Tuesday, June 28, 2022

The Disappearance of Alasia Hill

 

Alasia Hill has been missing since March 2021. The then-23-year-old was last seen in Detroit, Michigan. Alasia was experiencing health issues prior to her disappearance. In fact, she spent most of the month of February hospitalized with an infection. The infection led to Alasia being placed into a medically induced coma. Due to complications, a decision had to be made to amputate Alasia's hand while she was still in the coma. 

Alasia's mother, Charisma Carucci, last saw Alasia at a doctor's appointment on March 10th, 2021. During the appointment, Alasia had her stitches from the hand amputation removed. Afterwards, Alasia went home with her boyfriend, Marlon Billingslea. She spoke to her mother on the phone later that day to update her on how she was doing. Alasia's family members have not seen or heard from her again.

Alasia did not have a phone at the time of her disappearance, so she used Marlon's phone to communicate with her family. On March 11th, 2021, Alasia's mother Charisma called Marlon to ask to speak with Alasia. When Marlon answered the phone, he said that he did not know was Alasia was. He explained that she left the home earlier that day without saying where she was going. Marlon said he tried to follow her when she left, but he eventually decided to just let her go. 

Both Charisma and Marlon have stated that Alasia has run off before in the past, but she has never been gone for this long. In a report about Alasia's disappearance, Marlon explained "It’s not the first time she’s run off like this, you know. So, I stopped following her… figured she’d be back. But she’s never been gone this long." Alasia's family members do not believe she would go this long without contacting her two children, who live with their grandparents. She was also usually very active on social media, but she has not updated any of her social media pages since March 6th, 2021. 

It should be noted that the last known corroborated sighting of Alasia occurred at the doctor's appointment on March 10th. It's unclear if police have evidence of anyone, other than Marlon, seeing her on March 11th. Marlon has not been publicly named as a suspect or person-of-interest, but most reports on Alasia's case state that she was last seen at the doctor's appointment.

Due to Alasia's health conditions, the concerns for her safety have increased. Her mother reports that Alasia "was not physically fit" at the time of her disappearance. Alasia was also still recovering from surgery when she vanished. 

Alasia remains missing today. If you have any information that could help lead to her whereabouts, please contact the Detroit Police Department’s Sixth Precinct’s Investigative Unit at 313-596-5640.

Monday, June 27, 2022

The Murder of Stacey Burns

 

Stacey Burns was found murdered inside her own home on May 10th, 2009. The then-41-year-old lived in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, where she worked as a school nurse while raising her five children. Stacey's brutal murder sent shockwaves through the tight-knit community of Wolfeboro - and many are still fearful about her killer remaining free today. 

Stacey's body was found in her bedroom by her son. It was Mother's Day, and her children planned to make her breakfast that morning. When Stacey's son Michael, then 15, walked into his mother's bedroom, he stumbled upon the horrific scene: Stacey was dead - she had been brutally stabbed to death. The killing happened overnight, while her children and some of their friends slept in nearby rooms. According to Michael, none of the children in the house reported hearing any signs of distress that night.

During the early stages of the investigation, police learned that there were numerous people in Stacey's life that could be potential suspects. Just months before her death, Stacey finalized her divorce with her ex-husband/father of her children, Ed Burns. According to Stacey's loved ones, the divorce was contentious. Stacey had begun a new relationship since separating from Ed, but reportedly ended that relationship just a few weeks before her death. Police also learned that just days before her death, Stacey went on a date with another man - during which she was confronted by her more recent ex-boyfriend. 

Despite all of these suspicious circumstances, no arrests have ever been made in Stacey's case. Still, there is a lot of speculation about her killer's identity. A close look at Stacey's various relationships, combined with the timeline of events leading up to her death, provides a few different theories. 

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The marriage.


