Transcript: 107. The Strange Disappearance of Phoenix Coldon | USA

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Our cases have been researched using open source and archive materials. It deals with true crimes and real people. Some parts are graphic in nature and listener discretion is advised. Each episode is produced with the utmost respect to the victims, their families and loved ones.

East St. Louis, Illinois is a city across the Mississippi River from Downtown St. Louis, Missouri. In 2013, based on violent crime statistics, East St. Louis was ranked the most dangerous city in the United States.

Because of the high unemployment rate, it is a poor area where criminal activity is the only way to make a living for many residents. Wide streets with abandoned, boarded-up buildings set the backdrop for a community riddled with issues. Drug use is prevalent and frequent shootings are commonplace. Police do what they can, but with the sheer amount of crimes, it seems like the law of the street outranks the law of the state.

On a bleak winter’s day in December 2011, officer Perry from East St. Louis Police Department was called to the corner of 9th Street and St. Clair Avenue. At the traffic light he found an abandoned SUV with the ignition still on. The officer thought that it was probably a stolen vehicle that had been dumped – nothing unusual around those parts.

Officer Perry ran the plates, but the vehicle had not been reported stolen. He then called a towing company and arranged for the car to be taken to the tow yard. For two weeks the car stayed there, unclaimed until distraught parents of a missing young woman came forward.

23-year-old Phoenix Coldon was last seen reversing out the driveway of her parents’ Spanish Lake home in Missouri. Finding her abandoned car was the first clue in the harrowing search for their daughter. If anything, the discovery of her car, only deepened the mystery into Phoenix’s disappearance. Almost ten years on, her parents still hope that there is a chance, they might find her alive…

>>Intro Music

Phoenix Lucille Reeves was born in California on the 23rd of May 1988 to a single mother, Goldia. When Goldia married computer systems engineer, Lawrence Coldon, he took  Phoenix in as his own daughter and eventually adopted her. By the time the family moved to Missouri, Phoenix’s last name was changed to Coldon.

The family of three settled into the community of Spanish Lake. Their home on Countrybrook Drive was quiet and peaceful. Goldia Lawrence, a social worker, was a religious woman who raised her daughter following Christian values. They went to church together and prayed together at home.

Phoenix always did well at school, and she was well-liked by friends from school and church. Everyone who knew Phoenix liked her – she was kind and polite. Although she was somewhat reserved, she had a great sense of humour and loved sports. Her parents supported their gifted daughter in every way possible, making sure she had only the best opportunities.

Goldia quit her job and started home-schooling Phoenix when she was in the 6th grade. Phoenix’s friends said she would have preferred going through her high school years with her peers. Most afternoons, Phoenix waited at the bus stop for her neighbourhood friends to come home from school. Goldia always kept a vigilant eye on Phoenix’s friends, as she did not want her daughter to fall in with the wrong crowd.

Phoenix excelled at her academic work and dreamed of becoming a doctor. She showed a strong aptitude for music and could play the guitar and the piano. She also took violin lessons from a church friend who was the second seat with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. When she wasn’t making music, Phoenix loved playing basketball and spent a lot of time with male cousins watching games and shooting hoops. But fencing was her ultimate sport. Years of dedicated practice paid off when she became the junior champion of a local competition.

Phoenix had a bright future ahead of her. However, having been home-schooled, she was sheltered and very much under the control of her parents. Goldia had strong opinions about how a young Christian lady should behave. For the most part, Phoenix seemed to agree with her mom, they never really fought, and she never acted out. She was deeply religious herself and practised what her parents preached.

In 2007, after completing her high school certificate, Phoenix moved into an apartment with a friend. Goldia signed the lease. In this time, Phoenix was in regular contact with her parents and still attended church with them on Sundays.

