Sunday, June 26, 2022

Gabby Petito Case Timeline


The disappearance and murder of Gabrielle 'Gabby' Petito has captured worldwide attention. The 22-year-old young woman vanished during a cross-country road trip with her fiancé, Brian Laundrie. Suspicions about Brian's involvement in Gabby's disappearance began to arise after Brian returned to his family's home in Florida without her. Once Gabby was reporting missing, it was revealed that Brian and Gabby faced struggles both before and during their trip. Once Gabby's body was found, many began to suspect that Brian had murdered her. However, authorities were unable to question him--as Brian himself also vanished days before Gabby's remains were found. In late October 2021, Brian's remains were found in Florida. His death was ruled a suicide by a gunshot wound to the head.

Below is a timeline detailing the events of Gabby and Brian's relationship and their eventual disappearances and deaths. More information will be added as it becomes available.

2014-2015: Gabrielle 'Gabby' Petito and Brian Laundrie begin dating while both are attending Bayport-Blue Point High School in Long Island, New York. At the time, Gabby is a sophomore and Brian is a junior.

Gabby & Brian's yearbook photos from Bayport Blue Point High School

2016: Brian graduates from high school. According to friends, Gabby and Brian break up several months after Brian's graduation.

2017: Gabby graduates from high school.

September 2017-January 2019: Gabby moves to Carolina Beach, North Carolina and works in a restaurant in Wilmington.

Gabby with friends in North Carolina

March 2019: Gabby and Brian get back together.

A picture that Gabby describes as from their "first date" upon getting back together in 2019.

2019 cont: Gabby and Brian move to North Point, Florida, where Brian's parents also live.

Late 2019-Early 2020: Gabby and Brian take their first cross-country road trip, visiting several places including Texas, Colorado, Nevada, and California.

Early 2020: Upon their return to Florida, both Gabby and Brian work at a Publix store in North Port. Gabby worked as a pharmacy technician, while Brian worked in the grocery department. 

March 2020: Both quit their jobs at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

July 2nd-3rd 2020: Both Gabby and Brian announce on their respective Instagram accounts that they are engaged.

Post from Brian's Instagram announcing his engagement to Gabby. The caption reads, "My biggest fear is that one day I’ll wake up and it will have all been a dream, because that is what every second has felt like since the moment we found each other. Till death do us part or until I wake up, I’m so happy the answer was yes, Love you hunny."

December 2020: Gabby purchases a 2012 Ford Transit Connect van with the plan to convert it into a camper for their next cross-country road trip.


A picture of Gabby with the van shortly after it was purchased. Posted on Brian's Instagram.

Late 2020-June 2021: Gabby works as a nutritionist at Taco Bell while Brian works at a local juice bar. Both are saving up money in preparation for their road trip.

June 17th, 2021: Gabby and Brian visit Gabby's family in Blue Point, New York, to attend Gabby's brother's graduation ceremony. 

June 24th, 2021: Gabby's brother TJ Schmidt posts a picture of him and Gabby in Shohola Falls, Pennsylvania. The caption reads, "Thank you guys so much for one of the best trips ever😁😁 can’t wait for the next one." Both Gabby and Brian are tagged in the photo.


July 2nd, 2021: Gabby and Brian depart from Blue Point, New York to begin their cross-country journey in the van.

July 4th, 2021: Gabby and Brian visit Monument Rocks in Kansas. 



July 8th-11th 2021: Gabby posts pictures of herself in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Both Brian and Gabby post pictures of themselves at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in south-central Colorado.

July 16th-21st2021-: Both Gabby and Brian post pictures of themselves at Zion National Park in Utah.

Brian and Gabby at Zion National Park

July 21st-26th 2021: Gabby and Brian posts pictures from Bryce Canyon Park in Utah.


July 29th-31st, 2021: Gabby and Brian posts pictures from Canyonlands National Park in Utah.


July 31st-August 12th, 2021: Gabby and Brian remain in Utah, but neither share any posts to Instagram during this time. 

August 12th, 2021: A person calls 911 after witnessing Gabby and Brian fighting in front of the Moonflower Community Cooperative in Moab, Utah. The caller says that he saw a man (later identified as Brian) slap a woman (later identified as Gabby) twice before the two got into the van and drove off. Another witness reportedly saw Gabby punching Brian in the arm. The witness also explained that it looked like Brian was trying to drive off without Gabby, while taking her phone with him. Eventually, both got into the van and drove away.

