Friday, July 31, 2020

List Series: Initial Theories Gone Wrong Vol. II

As explained in the original Initial Theories Gone Wrong list, many unsolved murders/disappearances have primary theories that emerge early on during the investigation. A strong effort is usually placed upon investigating said theories, with the hope of locating the perpetrator or missing person as quickly as possible. However, there are quite a few cases in which the original theory in a murder/disappearance turned out to be completely wrong. Due to this, it took even longer for the truth in some of these cases to be revealed. Some other cases remain unsolved, even after the initial theory has been disproved. The following list contains 6 more examples of initial theories gone wrong. 

The Disappearance & Death of Joshua Redfield
Body found in canal identified as missing Ogden teen | WSTM
Image source: WSTM
Joshua Redfield was reported missing at the age of 18 on December 8th, 2016. Joshua left his family's Ogden, New York the previous afternoon after telling his mother that he was going to go visit his sister. He reportedly never arrived to see his sister, and he never returned home. After not hearing from him for 24 hours, Joshua's mother reported him missing.

At the time of his disappearance, Joshua's step brother was serving time for breaking into and trying to burn down an alleged illegal gambling joint in Rochester. This led to speculation that Joshua's disappearance was connected to the illegal gambling investigation that was ongoing at the time. This speculation intensified after another man associated with Joshua's step brother was arrested as part of the gambling investigation in early February 2017--just two months after Joshua disappeared. However, the detectives working Joshua's case said they were unable to find a link between Joshua's disappearance and the gambling investigation. 

A few weeks later, on February 18th, 2017, an unnamed witness called police after spotting a body on the north bank of the Erie Canal in Spencerport. Just days later, the body was confirmed to be that of Joshua Redfield. Since the discovery of his body, there has unfortunately been very little news about the investigation into his death. A cause of death has not been publicly revealed. Still, investigators remain adamant that Joshua's death is not related to the gambling investigation. His case remains unsolved. [read more]

The Disappearance & Death of Brittany Peart
research based — During the early morning hours of July 25th, 2008,...

Brittany Peart vanished in Elkton, Maryland on July 25th, 2008. The 21 year-old left her family's home after an argument with her mother. Brittany packed an overnight bag before leaving in her vehicle. She never returned home and was never heard from again.

Brittany's parents assumed that Brittany just needed some time to cool off, and they believed she would eventually return home. However, when she still had not returned by September, Brittany was finally reported missing. Another year went by without any sign of Brittany--so in October 2009, Brittany's family decided to hire a private investigator. It is unknown how in-depth the investigation was, but the private investigator ended up telling her family that Brittany had likely started a new life in another city.

Over two years later, on December 4th, 2011, human remains were found by hunters in a wooded area on the Maryland-Delaware state line. Days later, those remains were identified as that of Brittany Peart. After initially believing that Brittany wanted to escape her old life, many now believed that Brittany was murdered. Details about her exact cause of death remain unclear, but many of Brittany's friends have declared that they believe Brittany was killed by a man she was dating at the time of her disappearance. Her case remains unsolved today. [read more]

The Murder of Kaylyn Whitaker
News US: Man walks into police station allegedly confesses to murder
Image source:
Kaylyn Whitaker (20) was shot to death inside her boyfriend’s Martinsville, Illinois home on October 31st, 2014. Her boyfriend Connor Scott told police that Kaylyn had shot herself in the head. When police arrived on the scene, they found Kaylyn’s body with a gun in her hand. Her death was ruled a suicide.

As the investigation about the incident continued, it seemed less and less likely that Kaylyn had shot herself. After analyzing her wound, forensic experts doubted that Kaylyn could have shot herself based on spot the bullet entered her skull. Ten months after she was killed, Kaylyn’s death was reclassified as a homicide. Still, there were no arrests made in the case. Connor was an obvious suspect, but police did not charge him with anything at that time.

Years passed without any movement in Kaylyn's case. Then, on February 23rd, 2019, Connor walked into a Danville, Indiana police department and confessed to murdering Kaylyn back in 2014. It is unclear what drove him to confess, but authorities in Martinsville were contacted. Connor was eventually extradited back to Illinois, where he faced murder charges. In October 2019, Connor pleaded guilty. He was sentenced to 37 years in prison. [read more]

The Murder of Annie Kasprzak
Teenager beat his girlfriend to death and dumped her in a lake ...
Image source:
Annie Kasprzak was only 15 years-old when she brutally beaten to death on March 10th, 2012. She was reported missing that same evening, after her mother and stepfather found a note in the bedroom of her Draper, Utah home, stating she intended to run away. Annie wrote that she had told people she was pregnant, even though she really was not--and she decided to run away as a result. Annie's family members were shocked and saddened the following morning, when her body was found in the Jordan River. Her death was quickly ruled a homicide.

About a week after Annie's murder, a woman named Joanna Franklin told police that she witnessed Annie being killed by Daniel Ferry (31) and Veanuia Vehekite (30) during a house party at Daniel's house. Joanna explained that Daniel got angry after Annie refused his sexual advances and subsequently beat her to death with the help of Veanuia.  Daniel already had an extensive criminal history, which is why investigators did not think Daniel's potential involvement was far-fetched. Daniel and Veanuia were both subsequently arrested and held in custody on suspicion of murder. However, as prosecutors began to build their case against the two men, they found that they had no evidence that they were actually involved in Annie's murder. Joanna Franklin would later admit that she only told police that Daniel and Veanuia were responsible for Annie's death in hopes that it would help her break free of criminal charges that she was already facing.

Investigators then circled back to those closest to Annie before her murder. The name Darwin 'Christopher' Bagshaw appeared on the investigator's radar several times. Christopher, who was only 14 years old at the time, was Annie's boyfriend. Annie told several people that she was pregnant with Christopher's baby in the weeks leading up to her death. Even though she was not truly pregnant, Christopher reportedly believed that she was. Christopher was the last person to see Annie alive before her body was found, and he was also caught asking friends to lie for him in regards to the investigation. After reviewing all the evidence in the case, investigators finally felt they had enough evidence to charge Christopher with Annie's murder. His charges were eventually upgraded to adult status.