After four years, Goldia felt that it was an unnecessary expense covering Phoenix’s rent. She studied at the University of Missouri at St Louis, so it made sense that she could live at home. After living independently for four years, in May 2011, Phoenix moved back home. But things weren’t the same as when Phoenix was a teenager. She clashed with her parents about everything and anything. Phoenix spent hours sitting in her car in the driveway, talking to friends on the phone. Goldia found it strange but wasn’t concerned. She felt her daughter only needed her privacy after returning to the family home, so she didn’t ask her about it.

One week before Christmas of 2011, 23-year-old Phoenix attended the Sunday morning church service at 11am. She played in the handbell choir, and when the service was done, she waited in her truck while her mom went to the weekly fellowship gathering. She asked her mom not to be too long. On the way home, they stopped at a convenience store. During the drive, Phoenix opened up to her mom and said she wanted things to be like they used to be. She didn’t want to fight anymore. Goldia thanked the Lord and felt happy that her daughter wanted to come back to her emotionally.

They were home for a short while when Phoenix took her phone, passed her dad without saying anything and walked out the front door. Lawrence saw her getting into her black 1998 Chevy Blazer, talking on the phone. She was wearing a dark hoodie with grey ‘Lindenwood’ sweatpants and black sneakers. Around 2:20pm Lawrence saw Phoenix’s car back out of the drive. He assumed she was popping out to the store or perhaps she was going to see a friend.

This was the last time Lawrence ever saw his daughter again.

When Phoenix didn’t arrive home that evening, Goldia was concerned, but Lawrence assured her that everything would be okay. By midnight Goldia was convinced Phoenix was in trouble, but she could not get a hold of her on her cell phone. Phoenix would never stay out that late without telling them where she was. There was not much else they could do but wait and pray that she would come home. It was a long, worrying, sleepless night. Even as a 23-year-old, Phoenix abided by the rules of her family home like the 1am curfew instated by Goldia. The latest she had ever come back was 1:20am.

When morning rolled around, there was still no sign of Phoenix. She had never stayed out all night before. Goldia and Lawrence called all of her friends to ask if they knew where she was. No one had seen her or had any idea what she did the previous day. The Coldons proceeded to call hospitals, but no one fitting Phoenix’s description had been admitted the night before.

Desperate and convinced that something was terribly wrong, Goldia and Lawrence went to the police and reported Phoenix missing, but as she was an adult who had not been missing for more than 24 hours, there wasn’t much police could do. The duty officer searched for the Chevy Blazer’s license plate number, but there was no record of the car being in an accident.

In actual fact, the car had been impounded the previous day. Typically, details of all impounded vehicles are entered into a central database, but due to a delay in the system, it did not come up in the search.

Phoenix’s family was frantic and took to the streets with the support of friends and the church community. Everybody was looking for Phoenix. Christmas came and went, and presents lay unopened under the tree. Phoenix was not home for the holidays, for the first time ever. This was always a special time for the Coldon family, a religious celebration.

Goldia and Lawrence spent their holidays handing out flyers and visiting all the restaurants and stores Phoenix was known to frequent. They spoke to everyone who knew Phoenix, but no one had any information. It was as if the earth had swallowed her whole.

Early in the new year, Goldia received a phone call from a family friend. The man asked about Phoenix’s disappearance, and he was shocked. Ten minutes later he called back and said that he was able to locate Phoenix’s car, it had been sitting in a tow yard in East St. Louis since the day she vanished.

What they discovered, was that at 5:27pm on the day Phoenix disappeared, her car was found abandoned at an intersection of 9th Street and St. Clair Avenue in East St. Louis, Illinois. The car was right in the middle of the road with the ignition still on and the driver’s door wide open. At the time, police did not see the owner of the car anywhere and had the vehicle towed as it was causing an obstruction.

The location where the car was left, was in a dangerous part of town and the immediate assumption was that the car was either stolen or that the driver had perhaps perpetrated a crime. At 6:23pm, after officer Perry confirmed that the vehicle was not stolen, it was towed to the yard. Even though the car was registered to Goldia Coldon, and had all relevant documentation in the glove compartment, police never informed the Coldons that they had the Blazer in their possession.

