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One of the reasons people love true crime stories, especially cold cases like decades cold, is we have a desire to solve them. We look through the clues and think maybe I could be the one to figure that one out. Tag on the element of someone just vanishing and you've got double the lack of resolution. And that can be maddening. You don't know if they've been taken murdered or if they simply walked away from their lives. And you want answers today?


We've got them. We're counting down cases where after decades, we finally know what happened and the family has some sort of closure. It's the top 10 solved cold case disappearances.


Hey, all you weirdo's, welcome to Crime Countdown, a Spotify original from podcast, I'm Ash and I'm Emelina. Every week will highlight 10 fascinating stories of history's most engaging and unsettling crimes, all picked by the podcast research got this episode.


We are counting down the top 10 solved cold case disappearances.


This is amazing because when it comes to closure, I need it. I crave it. I desire it. It's necessary.


Cold cases stress me out. I know. I feel like I just have like a loop of cold cases constantly going through my head that I need to solve. With you. Yes, with you. With you together.


We will solve it by myself. We're going to do it. I hope so.


And you know, the worst kinds are the ones like Ian Brady and Myra Hindley.


Like we know they did it. Yeah. But they refused to give a grieving family closure to locate their murdered child.


It's awful because like Keith Bennett is unsaddle worth more and Ian just loved going to his grave, just withholding exactly where he is so messed up.


And it drives me nuts. But what drives me even more nuts is when people falsely confess to a cold case. Henry Lee Lucas, we're looking at you molecule. Yeah, it gets everybody up in a tizzy and then it just leads nowhere. And I feel like it happens all the time. Like you said, the Walsh case and then like the JonBenet Ramsey case. Yes.


Oh, that one was so frustrating.


It is, because especially in cases where children are involved, like those two cases, people will take any confession.


And it just I think they're just going to take it as like, OK, this is the end of the part of the grieving process where it's just unknown and we can finally move on to properly mourn, but then it just flips around. And that person was lying. I know. It's so sad. It's horrible. But the good news here is that all these cases are solved. Sadly, there's many disappearance cases.


These ones all went cold for over twenty years until there were finally answers. Elena, we'll be talking about five solved cold cases and so will I, but neither knows what kind of closure we're bringing to the table today.


Hopefully a lot. So let us start the countdown. I'll start us off with number 10, Jaycee Dugard, who went missing from South Lake Tahoe, California, for 18 years before being found alive. Jaycee Dugard was kidnapped in 1991 when she was 11. Can you imagine a baby you're 11 years old. No. She was held captive in the backyard of Phillip and Nancy Garrido. There she was assaulted repeatedly and gave birth to two daughters in the number of missed chances.


To rescue her sooner are infuriating. I've looked at this before and it's horrible. This is a total system failure. It is. So in June 1991, Jaycee was kidnapped by Phillip and Nancy Garrido from a bus stop. This bus stop was only fifteen hundred feet from her house. I didn't even know it was that close. This is why I don't ever want my kids going on a bus. There's too many cases of this. It scares the crap out of me.


I'm also her stepfather, Carl. This breaks my heart. Saw the kidnapping from his garage and chased the couple's van on his bike but lost them. I didn't know that either.


Is in that heart wrenching like I've looked into this case and it's so frustrating. But I don't feel like any of them saying, well, he called the police immediately.


Of course, this is my worst nightmare. This is every parent's worst nightmare. Phillip Garrido was a convicted sex offender and parole agents visited his home roughly 60 times. So you're probably like, what? Why didn't they find her? Well, they never once checked the backyard area. I'm pretty sure they're supposed to check the whole property. I would assume that is shameful. It really is, because if you see photos of the backyard area, you would want to check that out, huh?


You would have been like, what's happening? But I need to look back there, Mr. Phil. And the reason for that is Dugard was kept back there in a maze of tents and sheds. It was like a maze. So you'd be like, what is happening back there? Nothing good, nothing wholesome.


And a neighbor had even told authorities that she was seeing kids in the backyard. In August 2009, at his own parole hearing, Phillip Garrido showed up with Jaycee and the two children that she gave birth to. Right. Right.


