Saturday, October 1, 2022

The Disappearance of Kierra Coles

Kierra Coles was three months pregnant when she vanished on October 3rd, 2018. At the time of her disappearance, the 26-year-old young woman worked for the U.S. Postal Service in Chicago, Illinois. However, on the day of her disappearance, she called out sick. Kierra has never been seen or heard from again.

Kierra was reported missing by her mother. Police conducted a welfare check at Kierra’s apartment but found no sign of her. Kierra’s car was still parked outside of the building, and her cell phone, wallet, and packed lunch were found inside the vehicle. The findings in Kierra's car indicated that she was going to work that day, despite the fact that she had called out sick. Further deepening the mystery, surveillance from that day captured a person matching Kierra's description walking away from her Chicago apartment wearing a U.S. Postal Service uniform. The person was seen walking down 82nd Street and Coles Avenue, passing Kierra's car, before eventually stepping out of the frame.

Investigators quickly began to believe that foul play was responsible for Kierra’s disappearance. In fact, in the onset of the investigation, detectives stated that they “have a pretty good idea” of what happened to Kierra. Other than that, very little additional information was released.

Kierra's loved ones were inevitably both confused and devastated by Kierra's disappearance. By all accounts, Kierra was looking forward to becoming a mother for the first time. Kierra's parents were looking forward to meeting their grandchild. Unfortunately, Kierra's disappearance took that experience away from Kierra and her family.

As months turned into years without any sign of Kierra, her case seemed to go cold. Years would pass without any updates. In 2021, new information was revealed that completely changed what the public originally thought was known about Kierra's case. This information led to the most viable theory in the case so far.

Kierra's mother speaks out.

In February 2021, Kierra's mother, Karen Philips, 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. 

When Kierra's disappearance was originally reported, several news sources shared this surveillance footage. For years, many believed that the person captured on camera was Kierra, and that the footage was a clue. As it turns out, the footage was not related to Kierra's disappearance whatsoever.

Karen further explained that investigators did 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 Simmons.

Kierra and Simmons had been dating for about 6 years before her disappearance. Simmons 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 said that she initially did not believe that Simmons had anything to do with Kierra's disappearance. Simmons reportedly does not have a criminal history, nor had investigators labeled him a person of interest. Then, as a significant amount of time had passed without answers, Karen began to believe Simmons might be involved after all. After Kierra was reported missing, Simmons reportedly did not help with the search. Eventually, he stopped talking to Kierra's mother and moved to Louisiana with the other woman. He also did not respond to any requests to speak on the case.

The other surveillance footage.

In June 2022, the Chicago Police released the footage of Kierra before her disappearance. The video depicts Kierra withdrawing cash from a local Walgreens on October 2nd, 2018. Police also released footage of the 'person of interest' parking Kierra's car near her home the following day.

Kierra's mother stated that the person with Kierra is her boyfriend/father of her unborn child, Josh Simmons. However, reporters still continue to refer to this person simply as a 'person if interest' and he has not been publicly named. 

The footage can be viewed here:

Where the case stands.

As of today, Kierra Coles still remains missing. Many speculate that Josh Simmons is responsible for her disappearance, but he has not been charged with anything related to Kierra's case. 

There is a monetary reward available for information that could lead to Kierra's whereabouts. If you have any information that could help, please contact the Chicago Police Department at (312) 747-5789, or the United States Postal Inspection Service (877) 876-2455.


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