Thursday, August 11, 2022

The Murder of Silene Eaddy

image source: Richland County Sheriff's Department

Silene Eaddy was only 15 years-old when she was brutally murdered during the early morning hours of April 17th, 2004. It was 5:00 AM when authorities in Richland County, South Carolina were notified about a small brush fire. Columbia fire personnel were sent to the area off Highway 378 near Montgomery Lane and Pincushion Road, where they spotted the fire in a wooded area. 

As first responders worked to put out the flames, they noticed the body of a teenage girl was lying facedown in the brush. She had suffered severe trauma to her body. Two days later, it was confirmed that the young victim was Silene. Dental records and a necklace she was wearing helped confirm her identity.

Silene, referred to by friends and family as Erica, had been the victim of a horrific murder. She had been savagely beaten and then set on fire. Medical examiners noted that Silene actually had soot in her lungs at the time of her death, indicating that she was still alive when the fire was lit. It is believed that the fire was set with the purpose of destroying evidence. 

Silene was last seen alive by her family members between 7:00 and 7:30 PM on April 15th, 2004. She left her family's home on foot to walk to a neighbor's house around the corner. Silene was known to walk around the area and chat with neighbors, so this initially did not seem unusual. Silene's family members grew concerned when she did not return, but they initially waited to contact authorities. The teen reportedly had a habit of running away, but she usually returned within a few days. 

By the time Silene's mother finally did report file a missing persons' report, her body had already been found. At that point, authorities were still working to identify the girl they had found in the brushfire. When detectives were notified about Silene's disappearance, they immediately suspected that she was the unidentified girl. These suspicions were confirmed shortly thereafter. Silene's case was then shifted into a murder investigation.

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Who killed Silene?

As previously stated, Silene was only 15 years-old at the time of her tragic death. It is hard to imagine why anyone would kill such a young person in such a horrific manner. Investigators have spent several years trying to find answers, but so far no arrests have been made. 

A look into Silene's background and life at the time of her murder may hold the answers. 

About Silene 'Erica' Eaddy.

(image source)

Silene 'Erica' Eaddy was a resilient young girl. She spent her early years in the foster system. At age 3, Silene was fostered by a woman named Brenda McCoy. Brenda and her husband officially adopted Silene two years later. The family resided in Columbia, South Carolina, where Silene lived with her adoptive parents and her siblings, Eugene and Destiny. Despite her tough early years, Silene appeared to be a happy child. 

Loved ones described Silene as a caring youngster with a "wonderful spirit". According to her mother Brenda, Silene loved to do various kind things for her parents, such as cooking for them and greeting them at the door. She enjoyed music, art, and writing. Silene was also well-known throughout her community, she was friendly towards her neighbors and often chatted with them. 

The early teenage years. 

Like many children going through puberty, Silene's behavior and interests began to shift as she entered her teenage years. These changes were amplified when Silene's adoptive father died of a heart attack. This was obviously traumatizing and devastating for the young girl, as she was very close with her father. According to Brenda, Silene began to "act out" as a result of this great loss.

Silene was a student at Alston-Wilkes Youth Services School in Columbia; a school for at-risk youth. When she entered high school, Silene was initially enrolled at the local Dreher High - but was soon sent to Alston-Wilkes upon referral. Reports state that the teen had of engaging in potentially dangerous behaviors such as hitching rides with men she did not know and running away from home. Brenda has been quoted saying that she believes Silene had fallen in with a "bad crowd" around this time. 

Despite all this, it appeared the teen girl was still, in many ways, a typical teen girl. She participated in her school's Jr. ROTC program and remained interested in the arts. Various neighbors stated that Silene seemed like a very confident girl. She also remained quite friendly and still had many conversations with her people around her neighborhood. 

Silene's disappearance and death.

As previously stated, Silene's family members last saw her alive on the evening of April 15th, 2004. Silene was headed towards a nearby neighbor's house, but very little other information is known. Reports state that Brenda probed her daughter for more information about what she was doing, but Silene brushed her off. 