In October 2016, Christopher pleaded guilty. He was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison. [read more]

The Death of Kathleen Savio
Pictured left: Drew Peterson and his third wife, Kathleen Savio.
Pictured right: Drew Peterson and his fourth wife, Stacy Cales Peterson.
Drew Peterson and Kathleen Savio married in May of 1992, just months after Drew’s divorce from his second wife was finalized. They lived in Bolingbrook, Illinois and had two sons together. Drew worked for the local police department and was highly regarded in the community, despite the fact that Kathleen confided to many people that their marriage was toxic. Between 2002 and 2004, the police were called to their home eighteen times for domestic disturbances. Some of those calls even occurred after their divorce was finalized on October 10th, 2003. Just a few months later, on March 1st, 2004, Kathleen’s body was found facedown in a waterless bath tub at her home. Her death was initially ruled an accidental drowning.

Kathleen's loved ones always believed that Drew was involved in her death--but investigators closed her case rather quickly. However, Kathleen's loved ones were still quite suspicious of him, and those suspicions intensified after Drew's fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, vanished on October 28th, 2007. Once Stacy was reported missing, the police questioned Drew--who said that Stacy had left him for another man. Both investigators and Stacy's family members doubted this. On as press conference in November 2007, investigators announced that they believed Stacy was a victim of foul play. Drew was the prime suspect, but he was not arrested at that time. 

It did not appear to be a coincidence that his ex-wife died under suspicious circumstances, and now his new wife had vanished, also under suspicious circumstances. At this point, while investigating Stacy's disappearance, police decided to take a second look at the death of Kathleen Savio as well. Kathleen's body was exhumed and re-examined. Upon a second examination, investigators determined that Kathleen had been murdered, but the scene had been staged to look like an accident. In May 2009, Drew was arrested and charged with Kathleen's murder. He was found guilty in 2012 and sentenced to life in prison.

Drew denies killing Kathleen to this day. He also continues to deny his involvement in Stacy's disappearance. She remains missing today. [read more]

The Murder of Kelcey Fike
Image result for kelcey fike

Kelcey Fike was murdered at the age of 21 during the early morning hours of June 17th, 2008. Around 4:30am that morning, Kelcey's neighbors called police after her mobile home in Kearney, Nebraska burst into flames. By the time firefighters arrived on the scene, the entire rear side of the trailer, where the back bedroom was located, was engulfed in fire. The firefighters were aware that a resident was inside the home, and they made their best efforts to extinguish the fire and potentially save a life. Unfortunately, when they finally were able to put out the flames, it was too late. Kelcey’s lifeless body was found on the floor outside of her bedroom. 

At first, both investigators and Kelcey’s family members thought the fire was an accident. Kelcey lived in an old trailer with a faulty furnace, so it was initially believed that the furnace had caught fire. It was theorized that Kelcey died of smoke inhalation. However, as investigators took a closer look, they noticed that Kelcey's body did not appear to be badly burnt by the fire. They also noticed that Kelcey’s body was covered in bruises, were nose has broken, and she had suffered blunt-force trauma to the head. An autopsy determined that Kelcey was strangled by hand and by a ligature. It was concluded that Kelcey was killed inside her home, and the killer then lit the home on fire in an attempt to cover it up. 

Kelcey's boyfriend was cleared of suspicion in the case. Still, police believe that Kelcey was killed by somebody she knew. There were no signs of forced entry in the home, so it is likely that Kelcey let the killer into her house herself. According to friends and family, Kelcey would not allow somebody she did not know into her home. Investigators have extensively interviewed those closest to Kelcey, but no suspects or persons of interest have been publicly named. Her case remains unsolved. [read more]

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

The Disappearance & Death of Paige Johnson

“GIRL. I need To Talk To You IMMEDIATELY!”

^This was the last known online communication from 17 year old Paige Johnson, who has been missing since September 23rd, 2010. Paige posted this message on her sister Brittany’s (pictured above with Paige) Facebook page around midnight that night. Earlier that evening, she was last seen driving around Covington, Kentucky with 22 year old Jacob Bumpass. Bumpass claims he dropped Paige off at 1am at 15th Street and Scott. She has not been seen or heard from since.

Paige’s loved ones say it is very uncharacteristic for her to simply disappear. She left behind a two-year-old daughter. There are many rumors on the web that speculate what happened to her, and there are two theories that seem to be the most prevalent: one is that Paige overdosed while taking drugs with Bumpass and he panicked and disposed of her body. The other is that Paige rejected Bumpass’ sexual advances and he snapped and killed her. Despite the rumors, Bumpass denies any involvement in her disappearance and authorities have not named him as a suspect—although they do state that he has been uncooperative.
UPDATE (3/25/20): The remains of Paige Johnson have been found. On Sunday, March 22nd, a woman called 911 after her husband reportedly found a burned human skull in a wooded area near East Fort State Park. Just days later, those remains were confirmed to be that of Paige Johnson.

Investigators are working to determine a cause and manner of death. Further updates will be provided as they come.

Rest in peace, Paige.
UPDATE (7/29/20): Jacob Bumpass has been indicted on charges related to Paige's disappearance.

Jacob Bumpass indicted in connection with the disappearance and ...

On July 28th, it was announced that Jacob is being charged with tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse. During a press conference, prosecutors stated that they simply do not have enough evidence to charge him with homicide at this time because Paige's cause of death has yet to be determined. However, prosecutors are moving forward with the other charges and they are hoping that more evidence will be revealed. 

Monday, July 27, 2020

The Disappearance of Derrick Tenorio

Derrick Tenorio was only 21 years-old when he vanished on August 5th, 2011. Derrick is a member of the Navajo Nation tribe, and he lived in Steamboat, Arizona prior to his disappearance. He was last seen between 11pm and 12am on the day he disappeared, walking towards the Steamboat Hill area to visit his girlfriend. Derrick never arrived, and has never been seen or heard from again.

