Monday, January 31, 2022

The Murder of Shallaina Jackson

 

Shallaina Jackson was brutally murdered at the age of 26 on March 26, 2013. The young mother's lifeless body was found that day, lying on the side of the road in Lawton, Oklahoma. She had been stabbed several times.

A month after her death, a local minister and few of Shallaina's friends placed a memorial for her in the spot where her body was found. During May 2013, that memorial was run over and vandalized. It's unclear if this incident is related to Shallaina's murder, and both crimes remain unsolved.

In 2014, investigators stated that had DNA evidence and multiple witness statements. However, a suspect has yet to be identified. There has otherwise been very little media coverage about Shallaina's murder investigation. 

Shallaina's mother finally broke her silence in 2019, when she spoke to local media and pleaded for anyone with information about Shallaina's case to come forward. At the same time, police announced that their investigation was at a standstill. Shallaina's family members have criticized said investigation, as police seemingly have plenty of information, but an arrest has still not been made. Shallaina's cousin explained, "I feel like they’re just not working hard enough to find who killed this young lady. They’re worried about other stuff but this is very important too, because there’s kids growing up without a mother right now."

Shallaina's case remains unsolved. If you have any information that could help the investigation, please submit an anonymous tip here. 


Monday, January 24, 2022

The Murder of Joana Peca

 

Joana Peca was murdered in front of her young children on the evening of July 31st, 2021. The 27-year-old woman was shot multiple times as she sat in her vehicle near the Woodlawn Memorial Gardens in St. Petersburg, Florida. St. Petersburg police believe that Joana was shot by 38-year-old Benjamin 'Bambi' Williams. There is currently a warrant out for Williams' arrest.


Joana was involved in a relationship with Williams prior to her death. In fact, Williams is the father of Joana's youngest son. The child was only four months old when Joana was killed. According to reports, Williams asked Joana to meet him at the Woodlawn Memorial Gardens that evening because his sister is buried there, and he said he wanted Joana's support. Joana brought both her baby and her four-year-old son with her. At some point after arriving, Joana was sitting in the front seat of her car, holding her baby when Williams reportedly shot her multiple times. Williams then fled the scene.

Once police arrived, they found Joana's body in her car with her very frightened older son in the backset. Joana's murder was so gruesome that police initially did not notice that the four-month-old baby was in her arms. Both children were fortunately not physically harmed, but both now have the trauma of witnessing their mother's murder.

Williams has been on the run ever since the shooting. According to police, Williams is connected to "several" open homicide cases. He also has a criminal background that spans over 20 years. Police warn that Williams is likely armed and is considered a dangerous person. 

There is currently a $20,000 reward available for anyone that provides information that leads to Williams' arrest. If you have any information that could help the investigation, please call the St. Petersburg Police Department at 727-893-7780 or send a text that contains the letters "SPPD" to TIP411.


Friday, January 21, 2022

The Murder of Diamond Alvarez

 

Diamond Alvarez was brutally murdered in Houston, Texas on January 11th, 2022. The young girl was only 16 years old at the time of her death. Diamond's boyfriend, 17-year-old Frank Deleon Jr., has been arrested and charged with her murder. 

Frank Deleon Jr.

Diamond left her family's home that evening with the family dog. Her family members thought she was simply taking the dog for a walk, however she also made plans to meet up with Deleon at a nearby park. Diamond's family began to worry around 9:30 PM when they noticed that the dog had returned home without her. They then began to search for her throughout their neighborhood. Diamond's brother reportedly found her in a nearby field shortly thereafter. She had been shot 22 times in the back.

The Houston Police Department immediately began to search for a suspect. Throughout the investigation, it was revealed that Deleon had texted Diamond and asked her to meet up with him that evening. It was also revealed that Diamond had recently learned that Deleon had another girlfriend, and she wanted to confront him about it. It is believed that at some point during that meet up, Deleon shot Diamond multiple times before fleeing the scene.

It took investigators a few days to gather evidence before they finally arrested Deleon on January 17th. At his first court appearance, the judge set his bond at $250,000. Less than 48 hours later, the bond was posted, and Deleon was released from jail. 

Many locals are shocked by his release, and fear that he is a danger to the community. However, his bail was set relatively high. The average bail for a person charged with murder is reportedly around $50,000 (source). Deleon's bail was set much higher than that amount, but he was still able to be released. 

Thousands have signed a petition on Change.org to revoke Deleon's bond. The petition's description states, in part, "when the suspect Frank DeLeon was arrested, detectives stated he was found packing up to flee the city/state or country." Diamond's loved ones fear that this may impact their ability to get justice for Diamond. 

Although a suspect has already been charged, Houston Police are still hoping to locate more witnesses. If you have any information that could help the case, please contact 713-222-TIPS.

Saturday, January 15, 2022

The Disappearance and Murder of Nickeisha Holloman

 



Nickeisha Holloman vanished at the age of 23 in Cincinnati, Ohio in July 2018 Prior to her disappearance, Nickeisha was staying at a facility for mental health and substance abuse called the Crossroads Center. In 2016, she had been court-ordered to receive mental health treatment after being convicted for leading police on a high-speed chase and crashing a stolen car in Covington. Nickeisha was placed on medication for her mental health struggles while in the facility, and she was also taking medication for diabetes type II. 

On July 1st, 2018, Nickeishia left the facility and never returned. Surveillance cameras captured her exiting the building and getting into a white or silver Hyundai Sonata. Nickeshia left her medications behind, which was immediately worrisome. She was reported missing later that day.