Police found the couple driving in the van and pulled them over near the entrance to Arches National Park. 

Body cam footage of Gabby and Brian after they were pulled over.

The officers separated Gabby and Brian to ask each of them what happened. Gabby explained that she was stressed while trying to clean the van and while also working on her lifestyle blog. She said that Brian did not believe she was able to create a successful blog, and they argued while at Moonflower. She initially downplayed the physical altercation, but eventually admitted that Brian grabbed her face while they argued.

Brian told officers that he wanted to "take a breather" during their argument and told Gabby to take a walk while he would remain in the van. Brian explained that this upset Gabby, and she began to slap him. He said he then grabbed her face and pushed her back. Neither Gabby nor Brian wanted to press charges and the officers ultimately let them go without any citations. However, the officers did advise that the couple spend the night apart, which both agreed to do.

August 12th cont: Gabby posts several photos on Instagram of their time in Utah.

August 13th, 2021: Brian posts several photos of himself at Arches National Park in Utah. Unlike his previous posts, Gabby is not tagged or mentioned.

August 17th, 2021: Brian flies from Salt Lake City to Tampa, Florida while Gabby stays at Fairfield Inn and Suites in Salt Lake. Brian reportedly went to Florida to close a storage unit they had in effort to save their money and extend their road trip. 

August 19th, 2021: While staying at the hotel, Gabby posts a video documenting various parts of their road trip to her YouTube page. 

August 23rd, 2021: Brian flies back to Salt Lake City and reunites with Gabby.

August 24th, 2021: The couple checks out of the hotel.

August 25th, 2021: Gabby FaceTimes with her mother. She tells her mother that she and Brian were leaving Utah to head to Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming and then to Yellowstone. That same day, Gabby posts her final Instagram post of her in front of a butterfly mural in Ogden, Utah. 

Gabby's final Instagram post.

August 27th, 2021: Gabby and Brian visit a Tex-Mex restaurant called Merry Piglets in Jackson Hole, Wyoming between 1:00 and 2:00 PM. Witnesses state that Brian argued with several employees in the restaurant--including the hostess, waitress, and manager. He was reportedly arguing about their bill, and the witness described his demeanor as aggressive. Very shortly after the couple left the restaurant, Gabby returned to apologize for Brian's behavior. 
***note: this information has now been reported as false. See the October 30th update below for more information about this incident. 


August 27th cont: Gabby's mother receives a text from Gabby's phone that states, "Can you help Stan, I just keep getting his voicemails and missed calls." Stan is the name of Gabby's grandfather--however she had never referred to him by his first name in the past. Due to this, Gabby's mother does not believe that this text was sent by Gabby herself. 

August 29th, 2021: A woman and her boyfriend pick up a man (later identified as Brian) after they spot him hitchhiking alone in an area near Colter Bay Village. He offers the couple $200 dollars to drive him to Jackson, Wyoming. At some point during the drive, the couple tells Brian that they are actually headed to Jackson Hole instead of Jackson. At that point, Brian "freaks out" and demands to get out of the vehicle. The couple drops him off near Jackson Lake Dam at 6:09 PM. 

August 29th cont: Another woman picks up Brian after seeing him hitchhiking in the Jackson Dam area between 6:20-6:30 PM. The person drives Brian to the Spread Creek Dispersed Camping area and drops him off at the entrance. Brian tells her he does not want to be driven any further beyond the entrance. 

August 30th, 2021: Gabby's mother receives another text from Gabby's phone which reads, "No service in Yosemite." Gabby's mother also does not believe this was sent from Gabby herself. 

September 1st, 2021: Brian returns to his family's home North Point, Florida. He returns with Gabby's van, but without Gabby herself.

September 6th-8th 2021: Brian goes on a camping trip with his parents, sister, brother-in-law and nephews at Fort De Soto Park in Pinellas County, Florida.

Brian at Fort De Soto with his nephews.

September 11th, 2021: Gabby's mother reports her missing. At this point, Gabby's family members are aware that Brian returned to Florida without Gabby. However, they made several attempts to contact both Brian and his family members, and they did not receive any responses. 

September 13th, 2021: Brian leaves his family's home to go for a hike in Carlton Reserve in Venice. According to the Laundrie's family lawyer, Steve Bertolino, Brian was "very upset" at the time he left their home. He never returns.

