Wednesday, May 22, 2019

List Series: Unsolved Mysteries with Surveillance Footage

Many crimes have been solved with the help of CCTV. In fact, Investigation Discovery's 'See No Evil' is a series centered around just that: murders and disappearances that have been solved with the help of surveillance footage that captured the victim and/or suspect's last moments. However, there are quite a few cases that have remained unsolved, despite having surveillance footage that leads up to the disappearance or death. Below is a list of seven unsolved cases with surveillance footage.


7. The Disappearance of Brittanee Drexel
Brittanee Drexel (17) vanished shortly after exiting the Blue Water Resort.
Brittanee Drexel vanished in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on April 25th, 2009. The 17 year-old girl is originally from Rochester, New York, and she had been invited to Myrtle Beach by a group of older friends. Brittanee's mother did not give her permission to go on this trip, however Brittanee ended up going anyway after she told her mother she was going to be spending the weekend at a friend's house. 

Unfortunately, Brittanee ended up clashing with the girls she went to the beach with. On the evening of her disappearance, she decided to walk from her hotel to the Blue Water Resort so she could meet up with Peter Brozowitz--another friend from Rochester who happened to be in Myrtle Beach at the time. Shortly after arriving, one of the girls Brittanee had traveled with texted her and asked her to return to their hotel so Brittanee could return a pair of shorts she had borrowed. Brittanee is seen exiting the Blue Water Resort in the above surveillance footage. She never made it back to her hotel, and her friends & family members never saw or heard from her again.

Brittanee's case went cold seemingly fast. Years later, in 2016, the FBI held a press conference stating that they had finally determined what happened to Brittanee. They announced that Brittanee was taken from Myrtle Beach to the McClellanville area,where she was held for a few days against her will and then was killed. When asked how the FBI came to this conclusion, the lead investigator said: “there has been an exhaustive amount of evidence in this case. The investigators are certain that this is what happened and I can’t give you the exact details on that, but we are certain.” 

Years have passed since the FBI made this announcement in Brittanee’s case but Brittanee still remains missing. McClellanville local Timothy Da’Shaun Taylor has been named as a suspect in the case, but he denies all involvement and there have still been no arrests in the case. [read more]

6. The Murder of Nicole Coleman
Nicole Coleman (23) vanished after stepping out of the camera's frame. Her body was found 3 days later.

Nicole Coleman vanished in Austin, Texas on December 28th, 2018. The 23 year-old woman was last seen alive at a Kool Korner gas station, where she was captured by surveillance cameras. In the footage, Nicole is seen stepping out of the camera’s frame. She was never heard from again.

Three days later, on New Years Day, Nicole’s naked body was found in the woods off of Ed Bluestein Blvd. She was found in a spot that is an approximate 10 minute walk from the gas station where she was last seen. Nicole’s cause of death has not been revealed, and investigators are unsure if she was targeted or if her death was completely random. So far, investigators have been unable to find any witnesses who saw Nicole at any point after she left the gas station. The Austin Police Department is appealing to the public for help with solving this case. [read more]

5. The Disappearance of Cynthia Martinez-Perez
Cynthia Martinez-Perez vanished after leaving a bar with Jaime Hernandez. She has never been seen or heard from again.
Cynthia Martinez-Lopez has been missing since July 16th, 2017. The 27 year-old woman spent the evening of July 15th at a bar in Keizer, Oregon. Cynthia left the bar around 2:30am; she was captured on surveillance cameras walking away from the building accompanied by a man who was later identified as Jaime Alvarez-Olivera (30). Cynthia has never been seen or heard from again.
Jaime is considered a person of interest in Cynthia’s case, however investigators have not been able to question him. It is believed that he has been on the run ever since he learned that there is surveillance footage of him and Cynthia leaving the bar together. Both of their whereabouts remain unknown today. [read more]

4. The Murder of Katherine ‘Kétie’ Jones
Kétie Jones (26) was murdered less than a minute after stepping out of the camera's frame.

