Four young women have disappeared in Chillicothe, Ohio, since May 2014, arousing suspicions of serial murder or sex trafficking, reports the Huffington Post. In Chillicothe (pop. 21,000), about 50 miles south of Columbus, family and friends’ fears have the authorities ruling nothing out, and investigating actively.
“There is something going on,” Yvonne Boggs told the HuffPost. Boggs is the mother of Charlotte Trego, age 27, the first of the four women to go missing. “All these girls knew each other and are now missing. Someone is taking these girls for some reason.”
Trego was last seen on May 3, 2014. Boggs reported Trego’s disappearance to police immediately. But Boggs is not happy with the investigation. “It was like they looked into it up to a certain point and then quit looking,” Boggs told HuffPost.
Also on May 3, Trego’s 30 year-old friend Tameka Lynch disappeared. Lynch’s mother Angela Robinson has also criticized the investigation. “The police didn’t take it serious and just blew me off,” Robinson told HuffPost.
Lynch’s unclothed body was found by kayakers three weeks later, on a sandbar in Paint Creek, about 20 miles downstream from Chillicothe.
About six months later, on Nov. 3, 2014, 37 year-old Wanda Lemons was last seen in Chillicothe. “She just disappeared into thin air,” Lemons’ daughter Megan Hodges, age 19, told HuffPost. Investigators have found no trace of Lemons.
And on May 11, 2015, 26 year-old Tiffany Sayre disappeared from Chillicothe. Sayre was last seen by a friend, Jessie Sanford.
Sayre’s family has also criticized the police investigation. “We have been provided no information whatsoever,” Sayre’s mother’s partner Mike Bloomfield told HuffPost. “No one will talk to us, and when they searched the river last week, we had to read about it in the paper. The media know more than we do.”
“Everything has been turned over to our detective bureau,” Chillicothe police sergeant Ron Meyers told HuffPost. Meyers has also told NBC News that missing person cases are not uncommon, but these cases stand out as “peculiar.” “[These women] all ran in the same circle — the drug scene and things like that,” said Meyers.
Family and friends suspect the disappeared women’s involvement with drugs and/or prostitution resulted in a lax police investigation.
Private investigators have an important role to play in cases like this. Any investigation will need first to establish the facts surrounding the disappearances.
Private investigators can work cases like this directly with attorneys, and also independently. Private investigators often have relationships with law enforcement officers, both in the jurisdiction where the investigation is proceeding, and elsewhere. An out-of-state forensic specialist will usually end up testifying for the contesting parties. And the private investigator is ideally positioned to bring together the right legal representation, experts, police sources and witness interviews.
It is important for a party lacking access to the law enforcement investigation to move independently to secure investigative help. And to find someone who can act quickly, accurately and professionally.
To learn more about what a private investigator can do in a case of a suspicious disappearance or death, contact Nationwide Legal Investigations at (877) 493-3463.