Monday, August 24, 2020

Small Town Mysteries Vol. III

A third set of mysteries that occurred in a small town with a population of approximately 3000 people or less.

As explained in the first 'Small Town Mysteries' list, most of these towns are considered quiet communities with relatively low violent crime rates. This is one of the many reasons these cases are so perplexing and frightening. Additionally, due to the small residency numbers, these cases cause many to question whether or not there is a killer or predator lurking amongst their inner circles. These mysteries all remain unsolved today.

9. The Disappearance of Mercedes Toliver
Family desperate for answers in 2016 disappearance of Arkansas ...

Mercedes Toliver was only 18 years-old when she vanished on December 17th, 2016. The teen left her family's Prescott, Arkansas home after an argument with her mother. Prescott is her family's hometown, and Mercedes grew up in the area. The town has a population of 3,018 (2018) and Mercedes was very familiar with the area. In fact, when Mercedes left the house during the early-morning hours of December 17th, her mother thought she was going to walk to her aunt's house, who only lived a quarter mile away. Unfortunately, Mercedes never arrived at her aunt's house and she never returned home. She has not been seen or heard from again. 

Since her disappearance, Mercedes has not been active on any of her social media accounts, nor have any of her bank accounts been used. Earlier on into the investigation, the Prescott Police Department apparently had leads that Mercedes was in Clark or Lafayette counties, but those leads did not pan out. Ever since, there have been very few leads and very little information available about Mercedes’ case. She remains missing today.

8. The Disappearance of Sylvia Galvan
Family Continues to Search For Missing Mt Morris Woman

Sylvia Galvan has been missing since October 2011. At the time of her disappearance, the 30 year-old woman lived in Mount Morris, Michigan. Mount Morris is described as a quiet, family-oriented area with a population of only 2,855 residents (2018). Unfortunately, Sylvia was estranged from her parents and her children in 2011--and as a result, it took Sylvia's family members a very long time to realize she had gone missing. In fact, Sylvia was not reported missing until 2013—over two years after she was last seen.

Throughout the investigation, detectives were able to determine that Sylvia was last seen in Mount Morris on or around the date of October 21st, 2011. Witnesses reportedly told detectives that they saw Sylvia on or around that day getting into a vehicle with a group of unidentified men. Authorities have not revealed any further information on the investigation at this time, however they have stated that they believed foul play was involved in Sylvia’s disappearance. 

Sylvia's loved ones believe that somebody in Mount Morris knows exactly what happened to Sylvia. The FBI is now involved in her case. Sylvia remains missing today. [read more]

7. The Disappearance of Timeka Pridgen
2001 disappearance of Lenoir teen still unsolved ::

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.

Investigators initially believed that Timeka left on her own accord, however Cosandra never believed this to be true. La Grange is a small town--and in 2001, the population was approximately 2,851 residents. Nobody in the La Grange area reported seeing or hearing from Timeka at all after her disappearance. About a year and a half after she went missing, investigators stated that they no longer believed Timeka had run away, and they began treating her case as a kidnapping. Wider-scale searches of the La Grange area occurred after that point, but unfortunately no clues were found.

Cosandra's ex-boyfriend Eric Moore is considered a person of interest in Timeka's disappearance. After Timeka was reported missing, Cosandra learned that Eric had a criminal history with charges such as sexual assault, kidnapping, and theft on his record. In 2006, he was convicted of an unrelated sex crime and was sentenced to nine years in prison. Eric has continually denied involvement in Timeka's disappearance. She remains missing today. [read more]

6. The Disappearance & Death of Allyson Watterson

Allyson Watterson mysteriously vanished on December 22nd, 2019. The 20 year-old woman was last seen by her boyfriend, 21 year-old Benjamin Garland. Benjamin stated that he and Allyson were hiking in North Plains, Oregon when they got separated in a wooded area near Old Pumpkin Ridge Road. Benjamin and his father reported Allyson missing the following day.

North Plains is a small town on the outskirts of the Portland metropolitan area. Though it's fairly close to a metropolitan area, North Plains has a small population with only 2,195 residents (2018). Investigators initially searched the area around Old Pumpkin Ridge Road, where Allyson was reportedly last seen, but they were unable to find any clues. Investigators did, however, notice that Benjamin had many outstanding warrants out for him on several different charges. He was arrested for said charges just five days after Allyson's disappearance and has since been sentenced to three years in prison.

A few months passed without any leads or clues in Allyson's case. Then, in March 2020, an anonymous tipster alerted authorities about "seeing something" near Pumpkin Ridge Road. When authorities went to the area, they reportedly found items that were confirmed to belong to Allyson. Authorities have not confirmed what items were found, but Allyson's mother told reporters that the items were Allyson's backpack and ID card. A wider search of the area did not return any further clues. 

Finally, in June 2020, a property owner clearing some brush spotted human remains hidden underneath the thick area. A few days later, a coroner confirmed that the remains were that of Allyson Watterson. An investigation into her death is currently ongoing. [read more]

5. The Disappearance of Suzie Escobedo

Suzanna 'Suzie' Escobedo vanished at the age of 25 on August 2nd, 2018. She was last seen in Seadrift, Texas, where she lived in a mobile home with her husband and their 4 month-old daughter. On the day of her disappearance, Suzie texted with a few relatives, but all contact from her ceased after 1pm. Suzie's husband returned home from work shortly after 7pm that evening and found their infant daughter home alone. He also noticed that Suzie's cell phone, wallet, and other personal belongings were left behind. Suzie's husband promptly reported her missing.

