Sunday, August 4, 2019

The Disappearance of Tamala Wells

Tamala Niecole Wells has been missing since August 6th, 2012. On that night, the 33-year-old mother was last seen leaving her home in Detroit, Michigan around 9:30pm. It is unclear where Tamala was headed, but she did speak with her mother, Donna Wells-Davis, on the phone later that night. Nothing of concern came up in their conversation. Unfortunately, Tamala never returned home after that and has not been seen or heard from since that phone conversation with Donna.

Donna was alerted about Tamala’s disappearance the following day, when she received a phone-call from her granddaughter/Tamala’s daughter, who was only 6 years-old at the time. The little girl told Donna that her mother never came home the previous night. Donna said that she asked her granddaughter to give the phone to Tamala’s live-in boyfriend, Rickey Tennant, but he allegedly refused to speak with her. 

Donna and her husband then immediately left their home in Florida to travel to Detroit and search for Tamala. After an unsuccessful initial search, Tamala was reported missing to the Detroit police.

Three days after her disappearance, Tamala’s car was found abandoned on just blocks away from her home. Some of her clothing items were inside the vehicle, but there was otherwise no other trace of Tamala. Investigators have apparently gotten very few leads since then, but they have looked at those closest to Tamala, including her live-in boyfriend, Rickey. 

The pair had lived together for 15 years, and Rickey reportedly had a very contentious relationship with Tamala’s family members—even prior to her disappearance. Said relationship between Tamala’s family members and Rickey did not improve once Tamala went missing, especially after Rickey began talking to the media. 

In an August 2015 interview, Rickey told reporters that the family gives him a headache, as did Tamala. He explained, “Tamala used to give me a headache, but I dealt with it, and I’m looking at it right now as ‘one headache is better than two headaches." Many felt that this was a rather insensitive comment to make about a missing loved one, as he made it seem as if he is happy that Tamala is gone. Despite this, investigators stated that Rickey has cooperated with the investigation, and they have not named him as a suspect at this time.

Tamala’s family members disagree with investigators. Tamala’s mother Donna told reporters that she is “almost positive” that Rickey had something to do with her daughter’s disappearance. Tamala allegedly told Donna that Rickey had abusive tendencies and that she wanted to leave him for good. Still, Donna does not believe that Tamala would have run away without her children or without contacting the rest of her family. 

Tamala remains missing today. If you have any information that could lead to her whereabouts, please contact the Detroit Police Department at 313-596-5640.
CBS News
Charley Project
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