Derrick left behind two toddler children, and his girlfriend was pregnant with another child at the time he disappeared as well. His family members do not believe that he is voluntarily missing. In fact, three months after Derrick’s disappearance, his sibling Mercedes Tenorio wrote a letter to the Navajo Times that stated that Derrick was badly beaten by people he trusted on the night he vanished. The individuals who allegedly beat Derrick have not been publicly identified and it is unclear if the incident is related to Derrick’s disappearance.

Mercedes also stated that gang violence is on the rise in the Navajo Nation, however Derrick’s family members said that he was not affiliated with any gang members at the time of his disappearance. There have been very few leads in Derrick’s case, but his family members remain hopeful that they will one day have answers about what happened to him. If you have any information that could lead to his whereabouts, please contact the Navajo Nation Police Department at 928-871-6111.


Sunday, July 26, 2020

The Disappearance and Murder of Latania Janell Carwell

Latania Janell Carwell (pictured left) was last seen alive on the evening of April 17th, 2017—the day before her 16th birthday. The teen, who went by her middle name Janell, was last seen around 1:30am at her family’s home in Augusta, Georgia....

Latania Janell Carwell (pictured left) was last seen alive on the evening of April 17th, 2017—the day before her 16th birthday. The teen, who went by her middle name Janell, was last seen around 1:30am at her family’s home in Augusta, Georgia. According to Janell’s mother, Tanya Tripp (pictured top right), Janell left with her stepfather Leon Tripp (pictured bottom right) en route to Clarks Hill, South Carolina. Leon apparently got a call from a friend in Clarks Hill who got his car stuck, and Leon and Janell went to help him. Tanya said that the two did not return as planned, and she reported them missing the next day after she was unable to get in touch with them.

On April 26th, 2017, police found Leon’s car abandoned just a mile away from their home. The car was processed, and it apparently yielded no DNA evidence or additional clues about Janell and Leon’s disappearance. However, the police also investigated their cell phone data—which indicated that they never went to Clarks Hill. 
As the news about Leon and Janell’s disappearance began to spread, police began to receive tips that Leon had been seen more than a hundred miles away in Atlanta—without Janell. In fact, Leon had been spotted for the first time in Atlanta on April 21st—just a few days after he was last seen with Janell. Police discovered that Leon had ties to Atlanta and had been staying with friends in that area. 
According to Richmond County Sheriff Richard Roundtree, Leon actually made two or three trips back and forth while authorities were actively looking for him and Janell. The numerous tips that police received about Leon indicated that Leon was alive and unharmed—but there was still no news or sightings of Janell. As a result, authorities issued kidnapping warrants for Leon on May 1st, 2017.
Meanwhile, suspicions were growing against Tanya as well. Tanya continued to express concern for her daughter in the media, however she also adamantly expressed that she did not believe Leon had harmed Janell. The day after the warrants were issued, reporters from local NewsChannel 6 asked Tanya if it was possible that Leon and Janell had secretly been in a relationship. Tanya responded, He married to all this prettiness and he gon’ run away with our daughter? Come on now. That’s stupid!” That statement seemed odd and wildly inappropriate for a mother with a missing daughter to say—but the odd behavior did not end there. 
Once it was discovered that Leon had travelled from Atlanta to Augusta several times while there was an active search for him, many believed that Tanya knew of Leon’s whereabouts the entire time; he was never truly “missing” at all. These beliefs were only strengthened on May 23rd, 2017, when police were finally able to track down Leon. On that day, US marshals in Atlanta were searching for him when he was finally spotted at a local U-Haul facility. When officers cornered him there, he was not alone. Right by his side was his wife, Tanya Tripp. Both were arrested on the spot. Leon was charged with kidnapping, and Tanya was charged with hindering the apprehension of a criminal.
After the arrests, Leon denied harming Janell. He said that he and Janell were actually heading to Atlanta the night of April 17th, instead of Clarks Hill. At some point during the trip, Leon said that he gave Janell money to take the bus back to Augusta and has not seen her since. Tanya continued to deny any involvement as well. Almost a year later, in March 2018, Janell’s remains were found behind a vacant lot in Richmond County, Georgia—not far from her home in Augusta. Shortly thereafter, Leon had first-degree murder added to his charges, and Tanya had second-degree murder added to hers. Prosecutors plan to seek the death penalty against Leon.
Rest in peace, Janell.

UPDATE: In June 2020, it was revealed that prosecutors filed a motion to introduce evidence of additional crimes allegedly committed by Leon Tripp and Tanya Tripp. The evidence states that Leon and Tanya reportedly solicited someone to kill Latania Janell Carwell on three separate occasions prior to her disappearance in April 2017. According to documents, the couple attempted to do this in both September and December 2015, and then one other time in October 2016. 

Despite this evidence, a motive has still not been revealed. Their cases are still pending. 
Lists including this case:

List Series: Car Crash Mysteries

A list of seven disappearances and murders that occurred during or immediately following a car accident. All seven of these cases remain unsolved today.

7. The Disappearance of Brittany Shank
Image result for brittany shank missing

Brittany Shank (23) was driving her boyfriend's car in Sturgis, Michigan on the evening of November 30th, 2018 when thick fog caused her to run the vehicle off the road. She exited the car and then went from house to house on Fawn River Road to ask for help. According to Brittany's mother, one resident attempted to call 911 for her, but the call did not go through due to weak cell phone signals. Before the resident got a chance to call again, Brittany vanished. She never returned to the car, nor did she return home to her four children. She has never been seen or heard from again.

Various reports state that Brittany appeared confused as she walked down the road asking for help. She was apparently not wearing shoes or a jacket, despite the cold weather that night. It's possible that Brittany was disoriented from the car accident, but police have also not ruled out the possibility of foul play as well. Brittany's case remains unsolved. [read more]

6. The Disappearance of Brandi Brown

Brandi Brown (23) vanished after she was in the hospital following a car accident in September 2016. Brandi had spent a few days at Sinai Grace Hospital located in Detroit, Michigan, and the exact date of her hospital release is unclear. She was last seen the day she was discharged and she has never been seen or heard from again.

