Direct mail aids search for Everett boy


Herald Writer

EVERETT – It seems like every time you open your mailbox, there they are, slipped in among the letters and bills: advertising cards pitching new gutters, carpet cleaning or windshield repairs.

Those slim cards could be the clue needed to bring two missing Everett children home.

On the flip side of the advertisements, black-and-white photos of a child and an adult stare at the recipient beneath the bold-print question, "Have you seen us?"

Saumon Goshtasebi was 7 years old and his sister, Pareesa, only 4 when they disappeared from Everett on March 10, 1997. Authorities suspect that the children’s mother, Kathleen Goshtasebi, who did not have custody, kidnapped the youngsters. Pictures of Saumon and his mother will begin appearing on the advertising cards this week.

Saumon is the first Everett child and only the second Washington state child to appear on the cards in the past several years.

"I can always hope," said Mo Goshtasebi, the children’s father. "And, I have reason to hope because I’m sure this can be effective since so many people have seen the cards. I’ve heard great things about Advo’s program."

In 1985, Advo Inc. began putting missing children on one side of its direct-mail marketing cards, which reach nearly 79 million homes across the United States. It began after the television movie "Adam" was broadcast nationally. The movie told the story of the abduction of John and Reve Walsh’s son, Adam, in Florida. Adam’s kidnapping and murder prompted John Walsh to co-found the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to help find missing youngsters.

Vincent Giuliano, Advo’s senior vice president of government services, suggested the company use its advertising vehicle to help. The company works with the missing children’s center as well as the U.S. Postal Service and the Department of Justice.

"Somewhere, someone knows where Saumon is," Giuliano said. "We are urging the American public to look for his picture in their mailboxes and to call the national center’s hotline with any information on his whereabouts."

Children appear on the cards in a six-week cycle. The cards may appear first in an area where authorities suspect the child might be, then progress across different regions over the next five weeks, said Robert Croce, Advo’s director of government relations. Saumon’s picture begins appearing this week in the northern United States and also on Advo’s Web site, Soon, it will reach nearly 2 million homes in Washington state, Croce said.

Advo’s direct-mail cards have resulted in the return of 99 children – roughly one out of seven featured on the cards. The national center helps Advo decide which children to feature on the cards.

When a child vanishes, there is an immediate window for investigators to begin searching, based on the details of each case, Croce said.

"But then, perhaps over time, there may be movement to another part of the country. There may be travel, job relocations," he said. "It really is a strategic decision. Every case is important, and we wish we could feature all of the missing cases."

He declined to discuss specifics of the Goshtasebis’ case or why now seemed a good time to feature the boy. The father couldn’t be reached for comment.

The national center has its own programs for finding missing children. It has worked on more than 73,000 cases and has helped to recover more than 48,000 youngsters since 1984.

"We have never lost hope for the recovery of any child, regardless of how long they have been missing," Croce said. "The power of that picture in someone’s mailbox and subsequently in someone’s hands has been the hallmark of the success of this program."

You can call Herald Writer Cathy Logg at 425-339-3437 or send e-mail to

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

A Cessna 150 crashed north of Paine Field on Friday evening, Feb. 16, 2024, in Mukilteo, Washington. The pilot survived without serious injury. (Courtesy of Richard Newman.)
Small plane lost power in crash north of Paine Field, flight club says

The pilot reportedly called 911, stuck in a tree, on Friday. The sole occupant survived “without a scratch,” the president of Puget Sound Flyers said.

The PUD Everett Substation on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Delta residents rip PUD power line plan to cut through neighborhood

The PUD said the poles will connect two Everett power stations amid “increasing electrical demand.” Locals feel it shows a lack of “forethought.”

IonQ CEO Peter Chapman, left, and Sen. Maria Cantwell, right, cut a ribbon during an IonQ event at their research and manufacturing facility on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2024 in Bothell, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Nation’s first quantum computing manufacturing plant opens in Bothell

IonQ, a Maryland-based firm, expects to add hundreds of jobs and invest $1 billion in the region over the next 10 years.

Students make their way after school at Edmonds-Woodway High School on March 12, 2020. All public and private schools in Snohomish, King and Pierce counties must close for six weeks. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
WA boost in student homelessness funding reaches more districts

Edmonds schools are using money to provide support specifically for its homeless seniors living without a parent or guardian.

People look out onto Mountain Loop Mine from the second floor hallway of Fairmount Elementary on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Mining company ordered to stop work next to school south of Everett

After operating months without the right paperwork, OMA Construction applied for permits last week. The county found it still violates code.

Snohomish County Jail. (Sue Misao / Herald file)
Arlington woman arrested in 2005 case of killed baby in Arizona airport

Annie Sue Anderson, 51, has been held in the Snohomish County Jail since December. She’s facing extradition.

Ken Florczak, president of the five-member board at Sherwood Village Mobile Home community on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024 in Mill Creek, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
How Mill Creek mobile home residents bought the land under their feet

At Sherwood Village, residents are now homeowners. They pay a bit more each month to keep developers from buying their property.

Lake Serene in Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. (U.S. Forest Service)
How will climate change affect you? New tool gives an educated guess

The Climate Vulnerability Tool outlines climate hazards in Snohomish County — and it may help direct resources.

Shirley Prouty (Submitted photo)
Shirley Prouty, Arlington historian and grandma to all, dies at 92

Prouty chronicled “100 Years of Arlington” in a series of books. “She’d turn over any rock,” a former mayor said.

Arlington man suspected of DUI in fatal I-5 crash

Police said the man was driving the wrong way south of Tacoma and crashed into another car. Angelica Roberto Campos, 52, later died.

Feds fine Everett test lab for alleged animal welfare violations

Altasciences was cited for five alleged violations in the last two years that resulted in animal injuries and deaths.

Librarian Andrea Wallis leads activities during Toddler Storytime at the Main Everett Library on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Everett library trustees ‘ideally’ don’t want to merge with Sno-Isle

City finance staff see three options to deal with a $12.9 million deficit: a library merger, a fire department merger, or a new property tax.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.