Due to Silene's habit of running away, Brenda did not immediately call police. She had run away in the past, but she never stayed away for long. However, when Silene did not return after two days, Brenda finally reported her missing. Unbeknownst to both Brenda and investigators, the young girl had already been found deceased. 

Silene could have only been deceased for a short period of time before she was found during the early morning hours of April 17th. Soot was in her lungs at the time of her death, meaning she was alive at the time the fire was set. This leaves a whole window of Silene's time between the evening of April 15th and the morning of April 17th that is unaccounted for. As such, many questions remain: What did Silene do after leaving her house? Who did she see? Who killed her? Why?

Theories.

The neighbor Silene was supposedly visiting on the evening of April 15th has never been publicly identified. It's unclear if investigators are aware of this persons' identity. It is also unknown if any witnesses have ever come forward about Silene's whereabouts/actions between April 15th and 17th. If police have any of this information, it has never been publicly revealed. Still, there is enough information to garner up a few theories.

Brenda's mother said that Silene began hanging out with a "bad crowd" prior to her death. She does not elaborate further on this, but she did mention that she felt Silene might have been afraid of some of these people. Brenda once told reporters, "I knew [Silene] fell in with the wrong crowd of people, so knew in my heart something was not right. I think in some ways, she was afraid because of some of the things she would say, but then she didn’t know how to get out of her situation." Is it possible that Silene was murdered by a member of this "wrong crowd"? Did she know too much information about them?

Other reports state that Silene was known to accept rides from various men in the area. There is also a possibility that she accepted a ride from the wrong person, and ended up killed. However, it should be noted that investigators believe Silene was murdered by somebody she knew. A detective working the case was quoted saying, "[Silene] was searching for a lot of comfort in the wrong places, in the wrong people. People took advantage of her."

Where the case stands today.

As of 2022, no suspects or persons of interest have been publicly named in the case. It appears as if detectives followed several promising leads during the early years of the investigation, but the case has since gone stagnant. 

Brenda McCoy passed away on April 30th, 2020. She died before ever receiving answers in her daughter's case.

There is a monetary reward available for anyone with information that could lead to Silene's killer(s). If you have any helpful information, please submit a tip.

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Sources:
Hue and Cry
Newsbreak
Uncovered

WIS News 10

Today in True Crime: August 11, 2022

 

Kayla Berg disappeared 13 years ago today. The then-15-year-old was living in Antigo, Wisconsin at the time of her disappearance. Kayla was last seen by a man named Kevin Kielcheski, a friend of her brother, who was 24 at the time. Kevin would often drive Kayla and her friends around town. On the evening of her disappearance, Kevin picked Kayla up from her grandmother's house around 8:45 PM.

By Kevin's account, the two drove around Antigo and smoked marijuana for a bit. Shortly after 9:30 PM, Kayla asked Kevin to drive her to her boyfriend Miguel's house in Wausau. Kevin agreed, and the two of the made the 40-minute drive to the area. Kevin claims that he dropped her off around 10:30 PM and then went home. Kayla has never been seen or heard from again.

Both Kevin and Miguel have been considered persons of interest in the case - but both have vehemently denied being involved in Kayla's disappearance. In October 2009, Kevin was charged with second-degree reckless endangerment due to the fact that he had smoked marijuana with Kayla in the car. However, those charges were later dropped. Since then, neither Kevin nor Miguel have been charged with anything related to Kayla's disappearance.  It seems that the case has gone cold. 


My thoughts on this case...

Really sad that this case hasn't been solved yet. I've seen online that people in the area mostly believe that Kevin Kielcheski is involved in some way... whether he killed Kayla or disposed of her body after an overdose; people think he know what happened. He's definitely suspicious, but I also find the boyfriend Miguel to be suspicious too. 

One of Miguel's old phones pinged off a tower 40 miles away from his home on the night of Kayla's disappearance. He told police he was at home all night, and phone records from his NEW cell phone corroborated this. But did he leave that phone at home to establish and alibi? Did he bring the old phone as a backup in case he needed to get in contact with someone?

It's totally possible that the phone was in someone else's possession entirely that night. But when police questioned Miguel about this old phone ping, he refused to speak with them. In my mind, that's quite suspicious. Other than that, though, I lean towards Kevin being the one involved. Either way, Kayla's case remains unsolved and there are very few updates.