Dugard gave a fake name, but Garrido actually admitted the whole thing in his parole hearing, who she was, what they'd done. And both Garridos were arrested immediately and Jaycee was free. I'm so thankful, obviously, that that happened. But it's like I wonder what caused him to break. That's that. It's so strange. It is like he suddenly was just like, well, the jig is up. Yeah. And then it's just like so sudden they're arrested.


She's freed after 18 years.


Nine at number nine is Williamsville back in November, nineteen ninety seven, William left a nightclub alone just before midnight.


He didn't seem intoxicated, but he also didn't return home. Twenty two years later, his body was found with the help of Google Earth. That's the spookiest thing I've ever heard in my life. Isn't that so scary? I used to go on that all the time when I was little and just like cruised through neighborhoods. I still go on Google Earth a lot. Wow. Maybe I'll find something.


Maybe so. William called his girlfriend when he left a nightclub around 11 p.m. near Palm Beach, Florida. And that was the last anyone ever heard from him. He just like up and vanished. That's weird. It is. It's not even that late. No.11 is like an early time to leave because you think like 2:00 a.m. or something. He's coming out. You're like you kind of expect good happens then. Well, twenty two years later, in twenty nineteen, someone was looking on Google Earth at Moltz home and noticed a submerged car in a pond.


That's terrifying. The most terrifying thing ever. So the guy, instead of calling the police, took screenshots and sent them to someone who still lives in the neighborhood. That's a good idea. It's like right now, along with other neighbors and a drone, they got a clear view of the pond and they could see the car. I'm wondering, too, when he was going through this, if he was just like, is that is that a car?


Is that a silly merch? Because you'd be like, no, my eyes are playing like, that's just something weird. I know he probably zoomed away and it was like, yes, indeed, that is like a car. So authorities dredged up a car inside where Williams remains. Oh, no, no, no. Unfortunately, when he disappeared, the houses around the pond actually weren't built yet, and neither was the guardrail that was around the pond.


Oh. So the sheriff's department said it appeared that he lost control of his car and ran into the water, but it had simply been too long to know for sure what actually happened.


That makes me so sad. I know he just got in a car accident on the way home. I know his little.


Eight. Number eight on our countdown of the top 10 solved cold case disappearances, also missing for 22 years is Wanda Jean May's.


Wanda was reported missing by her aunt and uncle in the early morning hours of May 12th, 1986, when they found their guest room empty and the window apparently broken from the inside. No, no, no, no, no, no.


Hate that broken from the inside know that it's never a good thing. It's not.


So Wanda was actually twenty seven years old when she disappeared in nineteen eighty six and an empty canoe in her nightgown were both found covered in blood behind the family's home in Guntersville Lake. Oh, which is no good.


No, definitely not. Not a good thing. In October 2003, a hiker discovered human bones at the bottom of a one hundred and fifty foot cliff approximately two miles from the family's home. So already this is not looking good. Yeah, this is looking actually horrible. The worst it can look pretty bleak. Five years later, in 2008, the FBI's DNA lab in Quantico, Virginia, was finally able to identify these remains as Wanda Jean. So.


So what happened? I don't know. You do want to know? I would like to. I bet everybody wants to now tell them. Well, Wanda had suffered from a chemical imbalance and it was determined that she willingly walked away from her aunt and uncle's house and fell over the cliff by accident.


Oh, no. Is that a huge bummer.


But I mean, like, no matter what, that would have been a bummer ending.


But like, but why were her clothes all bloody and behind the house? Because she broke the window from the inside. Oh, yeah. So she probably cut herself. Oh, man. I know this is horrible. It's real sad. Yeah. Hope you guys are having a good time. Seven. At number seven this week is Gabriel Naggy, Gabriel was a married father of two in Australia and on January 21st, 1987, his family expected him home for lunch, but he never came.


Twenty three years later and two weeks before he could have been declared dead, a police officer tracked him down two weeks before he would have been legally considered a dead man walking.


That's unbelievable nuts. So when Gabriel first went missing, his car was found burned on the side of the road. That's ominous. Definitely ominous. I don't think people were, like, hoping for the best. I'm hoping I'm not expecting the best. That's what I meant to say. Is that what you meant? Is that is so the case went cold. Unfortunately, an officer decided to check Medicare records, found Gabriel, and he was suffering from this rare type of amnesia that erases a huge portion from your memory.


That is a movie. It's a straight up movie.