A week after her disappearance, police stated that Nickeisha may be heading to Florida. It is unclear how police came to this belief, and very few other details were released. At that point, it seemed as if police felt that Nickeisha had fled from the facility and was missing on her own accord. Still, fears for her safety were beginning to build-especially since she had not contacted her loved ones. 

On August 22nd, 2018, human remains were found in a vacant lot on Mehmert Avenue in Mt. Airy. The remains were reportedly covered in mulch and very badly decomposed, so it took a few months for them to be identified. However, in October 2018, it was confirmed that the remains were that of Nickeisha Holloman. After it was believed that she had fled the state, it turned out that Nickeisha had not left Cincinnati at all. 

Nickeisha's cause of death has not been revealed, but her manner of death has been labeled as homicide. Her case remains unsolved. In 2019, police stated that they did not have any suspects. Very little information has been released since then.

There is a monetary reward available for anyone who has information that could help the investigation. If you have any information at all, please contact 513-352-3040.



Friday, January 14, 2022

The Abduction & Murder of Holly Bobo


Holly Bobo was kidnapped from her family's home in Darden, Tennessee on the morning of April 13th, 2011. The then-20-year-old was a nursing student, and she spent the morning of April 13th studying for an exam. Shortly after 7:30 AM, Holly exited the house to drive to class. Before she could even get into her car, she was intercepted by a man wearing camouflage. Holly was then led into the woods by this man. She was never seen alive by her family and friends again.

Holly's abduction was witnessed by her older brother, Clint Bobo. Clint was awoken that morning by the sound of dogs barking. He looked out the window and saw Holly and the man in camouflage kneeling in the home's carport. Clint was initially not worried, as he thought the man was Holly's boyfriend, Drew Scott. It appeared that the two of them were arguing, and Clint thought that Holly and Drew were breaking up. 

A few minutes later, Clint spoke on the phone to their mother, Karen Bobo. A neighbor had called Karen at work to tell her that she had heard screams coming from the their residence. Karen asked Clint if he had heard anything, and he said he hadn't. At that point, Holly and the man in camouflage were walking towards the woods. Clint mentioned this to Karen--to which Karen replied, "Clint, that's not Drew. Get a gun and shoot him." Confused, Clint replied, "You want me to shoot Drew?" Karen was aware that the man with Holly was not Drew because Drew had gone to Karen's mother's property that morning to hunt for turkeys. Clint, both groggy and confused, was unaware of Drew's plans that morning. 

By the time Karen and Clint hung up, Holly and the camouflaged man had disappeared into the woods. Karen immediately called 911 to report her daughter's kidnapping-but she reached a dispatcher in the wrong county because she called from her workplace. Karen then called Clint back and told him to call 911. Police arrived at the Bobo residence ten minutes later. It was then noticed that there was a drop of blood in the carport in the same spot where Holly and the camouflaged man were kneeling. After this discovery, it became clear that Holly had been abducted. Knowing that they were in a race against time, police immediately launched a search for Holly and her kidnapper. 

Blood found in the Bobo's carport.

The following day, a team of over 300 people helped search for Holly. Police sent professional teams to search the area surrounding the Bobo residence. Unfortunately, nothing was found. Then, on April 15th, a team of searchers found Holly's lunchbox and some other personal items in a creek. Other items such as Holly's cell phone, a card from school, and a receipt with her name and address on it were found scattered around town as well. These items unfortunately did not yield any clues to Holly's whereabouts. 

It did not take long for rumors about what happened to Holly to circulate. At first, there was a lot of suspicion about Clint. Many questioned how he could have witnessed his sister being abducted without doing anything about it. Some also wondered if Clint had possibly made the abduction story up to cover for himself. Many people also pointed the finger at a man named Terry Britt--a local sex offender with a rap sheet of convictions including stalking and rape. There was also speculation about a group of men that many locals referred to as the "A-Train" due to all of their last names beginning with the letter A. The group included brothers Zachary and Dylan Adams, and their friends Jason Autry and Shayne Austin. These men were known in the community to be involved with drugs and other illegal activities. 

A now-defunct website called Topix included an ever-growing message board discussing Holly's case. People began posting on the message board just hours after the news broke about Holly's kidnapping. Within days of her disappearance, there was speculation about Terry Britt and/or members of the A-Train being possible suspects. Police were also aware of these individuals as potential suspects. Despite this, it would be years before an arrest would finally be made. 

In the early stages of the investigation, detectives inevitably wanted to check and re-check Clint's story for any inconsistencies. Clint's version of events remained the same throughout, and detectives eventually eliminated him as a suspect. Holly's boyfriend Drew Scott had a solid alibi and was eliminated as well. After this, investigators turned their attention towards registered sex offenders in the area--namely, Terry Britt.

Terry Britt

In 2011, a man named Terry Dicus was the TBI lead investigator assigned to Holly's case. Dicus strongly suspected that Britt was responsible for Holly's disappearance. He noted that Britt matched the description of the kidnapper's height/weight--and Holly matched the description of some of Britt's previous victims. Women who had previously accused Britt of stalking also had blonde hair and blue eyes--just like Holly. Britt denied involvement in Holly's disappearance and said that he was at home with his wife at the time of Holly's kidnapping. Britt's wife confirmed his alibi, but Dicus questioned it; as Britt's wife had lied for him in the past during his previous criminal cases.

