Monday, November 27, 2023

The Disappearance of Tyreek Pettigrew


Tyreek Pettigrew has been missing since February 21st, 2018. The then-20-year-old was last seen at a Fuel Express gas station in Moncks Corner, South Carolina. Tyreek was at the gas station around 3:00 PM on the day of his disappearance. He was driving his mother's Nissan Infiniti G35. Tyreek left the gas station after a few minutes. He never returned home and has never been seen or heard from again.

After Tyreek was reported missing, investigators learned that the vehicle he was driving was spotted by surveillance cameras at 3:38 PM--just 38 minutes after his last known sighting. The car was seen at the Janki Mart on State Road-but Tyreek was not in the vehicle at the time. A different person was behind the wheel. At this time, it is unclear who was in possession of the car. 

During the early morning hours of February 22nd, the car Tyreek was driving was found on fire on Cainhoy Road in Charleston, South Carolina. There was no sign of Tyreek on the scene. It is unknown how the car got to said location. 

Tyreek's mother believes that her son was killed, and that people know what happened but are unwilling to speak up. It's uncharacteristic for Tyreek to stay out-of-touch with his family members. His loved ones have never believed that he is missing on his own accord.

The Berkeley County Sheriff's Office is investigating Tyreek's disappearance. If you have any information that could help the investigation, please call 843-719-4465.

UPDATE (November 2023): 

An arrest has been made in Tyreek's case.

Brandon Smith (33) has been charged with murder and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime in relation to Tyreek's disappearance. The Berkeley County Sheriff's Office is still investigating Tyreek's case and more updates are expected.

Brandon Smith. (source)

[ABC News 4]

Sunday, November 26, 2023

The Murder of Alma Mendez

source: NWI Times

The fall of 2007 was a tough time for Alma Mendez. The then-38-year-old woman had been dealing with the aftermath of her mother's brain aneurysm, which had occurred just months earlier. Additionally, Alma had separated from her husband of 19 years in early October. Despite these tough times, Alma remained a positive and dedicated mother to her three children. She also never deviated from her daily routine of jogging in the Sauk Trail Woods Forest Preserve near her home in Chicago Heights, Illinois. 

The afternoon of October 28th, 2007 was no exception to this routine. As usual, Alma drove her car to the preserve and began jogging on the trail. This time, though, Alma never returned home. Her family members reported her missing that evening. 

Police found Alma's car parked at the preserve. This indicated the likelihood that Alma either never left the area or was taken from the area by force. Searches were immediately launched in the preserve. Two days later, on October 30th, a searcher found Alma's body in the lake near the trail. An autopsy later confirmed that Alma's throat had been slit. She had also suffered several blunt force injuries.

 Alma's death was subsequently labeled a homicide. The news of her death was inevitably devastating for her family members - and it also caused panic amongst locals in the area who now feared that a predator was on the loose. However, detectives believe that Alma's death was not random, and that she may have been targeted. 

Many questions remain, such as who? And why? The information revealed throughout the investigation brings forth a few different theories. 


Daily jogs at Sauk Trail.

Sauk Trail. (source: Forest Preserves of Cook County)

Sauk Trail provided Alma with a scenic view during her daily exercise. According to her sisters, Alma loved jogging along this trail by the lake. Since this jog was part of her daily routine, it can be theorized that Alma's killer knew she'd be at the trail at the time of their encounter. 

It's possible that this person is another frequenter of the trail who had seen Alma there during her daily jogs. However, according to the Cook County Sheriff's Office, Alma usually went running during the early morning hours - but on the day of her murder, she went later in the day.

It's also possible that Alma's killer followed her there or knew she was there after recognizing her car in the parking lot. If this is the case, it supports detectives' beliefs that Alma was targeted - possibly by someone she knew. 

Phone calls before Alma's disappearance.

Several different reports on Alma's case reference phone calls that she made shortly before her disappearance and murder. On November 1st, 2007, Cardinal News reported that Alma "was last heard from on Sunday at about 2 p.m. when she left a friend a voicemail saying she had something important to talk about."

It's unknown what Alma wanted to talk about with said friend, therefore it is unknown if it has anything to do with Alma's murder. Several other reports note another phone call that Alma made that day to one of her sisters. According to the sister, Alma was actually on the phone with her as she began her jog at the trail. 