September 14th, 2021: A Ford Mustang is spotted parked at Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park. An abandoned vehicle notice is placed on the car, stating that the car will be towed if it is not moved. It is later revealed that the Mustang belongs to the Laundrie Family.

September 15th, 2021: Brian's parents retrieve the Mustang and return it to their home.

Brian's mother, Roberta Laundrie, exiting the Mustang after returning it to their home.

September 15th, 2021: Authorities announce that Brian is a "person of interest" in Gabby's disappearance. 

September 16th, 2021: The North Point police hold a press conference regarding Gabby's disappearance. During the conference, they announce that Brian is not cooperating with the investigation. The same day, a separate press conference is held, and the lawyer for the Petito family reads a letter to Brian's parents urging them to come forward with information. 

Gabby's father, Joe Petito, at the Sept. 16 press conference

September 17th, 2021: Brian Laundrie's parents report him missing. They tell police that they last saw him before he left to go hiking at the Carlton Reserve--despite the fact that his car was found parked at Myakkahatchee Creek.

September 18th, 2021: Authorities in Florida begin searching for Brian at Carlton Reserve. Meanwhile, authorities in Wyoming continue to search for Gabby. 

September 19th, 2021: It is revealed that a woman named Jenn Bethune was also documenting a cross-country trip with her family and happened to be in Spread Creek Dispersed Camping area around the same time that Brian Laundrie was spotted hitchhiking between August 27th-30th. While later looking over her footage, Jenn noticed that she drove past Gabby's van on August 27th and captured it on camera. She then submitted the footage to the FBI.

A still image from Jenn Bethune's video, capturing Gabby's van in Grand Teton.

September 19th, 2021, cont: Authorities find a body in Spread Creek, not far from where Jenn Bethune spotted the van. 

Location where the remains were found

September 20th, 2021: The FBI executes a search warrant at the Laundrie home and removes several items, including the Mustang. 

The FBI at the Laundrie home

September 21st, 2021: Authorities confirm that the body found in Spread Creek is that of Gabby Petito. Her death is classified as a homicide, though an exact cause of death is not yet revealed.

September 23rd, 2021: A warrant is issued for Brian Laundrie's arrest. He is charged with unauthorized use of Gabby's Capital One debit card and bank accounts between August 30th-September 1st. It's believed he was traveling back to Florida during this time period.

September 24th, 2021: Gabby's friend Rose Davis speaks to People and reveals that Brian had jealousy issues when it came to Gabby, and that Gabby would often stay with her when she and Brian argued. Rose explains that she feels that Brian was controlling of Gabby.

Rose with Gabby

September 24th-October 20th, 2021: The search for Brian continues. Authorities continue to search Carlton Reserve. Dog the Bounty Hunter joins the search as well. Both authorities and Dog respond to several reported sightings of Brian in North Carolina, Tennessee, and Florida. However, none of these sightings pan out.

October 5th, 2021: After weeks of silence, Brian's sister Cassie Laundrie and her husband speak to protestors outside of their Florida home. Cassie explains that she does not know where Brian is, or whether or not he killed Gabby. She also states that both her parents and their lawyer have stopped communicating with her.

Cassie Laundrie and her husband speaking with protestors.

October 12th, 2021: Wyoming coroner Brent Blue reveals that Gabby was strangled to death. 

October 20th, 2021: Brian Laundrie's parents join authorities in the search for Brian at Myakkahatchee Creek, close to where Brian's car was found parked on September 14th.

Brian Laundrie's parents at Myakkahatchee Creek.

Within minutes of arriving, Brian's parents find a dry bag containing a notebook that belongs to Brian. Shortly thereafter, authorities spotted human remains in a nearby spot.

October 21st, 2021: Dental records confirm that the remains belong to Brian Laundrie. 

October 22nd, 2021: It is announced that Brian's autopsy was inconclusive. The remains have since been sent to a forensic anthropologist for further investigation. 

October 30th, 2021: New reports about this case have revealed that the previously reported information about Brian and Gabby at the Merry Piglets in Jackson Hole, Wyoming was false. The manager at the restaurant spoke to reporter Brian Entin about the incident and stated specifically that "everything that's been on the news about what happened" there is "made up." 

According to the manager's recollection of the events, Gabby and Brian did eat at the restaurant that day, but there was not a serious altercation. Gabby and Brian were chased down by a server after they left the restaurant without paying. The two eventually paid their bill while outside, but just a few moments later, Gabby re-entered the restaurant to ask for her money back. The couple was not refunded, and they left shortly thereafter.