And this could have been caused from the car accident that he had, hence the burned car. Gabriel didn't remember his life at all. He'd been using a pseudonym for work. He worked odd jobs like on fishing boats and construction sites. And the police officer slowly started giving him photographs of his family and letters that they'd written him. And he started to remember them in his old life.


He was Michelle Tanner from Full House, except for a lot longer, that very special episode when she fell off a horse. Yes, I remember that. That is Gabriel. That was one day. This was 23 years. I don't know. The similarities are astounding. Uncanny.


Well, they reunited him with his family and more memories came back.


So I think they lived happily ever after. Thank you for giving me that one.


I feel like we needed that one. Six. Also on our list at number six, Jacob Wetterling, who went missing in October 1989. Are you ready to take it way back down from Gabriel? No, I was happy after that one. I'm sorry, but we're going there. Thanks so much.


11 year old Jacob Wetterling was riding his bike on a rural road outside Minneapolis when he was abducted by a masked gunman.


It would take twenty seven years to find out the truth. I feel like that entire thing is terrifying. But also the fact that he was masked is even scarier. A masked gunman is taking an 11 year old boy off his bike. That's like the worst horror movie that ever is straightup nightmare.


I don't know. Straight up nightmare. Well, hundreds, if not thousands of volunteers showed up to help search for Jacob. I mean, it was huge, huge. The FBI interviewed hundreds of people as part of the investigation.


Danny James Heinrich was an early suspect, but he maintained his innocence, of course. And at the time, there was not enough evidence to point directly to him. But don't worry, there will be. In 2015, Heinrich got arrested for child pornography because he's a disgusting garbage person. And during the trial the next year, he confessed to abducting, sexually assaulting and killing Jacob.


Oh, no. He killed and buried Jacob in a nearby shallow grave in 1989. But a year later, he noticed that the boy's red jacket was visible, like where he had buried him. And it took him a year to notice that. I don't know if he just didn't bury him properly the first time or if like it, you know, he suddenly was rising to the surface a little bit. Oh, my gosh.


Well, so he moved the body and reburied it. So a year later, he went back and was still tampering.


And that means he must have been going back, like at least on some amount of occasions to make sure nothing was wrong. Yeah, because he wasn't just like on the side of the road, bright, you know, like he had to go back to this location. Oh, that's so disgusting and so dark.


Well, authorities recovered and positively ID Jacob's remains in 2016, which I remember when that happened. It was huge.


It was like four years ago, not a long time ago at all. What do you think so far? I mean, wow, so Jacob is a real rough one that hurts my soul. I feel like you got a lot of the rough one.


I did, because J.C. is also, like, horrific.


I'm so glad that she was found free, but like 18 years of what she went through. Yeah. The story really helpful. Yeah, it really is.


I'm glad Gabriel is in there.


I needed Gabriel. I'm really glad we all needed Gabriel. But I'm excited to see what's coming up. A couple of these I had no idea about.


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Five. All right, let's jump back in with number five on our countdown of solved cold case disappearances starting off. The second half of our list is Japanese World War Two soldier Soichi Okoye. Soichi was stationed in Guam when American forces captured the island in 1944. Soichi fled into the jungle with nine other Japanese soldiers.


Over the years, some moved away and some passed away. But Soichi stayed hidden for decades. Soichi, dude, this one is wild.


I'm excited. Are you right? Interesting. So at the time, Japanese soldiers believed surrendering was just not an option. And that's what caused Soichi and his fellow soldiers just to flee into the wilderness. Oh, I know. The soldiers went to extreme lengths not to be detected. They erased their footprints and they built hiding places for themselves. Soichi lived for many years in a cave near a waterfall and camouflaged the opening of the cave with bamboo. Wow, Soichi, this is like the longest episode of like Naked In.


If you just think about what this is like an episode of alone. Yeah. Or Survivor. Yeah. All of those so many seasons of Survivor packed into one life. Yeah. But it's like what does he get in the end. Let's find out. He lived off small animals that he could capture in the jungle, which sometimes included eels and venomous toads.


Damn. Did he just like suck the venom. I'm going to say one. How did he live in two. How did he know how to not get the venom? Because he Soichi switch.


