It's coming up on the fifth anniversary of Staten Island teen Arkadiy Tashman's disappearance on January 26, 2005, and the sad story is frozen in time — his picture still leads the NYPD's way-outdated web page of missing Staten Islanders.
The passage of years can of course change the expectations of survivors.
"Unfortunately or fortunately there has not been any development," his sister Natalya Voskresenskaya tells the Voice. "But at this point, almost five years later, I take no news as good news."
For a few years after Arkadiy, then 17, vanished (perhaps after an argument with a girlfriend), Voskresenskaya kept up a website, "Arkadiy Tashman — The Missing Story."
See a video tribute here. And a NY1 news story from several years ago here.
He had left a cryptic note that could be interpreted as suicidal, but police apparently didn't fully buy it and eventually declared him officially missing.
From Voskresenskaya's July 19, 2006 post:
January 26, 2005 - it was a freezing cold night. Arkadiy never came back from his friend's house. That started our never-ending search for him.
Flyers around the city ... phone numbers ... calls ... flyers again ... visits to all of the local police stations. I was kicking and screaming for them to use search dogs and helicopters. But, the police did not care. They labeled him an "endangered run away" and left it at that.
Making it worse: Prank phone calls after the family put up posters and spread the word on TV and in newspapers. As she put it on her site:
Let me give you an example of the nicest ones: "You stupid Russian b***h. You deserved it and if I was your child, I would have killed myself."
This is the only call I returned. I had grown tough skin by that time. ... My poor parents. They lived from call to call. They stared at me, cried out for help, asking if I had heard something, anything.
From April 23, 2008:
I could have started this with "Hi Ark", but to me you are Arkadiy ... Do you remember how attached you were to me as a little boy?
You were my shadow, cried when I was leaving to go out and I would stand outside the door listening to you and often go back inside.... go back to you. Now it's your turn to come back to me ... I'm here, waiting for you to hear me cry
Please forgive me for not telling you everyday how much I love you, I just always thought that you knew it. Now I regret not telling you everyday how proud I was and always am to be your sister. Watching you growing into handsome, smart, good-hearted man. I miss you, there are no words that could ever describe it, I MISS you so much. Sometimes I dream that you are just outside my door, ringing the bell... and then I keep you up till dawn telling you all the stuff that has been happening here.
Mom and Dad are here with me, so don't worry about them, I'm taking good care of them. I just want to talk to you... hear your voice... did I tell you how much I've missed you?
And from October 12, 2008:
My dear brother, I'd like to wish you a Happy Birthday! Where ever you are on this special day. This day is one of my favorite.
You have just turned 21 and I've missed you not just on your Birthday, but this day especially. I just wish you were happy and all your dreams come true. I would have given anything for a chance to pull your ears 22 times in exchange for my gift, to kiss you, and to give you my big hug.
Well I still hope it will happen, just ...
HAPPY BIRTHDAY ARKASHA!
We all love you very much!