Britt's house was wiretapped and thoroughly searched, but detectives were unable to find any evidence linking him to Holly's kidnapping. Still, Terry Dicus was convinced of Britt's guilt. In 2013, Dicus ended up being removed from the case due to his "tunnel vision" surrounding Britt. Still, Britt was not completely ruled out as a suspect at that point.

After Dicus was removed from the case, detectives began to look again at the previously mentioned "A-Train". The men in A-Train were questioned early on into the investigation, but they denied involvement in Holly's case--and detectives turned their attention towards Britt after that. However, the men were also never officially ruled out. There was continuous speculation about them on the Topix website. In fact, one rumor that was consistently being posted was that Shayne Austin had stalked Holly and her friends at a local raccoon hunt just days before her kidnapping. A friend who accompanied Holly to the raccoon hunt described the man who was stalking them, and the description very closely matched Shayne.

Shayne Austin / Sketch

In 2013, Dylan Adams was arrested on unrelated weapons charges. While in custody, Dylan told police that he had seen Holly alive at his brother Zachary's house shortly after her abduction. Following this admission, a search warrant was obtained that stated that on April 13th, 2011, "Dylan observed Holly Lynn Bobo sitting in a green chair in the living room wearing a pink t-shirt, with Jason Wayne Autry standing just a few feet away." Dylan also reportedly told police that Zachary raped Holly and videotaped it. 

Dylan's confession prompted a massive search at Zachary's property during early 2014. On March 5th, 2014, it was announced that 29-year-old Zachary was being charged with especially aggravated kidnapping and felony first degree murder in Holly's case. In between the time of Zachary's arrest and his arraignment, another charge was added: witness coercion. This charge came about after Zachary allegedly tried to pass a message from his Chester County jail cell to his brother’s jail cell in Obion County. Zach told a fellow inmate, who he believed was being transferred to Obion, to "tell my brother he is the one who started all this shit and if he don’t shut his mouth, he will be in the hole beside her."

Zachary Adams

Zachary pleaded not guilty to all three charges. Detectives remained adamant that they had the right man behind bars. They also revealed that more arrests were possible in the future. By this point, detectives had not publicly revealed that Dylan's confession had led to Zachary's arrest--but many locals drew their own conclusions after they learned that Zachary had threatened Dylan. Rumors then began to spread that Dylan was possibly coerced into confessing. Dylan is reportedly developmentally delayed, making him more vulnerable to police coercion. 

Dylan himself would later recant his confession and state that he was coerced--and it would later be revealed that Dylan's confession actually contradicted much of the physical evidence. Still, by this point, investigators still had enough evidence to press charges against the people implicated by Dylan.

In April 2014, Jason Autry was arrested and also charged with kidnapping and murdering Holly. Jason also denied harming Holly, and by this point, her remains had still not been found. 

Jason Autry

Between Zachary and Jason's arrests, Shayne Austin was also being investigated. Cell phone records revealed that Zachary and Shayne had been in contact several times on the day of Holly's abduction. Police believed that Shayne had helped with the disposal of Holly's body. In March 2014, Shayne was offered immunity in exchange for the location of Holly's remains. However, that offered was eventually rescinded after investigators believed that Shayne was lying to them. Still, Shayne never ended up being arrested in relation with Holly's case--but it was clear that he would likely be called to testify.

The next set of arrests in the case came in July 2014. At that point, two brothers named Jeff and Mark Pearcy were charged with accessory after the fact and tampering with evidence. These arrests were prompted when Jeff's former roommate Sandra King told police that during May 2014, Jeff had shown her part of a video of Zachary Adams assaulting Holly. 

The Pearcy Brothers

Both brothers denied that such a video existed. Detective analyzed over 20 cell phones, but they were unable to find any evidence of this video. The charges against the Pearcy brothers were eventually dropped, and investigators stopped pursuing the brothers as suspects. 

By then, rumors began to spread that the TBI was on a "wild goose chase" and had falsely arrested their suspects because they felt pressure to solve the case. These rumors were largely due to the fact that Holly's remains had still not been found. However, this changed in September 2014 when a ginseng hunter spotted partial human remains in a wooded area of north Decatur County. Those remains were later identified as that of Holly Bobo. An autopsy revealed that Holly had been shot in the head. The discovery of Holly's remains helped investigators continue to build their case, especially since they now had concrete physical evidence that Holly had been murdered.

During February 2015, Shayne Austin was found dead in a hotel room in Lexington. His death was ruled a suicide. Shayne's attorney maintained that Shayne was not involved in the abduction or murder of Holly, and that the "witch hunt" for him contributed to his deteriorated mental state. 

(cbsnews.com)

In the months leading up to Zachary Adams' trial, Jason Autry decided to cooperate with the investigation. He disclosed the extent of his involvement in Holly's kidnapping and murder and also agreed to testify against Zachary. This was a huge win for the prosecution, as much of their evidence corroborated Jason's version of events.

Zachary's trial began in September 2017. When Jason finally took the stand, he denied being present during Holly's kidnapping. He explained that he went to Shayne Austin's house on the morning of April 13th, 2011 to buy drugs. Once there, Jason said that he observed Shayne, Zachary, and Dylan disposing of items into a burn barrel. Jason also noticed that Zachary had a body wrapped up in a blanket in the back of his truck. Zachary reportedly told Jason that the person in the blanket was Holly Bobo.