The negligence of law enforcement at the abandoned car scene, and administrative blunders, have caused an uproar of criticism from the community. The family even had to apply directly to the mayor to have the impound fee of $1000 waived.

When Lawrence and Goldia learnt that Phoenix’s car had been discovered in East St Louis, they were dumbfounded, they had no idea why she would have gone into such a dangerous neighbourhood. East St Louis was only a 30-minute drive away from her home, but it was a world away from her safe suburban life.

Police searched the area where the car was found, they even brought in cadaver dogs, but neither Phoenix nor any of her belongings could be found. After she disappeared, there was no sign of her on social media, no calls were made on her cell phone, and she had not accessed her banking account.

Police processed her SUV, but could not find any evidence indicating foul play. The only DNA inside the car belonged to Phoenix, her mom and her dad. Inside the vehicle, they found her ID, purse and eyeglasses and shoes. There was also half a can of soda and a plastic bag with slices of lemon, something Phoenix loved to snack on. Goldia said that it didn’t come from their home and it wasn’t in the car earlier that day when they went to church. Did Phoenix go to someone’s home, someone who knew her well enough to have given her a bag of sliced lemons? And where did she get the soda from? The time between Phoenix leaving home and her car being found was between two and three hours. If they could find out more about her movements, it could break the case wide open.

A peculiar clue found in the car was a handwritten note that had been torn up, with some pieces missing. At first, Goldia and Lawrence did not think the handwriting was Phoenix’s. But seeing as it was the only clue they had, Goldia didn’t leave it at that. She went through Phoenix’s notebooks at home and looked at her notes with a magnifying glass. She found some scribblings as if Phoenix wrote it when she was in a hurry, and it was almost identical to the writing on the note found in the car.

The note was dated 18 December 2011, the day she vanished. Goldia said although parts of the note were missing, what they could make out was a cryptic message, saying:

“We think you need to make up your mind before 2012 or else I will show you what I can do about your parents.”

It doesn’t make much sense, but Goldia believed it was the recount of a conversation Phoenix had with someone, someone who threatened her. Goldia’s best guess was that Phoenix had written the note while she was waiting for her outside the church where Goldia attended fellowship. She felt that Phoenix left the note in the glove box for them to find, in case something were to happen to her. It was a clue, but precisely what it meant, or who threatened her, was still a mystery.

In March 2012, Goldia told a local newspaper that they received a new lead. A witness came forward to say that while Phoenix’s car was parked in the driveway at her home, a green sedan was parked behind it. A black male with dreadlocks and a skull cap was seated in the driver’s seat of Phoenix’s car. There has been speculation about this report on online forums, but it could not be substantiated.

Other than this story, Phoenix’s case received very little media coverage. Her story was not prominent in the news at all. Goldia said:

“The news media wouldn’t give us the time of day. If Phoenix had looked like Natalee Holloway, we would not have had this problem.”

A couple of months after Phoenix was last seen, police still had no clue as to what could have happened to her. Lawrence and Goldia were frustrated with police and decided to take the investigation into their own hands and hired private investigator Steve Foster.

But they also went out by themselves, walking the streets of East St. Louis, looking for her. In their frantic search, Goldia and Lawrence began to uncover a different side to their beautiful, bright-eyed, god-fearing daughter. They learnt that Phoenix never shared her apartment with a female friend. She had a boyfriend named Mike who lived with her. Her parents did not even know she was seeing someone, let alone lived with him – in the apartment Goldia had signed the lease to. Goldia said that she had been to Phoenix’s apartment and looked in the closet and medicine cabinet, there were no signs that a man was living there with her. Interestingly, she felt the need to check on her adult daughter, but that was how things were.