There was reportedly no cause for alarm during that phone call, as Alma was in good spirits. The phone call did not end abruptly, nor did it give her sister any reason to worry. This information indicates that Alma clearly did not suspect that anything sinister was awaiting her during her jog. 

Witness information.

According to Alma's sisters, witnesses saw something unusual on the trail that day: a truck. While the trail may be large enough for a car, it's known as a walking/running/trail - which is why the vehicle stuck out. Alma's sisters were reportedly told that the truck had a direct link to Alma's murder.

In 2011, Alma's sister Maria Lopez told CBS 2 News that detectives said Alma was run over first, then attacked, before her body was placed in the water. It's not believed that Alma was accidentally struck by the vehicle. 

It appears that detectives have corroborated the witnesses' statements about seeing the truck on the trail - but it is unknown if the vehicle has ever been identified or located.

The separation.

As previously mentioned, Alma and her husband separated in early October 2007 - just weeks before her murder. This inevitably raises suspicions about the husband, who was likely aware of Alma's jogging routine. Early reports on Alma's case state that the husband has been questioned. 

It's unclear if police are suspicious of Alma's estranged husband - but he has not been publicly labeled as a person of interest or suspect in the case.


Based on the above information about this case, there are a few theories:

  • Theory 1: The killer was a stalker or predator, possibly unknown to Alma. Since detectives believe Alma was targeted, it seems less likely that Alma was killed by a random predator who spotted her in the wrong place at the wrong time. It is, however, possible that Alma was killed by a predator who had been stalking her.

    Maybe this person first spotted Alma on her daily jogs at the trail - or maybe this person knew of her from elsewhere. It should be noted that there are no known reports of Alma being fearful of a stalker or anything of the like around the time of her murder. Still, it's possible that she was targeted by someone unknown to her.

  • Theory 2: Alma's husband is the killer. There are many reasons that one might suspect Alma's husband. The two separated just weeks before the murder. Many reports state that the two were estranged. It's possible that Alma and her estranged husband were about to face a nasty divorce and custody battle. If so, this may provide motive for the husband. 

    All of this is speculation - as the husband has not been charged with anything related to Alma's murder. However, it appears he has not been publicly ruled out either.

  • Theory 3: The killer is someone else known to Alma. It's possible that Alma was murdered by someone else she knew - but if so, it's unclear who or why. As previously noted, there are not any known reports of Alma being worried about or troubled by any sort of third party/person. Still - detectives may have information about this that the public may not know. 

    The phone call that Alma made to her friend, stating that she had "something she wanted to talk about" may hold a clue here. Maybe Alma wanted to talk to her friend about a person she was having trouble with, maybe she wanted to talk about her troubled marriage, or maybe it was something else altogether. At this time, this information is unknown.

Where the case stands today.

Despite having some workable theories, Alma's murder remains unsolved. Years have passed without any news on her case.

Alma's murder has been labeled as a cold case by the Cook County Sheriff's Office. There is a monetary reward for anyone with information that could help solve the case. If you have any information that could help the investigation, please submit a tip.

Cardinal News
CBS News
The Chicago Tribune
Cook County Sheriff's Office
Daily Herald

Saturday, November 25, 2023

The Disappearance of Marlisha Love

source: KSDK

Marlisha Love has been missing since January 6th, 2023. The 23-year-old young woman was last seen at a White Castle in St. Louis, Missouri. Marlisha never returned home and has never been seen or heard from again.

According to reports, Marlisha was seen with friends on the day on her disappearance. One of her friends stated that Marlisha asked to be dropped off at the White Castle at the intersection of Delmar Boulevard and Kingshighway Boulevard. After bringing her there, the friend said she witnessed Marlisha getting into the passenger side of an older model white Chevy Suburban. The car then left the parking lot. What happened after that still remains a mystery.

source: KSDK

It is reportedly unusual for Marlisha to stay away from home and out-of-touch for this long. She was subsequently reported missing by her mother on January 9th, 2023 - three days after she was last seen. A few weeks into the investigation, police appealed to the public for help finding Marlisha. Unfortunately, it appears that the investigation has yet to turn up any clues. 

