Sunday, August 11, 2019

List Series: Unsolved Kidnappings

A list of ten tragic kidnapping cases that remain unsolved today.

10. Shaniece Briggs

Shaniece Briggs (26) disappeared during the early morning hours of June 19th, 2013. She was discovered to be missing after her boyfriend arrived at her home in Columbus, Ohio that day and found her four children there alone. Shaniece’s boyfriend then called her mother to see if she had heard from her. Her mother called the police after she realized that nobody knew of Shaniece’s whereabouts.

After the news about Shaniece’s disappearance went public, a witness came forward stating that he saw Shaniece being pushed into a black car in front of the apartment complex on the morning of her disappearance. Although other details on Shaniece's disappearance as scarce, Columbus police are investigating her disappearance as an abduction. She remains missing today and her alleged kidnapper has not been identified. [read more]

9. Nefertiri Trader
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33 year old Nefertiri Trader was forcibly abducted from her New Castle, Delaware home on June 29th, 2014. Early on that morning, a neighbor who lives on a nearby block witnessed a man dragging a woman, who he later identified as Nefertiri, to a her own car around 4am. When asked why the neighbor did not call police, the neighbor stated that he thought Nefertiri was being involuntarily taken to a hospital. 

After Nefertiri was reported missing, the aforementioned neighbor told police what he had seen on the morning of her disappearance. At that point, Nefertiri's disappearance was classified as a kidnapping. The man who abducted her still remains unidentified and her car still has not been found. The FBI is investigating Nefertiri's case. [read more]

8. John Weisbecker

John Weisbecker (21) vanished from his family's Ocean City, New Jersey home under very suspicious circumstances. He was last seen at the home around 10:30am on March 11th 2009. A postal worker spotted John inside the home at that time, however when his mother tried to call him an hour later, the phone when straight to voicemail. When his mother returned home around 9pm, she realized that John was not home. She reported him missing just a few hours later.

Throughout the investigation, detectives have stated that they believe John disappeared shortly before noon. His wallet and cell phone went missing with him, but his phone has been shut off and he has not accessed any of his bank accounts/credit cards since he disappeared. Detectives apparently also found evidence that John did not leave his home voluntarily. It is unclear what evidence was found—whether it was blood, gun shell casings, or some other sign of a struggle; but it is clear that investigators believe John was taken from the home against his will. In fact, the FBI was eventually brought into the investigation and has now classified John’s case as a kidnapping. 

A motive for John's kidnapping remains unknown as well. He was unemployed at the time, and according to investigators, there is no evidence that he was involved with buying or selling drugs. Over a decade has passed, and John's disappearance still remains unsolved today.  [read more]

7. Tabitha Tuders

Tabitha Tuders vanished while en route to her school bus stop on the morning of April 29th, 2003. The 13 year-old was last seen at her family’s Nashville, Tennessee home that morning around 7am. She was last seen by her father, who left for work shortly before Tabitha began getting ready for school. Tabitha planned to walk to her bus stop on 14th and Boscobel Street to board the school bus at 8am. A few witnesses saw her walking towards that direction before 8am, but unfortunately Tabitha never made it to the bus stop or to school that day. When she did not return home that afternoon as planned, her parents called the school only to find out that she had not attended her classes at all that day. Tabitha was then reported missing around 6pm that evening.

Due to Tabitha’s age, authorities initially treated her disappearance as a runaway. Her parents have never believed that she left on her own accord; she has no history of running away and she was a straight-A student who took pride in her perfect school attendance record. Additionally, Tabitha left behind all of her personal possessions and money. At this time investigators have changed their tune, and have stated that they now believe Tabitha was abducted. Many leads have been chased over the years, including possible sightings of Tabitha on a prostitution website--however none of those leads have panned out. Tabitha's disappearance remains unsolved today. [read more]

6. Joanna Wright

Joanna Wright (33) was taking a walk near her home in Chicago, Illinois when she was reportedly kidnapped by a group of unidentified men in the broad daylight. A person who witnessed the event on December 18th, 2016 immediately called the police. The witness said that three men grabbed Joanna and started dragging her towards a vehicle. She tried to scream and fight them off, but they were still able to force her into the car and drive away. The car was described as a blue newer-model Mazda with an Ohio license plate.

Joanna was kidnapped after two other members of their Marquette Park neighborhood were found murdered. Many community activists feel that this is no coincidence--especially since all three victims reportedly knew each other. Additionally, in October 2017, yet another acquaintance of Joanna and the murder victim's went missing from Marquette Park. The murders, disappearance, and Joanna's kidnapping all remain unsolved today. [read more]

5. Natanalie Perez

Natanalie Perez has been missing since June 1st, 2012. The 19 year-old was originally from central Florida, but she had moved to Miami about six months before her disappearance. She was last seen in front of Burke’s Motel on Southwest 8th street. It was believed she was living there at the time. 

