Category: Years

MISSING (10/09/2018) — Kayla Nicole Swanigan Went to Meet a Friend but Never Showed Up

Could domestic violence have turned deadly for a young mother? Police are trying to piece together what happened to Kayla Nicole Swanigan from Detroit, Michigan, who went missing in October 2018. Her aunt, Sabrina, told Fox 2 Detroit that the last time she saw Kayla, the 24-year-old had a black eye and was being shoved in a vehicle by her abusive boyfriend.

“She’s steady saying, ‘It’s okay auntie, it’s okay auntie,” Kayla’s aunt said. “But he’s steady shoving her in a car. It’s not okay, love if somebody is pushing you in a car.”

Sabrina also stated that Kayla’s relationship with her boyfriend was a volatile one, even escalating to an altercation where Kayla shot him in the summer of 2018. The two would break up for short periods of time only to get back together.

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“I’m fearing that he has killed her,” Sabrina said. “She shot him. What would you do if someone shot you and came back to you?”

On the day Kayla disappeared, she was at home in Detroit with her daughter and a friend. She left around 2:30 p.m., telling them that she was leaving to meet up with a male friend on the west side of the city. Police were able to talk to the man that Kayla was scheduled to meet, but he told them that she never showed up.

According to Sabrina, when she spoke to police she was told that the boyfriend violated his parole and was on the run, but they were doing their best to find Kayla. Meanwhile, Kayla’s two young children are finding it difficult adjusting to their new lives without their mother.

“She went from being a loving child to now she’s whispering everything,” Sabrina revealed. “She won’t ask anyone to eat. She’s sitting in corners crying, ‘I want my mama, I want my mama.’ What can we do about that?”

At the time of her disappearance, Kayla was 5’4″ tall and weighed approximately 130 pounds. She was last seen wearing a black shirt, jeans, a blue denim jacket, and black and turquoise Champion gym shoes. She also has the name “ARAYLN” tattooed on her left arm.

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“I miss her so much. If anyone knows anything, no matter how small how it is, come forward and speak up,” said her grandmother, Shyrell Harris.

“We grew up together. She’s like a best friend to me. You got all of us worried. Bring my cousin sister home to us, please,” said Daneca Harris.

Anyone with information regarding Kayla’s whereabouts is urged to contact the Detroit Police Department at (313) 596-1800. Crime Stoppers of Michigan has offered a cash reward of up to $2,500 for information that leads to Kayla’s location.

Please share this story regarding Kayla Nicole Swanigan to continue the conversation about her disappearance. She is our sister and her life matters.

MISSING [01/19/2009] — Althedia Vernon Vaught Received a Mysterious Phone Call, Left Her Home, And Vanished

Tomorrow will be the 10th anniversary since anyone has seen or heard from Althedia Vernon Vaught, and her family still waits for an answer as to what happened to the mother of three. On January 19, 2009, Althedia spent the day cleaning her house in Tulsa, Oklahoma. After setting everything in order, the 42-year-old told her two youngest children that she was tired and was going to bed. However, around 11:30 p.m., Althedia received a phone call from an unknown person. Only taking her cell phone with her and still wearing her pajamas, Althedia left her home without telling anyone where she was going. Her son was in the living room watching a basketball game, but he said he didn’t recall hearing her car start. Althedia didn’t put on any of her jewelry, which was left on her nightstand, and even left her television on in her bedroom, suggesting that she didn’t intend on being gone long.

mA few days later on January 24, Althedia’s vehicle was found abandoned inside the Hillcrest Medical Center parking garage. Surveillance footage shows her car driving into the garage around midnight. Investigators were unable to determine who was driving the vehicle. Another vehicle, a truck with a triple triangle design on the side, pulled in next to Athedia’s dark green four-door 1995 Infinity J30 with the Oklahoma license plate number 804 ZPN about a half an hour later before driving off. That driver has never been identified.

Early on in the investigation, Althedia’s children told a news station that they believed their mother was kidnapped, but still alive. According to them, months after Athedia went missing, her voicemail was changed from a recording of music to Athedia saying her name. They said she sounded as if she was under the influence of drugs.

“She’s a strong woman,” her son Thomas said back in 2013. “I know she’s still alive out there somewhere.”

Althedia has missed her children growing older and having children of her own. They have all moved on, and one of her sons even served time in jail. The family has suffered from her absence and ten years later there are still many unanswered questions in this cold case.

524d6936bfe63.preview-500“It would be very important to us,” Thomas previously said. “It would save a family. We’re losing my brother. My sister is struggling. I’m struggling. It would save a whole family.”

“The two guys that were persons of interest, searched their cars and houses and found no blood or anything,” said Alethia’s daughter Teanna Thomas.

Time has passed, but neither Althedia’s family nor investigators are closer to figuring out what happened to this loving mother. However, police fear that foul play may have been involved in her case.

At the time of her disappearance, Athedia was approximately 5’7″-5’8″ tall and 150-155 pounds. She had black or dark brown hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing her pajamas.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the Tulsa Police Department at (918) 596-9143 or Crime Stoppers at 918-596-COPS.

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Boyfriend Charged With Murdering Cherice Ragins Six Years After She Went Missing

Although justice may have been served for the family of Cherice Maria Ragins, the 24-year-old has remained a missing person for nine years. On February 21, 2010, Cherice left her home and went on her way to meet up with her boyfriend, 31-year-old Travis Eugene Elleby, at his mother’s home in Catonsville, Maryland. She and Elleby were seen together leaving the residence, but Cherice was never seen or heard from again.

When she didn’t return home, Cherice’s mother, Clariese Ragins, contacted police and filed an official missing person report. Investigators discovered that Cherice’s relationship with Travis was riddled with issues and often argumentative. According to Clariese, a retired Baltimore teacher, leaving unexpectedly was “completely out of character” for her daughter. Police also believed that foul play was involved because there was no activity with Cherice’s bank accounts, credit cards, or with her social security number.

“She would’ve never just gone off on her own,” Clariese said. “She had never done anything like that before.”

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Cherice loved to spend time reading and going to the movies with friends. She graduated from Woodlawn High School and faced struggles in her life, including losing her brother who passed away from complications of kidney disease when he was just 23-years-old.

Meanwhile, Cherice’s boyfriend was questioned by police regarding his involvement with her disappearance. Elleby gave them his version of events, but when investigators checked phone records, text messages, and video surveillance footage of where he claimed to be, none corroborated his story. He also was inconsistent with his statements.

Police Corporal John Wachter said  it “got to the point where they were satisfied that she was deceased and it was the boyfriend that did it.”

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In September 2016, over six years after Cherice went missing, Travis Elleby was arrested and charged with first-degree murder related to her case. He chose to have a trial by judge in lieu of a jury. One year later in November 2017, Travis Elleby was found guilty of second-degree murder by Baltimore County Circuit Court Judge Judith C. Ensor.

Cherice Ragins’s body has never been located.

At the time of her disappearance, Cherice was approximately 5’4″ tall and 120 pounds. She had black hair, brown eyes, and a tattoo of her name across her neck. Cherice was last seen wearing a red hoodie, gray sweatpants, a black jacket with fur around the hood, a black shirt, and green and pink shoes.

Anyone with information regarding this case is urged to contact the Baltimore County Police Department at (410) 887-3943.

Please share this story regarding the missing person and murder case of Cherice Maria Ragins to continue the conversation about her disappearance. She is our sister and her life matters.