According to family members, Brandi was having personal problems prior to her disappearance, and they felt she was hanging out with the wrong crowd. Despite this, Brandi’s family does not believe that Brandi would abandon her young daughter, nor do they believe that she is out of touch by her own free will.

It is unclear how Brandi actually left the hospital. There are unfortunately very few details available in her case. She remains missing today. [read more]

5. The Disappearance & Death of Danniella Vian
Young mother Danniella Vian still missing after vanishing from ...

Danniella Vian (25) vanished after purchasing a new car in Mobile, Alabama on July 17th, 2018. The young mother went out to a local bar that evening to celebrate the purchase of her new car. Danniella and some new friends went to two different bars before eventually settling on going to a third one. However, on her way to the third bar, Danniella pulled into a gas station along her new friend Denson White and told him that she had left her phone at the previous bar. Denson agreed to lead Danniella back to the bar so she could retrieve her phone. According to Denson, she followed him for most of the trip, however once he pulled up to the bar, Danniella was no longer behind him. Denson then went into the bar himself and found her phone. He waited for her for about 20 minutes before leaving and meeting the others at the third bar. Danniella never showed up. She was never seen or heard from again.

Danniella's car and all her personal belongings vanished with her. Her loved ones did not believe she was missing on her own accord, as it would be uncharacteristic for her to leave behind her daughter. Over the following months, many searches were executed, but no sign of Danniella was found. Then, in May 2019, a team of divers were training in the Bayou Sara when they spotted a vehicle submerged under the water. Human remains were inside the vehicle, but investigators were not immediately able to identify the body as Danniella. However, after the body was found, police began to investigate the case as a homicide. 

Eventually, the body was identified as that of Danniella Vian. At that point, the investigation began to shift. While police originally said they were investigating the case as a homicide, once the remains were identified, they stated they believed Danniella's death was an accident. Still, many believe that there is a possibility that foul play as involved in her death. The case is still not closed, and how Danniella and her vehicle ended up in the water still remains a mystery to this day. [read more]

4. The Murder of Kelsey Quayle

On the morning of October 8th, 2018, Kelsey Quayle (28) was on the way to work in Riverdale, Georgia when she began driving on the wrong side of the road. As Kelsey's vehicle drove into oncoming traffic, she crashed into three cars before her car eventually stopped. Police were called and she was quickly transported to a nearby hospital. Paramedics initially thought that Kelsey was suffering from injuries from the car accident, however when she finally made it to the hospital, it was discovered that she had a bullet wound in the back of her neck as well. 

It is believed that Kelsey ended up driving on the wrong side of the road as a result of becoming disoriented after getting shot. She unfortunately passed away shortly after arriving at the hospital, and both Kelsey’s loved ones and investigators are absolutely baffled by her death. Investigators were initially unsure if Kelsey was targeted, a victim of road rage, or if she was simply just caught in a crossfire. Surveillance footage from a nearby gas station revealed that Kelsey did make a stop there before she was shot. Investigators are asking anybody who saw Kelsey at the gas station that day to come forward.

Surveillance footage of other potential persons of interest have been released as well, but so far nobody has been formally declared a suspect and no arrests have been made. Kelsey's murder remains unsolved. [read more]

3. The Disappearance & Murder of Adrienne Salinas

Adrienne Salinas (19) vanished during the early morning hours of June 15th 2013. while she and her roommates were hosting a party at their apartment in Phoenix, Arizona. Adrienne is believed to have left her apartment to drive to her boyfriend’s house at approximately 3:40am. About one block from her apartment, she crashed her car into median and blew out two of her tires. A witness to the wreck called 911 to report it at around 3:45am. Adrienne herself did not report the crash—instead she abandoned her car and returned to her apartment on foot.

It's unclear what Adrienne's state-of-mind was like following the accident. It's possible that alcohol played a role, but that has never been confirmed. Reports state that Adrienne did make it back to her apartment following the crash. Her roommates and friends were still partying at this point, and none of them reported seeing anything unusual regarding Adrienne during said time frame. However, none of them reported actually interacting with her during this time either. At 4:32am, she called a cab to drive her to her boyfriend’s house and asked the driver to meet her at a nearby convenience store. At 4:53am, her cab driver called her to tell her that he was at the store. She answered and told him she was on her way. However, Adrienne never showed up at the convenience store and the cab driver left after calling her phone one final time at 5:07am. That call went straight to voicemail.

Adrienne was reported missing the following evening. Many searches for her ended unsuccessfully. Then, on August 6th, 2013, Adrienne’s partial remains were found in a creek bed 30 miles from where she disappeared. An autopsy was unable to confirm a cause of death and police have not publicly named any suspects or persons of interest in her case. Both Adrienne’s boyfriend and the cab driver who was supposed to pick her up that morning have been cleared of any involvement in her disappearance. The FBI is continuing to investigate the case. [read more]

2. The Disappearance of Brandon Swanson

Brandon Swanson (19) vanished during the early morning hours of May 14th, 2008. He disappeared while on the phone with his father, after he accidentally drove his car into a ditch while on his way to his family's Marshall, Minnesota home. Brandon had spent the previous evening celebrating the end of his college semester with friends. He headed home around midnight, and at some point shortly thereafter, he drove into the ditch. Brandon called his parents and told them that he was not injured in the crash, but his car was stuck. He told them that he had crashed near the town of Lynd. Brandon's parents then left their house to go pick up their son.

Brandon's parents headed towards Lynd, but they were unable to locate him. Brandon called his father back and told him that he could see the lights from the town, and he was going to walk towards it and meet them there. He remained on the phone with his father for the next 45 minutes as he walked towards his destination. Brandon and his parents continued to look for each other to no avail. Then, shortly after 2am, Brandon’s father heard Brandon abruptly shout “oh shit!” before their phone call was disconnected. Brandon’s parents continued to look for him for a few hours before finally calling the police at 6:30am. Police looked into Brandon’s cell phone records later that day, which revealed that Brandon had actually called his parents from the city of Porter, located 25 miles way from Lynd. Police then went to that area, where they found Brandon’s car stuck a ditch in nearby Taunton County. It is unclear if Brandon was aware that he was not actually in Lynd.