Tuesday, August 9, 2022

The Murders of Amina & Sarah Said

Amina and Sarah Said (left), Yaser Said (right)

Teenage sisters Amina Said (18) and Sarah Said (17) were murdered by their father Yaser Said on January 1st, 2008. The Saids are an Egyptian family, but Amina and Sarah grew up in Irving, Texas. It is believed that Yaser murdered his daughters because he felt they had dishonored their family by refusing to adhere to the traditional standards of their Egyptian culture.

The Said family: Yaser with his wife Patricia, their daughters & their son

An abusive household.

Yaser was reportedly abusive towards both of his daughters and his wife Patricia “Tissie” Said for many years. Amina and Sarah had both confided in their friends about the abuse. At one point, Sarah told her friend “He treats me like a whore.” Additionally, both girls would often show up to school with several bruises. On one occasion, Amina came to school with a split lip. She informed her friends that her father had caused her injuries, and her mother refused to let her seek medical attention. 

Yaser also often spied on his daughters–he would video or audio tape them without their knowledge. The girls were afraid to use public telephones because they feared that Yaser would somehow be listening in on their conversation. When Sarah got a job at a local convenience store, Yaser would videotape her at work and then punish her for smiling too much at the customers. There are also allegations of Yaser behaving inappropriately with both of his daughters, despite their obvious discomfort. 

Controlling relationships.

When Amina was 16, Yaser took her to Egypt and attempted to arrange a marriage between her and a much older friend of his. Amina rejected the marriage. Though Yaser was not happy about this, they returned to the United States where Yaser continued to look for other potential men to marry his daughters.

Amina began to date Joseph Moreno- a boy her age who she met in Tae Kwon Do classes. However, she was very scared that Yaser would find out about the relationship. She would send Joseph code words to let him know to stop texting/calling her in case Yaser was going to look through her phone. When Yaser asked, Amina denied having a boyfriend, but Yaser still continued to try and uncover the relationship.


When that failed, Yaser decided to move his family 60 miles away to Lewisville, Texas. This prompted Amina and Sarah to start planning an escape.

A brief escape.

Joseph's family actually offered to help not only Amina, but Sarah and their mother Tissie as well. Around Christmas 2007, Amina, Sarah and Tissie all ran away to Tulsa, Oklahoma to stay with Joseph's relatives. However, it is believed that Tissie stayed in contact with Yaser the entire time. On December 31st, 2007, Tissie told Amina and Sarah that it was the anniversary of her mother’s death, and she wanted to bring the girls to East Texas to put flowers on her grave. 

The fateful return.

Sarah reluctantly agreed to go with her mother, while Amina refused. Eventually, though, Tissie told Amina that her father had forgiven her and wanted both her and Sarah to come home. Amina eventually gave in and went with her mother and sister.

The following day, Yaser took Amina and Sarah to the cab he drove and told them he wanted to take them out to eat. Yaser told Tissie to stay at home because he wanted to talk to his daughters alone. He then drove the girls back to Irving, Texas, where he shot them both inside the car. Amina died instantly, while Sarah managed to call 911. She was heard on the line saying, “Help, my dad shot me! I’m dying!” Unfortunately, Sarah died before the paramedics could arrive.

Fleeing the scene.

Yaser fled the scene after shooting his daughters. He evaded authorities for 12 years before he was finally captured in August 2020.

Authorities worked tirelessly to locate him over the years. There were no records of him flying out of the country. At one point, the FBI believed that Yaser was working as a cab driver in New York City. In 2014, Yaser was added to the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list. A $100,000 reward was put in place for any information that would lead to his arrest.

Capture and conviction.

On August 26th, 2020, authorities tracked down Yaser Said in Justin, Texas. He was arrested and charged with capital murder for the deaths of his daughters. Amina and Sarah's brother was charged with aiding a fugitive. He was sentenced to 10 years for those charges.

In August 2022, Yaser went to trial. He testified in his own defense, saying that he was a victim of a smear campaign by the media. Jurors deliberated for about 3 hours before finding him guilty.