In hindsight, her parents understood why Phoenix lied about having a boyfriend, as her Christian upbringing encouraged her to save herself for marriage. Lawrence and Goldia would not have approved of her living with a man. And even if they managed to accept the fact that she was dating, Mike would most likely not have been the type of boyfriend they would have approved of.

When the Coldons learnt about Mike, they tried to get a hold of him, but he did not respond to their attempts to question him about their daughter’s disappearance. Because Phoenix never told her parents about the relationship, Goldia wasn’t sure if Phoenix was still seeing him when she disappeared.

The fact that Phoenix had been seeing Mike for two to three years and even lived with him was a lot to process. As they went through Phoenix’s belongings, they realised that it was a significant relationship – she had attended family events with him and was entrenched in his life. Yet Mike and his parents insisted that they didn’t know Phoenix that well and asked the Coldons to stop bothering them with questions. Perhaps they felt the Coldons suspected Mike of something, but they were only parents at a loss, desperate to find their daughter. The Coldons didn’t think Mike had anything to do with their daughter going missing but wondered if he – perhaps – introduced her to a different world with unsavoury characters.

In a documentary made for Oxygen, journalist Shanwndrea Thomas teamed up with retired police chief, Joe Delia to have another look at the Phoenix Coldon case. They re-interviewed vital role players in the case. Speaking on behalf of St Louis County PD, Officer Benjamin Granda stated in an interview that Phoenix’s live-in boyfriend, Mike, was very co-operative during the initial stages of the investigation. He was swiftly ruled out as a suspect in the case. He also took a lie detector test, which he passed.

In the Oxygen documentary, officer Perry who was called to the abandoned car scene, was also interviewed. He changed his initial statement, saying that the car’s ignition was not running at the time and the driver’s door was not open. He’d assumed that it was a car that had run out of gas. There was nothing of significance in the car that indicated it had been used to commit a crime, so he did not find it suspicious. Why he changed his statement is unclear.

Lawrence and Goldia carried on with their own investigation too. They paid a visit to the University of Missouri at St Louis where Phoenix was a junior. They were shocked to discover that she had not enrolled in any fall semester classes. It was entirely out of character for Phoenix who had always taken a lot of pride in her academic achievements.

Investigators uncovered more secrets. Phoenix also had a second cell phone – with a big bill. One of her closest friends, Tim Baker, knew she had two phones: one on her parent’s family plan and another one in her own name. She used both. He assumed that the second phone was to contact Mike because her parents didn’t know about him. Itemised billing would have exposed their relationship.

However, after moving back home, phone bills showed that she sometimes used the phone on the family plan to call Mike. Perhaps she was hoping to bring the relationship out into the open.

Phone records showed that the day before she was last seen, she had a conversation of almost two hours long with Mike. At first, Mike denied that he spoke to Phoenix, but faced with phone records, he had to admit they talked. When questioned about WHAT they discussed, he said he couldn’t remember. On the day Phoenix disappeared, he phoned her at 9:41am, and they spoke for six minutes. The last phone call ever made on Phoenix’s ‘family plan’ phone, was a one-minute phone call to Mike at 1:46pm. An hour later, she was gone. No more incoming calls came on that phone after she vanished. Which begs the question: did all of her friends know something? Was she planning to leave?

The Coldons spoke to some of Phoenix’s friends and learnt that she had experimented with drugs. Her friends alluded that, in the months leading up to her disappearance, Phoenix was involved with more than one man.

Some of Phoenix’s friends refused to speak to investigators. This only deepened the mystery into her disappearance – but also, into her life. It was unsettling for her parents to learn that Phoenix had a double life of sorts. Her friends weren’t out there looking for her. How significant were these friendships? They didn’t really seem to be concerned about the fact that she was missing. Did they perhaps know more than they let on? What was going on? Who was Phoenix Coldon? And did anyone really know her?

