Saturday, August 28, 2021

The Disappearance of Aaliyah Ramirez


Aaliyah Ramirez has been missing since April 27th, 2021. The 14 year-old was last seen leaving her father's home in Syracuse, Indiana. Aaliyah was supposed to walk to the nearby school bus stop, but she never arrived. She was reported missing later that day, after her school called to notify her family about her absence. 

Aaliyah leaving her father's home

Aaliyah was reportedly struggling in her home life in the months leading up to her disappearance. According to various social media posts, Aaliyah's mother had kicked her out of the house a few months prior. After this, Aaliyah went to stay with her aunt. However, this was short lived--as Aaliyah's father went to court to petition for full custody. The judge granted her father's request, despite the fact that Aaliyah did not want to live with him. In fact, she wrote the judge a letter requesting to stay with her aunt. In the letter, Aaliyah wrote that she did not want to live with her mother OR father--as she faced abuse in both homes. Despite this, the judge still placed her with her father.

Part 1 of the Aaliyah's letter to the judge (click to enlarge)
(click to enlarge)
The judge's ruling also reportedly banned Aaliyah from having any contact with her boyfriend. It is unclear why her parents did not want her to contact him--as he lived in Florida and it was primarily a long distance relationship. Aaliyah met this boyfriend while staying with her grandmother in Palm Beach City. Aaliyah's grandmother allowed her to see the boyfriend, but her parents did not--which caused further rifts in her relationship with them. 

Investigators believe that Aaliyah is no longer in Indiana. It's speculated that Aaliyah had help getting out of the state, but authorities still believe she is in danger. Prior to vanishing, Aaliyah was a dancer at the Indiana Ballet Conservatory in Indianapolis. Many members of the dance community have been sharing her story hopes of spreading awareness about her disappearance. 

Aaliyah is described as 5'9" and approximately 138 lbs. If you have any information that could help locate her, please contact the Syracuse Police Department at 574-267-5667.
UPDATE: Aaliyah has been found alive.

On August 27th, 2021, it was reported that Aaliyah has been located safely in Florida. At this time, it has not been confirmed if Aaliyah has been there this whole time,  however she does have relatives in the state. Many are now advocating for her to be placed in a more stable home. 

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

The Murder of Ally Kostial

Ally Kostial was a 21-year-old rising senior at Ole Miss when she was brutally murdered on July 20th, 2019. A fellow student and Ally's on-again, off-again boyfriend Brandon Theesfeld (22) has been arrested and charged with Ally's murder. Ally's body was found just hours after she was killed, at Buford's Ridge in Harmontown, Mississippi. She had been shot 8 times in the stomach.

It did not take investigators long to identify Brandon as a suspect. He was known to frequent Buford's Ridge with friends, as it was approximately 30 miles away from the Ole Miss campus in Oxford. According to various Ole Miss students, Brandon is also well-known for being disrespectful towards women. Many of Ally's friends stated that Brandon had manipulated her and treated her poorly during their on-again, off-again relationship. However, Ally's friends explained that Ally always saw the good in him.

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Ally and Brandon together in 2016

Police located and arrested Brandon two days after Ally's murder, on July 22nd, 2019. Cell phone and credit card records led police to a gas station in South Memphis, where they were able to catch up to him. Authorities have since remained quiet about the investigation into the murder, however many of Ally's friends have revealed a potential motive: Ally was reportedly pregnant with Brandon's child. Brandon was furious that Ally did not want to have an abortion. While this has not been confirmed by police, the investigation is still ongoing.

Brandon's defense attorneys have stated that Brandon plans to enter a not guilty plea. He remains behind bars as the case is pending.
UPDATE (August 2021): 

After initially pleading not guilty, Brandon Theesfeld will now plead guilty to Ally's murder in court on Friday, August 27th, 2021. Brandon will plead guilty after a deal was made to reduce his charge from capital murder to first-degree murder. The first-degree murder charge results in an automatic life sentence. 

Brandon is expected to make a statement in court at the proceedings on Friday. An update will be provided.
UPDATE (cont):

Brandon Theesfeld pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in court on August 27th, 2021. During the court proceedings, it was revealed that Ally and Brandon had a sexual relationship off-and-on throughout their time at University of Mississippi. On April 12th, 2019, Ally reached out to Brandon to tell him that she thought she might be pregnant. A couple days later, she sent him a picture of an inconclusive pregnancy test. Over the next few months, Ally contacted Brandon several times and asked him to meet up with her--but he did not oblige. 

