Riddle of the Roads: In Search of Karlie Guse, Part III

From the Journals of Travis Moore

The Owens Valley has a beauty that Hollywood dreams of filming. National Geographic photographers find the pinnacle of their careers making blissful retirement here.

Historical Map of the Bishop Area

Bishop and the Volcanic Tablelands have very recent memory of the untamed, free wild west.

The Paiute North American Natives of the region weren’t placed onto reservations untill the 1930s, being as such remarkably clear photos of their original culture, attire, and customs exist.

Barely over 2 miles from where Karlie Guse resided, is evidence of human activity prehistoric to even the Paiute. The Valley was home at a time to very primitive humans over 10,000 years ago.

Ground searches for Karlie observed Wikiup ruins, petroglyphs, food grinding stones, small spearheads and arrowheads, as well as stone knives.

To Mono County’s southern border is Inyo County, which includes the small community of Bishop. Inyo County’s terrain is notable for having the lowest point of elevation in the continental United States, Badwater, as well as the highest point of elevation, Mt Whitney.

Also found just over a mile from Karlie’s neighborhood are evidences of caucasian settler ruins. Searches covered and documented remanents of debris including early 19th century iron work, horse-drawn wagons, and stone chimneys.
Modern progress annexed these homesteads when the City of Los Angeles bought up land and water rights to quench the needs of one of the world largest metropolitan developments.

The Guse’s present day life has them residing around 14 miles north of Bishop. Employment being a relatively short commute by crossing over the Mono and Inyo County lines, roughly half way between drives from their home to town. Chalfant, sparsely populated and located a few miles north of the Guse’s neighborhood, is more of a reminder of the golden days of locomotives gone. Chalfant’s commerce abandoned it years ago. Sometimes found confusing to outsiders is everything north to Hammil Valley is considered Bishop and has Bishop zip codes even though it is in Mono County.

After Karlie’s parents discovered her to be missing beyond a simple search of the house and neighborhood, Zach called the police. By recollection, this is around 9:35 a.m. Saturday, October 13th. Bishop PD’s notes a BOLO (Be On Look-Out) at 10:22 a.m. for the missing juvenile female Karlie Guse.

A call to 911 placed from a landline phone, from within the County, is routed directly to Mono County Dispatch in Bridgeport 90 miles away. Any 911 call placed via a cell phone is routed to the California Highway Patrol station in Bishop or to Mono County Dispatch, depending on the caller’s location and device capabilities. If the call is routed to CHP, it is then transferred to Mono County Dispatch. If Mono County Dispatch is down for any reason, all calls are routed to Inyo County Dispatch. There is solid coordination between the agencies to ensure that all 911 calls are answered and properly routed. Agencies also respond cooperatively with units dispatched.

Where Karlie Guse went missing from is accurately described as a rural area. Understanding how the various borders nearby play a role in her case is something easily overlooked when making assumptions about the nature of her disappearance. Most of her friends and school are located in the town of Bishop and within Inyo County. Her neighborhood and location last seen by 3 witnesses is in Mono County which is why Mono County Sheriffs Office maintains jurisdiction.

First hand accounts matter

Lindsay Fairley reached out to me asking if we had news of her missing daughter, Karlie. Not, by any means, the most common message one expects to find in their Facebook Messenger inbox.

The group that I was asked to admin was rapidly becoming a third wheel of sorts. We were the penalty box for those who were blocked or booted during a fierce online battle between two Facebook groups: Official Bring Karlie Home; and another discussion group that was drifting towards, if not dangerously approaching, trolling and hate.

Like everyone else, we were seeking clarity, trying to make sense of the situation.

I explained that the post she messaged about was addressing a change to the group itself, there was no valid news about Karlie’s whereabouts. This occurred on November 2nd, 2018.

A week prior, on the Nancy Grace show, Lindsay portrayed herself as a victim of trusting the Guses with her daughter. Lindsay detailed having to make the difficult decision, as Karlie’s mom, to allow Karlie to stay in a small town because it was safer and healthier for Karlie than the risks of living in a big city.

This simply isn’t true.

According to friends of Karlie’s and the Guses, Melissa was, in fact, Karlie’s mom – raising her with Zach since Karlie was four years old. Lindsay, a mother of three and in her 40s, currently resides, not with her children, but with her current boyfriend and his parents in Yerington, Nevada (population 3,042).

