Megan Nichols (15) disappeared from her home in Fairfield, Illinois on July 3rd, 2014. In the months prior to her disappearance, Megan had been at odds with her mother, Kathy Jo. Megan had apparently been seeing an older guy behind her parents’ back, and Kathy Jo had taken away Megan’s phone after finding out that Megan had been texting him. However, according to Kathy Jo, Megan and her were in a much better place in July of 2014. Megan had her phone back, and Kathy Jo stated she believed Megan was no longer in contact with the older boyfriend.
On the morning of July 3rd, Kathy Jo and Megan planned to run errands together, but Megan stayed back after claiming that she wasn’t feeling well. Kathy Jo said that when she returned from the errands an hour later, Megan was gone. She left her phone in her bedroom—which had been completely reset—and a note for her mother that said, “I love you, but I will never be happy here. Don’t look for me.”
Over the next three years, there were many searches for Megan in Fairfield and many other surrounding areas that turned up nothing. Police initially classified Megan as a runaway, but changed her status to endangered missing after years went by without any trace of Megan.
Finally, on December 26th, 2017, remains were found in a wooded area in Wayne County, Illinois. A month later, those remains were confirmed to be Megan’s. Despite the belief that Megan had runaway, it is likely that she never left the Wayne County area.
Details surrounding Megan’s death are still quite mysterious. At this time, authorities have not released any details on how Megan died or if foul play was involved. There has been speculation about Megan’s older boyfriend being involved, as many people have believed from the beginning. Many others also believe that Megan's own mother was involved. However, neither theories have been confirmed. An investigation is ongoing.
UPDATE (October 2020): An arrest has been made in Megan's case.
On October 6th, 2020, an Evansville man named Brodey Murbarger (24) was taken into custody and indicted on six counts: three counts of first-degree murder, two counts of home invasion, and one count of concealment of homicidal death.
Brodey was reportedly the older boyfriend Megan was seeing before her disappearance. Court documents reveal that he is accused of strangling and suffocating Megan before burying her body. He remains behind bars as the case is pending.