Sunday, February 28, 2021

The Disappearance of Kierra Coles

27 year-old Kierra Coles

Kierra Coles was three months pregnant when she vanished on October 3rd, 2018. The young woman worked for the U.S. Postal Service. However, on the day of her disappearance, she called out sick. Surveillance cameras later captured Kierra walking away from her Chicago apartment wearing her U.S. Postal Service uniform, despite the fact that she’d already called out of work. She was seen walking down 82nd Street and Coles Avenue, passing her car, before eventually stepping out of the frame. Kierra has never been seen or heard from again. She was reported missing by her mother a few days later.
The last known sighting of Kierra on October 3rd, 2018

Police conducted a welfare check at Kierra’s apartment, but found no sign of her. Kierra’s car was still parked outside of the apartment, and her cell phone, wallet, and packed lunch were found inside the vehicle. Investigators quickly began to believe that foul play was responsible for Kierra’s disappearance. In fact, detectives working the case have stated that they “have a pretty good idea” of what happened to Kierra. Still, they have revealed very few details about the investigation and no arrests have been made. Investigators did state that they have persons of interest, though. One detective in particular told reporters that there are a “minimum of two or three people of interest” who were the last to see Kierra before she disappeared. The identities of the persons of interest have not been released at this time.

Kierra’s parents are still holding out hope that she will be found alive. Kierra’s father said that Kierra was looking forward to being a mother for the first time. Her due date is scheduled for April 23rd, 2019. Kierra’s family members are hoping to not only reunite with Kierra, but to meet Kierra’s baby as well. There is a $30,000 reward in place for anyone with information that could lead to Kierra’s whereabouts. If you have any information that could help the investigation, please call the Chicago Police Department’s Area South Special Victims Unit at (312) 747-8274 or the U.S. Postal Inspection Service at (877) 876-2455.
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UPDATE (February 2021): Kierra's mother, Karen Philips, has provided more information about Kierra's disappearance. 

Karen explained to NBC 5 Investigates that the postal worker captured on surveillance cameras on October 3rd, 2018 is not actually Kierra. Both Karen and investigators knew early on that the person in the video is not Kierra, but investigators reportedly told Karen to not reveal this information to the public.  However, investigators do have actual surveillance footage of Kierra from the night before her disappearance. On October 2nd, 2018, surveillance cameras captured both Kierra and her boyfriend/father of her unborn child, Josh Simmons, leaving Kierra's apartment. Later, surveillance cameras at a local ATM captured Kierra withdrawing $400 and giving the cash to Josh.

Josh has not been publicly named as a person of interest, and he does not have a criminal history. Kierra and Josh had been dating for about 6 years before her disappearance. Josh also had children with another woman. Kierra and this woman did not get along, and shortly before Kierra vanished, she had banned this woman from coming to her apartment. 

Karen initially did not believe that Josh had anything to do with Kierra's disappearance. Now that a significant amount of time has passed without answers, Karen thinks there is a possibility he was involved. After Kierra was reported missing, Josh reportedly did not help with the search at all. Eventually, he stopped talking to Kierra's mother and moved to Louisiana with the other woman. Josh has not responded to any requests to speak on the case.

Kierra remains missing today, and investigators still suspect that foul play was involved in her disappearance.
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