He he knows all he does. He was completely alone for the last eight years that he was out there. Wow. Because his last two fellow soldiers actually died in a flood in nineteen sixty four. Can you imagine how devastating that would be.


No, because you've been with them for so many years. Yeah. And you're out there in the wilderness and suddenly for eight years you're alone by yourself just eating venomous toads. People are naked, afraid can't handle it for like ten days. Eight years. I wouldn't handle it for a day. I wouldn't handle it for at all an hour because I just wouldn't do it ever.


Well, Soichi finally was found in January nineteen seventy two twenty eight years later, and he was found by two fishermen that were setting up traps in the wilderness.


So he didn't know that the war had ended. And I got so this whole time, that's the other thing. He's like afraid because he's in the wilderness. But he also thinks that the worst. So he's on like high alert this whole time, too. Yeah. Wow.


Well, he was eventually able to relay his story and he went back to Japan and he was married by the end of that year in nineteen seventy two and he lived into his eighties. Get it. So I love Soichi. I really do have all the happy ones too of glad.


For landing at number four this week is Katherine and Sheila Lion.


On March 25th, 1975, the Lyon sisters, aged 10 and 12, disappeared after going shopping in a suburb of Washington, D.C. in 2015. A man named Lloyd Welch confessed that he and his family was kidnapped and killed the girls. But trusting his every word hasn't quite given the case for closure he and his family. I have one question here.


Are you the Firefly family from Devils Ridge? Oh, my God. I literally was going to say I was going to interrupt you and be like, is this devil's rejects?


Is this the house of 1000 corpses? What is happening here? Something horrible. This is really gross. So Welch, who was only 18 in 1975, a baby, admitted he participated in the abduction of Katherine and Sheila Ryan. So he's a garbage person, but told detectives and his lawyers argued in court that he didn't sexually assault or kill the girls he just abducted, just abducted them. And then he doesn't know what happened after that.


So you're fine. Makes sense. In 1975, witnesses said they saw the girls speaking to an older man and Welch said he'd actually seen the two girls leave with that older man. I wonder if it was like his dad or something.


Yeah, this is so confusing.


And standard detectives believe Welch was just trying to get the reward money, which was nine thousand dollars.


I hope you didn't get it. I hope you didn't. In 2013, a cold case detective noticed a suspect sketch from the case looked weirdly similar to Lloyd Welch's mug shot from 1977. Oh, that's just a strange coincidence. Totally a coincidence. Nothing to see here. No, not at all.


In 2013, the same year, Welch was already in jail for molesting a minor, you know.


Yeah. And he confessed to kidnapping, but not to murder. He's really like hanging his hat on that kidnapping. I like that.


He's just like checking things off. He's like, you know what?


I didn't kill them, but I did do this. He just keeps being like I only kidnapped them, that's all. What's the big deal? I'm already in jail anyway.


I only took them from their loved ones. I don't understand why everyone's upset. I hate this guy. He's the worst. I want to kick him. So he said I kidnapped them. I didn't murder them.


And he never revealed the location of the bodies. Ever. Never. In 2017, Lloyd Welch pled guilty to two counts of first degree felony murder in the case. So he did. So all of a sudden he's like, oh, just kidding. You know what? Let me finally tell the truth now. According to The Washington Post's authorities have said other participants in the murders are either dead or their roles could not be proven.


Not so disappointing. I want to know everybody that was responsible so dark.


Yeah, the thought of a family kidnapping, these two like baby girls because you just would never expect that it's gross. Yeah. Three. Number three on our countdown of solved cold case disappearances is Pamela Jackson and Cheryl Miller. Cheryl and Pamela were just 17, living in South Dakota and headed to a party when they went missing in 1971. A drought in September 2013 revealed their car in a creek next to the site of the party. No one looked there, I guess not until 2013.


There's a creek next to the last place they were and they were like, Yeah, man. And that's fine. I don't think they're in there. Wow. Well, Cheryl and Pamela were following behind another set of friends in a separate car when their car just seemingly vanished.


You know how that happens, right? You know, cars do do that a lot all the time they've been there. I'm sorry. What? Well, they weren't big partiers, so their friends assumed that they just changed their minds and turned around. But then they weren't seen or heard from. See, I was going to be like, why didn't you just text them? And then I was like, this is 1971. Exactly. So answered my own question.