Kétie Jones was murdered at the age of 26, during the early-morning hours of October 15th, 2016. She spent the previous evening at a bar in Charlotte, North Carolina, with friends. The group remained at the bar until last call at 2am, and afterwards, Kétie opted to walk home because she wanted to enjoy the nice weather. During her walk home, Kétie continued to message back and forth with her friends via Facebook messenger. She sent her final message at 2:33am. Minutes later, at 2:40am, Kétie was captured on surveillance camera walking down Central Avenue in an area called Plaza-Midwood. She is seen making a left towards Hamorton Place and then she eventually steps out of the frame. Less than a minute later, Kétie was shot. A witness walking his dog spotted Kétie’s body minutes later, and immediately called police. 

At this time, police have not publicly named any suspects or persons of interest in the case. No items were taken from Kétie, so at first it did not appear that Kétie’s murder was a robbery gone bad. However, police have not ruled a robbery out yet either. The surveillance footage shows that a car appeared right next to where Kétie would have been walking at the time she was shot. Just 21 seconds later, the car is seen abruptly slamming into reverse and backing away. Investigators have theorized that it is possible the shooter got spooked after the gunfire set off alarms at a nearby local business, and fled the scene before having the opportunity to rob Kétie. None of this has been confirmed, but it does appear that Kétie’s death happened in a matter of seconds after she stepped out of the surveillance camera’s frame.  [read more]

3. The Disappearance and Death of Janina Vasquez
Janina Vasquez (27) vanished after leaving the Isle of Capri casino. A week later, her body was found in a well.
Janina Vasquez disappeared on February 12th, 2015. The 27 year-old lived at her parent's home in Kansas City, Missouri at the time of her disappearance. The evening she was last seen, Janina told her mother that she was going to the Isle of Capri casino with two of her friends. At 7:40pm, Janina was seen exiting the casino by herself. Surveillance footage captured her leaving the building and getting into an unidentified red vehicle. Janina never returned home that evening and her family reported her missing the following day.

Just seven days later, a city worker found Janina’s body at the bottom of a well in Overland Park. Investigators determined that Janina had died from blunt force trauma. Despite this, authorities ruled Janina’s death as accidental. However, there are many factors in this case that lead Janina’s mother and many others to believe that Janina was murdered. The well that her body was found in is surrounded by a gate with a barbed wire. Janina suffered from chronic pains and seizures, and her mother does not believe she would have been able to climb over that gate by herself. Additionally, over a year after Janina was found dead, authorities told her mother that Janina apparently made a 911 call from the bottom of the well during on the night of February 12th. Apparently the officers who responded to the 911 call searched the park, but not the well, before leaving. It is unknown what Janina said on the 911 call, but her mother believes that somebody had thrown her into the well. The person who picked up Janina from the casino also remains unknown. [read more]

2. The Disappearance of Max Greenfield
Max Greenfield (25) was last seen leaving the Lucky 7 Casino in Smith River, California
25 year-old Max Greenfield has been missing since March 18th, 2018. He was last seen during the early morning hours of that day, after his friends picked him up from his mother’s home in Bookings, Oregon. Max’s friends drove him approximately 15 minutes away from his house, to the Lucky 7 Casino in Smith River, California. Surveillance cameras at the casino captured him entering the place around 1am. Less than an hour later, cameras captured Max and an adult white male talking in front of the casino. The two are seen walking south across the parking lot and then they eventually step out of the camera’s frame. This is the last known sighting of Max.

Less than 20 minutes later, the man Max was with returned to the casino alone. Although this man’s name has not been publicly identified, authorities were able to locate him for questioning. In fact, he has reportedly been interviewed several times by police. According to detectives, the man has always stood by his original statement, which is that he and Max “went separate ways after leaving the casino.” At this time, it is unclear if investigators consider this man a person of interest, but they have questioned numerous other people in the case as well—including the friends who drove Max to the casino, and the other friends that Max planned to meet that night. Investigators have also not revealed the names of said friends, citing that they are not publicly identifying them to protect the integrity of the investigation. [read more]

1. The Disappearance of Kierra Coles
Kierra Coles (27) was last seen walking away from her apartment. She has never been seen or heard from again.
Kierra Coles was three months pregnant when she vanished on October 3rd, 2018.  The above surveillance image is the last known sighting of the 27 year-old young woman. Kierra 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.

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. [read more]

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