Lindsay had our sympathies. She was trying to sort the situation out herself. Two PI’s had inserted themselves into the case, the first representing herself on Facebook was Lynda Bergh. Bergh was discovered to have multiple GoFundMe accounts relating to cancer and when asked if she had the physical capability of going door-to-door in Bishop, she admitted that she did not. Shortly after, it was announced that Lynda would be the Guse’s PI, but that Lindsay would be appointed her own PI, a Michael Boone. While Bergh and Boone dispute the order and details of these events, records prove otherwise.

Our initial impression of Boone was that he was rather imbecilic. Perhaps the errand boy for Lynda. I blocked him from my personal profile in October. He had a habit of openly and publicly projecting his theories and rants in Facebook groups and in private chats with unverified profiles around the world. One of Boone’s projections was to accuse Kane, Lindsay’s own son, of harming and then hiding Karlie. Having communication with Lindsay on messenger and having other members of the family joining our Facebook group, we decided on a policy of banning the discussion of Kane as a suspect as well as banning discussion on Lindsay. This new policy infuriated Boone. He claimed we were cyber terrorists and were creating an alibi for Kane. In turn, Boone was banned from our Facebook group and I personally blocked him from our page for Karlie.

Simultaneous to running the Facebook group for Karlie, I began to engage in over 60 private chats with locals. I was helping to organize community searches and using social media to encourage searches for the missing girl.

Unique to Karlie’s case, is the small town of Bishop. Out of politeness to their neighbors, locals prefer not to engage in public dialogue as they have no day-to-day anonymity like one might have in a larger community.

During the month of November, I was staying in somewhat routine contact with Lindsay, even sharing my direct number with her, and some messages stuck out to me as odd. It was odd when Lindsay asked me which “Boone” was the one claiming to be her PI and sent me a mugshot of a Michael Boone; my reply, on November 16th, was that I was unsure. When asked how she came into contact with Boone, Lindsay said she was contacted by “Damp Skippy”,aka Josh Freeman, who introduced her online to Boone. She also asked me to confirm if “Damp Skippy” was a facebook friend of Carolyn Phillips, Karlie’s grandma on Melissa’s side.

We later learned that Lindsay and Boone met in person, for the first time, on November 27/28th. It was odd when we attempted to coordinate a phone call between Lindsay and a family advocate. Lindsay flaked and I was later told that she was “too high to talk on the phone”.

Time zone differences made such calls difficult to arrange. It is a juggling act, when advocating for the missing, to connect locals and coordinate the family contacts with charities, advocates, and other services available to them.

To our better capabilities, we should express compassion towards parents who don’t embody primary roles in their children’s lives as, often times, it is in the best interest of the child. In fact, its admirable for a parent to understand that it’s appropriate for them to have a reduced role in their child(ren)’s life.

There are four main reasons for a parent to choose to be less than present or even absent: physical disability, mental illness, substance abuse, and financial hardships/poverty. Volunteering to distance one’s self from their child and not be a part of their daily life, is a form a protection and there should be no stigma attached.

As we look to the instability, caused by Karlie’s disappearance, that Melissa displayed during her Facebook live streams; we can similarly point to the instability of Lindsay in an interview and story by Kyle Dill’s “Missing the truth” podcast. Both sides are hurting and both sides have made mistakes. While the Guse’s have moved past early PI mishaps and have done work behind the scenes, obtained a new investigator, maintained a working relationship with those in a position to help; Lindsay appears to be maintaining relationships with those whom will not and cannot further her search for her missing daughter and have damaged Lindsay’s ability to have open communication with the Guses and law enforcement.

Legend has it Boone and Bergh are still doing nothing but troll Facebook to this day.

Not only does Karlie deserve a proper PI, Lindsay does too. Someone who will advocate for her and help establish and mend relationships that are beneficial in helping to bring Karlie home. This should be everyone’s goal.

-Travis Moore

Note: Most current claim is Michael Boone was retained October 18th 2018 5 days after Karlie was reported missing on a Dr Phil episode airing March 2019 . Article is published based on Lindsay’s statements from November 2018

Link to Podcast. 

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