But none of that mattered – they were desperate to find her and bring her back to the safety of their family home. They felt that her best friend, Akira Hogan, who lived only a couple of houses down the road from them, would know what was going on in Phoenix’s life. But Akira did not want to talk. The Coldons said that Akira never even visited them after Phoenix went missing. She never offered to help or anything. The only contact they had was when Akira’s family told the Coldons that police questioned Akira at work and they were not happy about it.

Shawndrea Thomas and Joe Delia managed to talk to Phoenix’s best friend, Akira. She said that Phoenix’s parents were very controlling of every aspect of her life. After Phoenix moved back in with her parents, things became strained. Phoenix was annoyed and argued with her parents often.

Akira was able to clarify why Phoenix had a second cell phone: so she could be in touch with another boyfriend, also named Mike, whom she was seeing in 2010.

Phoenix met the second Mike at a department store where he worked. He gave her free samples of beauty products, and before long, the innocent flirtation turned into a romance. This is something Phoenix would have wanted to keep from her live-in boyfriend, also Mike. And seeing as her parents didn’t even know about her primary boyfriend, she would also have wanted to keep the clandestine relationship away from them. Akira did not know if the relationship with the second Mike continued after she moved back in with her parents or not.

Akira also mentioned that in the months leading up to her disappearance, Phoenix became paranoid. She felt that she was being followed by someone or something. It all became too strange for Akira, and she started distancing herself from Phoenix. The last time Akira spoke to her friend was a week before she went missing, after a verbal fight. Phoenix then pulled out a knife. Akira called her bluff, she wasn’t afraid, as she knew Phoenix wouldn’t harm her. According to Akira, Phoenix wasn’t herself and said that she was going to pack up her stuff and leave.

Joe Delia and Shawndrea Thomas found out that the second Mike had a restraining order against him, filed by an ex-girlfriend. She also said that in December 2011, he researched Phoenix Coldon’s case obsessively. The girlfriend confronted him, he admitted that he had been intimate with Phoenix. When the girlfriend was jealous, he asked why she was worried about someone who was dead. The girlfriend wasn’t sure if he had said that because he had assumed Phoenix was no longer alive or if there was a more sinister explanation.

Perhaps the most significant discovery, as revealed on Shawndrea Thomas’ documentary, was a selfie video taken by Phoenix on the 15th of November 2011 – a month before she disappeared. A distraught Phoenix sits behind the steering wheel of her truck and speaks into the camera. Here are some snippets of what she said:

Got ditched. This is ridiculous. I just wanna start over. I just feel like I can’t start the new me over. People don’t give a F(*&^. I don’t know, I’ve got to see things for what they are, you know, instead of thinking about it like that. See things, for-what-they-are.

Then she quietly recites a shortened, personally relevant version of the Serenity Prayer:

Lord, please help me accept the things that won’t change. And that I won’t change the things that I can’t change.

In the course of the video, Phoenix mumbles a lot , tears welling up in her big brown eyes. Every now and then she looks over her shoulder like she was scared someone would see her.

That’s why I don’t wanna be talking to people. When I’m mad or whatever, because I say shit that I don’t mean and that’s when you learn to hold… Hold your composure.

I want people to take me seriously.

I just want to be happy, man. I can’t remember a time when I was happy. Genuinely happy. … I feel so stupid because I let myself go a little bit. I probably would have been in a better situation if I would have stuck with how it used to be…

Might as well ride in the back with the cops all up in here.

The only person who won’t let me down – is me.

On watching this, Joe Delia concluded that Phoenix was a troubled girl. The implication is strong that she had done something that she was ashamed of, something that was out of sync with ‘how it used to be’. Did Phoenix get mixed up with the wrong people? Was she in some kind of trouble?

The Coldons felt that Phoenix left that day to meet someone she knew. They doubt that she drove to East St. Louis for no reason, they believe she drove off, thinking she would return. They also firmly believe that it was not Phoenix who left the car where it was found. They think that someone else, perhaps an abductor, drove there because they knew an abandoned car would not garner too much attention on the crime-riddled streets of East St. Louis.