There have been many theories about what might have happened to Brandon. One theory is that Brandon could have drowned after falling into the Yellow Medicine River, which is located near the area his car was found. However, extensive searches of the river have not found a body. There have also been numerous land searches of the surrounding areas that have also not produced any clues. Brandon’s parents do not believe he fell into the river; they stated that he was not clumsy nor did he sound disoriented while he was on the phone with them. Despite the fact that Brandon crashed his car and might’ve been unaware of his location, it is not believed that he was drunk, either. Brandon’s friends said that he did have a “drink or two” at the celebration, but he was not noticeably intoxicated. Foul play has not been ruled out in the case either. Brandon remains missing today. [read more]

1. The Disappearance of Maura Murray

The disappearance of Maura Murray has captured headlines nationwide ever since it occurred on February 9th, 2004. The 21 year-old woman was a nursing student at University of Massachusetts Amherst at the time of her disappearance. Hours before she vanished, Maura sent emails to her professors and her boss, stating that there was a death in her family and she would not be in class or at work for a week. However, Maura's family would later confirm that there was no death. 

A few hours after those emails were sent, a local woman in Haverhill, New Hampshire called police after witnessing a car accident on the corner of Route 112. It was later confirmed that the driver of that car was Maura. A passing motorist who witnessed that crash asked Maura if she needed assistance, but she declined--as she stated she had already called for help. However, by time the roadside assistance and police showed up, Maura was gone. She has never been seen or heard from again.

Over the years, many theories have surfaced about what might have happened to Maura. One of the most prominent theories is that she was either intoxicated or had become disoriented from the car accident, and as a result, she ran into the nearby woods and succumbed to the elements. However, a widespread search of the wooded area did not turn up any clues. Another theory is that Maura was picked up by an unspecified individual following the accident. Neither theories have been confirmed and Maura's case still  remains unsolved today. [read more]

Thursday, July 23, 2020

The Suspicious Death of Marquis Brown

Marquis Brown was a 21 year-old student-athlete at Duquesne University when he died under suspicious circumstances on October 4th, 2018. The evening of his death began as a fairly typical evening for a college student. After having football practice that afternoon, Marquis reportedly went to get a haircut before going to a friend's off-campus apartment to play video games on PlayStation. This seemingly normal evening quickly went in another direction when Marquis returned to his dorm building. Other students in the dorm building called 911 after witnessing Marquis behaving 'erratically' in the elevator and in the hallway of this dorm room on the 16th floor. 

University security and police responded to the 911 call shortly after 10pm. Once they arrived on the scene, they found Marquis' roommate trying to calm him down. From there, the events leading up to Marquis' death remain unclear. Pittsburgh police stated that, shortly after campus police arrived on the scene, Marquis picked up a chair and threw it through the dorm window before jumping out of the window himself and falling sixteen stories to his death. Pittsburgh police arrived on the scene shortly thereafter and subsequently took over the investigation into Marquis' death.

The initial reports following this incident stated that witnesses including both students and campus police saw Marquis jump out of the window. The medical examiner determined that the cause of death was blunt force trauma--but the manner of death remained undetermined. A toxicology report concluded that Marquis had marijuana in his system at the time of his death, but no other substances are noted on the report. 

The toxicology findings led to the insinuation that marijuana is what caused Marquis to behave erratically on the night of his death. However, Marquis' family members doubt that this is the case. After this report went public, a lawyer representing Marquis' family tweeted, "It took four months for Pittsburgh police to produce a report that insinuates marijuana caused an athlete in the prime of his life to jump 16 stories to his death from his dorm room window. This feckless report creates more questions than answers."

As time continued to pass, Marquis' loved ones grew increasingly more frustrated with the lack of answers in his case. Finally, in July 2020, Marquis' mother Dannielle Brown decided to take drastic action to demand answers.


In early July, Dannielle decided to travel from her home in Washington, DC to the Duquesne campus in Pittsburgh to demand answers about her son's death. Dannielle went on a hunger strike and began spending her days and nights on Freedom Corner in Pittsburgh's Hill District in hopes of catching the attention of Duquesne University. She told reporters that she was hoping for a new investigation into her son's death. Dannielle explained, "Bottom line is, either you watched my son go out that window or your hands were on my son when he went out that window." 

Dannielle Brown in Pittsburgh. Image source: KDKA

Not only does Dannielle want more answers about her son's death, she is also calling for change to the ways that campus police officers handle cases such as Marquis'. She has publicly made a request for three things: a new investigation into her son's death, a requirement for campus police officers to wear body cameras, and for the campus police to undergo more thorough de-escalation training. 

On July 22nd, 2020, it was finally announced that Duquesne University will honor Dannielle's requests. The university wrote an open letter to Marquis' family describing how each of the requests will be honored. The letter can be read in-full here. Marquis' loved ones are hoping that the new investigation will provide clearer answers about his death. The investigation is currently ongoing. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

The Disappearance of Lisa Hazard

Lisa Hazard has been missing since March 5th, 2019. The 29 year-old woman was last seen in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Shortly before she vanished, Lisa had told her friends that she wanted to turn her life around. She had been struggling with drug addiction and reportedly wanted to get clean. Lisa's sister unfortunately passed away from a drug overdose a few months before Lisa disappeared. According to friends, her sister's passing is what made Lisa finally decide to get treatment for her addiction. 

Lisa's close friend Eddie Pimental stated that he last spoke to Lisa on March 4th, 2019. Lisa had been staying with Eddie at his mother's home in Taunton in the months leading up to her disappearance. Eddie and Lisa last communicated through Facebook messenger, and during their conversation Lisa told Eddie that she was going to visit her three year-old son in New Bedford. She also reportedly said that she was going to enter a rehabilitation center soon. The father of Lisa's son said that Lisa told him she was going to go buy drugs in Fall River before checking into the rehabilitation center. She was then reportedly picked up at the father of her son's home by an unspecified individual. Lisa has never been seen or heard from again. 