November 23rd, 2021: The Laundrie family attorney announced that Brian died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

January 22nd, 2022: The FBI confirmed that they are preparing to end their investigation into Gabby's murder. Throughout the investigation, the FBI learned that Brian sent text messages from both his phone and Gabby's phone after her death in an attempt to make it seem as if Gabby was still alive. It was also revealed that the notebook found near Brian's body containing writings in which Brian took responsibility for Gabby's murder.

Special Agent Michael Schneider released a statement, saying "All logical investigative steps have been concluded in this case. The investigation did not identify any other individuals other than Brian Laundrie directly involved in the tragic death of Gabby Petito."

March 10th, 2022: Gabby Petito's parents--Joe Petito and Nichole Schmidt--are suing the parents of Brian Laundrie. Petito and Schmidt are "seeking $30,000 exclusive of prejudgment interest, costs, and attorney fees." In their lawsuit, it is claimed that Christopher and Roberta Laundrie were aware that Brian murdered Gabby before Gabby was even reporting missing. 

 The documents state, "It is believed ... that on or about August 28, 2021, Brian Laundrie advised his parents, Christopher Laundrie and Roberta Laundrie, that he had murdered Gabrielle Petito." The documents also state that the Laundrie family lawyer, Steve Bertolino, was contacted very shortly after Brian allegedly told his parents that he had murdered Gabby. A retainer was sent to Bertolino on September 2nd, 2021.

Although Brian ultimately died from suicide, the lawsuit also states that the Laundrie family was making plans to help Brian leave the country. While Joseph Petito and Nichole Schmidt were desperately searching for information concerning their daughter, Christopher Laundrie and Roberta Laundrie were keeping the whereabouts of Brian Laundrie secret, and it is believed were making arrangements for him to leave the country."

As previously stated, Gabby's parents continuously attempted to reach out to Brian and his parents while Gabby was missing. Not only did they never respond to Joe or Nichole, but the Laundries also blocked them on social media and by phone number. Their lawyer Steve Bertolino denies the claims made in the Petito's lawsuit. The case is currently ongoing. 

June 26th, 2022: A letter written by Brian Laundrie has been released by the family's lawyer. The letter was found inside the notebook found by Brian's body. In the letter, Brian admits to killing Gabby. He claims he did so in an effort to "end her suffering" after she got injured during a hike.

Brian's letter - tap to enlarge / zoom-in.

Lawyers from the Petito family have stated that the Petito's do not believe Brian was completely honest about the circumstances surrounding Gabby's death. The lawsuit against the Brian Laundrie's parents is still ongoing. 

sources:

Saturday, June 25, 2022

The Disappearance of Marc Fullerton

 

Marc Fullerton has been missing since June 3rd, 2020. The then-35-year-old was last seen at his girlfriend's residence in Braggadocio, Missouri. According to his girlfriend, Marc walked away from the house while she was in the bathroom. He never returned and has never been seen or heard from again.

Marc's family has questioned his girlfriend's version of events from the beginning. It is not believed that Marc would stay out-of-touch with his children and his other family members. At the time of his disappearance, he was not wearing shoes or a t-shirt, making him ill-equipped to travel very far on foot. Marc's truck, wallet, cell phone, and dentures were all left behind at his girlfriend's house. Additionally, a cross necklace that he reportedly never removed was found broken on his girlfriend's floor. Certain reports state that Marc was planning to end his relationship with his girlfriend prior to his disappearance - which makes her version of events seem even more suspicious. 

Both Marc's loved ones and locals in Pemiscot County have criticized the investigative efforts in Marc's case. Posts on a Facebook page dedicated to Marc's disappearance indicate that blood was found in his girlfriend's house, but it appears that the residence was not marked as a crime scene. Certain posts also indicate that there might have been other people in the house at the time of Marc's disappearance but said people have not been publicly identified. Marc's loved ones believe he was murdered, and it is unclear why police have not publicly identified any suspects.

Marc remains missing today. There is a monetary reward available for anyone with information that could lead to his whereabouts. If you have any information that could help the investigation, please contact authorities at (573) 333-4101.
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Sources:

Friday, June 24, 2022

The Disappearance of Yasmin Acree

 

Yasmin Acree has been missing since January 15th, 2008. The young girl was only 15 years-old at the time of her disappearance. Despite her young age, Yasmin had already been through very many hardships in her life. She spent several of her childhood years in Kentucky's foster system, during which she faced both physical and sexual abuse. In 2001, Yasmin and her older brother Damarcus went to live with Rose Mae Starnes - an aunt through marriage - in Chicago, Illinois. Rose officially adopted them both in 2006.