Yaser’s ex-wife/the girl’s mother gave a victim impact statement, calling Yaser the devil who killed their daughters. She also accused him of manipulating their son, who is currently serving a 10-year sentence for helping Yaser hide for over a decade. Yaser was visibly angry as his ex-wife spoke, and the judge had to tell his attorneys to keep him quiet.

Yaser was given an automatic life sentence. 

The Murder of Tyliah Young

 

Tyliah Young (22) was found murdered in Tacoma, Washington on January 13th, 2013. That afternoon, a local homeowner called police after spotting the body of a female in an alleyway near S. 12th and Ainsworth. When authorities arrived on the scene, they discovered that the victim's body was frozen - and there were pools of frozen blood surrounding the young woman. The woman was later identified as Tyliah - a young mother who had been reported missing just two days earlier. Her case marked the first homicide in Tacoma that year. 

Tyliah's father reported her missing on January 11th after the family had not seen or heard from her for several days. Tyliah was raising two young daughters, and it was unusual for her to fall out of touch. Her loved ones were inevitably devastated when they learned she had been found dead. Tyliah's cause of death was even more disturbing: she had been shot several times in the head. Police labeled her death as a homicide.

Tacoma detectives initially remained quiet about the investigation, and the case seemingly went cold. Then, in 2015, the detectives appealed to the public for help with solving Tyliah's murder. At that point, it was revealed that detectives had chased several leads and had a few possible suspects, but they still wanted more information. Tacoma detective Loretta Cool told reporters, "we've worked a couple of possible different suspects and hopefully it's just going to take that one additional tip that gets us what we need in order to make an arrest." Cool also stated that detectives specifically wanted information about who Tyliah was with and what she was doing between the dates of January 5th and January 13th. 

Since then, there have been very few updates on the investigation into Tyliah's murder. No suspects or persons of interest have been publicly named, and the case remains unsolved. There is a monetary reward available for anyone with information that could lead to the arrest of Tyliah's killer(s). If you have any information that could help the investigation, please submit a tip. 

List Series: Mother-Daughter Mysteries

A list of mysterious cases involving mother-daughter duos. Some of these mothers and daughters have vanished, while others have been murdered. The loved ones of these pairs are now left to mourn the mother and the child - while also hoping to find justice for both. All of these tragic cases remain unsolved today. 

The Murders of Tasjunique Graham & Bailey Simon


Tasjunique Graham (23) and her young daughter Bailey Simon (3) were shot to death in their Conway, South Carolina home on September 28th, 2020.  Police were sent to their home on Suggs Street around 7:30 PM that evening after receiving calls about a shooting. When the officers arrived, they found Tasjunique dead from gunshot wounds. Bailey had also been shot and was in critical condition. She was rushed to the hospital, but she succumbed to her injuries two days later. 

Prior to her death, Tasjunique was serving in the South Carolina National Guard as a truck driver and was also working in the nursing field. On top of that, she was raising her daughter Bailey. Loved ones of the mother-daughter duo described the pair as happy and kind. Tasjunique was known as a generous young woman and was not known to have any enemies. A motive for the killings remains unknown.

Bailey's father was incarcerated at the time of the murders, so he has been ruled out as the shooter. Other than that, very little information about the investigation has been revealed.



The Disappearances of Amber Aiaz & Melissa Fu

Amber Aiaz and her daughter Melissa Fu have been missing since November 22nd, 2019. The mother, then 34, and daughter, then 12, vanished under incredibly suspicious circumstances. Amber was working that day; transporting groceries from her store in Las Vegas to her other location in Irvine. Melissa stayed at home with her stepfather/Amber's husband, Cheng Zhang.

According to Zhang, he heard a knock on their door around 4:30 PM. When he opened the door, he was greeted by a man and a woman that he did not recognize. Zhang then said that he felt something "misty" on his face that caused him to collapse and fall unconscious. When he awoke later, Melissa was gone -and there were bloodstains on the carpet and in the kitchen. Zhang also found a handwritten note with a message written in Chinese. The message stated that Amber and Melissa were okay and would be returned in a few days as long as Zhang did not call police. The note also instructed Zhang to clean up the apartment to hide any evidence that a crime and/or kidnapping took place. 

