Birmingham, Ala. native Naomi Wilson moved to Iowa sometime in the late 1970s. After graduating from high school, Naomi relocated to Chicago, Ill. where she met and married a man named Bernie Wilson. Their marriage would be short-lived, but before splitting up, they made a home in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. An unlikely twist to this story would follow: Naomi developed a romance with her ex-husband’s uncle, Colbert “Billy” Beets, and soon she was integrated into the Beets family. All seemed well for Naomi, but a mystery would befall the 32-year-old after she went missing on April 12, 1981.
Many members of the Beets family were devout churchgoers, especially because Paul Beets was a reverend at a local church. On April 12, Colbert told authorities that he attended the noon service but Naomi didn’t make it. Following church, Colbert reportedly went to see his girlfriend at her home where he spoke with her before they parted ways. He said he last saw her getting into her vehicle as he was leaving in his own. According to Colbert, Naomi seemed normal and she told him that she was going to put gas in her car before visiting a friend who was also her coworker at the Harnischfeger Corporation plant.
Colbert said he took some ice to his mother’s home and never saw Naomi again. However, about an hour after parting ways at her home, he spotted Naomi’s vehicle on the road. Naomi’s friend told investigators that Noami never arrived at their house. It wasn’t characteristic for Naomi to vanish without alerting someone. She’d purchased her home the year before and just bought herself a car, so it didn’t seem that she up and left her family. Naomi was scheduled to return to work on Monday and was described as being a responsible and reliable person. Those who knew her told authorities that Naomi hadn’t complained of problems with any of her coworkers, so her disappearance stumped investigators.
The Beets family, especially the brothers, came together to help lead many search efforts. One of the unnamed brothers located Naomi’s 1978 Ford Fairmont (license plate no. DOY 622) only two-tenths of a mile from the Beets’ church on April 14, two days after Naomi was last seen. It was found abandoned in a K-Mart parking lot and it’s unclear what evidence, if any, was recovered from the vehicle. At the time, police didn’t believe there was anything that suggested foul play was involved in Naomi Wilson’s case, however, as the years have progressed, opinions have changed.
Five months after she went missing, Colbert Beets moved into Naomi’s home. He occupied the residence but didn’t pay the mortgage, and a year after settling in, the bank foreclosed on the property. None of the Beets family members have been named as persons of interest or suspects in Naomi’s missing person case.
At the time of her disappearance, Naomi Wilson stood 5 feet 3 inches tall and weighed 112 pounds. She had black/dark brown hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a two-piece black pantsuit, also described as black slacks and a black jacket, with a white top. Naomi would be 72-years-old at the time of this publication.
Anyone with information regarding this case is urged to contact the Cedar Rapids Police at (319) 286-5478 or their local authorities. Her agency case number is 81006770.
Please share this story about Naomi Wilson to help reignite the investigation into her case. She is our sister and her life matters.
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