Stacey and Ed married in 1992. Throughout their relationship, Ed worked as a merchant marine and had to spend months at a time out at sea for his job. While Ed was away, Stacey cared for their children in Wolfeboro. Their family grew quickly - the couple ended up having a total of 5 children in a just a ten-year timeframe. 

According to Stacey's loved ones, her marriage to Ed was troubled. Ed himself stated that they would often have trouble adjusting after he would return from a long stint at sea. However, it appeared their marriage had even deeper issues. The couple's live-in babysitter, Brittany, said that she witnessed Ed engaging in controlling behaviors towards Stacey. In a 2011 report on Stacey's murder, Brittany is quoted saying "[Ed] wanted to know what Stacey was doing at all times. And if she would tell him the truth, he still wouldn't believe that it was the truth."

By 2007, Ed's controlling behaviors had escalated. According to court documents, Ed criticized Stacey "incessantly about her appearance and her actions, demanded intercourse, burned her clothes and accessories, made derogatory remarks about her in front of others and accused her of having affairs." 

Divorce and restraining orders.

Eventually, Stacey told Ed she wanted to separate. This sparked anger in Ed, and he continued to be abusive towards Stacey. During one particular incident, on July 29th, 2007, Ed entered Stacey's bedroom and stood over her, awaking her from sleep. He then told her, "Death before divorce."

Just a little over a week after that frightening incident, Ed angrily confronted Stacey again, accusing her of having an affair. According to reports, Ed "yelled at [Stacey] and shoved her. When she tried to call police, using the home phone and later a cell phone, he allegedly took both away from her to prevent her from calling 911."

Later that day, a judge granted Stacey a yearlong restraining order against Ed. As part of the restraining order, Ed was also ordered to enroll in an alcohol abuse program. Stacey was given sole custody of their children.

The following month, Stacey officially filed for divorce. Ed was out at sea when she filed the paperwork. He claimed he was completely shocked by the news, despite the fact that Stacey already had taken out a restraining order on him. 

On August 8th, 2008 - exactly one year after the restraining order was issued - Stacey appeared in court and asked for the order to be extended for another year. She cited that she was fearful of "what Ed would do if the restraining order was lifted." The judge granted Stacey's request, and ultimately decided to extend the restraining order for five years instead of just one. 

However, over the next few months, Stacey softened towards Ed and allowed him to see their children. They both voluntarily violated the restraining order on numerous occasions. Ed eventually returned to court to request that the order be overturned. He stated that Stacey had allowed him to babysit their children, and that they had taken their children to various outings and events together during the fall of 2008. The judge ultimately agreed to terminate the restraining order, citing that "the frequency of the contacts and the absence of any allegation of inappropriate behavior during these contacts suggest that the restraining order may expire."

Although Stacey and Ed were back in contact, they did not reconcile their romantic relationship. Their divorce was finalized by December 2008 - just five months before Stacey was murdered. 

Dating new people.

Jim Vittum

After splitting with Ed, Stacey began a relationship with a man named Jim Vittum. Stacey and Jim met after their respective sons began playing hockey together. Jim reportedly fell for Stacey fast, but Stacey wasn't ready for a serious relationship. Jim wanted to move into Stacey's home with his children - but Stacey thought it was too soon. According to friends, Jim had a tough time with Stacey telling him "no."

While Jim claims the two were in love, Stacey ended up breaking up with him just a few months into their relationship. Still, they remained friends, as their respective children were friends as well. 

About two days before her death, Stacey dropped her three youngest daughters off with Ed for the weekend. That same evening, Stacey went on a date with another man. Jim Vittum found out about the date, and subsequently drove to Stacey's house. When Stacey returned home from the date, Jim was there, ready to confront her. 

Jim would later claim he only went to Stacey's house that night because he felt she should not be dating anyone. He told reporters, "I wanted to confront the two of them so that I could ask her, 'What are you doing?' You could say I was stalking her, but I think I was being her friend."

May 9th and 10th.

