America’s missing persons: Their status and how you can help

(NewsNation) — All around the country, there are people searching for lost loved ones.

While there are some cases with more answers than others, each one is important to the family, friends and communities involved.

NewsNation’s ongoing series “Missing” (formerly called “Missing in America”) highlights missing persons cases across the country.

While the case of Gabby Petito made headlines for weeks, members of the public and her own family pleaded with the news media to give attention to other missing persons cases.

Here is a look back at the cases NewsNation highlighted this year. (This is not an extensive list of all missing people around the country):

Pending Cases

 Lucian Munguia

  • Yakima, Washington
  • Went Missing: Sept. 10, 2022
  • Status: Pending

Lucian Munguia has been missing for months. He vanished from a Washington state playground in the city of Yakima, about 140 miles southeast of Seattle. The Yakima Police Department and sheriff’s detectives say there is no evidence of foul play, and do not believe the parents did anything to the boy. As of December, according to the Yakima Herald-Republic, the search for Lucian is ongoing. To honor the 5-year-old, who loved shopping for pumpkins, wearing Halloween pajamas and ringing doorbells during neighborhood trick-or-treating, his family marked the holiday with costumes and outreach about the case, the newspaper said.

Anyone with information on the disappearance of Lucian Munguia is urged to call the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at 800-THE-LOST or the Yakima Police Department at 509-575-6200.

Irene Gakwa

A community is desperate to find Irene Gakwa, a recent immigrant from Kenya who went missing in the Gillette, Wyoming area. The case has a number of twists like Gakwa’s fiancé facing charges on accusations he took her money, and the lead searcher getting hit with a stalking order. Anyone with information on the case is urged to call the Gillette Police Department at 307-682-5155. (Photo: Family)
  • Gillette, Wyoming
  • Went Missing: March 2022
  • Status: Pending

Irene Gakwa, 32, was “thriving” after she moved from Kenya to America. She lived with family in Idaho before moving to Gillette, Wyoming when she met a man on Craiglist named Nathan Hightman.

After the move, Gakwa’s family grew concerned when they noticed Gakwa’s texts had changed. Hightman told police Gakwa packed clothing into two plastic bags and announced she was leaving Gillette. Her family, however, doesn’t think that’s true.

Eventually, police arrested Hightman and charged him with draining Gakwa’s bank accounts, deleting her email account and using her credit card to buy a pair of boots, a pair of pants and a shovel. Hightman, according to police, said he did it to force her to contact him in the event she needed money. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges. According to the Casper Star-Tribune, Hightman’s next court appearance is scheduled for Jan.4.

Anyone with information about the disappearance of Irene Gakwa is urged to call the Gillette police at 307-682-5155.

Daniel Robinson

  • Buckeye, Arizona
  • Went Missing: June 23, 2021
  • Status: Pending

Daniel Robinson, then 24 and a geologist in Arizona, went missing around 17 months ago. His father, David Robinson, has continued the search for him into 2022, even though police say there’s no evidence of foul play. David Robinson even persuaded an outside agency to go through his son’s computer and cellphones for any clues. Since his son disappeared, David Robinson has made a podcast and a website documenting the case and has upped his presence on social media.

Anyone with information on the disappearance of Daniel Robinson is asked to call the Buckeye police at 623-349-6411.

Michael Vaughan

  • Fruitland, Idaho
  • Went Missing: July 2021
  • Status: Pending
Investigators are working a major lead in the case of a missing Idaho boy. 5-year-old Michael Vaughan was last seen in July 2021 in Fruitland. (Courtesy of Family of Michael Vaughn)

Michael Vaughan was 5 years old when he was first reported missing. He had been at home with his dad and baby sister while his mom was at work, when family members say he walked out to find neighborhood kids to play with. Authorities believe Michael is likely dead. Because of evidence found in Sarah and Stacey Wondra’s home, police excavated their backyard, searching for the child’s remains.

Sarah Wondra was later arrested and charged with failing to report a death. Stacey Wondra, on the other hand, is currently in jail on unrelated weapons charges. Michael’s remains have not yet been found, police recently said. The investigation is active and ongoing, the Fruitland Police Department said in early December.

Anyone with information about the disappearance of Michael Vaughan can call the Fruitland Police Department at 208-642-6006. 

Dee Warner

  • Lenawee County
  • Went Missing: April 24, 2021
  • Status: Pending

Dee Warner, 52, the mother of four grown children and another daughter from her second marriage to Dale Warner, vanished April 2021. Police labeled Dale Warner as a person of interest in the case. Dee Warner’s daughter said her mom and stepfather had been fighting a lot about their farm and trucking business. However, Dale Warner’s attorney said his client was “open,” “available” and “approachable” when talking to law enforcement, and maintained an Apple Watch can prove his innocence. Authorities have said this is not a cold case, and they will keep looking until they find a resolution for Dee Warner’s family.

Anyone with information about the disappearance of Dee Warner should call the Michigan State Police tip line at 855-MICH-TIP (855-642-4847) or go to

Zachary Bernhardt

  • Clearwater, Florida
  • Went Missing: Sept. 11, 2000
  • Status: Pending

Zachary Bernhardt went missing in the early morning hours of Sept. 11, 2000, when he was an 8-year-old boy living in Clearwater, Florida. Even as 22 years have gone by, little is known about his disappearance. His mother told police she left their apartment unlocked the night he disappeared. She worked late shifts, and had left to take a walk and swim in the middle of the night. When she returned, her son was gone.

Anyone with information about Zachary Bernhardt’s disappearance should call Clearwater Police detectives at 727-562-4242.

