Monday, July 13, 2020

List Series: Criminals Charged and/or Suspected in Multiple Cases

Statistics show that violent criminals are more likely to reoffend than those who have been convicted of non-violent crimes. (source) This is a pattern that seemingly occurs with people who have only been accused--and not convicted--of violent acts as well. In fact, there are numerous cases in which a person was suspected to be involved in a disappearance/murder, but was not immediately arrested due to lack of evidence. Unfortunately, those people went on to commit other violent crimes before finally being arrested. Below is a list of 8 such cases, in which a person has either been accused or convicted of numerous violent crimes.

8. Cedric Marks
From left to right: April Pease, Jenna Scott, Michael Swearingin, Cedric Marks
Cedric Marks is a former MMA fighter who is currently charged with the murders of multiple people. He first became a person-of-interest in the disappearance of April Pease back in 2009. April was 30 years-old at the time of her disappearance, and she had recently moved to Bloomington, Indiana to get clean from drugs and to get away with Cedric, who had reportedly abused her throughout their relationship. April and Cedric have a son together, and they had a custody hearing pertaining to their son scheduled for March 20th, 2009. Unfortunately, April never showed up for the hearing--as she had disappeared just 3 days earlier. Cedric was granted custody of their son and April remained missing--though her loved ones had long suspected that Cedric was involved in her disappearance.

Nearly 10 years passed without any trace of April, or any clues pertaining to her case. During this time, Cedric got married, but also dated numerous other women while married. One particular girlfriend was 28 year-old Jenna Scott. Cedric was also allegedly abusive towards Jenna, and she ended up getting a restraining order against him during July 2018. In early January 2019, Jenna and her friend Michael Swearingin vanished after being seen together in Michael’s car near his Temple, Texas home. Cedric was immediately looked into as a person of interest, but police eventually ended up arresting him on an unrelated charge–for burglarizing Jenna’s home back in August 2018. Then, just a few days later, Jenna and Michael’s bodies were found in a rural area of Oklahoma. Cedric has been charged for their murders, and his girlfriend and wife have also been arrested for aiding him in his crimes.

While behind bars for those charges, investigators continued to search for answers about April's disappearance. Finally, in March 2020, Cedric and a woman named Kellee Kristine Sorensen have were charged with the second-degree murder of April Pease. The woman reportedly told authorities that back in March 2009, she and Cedric tracked April down at a women’s shelter in Bloomington. The two then took April to an area on Interstate 35, where Cedric reportedly murdered her. According to Sorensen, she stayed in the car while Cedric committed the murder. April's body still has not been found. Cedric and his accomplices remain behind bars while their charges are pending.

7. Andrelo Witcher
Heather MacCrossen, Kamrie Mitchell, Andrelo Witcher
Heather MacCrossen was in the midst of escaping an abusive relationship with Andrelo Witcher when she vanished on August 17th, 2007. About a month before her disappearance, the 26 year-old woman decided to leave her home in Newberry, Florida and flee to Michigan, where her family lived. According to her family members, Heather arrived there with two black eyes. She stayed in Michigan for about a month before she had to return to Florida for a court date for a misdemeanor traffic ticket. Heather called her mother from a Greyhound bus stop in Gainesville, Florida on August 17th, 2007 to let her know that she had arrived safely. That was Heather’s last known interaction, and she has never been seen or heard from again.

Witcher was immediately looked into as a person-of-interest in Heather's disappearance. He repeatedly denied having any knowledge of her whereabouts. Then, five years later,  Witcher became a person of interest in another young woman’s disappearance as well: 23 year-old Kamrie Mitchell. Kamrie disappeared on August 25th, 2012, just a few hours after she reported Witcher to the police for breaking into her father’s home, threatening her with a weapon, and stealing prescription medications from the home. Witcher was eventually arrested and charged with burglary while armed, possession of a weapon by a felon, and failure to comply with his sex offender registration.