Jason Autry testifying at Zachary Adams' trial

Jason testified that Zachary asked him to help dispose of Holly's body, to which he agreed.
Zachary and Jason then drove to a spot by the Tennessee River underneath the Interstate 40 bridge. After removing Holly from the back of the truck, the two men reportedly noticed that Holly was still alive. Zachary then shot Holly in the back of the head, killing her. Jason recalled that the two of them feared that the sound of the gunshot would draw attention to them. Panicked, they placed Holly's body back into the truck and drove off. Jason then stated that Zachary dropped him off at home before disposing of Holly's body elsewhere.

Since Jason claimed he was not present during Holly's kidnapping, the prosecution had to present other evidence to prove that either Zachary, Shayne, or Dylan abducted Holly. The prosecution stated that Shayne was the person whom Clint described as Holly's kidnapper. Clint reportedly described the kidnapper as 5’10” to 6’ tall and between 180 and 200 pounds. This did not match the description of Zachary or Dylan Adams, who both stand well over 6 feet tall. However, the description was similar to that of Shayne Austin--who also matched the description of the man who was allegedly following Holly and her friend at the local raccoon hunt. 

After Holly was kidnapped, it is believed that she was brought to Zachary Adams' truck. A witness testified to seeing his truck driving erratically near the Bobo's street on the morning of Holly's kidnapping. It is then believed that she was driven to a nearby barn owned by Shayne and Jason's grandmother--where she was raped by Zachary, Shayne, and Dylan. 

A few other witnesses testified that Zachary implicated himself several times in the case. In addition to the threat Zachary made to put his brother Dylan "in the hole next to her", Zachary also allegedly made a similar threat to his ex-girlfriend, Rebecca Earp. Rebecca testified that during an argument, Zachary "said he would tie me up just like he did Holly Bobo and nobody would ever see me again."

Rebecca Earp on the stand

On September 22nd, 2017, a jury convicted Zachary Adams on the charges of first-degree murder and especially aggravated kidnapping and rape. The following day, he was sentenced to life in prison without parole. As a part of his plea deal, Jason Autry pleaded guilty to facilitation of especially aggravated kidnapping and solicitation to commit first-degree murder. He was sentenced to eight years but received credit for time already served. Jason finished his sentence in December 2020 and was released but has since been arrested again on unrelated charges.

In January 2018, Dylan Adams entered an Alford plea and was convicted for facilitating first-degree murder and especially aggravated kidnapping. He was sentenced to 35 years in prison. The Alford plea indicates that Dylan maintains his innocence but acknowledges that the prosecution had enough evidence for a jury to convict.


Holly's family members were pleased with the outcome of Zachary's trial and the subsequent guilty convictions that followed. However, there are still many who believe that the wrong men are behind bars. In fact, Terry Dicus still believes that Terry Britt was the one responsible for Holly's abduction and murder. Dicus actually testified for the defense at Zachary's trial and maintained his belief that Britt is the prime suspect.

On the ten-year anniversary of Holly's abduction, her family released a statement thanking investigators, prosecutors, and the media for their dedication to solving Holly's case. The statement can be read in full here. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

The Disappearance of Kimberly Wilson-Talley

(image source: wfmj.com)

Kimberly Wilson-Talley vanished at the age of 49 during January 2017. She was last seen in her hometown of Youngstown, Ohio. At the time of her disappearance, Kimberly was being treated for throat cancer and had a feeding tube. During early January, Kimberly missed her scheduled oncologist appointments. After that, Kimberly's loved ones learned that her neighbors had not seen her since January 1st, 2017. Her worried family members reported her missing on January 19th.

Investigators did not find any signs of foul play at Kimberly's apartment, but it was noted that her windows were open and her cat was left outside. It seems unlikely that she left on her own accord, as she required frequent medical care due to her health conditions. Additionally, Kimberly was close with her siblings and it was uncharacteristic for her to stay out-of-touch. 

Shortly after Kimberly was reported missing, her sister received a notice in the mail from the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission that Kimberly's car had been driven through a toll gate without paying the toll fee. The notice included a surveillance image of a man driving the car with a woman wearing a hood in the passenger seat. While this has not been confirmed, authorities believe that the passenger in the image is Kimberly. On January 24th, 2017, the car was found parked in the backyard of a home of South Heights Avenue. Various sources state that somebody had tried to sell the car but was unable to do so. 

Certain early reports on Kimberly's disappearance stated that she might be in the company of her boyfriend, Delmar Daniels. The Ohio Attorney General's website lists Daniels as Kimberly's companion, but is unclear if he was ever officially reported missing. There has been some online speculation that he is responsible for Kimberly's disappearance, but so far no arrests have been made.

Delmar Daniels

An article from 2019 states that investigators have questioned a person of interest, but this person's identity has not been revealed. However, investigators were not able to get very far into their questioning before the person of interest asked for a lawyer.

Kimberly's disappearance is unfortunately not the first tragedy her family has experienced. In 1991, Kimberly's mother was murdered. According to her siblings, Kimberly took on a more parental role for her siblings after their mother's death. Her siblings are now dedicated to finding answers about what happened to her. 