Very little information is available about the vehicle that Marlisha's friend said that Marlisha got into at White Castle. There is surveillance footage of Marlisha in the White Castle parking lot, but it does not appear that the footage captures her getting into a car. In fact, the St. Louis Crimestoppers page states that there are "no video's (sic) to verify [Marlisha's friend's] story."

St. Louis police have revealed very few details about the investigation into Marlisha's disappearance. It is unknown if there are any persons of interest or suspects - as police have not publicly identified any people as such. What is known is that Marlisha remains missing today, and her loved ones are searching for answers.

If you have any information that could lead to Marlisha's whereabouts, please submit a tip.

Fox 2 Now
St. Louis Regional Crimestoppers


Friday, November 24, 2023

The Disappearance & Murder of Stevencia Barlatier

Stevencia Barlatier (21) was eight months pregnant when she vanished without a trace on November 26th, 2017. She was last seen at the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies in Orlando, Florida. Stevencia never returned home and was never seen or heard from again.

At first, Stevencia’s family members were not worried, as it was not uncommon for her to drop out of sight for days at a time. However, Stevencia was due to give birth in December 2017. When her family had still not heard from her by December 31st, they reported her missing.

After Orlando PD began investigating, Stevencia’s family members learned that she had not used her cell phone or accessed any of her social media accounts since November 26th. Stevencia’s phone was last pinged at a home in Kissimmee. Police went to said home, but the family reportedly did not know or recognize Stevencia.

After two years of silence on the case, it was reported in 2019 that Stevencia's body was found in a remote wooded area in eastern Hernando County - over 50 miles away from where she was last seen. It is unclear when, exactly, her body was found and there has been very little news coverage on Stevencia's case. Her death is classified as a homicide and investigators are looking for tips to help solve the murder. 

Bay News 9

Saturday, November 18, 2023

The Murder of Carly Jones


Carly Jones was found shot to death inside her Boston, Massachusetts home on January 29th, 2013. Her murder remains unsolved to this day.

The 32-year-old mother lived in an apartment in the Roslindale neighborhood at the time of her death. She was discovered deceased by a friend who was dropping Carly's daughter off that evening. As the friend and Carly's daughter approached the residence on 28 Fawndale Road, they noticed the door was open. The friend told Carly's daughter to wait outside while she inspected the scene.

28 Fawndale Road. (source:

Once inside, the friend found Carly in her bedroom, slumped over her bed. Her body was covered in blood. Police were called, and it was soon determined that Carly had been killed by gunshot wounds to the head.  

Throughout the investigation, it was noted that there were no signs of forced entry into Carly's apartment or into the building's front door. Due to this, investigators do not believe that Carly's murder was random. A 2014 report from Boston Herald states, "police believe that Jones knew her killer and that a tenant unwittingly let the shooter in through the main entrance." Despite this, police have not publicly announced any suspects in Carly's case.

Early into the investigation, it was reported that police were looking to speak with Carly's friends and acquaintances. It was also reported that several other residents in the apartment building were home at the time of the murder and it was likely that someone heard the gunshots or other noise related to the crime. However, it's unclear if investigators were able to narrow down any persons of interest. Years have passed with any updates in Carly's case. 

If you have any information that could help solve Carly's murder, please contact Boston homicide detectives at 617-343-4470. Anonymous tips can be submitted to Crimestoppers at 1-800-494-TIPS or by texting the word 'TIP' to CRIME (27463).

The Disappearance of Sage Smith

Sage Smith disappeared under suspicious circumstances on November 20th, 2012. Prior to vanishing, the 19-year-old was making a lot of positive changes in her life. Sage grew up in the foster care system, and reportedly had a very tumultuous childhood. Things were beginning to turn around in the fall of 2012—Sage was no longer a part of the foster system, so she was able to move into her own place in Charlottesville, Virginia. She had recently gotten a new job in that area, and she was looking forward to her future. 

Sage also had recently come out to her family and friends as transgender. Just weeks before her disappearance, Sage changed her gender on her Facebook page from male to female. According to Sage’s grandmother Lolita Smith, Sage was reportedly very happy to be living her truth.

On the evening she was last seen, Sage told her roommate, Aubrey Carson, that she planned to meet up with a man—possibly for a date—whom she had met online. That man was later identified as Erik McFadden (pictured below).