Madalina Cojocari

  • Cornelius, North Carolina
  • Went Missing: Nov. 23, 2022
  • Status: Pending

Madalina Cojocari’s mother told a school resource officer that her daughter was missing Dec. 15 — but admitted she hadn’t seen the girl since Nov. 23. Law enforcement’s search efforts for the 11-year-old included nearby Lake Cornelius. The Cornelius Police Department said investigators have followed more than 250 leads, spanning across state lines and even the globe, and went door to door to 245 homes. Police later released footage of Cojocari getting off her school bus Nov. 21 — the last day authorities have independent confirmation she was last seen. Cojocari’s mother and stepfather were arrested for failing to report her missing.  North Carolina law requires parents report the disappearance of a child within 24 hours. “Madalina is a beautiful, smart, kind, and loving 11-year-old girl with greatness in her future. We are desperate to find her right now,” her family wrote in a letter.

Anyone with information about Madalina Cojocari’s disappearance can call 704-892-7773.

Kierra Coles

  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Went Missing: Oct. 2, 2018
  • Status: Pending
Kierra Coles has not been seen since Oct. 2, 2018. (Courtesy, Coles family)

Kierra Coles, 26, was three months pregnant and excited for a new beginning when she disappeared from Chicago’s South Side. She had saved up for her own car, which was found Oct. 2, 2018, half a block away from her home. Inside the car, investigators found Coles’ prenatal bag, a packed lunch and cellphone. Coles’ mother, Karen Phillips, called police to do a well-being check after not being able to get in touch with her daughter Oct. 3. They found out she wasn’t there, and Phillips made a missing persons report.

This year, the Chicago Police Department released the last known video of Coles. It shows her walking into her apartment, then leaving her home hours later in a car with a man. CPD said in an email to NewsNation that there have not been any updates in Coles’ case since. At the time she went missing, Coles had a steady job and apartment. “I know she’d be a wonderful mother,” Phillips said.

Anyone with information about the disappearance of Kierra Coles should call the Chicago Police at 833-408-0069 or 312-746-7330 or online at

Alexis Ware

  • Anderson County, South Carolina
  • Went Missing: Jan. 30, 2022
  • Status: Pending

Alexis Ware, 29, would tell her family “she wasn’t going to make it to her 30th birthday.” Then, Jan. 30, the aspiring social media model known for being “the life of the party” disappeared. Ware met up with T.J. Patterson, the father of her son, the day she went missing. She loaded her 2-year-old and 9-year-old into Patterson’s vehicle, then followed him to a different location in her red Honda when she suddenly sped off. It was the last time Ware was seen. The only real clues to her whereabouts are a cellphone, wallet, keys and a ball of clothes found in her car, which was found in McCormick, South Carolina. Patterson is not considered a suspect by police.

Anyone with information about the disappearance of Alexis Ware can call the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office at 864-260-4405.

Cieha Taylor

  • Hillsborough County, Florida
  • February 2020
  • Status: Pending

Cieha Taylor, 28, got into a fight with her boyfriend the night she went missing. She was supposed to go to a friend’s house but never arrived. Days later, Taylor’s car, along with nearly everything she owned, was found by a friend. A missing person’s report was filed with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department, which led to the discovery that officers had spotted Taylor’s vehicle days before, running while parked on train tracks. No one was inside.

Police say they found themselves at a dead end in the case. Taylor’s mother, Canitha, says her daughter had a “unique personality” with a smile that would light up a room. “She met no strangers. I think everybody always loved to be around her,” Canitha Taylor said. Recently, according to NewsNation’s local affiliate WFLA, a local group called We Are The Essentials held an event to search for Cieha Taylor in November. 

Anyone with information about the disappearance of Cieha Taylor can call the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office at 813-247-8200.

Tionda and Diamond Bradley

  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Went Missing: July 2001 
  • Status: Pending

It’s been 21 years since Tionda and Diamond Bradley, aged 10 and 3, respectively, were first reported missing. But for their family, they’re still stuck in 2001, and time barely dulls the grief. The Bradley girls’ mother left their Chicago apartment July 6, but when she returned from work around 11 a.m., both girls were gone. A note said the girls had gone to the store and the park. Family members, though, say the note seemed “off” and that Tionda would have called her mom’s cellphone. The search for the sisters sparked the largest manhunt in Chicago police history, according to Detective Ed Carroll. Investigators eventually found a hair matching Tionda Bradley’s in the trunk of a car, but there was nothing conclusive enough to make an arrest. The case has been a roller coaster of emotions, false sightings and hoaxes — but the family says they are not giving up hope.

Anyone with information about the disappearance of the Bradley sisters should call the Chicago Police Department at 312-747-5789.

Beau Mann

  • Los Angeles, California 
  • Went Missing: Nov. 30, 2021
  • Status: Pending

Beau Mann, 39, had been looking forward to marrying his longtime partner Jason Abate in June. But Mann has been missing since last fall, when he was last seen at a Los Angeles 7-Eleven. Minutes before he left the store, a 911 emergency text was sent from Mann’s phone. LAPD officers did make an attempt to contact him — but there was no response. The LAPD said that Mann requested an Uber ride from the 7-Eleven, then was dropped off in the area of Berkley Street in Santa Monica. Mann is the founder and CEO of a support network for people recovering from drug addiction called Sober Grid. As someone who suffered from addiction himself, Mann was fulfilling a desire to help people in similar situations, Abate said. “Beau built an amazing company and led a phenomenal team of talented individuals. The Sober Grid team continues to work diligently to protect his legacy and continue our Mission,” Sober Grid says on its website. 

Anyone with information on the disappearance of Beau Mann should call the LAPD Missing Persons Unit at 213-996-1800.

Alexis Patterson

  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin 
  • Went Missing: May 3, 2002 
  • Status: Pending 

Alexis Patterson was 7 when she walked to school with her stepfather 20 years ago. She never made it home, but her mother has not given up looking for her. Patterson’s stepfather says he watched her walk up to the school’s playground before returning home. However, the girl’s teachers say she never made it inside.