If you have any information that could help the investigation, please contact the Youngstown Police Department Detective Bureau at 330-742-8911

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Sources:
[Charley Project]
[WKBN]
[WFMJ]

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

The Murders of Lyric Cook-Morrissey and Elizabeth Collins

Lyric Cook-Morrissey (left) and Elizabeth Collins (right)

July 13th, 2012 began as a typical summer day for young cousins Lyric Cook-Morrissey (10) and Elizabeth Collins (8). That morning, young girls were dropped off by their respective parents at their grandmother Wylma Cook's house, located in the small town of Evansdale, Iowa. Shortly before noon, Lyric and Elizabeth decided to go for a bike ride together; something they had done several times that summer. The girls typically returned from their bike rides within the hour, but this time, they never returned. 

After 2PM, Lyric's mother Misty Cook-Morrissey arrived at Wylma's house to pick Lyric up--but the girls had still not returned from their bike ride. At that point, it had been over 2 hours since Lyric and Elizabeth had left. Their family members briefly searched the area for the two girls but were unable to find any trace of them. Police were called very shortly thereafter, and a search for Lyric and Elizabeth immediately began.

Within hours, police were able to locate witnesses who saw Lyric and Elizabeth riding their bikes in the 1000 block of Lake Avenue, which is located near Meyers Lake. This prompted investigators to search the bike trails around the lake and other surrounding areas. At approximately 4 PM, their bikes were found abandoned in the southeast corner of Meyers Lake. The bikes were leaned up against a fence and did not have any damage to them. Elizabeth's purse and cell phone were also found, but nothing else on the scene yielded any clues to their whereabouts. 

Over the next several days, larger-scale searches were launched for Lyric and Elizabeth. The FBI joined the investigation and sent a team of divers to search Meyers Lake to see if the girls had possibly fallen into the water. Meanwhile, investigators also questioned Lyric and Elizabeth's family members and a number of registered sex offenders from the area. The interviews concluded without any suspects or persons of interest being announced. 

By July 20th, 2012, investigators ruled out drowning or any other accidental cause for their disappearances. From that point forward, it was believed that Lyric and Elizabeth had been abducted. Investigators received several tips at first, but none of them panned out. As weeks turned into months without any sign of Lyric and Elizabeth, the number of tips began to decrease. Still, both investigators and family members held out hope that the girls were alive.

On December 5th, 2012, a group of hunters found two sets of human remains in a wooded area of the Seven Bridges Wildlife Park, located over 25 miles away from Evansdale. Police were called, and the area was subsequently labeled as a crime scene. Due to the small stature of the remains, it was immediately believed that they belonged to Lyric and Elizabeth. By December 10th, 2012, forensic examination confirmed that bodies found were indeed that of the missing cousins. The case then shifted to a homicide investigation. 

--Continued from Tumblr:

Over the course of the entire investigation, many theories have emerged about what might have happened to Lyric and Elizabeth. Shortly after the girls were reported missing, it was revealed that both of Lyric's parents struggled with drug abuse. In fact, Lyric's father Dan Morrissey was facing several years in prison for felony drug charges that involved the making and manufacturing of meth. Due to this, many theorized that Lyric and Elizabeth were kidnapped and murdered by somebody associated with Dan. However, Lyric's Dan has repeatedly denied this, and investigators have not been able to link Dan's criminal past to Lyric and Elizabeth's case. 

Daniel Morrissey

In June 2013, investigators announced a possible lead in the case. Three separate witnesses had come forward claiming to have seen an older model, white, SUV-type vehicle parked near Meyers Lake on the day of Lyric and Elizabeth's abduction. Two of the witnesses told police that they saw the car parked between two bike trail signs. The other witness reportedly saw the car in a spot just a couple hundred feet from where the girl's bikes were found. All three witnesses saw the car in that area between 11:30 AM and 12:30 PM. The driver of said vehicle has never been identified, but many maintain the belief that the vehicle was involved in Lyric and Elizabeth's kidnapping.

Meyers Lake

In August 2014, a (now-defunct) website dedicated to Lyric and Elizabeth's case posted an offender profile for a potential suspect. The profile, developed by the FBI, stated the following about a potential suspect:

  • The offender is familiar with both Meyers Lake/Angels Park in Evansdale and Seven Bridges Wildlife Area in Bremer County.

  • The suspect chose Seven Bridges because he or she was familiar with the area and knew it was secluded.

  • The offender blends in with and may be part of the Evansdale, Bremer and surrounding communities.

  • The suspect likely used “quiet coercion” to gain the girls’ compliance into leaving Meyers Lake, using a ruse or threats of violence.

  • The suspect may have been experiencing stress related to legal troubles, spousal problems, employment difficulties, financial strain or mental health issues in July 2012.

  • The suspect may avoid discussing the case or showing interest in the matter but is likely following developments in the media.

  • The offender may have attempted to abduct children or adults in the past.

  • Following the disappearance, the suspect may have altered his or her physical appearance, such as changing hair style and facial hair. The offender’s vehicle may also have been altered with a new paint job or re-upholstery.


At this point, investigators also announced that they believed that whoever killed Lyric and Elizabeth acted alone--and they are only looking for one suspect. However, in 2015, it was announced that investigators still did not have any suspects or persons of interest in the case.

In February 2017, an eerily similar double murder occurred in Delphi, Indiana. Two teenage girls named Liberty German (14) and Abigail Williams (13) were reported missing after they went hiking on the Monon High Bridge in Delphi. The girls were supposed to meet Liberty's father for a ride home at 3:15 PM, but they never showed up. The following day, their bodies were found on the north bank of the Deer River, located just half a mile from the bridge. They had been murdered, but their exact causes of death have still not been revealed. 

