A week before Christmas Day in 1982, Retha Hiers was last seen driving away from her Largo, Florida apartment. The 43-year-old mother of six, who lived with her husband at the time, reportedly left her home on December 19 to buy laundry detergent. The trip was expected to be a short one, so her personal belongings were left at her home. However, Retha didn’t return, and days later, the mystery intensified when her husband received a letter that stated his wife left him for a man named Cleveland Hill Jr.
The reported note also revealed that Retha Hiers had no plans on taking their children, as she requested for the kids to stay with her husband. It’s unclear who was said to have written the letter. Although Retha and her husband were together for 25 years and were raising a family, they only married a short time prior to her disappearance. It was just months before she went missing that her husband, who at the time was her boyfriend, found out that Retha Hiers was having an affair with Hill, the man named in the letter. The Hiers knew Hill because he was reportedly a friend of the family who was also married.
The discovery of Retha’s affair set off a series of events, including Retha’s attempted suicide. After surviving the episode, Retha reportedly told her husband that the affair with Hill was over, and later, Retha’s husband agreed to marry her. In an attempt to find out what happened to Retha, her husband confronted Hill about his wife’s whereabouts. Hill allegedly told him that Retha Hiers walked out on him to be with a White man. The name of this alleged man remains a mystery, but Hill said he wasn’t informed about where she ran off to.
Meanwhile, Hill was no stranger to authorities. In 1968, he went to prison for shooting his mother-in-law and his wife. They both survived the attack and Hill was convicted of assault. Decades later, he was sent to prison for drug trafficking in 1992 and was released in 2008. In addition to Retha Hiers, two other women who were once in relationships with Hill also disappeared while dating him: Margaret Dash and Donyelle Johnson.
All three women remain missing persons and the only thing that any of their cases have in common is that they were in romantic relationships with Hill. Authorities determined that the three women didn’t know each other. Police haven’t named Cleveland Hill Jr. as a suspect and he denies that he’s responsible for their disappearances.
At the time of her disappearance, Retha Hiers stood 5 feet 1 inch tall and weighed 130 pounds. She had black/dark brown hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a red shirt, blue jeans, and reading glasses. Retha walks with a limp and has surgical scars on her knees. Her middle name is “Lee,” her maiden name is “Ingram,” and her nickname is “Lil Baby.” Retha would be 81-years-old at the time of this publication.
Anyone with information regarding this case is urged to contact the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office at 727-582-6200 or local authorities. Her agency case number is 83-7745.
Please share this story about Retha Hiers to help reignite the investigation into her case. She is our sister and her life matters.
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