Monday, December 18, 2023

Resolved in 2023 - Part One.

2023 is coming to an end!

Many cases featured on this page were finally resolved during this year. I've created a two-part list of these cases - below is part one. Links to the full case write-ups are provided. Stay tuned for part 2!

The Murder of Tristyn Bailey (2021)

Tristyn Bailey was only 13 years old when she was brutally stabbed to death on May 9th, 2021. The teen girl lived in St. Augustine, Florida, and she was killed by another fellow teen from the area: 14-year-old Aiden Fucci. Before the murder, Fucci told several people that he had homicidal thoughts and planned to kill someone. However, it appears that Tristyn was unaware of this – as she voluntarily snuck out of her house to meet up with Fucci and another teenage boy just hours before she was killed.

Tristyn and Fucci left the other teenage boy’s house around 1:45 AM. Surveillance cameras captured them walking alongside each other on Saddlestone Drive. Later, around 3:30 AM, the same cameras captured Fucci walking by himself in the opposite direction. Tristyn never reappeared, nor did she ever return home. Around 6:00 PM the following evening, Tristyn’s body was found in a wooded area near a retention pond. It was clear that she had been stabbed to death.

It did not take long for investigators to identify Aiden Fucci as their prime suspect. He was subsequently arrested and charged as an adult with Tristyn’s murder. After initially proclaiming innocence, Fucci ultimately pleaded guilty in February 2023. He was later sentenced to life in prison.

[more details on this case]

The Disappearance and Murder of Audreona Barnes (2021)

Audreona Barnes vanished in Cleveland, Ohio on July 30th, 2021. The then-18-year-old was last seen after Army recruiters dropped her off at the apartment of her boyfriend, Bennie Washington. Audreona's family expected her home that evening, but she never returned. Her loved ones later reported her missing.

Washington is 20 years older than Audreona, and she was reportedly pregnant with his child at the time of her disappearance. After Audreona was reported missing, police questioned Washington, but he denied any knowledge of her whereabouts. Meanwhile, he feigned concern and grief over Audreona's disappearance to her family members. 

Months later, in March 2022, Washington was evicted from his apartment. An employee from a cleaning crew was sent to the residence after Washington vacated.  While clearing out the apartment’s balcony, the employee found the body of a female hidden under a pile of clothes. Police were called, and the body was eventually identified as that of Audreona Barnes. She died from a gunshot wound to the head.

On March 21st, 2022, Washington was arrested and charged with Audreona's murder. He pleaded not guilty and went to trial in May 2023 - and he was ultimately convicted. Washington was later sentenced to 38 years in prison.

The Disappearance and Murder of Breasia Terrell (2020)

Breasia Terrell was only 10 years-old when her life was tragically cut short in July 2020. She was last seen alive at the home of Henry Dinkins in Davenport, Iowa. Dinkins is the father of Breasia's half-brother. Breasia reportedly tagged along with said brother during a visit to Dinkins' home on the day before her disappearance. She never returned home and was never seen alive by her loved ones again.

Dinkins was immediately a person of interest in Breasia's disappearance. Not only is he the last known adult to have seen Breasia alive, he also is a registered sex offender. Police searched Dinkins' apartment shortly after Breasia was reported missing. During the search, he was arrested for violating sex offender requirements. Meanwhile, he continued to deny any knowledge of Breasia's whereabouts. 

Months later, in March 2022, fishermen at a pond in DeWitt found the body of a young girl. The body was soon identified as that of Breasia Terrell, and her death was labeled a homicide. About a month later, Henry Dinkins was arrested and charged with the first-degree kidnapping and murder in Breasia's case. It was later revealed that the State had evidence that Dinkins sexually assaulted Breasia before shooting her in the head. 

In September 2023, a judge declared that Dinkins was guilty on both counts. He was later sentenced to two consecutive life terms.

The Disappearance and Murder of Emmishae Kirby (2020)

Emmishae Kirby (28) vanished in Houston, Texas on September 18th, 2020. Weeks later, on October 3rd, 2020, her body was found near Bear Creek Pioneers Park in Harris County. An autopsy later confirmed that she had been strangled and shot to death. 

Emmishae's ex-boyfriend Javon Gilbert, then 29, was an immediate person of interest in the case. Emmishae had broken up with him shortly before her disappearance after he reportedly sexually assaulted her. He also had a history of violent behaviors and prior domestic violence charges. Additionally, Gilbert was the last known person to have seen Emmishae before her disappearance.

In fact, surveillance footage from Emmishae's apartment shows Emmishae and Gilbert entering the building together on the day of her disappearance. She was never seen alive again. Hours later, Gilbert is captured leaving the building carrying a "heavy object". Despite all of this, police initially did not charge Gilbert with anything related to Emmishae's case.

Months later, in January 2021, Gilbert was finally arrested and charged with Emmishae's murder and tampering with evidence. In April 2023, a judge declared Gilbert guilty of the charges and sentenced him to life in prison. He will be eligible for parole after serving a minimum of 30 years.

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