Liberty German (left) Abigail Williams (right)

Due to the similar natures of the two cases, many theorized that whoever killed Lyric and Elizabeth also killed Liberty and Abigail. In March 2017, it was announced that investigators in Delphi and Evansdale had "compared notes", but no connection between the two cases were found at that time.  Still, the theory that the two cases are connected has remained a prominent theory and it has not been completely ruled out. 

During that same year, investigators announced that two people had confessed to killing Lyric and Elizabeth. Police questioned the two individuals and eventually eliminated them after it became clear that they did not know intimate details of the case. The identities of the two people who confessed have never been revealed. 

In May 2018, a woman named Teresa Gerleman killed both herself and her 8-year-old son in a murder-suicide in Belle Plain. Prior to her death, Teresa had told someone that she knew what happened to Lyric and Elizabeth. This information was provided to police, and police subsequently obtained a search warrant for Teresa's house. It's unclear if police were able to find any information relating to Lyric and Elizabeth's case. Police were also unable to find a motive for Teresa to kill both her son and herself. 

Teresa Gerleman and her son

As of 2022, Lyric and Elizabeth's case remains unsolved. Despite the numerous theories, investigators have still not announced any suspects in the case. There is a monetary reward for anyone with information that could lead to the arrest of a suspect. If you have any information that could help the investigation, please report a tip to the FBI. 


Wednesday, January 5, 2022

The Disappearance of Keith Whitmore


Keith Whitmore has been missing since April 10th, 2018. The then-48 year-old lived in Greenville, Virginia at the time of his disappearance. Keith's family members describe him as a single man who preferred to live a quiet, secluded life. He lived in a secluded area of Greenville and did not socialize often, especially after he retired from his job as a maintenance mechanic. 

Keith's family members have actually not seen him since June 2015. At that time, Keith's father was on his deathbed, so Keith gathered with his family members to say goodbye. Keith's older sister Kim stated that she tried to keep him touch with him after that, but he would only respond periodically. During the spring of 2018, Kim decided to stop by Keith's house with her grandsons to see if they could visit. When she arrived at his house, it appeared he was not home--even though the light on his front porch was on and his car was parked in the driveway. 

Over the next few weeks, Kim and their other sister continued to stop by Keith's house. Each time, they were greeted by the same scene: front porch light turned on, car parked in the driveway, but no sign of Keith. In May 2018, Keith's sisters asked police to conduct a welfare check--but the police were also unable to get in touch. The following month, Keith's sisters noticed that his porch light had finally been turned off. They then noticed that the power at Keith's house had been turned off altogether. While digging around his house, the sisters also discovered that Keith's mortgage had not been paid in months. After this discovery, Keith's family members filed a missing persons report.

Throughout the investigation, police determined that the last known sighting of Keith was last seen on April 10th, 2018, by an acquaintance who saw him at a store in Greenville. He has not accessed any of his bank accounts since then. He also has not paid any of his bills, which is out of character. After searching Keith's residence, it appeared that he had left the house at some point in April 2018, but had every intention of returning. He left behind all of his personal belongings except for his wallet and cell phone--which indicates that he only intended to step out for a short period of time. 

Investigators conducted searches in the area near Keith's house and some of the surrounding areas, but the searches did not turn up any clues to his whereabouts. He remains missing today. If you have any information that could lead to his whereabouts, please contact the Augusta County Sheriff’s Office at 540-245-5333.
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Sources:
[1, 2]

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

The Disappearance of Kayla Berg


Kayla Berg has been missing since August 11th, 2009. The young girl was just 15 years-old at the time of her disappearance. Kayla and her mother had just moved back to Antigo, Wisconsin a little over a week before she vanished. Months earlier, Kayla's mother had moved them to Texas--but they decided to return to Antigo after they were both homesick. Upon their return, Kayla split her time between her grandparent's home and her father's home. 

On the evening Kayla vanished, she was staying with her grandparents. Around 8:45 PM, Kayla was picked up by 24 year-old Kevin Kielcheski. Kevin was a friend of her older brother, and he often drove Kayla and her friends around. After he picked her up, the two of them drove around Antigo while smoking marijuana. Around 9:30 PM, Kayla and Kevin stopped at a local McDonald's to talk with one of Kayla's friends who was working there. According to Kevin, after they left McDonald's Kayla asked him to drive her to her boyfriend Miguel's house. Kevin agreed, and then drove her from Antigo to Wausau--an approximate forty minute drive. Kevin stated that the house where Kayla asked to be dropped off appeared to not have any lights on. After she was dropped off, Kayla never returned home and has never been seen or heard from again.

Due to Kayla's new living situation, it took her family a few days to notice she was missing. Kayla's mother was living with a friend until she could find a more permanent living situation, and Kayla herself was splitting her time between two households. After she did not return home, her grandparents thought that she was with her father--and her father thought she was with her mother or grandparents--and vice versa. Additionally, Kayla did not have a cell phone, which made it harder for them to keep in touch with her. After six days went by and Kayla's family members realized that nobody had heard from her, Kayla was finally reported missing.

Police interviewed Kayla's friends and felt that they were not being completely forthcoming. Due to this, Kayla was initially classified as a runaway. Kayla's friends did corroborate that she was seen with Kevin on the night of her disappearance. Kevin was inevitably questioned, and he told police that he had not seen or heard from Kayla since he dropped her off in Wausau. Police then spoke to Kayla's boyfriend Miguel, who denied seeing Kayla on the day of her disappearance. Police also went to the address where Kevin said that he dropped Kayla off. It was then discovered that the house was condemned and Miguel and his family were living in a different spot until the house could be repaired. Kayla's friends were adamant that Kayla was aware of this, but Kevin insisted that she still had been asked to be dropped off at the condemned house. 