Lisa's family members reported her missing over a month later. However, a missing persons alert was not issued to the local media until June 2019. Lisa's friend Eddie has expressed his belief that the police did not take Lisa's disappearance seriously due to her history of substance abuse. Eddie also said that he urged police to track down a small-time local drug dealer who had sold drugs to Lisa in the past. Eddie believes that this man was the person who picked Lisa up on the day she vanished. This has not been confirmed by police--but Eddie remains adamant that he might have information about Lisa's disappearance. Eddie explained that this man apparently stated he had not seen or contacted Lisa since January, but there are screenshots of Facebook messages that proved that this was not true. Eddie has reportedly turned over these screenshots to police but it is unclear if this man has been fully investigated.

A detective working the case told reporters that everyone they have interviewed in regards to Lisa's disappearance has been cooperative and they have not been able to identify a person-of-interest. Still, foul play has not been ruled out in the case and the investigation remains active. If you have any information that could lead to Lisa's whereabouts, please call the anonymous tip line at 508-672-8477.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

The Murder of Trevor Armstrong

Trevor Armstrong was only 22 years-old when he was found murdered during the early morning hours of August 17th, 2017. 

Trevor lived in Columbia, Tennessee at the time of his death--but he was murdered in a rural area of Williamson County, located near the Maury County line. His body was found in the driveway of a home on Sugar Ridge Road. Trevor had been shot at least five teams. 

The investigation into Trevor's death has turned up more questions than answers. Trevor was physically disabled and had been using a wheelchair since he was in junior high. He did not drive and it is unclear how he ended up in the rural area where his body was found. Investigators interviewed Trevor's family members and close friends but were unable to find a suspect or even a person of interest. Trevor did not have a criminal history, nor was he closely associated with anyone with a criminal history. He was reportedly well-liked in the community and a motive for his murder remains unclear. 

Due to his disability, Trevor did not work--but he was the primary caretaker for his young daughter. He is also survived by a large, loving family that is desperately hoping to find answers in his case. Investigators are still trying to piece together the hours leading up to Trevor's death and they are asking for anyone with information about that day to come forward.

If you have any information that could help the investigation, please contact the local Crime Stoppers at 615-794-4000.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

List Series: Unsolved Connected Cases

A list of seven pairs of cases that are either confirmed or believed to be connected. Each case remains unsolved today.

7. The Murders of Jennifer Hammond & Christina White

Jennifer Hammond (pictured left) and Christina White (pictured right) both vanished in Milton, New York during 2003 and 2005 respectively. Jennifer vanished at the age of 18 on August 1st, 2003. She was living at a hotel with co-workers in Albany, New York at the time. On the day she vanished, Jennifer's co-workers dropped her off at the Creek & Pines mobile home park in Milton so she could sell magazine subscriptions door-to-door. When Jennifer's co-workers returned to the mobile home park later to pick her up, she was nowhere to be found. She never returned to the hotel in Albany and was never seen or heard from again.

Nearly two years later, 19 year-old Christina disappeared on June 30th, 2005. She was last seen by her mother at the home they shared at the Stockade mobile home park. The Stockade mobile community is located less than two miles from Creek & Pines, where Jennifer was last seen in 2003. Once Christina was reported missing, investigators began to explore the possibility that her disappearance might be connected to Jennifer's disappearance. On March 10th, 2006, Christina's remains were found in the Daketown Forest in Greenfield. An autopsy revealed she had been stabbed several times. Christina's case shifted to a homicide investigation at this point, but detectives had very few leads to work with. Meanwhile, Jennifer remained missing. Then, on October 26th, 2009, a hunter found a human skull on Lake Desolation Forest in Greenfield. The location where the skull was found is a little over three miles from the location where Christina's remains were found. Dental records later confirmed that the skull belonged to Jennifer.

Due to the close proximity of both the areas from which both girls vanished and the areas where their remains were found, investigators believe that Jennifer and Christina were killed by the same person(s). Unfortunately, both cases still remain unsolved today. [read more]

6. The Murders & Disappearances in Chicago Lawn

Kenshon Ward (top left), Shante Bohanan (top right), Joanna Wright (bottom left) and Marlo Gulley (bottom right) were all residents of the same neighborhood in the south side of Chicago, Illinois.  Kenshon (21) and Shante (20) were dating, while Joanna (33) and Marlo (26) were friends. All four of them knew each other, which makes the following chain of events all the more mysterious:

On July 13th, 2016, Kenshon was tragically murdered in Marquette Park, located in the Chicago Lawn neighborhood. He had been shot multiple times. A few people, including Shante, witnessed the shooting but did not see the shooter’s face. Eleven days later, on July 24th, 2016, Shante mysteriously vanished. She was last seen near a home in the Marquette Park area. An anonymous tip led investigators to an abandoned home in the neighborhood, where Shante's body was found inside a garbage can. There are no known suspects in either Kenshon or Shante's cases.

A few months later, on December 18th, 2016, Joanna Wright was taking a walk near her home in Marquette Park when she was kidnapped by a group of unidentified men in the broad daylight. A person who witnessed the event immediately called the police. The witness was able to provide a description of the car that Joanna was forced into, but unfortunately neither Joanna nor her kidnappers have been found. Then, on October 26th, 2017, yet another Marquette Park resident went missing: 26 year-old Marlo Gulley. He was last seen near the house where Shante was last seen before she was reported missing—located on the same street where Joanna was kidnapped.While it has never been confirmed that any of these cases are related to one another, possible links are being investigated. It is quite notable that all four victims knew each other, and that Kenshon and Shante were found dead in the same neighborhood from which Joanna and Marlo vanished. All four cases remain unsolved today. [read more]

5. The Murders of Travis Combs & Jabez Spann

Travis Combs (pictured left) was shot and murdered in Sarasota, Florida on August 28th, 2017. His shooting was reportedly witnessed by 14 year-old Jabez Spann (pictured right). Another witness named Reginald Parker reported seeing Jabez exiting a home in the neighborhood at the same Travis was shot. Upon the shooting, Jabez was heard shouting something along the lines of "Oh my god, y'all shot him!" The shooting suspects fled the scene after that and were never identified or found by investigators.

