I have procrastinated in making this particular post for some very personal reasons. On Nov. 20, 1992, Joanna Otto was seen for the last time by her friends. I didn’t know Joanna, but I had seen her in the halls of Woodham High. We were both in the same grade & had mutual friends. Her disappearance hit me hard due to the fact, I had just stepped out of the crazy lifestyle just days prior to that November day.
I was a regular at Fountain & Falls, next to Cordova Lanes. It was a pool hall with mini golf. No booze, just a place for kids. So many people who would have never met, bonded in that place. Being young, reckless and stupid, I hung out with people I never really knew. We all did brainless things like drinking (among other things). I put myself in a compromised position
Joanna & I could have passed each other at her apartment complex or even at some parties. I would have been a soft target and could have easily been taken without a trace. I always wonder how many times I cheated death or harm in those days. But I feared nothing.
My entire life I had been told I was unable to have kids, due to medical issues. As a result, I was not as protected as I should have been. Thankfully, there was a legion of angels watching over me. I met my husband in August of that year and found myself pregnant at the time Joanna went missing. Ironically, my son was conceived on my 18th birthday, October 2, 1992. Just prior to Halloween, I found out and I married my husband soon after.
One of the people I hung out with at Fountain & Falls, Chris Edwards, was murdered at a party in Feb. 1993 by another person I knew. Becoming pregnant, the most farfetched scenario at the time changed the course of history. I would have been at this party, without a doubt. It was celebration of a couple of birthdays of my people in my clique. I knew everyone that was there. Chris O’Brien, a bit of an outsider, walked up to Chris Edwards (aka Tito) and shot him in the head. Some petty bullshit led to that but I was traumatized vicariously because of this. But then to learn later, that Joanna, a young lady my age, who I saw in the hallway at Woodham High just walked out of existence, hit much closer to home.
So honoring Kathy Hoseid, Joanna’s mother, at this time of year, I ask everyone reading this, for any info on Joanna’s disappearance to please contact me or the ECSO. If you know anything about the people involved, or if you heard anything connected to Joanna, email, text, call me. I will look into anything brought to me. We all need to know what happened to Joanna.
This post is just a homage to those who vanished. Sometimes we all need a reminder of why we are on this planet. Every so often, we should be so lucky as to have an opportunity see where the path not taken led.