A widespread search of the Seadrift area did not return any clues. Seadrift is a very small town with a population of only 1,493 residents (2018). However, no one in the area has reported seeing Suzie since her disappearance. Both Suzie's family members and authorities do not believe that Suzie left on her own accord. It is out-of-character for her to leave her infant daughter unattended and Suzie's loved ones do not believe she would leave town without her baby or 7 year-old son. 

Suzie does not have a history of mental illness or substance abuse, and it is not believed that she harmed herself. She remains missing today, and the Calhoun County Sheriff's Department is investigating in her disappearance. [read more]

4. The Disappearance of Jasmine Robinson

Jasmine Robinson was last seen by her loved ones on February 18th, 2019. The 23 year-old woman was 6-7 months pregnant at the time of her disappearance. On the evening of February 18th, Jasmine spoke to her aunt on the phone to confirm that her aunt was going to come to her house the following morning to take her to a doctor's appointment. However, when Jasmine's aunt showed up at her Archer, Florida home the following morning, Jasmine was nowhere to be found.

Archer is a small town in Florida with approximately 1,209 residents (2018). Since Jasmine's disappearance, nobody in Archer has reported seeing or hearing from her. However, Jasmine's family members believe the father of her unborn child might have had something to do with her disappearance. Jasmine reportedly did not want to have a relationship with this man, and she was upset about the fact that he had constantly been calling her in the months/weeks leading up to her disappearance. While investigators have not named this man as a suspect in Jasmine's disappearance at this time, they have stated that they do not believe Jasmine was alone on the evening of February 18th. 

Jasmine remains missing today and detectives are appealing to anyone who might have information about her disappearance to come forward. [read more]

3. The Disappearance of Lisa Knight

Lisa Marie Knight vanished at the age of 29 on June 8th, 2012. She was last seen at the residence of her ex-husband, Lloyd Frey, in Ossineke, Michigan. Lloyd is the father of two of Lisa's four children. Lisa's loved ones described her as a loving mother. However, Lisa also struggled with addiction. Her children did not live with her at the time of her disappearance, but she visited with them regularly. On the evening of June 8th, 2012, Lloyd picked Lisa up with the intention of going to visit their youngest daughter. Instead, the two ended up at Lloyd's residence.

Lloyd later told investigators that when he woke up the next morning, Lisa was gone. There are many theories about what might have happened to her. Lisa's loved ones have their suspicions about Lloyd, especially since he was the last person to have seen her. There are also theories that Lisa might have overdosed and her body was hidden. Neither theory has been confirmed, but authorities believe someone in the small town of Ossineke has information about Lisa's disappearance. Ossineke's population is approximately 899 residents (2019). It's likely that someone in the community has answers about Lisa's disappearance, but so far nobody has come forward. [read more]

2. The Disappearance of Keeslyn Roberts

Keeslyn Roberts has been missing since January 18th, 2020. The 20 year-old woman was last seen at a Flying J truck stop in Resaca, Georgia. When Keeslyn arrived at the Flying J that day, she told people at the truck stop that she was there to see someone. Employees at the Flying J ended up calling 911 after Keeslyn reportedly entered an employee-only kitchen area and got into an altercation. She fled the scene before the police arrived, however her cash, debit cards, identification, and phone charger were left behind. At this time it is unclear how Keeslyn left the truck stop, as her vehicle was left behind as well.

Resaca is a very small town with only 798 residents (2018). While many locals in the area know Keeslyn, nobody has come forward with information about her disappearance. The most recent update in her case came about in March 2020, when investigators searched the Flying J and found clothing that is believed to belong to Keeslyn in a dumpster behind the building. An anonymous witness told reporters that the clothes have been there since Keeslyn’s disappearance, however investigators did not obtain them until they conducted their search. The identity of this witness is currently unknown, but authorities stated that the witness has fully cooperated with the investigation.

Keeslyn remains missing today, and there is a cash reward being offered for anyone with information that could lead to her whereabouts. [read more]

1. The Disappearance of Peggy McGuire

28 year-old Peggy McGuire disappeared on November 16th, 2015. That morning, she dropped her young son off at school in Eufaula, Oklahoma and then was never seen or heard from again. At the time of her disappearance, Peggy, her son, and her son's father lived in Stidham, Oklahoma. Stidham is an extremely small town with a population of only 19 residents (2018). While Peggy's loved ones and other Stidham residents have their suspicions about what might have happened, nobody in the small community has seen or heard from her since November 2015.

The only clues in Peggy's disappearance that have been publicly revealed comes from surveillance footage captured at a rural bar. The day after Peggy's disappearance,  in the midst of a violent storm, surveillance footage captured her car being driven into the parking lot of T&J’s Ice House, a rural bar located 10 miles away from her home. An unidentified man was captured getting out of the driver’s seat of her car and walking away. Additionally, when police searched the home that Peggy shared with her son’s father Thomas Ryan McIntosh, they found blood on the couch on their back porch. They also found bloodstains on a leather glove found in McIntosh’s truck. Despite this, McIntosh was not arrested nor was he named as a suspect in Peggy’s disappearance. Investigators apparently submitted the blood samples for forensic testing, but the results of those tests have yet to be revealed.

Peggy remains missing today. [read more]

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