One fact that always bothered Goldia was the family friend who located Phoenix’s car. She had sent out an email to all their contacts in the days after Phoenix went missing, this friend was on the list of recipients. Yet, when he called two weeks later, he acted like it was news to him. In all that time, the police were unable to find Phoenix’s Chevvy Blazer, how was this man able to find it within a matter of minutes? Did he perhaps know what happened to Phoenix? The man claimed he didn’t, although he couldn’t really explain how he knew where her car was. By Goldia’s own admission, when your daughter goes missing, you don’t believe anything anyone says anymore. She could not solely focus on this man and neglect exploring other possibilities.

During their search, the Coldons uncovered a world, entirely foreign to theirs: that of sex trafficking. The morally righteous parents, found themselves in strip-clubs, talking to everyone from sex workers to bartenders and drug dealers.

Goldia and Lawrence discovered that another young woman was taken from her car in the vicinity where Phoenix’s Chevvy Blazer was found. The victim said that she was taken from her car when she stopped at a traffic light – her captors left her car running when they took her to an apartment nearby. According to the woman, she was told that she was going to work for them as a prostitute. Fortunately for her, she managed to escape.

The immediate area of East St. Louis, where Phoenix’s truck was found, has been linked to human trafficking in the past. The highway that runs alongside East St. Louis, Interstate-70, is a known trafficking route. In fact, according to a statement posted by the Missouri Sheriff’s Association…

“The St. Louis metro region is one of the top 20 areas in the country for human trafficking.”

It is an unsettling thought that sex trafficking could happen in suburban USA, but sadly it is a reality. According to statistics on the Human Trafficking Hotline’s website, there were more than 8,000 reported cases of sex trafficking in 2019 alone.

Phoenix’s selfie video does sound like she could have been groomed by sex traffickers. Shawndrea Thomas and Joe Delia spoke to Katie Rhaodes, who founded Healing Action – an organisation that supports survivors of sex exploitation. Katie revealed the MO used by human traffickers: they usually find a vulnerable girl, who is dissatisfied with her circumstances. They promise the girl something better than her current situation, dangling a carrot of what life could be like. Then, after a period of slow grooming, they set up an incident to ensure leverage on them. It is a process of slow grooming, followed by a quick grab.

Groomers work in a wide range of industries and can be a friend or someone who poses as a boyfriend. In Phoenix’s case, evidence of one shameful act that would have shocked her parents would have been enough to convince her to leave. Perhaps she felt stifled being back at home and dreamt of living by herself, away from pressure and expectations. But people who knew Phoenix reckon that even if she wanted to get away, she would never have been so cruel as to leave her parents wondering about her fate. It is possible that, because she was not overly street smart, someone offered her a way out, which she agreed to. But once she had left, she was trapped and could not return or contact her family.

Steve Foster, the Coldon family’s PI, discovered a reason for conflict between Phoenix and her parents in the time before she went missing. She had taken savings bonds from the family safe, that were in her and her mother’s names and cashed them. Altogether Phoenix squirrelled away $2,500. No one knew what she did with the money. Was she trying to set up a fund to help herself get away from home? Did she owe someone money? Was someone blackmailing her?

Either way, while rummaging through the safe, Phoenix discovered that she had two birth certificates. One as Phoenix Reeves and another, which was issued after Lawrence adopted her, as Phoenix Coldon. Could it be that she found out for the first time that Lawrence wasn’t her biological father? That meant she also found out that she was born out of wedlock, which was the opposite of what she was taught was right. Goldia and Lawrence made her believe that sex was only for procreation, not recreation and that she should save herself for marriage, yet Goldia had Phoenix as a single mother. No one would know what was said in the home around this time, but if this was all news to Phoenix, it would have made her question everything she had ever been taught.