Just days later, on September 4th, 2017, Jabez mysteriously vanished. He was last seen around 1am on MLK Way. Jabez's family members reported him missing after he did not show up at school the following day. During a search for Jabez, Reginald Parker reportedly approached Jabez's family members and told them about how Jabez has witnessed the murder of Travis Combs just days before his disappearance. Reginald stated that he believed that the people responsible for Travis' murder were also responsible for Jabez's disappearance. Detectives were also made aware of this, and immediately began searching for a link between the two cases.

On  February 16th, 2019, a man fixing a fence in a rural area off of Interstate 75 spotted human remains. Three days later, those remains were confirmed to be that of Jabez Spann. His death is being investigated as a murder and a link to the murder of Travis Combs is still being investigated. Both cases remain unsolved. [read more]

4. The Disappearance of Relisha Rudd & The Murder of Andrea Tatum

Relisha Rudd (pictured left) was only 8 years-old when she vanished in March 2014. At the time of her disappearance, Relisha lived with her mother at a homeless shelter in Washington, DC. While living there, Relisha's mother grew close to Khalil Tatum, a janitor who worked at the shelter. Khalil grew attached to Relisha as well, and Relisha's mother eventually gained enough trust in Khalil to allow Relisha to spend the night at his home. By February 2014, Relisha was spending a lot of time under Khalil's care. She had stopped attending school, and her mother told her teacher that Relisha was having health issues and was under the care of a 'Dr. Tatum'. The school then called who they thought was Dr. Tatum and asked him to come to the building for a meeting. On March 19th, 2014, when nobody showed up for the meeting, the school called the police to report Relisha missing. 

Once the search for Relisha began, authorities learned that Khalil was the last person to have seen the young girl. Investigator’s attempts to contact Khalil came up dry, so they attempted to locate his wife Andrea Tatum (pictured right). It was revealed that Andrea had recently checked into a hotel in Oxon Hill, Maryland. When police went to her hotel room, they found Andrea dead--she had been shot to death. At that point, police announced that Khalil was the main suspect in both Relisha’s disappearance and Andrea’s death. 

After finding Andrea's body, investigators launched an extensive manhunt for both Khalil and Relisha. Then, on March 31st, 2014, Khalil's body was found in a shed in Kenilworth Park. He died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. There was no sign of Relisha at the scene. 

While investigators have determined that Khalil was the one to kill Andrea, the question of why Andrea was murdered still remains unknown. Additionally, Relisha's whereabouts still remain unknown. The families of both Andrea and Relisha are still awaiting closure in their cases. [read more]

3. The Murders of Terri Reyes & Shunte Coleman

Terri Reyes (pictured left) and Shunte Coleman (pictured center) vanished in May 2006 and July 2006 respectively. Both women lived in Jacksonville, Texas at the time of their disappearances, and both were scheduled to testify in court against an ex-police officer named Larry Pugh (pictured right). Pugh had been charged with violation of civil rights after he was accused of sexually assaulting a woman while on duty. Many other women had reported Pugh for sexual assault as well. Due to the fact that Terri and Shunte were missing, they were never able to testify against Pugh--but Pugh was still sentenced to 12 years in prison for these charges in March 2007.

A few months later, in June 2007, Terri's remains were found in a wooded area of San Augustine County. Her death was classified as a murder and Pugh was looked to as a suspect, but he was not charged with anything related to Terri's case. Years later, in March 2014, Shunte's remains were found as well--not far from the spot where Terri's remains had been found in 2007. 

Larry Pugh remains the one and only suspect for the murders of both Terri and Shunte. He finished his serving his federal prison sentence in 2018, but is currently incarcerated for making false declarations in federal court. Pugh has still never been charged with anything related to Terri or Shunte, even though investigators are not searching for any other suspects. [read more]

2. The Disappearances of Sage Smith & Erik McFadden

Sage Smith (pictured left) has been missing November 20th, 2012.  The 19 year-old had recently come out as transgender before her disappearance. On the day she was last seen, Sage told her roommate that she was going to meet up with a man—possibly for a date—whom she had met online. That man was later identified as Erik McFadden (pictured right). Sage never returned to her Charlottesville, Virginia home and was never seen or heard from again.

Once Sage was reported missing, authorities learned about her plans to meet up with Erik McFadden. However, investigators were unable to locate Erik for questioning. Erik eventually called investigators and stated that he was in New York and would be back in Charlottesville on November 29th. The next day, though, Erik changed his mind. He sent his girlfriend an email saying that Sage was blackmailing him by threatening to tell people that the two of them had sex. Erik also stated that he did meet up with Sage on the night of November 20th, but he did not know what happened to her. He has reportedly never returned to Charlottesville. The last known contact from Erik occurred in May 2013, when he emailed his girlfriend from an untraceable email address. 

Meanwhile, Sage remained missing. In 2016, the investigation was reclassified as a homicide. Three years later, on June 26th, 2019, police announced that they officially filed a missing persons report for Erik McFadden as well. They still consider him to be the only suspect in Sage's case. Investigators are still hoping to locate both Sage and Erik. [read more]

1. The Murder of Nicole Fitts & The Disappearance of Arianna Fitts

Nicole Fitts was a single mother, raising her 2 year-old daughter Arianna Fitts all by herself in Oakland, California. Due to this, Nicole often had to work double shifts at her job at Best Buy to make ends meet. She ended up hiring two sisters named Helena and Ciolo Hearne to be Arianna’s full-time babysitters. The women loved sweet little Arianna so much, they told Nicole they were willing to watch her overnight. This allowed Nicole time to continue working and searching for a more permanent place for Arianna and herself to live.

Nicole finally found a place to live in March 2016. When she told Helena and Ciolo she was ready for Arianna to come back to live with her again, the sisters were not happy about having to let her go. Nicole allowed them a few extra days to spend time with Arianna but asked them to bring her back by April 3rd, 2016. However, two days before that, Nicole told her friend she was going to meet Helena at a restaurant. Nicole never returned home, and both she and Arianna were reported missing by family members on April 5th, 2016.