Kayla's mother did not approve of Miguel; largely due to the fact that he was four years older than Kayla. Due to this, it was briefly theorized that Kayla might be hiding out with Miguel. However, police were unable to find any evidence that she was hiding at Miguel's current residence or at the condemned house. After that, Kayla's disappearance was reclassified as an endangered missing persons case. 

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As weeks turned into months without any sign of Kayla, rumors about what might have happened to her began to swirl. There were a few prominent theories, but none of them were favorable to Kayla's loved ones. One theory was that Kayla might have overdosed and someone--either Kevin, Miguel, or someone else--disposed of her body. Another prominent theory was that Kayla was harmed by either Kevin or Miguel. Police were particularly suspicious of Kevin as well, and they repeatedly tried to corroborate his timeline of events from that night. Kevin maintained that he went straight home to his mother's house after dropping Kayla off. Kevin's mother has corroborated this statement. 

Eventually, Kevin hired a lawyer and stopped cooperating with police. On October 26, 2009, Kevin was charged with second-degree reckless endangerment in relation to his actions with Kayla on the night she disappeared. Specifically, it was cited that Kevin put Kayla in danger by driving and smoking marijuana with her as a passenger.


Kevin pleaded not guilty to the charges. Meanwhile, police continued to investigate both Kevin and Miguel as persons of interest in Kayla's disappearance. Both of their cars were processed for forensic evidence. Cadaver dogs were used on both vehicles, and they got a hit on Kevin's car. However, there was no evidence that the scent hit was related to Kayla's disappearance. 

Kevin and Miguel's cell phone records were also subpoenaed. On the evening of Kayla's disappearance, Kevin's phone was either shut off or had a dead battery by 9:00 PM. It was not turned on again until 2:00 PM the following day. Miguel's cell phone records reportedly corroborated what he told police, but it was later learned that Miguel had an old cell phone that pinged off a tower in Lincoln County, about 40 miles north of Wausau, on the night of Kayla’s disappearance. Police attempted to question Miguel about this, but he had grown tired of being questioned and declined to speak with them. A search was eventually conducted in the area where the old cell phone pinged, but nothing of significance was found. 

Searches were also conducted around the area where Kevin reportedly dropped Kayla off on the evening of her disappearance. It appears that nothing of interest was found during those searches either. As time stretched by, Kayla's case seemingly went cold. On August 8th, 2011, a judge dropped Kevin's reckless endangerment charges due to lack of evidence. Many still believed that Kevin or Miguel had something to do with Kayla's disappearance, but the search for her reached a standstill. 

Kayla's case received national attention in October 2016, after a YouTube video depicting a man holding a girl hostage in his house went viral. The video was actually published in October 2009--just two months after Kayla's disappearance--but police did not know about the video until it went viral. Many believed that the young girl depicted in the video resembled Kayla. 


However, after further investigation, it was determined that the girl in the video was not Kayla, nor was anyone actually being held hostage. Both subjects in the video were acting. Still, the emergence of this video brought renewed attention to Kayla's disappearance and there was a new push to solve the case.

In October 2019, a professional search for Kayla was conducted across 11 square miles at Nicolet National Forest. Police stated that they were led to that area by information they had gathered throughout the investigation, but they declined to elaborate on said evidence. Nothing was found during this search, but investigators stated that they may return to the area again in the future. 

Kayla remains missing today. Both Kevin and Miguel remain persons of interest, but at this time nobody has been charged with anything related to Kayla's disappearance. There is a monetary reward available for anyone with information that could help solve the case. If you have any information, please contact the FBI here. 

The Disappearance and Murder of Heather Szekeres

 

Heather Szekeres disappeared in Shawano, Wisconsin during the early morning hours of June 22nd, 2013. The then-32 year-old was last seen by family and friends at a local bar called Final Lap. Heather lived just yards away from the bar, in a downtown apartment that she shared with her husband, Rob Szekeres, and their infant daughter. Heather's mother, Laurie Waddell, lived with the couple as well. Laurie was at Final Lap with Heather on the evening of June 21st, but left the bar around 1:00 AM. Heather decided to stay behind. Reports state she was later seen leaving the bar around 2:00 AM--but she unfortunately never made it home. Heather's husband Rob reported her missing two days later. 

The investigation into Heather's disappearance had a slow start. Initially, the Shawano Police made it clear that they believed Heather was voluntarily missing. They cited that it was not unusual for Heather to leave home for periods of time--which is reportedly why her husband waited two days to report her missing. Police reiterated this belief at the six-month mark of Heather's disappearance--despite the fact that there had been absolutely no sign of Heather. After that, the case went cold. Police gave very few updates, and news about Heather's case was scarce. 

In May of 2014, human remains were found in a wooded area behind Peach Road. The remains were located in an area 2.5 miles away from Final Lap, where Heather was last seen. Due to this, many speculated that the remains belonged to her. It took nearly a year for a positive identification, but in April 2015, it was confirmed that the remains did, in fact, belong to Heather Szekeres. An autopsy was unable to determine her exact cause of death, but her manner of death was labeled a homicide.