In 2016, Ayanna Patterson, Alexis’ mom, got a tip from a journalist that a young woman living in the Midwest was Alexis. Ayanna Patterson said when she collected the woman’s DNA, it was a match. Ayanna Patterson said the Milwaukee Police Department never did their own DNA testing, and that they haven’t been doing enough for her daughter. The Milwaukee Police Department, on the other hand, said they did test it, and the young woman’s DNA did not match Alexis. The Milwaukee Police Department sent a statement to NewsNation in May saying detectives have thoroughly investigated each lead in Alexis Patterson’s case. “She was an amazing little girl. She was my sun, my shining star,” Ayanna Patterson said.

Anyone with information on the disappearance of Alexis Patterson should call the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office at 414-278-4921.

Bryan Hasel

  • Orange County, Florida
  • Went Missing: November 2021 
  • Status: Pending
Bryan “Vladek” Hasel’s father Steve holds a photo of the missing 23-year-old Marine.

People who knew 23-year-old Marine Bryan “Vladek” Hasel said he would smile at strangers on the street and help the homeless. But Hasel was struggling with his mental health, which his family believes could have something to do with his disappearance. There is a massive wooded area behind Hasel’s apartment complex, thick with trees and bushes, where his family thinks he may have gone.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office said in December that there are no updates, but the case remains open and active. “Our detectives are still seeking information about his whereabouts and are following up on any tips that come in,” the sheriff’s office said in an email to NewsNation. “We want nothing more than to be able to find Vladek and bring answers to his family.”

Anyone with information about the disappearance of Bryan Hasel is urged to call the Orange County Sheriff’s Office at 407-836-4357.

Dulce Maria Alavez

  • Bridgeton, New Jersey
  • Went Missing: Sept. 16, 2019
  • Status: Pending

Then 5 years old, Dulce Maria Alavez has been missing for a little more than three years. She was last seen playing by a swing set in Bridgeton with her little brother. There is not a lot of evidence of what happened to Dulce, but authorities believe she may have been lured into the back of a red van by a 5-foot-8-inch male, about 30-35 years old with acne. Cumberland County Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae told NewsNation in April that in the absence of evidence suggesting Dulce was dead, hope was being held out she could be found alive. Webb-McRae said in a December email to NewsNation that the case is still open, and investigators continue to get leads and sightings from the public. “Every lead is followed up on,” she said. Dulce’s family says the little girl loved princesses and was “spunky.” A Christmas tree lighting in her memory was planned for Dec. 16.

Anyone with information about the disappearance of Dulce Maria Alavez should call the Bridgerton City Police Department at 856-451-0033.

Ciera Breland

  • Johns Creek, Georgia
  • Went Missing: February 2022
  • Status: Pending

When she went missing, Ciera Breland was 31 and a hard worker who eventually fulfilled her dream of becoming a lawyer. She, her husband Xavier, their dog and 5-month-old drove around 550 miles from Indiana to Georgia to visit their parents earlier this year. Then, Breland drove herself and the baby alone to her parents’ home in Cleveland, Georgia on Feb. 19. Breland stayed at her parents’ house until Feb. 20. Six days later, the parents got a call from the Carmel, Indiana police notifying them that their daughter was missing.

Xavier Breland was a person of interest in her case, and remained so as of December, Lt. Deb Cole of the Johns Creek Police Department said.  He is currently in jail on contempt of court charges, although these are not connected to Cierra Breland’s disappearance. Earlier this year, he was found not guilty in an unrelated stalking case. Defense lawyer Bryan Howard, who is representing Xavier Breland, says he is innocent, telling WSB-TV that his client has “cooperated with police.”

Anyone with information about the disappearance of Ciera Breland can call the Johns Creek Police Tip Line at 678-474-1610.

Oakley Carlson

  • Oakville, Washington
  • Went Missing: February 2021
  • Status: Pending

Oakley Carlson, 5, has been gone since last year, after she was returned to her biological parents. In her early childhood, Oakley lived with a foster family, but after she returned to her biological parents, her school principal contacted the Grays Harbor Sheriff’s Office after learning none of her siblings had seen the little girl. Police interviewed the children at the house, who confirmed that none of them had seen Oakley, and there were other signs she had not been at the house, as well.

Oakley’s biological parents, Jordan Bowers and Andrew Carlson, are currently in jail on charges of reckless abandonment of a dependent child and reckless endangerment with drugs. Bowers was sentenced to 20 months in prison in April on charges unrelated to her daughter’s disappearance, according to KING 5, while Andrew Carlson was sentenced to 12 months. 

Anyone with information about the disappearance of Oakley Carlson can call the Grays Harbor Sheriff’s Office at 360-533-8765.

Asha Degree

  • Shelby, North Carolina
  • Went Missing: Feb. 14, 2000
  • Status: Pending

More than two decades ago, then-9-year-old Asha Degree walked away from her family’s home in rural North Carolina in the middle of the night, and hasn’t been found since. Her backpack was eventually found in trash bags 18 months later. However, the Dr. Suess library book and New Kids on the Block T-shirt found in the bag were not Degree’s. Degree went missing while her family was asleep — she packed her bookbag, snuck out of the house and disappeared. Known as “Shelby’s Sweetheart,” Degree’s disappearance rocked the city. 

Anyone with information about the disappearance of Asha Degree can call the tip line at 704-672-6100 or the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at 800-THE-LOST.

Codi Bigsby

  • Hampton, Virginia
  • Went Missing: Jan. 31, 2022
  • Status: Pending 
Codi Bigsby (WAVY)

Codi Bigsby’s father, Cory, called 911 in late January to say his 4-year-old son wasn’t in their apartment. A massive search effort, including federal and state investigations, failed to find Codi.