Finally, on July 12th, 2019, Brandon messaged Ally and said he did not want to meet up, but he did want her to get an abortion. Days later, on July 18th, Brandon messaged Ally again and said he was willing to meet up. During the early morning hours of the 19th, Brandon picked Ally up from her residence in Oxford and drove her 40 miles away to Buford's Ridge at Sardis Lake. There, he shot her to death and then left her body behind. 

After pleading guilty in court, Brandon made the following statement: "I am sincerely sorry for the pain I've caused while taking Ally from you. My actions have forever changed your lives and my family's lives. I wish I could take it all back but I can't. There is no excuse for my actions and I have asked God for forgiveness. I hope one day that you will find it in your heart to forgive me." 

Still, Brandon has not revealed a motive for the killing. There is inevitable speculation that he was motivated by Ally's alleged pregnancy--however, an autopsy confirmed that she was not actually pregnant at the time of her death.  

Brandon was sentenced to life in prison. 

Monday, August 9, 2021

The Disappearance of Kristen Galvan

Kristen Galvan was only 15 years old when she vanished on January 2nd, 2020. She was last seen at her grandmother's home in Spring, Texas. Kristen left the home on the day of her disappearance and never returned. She has never been seen or heard from again.

Despite the fact that Kristen left on her own accord, her loved ones immediately began to worry for her safety. Her family members began to suspect that she had been sold into trafficking by a boy whom she had been hanging out with prior to her disappearance. Kristen's picture was reportedly seen on a website known for prostitution. Her family members attempted to locate her on Bissonnet Street--an area in Houston that is also well known for prostitution in trafficking. Unfortunately, Kristen's family members were unable to locate her.

Kristen's mother has since hired a private investigator, who reportedly might have tracked Kristen down in the Lake Charles area--but no other sightings of Kristen have been reported. It's unclear if she is still believed to be in the local area. She remains missing today.

If you have any information that could lead to Kristen's whereabouts, please submit an anonymous tip here. 
UPDATE: In spring of 2021, authorities confirmed that they, too, believe that Kristen is a victim of sex trafficking. In fact, people have reported that they've seen Kristen's picture on a website that is well-known for prostitution. These sightings have only further deepened the concern for Kristen's safety. A news report published on Kristen's 17th birthday quotes FBI Special Agent Bethany Morris, who explained, "because Kristen is a possible victim of human trafficking, this means her life could be in danger."

If you have seen Kristen or have any information on her disappearance, PLEASE contact authorities and/or leave an anonymous tip. In addition to the link posted above, you can also contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline in the following ways:
  • Phone: 1-888-373-7888
  • Text: 233733
  • Online chat: link
  • Anonymous online tip: link

Friday, August 6, 2021

The Murder of Tyler Hendrix

Cameron 'Tyler' Hendrix was tragically murdered at the age of 25 on July 12th, 2016. Tyler was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida. He lived in the Westside at the time of his death. On the afternoon of July 12th, Tyler left his home to ride his bicycle around with his friends in the neighborhood. He unfortunately never made it back home. A passerby later found Tyler laying beside his bicycle near the Paradise Valley mobile home park. He had been shot multiple times. 

This was not Tyler's first experience with gun violence. In fact, he had been shot near his home in September 2012--about four years before his death. Tyler was shot in the midst of an attempted robbery by a man named Deion Torezz Robinson. The gunshot wound caused the left side of Tyler''s body to become paralyzed. However, Tyler was resilient in his rehabilitation and was able to regain partial movement. He eventually was able to get a job working for a construction company. The man who shot Tyler was later arrested and charged with attempted robbery and attempted murder in February 2013. 

Tyler became the victim of gun violence once again on that fateful day in July 2016. This time, the gunshot wounds were fatal and he was pronounced dead by the time paramedics arrived on the scene. Tyler's murder remains unsolved and it is unclear if investigators have any persons of interest. No suspects have been publicly named.

There is a monetary reward available for anyone with information that could lead to the arrest of Tyler's killer. If you have any information that could help the investigation, please call (866) 845-TIPS.

The Disappearance and Death of Danielle Griffith

image source The morning of May 17th, 2019 began as a fairly typical day in the town Tumwater, Washington. It was a partly cloudy day, and ...