No cell phones, only the big Morris ones. And I don't even think. Nope. Know that somebody 71. Well, the area was searched following their disappearance, but no sign of them or their car was found because they didn't look and they didn't look at the Greek. Well, then guess what happened. What happened? A flood. Oh. Followed by a major drought. And it unearthed the tires of Cheryl's car below layers of gravel. That's so creepy.


Isn't that so? That's why it was like really concealed teak. So they came to the conclusion that they had a car accident and had gone off the gravel road and hit the creek. Oh, that's so sad. It gets worse. The car was still in third gear and there was clear damage to one tire. The keys were in the ignition and the lights were toggled to the on position. Oh, so they obviously were trying to get out, I think.


Oh, gross. I know Cheryl's purse and belongings were also still in the car and they were in relatively good shape. Wow. Isn't that weird for being in water. Yeah, that's very weird. I know no trace of alcohol was involved at all, so that's crazy. They just like really had a car accident. Bad luck. Exactly. But in 2007, a man was indicted for killing the girls with a recorded jailhouse confession. Watch. Yeah, he said that he did this when obviously he didn't and it turned out to have been faked by another inmate.


Oh, that sucks. But it also doesn't suck. It all sucks. Everything sucks because the parents of these girls thought that they were murdered. Yeah. And they're like, oh, my goodness. But then it turns out that they just got in a brutal car accident. Yeah. It's like they went from thinking they were in a brutal car accident to thinking they were murdered and then back to a brutal car accident. There's just no winning here.


There's not.


All right, we're taking some dark turnstone, this one, yeah, this one is gnarly. I don't know. When it first started, I was like, oh, this is going to be wonderful because they're all solved.


And then I forgot that solved doesn't mean that everyone's alive and happy in the end. It just means we know what happened. Crime countdown is not rainbows or butterflies.


Totally forgot about that.


That's OK. That's on me. Egg on my face. Is there anything that you're expecting to see?


Honestly, no, because I was trying to wrap my brain to think of cold cases that have been solved. And I knew like Jacob Wetterling, I knew that one. I knew Jaycee Dugard. But other than that, I was kind of like, I don't know. Yeah, I have no idea what yours could be. Well, I can't tell you until then. Let's do it.


To. We're down to the final two spots on our countdown of solved cold case disappearances. At number two is Lucy and Johnson. I like that name. It's a cute name. In 1961, Lucien was living in Surrey, British Columbia, with her husband, Marvin and their two children and one day disappeared.


It was sounding really cute up until then and then boom. But her husband didn't report her missing until May 1965.


That's because he killed her. But get this one. In 2013, her daughter Linda found Lucy living in Alaska. What, so he didn't do so? No, he didn't. Yeah, because Marvin waited for, oh, I don't know.


Years before boarding Lucy's disappearance, the case was initially treated as a homicide, just like I thought it was.


I was like, oh, murderer. Which I mean, can you blame anybody? No, I don't even blame myself. The guy waits four years.


You're like little stuff. What's up, Marvin? You know what, Marv? That's a little weird. I don't know.


The family's yard was excavated as part of the investigation, but nothing was ever found because she was alive somewhere else.


Oh, no. That sucks for Marvin. And the kid certainly does. In June 2013, Lucy's disappearance was featured as a cold case on TV news. Her daughter Linda placed advertisements in local newspapers which like, oh, murder.


Well, Linda received a reply from a woman living in Alaska who recognized the photo of Lucy as her own mother. OK, so Linda has a sister, so Linda has a half sister. What's now? Lucy was alive and living in Alaska. Linda got on a plane to go see her mother for the first time in fifty two years.


So she essentially lived like her entire life without her mom, a literal entire life without her mother. Is there a reason why Lucy just like dipped and having no idea that her mother was alive this entire time? Well, she obviously thought she was dead. What so she described this week long reunion as awkward at first and overall very emotional, I would think, which I think we can all be like. Yeah, makes sense. It makes sense. That adds up.


Those are two adjectives I would use.


Linda asked her mother, which good for her point blank, why she left her children and moved to Alaska. She was like, Hey, Mom, what was that about? Yeah, what are you doing for fifty two years again? Why did you dip?