NewsNation local affiliate WAVY  reports Commonwealth’s Attorney Anton Bell said in April that Bigsby is still missing, but “presumed to be deceased.” Cory Bigsby faces 30 charges, and seven of them involve child neglect, according to 13 News Now, but these are not related to Codi’s disappearance. Cory Bigsby has been in jail since Feb. 3, and his next trial date is set for Jan. 27.  The attorney formerly representing Cory Bigsby, Jeffrey Ambrose, said police mishandled the case and that his client had nothing to do with his son’s disappearance. Hampton Police Chief Mark Talbot, however, said in March there’s no evidence Bigsby was abducted, and the evidence they had did “not completely match the stories we have received.”

Anyone with information about the disappearance of Codi Bigsby should call the Hampton Police Department’s Crime Line at 888-LOCK-U-UP.

Rashan Anthony Francis

  • Scranton, Pennsylvania
  • Went Missing: Nov. 6, 2018
  • Status: Pending

Rashan Anthony Francis was a 42-year-old aspiring rapper who went missing after calling his mom, saying someone was after him. He was last seen near a McDonald’s near Scranton, Pennsylvania. Francis’ family says they don’t believe investigators took his case seriously. They have their own theories about what may have happened to him, and acknowledge that there’s a possibility that Francis may have had a mental health emergency.

Speaking to NewsNation in December, Scranton Police Chief Thomas Carroll said all of the department’s attempts to find Francis, including interviewing acquaintances, obtaining his cellphone records and tracking his movements, hit a roadblock. Eventually, Carroll said, they entered him as a missing person into the National Crime Information Center. There is no indication of foul play, Carroll said. “Rashan was alone the whole time,” Carroll said. “He was not being followed by any pedestrians.” Francis was recently married and had moved from the Bronx to Scranton to start a new job and new life.

Anyone with information about the disappearance of Rashan Anthony Francis can call the Scranton Police Department at 570-348-4134.

Maura Murray

  • Haverhill, New Hampshire
  • Went Missing: February 2004
  • Status: Pending

Maura Murray disappeared in 2004, when she was a 21-year-old nursing student at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Murray was driving on a country road when she lost control on a sharp turn and her car went off the road into a tree. Even though the airbags had deployed and the car had heavy damage, Murray refused help from a man driving by. By the time an officer arrived, the car was locked, and there was no sign of Murray.

After 18 years of searches and candlelight vigils, there are still no solid leads. Julie Murray recalled how smart her sister was in an interview with The Independent, saying she excelled through high school and had an almost-perfect score on the SATs.

Anyone with information about the disappearance of Maura Murray can call the New Hampshire State Police at 603-223-3648.

Chance Englebert

  • Gering, Nebraska
  • Went Missing: July 2019
  • Status: Pending

Chance Englebert, 25, vanished during a 2019 July Fourth trip to visit family in Gering, Nebraska. He was golfing with his wife’s family when he got upset over comments made about his new job. His wife, Baylee Englebert, picked him up and drove him back to her grandparents’ house, but he got out of the car and started walking away. Surveillance footage obtained by NewsNation shows Englebert walking through Gering around 7:50 p.m. the night he left Baylee in the car. In the video, he can be seen looking at his phone and taking a 90-degree turn to the left, as if he was following a map.

In recognition of Englebert’s 29th birthday, his maternal grandmother increased the reward offer for information to $220,000, according to the Star-Herald. A cowboy at heart, Englebert was known for his love of his family and his ranch, Englebert’s grandmother said in the newspaper.

Anyone with information about Chance Englebert’s disappearance can call the Gering Police Department at 308-436-6667.

Maya Millete 

  • Chula Vista, California
  • Went Missing: Jan. 7, 2021
  • Status: Pending

Maya Millete, 39, and her husband, Larry, lived in California’s Chula Vista neighborhood with their three young kids. Millete told family members she planned to file for divorce, saying “If anything happened to me, it’ll be Larry.” She disappeared the same day she contacted a divorce attorney.

Larry Millete has been arrested and charged with the killing of Maya Millete. Even though Maya Millete’s body was never found. police said they have a lot of circumstantial evidence that led to Larry Millete’s arrest. Larry Millete’s preliminary trial is set for Jan.11, CBS8 reports. NewsNation previously spoke to Larry Millete’s defense attorney, who said people should not jump to conclusions about the case. Maya Millete is remembered by those who loved her as a “giving and charitable person” with a big heart who juggled work and family, while also taking up hobbies involving nature.

Anyone with information about the disappearance of Maya Millete can call the Chula Vista Police Department at 619-691-5139.

Arianna Fitts

  • San Francisco, California
  • Went Missing: April 2016
  • Status: Pending

The disappearance of Arianna Fitts and the death of her mother, Nicole, are still a mystery after six years. Fitts was last seen in 2016, when she was 2 years old. She vanished after her mom’s body was found buried in a shallow grave at a San Francisco park. Nicole Fitts’ sister, Contessa, has been spending the better part of the last several years trying to find out what happened to her sister and niece. “(Arianna Fitts) has a very magnetic personality,” Contessa Fitts said. “She’s always getting the attention of anyone around her. She’s waving at people and people are waving back at her.” The case remains active and ongoing, the San Francisco FBI said in an email.

Anyone with information on the disappearance of Arianna Fitts is urged to call the San Francisco Police Department at 415-575-4444.

Dylan Rounds

  • Box Elder County, along the Nevada-Utah border
  • Went Missing: May 2022
  • Status: Pending 

Dylan Rounds wanted to own his own land for farming — which is what he was trying to do, living in an RV camper on his property in Box Elder County. On Memorial Day of this year, Rounds’ family traveled to see him, only to find his place was abandoned.  KTVX reports that one of Rounds’ neighbors was named as a suspect in Rounds’ disappearance, but no criminal charges have been filed. In October, authorities said the case is now a homicide investigation.

Anyone with information on the disappearance of Dylan Rounds can call the Box Elder Sheriff’s Office at 435-734-3800.