Aubrey grew concerned the following morning, when he awoke to find that Sage had not returned home. He tried calling Sage, but her phone went straight to voicemail. Aubrey then called Sage’s grandmother, Lolita. After learning that Lolita had not heard from Sage either, Aubrey called the Charlottesville police.

Erik McFadden

By the time authorities determined that Sage had met up with a man named Erik McFadden, they were unable to locate him. In fact, McFadden’s girlfriend ended up reporting him missing on November 24th—just four days after Sage was last seen. At that point, investigators became tasked with locating both Sage and their only person of interest in Sage's case.


McFadden contacts the authorities.

At first, it appeared that McFadden was on the run. However, he ended up contacting Charlottesville authorities three days after he was reported missing. McFadden told them that he did plan to meet up with Sage on the evening of November 20th, but Sage never showed up. 

Still, investigators asked McFadden to meet with them in person. He told them that he couldn’t because he was in New York. When investigators asked him when he would be back, he hung up.

A changed story.

Although it appeared McFadden himself was trying to avoid contact with authorities, his girlfriend continued to cooperate with the investigation. She told police that McFadden planned to take a bus back to Charlottesville on November 29th. The next day, though, McFadden changed his mind. He sent his girlfriend an e-mail saying that Sage was blackmailing him by threatening to tell people that the two of them had sex. 

McFadden also stated that he did meet up with Sage on the night of November 20th, but he did not know what happened to her. This version of events clearly differed from the story that McFadden told authorities, and he was officially classified as a person of interest after that. 

Case reclassification.

Unfortunately, investigators have never been able to question McFadden in person. He reportedly has never returned to Charlottesville, and the last sign of him was an e-mail he sent to his girlfriend in May 2013, from an untraceable e-mail address.

The Charlottesville Police are still actively investigating Sage’s disappearance. In 2016, the investigation was reclassified as a homicide. Three years later, on June 26th, 2019, police announced that they officially filed a missing persons' report for Erik McFadden. To this day, McFadden remains the only person of interest/suspect in the case. 

A $20,000 reward is in place for any information that could lead to Sage’s whereabouts and/or an arrest in the case. If you have any information about Sage and/or Erik McFadden’s whereabouts, please contact the Charlottesville Police Department at 434-970-3280.

Sunday, November 12, 2023

The Disappearance of Lina Sardar Khil

Source: Crime Online

Lina Sardar Khil was only 3 years old when she went missing on December 20th, 2021. The little girl lived with her family in San Antonio, Texas at the time of her disappearance. On the evening she vanished, Lina went outside to play with other neighborhood children at a playground at her family's apartment complex around 5:30 PM. Lina's mother turned away for a few minutes, and when she looked back, Lina was gone. She has never been seen or heard from again.

Lina's family is originally from Afghanistan. When Lina was a baby, the family moved to the United States and settled into an Afghan refugee community in San Antonio. The families living in that community all know each other and look after one another. For this reason, Lina's mother felt it was safe for her to turn her back momentarily while Lina played with other neighborhood children. Unfortunately, Lina seemingly vanished within that short amount of time.

When Lina's mother first realized that Lina was no longer at the playground, she went door-to-door throughout the community to see if anyone had seen her daughter. Lina's parents then turned to the leader of their Afghan community to see if he could help. The leader advised Lina's parents to call the police - which they finally did around 7:30 PM that evening. 

Thorough searches were conducted in the family's community and in surrounding areas. Dive teams were sent into a nearby creek. No sign of Lina was found. Lina's family members cooperated with the investigation and have not been labeled as persons of interest. No other persons of interest have been publicly identified.

Months before Lina vanished, her family brought her on a trip to their hometown in Afghanistan. While there, Lina and her mother happened to be just feet away from a suicide bombing that killed hundreds of people. Lina and her mother survived the attack and returned to San Antonio. The family - much like many other families - sought refuge and safety in the United States. They never imagined that the most traumatizing event of their lives would occur while living in Texas. 

Authorities have been baffled by Lina's disappearance. The FBI is now involved in the search. If you have any information that could lead to Lina's whereabouts, please submit a tip.

ABC News
Charley Project
Crime Online
My San Antonio
New York Times