Zhang followed the kidnapper's instructions and received several notes over the next few days, assuring him that Amber and Melissa would be returned safely as long as he continued to cooperate. When those notes stopped, and Amber and Melissa did not return, Zhang finally contacted police. 

Zhang's bizarre recollection of events raised many questions about his potential involvement, but after weeks of thorough and relentless investigation, authorities eventually ruled him out. The FBI is now involved in the search, which unfortunately remains unsolved today.



The Disappearances and Keir & Chloe Johnson

Keir Johnson and her daughter Chloe Johnson have been missing since April 30th, 2017. The young woman was 34 years-old at the time of her disappearance, and little Chloe was only 8 months-old. The pair was last seen at their home in Hampton, Virginia. Keir had made plans to bring Chloe to Buckroe Beach, where they would spend the day with one of Keir's friends. The mother and daughter never showed up at the beach, nor did they ever return home. They have never been seen or heard from again.

Two weeks later, Keir’s car was found abandoned at a trailer park in Newport News, Virginia. The vehicle did not provide any information about Keir or Chloe's whereabouts. It is not believed that the pair is missing voluntarily, as many of Keir's personal items were left behind. Additionally, any items that might be needed for Chloe - such as baby clothing, diapers, bottles, etc. were left behind. 

Keir and Chloe remain missing today. So far, no persons of interest or suspects have been publicly named. 


The Murders of Kathy & Samantha Netherland

Kathy Netherland (48) and her daughter Samantha Netherland (16) were found brutally murdered inside their Bardstown, Kentucky home on April 22nd, 2014. Kathy's father stumbled upon the horrific scene after he visited their home that morning. Both Kathy and Samantha had been brutally beaten and their throats were slit.  Autopsies confirmed that Kathy died from several gunshot wounds, while Samantha had been bludgeoned and stabbed to death. 

The murders of Kathy and Samantha occurred while the family was still mourning the loss of Bob Netherland - Kathy's husband and the father of Samantha and their older daughter, Holly. Bob had died from cancer just months before Kathy and Samantha were murdered. Investigators often first look at the spouse as a suspect in murder cases - but in this particular case, there was no spouse or significant other. Due to this, police initially had very little to work with.

Over the years, several theories have emerged about the murders. There has been speculation that Kathy and Samantha were killed as part of a gang initiation. There has also been speculation that their murders are related to other murders and disappearances in the Bardstown area. Unfortunately, said cases all remain unsolved today - including the murders of Kathy and Samantha.



The Murders of Heather & Kira Radcliffe

Heather Radcliffe (28) and her daughter Kira Radcliffe (6) were brutally murdered inside their Gainesville, Florida home on December 9th, 2006. Gainesville authorities were called to their home around 6:30 that morning after a neighbor noticed that flames were erupting from the roof of the house. Authorities initially thought they were responding to a fire caused by an electrical issue, but they soon discovered that the fire had been set on purpose in an effort to cover up the murders of the mother and daughter. 

It appears that Heather was the intended target of this attack, and Kira was killed after the murderer(s) noticed her on the scene. An autopsy confirmed that Heather had been shot three times-once in the chest and twice in the head. Kira died of a combination of both strangulation and smoke inhalation. It is believed that Kira was awoken by the gunfire, and that the assailant attacked the young girl after she tried to use her mother's phone to call for help. It's also believed that the killer left their house and then returned shortly thereafter with gasoline to start the fire.

Years have passed without any answers in their case. Investigators looked into Kira's father, but he was cleared after his alibi was established. Investigators also looked into Heather's also ex-boyfriends and her work associates, but so far, no arrests have been made. It is believed that Heather and Kira were killed by someone that Heather knew, but a motive still remains unclear. 





Monday, August 8, 2022

The Murder of Tyvon Whitford

(source)

Tyvon Whitford was only 25 years-old when she was shot to death on June 9th, 2007. The young woman was killed inside her Hawthorne, Florida residence, where she lived with her 5 year-old son. Tyvon was also six months pregnant at the time of her death. According to her family members, Tyvon loved being a mother and was looking forward to having a second child. Unfortunately, her life was cut short before she had the chance.