Allahnia Lenoir

  • Atlanta, Georgia 
  • Went Missing: July 30, 2022
  • Status: Pending

Allahnia Lenoir, 24, went missing this past summer. On July 30, she entered an Atlanta apartment building with a friend at around 8 p.m. But while the surveillance video shows the friend leaving around midnight, there was no sign of Lenoir, her father said.

Fox5Atlanta reports that police now believe she was killed. During a vigil for Lenoir’s 25th birthday in December, people came together wearing pink, which Lenoir was always wearing, according to Fox5, and reflecting on how much they loved her. Police believe two men, Diante Reynolds and Steven Obiate, killed her. Obiate is still on the run, while Reynolds is in custody at Fulton County Jail.

Anyone with information about the disappearance of Allahnia Lenoir is urged to call the Atlanta Police Homicide/Adult Missing Person Unit at 404-546-4235.

Jance Varela

  • Loveland, Colorado 
  • Went Missing: June 2022
  • Status: Pending
Jance Varela – missing

Jance Varela, 41, has a rare genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow on vital organs. He spoke with his mother before he went missing, telling her he was diagnosed with a brain tumor, which his mother believes could be impairing his judgment.

A Larimer County spokesperson told the Loveland Reporter-Herald that there’s no indication a crime has been committed in his case, and it’s possible that Varela is “where he wants to be” and just not letting his family know. While the sheriff’s office has opened a missing persons file, the newspaper reported that the department isn’t actively searching for him. However, in the months since Jance Varela’s disappearance, his mother has gained the support of people worldwide, including a group called Justice Takes Flight, according to the Reporter-Herald. Linda Varela Adams says her son’s personality is “bigger than life,” and he always has a smile on his face. 

Anyone with information about the disappearance of Jance Varela is asked to please contact the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office at 970-498-5100.

Rio Boyd

  • Spanaway, Washington
  • Went Missing: Oct. 17, 2022
  • Status: Pending

Rio Boyd disappeared after leaving her family’s residence to walk to a friend’s house. Boyd had just gotten a new phone that day. It was later found in a field near her home. Nothing on it, though, revealed Boyd’s whereabouts. “She’s (a) really, really good friend,” Naomi Welsh, one of her best friends, said in a video tribute. “If she feels like you know you’re going down the wrong path or you’re doing something bad, she’ll speak up and she’ll be truthful to you.”

Anyone with information about the disappearance of Rio Boyd should contact the Pierce County Sheriff”s Department at 253-287-4455 and reference case No. 2229201282.

Found (or Declared) Dead

Quinton Simon

  • Chatham County, Georgia
  • Went Missing: Oct. 5, 2022
  • Status: Found Dead

Leilani Simon reported her 20-month-old son Quinton was missing from their home Oct. 5, launching an extensive investigation. A search team found what they believed to be Simon’s remains in a landfill. Leilani Simon was arrested and charged with murder while the investigation continues. However, a big question that remains in the case is how the toddler died, and if he was dead before his body was put in a dumpster. “This is a heartbreaking development for everyone who loved Quinton, for the many people who came to know him after his disappearance and for our department,” Hadley said.

Alexis Gabe

  • Amador County, California
  • Went Missing: Jan. 27, 2022
  • Status: Found Dead

Gabe was initially reported missing early in 2022 after she didn’t return from the home of her former boyfriend, Marshall Jones. Investigators later discovered a handwritten note from Jones, with what apparently were directions leading to where Gabe’s remains were found.

On Nov. 3, police received a call about human remains by a highway around Amador County that were later confirmed to be Gabe’s through dental records. While the condition of the remains did not tell police specifically how Gabe died, they believe they were separated and scattered. Investigators focused on Jones as a significant person of interest and determined there was probable cause to arrest him for Gabe’s murder. In June, officers fatally shot Jones during a confrontation in Kent, Washington. They believe he is the “sole perpetrator” in Gabe’s death.

Kiely Rodni

  • Placer County, California
  • Went Missing: Aug. 6, 2022
  • Status: Found Dead

Kiely Rodni vanished Aug. 6 after going to a “senior send-off” party in northern California. The 16-year-old’s body was eventually found by a search and dive team, Adventures with Purpose, inside her car. The vehicle was upside down in 14 feet of water in Prosser Reservoir, just a few hundred yards away from the Prosser Family Campground in Truckee.

Placer County Sheriff’s Office and a dozen other law enforcement agencies searched Tahoe National Forest for the recent graduate for about two weeks. The Nevada County Sheriff’s Officer Coroner declared her death accidental in October.

“This ruling is based on the pathologist’s finding that her death was the result of drowning and that there was no other information to suggest she was the victim of foul play,” the sheriff’s office said. Lindsey Rodni-Nieman described her daughter as a special and dynamic woman who loved playing music, science, baking and dancing in an interview with NewsNation.

Eliza Fletcher

  • Memphis, Tennessee
  • Went Missing: Sept. 2, 2022
  • Status: Found Dead

Eliza Fletcher, 34, was a teacher who authorities say was abducted and forced into a vehicle while jogging near the University of Memphis campus. Fletcher’s body was eventually found in the rear of a vacant duplex apartment, about a half-mile from where policed believed the only suspect in her disappearance was seen cleaning his clothes and vehicle.

U.S. marshals arrested the suspect, Cleotha Abston, after police detected his DNA on a pair of sandals found where Fletcher was last seen. “Liza was such a joy to so many — her family, colleagues, students, parents, members of her Second Presbyterian Church congregation and everyone that knew her,” her family said in a statement.  

Misrach Ewunetie

  • Mercer County, New Jersey
  • Went Missing: Oct. 14, 2022
  • Status: Found Dead
Misrach Ewunetie

Misrach Ewunetie was reported missing after her family became concerned when she missed an appointment regarding her U.S. citizenship application. Ewunetie, 20, was a junior at Princeton who came to the U.S. from Ethiopia with her family in 2008.

