Missing in Mississippi

Southern Macabre

You can listen to this episode by clicking here.

Hey, y’all, and welcome Southern Macabre! I’m Aeryn and I’m so glad you’re here for our weekly Missing Person Monday episode. Even if it is Friday.

I apologize for my mistake yesterday – I deleted Most Haunted in Tennessee and re-uploaded it as Haunted Castle in Tennessee so you can listen to this week’s paranormal episode. I won’t get in a hurry next time because this took me all day to fix.

As usual, I will list the corresponding law enforcement phone number after each story and I will get pictures uploaded to our Facebook page, Southern Macabre, today.

So, without further ado, I present Missing in Mississippi.

In 1960, Columbus, Mississippi was a small town where everyone knew everyone and it was considered a good place to live and raise a family. The lock and dam, Leigh Mall, Walmart, etc. hadn’t been built yet so there wasn’t much apart from Main Street where Mississippi University for Women is located. That’s when it earned its nickname “The Friendly City”. Sadly, that’s not the case today with crime on the rise.

We’re not talking about today, though. Today we’re going to go way back and talk about Lyrian Wyvonne Barry, a 23-year-old mother of an 8-month-old girl who came from a close-knit family that included her parents, three sisters, and four brothers. She was an African American woman who stood 5’ tall and weighed about 150 pounds.

After she graduated in 1956, she met Eulice “Eddie” Stallings from New Orleans. She moved there with him, but a short time later she returned to Columbus, Mississippi with their newborn daughter, Gloria.

Eddie moved back to Columbus so her family assumed that he still had feelings for her. They moved in together, but it wasn’t a good situation. It wasn’t long until she had her family help her move out. Her sister, Betsy Hurt, said he was using and selling drugs, which made Lyrian angry.

Lyrian began seeing him in secret, but he was seeing multiple women until he married a woman because she was pregnant with his child. It was at this time Lyrian connected with her distant cousin, Sonny Lucas, who lived in Columbus and St. Louis, Missouri.

Shortly after Eddie got married, she gave Gloria to Betsy and boarded a Greyhound bus for St. Louis to live with an aunt. Betsy was pregnant and the plan was for her to give birth in Columbus and then Lyrian was going to help her move to St. Louis. She figured that she would have a job and her own place by then.

Sadly, that didn’t happen because she vanished not long after she arrived at her aunt’s home. Her aunt saw that someone was looking for a live-in maid either in Needham, Massachusetts or Bridgeport, Connecticut, she couldn’t remember which. The night she was going to leave for her interview, Lucas’s wife beat her up.

She has never been seen or heard from again.

Unfortunately, her parents, a few siblings, and her daughter passed not knowing what happened to Lyrian. They always hoped that she was still alive, but her social security number has never been used and there isn’t a death certificate anywhere.

If you know anything, call Columbus Police Department at 662-244-3554

This case is crazy! So, on New Year’s Eve in 1986, James Michael Welter gets in a car accident while drinking and driving. He was a 34-year-old Staff sergeant with the U.S. Air Force and was on leave until January 6th and had to be in court in Ocean Springs on the 15th. He didn’t show up for either so he was deemed AWOL (Absent WithOut Leave) by the military and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

In March of that year, they found his 1986 Ford Granada being driven by the arresting officer! He claimed that he had bought it from two unknown individuals at a salvage auction. It was scrapped later.

Also, at the time of his disappearance, he was purchasing a timeshare through Dixie Resort Corporation, Indian Point Resort, in Gautier, Mississippi. The parent company, NACO Resort Club Inc., didn’t have any record of the salesman or Welter, but money came out of his bank account every month until it was paid in full.

Indian Point Resort was managed at that time by a relative of the officer found driving James’s car!

The family hired Private Investigators to look into James’s disappearance and he learned that people in Shreveport had seen him, but he claimed his name was “Billy Cox”. He was working construction there running heavy equipment.

He left his checkbook, savings book, investments, passports, etc. behind and his social security number was never used again. He was declared legally dead in 2002.

James was 5’5” – 5’10” tall, 155 – 165 pounds, and had brown hair with brown eyes. He was white.

If you think you may know something, call the Air Force OSI at 571-305-8620

Jones Maurice Martin was 22-years-old when he told his mother that he was going to leave their home in Moss Point to do some traveling. Sometime before he left, he got into an altercation with his uncle who lived in the home, no one can pinpoint when this happened or the day he actually left. He had $200, which was a lot when he went missing in 1987, and the clothes on his back.

He had spent time in a mental institution years before when his father passed away and still struggled with depression.

Moss Point is on the Gulf of Mexico, just north of Pascagoula, Mississippi. Sadly, much of the city was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and if his remains were there they may have been washed out to sea. Hopefully that’s not the case and he can still be found.

He was 5’10” to 6’ tall and around 180 pounds. He was African American. Today he would be 57-years-old. As of last year, his mother was still alive and hoping she can find out what happened to him. He may have been headed to New Orleans, Louisiana or Selma, Alabama because he had family there.

If you know anything, call Pascagoula P.D. at 228-217-1308

Jennifer Lynn Floyd worked at Hancock Fabrics in Tupelo. At 9:30 am on April 18, 1988, she got a phone call at work. She ran to her car crying. Her car was found the next day at a gas station on West Main Street in Tupelo.