According to relatives, both Yasmin and Damarcus struggled with behavioral issues due to their years of traumatic experiences. However, Yasmin was still an honor roll student and received good grades up until she finished middle school. In 2007, she began her freshman year of high school, and her grades began to slip. Around the same time, Rose kicked Damarcus out of the home - leaving Yasmin as the only child in the residence during the months leading up to her disappearance.

The day Yasmin was last seen was a seemingly normal day. Rose was out of town at the time, but her boyfriend Charles Burt was at the home. According to reports, Yasmin went to school that day and then went to the local YMCA. She returned home that evening and did a load of laundry before going to bed. The following morning, Charles was taking out the trash when he noticed the door to the basement - where Yasmin slept - was opened. Upon closer look, he noticed that the door jamb was broken, and the padlock had been cut - indicating that someone had broken in. Yasmin was not in the basement, but Charles thought she had gone to school early, and that the break-in had happened after she left.

Rose returned home later that day. When Yasmin never returned home that evening, Rose called police to file a missing persons' report. Police came to the residence, but they did not collect evidence from the break-in scene - despite the fact that the break-in occurred through Yasmin's bedroom door. After interviewing a few of Yasmin's friends, police deemed her a runaway. This is likely due to the fact some of Yasmin's classmates told police that Yasmin left on her own accord, and that they had since heard from her via phone. Cell phone records would later confirm that this was false, and two girls would later admit to misleading police. 

As time continued to pass without any sign of Yasmin, many began to criticize the Chicago police's handling of the case. Not only did they not collect crucial evidence from the home, but police also failed to identify and/or question other tenants who had lived in the same residence as Yasmin. It would take a year-and-half before police would learn that a violent offender had lived in the home prior to Yasmin's disappearance. This information, along with information discovered by reporters from the Chicago Tribune, finally led to some viable theories in Yasmin's case. 

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An offender in the home.

In 2009, a man named Jimmie Terrell Smith was arrested on charges of raping five females, two of whom were 14-year-old girls he also allegedly kidnapped. Yasmin's adoptive mother Rose saw a news broadcast about Smith's arrest and was prompted to contact detectives. She subsequently told them that Smith and Yasmin knew each other. 

During 2005, Smith lived in a second-floor room in Rose's building. Prior to moving in, Smith had served ten years in prison due to an attempted murder conviction. Smith was already on public record as a convicted felon, yet police were unaware that he lived in the same home as a missing child until a year-and-a-half after said child's disappearance.

Jimmie Terrell Smith

Yasmin's relationship with Smith & her diary.

Smith was in his 30s at the time he was Rose's tenant. He reportedly took a liking to Yasmin, who was only 12 or 13 at the time. At one gathering, family members witnessed Smith giving Yasmin a beer and stroking her hair. At another gathering, Smith was heard complimenting Yasmin's looks. Smith and Yasmin reportedly kept in touch even after Smith moved out. In fact, the two saw each other at a family gathering that occurred approximately two weeks before Yasmin's disappearance.

In 2011, an article from the Chicago Tribune stated that their reporters uncovered Yasmin's diary - an item that police did not yet know existed. Yasmin reportedly wrote affectionately about Smith a few times in the diary, referring to him as "Tyrell". She scribbled things such as "I miss Tyrell..." and "I miss him and his sexy ass".

Interviews with Smith.

Once detectives were finally made aware of this information, they went to interview Smith. It's unclear what, exactly, Smith told detectives, but afterwards they had a warrant to search a home he had previously lived in. It is also unclear what was found during said searches. 

In 2011, Smith also spoke to reporters from the Tribune. During this interview, he said he knew what happened to Yasmin, but he was not going to speak up about it. Smith still did not admit direct involvement in her disappearance at that time.

Around two years later, in 2013, Rose went to meet with Smith at Cook County Jail. According to a timeline on uncovered.com, Smith admitted to involvement in Yasmin's disappearance during this meeting. The timeline states, "he tells her family that [Yasmin] had committed suicide. He claims that he had taken her to a house in the 2200 block of South Spaulding, but that he had burned her body in a garbage can to dispose of her body."