Authorities located her body at 1 p.m. Oct. 20, 2022. No signs of trauma were detected, and the prosecutor’s office said the death does not appear suspicious or criminal in nature. In the Daily Princetonian, she was remembered as a “precious, beautiful soul” and a “great listener.”

Her death was later ruled a suicide, according to the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office.

If you or anyone you love is experiencing mental health issues or suicidal thoughts, please reach out for help. You can call or text the number 988, which will direct you to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. It is free and available 24 hours a day.

Jolissa Fuentes

  • Selma, California
  • Went Missing: August 2022
  • Status: Found Dead

Jolissa Fuentes, 22, went missing in Selma, California. She was last seen at an AM/PM convenience store at 4 a.m. and had been at a family party earlier that night. The Selma police and Fresno sheriff departments worked together on the case, and Adventures with Purpose joined with the search, as well.

Fuentes’ body was recovered in a rural spot of Fresno County in October, after Selma Police Chief Rudy Alcaraz found evidence that Fuentes’ car went off the roadway in that area. Search and rescue teams rappelled more than 400 feet down a cliff to retrieve Fuentes’ body. Delila Sanchez, according to NewsNation affiliate KSEE/KGPE, was best friends with Fuentes since middle school. “She was the smartest girl in math class,” she said, the station reported.

Harmony Montgomery

Source: Manchester police
  • Manchester, New Hampshire
  • Went Missing: 2019; Reported missing: 2021
  • Status: Found Dead

Harmony Montgomery was last seen in 2019 when she was 5 years old. But authorities weren’t alerted she was missing until 2021. Before her death, Harmony lived with her father and stepmother.

Her father had been jailed over child abuse charges. Kayla Montgomery, her stepmother, was accused of lying to a grand jury and illegally collecting food stamps in Harmony’s name. In October, Harmony’s father, Adam, was arrested in connection with his daughter’s death. Police said he also destroyed her remains. Her disappearance sparked a state investigation into why her father was awarded custody, despite having a violent history.

Jodi Huisentruit 

  • Mason City, Iowa
  • Went Missing: June 27,1995
  • Status: Declared Dead 

Jodi Huisentruit was supposed to show up for work at the local television news station KIMT in Iowa at 3:30 a.m. June 27, 1995. But she never did, and hasn’t been seen since. Huisentruit’s co-workers called the police to check on her.

When they arrived at Huisentruit’s apartment shortly after 7 a.m., police find nothing out of the ordinary inside, but outside there were signs of a possible struggle found next to her car, still in the parking lot. Her blow dryer, earring and hairspray were found scattered near the car, and her car key was bent. Police said this evidence indicated foul play. Police have classified Huisentuit’s case as a missing person, but her family had the journalist declared dead in 2001. A tree planted in her honor remains outside the KIMT offices to this day. 

Naomi Irion

  • Fernley, Nevada
  • Went Missing: March 12, 2022
  • Status: Found Dead 

Naomi Irion, 18, was kidnapped from a Walmart parking lot while on her way to work in rural Fernley, Nevada, and reported missing by her family shortly after. Troy Driver, 41, was arrested in connection to her kidnapping. He is believed to have killed her on or before March 25.

Investigators acting on a tip found Iron’s body in a grave. A coroner ruled that Irion died from multiple gunshot wounds to the chest and head. Driver was charged with sexual assault, kidnapping and first-degree murder, according to the Reno Gazette-Journal.

His attorneys have hinted that he might have a case for an insanity plea, the newspaper reports. Driver is due back in court for preliminary hearings Feb. 16 and 17. Irion’s family says she was a magnetic and genuine young person, who regularly communicated with her friends and family.

Cassie Carli

  • Navarre Beach, Florida
  • Went Missing: March 27, 2022
  • Status: Found Dead 

Cassie Carli, 37, was last seen in a parking lot picking up her 4-year-old daughter from her ex-boyfriend, Marcus Spanevelo, investigators said. The little girl was found safe with Spanevelo the next day. But Carli’s body was found a week later in a shallow grave at an Alabama barn. Spanevelo was arrested on charges of tampering with evidence, giving false information concerning a missing persons investigation and destruction of evidence.

Florida prosecutors dropped their case against him Oct. 14, NewsNation local affiliate WIAT reported. On Dec. 6, a grand jury formally indicted Spanevelo on abuse of corpse charges in connection with Carli’s death and disappearance, according to WIAT. As of that time, Spanavelo remained in the St. Clair County Jail on no bond. Cassie Carli’s sister, Raeann, remembered her as a strong-willed, free-spirited woman, who would “fight her own battles” not to burden anyone else, according to the Pensacola News Journal.

Jennifer Dulos

  • New Cannan, Conn. 
  • Went Missing: May 2019
  • Status: Body never found

Jennifer Dulos, 50 at the time, was locked in a bitter divorce and custody battle with her husband, Fotis Dulos, when her disappearance shocked the town of New Cannan. She had been seen dropping her kids off at school on the morning of May 24, 2019. Investigators found video showing the SUV returning home around 8 a.m.

Fotis Dulos was charged with murder after police say surveillance footage showed him transporting his wife’s body in the back of a truck, then taking the vehicle to a car wash to clean it out. Fotis Dulos’ girlfriend, Michelle Troconis, and his attorney and friend Kent Mawhinney, were charged with conspiracy to commit murder for allegedly helping him. Surveillance footage shows Fotis Dulos and Troconis driving around the day Jennifer Dulos disappeared and disposing of various items. Her body was never found.

“We feel the immeasurable loss of her person every day,” a spokesperson for the family said. “We also delight in her presence and celebrate her spirit as they manifest in her five incredible children. Above all, we miss Jennifer more than words can express.” Fotis Dulos ended up killing himself in January 2020, and left a note saying he refused “to spend even an hour in jail for something I had nothing to do with.” The cases against Troconis and Mawhinney are continuing. 

