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About the Carmeletta Series

by The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette | December 6, 2009 at 4:40 a.m.

How we got information from this series

As part of a six-month investigation, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette interviewed 38 people and reviewed dozens of court and police documents to tell Carmeletta Green’s story.

Information about the skeletal remains and the work investigators did to identify them came from a file provided by the Pulaski County sheriff’s office and from the Arkansas Medical Examiner’s office and the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs).

Information about the work by the Doe Network came fromvolunteers Shannon Vita and Betty Brown. Todd Matthews, regional coordinator for Nam-Us, also provided information.

Information about Lt. John Martin’s involvement came from interviews with him as well as the sheriff’s office file.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette went to the home of Carmeletta’s dentist, Dr. Roosevelt Brown, four times and left at least two telephone messages. Though Brown promised to look for the dental records, he has yet to do so. The newspaper had made arrangements with NamUs to compare the records Brown says he has with the teeth found on Archwood Park Road.

Information about the inmate’s claims regarding Larry Cooney’s suspected involvement in Carmeletta’s disappearance came from the sheriff’s office file and detectives’ accounts.

The Little Rock Police Department provided the murder statistics for 1991 and 1993.

Information about the night Carmeletta disappeared came from interviews with her mother, Jackie Cooney, and her brother, Orlando Green, aswell as neighbors who lived on Center Street at the time. Police records and newspapers from 1982 provided additional information about that night.

Information about Carmeletta’s personality and her feelings about Kenneth Cooney came from interviews with her family and friends.

Information about Jackie and Kenneth Cooney’s marriage came from interviews with Jackie, her son Orlando Green, and their divorce records. Orlando and Jackie provided personal accounts of abuse at Kenneth’s hands. Two of Carmeletta’s childhood friends gave similar descriptions of how Kenneth treated Jackie and her children. Information about Kenneth’s criminal record came from Little Rock police and court records.

Information about Carmeletta’s allegations that Kenneth sexually abused her came from a childhood friend whom the Democrat-Gazette has named Jane.

Jane was a victim of sexual abuse by Larry Cooney, who was sentenced to prison as a result. She talked about the abuse during an interview with the newspaper. She also reported the abuse and the threat to Little Rock police and Pulaski County prosecutors. According to the prosecutor’s office, the file in her case was destroyed.

Information about Larry’s military career came from U.S.

Marine Corps records as well as a court deposition taken during a libel lawsuit that Larry filed against the newspaper in 1989. A judge ruled that the newspaper wasn’t guilty of malice toward him.

Information about Larry’s criminal record came from police and court documents and newspaper archives. Attempts to contact Larry have been unsuccessful. One phone number for him and his mother had been disconnected. A message left at another phone number for his mother was not returned. His father had no telephone number for Larry. The father said he did not believe that his son was involved in what happened to Carmeletta.

The newspaper sent letters to Larry urging him to contact reporters, twice by certified mail and once by courier, to multiple addresses linked to him.

Information about the evidence collected in Kenneth Cooney’s car came from interviews with Little Rock police detective Larry Dunnington, who retired from the Police Department and now works as an investigator at the state attorney general’s office.

Information about lie-detector tests administered to Kenneth and Larry Cooney and the police interviews with them came from an Arkansas State Police file that had been in storage until the newspaper asked for it.

Information about the inmate who told police that Larry Cooney boasted about Carmeletta’s abduction camefrom interviews with police officers involved in the case as well as from a file provided by the Pulaski County sheriff’s office. The Little Rock police file that would have contained the inmate’s statement has been misplaced.

Orlando Green provided details about the time he spent with his sister, as well as his decision about becoming a police officer. Orlando and Gerald Nance with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children provided details about Michelle Pollina’s involvement.

Detective Steve Moore provided details about the case file, evidence and his views on the case. Little Rock police gave the newspaper the original incident report on Carmeletta’s disappearance and the supplemental report, which provided details about the case’s classification.

Crime Laboratory Director Kermit Channell provided information about the mitochondrial DNA testing technology and process.

The DNA test results along with the 2008 letter about them were included in a case file provided by the Pulaski County sheriff’s office.

Details about the day Jackie Cooney visited her ex-husband came from several interviews with her. Information about the state Crime Lab’s efforts to identify remains, specifically the ones found off Archwood Park Road, came from lab director Kermit Channell; from Chris Edwards, unidentified remains coordinator for the state medical examiner; and from the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System.

ABOUT MISSING CHILDREN

The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that 800,000 children a year are abducted or disappear. Most are taken by relatives and are found alive, the agency says.

On average, 115 children a year are taken by strangers who hold them overnight, demand ransom or kill them.

The Justice Department notes that the murder of an abducted child is rare, with about 100 cases in the United States each year. Seventy-six percent of those children are killed within three hours after they disappear.

Federal law defines a juvenile as anyone younger than 21.

Carmeletta Green isamong more than 2,000 children reported missing nationally since 1982 who are still unaccounted for, according to a National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s database.

The Arkansas Crime Information Center lists five missing and “endangered” juveniles in the state.

In Arkansas only one other child has been missing longer than Carmeletta.

Tony Allen, 16, was reported missing from Fort Smith in October 1978.

Recently published articles about Allen and other Arkansas missing-person cases can be found at www.arkansasonline.com/news/previousfeatures/missing/.

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