Heather's loved ones were shocked and inevitably devastated by the news of her death. Many began to criticize the Shawano Police Department for not organizing search parties after Heather was reported missing. Many also began to speculate about who might have been responsible for Heather's death. A closer look into Heather's life around the time of her disappearance reveals a couple different theories.

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In 99.9% of missing persons and murder cases, investigators look into the spouse/significant other of the victim. Heather's case was no exception, even though Shawano Police initially thought that she was voluntarily missing. Just a few weeks after Heather's disappearance, Rob Szekeres posted on Facebook that he had been questioned and had cooperated with police. He also wrote that he, too, believed that Heather had left him. 

Rob Szekeres

Rob also seemingly responded to criticisms that he was not actually looking for his wife. He wrote, "I love my wife dearly and wish she would just come home. I have a very demanding job that I have to keep doing in order to support my daughter. If I could, I'd be home everyday helping everyone with locating my wife but I can't."

Rob remained adamant that he was not a suspect in Heather's case. However, the couple had faced some serious marital struggles in the months leading up to Heather's disappearance. In 2012, the couple separated amidst a pile of financial troubles. In October 2012, Heather sued Rob for child support. Court documents state that they had been separated for months by that point--but by December 2012, they were seemingly back together. 

On December 5th, 2012, Heather called 911 to report Rob for domestic violence. When an officer arrived at their apartment, Heather said that she and Rob were arguing when he grabbed a pillow and struck her in the face with the zipper on the pillowcase. Heather's injuries were minor, but she still decided to press charges. She stated that Rob had been physical with her in the past and she wanted to put an end to it. In January 2013, Rob was given a misdemeanor charge of domestic violence battery and was fined $506. 

By June 2013, it appeared that Rob and Heather's relationship was in a better place. In fact, Heather posted a picture of her and Rob to her Facebook page just hours before she vanished.


Although Rob insisted he had nothing to do with Heather's disappearance, some still speculated that he might know more than he is letting on. Some also felt he did not seem to care that his wife was gone. By the time Heather's body was found in 2014, Rob had relocated to Indiana. In April 2015--the same month that Heather's remains were identified--Rob posted on Facebook that he and his new girlfriend had moved to Michigan. Many found it odd that Rob had moved and seemingly moved on with his life during the time that his wife was believed to be missing. Despite all of this, investigators stated in 2015 that Rob is not a suspect in the case.

Rob with their daughter at Final Lap

Before Heather's disappearance, she and Rob were regular patrons at Final Lap. The bar was owned by a woman named Sheila Davis, and managed by her husband, Darwin Davis. Heather was acquainted with the couple and saw them frequently while at the bar. In December 2012, Darwin was accused of sexually assaulting a 15 year-old girl in the basement of Final Lap. He later pleaded not guilty to sexual assault charges.

Darwin Davis

Heather Szekeres was on the list of potential witnesses who could have been called to testify against Darwin during his trial. With this in mind, it's clear that Darwin could have seen this as a motive to harm Heather. Various reports state that Darwin was out on bond at the time of Heather's disappearance, which gives him opportunity as well. 

When Darwin finally did go to trial, both Rob Szekeres and Heather's mother Laurie ending up testifying against him. Both stated that Darwin admitted to sexually assaulting the teenager. Darwin was ultimately convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison. Many have speculated that Darwin could be responsible for Heather's murder. However, at this time he has not been charged with anything related to Heather's case. Still, he has not been publicly ruled out, either. 

Investigators have told reporters that they have a suspect, but they have not revealed the suspect's identity. It's possible that Darwin is, in fact, their suspect--but this remains unclear. Years have passed without any updates in the case, and no arrests have been made. Heather's murder remains as a classified unsolved case. 

If you have any information that could help the investigation, please contact the Shawano Police Department at (715) 524-4545.
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Monday, January 3, 2022

The Murders of QuaSean Trotter, Ariyan Johnson, & their daughter Arielle Trotter



QuaSean Trotter (20), Ariyan Johnson (19), and their daughter Arielle (11 mos) were killed inside a Jacksonville, Florida home on December 12th, 2017. Their murders remain unsolved to this day. 

QuaSean and Ariyan met and began dating while they were in high school. After they graduated, Ariyan got pregnant. Both were excited about being new parents, as they both had always wanted families of their own. QuaSean and Ariyan were described as loving parents, and their daughter Arielle was a happy little girl. 

Police were called to the residence where they were staying on the evening of December 12th after neighbors noticed that the house was on fire. Once first responders arrived on the scene, they found QuaSean, Ariyan, and Arielle deceased. QuaSean and Ariyan had been shot to death. It appears that after QuaSean and Ariyan were shot, the killer(s) set fire to a Christmas tree inside the house. The fire inevitably spread and caused damage throughout the home. It was the fire that killed little Arielle; her autopsy confirmed that she died of smoke inhalation. It is believed that the fire was set in an attempt to cover up the crime. 

No suspects have been publicly named in the case. It does not appear that QuaSean or Ariyan had any known enemies--and a motive for their murders remains unclear. Loved ones of the three murder victims are hoping for justice, but they have grown increasingly discouraged by the progress of the investigation. A 2019 article about the case states that QuaSean's mother used to frequently call detectives, but she eventually stopped after it became too difficult to keep calling and not get any new information. Family members now wait for detectives to call them--but it appears that updates in the case have been far and few in between. 

There is a monetary reward for anyone with information that could lead to the killer(s). If you have any information that could help the investigation, please contact First Coast Crime Stoppers at (866) 845-TIPS.
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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...