According to the Hartford Courant, Judge Gary J. White said he may order a hearing next year for Troconis. She has pleaded not guilty. Mawhinney has also pleaded not guilty and is currently in the medical isolation unit of the McDougall-Walker Correctional Institution on a $1,500,000 bond.

If you or anyone you love is experiencing mental health issues or suicidal thoughts, please reach out for help. You can call or text the number 988, which will direct you to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. It is free and available 24 hours a day.

Lily Peters

10-year-old Lily Peters
  • Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin 
  • Went Missing: April 2022
  • Status: Found Dead

Lily Peters, 10, was reported missing by her father when she did not return home after a visit to her aunt’s house about five blocks away. Numerous law enforcement agencies scoured the area where police discovered a bicycle in the woods near a walking trail. Eventually, she was found dead near the trail in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, just north of Eau Claire.

A 14-year-old boy is now accused of sexually assaulting and murdering the 10-year-old. Authorities took the teen, who they say was known to Peters, into custody and charged him with first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree sexual assault and first-degree sexual assault of a child younger than 13. WEAU News reports that the next court date for the lone teenage suspect is set for Aug. 7 of next year. Peters’ family says the girl wanted to spread kindness to the world. A family friend called her “one of a kind,” and “amazing,” according to WBAY.

Ariana Taylor

  • Gary, Indiana 
  • Went Missing: April 2022
  • Status: Found Dead 

Ariana Taylor’s SUV ran off the northbound lanes of I-65 around 1:30 a.m. April 3. The car had struck a chain-link fence, and some poles had gone through the front windshield of the vehicle. But when the crash was discovered around 8 a.m., there were no signs of Taylor.

After 10 days of searching the marshy, rough terrain around the car, Taylor’s body was discovered by a K-9 team. Police said they interviewed the last people to see Taylor, and have not found evidence of foul play. Her death was later ruled an accident by a county coroner, NewsNation local affiliate WGN wrote. According to her autopsy, her cause of death was trauma from a motor vehicle accident, complicated with drowning. Taylor had worked for Albanese Candy Factory and attended Trico University of Beauty Culture. 

Meghan Marohn

  • Lee, Massachusetts
  • Went Missing: March 2022
  • Status: Found Dead

Meghan Marohn, 42, was a 10th-grade teacher who loved the outdoors and hiking. She went to the Berkshires in western Massachusetts for the last weekend of March, but her family got worried when they didn’t hear from her for several days. Eventually, they found her car at Longcope Park, which is a 46-acre area with hiking trails. Searchers combed the area using dogs, drones and helicopters for more than a week. Her body was eventually found Sept. 1, not far from Longcope, and authorities confirmed the remains were Marohn’s three days later, according to the Berkshire Eagle.

Police have said they do not believe someone harmed Marohn, and investigators have said from the beginning they do not have the evidence to suspect foul play, the newspaper reported. Peter Naple, Marohn’s brother, said she touched the lives of countless students. One person who donated to a GoFundMe Naple set up for his sister says Marohn was one of her son’s favorite teachers and inspired him to read.

Tommy Howe

  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Went Missing: Jan. 22, 2022
  • Status: Found Dead

Tommy Howe’s body was recovered in the Des Plaines River, near a suburb of Chicago, nearly a month after the 24-year-old disappeared. On Jan.22, he crashed on a highway in the northern suburbs of Chicago after hitting a guardrail, then veering back into traffic and hitting another car.

The two vehicles stopped in the median, after which Howe got out of the car and went to a nearby forest preserve. His autopsy indicates Howe died from signs consistent with drowning, NewsNation local affiliate WGN said

Ahrea’l Smith

  • Northumberland County, Virginia
  • Went Missing: Jan. 12, 2022
  • Status: Found Dead

Ahrea’l Smith was last seen leaving the convenience store where she worked, taking the trash outside. She was not seen again and her car was found still running outside the store. Lydia Smith, her older sister, previously told NewsNation that Ahrea’l texted her about a strange person outside the store.

Tyrone N. Samuel, 50, of Heathsville, was arrested Jan. 15 and charged with Smith’s abduction. Authorities eventually found a body on a property in Heathsville that matched Smith, NewsNation local affiliate WAVY reported, so Samuel was later charged with first-degree murder. He is set to stand trial in 2023, according to the Rappahannock Record. Lydia Smith, Ahrea’l’s sister, told NewsNation’s local affiliate WRIC she was just beginning her life. “She was loving. Tell it like it is … a free spirit.”

Amber Hagerman

  • Arlington, Texas
  • Went Missing: Jan. 13, 1996
  • Status: Found Dead

The case of 9-year-old Amber Hagerman was never solved, but her legacy has been a long one. Hers was the disappearance that inspired Amber Alerts, which are messages that ask the public for help finding abducted children. A single eyewitness to Amber’s kidnapping told police he saw a black truck approach her as she rode in the parking lot across from his house. The suspect, he said, ran up behind Hagerman, grabbed her under her arms, and lifted her off her bike.

Four days later, Hagerman’s body was found in a creek bed a couple of miles from where she was taken. In the months following Hagerman’s death, Dallas-area broadcasters worked with police to establish the Amber Alert system. “It’s another legacy for my daughter, that she didn’t die in vain,” said Hagerman’s mother, Donna Williams. “So, I’m very proud of my daughter for all she has done for our children here.”

Brendan Santo

  • Lansing, Michigan
  • Went Missing: October 2021
  • Status: Found Dead

Brendan Santo, 18, was a freshman at Grand Valley State University when he went missing while visiting friends at Michigan State University for Halloween. Ryan Robison, a private investigator working with the Santo family, was reviewing underwater video when he saw something he strongly suspected to be Santos’ body, and first responders confirmed it was.

Chris Rozman, an inspector with MSU Police and Public Safety, said there is no reason to believe foul play is involved. “Brendan was kind, polite, considerate of others, fun, and humble,” his obituary said.