Witcher was convicted for the burglary charges and sentenced to five years in prison. He was due to be released in December 2016, however in April 2016, Alachua County investigators announced that they filed manslaughter charges against Witcher for the 2007 death of Heather Ann MacCrossen. He went to trial during December 2018 and was ultimately found guilty. Witcher was sentenced to 30 years in prison. 

Heather's body was never found. Both she and Kamrie remain missing today. [read more about Heather's case] [read more about Kamrie's case]

6. Christopher Revill
Taalibah Islam, Typhenie Johnson, Christopher Revill
Taalibah Islam vanished at the age of 20 on January 16th, 2006. She was last seen in Fort Worth, Texas by her boyfriend and father of her infant son, Christopher Revill. After her disappearance, Revill dropped their 3 month old son off at a relative of Taalibah’s. He said that he and Taalibah got into an argument, and that she got into a vehicle driven by someone he didn’t know and rode away.

Taalibah's family members have always suspected that Revill knew more about her disappearance than he was saying. He has continuously denied involvement in Taalibah's disappearance, and years passed without any news in her case. Then, over a decade later, Revill was arrested and charged with kidnapping another girlfriend: 25 year-old Typhenie Johnson. Typhenie was last seen with Revill outside of her apartment in Fort Worth on October 10th, 2016. The two were in an argument--which was overheard by Typhenie's brother, who was inside the apartment. However, after the argument seemed to stop, Typhenie's brother went outside to look for her. He could not find her, but he did see Revill slamming the trunk of his car shut and then driving off. On the ground where Revill was parked, Typhenie's brother found Typhenie’s sock and cellphone. He immediately called the police.

The following day, police arrested Revill and charged him with aggravated kidnapping with intent to terrorize in Typhenie’s case. The charge was later upgraded to kidnapping with intent to kill. Revill denied all charges brought against him; he told investigators that he and Typhenie got into an argument and she got into a vehicle driven by someone he didn’t know and rode away. This was very similar to the story he told investigators about Taalibah's disappearance, as well. 

In 2019, Revill went to trial for the kidnapping charges. He was ultimately found guilty of kidnapping Typhenie Johnson. Revill was sentenced to life in prison. Typhenie's body has never been found; both she and Taalibah remain missing today. [read more about Taalibah's case] [read more about Typhenie's case]

5. Ronald Roldan
Bethany Decker, Vickey Willoughby, Ronald Roldan
Bethany Decker vanished at the age of 21 on January 29th, 2011. She was last seen at her apartment in Ashburn, Virginia by Ronald Roldan--her boyfriend and suspected father of her unborn child. Bethany was married at the time she vanished, but had been having an affair with Ronald during the months leading up to her disappearance. However, Bethany told both her friends and family members that Ronald was controlling and abusive, and she wanted to end things with him for good. After Bethany was reported missing, Ronald was inevitably questioned. He admitted to seeing Bethany at her apartment on the day she was last seen, but denied having anything to do with her disappearance. Shortly thereafter, Ronald stopped cooperating with the investigation altogether.

Eventually, Ronald began dating another woman named Vickey Willoughby. Vickey also said that Ronald was abusive, and the abuse escalated to a violent incident that occurred during the early morning hours of November 12th, 2014. Around 1:30am that morning, police were called to Vickey's North Carolina home after a reported shooting. Vickey told police that she and Ronald had gotten into an altercation that resulted in Ronald shooting Vickey three times--twice in the leg and once in the head. Vickey had also shot Ronald twice in self-defense--once in the abdomen and once in the chest. Vickey lost one of her eyes as a result of the altercation.

Once their injuries were treated, Ronald was taken to jail and charged with the attempted murder of Vickey Willoughby. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 6 to 8 years in prison. Ronald continues to deny involvement in Bethany's case, however in 2020 he was finally arrested and charged with Bethany's abduction. Those charges are pending today. [read more]

4. Jesse Matthew Jr.
Morgan Harrington, Hannah Graham, Jesse Matthew Jr.
In 2006, a 26 year-old woman was walking to her home in Fairfax, Virginia after going grocery shopping when she was grabbed by a man. The man dragged her into the woods, beat her, and raped her before being startled by a passerby and running off. The police were called and the victim was able to provide a description of her attacker. Investigators were also able to obtain the attacker's DNA from under the victim's fingernails. Unfortunately, though, they were unable to formally identify her attacker and the case went cold.

