It’s unclear when Tyesha Patrice Bell went missing. Some agencies claim that she was last seen by her sister on May 10, 2003, while the Chicago Tribune reported in 2004 that Tyesha vanished sometime between late May 8 and early May 9. What is apparent is that the investigation into the 22-year-old’s missing person case has gone cold, and the mystery surrounding her disappearance continues to give authorities pause.
According to reports, Tyesha Patrice Bell was at her apartment that she shared with her sister, Latasha, in Aurora, Illinois. She’d dropped out of school at 16, had her first child at 17, and moved out of her mother’s home at 18. She’d gotten herself a job at a plant, but later “lost the job.” Her mother, Lorna Smith, the young mother wasn’t ready to take on the responsibilities of parenthood. So, Lorna decided to raise Tyesha’s daughter. Then, in 2001, Tyesha gave birth to her second child, another daughter, with a new man who she also quickly broke up with. That seemed to be the lightbulb Tyesha needed to get her life on track, and Lorna Smith said things were looking up.
“She wasn’t a perfect girl, but she was trying. And she was mine,” Lorna said.
Everyone’s life changed on the day that Latasha called Lorna to tell her that Tyesha Patrice Bell hadn’t come home on May 9. While Lorna wasn’t too concerned at first, she began to worry when she couldn’t reach Tyesha throughout the day. There were approximately 50 messages left on Tyesha’s voicemail from concerned family members. On May 10, Lorna filed an official police report. Months passed with no word, but until Tyesha’s body is recovered, Lorna refused to give up hope that her daughter is alive.
The Aurora police deemed the case “baffling,” as they say there were still candles burning in Tyesha’s bedroom and her television was still turned on. She hadn’t spoken to anyone about leaving, and the day before she disappeared, Tyesha and a friend went shopping to purchase clothes for Tyesha’s children. While she did have a record for minor violations and was due in court over an identity theft charge, Lorna insisted that Tyesha had put that life behind her.
When her phone records were examined, authorities saw that Tyesha hadn’t listened to any of the four-plus dozen messages her family members had left her. Her children were staying with family members when she disappeared, and her youngest daughter was just a year and a half.
The Charley Project reports that Latasha saw Tyesha on May 10. According to their report, Tyesha received a phone call, walked outside to answer, and vanished. She didn’t have any personal belongings with her and never returned. Unsurprisingly, police began to investigate Tyesha’s romantic relationships, leading them to the father of her youngest child. Because he lied to detectives about when he last spoke with Tyesha Patrice Bell, he was deemed a person of interest. His home was reportedly searched with cadaver dogs and there was nothing to indicate that Tyesha had been in his home or anyone had died there.
At the time of her disappearance, Tyesha Patrice Bell was 5 feet 6 inches to 5 feet 7 inches tall and approximately 155 pounds. She had black/dark brown hair and brown eyes. She has a tattoo of her first name written on her right ankle in cursive lettering. There are noticeable scars on her upper and lower right arm. When she disappeared, Tyesha had her hair styled in braids. She also wore contacts, but it’s unclear if she was wearing them when she disappeared. Tyesha was last seen wearing a light pink short-sleeved shirt, a blue jacket with red stripes on the sleeves, a gold ring on her left ring finger (blue topaz and cubic zirconium), gold hoop earrings, blue jeans, and white sneakers.
Anyone with information regarding this case is urged to contact the Aurora Police Department at 630-801-6712 or their local authorities.
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