life. He loved wordplay and made up his own words regularly…I think often, just to see if we were listening. He challenged us to keep up with him, and tested us often. He loved to talk about philosophy, religion, life, death, and everything in between.
Another reason for this blog is to hopefully be a resource for other families whose adult loved ones have gone missing. The sluggish response from our local police department, and the ensuing madness from their lack of interest in a missing 20-year-old man, prompted our family and friends to do much of the work of searching for him, and figuring out what happened that night. We’re still at it, and this nightmare continues. We know things no one should know, and we’re glad to share with those in need.
The last reason for this blog, is to give you a glimpse of how we’re making it from day to day, to take you on this journey of unbelievable grief, loss, and mystery. Not something everyone will care to do. But, there are other families who have experienced similar losses, and few know how to respond. Perhaps we can help in some way, just by sharing our thoughts and feelings.
Owen wanted his nom de plume to be Mystery O. Riley, because he thought it was a good play on words, his name being Mr. E. Owen Riley. He loved a good mystery and was amazed at the absurdities of the world. Maybe he would think it makes sense that his disappearance is a mystery. What would he tell us about that night, Tuesday, May 29, 2007?