According to the Anti-Predator Project, Natanalie was lured to Miami with the promise of a job in the music industry. From there, she was reportedly forced into trafficking. On the day she was last seen, Natanalie was reportedly seen getting into an unidentified vehicle and driving away. She has never been seen or heard from again. It is believed that Natanalie's traffickers took her to another place against her will. The Miami Police are still investigating her disappearance. [read more]

4. Bianca Lebron

On the morning of November 7th, 2001, ten year-old Bianca Lebron arrived at her elementary school in Bridgeport, Connecticut and told her friends that she was not be attending class that day. Instead, she told them, she was going shopping with her uncle. Bianca asked her friends if they wanted to join, but they declined. Shortly thereafter, an older model brown/tan van pulled up in front of their school. Bianca’s friends watched as she got inside the car and it drove off. Bianca has never been seen or heard from again.

When Bianca did not return home from school that afternoon, her mother simply thought she had gone to a friend’s house. As hours passed, Bianca’s mother grew increasingly worried and ended up calling the police at 8:30pm that evening. Bianca’s family soon learned that Bianca never attended school that day. Investigators spoke to the friends who witnessed her getting into the van that morning. They told investigators that they were not worried when Bianca got into the van because they thought the driver was Bianca’s uncle. Her family members told investigators that Bianca does not have an uncle, and none of her relatives drive the car she was picked up in. At this point, it was clear that Bianca had been abducted. The suspect was described as a Hispanic male around 20 to 30 yrs old, 5"8 to 5"11 with an average build, black curly hair, long sideburns and a beard. He has never been formally identified and Bianca remains missing today. [read more]

3. Arianna Fitts

Arianna Fitts (left) with her mother Nicole (right)
Nicole Fitts (33) was raising her daughter Arianna (2) as a single parent in Oakland, California during 2016. During the late winter/early spring of that year, Nicole ended up hiring babysitters Helena and Ciolo Hearne to watch over Arianna while she worked two jobs. Eventually, Nicole asked Helena to watch Arianna for a few weeks while Nicole looked for a more permanent living arrangement. However, when Nicole was ready for Arianna to come back into her care, Helena and Ciolo seemed to be dodging her attempts at contacting them. Nicole finally told a friend she was going to meet up with Helena on April 1st, 2016. She never returned home. Nicole was was reported missing by her family members on April 5th, 2016. By this point, none of Nicole’s relatives knew of Arianna’s whereabouts either, and she was also reported missing.

A few days passed without any sign of Nicole or Arianna. Then, on April 8th, 2016, Nicole’s body was found buried in a shallow grave at John McLaren Park. Investigators have not revealed how exactly Nicole died, but it is clear that she was murdered. 

Arianna remains missing today. Nicole's murder remains unsolved. Police have executed search warrants at the homes of Helena and Ciolo, but apparently they have not found any sign of Arianna. Heather and Ciolo have since moved away and have not been questioned by police. The FBI is investigating Arianna's disappearance. [read more

2. Timeka Pridgen
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Timeka Pridgen was only 16 years-old when she went missing on May 12th, 2001. She was last seen at her family’s home in La Grange, North Carolina. On the evening of May 12th, Timeka was at the house with her mother, Cosandra Best. Cosandra was expecting to see her boyfriend, Eric Moore, that night—and she planned to end her relationship with him once he arrived at their house. However, 5 minutes before Eric said he was going to be there, Cosandra dozed off to sleep. She later woke up around midnight and realized that Timeka was gone. Cosandra was unsure if Eric ever actually stopped by, but she was immediately worried about her daughter when she realized Timeka’s shoes and other personal belongings were still inside the house. Cosandra subsequently reported Timeka missing.

Throughout the investigation, it was determined that Timeka was on the phone with a friend shortly before she disappeared. The friend told police that the phone call abruptly ended after Timeka heard a knock on her door. Police initially believed that Timeka was a runaway and they thought that she might have traveled to Goldsboro, North Carolina. As time passed, though, police began to believe that Timeka was forced out of her home by somebody she had let inside. Cosandra believes that Eric Moore—the man she intended to break-up with that night—is responsible for her daughter’s disappearance. After Timeka disappeared, Cosandra learned from the police that Eric had previous criminal convictions for a sex crime, kidnapping, assault and theft. Still, Eric has never been charged with anything related to Timeka’s disappearance. Her case is being investigated as an unsolved abduction. [read more]

1. Pearl Pinson

Pearl Pinson (15) was last seen by her family members on May 25th, 2016. That morning, Pearl left her family’s Vallejo, California home shortly before 7am to walk to Jesse Bethel High School. Minutes into her walk, Pearl was violently abducted by Fernando I. Castro (19). Witnesses, including someone who recognized Castro from high school, reported seeing Castro, armed with a gun, dragging Pearl along a pedestrian walkway that crosses over Interstate 780. She was bleeding from her face and screaming for help. In the broad daylight in front of numerous witnesses, Castro forced Pearl into his car. Witnesses reported hearing a single gunshot before he drove off.

The following day, Castro was spotted driving in San Luis Obispo County. He led police on a high-speed pursuit that ended in Solvang with an exchange of gunfire, leaving him dead. Pearl was not in the car with him, but investigators found a small amount of her blood in the trunk. Additionally, a note was found with directions to Jenner, an area along the Sonoma County coast. A search for Pearl was conducted in that area, but nothing was found. Since Castro was killed during the high-speed chase, police were unable to question him about Pearl’s whereabouts. She still remains missing today. [read more]

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