Tupelo is a large city in North Mississippi that is best known as Elvis’s birthplace. The house he was born and raised in is still there, but it has been moved to the Elvis Presley Museum.

Jennifer had a one-year-old daughter and her mother doesn’t believe she would willingly leave her child behind.

She was 19-years-old, white, 5’4”, 100 – 130lbs, with brown hair and eyes.

If you know what may have happened to her, call Tupelo P.D. at 662-841-6402

On May 10, 1992, Carla Russell loaded her two children, eleven-year-old Kreshanna and four-year-old Kreniece into her car and drove from Edgard, Louisiana to Woodville, Mississippi. She had been invited to a Mother’s Day service by Glenn Edwards and Leola Jackson. The couple was keeping a two-year-old boy, Lamoine Allen, while his father served in the military and his mother went to school.

Carla was dating Glenn’s uncle at the time, but in an interview last year Kreshanna was adamant that these people were strangers to them. Even though they also lived in Saint John the Baptist Parish.

After church, they all went to a gathering on a rocky road off Highway 24 to talk, play, and eat lunch. At one end was the Jimmy Jackson Grocery Store owned by Leola’s parents. There was a salon on one side and a house around back. Kreshanna said it was creepy, like a ghost town.

Carla said the parents went to a house on the left to talk, eat, and listen to music while the kids went to a house on the right to play. After sometime, Leola and Glenn pulled up into the yard and said Lamoine was missing.

Kreshanna recalls the last time she saw Kreniece was when she followed her from one house to the other to take the adults hot sauce. A little girl named Tasha offered to take her back to play, which she did. When Carla asked Tasha to bring her baby to her, she couldn’t find her.

The police were called out and they brought dogs to search for the young kids, but there was no trace of them. They determined that someone must have abducted them in a vehicle, but no one saw anything.

The children were African American and their families are hoping that someone kept them and raised them so they’re grown now. Kreshanna suggested that if you think you could be one of them to ask your parent’s for a baby picture because if you were abducted they won’t have one.

If you think you may know something, call Wilkinson County Sheriff’s Office at 601-888-3511

Karen Zhou, age 10, was last seen playing outside at 6:30 pm on May 21, 1994, in Grenada, a small town in North Mississippi. Her mother was at work and her stepfather, Shindong He, was supposed to be watching her. Her mother returned at midnight and reported her missing.

Two children who knew her, saw her getting into a van with a tall Asian male.

In 2010, Shindong He was arrested and convicted of aggravated assault against his wife, Karen’s mother, in Nashville, Tennessee. During the attack, he admitted to murdering her daughter. He was deported back to China.

Karen was Asian American and would be about 38 years old now. 

If you know anything, please call the Grenada Police Department at 601-226-1211

Mary Jacqueline Levitz, the widow of the Levitz Furniture co-founder, was last seen by a store clerk in Vicksburg on November 18, 1995. Two days later, her brother went to her house because she wasn’t answering her phone. There were signs of foul-play, but no ransom note was ever received. 

She had just moved five weeks earlier from Palm Beach, Florida to her 2,900 square foot brick ranch-style home on the Mississippi River. It had panoramic views of boats working the muddy water and the bridge that connects Mississippi and Louisiana, where she was originally from.

The torn tips of fingernails were found inside her home and there was a lot of blood staining her mattress that matched her blood type. Her Jaguar was parked in the driveway, several fur coats hung in her closet, and her diamond earrings were on a window seat. 

Her purse, with her checkbook and personal items, and a small bag she used for makeup, hair spray, etc., were the only things missing.

If you know something, please call Vicksburg P.D. at 601-636-2511

On June 17, 1996, Thomas William Hall, age 29, called his wife to tell her that she could collect his life insurance. They lived in Biloxi and police suspect foul play.

Thomas was white, 5’11” tall, 185 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes. He was in the Air Force at the time of his disappearance.

If you think you might know what happened to him, call the Harrison County P.D. at 228-896-0654.

This guy has been declared dead by his family. He ran while police were investigating him for murder – so consider him dangerous if you do see him!

Gary Randall Chisholm went missing in 2001 when he was 26-years-old from Branden in Rankin County. He was 5’11”, 180 pounds, with brown hair and eyes. He had an “Arian Brotherhood” tattoo. I don’t think I need to say this, but he was white. Investigator’s thought he fled to avoid prosecution, but now aren’t sure.

If you think you know where he is please call Rankin County Sheriff’s Office at 601-825-1480

That’s all I have for y’all today. If you enjoyed today’s episode, please like and leave us a review on Apple Podcasts or Goodpods. Come back on Monday for our weekly Missing Person Monday. That’s right – we’re going to go back to our usual schedule! I hope y’all have a wonderful weekend and I’ll talk to y’all again Monday. God bless, y’all!



Lyrian Barry: 22-Year-Old Mom Goes Missing From Mississippi in 1960 (ourblackgirls.com)

Moss Point, Mississippi – Wikipedia

Nearly 3 decades after toddlers were abducted from Mississippi gathering, family struggles to find answers – Magnolia State Live | Magnolia State Live

Karen Zhou — MissingSippi

CNN.com – Case of the missing heiress: Who killed Jacqueline Levitz? – Nov. 11, 2002

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