Three years later, in November 2009, 20 year-old Morgan Harrington vanished in Charlottesville, Virginia after she exited the venue at a Metallica concert and was unable to re-enter. She texted her friends to say she was going to find a ride home--but unfortunately she never arrived home, and was never seen or heard from again. Around 3 months later, on January 26th, 2010, Morgan’s remains were found on a farm ten miles away from the concert arena. It was clear she had been a victim of homicide. While investigating Morgan's murder, detectives found DNA on Morgan's shirt that matched DNA they already had in their system. It was the same DNA found under the fingernails of the rape victim from the 2005 attack in Fairfax. At this point, it became obvious that this violent person was still on the loose--but detectives still did not have this man's identity.

Nearly five years later, the violent attacker struck again. 18 year-old Hannah Graham was reported missing on September 13th, 2014, when she did not return to her dorm after a night of drinking. Surveillance footage from the Charlottesville area captured Hannah stumbling around by herself the previous evening...when eventually, a man steps into the camera's frame, approaches Hannah, and puts his arm around her. This man was quickly identified as Jesse Matthew Jr. Once he was captured, Matthew was arrested and charged with kidnapping and intent to defile in the Hannah Graham case. Days after he was taken into custody, investigators announced that they found a forensic link between the 2005 rape case, Morgan's case, and Hannah's case. Hannah still remained missing, but at this point, investigators believed they had a serial rapist/murderer in custody.

Hannah’s remains were found on October 18th, 2014, on an abandoned property in Albemarle County, Virginia. Matthew was subsequently charged with the kidnapping and rape for the 2005 case and with the murders of both Morgan and Hannah. In June of 2015, Matthew was given three life sentences for the 2005 attack. In March of 2016, he pleaded guilty to both Morgan and Hannah’s murders. Matthew will remain incarcerated for the rest of his life. [read more]

3. Floyd Galloway Jr.

Danielle Stislicki has been missing since December 2nd, 2016. The 28 year-old left her job at MetLife in Southfield, Michigan that evening and was never seen or heard from again. Witnesses reported seeing Danielle that evening in the parking lot at MetLife, chatting with a man named Floyd Galloway Jr. Floyd was previously a security guard at the MetLife building, however he did not work there at all during December 2016. 

Danielle did not have plans to meet up with Floyd that evening. In fact, she was supposed to meet up with another friend for dinner. Danielle never showed up to meet her friend and also did not return to work the next day. Her friend subsequently went to Danielle's apartment to check on her. Said friend found Danielle's car parked in the usual spot, with her credit cards, identification, and other personal items inside. It appeared that Danielle had left the items there on purpose--as if she planned to go into her apartment and change clothes before heading back out to meet her friend. Once police were called, they were able to determine that Danielle was not inside her apartment. However, it was clear that Danielle also never made it back to her car as planned. She was promptly reported missing and the investigation immediately began.

Once investigators learned that Danielle had been seen talking to Floyd that evening, he quickly became a person of interest. Floyd's house was searched numerous times in the months following Danielle's disappearance, and numerous items were seized. Still, Floyd continued to deny involvement in Danielle's disappearance and he was not initially charged with anything. Nearly six months later, on June 28th, 2017, Floyd was arrested for the attempted rape of another 28 year old woman in Livonia. The woman said that she was jogging in Hines Park when Floyd grabbed her from behind by the neck and choked her, punched her in the face and began dragging her into the woods toward the Rouge River. Fortunately, the woman was able to escape the attack.