Police have not found any evidence to support Smith's claims. It's worth noting that Smith has a history of fabricating events, so many have had reasons to doubt his story. It's also worth noting that Yasmin's loved ones do not believe that Yasmin committed suicide - but they do believe that Smith is involved in her disappearance.

In 2017, Smith was sentenced to 110 years in prison after being convicted of the unrelated rape and kidnapping charges. As of today, he has not been charged with anything related to Yasmin's disappearance. 

A struggling family and a broken system.

Rose died in 2014 after years of battling health issues. Yasmin's remaining family members are still dedicated to learning the truth about what happened to her. Many have criticized the Chicago police for not thoroughly investigating Yasmin's disappearance. Some others have questioned if Yasmin was failed by the system before she ever vanished.

As previously stated, Yasmin and her brother Damarcus spent many years in the foster system during their early childhood. Before that, they lived with their biological mother, who struggled with drug addiction. Yasmin and Damarcus spent many of their young years being shuffled between their mother's home, group homes, and foster homes. It was during those years that they experienced horrific abuse. 

At one point, they settled with a foster family where they seemed to be doing well. After being with this family for two years, Yasmin and Damarcus' biological mother declared that she wanted them to live with family. The two siblings were then subsequently sent to Chicago to live with Rose. 

Although Rose loved Yasmin and Damarcus, she struggled with their behavioral issues as well. She admits to disciplining them by whipping them and locking them in the basement. Case workers routinely visited the home - including during the time period in which Smith was living there - but this was never documented by social services. Therefore, this information was not immediately on detective's radar when Yasmin was reported missing. Still, it appears detectives also failed to properly identify people in Yasmin's life. 

Where the case stands today.

Yasmin remains missing today. No suspects or persons of interest have been publicly identified. Many speculate that Smith is responsible for Yasmin's disappearance, but he has yet to be charged with anything related to her case.

There is a monetary reward available for anyone with information that could lead to Yasmin's whereabouts. If you have any information that could help the investigation, please submit a tip. 
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Sources:

Thursday, June 23, 2022

The Murder of Natasha Warren

 

Natasha Warren was only 23 years-old when she was murdered during August 2008. The young mother was driving to work in Richland County, South Carolina on August 22nd when her car got a flat tire. Natasha then walked to a nearby Sunoco station on Bush River Road. While there, Natasha called her boss to say she would be late to work. She then attempted to call her fiancé for assistance, but he did not answer the phone. At some point, Natasha returned to her vehicle. She never arrived at work and never returned home. 

Two days later, on August 24th, 2008, Natasha was found deceased inside her car. She had been shot in the chest. It appears that somebody shot Natasha at some point after she returned to her car after leaving the Sunoco. Police have since released surveillance footage of Natasha at the Sunoco on August 22nd in hopes that it may jog the memory of someone who saw her that day. 


In 2010, police announced that they were hoping to talk to a man who was also spotted at the Sunoco the same evening as Natasha. Police said they did not consider this man a suspect, but they wanted to interview him. Years have passed, and it is unclear if this man was ever identified by authorities. 

Natasha's murder remains unsolved today. There has been very little news about her case, especially in more recent years. If you have any information that might lead to Natasha's killer(s), please contact Richland County authorities at 803-576-3000.
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Sources:
The Deck
WACH
Richland County SD

The Murder of Anna Scott

 

During the early-morning hours of February 3rd, 2022, police in Washoe County, Nevada received a call about a vehicle on fire in southbound shoulder area of Interstate 580. Officers responded to the scene and found the car burning about a mile north of the Galena Creek Bridge. Inside the vehicle, police found the body of a young woman. The medical examiner later identified the victim as Anna Scott of Reno, Nevada. She was just 23 years old. 

Anna's family members describe her as a loving mother who was dedicated to raising her young children. Anna was also a member of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe and a beloved part of the community. Her loved ones are both heartbroken and baffled by her death. Anna’s family last heard from her the night before she was found deceased. Anna's stepmother said that Anna was posting on social media on the evening of February 2nd but did not post at all the following day--which was unusual. 

Around the same time, Anna's stepmother heard news about a car being found on fire with a deceased female inside. Days later, the family learned that the female inside the vehicle was, in fact, Anna. She had died from a gunshot wound to the head. It appears that Anna's killer(s) then set her car on fire in attempt to destroy evidence.

source: rdj.com

In the days that followed Anna's death, authorities stated that they were trying to an establish a timeline leading up to the murder. On February 7th, the Washoe County Sheriff's office announced that they were "trying to piece together [Anna's] movements and contacts in the hours and days before her body was found."  