Well, Lucy explained that her husband Marvin was abusive and a cheater, so she left him with her children. I'm sorry that that happened to you, Lucy, but the more you're leaving the kids with him, like, I'm sorry if your husband is abusive, you don't leave your children with him and move to Alaska and he is a cheater. So I just left him and I left my kids, like, why don't you just, like, take us in the middle of the night?


Mom, you didn't feel like you want to, I don't know, contact your kids at any point. You have any lunch in 52 years. Very confusing. Now, she says she had come back for her kids once, but Marvin wouldn't let her have them. OK, I'm sorry, but you only came back once when she says, I came back once in 52 years. Lucy, you got to fight tooth and nail for those kids. Come on.


Well, Linda had to tell her mother that her first son, Linda's brother, had passed away. But Linda and Lucy stayed in each other's lives, which I give. Linda is a good person. Yeah, I give her a lot of credit. Snaps to Linda.


Linda This one goes out to Linda.


One. And that brings us to number one on our countdown of the top 10 solved cold case disappearances, but rizzotto March nineteen forty eight, Plácido Rizzotto walked out of his office in a small Sicilian town and he stopped briefly to chat outside a bar on the main street. And then he walked into the night and 60 years later, they found his body. Just a few years, a little bit. Plácido Rizzotto was a union leader who had sided with local farm laborers in a confrontation with the Mafia.


Oh, you know what I'm just going to say here, you would just always want to side with the Mafia just to cover your own. Just pretend to cover your own booty, that booty. So he lived in the town of Corleone, like the fictional crime family in The Godfather. Cute, right? So the town was filled with leaders of the Sicilian Mafia and others who were fighting to oppose the Mafia. So a lot of fighting, lots of fighting, lots of mafia.


I'm scared. Risottos family and union co-workers campaigned for years to locate risottos remains. And they finally were 60 years later in 2009. Wow. Isn't that enough? 60 years. That's a long time. Yeah. His remains were found in a remote area just outside Corleone and DNA confirmed it was his remains in twenty twelve. And he was given a proper burial then, which the Italian president attended while rizzotto big deal. One union leader stated the Mafia wanted to send a symbolic message.


Not only were they killing Pajarito Rizzotto, but they were making him vanish, erasing him. Who? You know what they did in a chilled me to my bone. I know it's so sad. His state funeral is a symbolic message back to the Mafia, though they didn't succeed even after all those years. Oh my. I know. I don't know if I'd go sending messages to the mafia.


Wow, I had no idea about that last one. No one never heard of that.


I know. And you would think that something you probably would have heard 60 years like that belongs at number one. It absolutely does. I can't think of anything else to put there 60 years.


Yeah, I would say so. In Lucianne Johnson.


I'm real mad. What? Yeah, well, you just disappeared for 52 years.


I mean, I have to say that I'm happy for Linda that she got to finally have a relationship with her, but it's like. Yeah, good for her. Oh, man.


And then all these randomly cars going into bodies of water. I know I have to drive home after this. And I'm like, oh, crap. I don't think you buy a body of water.


I do. Oh, yeah, you do. There's guardrail. Be careful. Thank you. Because it's like twenty two years. You're just hanging under there. No, no.


We'll make sure you look there if anything happens. Knock on wood. I will. Don't worry. Thanks for listening. We'll be back next week with another great episode. Remember to follow Crime Countdown on Spotify to get a brand new episode delivered. Every week you can find all episodes of Crime Countdown and all other Pakhi shows for free on Spotify. Spotify has all your favorite music and podcasts all in one place. They're making it easier to listen to whatever you want to hear for free on your phone, computer or smart speaker.


And if you can't get enough of these creepy crimes, check out our After Crime Countdown podcast playlist on Spotify, where we've handpicked even more episodes about this week's stories that we think you'll enjoy. And if you like the show, follow at Precast on Facebook and Instagram and at Sparkasse network on Twitter. And if you like us, which I think you do because you're still here.


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Fact Checking by Cara Marklin, research by Ambika Chautara JQ and Mikki Taylor. Crime Countdown Stars Ashkali and Alaina Urca.


Hi, it's Vanessa again. Don't forget, you can discover the real story behind one of history's most formidable families in the Spotify original form podcast. The Kennedys binge all 12 episodes starting on Tuesday, January 19th. Listen free and exclusively on Spotify.