Tyvon had only lived in her Hawthorne residence for about a month before the murder. The home was located less than a mile away from her parent's home. Dale and Ronald Whitford heard the sirens from the police and ambulance on the evening of their daughter's death. Moments later, Tyvon's boyfriend was frantically knocking on the Whitford's door. He said that something terrible had happened to Tyvon. Dale and Ronald then rushed over to Tyvon's residence, where they learned their daughter had been shot. Tyvon was transferred to a nearby hospital, where both she and her unborn child passed away. 

While investigating the murder, it was revealed that Tyvon had called 911 just minutes before she was found deceased. However, the dispatcher was unable to gather any pertinent information before the called as disconnected. A few minutes later, another 911 call through. This time, it was from Tyvon's boyfriend. He told dispatchers that he found Tyvon covered in blood. First responders rushed to the scene and found Tyvon suffering from gunshot wounds. 

Tyvon's boyfriend was inevitably looked into as a possible suspect. He told police that he was going to Tyvon's house that evening to bring her Tylenol. Detectives were reportedly "unable to put him or anybody else at the house at the time of the shooting." The only other person in the house at the time of the murder was Tyvon's 5-year-old son, who was awoken by the gunfire. The young boy witnessed the horrifying sight of his mother struggling to stay alive. Police were otherwise unable to find any signs of forced entry inside the home.

No suspects or persons of interest have ever been publicly named in the case. Very few other details about the investigation have been revealed. Tyvon's loved ones have vowed to never give up on finding justice for her, and they continue to search for her killer today. If you have any information that could help the investigation, please call the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office at 386-329-0801.

Saturday, August 6, 2022

Today in True Crime: August 6, 2022

Today's true crime anniversaries include two unsolved disappearances.


It's been 10 years since Tamala Wells vanished in Detroit, Michigan. Then then-33-year-old mother was last seen leaving her residence. Tamala never returned home and has never been seen or heard from again. A few days later, Tamala's car was found abandoned just a few blocks from her home. The vehicle did not provide any clues about her whereabouts.

Over the years, suspicions have built against Rickey Tennant, who was Tamala's live-in boyfriend at the time of her disappearance. In 2015, Rickey spoke to reporters about Tamala's disappearance and said that Tamala gave him a headache - despite the fact that he had not seen her in 3 years. Many people, including Tamala's family members, found that to be an odd comment. However, police stated that Rickey has cooperated with the investigation and is not considered a suspect at this time.

Tamala's case remains unsolved.

[more info on this case] To submit a tip in Tamala's case, please call 1 (800) 773-2587.


It has now been 11 years since Bilial Hammette vanished in Beloit, Wisconsin. The then-19-year-old left his home after telling his mother he was going fishing. An unidentified person in a black vehicle picked Bilial up at his home, and that was the last time he was ever seen. His mother thought it was his parole officer that picked him up, which is why she did not worry when Bilial did not return home that night. However, after days passed without any word from him, Bilial’s mother reported him missing on August 12th.

Bilial did not have a cell phone or a bank account at the time of his disappearance, which gave police very little to work with. It's unclear if the person who picked Bilial up on the day of his disappearance has been identified or not. Bilial remains missing today.



My thoughts on these cases..

There isn't a whole lot out there on either case, unfortunately. The article about Tamala's case in which her boyfriend calls her a "headache" is from 2015. It's definitely an insensitive thing to say about a missing person, especially someone who had been missing for years at that point. If he isn't involved in Tamala's disappearance, he seems to be fine with the fact that she's missing - which is just sad all around. 

There's even less out there about Bilial's case. My *hope* is that this is one of those cases where police have not revealed a lot of details about the investigation, but they are still getting things done behind closed doors. Not sure if that's the case or not, but that's what I hope. 

Let's not let Tamala or Bilial be forgotten! They both still have loved ones who want to learn the truth.

The Murder of Silene Eaddy

image source: Richland County Sheriff's Department Silene Eaddy  was only 15 years-old when she was brutally murdered during the early m...