Anna's stepmother said that the family heard from a friend who saw Anna that night, but the interaction was "odd". In a report from March 2022, her stepmother was quoted saying, "[The friend] did say she had seen Anna that night and that she had left Anna alone with some people that she hadn’t mentioned to us, I don’t know if she mentioned it to the detectives, but to me that was odd. How are you just going to leave your friend alone?" Other than that, there is very little information available about the events leading up to Anna's death.

About a month and a half after Anna's death, another young woman from Reno was murdered: 18-year-old Naomi Irion. A man named Troy Driver is currently charged with kidnapping and murdering Naomi. There was speculation that Driver could also be Anna's killer, but the sheriff's office stated that he is not a suspect in Anna's case.

Other than that, authorities are seemingly remaining tight-lipped about Anna's murder investigation. An April 2022 report on the case states that the sheriff's office did not respond to the reporter's request for updates. However, Anna's family members have vowed to not let Anna be forgotten. They also want to raise awareness about the numerous other missing and murdered indigenous women whose cases also remain unsolved. More information about this nationwide issue can be found here.

Anna's case remains open, and there is a monetary reward available for anyone with information that could lead to her killer(s). If you have any information that could help the investigation, please call the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office Detective Division at (775) 328-3320 or Secret Witness at (775) 322-4900.
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Sources:
2 News

Today in True Crime: June 23rd, 2022

 Today's true crime anniversaries involve two murder cases that unfortunately remain unsolved today. 


1. The disappearance and murder of Lechmani Desroches


It's been five years since Lechmani Desroches vanished from Orlando, Florida on June 23rd, 2017. The then-23-year-old's family members were quite worried when he fell out-of-touch, as he was close with his siblings, and it was unusual for him to not contact them. Unfortunately, there was very little media coverage about his disappearance and the case quickly went cold.

Over a year later, in September 2018, human remains were found in a wooded area off of Marden Road in Apopka. Authorities obtained a DNA sample from one of Lechmani's sisters, which helped confirm that those remains did, in fact, belong to Lechmani Desroches. His death was labeled as a homicide. Since then, there have been very little updates in his case.


2. The disappearance and murder of Kelly Nolan

It's been 15 years since Kelly Nolan vanished in Madison, Wisconsin. At the time of her disappearance, the 22-year-old was a student at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, and she was spending her summer break in Madison. She was last seen alive by her friends during the early morning hours of June 23rd, 2007. The previous evening, Kelly and some friends had gone to a few different bars in downtown Madison. At some point, Kelly became separated from her friends. Various reports state that Kelly likely left the State Street area around 2:30 AM. She was reported missing after her family members were unable to get in touch. 

In the early stages of the investigation, police interviewed several people who had interacted with Kelly on the night she vanished. Police initially said that they did not have any evidence that foul play was involved in her disappearance. However, on July 9th, 2007, a search team was sent to a spot off Schneider Road in the town of Dunn. During that search, Kelly's body was found in a wooded area. She had no known connections to that area, and it is unclear how investigators were drawn to that specific location. Kelly's death was labeled as a homicide, but to this day investigators have still not revealed how exactly she died. Her case remains unsolved.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Today in True Crime: June 22, 2022

Today's true crime anniversaries involve two young women who actually vanished on the same day--although they disappeared from two entirely different areas and their cases are unrelated. Unfortunately, both cases remain unsolved today.

1. The disappearance of Brookelyn Farthing.

It's been nine years since Brookelyn Farthing vanished in Kentucky. The then-18-year-old disappeared after attending a party in Berea. Brookelyn accepted a ride home from the party from a male acquaintance named Joshua Hensley. The two left the party together, but instead of taking Brookelyn home, Hensley brought her to his home.

While at Hensley's house, Brookelyn texted several people asking for a ride home. She indicated that she was scared. Meanwhile, by Hensley's account, left his home early that morning to go move some horses in a nearby field. He claims that he returned to his house around 7am to find the couch where Brookelyn was sitting on fire, and Brookelyn was gone. However, her purse and some pieces of her clothing were left behind. The fire was deemed “suspicious” by investigators. Brookelyn has never been seen or heard from again.


