The Shiprock Disappearance

Without a body it’s hard to prove a crime has been committed; especially when it is murder most vile.

Like so many tragic events, it began with a frantic 911 missing person’s call. The scene of the crime… Shiprock, New Mexico.

Given its proximity to Arizona’s border on Navajo Indian land, the FBI was called in.

An urgent APB went out to all local, county, state and tribal law enforcement authorities.

The missing person’s APB description:
“Circular, black. Goes by the name of Polly “Polarizer” Schneider. Last seen wearing two strips of grey duct tape and a looped elastic band.”

Shiprock, site of the disappearance, is a huge rock edifice on a flat plain. It can be seen for many miles around.

Shiprock was formed underground about 30 million years ago. It is part of a larger land form that has since eroded away.

Shiprock is known as Tse Bitai, or “the winged rock” in Navajo. Geologically speaking, it is a volcanic neck, and is the central feeder pipe of a larger volcanic structure.

Shiprock is composed of an unusual potassic magma called “minette”, thought to form from slow melting of the earth’s upper mantle.

“Polarizer” Schneider is an 82mm lens cap for a circular polarizer filter made by the German Schneider Optics company for B&W.

Authorities grilled Azleader over her disappearance.

There were discrepancies in his story. Azleader claimed Polly wandered off on her own while he was photographing Shiprock. He searched for but could not find her.

However, interviewing Polly’s friends, police learned that Azleader and Polly had a very rocky, tempestuous “relationship” over the years. Apparently, they often argued because Polly kept falling off lenses all the time. According to reports, he had threatened her.

Azleader became the prime suspect. He is a known lens cap abuser.

Near this spot where the disappearance occurred, signs of a struggle were everywhere. Azleader claimed it wasn’t a scuffle at all, but resulted from his frantic search for his best  friend.

No blood or incriminating DNA evidence could be found, but Azleader did have black plastic residue on his hands consistent with strangulation.

A total of six dikes have been recognized emanating out from all sides of Shiprock. Police investigators say a body could be hidden among them and may never be found.

Without a body, police had to release Azleader. As he drove away they saw a sinister, wry smile come across his face.

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About azleader

Learning to see life more clearly... one image at a time!
This entry was posted in Desert, Geology, Landscape, Lifestyle, New Mexico, Photo, Photography, photos, stories, travel. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to The Shiprock Disappearance

  1. Clever writing and great photos. I need to see that I person!

    • azleader says:

      Be advised, the best time to photograph Shiprock is in the morning. At sunset the illuminated site of the large dike is much harder to access.

  2. Zach Schierl says:

    Fantastic photos! Especially the 2nd to last. What lens did you use here?

    • azleader says:

      Thanks… the 2nd to last image you like was taken with the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM. Tripod was used. Specifics: 1/20s f/16.0 at 70.0mm iso800

      • azleader says:

        Most of the other images were take with the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM at 35mm setting. That is my lens of choice for most landscapes.

  3. Lol, great narrative.

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