After this incident, Stacey told her friends that she needed to speak with Jim and make it clear that things were over between the two of them. They met up the day before she was killed to have that conversation. Apparently, the conversation went amicably, as Jim was still invited over to Stacey's house that evening. Their respective children were having a sleepover that night, so Jim came over as well to watch a movie. 

The next day, Stacey and Jim were supposed to take their daughters to a lacrosse tournament. When Stacey and her daughter did not show up as planned, Jim drove to the house yet again. Once there, he saw the house surrounded by ambulances and police cars. Jim then spoke to Stacey's daughter, who told him that Stacey had been murdered. While on the scene, Jim approached a police officer and said "You've definitely gotta look at me. You've gotta clear me 'cause I'm gonna be his reasonable doubt. Eddie killed her."

A murder investigation.

Considering Ed's history of violent behavior towards Stacey, it was not a stretch for him to be considered a suspect. Throughout the investigation, detectives learned that Stacey and Ed last saw each other two days before the murder - when Stacey dropped their daughters off. Although the two were coparenting, Stacey was still having issues with Ed, as he was not paying his share of child support. In fact, Stacey and Ed were due to appear in court over this issue just two days before she was killed. 

Ed has continuously denied involvement in Stacey's murder. Shortly after her death, he moved into the home for about a year to help care for their children. Many continued to point the finger at him, but he told police that he was at a party in Boston on the evening Stacey was killed. A friend/witness has backed this alibi. 

Jim Vittum also denied involvement in Stacey's murder - though it appears he was the last known adult to have seen Stacey before her death. Many felt that if Ed was not the killer, Jim seemed like the most likely suspect. Still, Jim has never been charged with anything related to Stacey's murder - nor has he been named a person-of-interest.

Still unsolved.

To this day, no arrests have been made in Stacey's case. In 2018, Ed Burns was arrested in Massachusetts after allegedly stabbing another man during an argument. After this incident, Stacey's family members sought a restraining order against Ed - which prevented him from seeing the children.

The 2018 incident and Stacey's murder are unrelated; however, the 2018 incident has led to even more speculation that Ed was Stacey's killer. Stacey was stabbed to death, and some feel that Ed's arrest for stabbing someone in 2018 is more than just a coincidence. Still, he has never been charged with anything related to Stacey's death.

Stacey's murder still haunts the small town of Wolfeboro. Her loved ones still hope to see justice in her case. If you have any information that could lead to the arrest of Stacey's killer(s), please contact the New Hampshire State Police tip line at 603-223-3856.
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Sources:

The Murder of Shamia Little

 

Shamia Little was only 17 years-old when she was tragically murdered during July 2021. The teen lived in Shreveport, Louisiana at the time of her death. Those who knew Shamia describe her as a sweet and quiet young girl. She was also a model student. Shamia was due to begin her senior year of high school during the fall of 2021, and she had a bright future ahead of her. Unfortunately, that future was taken from both Shamia and her loved ones. 

Shamia was last seen alive on the night of July 6th, 2021. That evening, she went to Douglas Williams Park with an 18- or 19-year- old male friendAccording to said friend, an unknown man approached him and Shamia around 11:00 PM. The man reportedly pointed a gun at them, took their cell phones, and then led them into a nearby wooded area. At some point, Shamia's friend was able to run away. He then flagged down a police officer parked nearby on Greenwood Road. By this point, Shamia and the gunman were nowhere to be found. 

Six days later, Shamia's body was found behind a business in the 4100 block of Curtis Lane. She had been shot to death. Investigators are still searching for Shamia's killer, and the FBI is involved in the case. The friend who was with Shamia the night she was reportedly abducted was questioned at length and has not been identified as a suspect. Shortly after Shamia's body was identified, it was reported that police had at least one suspect - but to this day no arrests have been made. 

The FBI is offering a $50,000 reward for anyone with information that could lead to Shamia's killer(s). If you have any information that could help the investigation, please submit a tip. 

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 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...