2. The disappearance and murder of Heather Szekeres.

It has also been nine years since Heather Szekeres disappeared Shawano, Wisconsin. The 32-year-old mother never returned home after a night out at a local bar called The Final Lap. Heather lived in an apartment that shared with her husband and her mother, located just yards away from the bar. Nearly a year later, Heather's remains were found in a wooded area off of Peach Road. Her death was labeled a homicide.

There are a couple of different persons of interest in Heather's case. There has been speculation about her husband, especially since the couple had gone through some rocky times. There is also speculation about one of the owners of The Final Lap--who had been arrested for assaulting a 15-year-old girl in the basement of the bar. Heather was on a potential witness list for this man's trial.

Despite this, there have been no publicly named suspects in Heather's murder. It remains unsolved today.

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

The Disappearance of Kierra Coles


Kierra Coles was three months pregnant when she vanished on October 3rd, 2018. The young woman worked for the U.S. Postal Service. However, on the day of her disappearance, she called out sick. Surveillance cameras later captured a person matching Kierra's description walking away from her Chicago apartment wearing her U.S. Postal Service uniform, despite the fact that she’d already called out of work. She was seen walking down 82nd Street and Coles Avenue, passing her car, before eventually stepping out of the frame. Kierra has never been seen or heard from again. She was reported missing by her mother a few days later.


Police conducted a welfare check at Kierra’s apartment but found no sign of her. Kierra’s car was still parked outside of the apartment, and her cell phone, wallet, and packed lunch were found inside the vehicle. Investigators quickly began to believe that foul play was responsible for Kierra’s disappearance. In fact, detectives working the case have stated that they “have a pretty good idea” of what happened to Kierra. 

Still, they have revealed very few details about the investigation and no arrests have been made. Investigators did state that they have persons of interest, though. One detective in particular told reporters that there are a “minimum of two or three people of interest” who were the last to see Kierra before she disappeared. The identities of the persons of interest have not been released at this time.

Kierra’s parents are still holding out hope that she will be found alive. Kierra’s father said that Kierra was looking forward to being a mother for the first time. Her due date was scheduled for April 23rd, 2019. Kierra’s family members are hoping to not only reunite with Kierra, but to meet Kierra’s baby as well. There is a $30,000 reward in place for anyone with information that could lead to Kierra’s whereabouts. If you have any information that could help the investigation, please call the Chicago Police Department’s Area South Special Victims Unit at (312) 747-8274 or the U.S. Postal Inspection Service at (877) 876-2455.
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UPDATE (February 2021): 

Kierra's mother, Karen Philips, has provided more information about Kierra's disappearance. 

Karen explained to NBC 5 Investigates that the postal worker captured on surveillance cameras on October 3rd is not actually Kierra. Both Karen and investigators knew early on that the person in the video is not Kierra, but investigators reportedly told Karen to not reveal this information to the public.  However, investigators do have actual surveillance footage of Kierra from the night before her disappearance. On October 2nd, 2018, surveillance cameras captured both Kierra and her boyfriend/father of her unborn child, Josh Simmons, leaving Kierra's apartment. Later, surveillance cameras at a local ATM captured Kierra withdrawing $400 and giving the cash to Josh.

Josh has not been publicly named as a person of interest, and he does not have a criminal history. Kierra and Josh had been dating for about 6 years before her disappearance. Josh also had children with another woman. Kierra and this woman did not get along, and shortly before Kierra vanished; she had banned this woman from coming to her apartment. 

Karen initially did not believe that Josh had anything to do with Kierra's disappearance. Now that a significant amount of time has passed without answers, Karen thinks there is a possibility he was involved. After Kierra was reported missing, Josh reportedly did not help with the search at all. Eventually, he stopped talking to Kierra's mother and moved to Louisiana with the other woman. Josh has not responded to any requests to speak on the case.

Kierra remains missing today, and investigators still suspect that foul play was involved in her disappearance.
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UPDATE (June 2022):

The Chicago Police have released a new video of Kierra before her disappearance. The video depicts Kierra withdrawing cash from a local Walgreens on October 2nd, 2018. They have also released footage of the 'person of interest' parking Kierra's car near her home the following day.

As previously noted, Kierra's mother stated that the person with Kierra is her boyfriend/father of her unborn child. However, reporters still continue to refer to this person simply as a 'person if interest' and he has not been publicly named. 

The footage can be viewed here:


Kierra still remains missing today. If you have any information that could help the investigation, please contact authorities. 




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