Three days later, 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's whereabouts are still unknown. Police executed search warrants at both Helena and Ciolo’s homes, but reportedly have not found any sign of Arianna at either place. Investigators are currently not revealing much information about the Hearne sisters, however they have stated that their statements about Arianna’s whereabouts have been inconsistent. At this time, Helena and Ciolo are no longer cooperating with the police.

Both Nicole's murder and Arianna's disappearance remain unsolved. [read more]

Friday, July 17, 2020

The Disappearance of Trista Yelding

Trista Yelding has been missing since April 3rd, 2017. The 24-year-old was in Theodore, Alabama at the time of her disappearance, and she was staying at a friend's house on Raybon Road. According to her friend, Trista had a panic attack on the day of her disappearance. During her panic attack, Trista reportedly ran into the woods behind the house and never returned. She has never been seen or heard from again.

Trista left all of her personal belongings behind--including her medication, money, and driver's license. It is out of character of her to leave without warning, especially because her family relied on her to communicate with her deaf father. There are unfortunately very few other details available about the circumstances surrounding Trista's disappearance.

In July 2018, human remains were found in a wooded area on private land in Mobile, Alabama. The remains were very decomposed and appeared to have been there for quite some time. Around the time the remains were found, reports came out stating that investigators were working to identify them--however they stated it may take time due to the level of decomposition. Trista's family was notified about the remains and were made aware of the possibility that they could belong to her. While Trista's family members wanted her to return home safely, they acknowledged if the remains did belong to her, they would at least have some closure. However, in November 2018, those remains were identified as that of Traci Sutton--another woman who vanished in the Mobile area back in 2016.

Since then, there has been very little news about the investigation into Trista's disappearance. She remains missing today. If you have any information that could lead to her whereabouts, please go here to submit an anonymous tip. 


Wednesday, July 15, 2020

The Disappearance and Murder of Corbin Johnson

Corbin Johnson vanished in Jacksonville, Florida on July 11th, 2018. The 18 year-old spent that day attending several different job interviews. Corbin's father drove him to his final interview that day and then later dropped him off at his mother's house around 8pm. Corbin's mother reported seeing him for the last time at 9:30pm. He never returned home and was never seen or heard from again. His family members reported him missing on July 13th.

Corbin's family members and friends doubted that he was voluntarily missing. He was trying to get a job in the area and his loved ones do not believe he was having any issues prior to his disappearance. Corbin spoke to several friends before he vanished, and none of them reported that anything seemed amiss with him. Investigators were unable to find any clues or leads, and unfortunately Corbin's case grew cold quickly.

Exactly one year later, on July 11th, 2019, a man clearing land on his tractor unearthed human remains wrapped in a bag on the Northwest side of Jacksonville. Those remains were quickly identified as that of Corbin Johnson. His death was classified as a murder, though no exact cause of death has been publicly released.

No suspects have been identified or charged in Corbin's case. If you have any information that could lead to an arrest of the person(s) responsible for his death, please submit an anonymous tip here. 

The Murders of Terri Reyes and Shunte Coleman

Terri Reyes (left) and Shunte Coleman (right) both vanished in Jacksonville, Texas during 2006. Terri, who was 38 years old at the time, vanished on May 21st, 2006. Shunte, who was 26, vanished about a month and a half later, on July 2nd, 2006. Both women had associations with a Jacksonville police officer named Larry Pugh (pictured below)In 2005, Pugh was indicted on five counts of violation of civil rights after he was accused of sexually assaulting a woman while on duty. Additionally, numerous other women reported Pugh for sexual assault between 2005 and 2006. Both Terri and Shunte were scheduled to testify against Pugh in court. They both vanished while Pugh was out on bond while awaiting trial. 

Larry Pugh | Welcome to Cherokee County, Texas the Official Site ...
Larry Pugh

After Shunte vanished, many began to speculate that her disappearance and Terri's disappearance were connected to Pugh. At the time, police denied this and stated that there was "no evidence" that their disappearances were connected in any way. However, about a month after Shunte's disappearance, in August 2006, Pugh was arrested yet again for assaulting another woman who was also scheduled to testify as a witness in his case. He later admitted to putting a belt around the woman's neck and attempting to drag her to his van. The belt broke, and the woman was able to run to nearby friend's house. Pugh was subsequently charged with retaliation against a witness.

On March 1st, 2007, Pugh was sentenced to 12 years in prison for the initial federal charges. Meanwhile, Terri and Shunte remained missing. A few months later, in June 2007, hunters found human remains in a wooded area in San Augustine County. Those remains were later identified as that of Terri Reyes. Her death was classified as homicide. Pugh still remains the prime suspect in her case.

Years later, in March 2014, another set of human remains were found in a wooded area of San Augustine County--not far from the spot where Terri's remains were found. A few months later, forensic testing confirmed that the remains belonged to Shunte Coleman. Her death was also classified as a homicide. The murders of both Terri and Shunte have only one prime suspect to this day: Larry Pugh. 


In 2018, Larry Pugh finished his federal prison sentence. He has still not been charged with anything related to Terri and Shunte's cases. Pugh eventually moved to Nacogdoches County, Texas. Other residents in the county expressed concerns about Pugh living in their community. In 2019, a post began circulating on social media about Pugh being a serial killer and rapist.

At that time, the Nacogdoches County Sheriff's Office announced that, despite the accusations against Pugh, he was not a convicted murderer, nor was he even a registered sex offender. Although he was indicted on federal charges after being accused of sexually assaulting a woman while on duty back in 2005, he was not actually charged with sexual assault--he was only charged on counts of violation of civil rights. 

Pugh was later arrested again during early 2020. This time, he was charged with making a false declaration in federal court relating to his 2006 charges of retaliating against a witness. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison for those charges in July 2020. Pugh remains incarcerated and he also remains the prime suspect for the murders of both Terri Reyes and Shunte Coleman. Still, no charges have ever been filed in either one of their cases.

The Disappearance & Murder of Kayleah Wilson

Image source: Dignity Memorial Kayleah Wilson was only 12 years-old when she was tragically murdered during the spring of 2010. The young g...