Floyd eventually pleaded guilty to the assault charges, but continued to deny involvement in Danielle's case. Finally, in 2019, investigators were able to obtain a warrant to arrest and charge Floyd with first-degree murder in connection to Danielle's disappearance. Floyd has pleaded not guilty to these charges. He is currently awaiting trial. Danielle's body has still not been found. [read more]

2. John Gardner III
Amber DuBois, Chelsea King, John Gardner III
Amber DuBois vanished while walking to school in Escondido, California on the morning of February 13th, 2009. The 14 year-old was seen by witnesses walking towards the school at 7:10am, but she never showed up to class as planned. She was reported missing that afternoon. The search for Amber was immediate, but unfortunately no clues were found. 

A little over a year later, on February 25th, 2010, another young girl vanished in a nearby town: Chelsea King. 17 year-old Chelsea disappeared while jogging around Lake Hodges. Her parents alerted police when she did not return home, and a search around the lake was immediately conducted. During said search, a sock and a pair of underwear was found. Those items were sent to forensic testing, where investigators found a DNA match to somebody who was already in CODIS: registered sex offender John Albert Gardner III. Police brought Gardner into custody as the search for Chelsea continued. Then, on March 2nd, 2010, police announced that Chelsea’s body was found in a shallow grave located just 10 feet from the lake’s shore. Gardner was then charged with rape and murder in Chelsea’s case. He was also charged with the attempted rape of another woman at Lake Hodges months before Chelsea’s disappearance. He pleaded not guilty to both charges.

Once he was behind bars, investigators questioned Gardner about Amber’s disappearance as well. While he initially denied involvement, he eventually lead investigators to Amber’s remains in a rugged, remote area of north San Diego on March 5th, 2010. Gardner was then charged with Amber’s abduction and murder as well. The following month, Gardner pleaded guilty to the murder charges in exchange for the death penalty being taken off the table. He will remain incarcerated for the rest of his life. [read more]

1.Kylr Yust
Kara Kopetsky, Kylr Yust, Jessica Runions

Kara Kopetsky
vanished at the age of 17 on May 4th, 2007. She left her high school in Belton, Missouri early that day and never returned home. Kara's ex-boyfriend Kylr Yust was immediately classified as a person of interest in the case. Kara had gotten a restraining order against Kylr just a week before her disappearance after an incident in which he strangled Kara and restricted her from leaving his car. Kylr was inevitably questioned after Kara vanished, but he denied having any knowledge of her whereabouts.

In the years that followed, Kylr reportedly told numerous people that he killed Kara and disposed of her body. In fact, numerous people contacted to police to tell them that Kylr had confessed--but Kylr was not charged with anything related to Kara's disappearance, and Kara remained missing. Kylr was in-and-out of jail over the following years for various charges including animal abuse, domestic violence, and drug trafficking. During 2013, Kylr was sentenced to four years in prison for the drug trafficking charges. Belton detectives visited him while he was behind bars, but he still refused to answer any questions of Kara's disappearance.

Kylr was released from prison early on September 2nd, 2016. Just days later, he attended a party in Grandview. 21 year-old Jessica Runions was at the party as well. Jessica and Kylr were seen leaving the party together around 2am. Kylr was drinking heavily and the two had reportedly been seen arguing. Jessica never returned home from the party and was reported missing on the evening of September 9th. The following day, Jessica's car was found burning near Blue River Road. Kylr was subsequently arrested and charged with knowingly burning Jessica's car.

Meanwhile, both Kara and Jessica remained missing--and Kylr remained the main person of interest in both cases. Then, in April 2017, a mushroom hunter found a set of remains in a rural area of Cass County, Missouri. When authorities arrived and conducted a more thorough search of the area, they found a second set of remains. Those remains appeared to have been there for much longer than the first set of remains that were found. Just days later, the first set of remains were identified as that of Jessica Runions. It took months to identify the other remains, but in August 2017, those remains were identified as that of Kara Kopetsky.

In October 2017, Kylr was charged with murdering both Kara and Jessica. He was ultimately found guilty in 2021. [read more][timeline]

1 comment:

  1. April Pease went missing while in Bloomington, Minnesota. Not Indiana.