The fact that some of her friends refused to speak to police made investigators believe that they knew something. They felt there was a chance she left on her own accord and that her friends were covering for her. Joe Delia explored the theory that Phoenix left intending to start over. With her original birth certificate as Phoenix Reeves, she could have been able to obtain a social security number, driver’s license and passport. Joe’s researcher found four people by the name of Phoenix Reeves and was able to exclude three.

The fourth one, piqued their interest, as there wasn’t much on public record, only an address in Alaska. The name was tied to a home in Anchorage from January 2012, only weeks after Phoenix was last seen in Missouri. After June 2012, there is no trace of the person going by the name of Phoenix Reeves. Joe Delia went to the address, but no one recognised Phoenix’s picture, nor have they ever heard of anyone by the name of Phoenix Reeves OR Phoenix Coldon. It was a dead end.

The lack of activity on her banking account and the fact that she has not reached out to anyone in her life, suggests the possibility that Phoenix could have met with foul play. Her disappearance has been linked to the Stacey English case in Atlanta, Georgia, who vanished in the same month and year as Phoenix. 36-year old Stacey was last seen on Christmas day and reported missing on December 27th. Her car was found 20 miles from her home. It was on the road, and when it was found, the ignition was running.

A month later, Stacey’s body was discovered in a wooded area, about a mile away from the location where her car was abandoned. Her cause of death was ruled to be due to exposure, but it seems unlikely that Stacey would have left her vehicle running, walked a mile, laid down under a tree and simply perished and died of hypothermia.

Phoenix’s body has not been found, and police do not believe the cases are linked. Goldia and Lawrence Coldon stand firm in their belief that their daughter is still alive. They find it hard to imagine that she would have wanted to run away, but then again, there were so many things in Phoenix’s life that she kept from them.

Her family has launched a Facebook Page with information about her disappearance. Over the years, they have received many false leads. There was even a hoax of a young woman pretending to be Phoenix. A man called from Texas and said that he knew where Phoenix was and that she had been taken into a prostitution ring. But later admitted that he had made it up in an attempt to get attention. The Coldon’s search effort has cost Lawrence and Goldia dearly – fees to private investigators, trips all over the country to follow up on leads (like the wild-goose chase to Texas)… Eventually, their family home was about to go into foreclosure. To which Goldia said:

“Let them take the house. I don’t care. All I want to know is where Phoenix is.”

Fortunately, they sold it in the nick of time and were able to relocate.

Over the years, there have been a couple of sightings of Phoenix. Two and a half years after her disappearance, family friend, Jeffrey Hargrowe, said he ran into Phoenix. He claims to have seen her in a grubby St. Louis grocery store, in broad daylight. He asked her if she was related to David Scott, who is Phoenix’s uncle. Jeffrey said she didn’t deny it, and it was clear she did not want to engage in conversation with him. He claims he saw her a week later around the same area. Jeffrey didn’t approach her, because, in his opinion, she was a grown woman who left home and didn’t want to be found. He did, however, inform her family.

In 2014, Kellie Fronhert, a church friend of Phoenix’s, also saw Phoenix on a flight from Las Vegas to St. Louis. She said that the woman whom she thought to be Phoenix was travelling with a couple of women and two men in their late thirties or early forties. Kellie called out for Phoenix. The woman looked at her and said:

Oh, do I look like someone?”

…to which Kellie replied:

Yes, you do, you look like my friend Phoenix.”

The woman turned and walked away without saying anything else. Kellie was convinced that the woman was Phoenix. She informed cabin crew about her missing friend and Southwest Airlines contacted police. But once they reached the airport in St. Louis, the woman got lost in the crowd, and they could not find her.

Phoenix’s case has baffled her family, friends and investigators for almost ten years. What happened to her in that short, two-hour, window of time, after leaving her home and abandoning her car? With absolutely no clues, and no one talking… Will they ever find out what happened to Phoenix?

If you have any information about the disappearance Phoenix, please get in touch with her family. The link is in the show notes.

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