Taylour Young

  • Dallas, Texas 
  • Went Missing: Dec. 9, 2021
  • Status: Found Dead

Taylour Young, 25, was last seen in 2021, when surveillance video showed his car pulling up to an ATM in Houston during his lunch break. His cellphone was later found in the bushes next to the ATM after his mother and girlfriend used a tracking app to locate it. Young’s remains were found in the trunk of his car Jan. 19, 2022 in Dallas.“He’s really the most selfless human being I’ve ever known,” his friend Christian Gorgy said. “It just makes no sense that anybody would want to do this and I can’t even wrap my head around it.”

Chrissy Powell 

  • San Antonio, Texas
  • Went Missing: July 5, 2022
  • Status: Found Dead

Chrissy Powell left her house in a rush July 5. Ring doorbell footage shows her leaving her home quickly. She left her phone behind, but never ended up arriving to work that day. She told her employers at a legal firm that she overslept and would be late, but when she never showed, the office manager went to Powell’s home to investigate.

According to My, Powell was found dead in her vehicle at a shopping center July 23. Officials told the news outlet that Powell died from “hyperthermia complicating from ethanol intoxication,” and ruled it an accident.

Juan Almanza Zavala and Janette Pantoja 

  • Reno, Nevada
  • Went Missing: Aug. 6, 2022
  • Status: Found Dead

Juan Almanza Zavala, 36, and Janette Pantoja, 29, were coming home from a music and car show in Reno, Nevada. The two had dated for years. Though they were not dating at the time of their disappearance, the two still maintained a good relationship.

They were last seen in a blue Ford Explorer. A couple of weeks later, the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office confirmed a man and woman were found after another man said he spotted a vehicle down an embankment Wednesday night. Both bodies were found outside the car, and identified as Zavala and Pantoja. 

Peter Salvino

  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Went Missing: Dec. 18, 2022
  • Status: Found Dead

Peter Salvino, 25, a doctoral student in Northwestern’s interdepartmental neuroscience program, was supposed to meet his father for a Chicago Bears game Dec. 18, 2022 — but never showed. He was last known to have left a party the night before in the 400 block of North Geneva Terrace of Chicago, wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and maroon pants. Salvino’s body was later found by a Chicago Police Department dive team in Diversey Harbor. Brother-in-law Scotty Gruzska called Salvino an “incredible guy” and said on “NewsNation Live” that he was a Bears and Cubs fan.

Found Alive

Brandon Cuellar

  • San Jose, California 
  • Went Missing: April 2022
  • Status: Found Alive

A 3-month-old infant, Brandon Cuellar, who was snatched from his San Francisco Bay Area home this past spring but was later located alive. Police say a man entered the residence and grabbed Cuellar while his grandmother was unpacking groceries from a car. The baby’s mother was at work when the kidnapping happened. Brandon, whose mother testified in court earlier this year, appeared to be happy and healthy, NewsNation local affiliate KRON reported.

According to KRON, Yesenia Guadalupe Ramirez and Jose Ramon Portillo, the two suspects, pleaded no contest to all counts against them including kidnapping, attempted kidnapping and conspiracy to commit kidnapping. Ramirez faces up to 14 years in prison, while Portillo could get up to five. 

Aunisty Elliott

  • Crown Heights, New York
  • Went Missing: July 27, 2022
  • Status: Found Alive

Aunisty Elliot walked away from her home on the morning of July 27. Family and friends handed out flyers and posted her picture everywhere. She was later found safe more than a week later, FOX5 NY reported.

Juana Arellano-Garnica

  • Clinton, Illinois
  • Went Missing: Aug. 21, 2022
  • Status: Found Alive

Jauna Arellano-Garnica, 32, left her house around 9 p.m. one August night, saying she was getting a drink, but she never showed at the nearby bar. However, the Clinton Police Department announced it called off the search for the missing mother Aug. 25, WICS reported, after she made personal contact with law enforcement. Police said she left the area voluntarily, and there was no evidence of criminal wrongdoing.

Kason and Kyair Thomass

  • Columbia, Ohio
  • Went Missing: December 2022
  • Status: Found Alive

Twins Kason and Kyair Thomass were in their car seats when their mom stopped at a pizza shop in Columbus around 9:45 p.m. Police said she left the vehicle running while going into the shop but after entering, noticed the car was gone. An Amber Alert was issued, and the suspect, Nalah Jackson, was seen on surveillance video at a gas station, where she asked an employee for money while driving the stolen 2010 Honda accord. Kyair Thomass was later found at Dayton International Airport while Kason Thomass was found in a stolen Honda Accord near an Indianapolis Papa John’s. Both were safe. Jackson was arrested. According to the Indianapolis Star, Jackson faces two counts of kidnapping in Ohio.

Melissa Highsmith

  • Fort Worth, Texas
  • Went Missing: August 1971
  • Status: Found Alive

Melissa Highsmith, now 53, was allegedly abducted when she was just 22 months old by a woman who answered her family’s newspaper ad seeking a babysitter. It launched a five-decadeslong search for the little girl, whose father never stopped looking for her.

“I’m very angry about the way she was kidnapped, and the kidnapper taking 51 years of my joy away from me,” Jeffrie Highsmith said. Melissa Highsmith’s story resurfaced when an anonymous tipster said a woman she spotted in South Carolina looked like the age-progression photo released by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

It encouraged Jeffrie Highsmith to use a DNA kit from 23andMe, and through that, the father and daughter were able to find each other. It turned out Melissa had lived most of her life 10 minutes down the road from where she was taken. Family and law enforcement are now working on how to move forward. For now, though, the Highsmiths know they plan to spend the rest of their lives getting to know one another.

Do you have a case you want us to know about? Or a piece of information that could be key in helping families find their loved ones? Suggest a case or share new information and tips with NewsNation’s “Missing” here.

Entries in this article were compiled by Cassie Buchman.