It doesn't matter how awful the situations for the families of missing persons, vultures are always present to make matters worse:
A promising lead about the whereabouts of Phoenix Coldon turned out to be a cruel hoax, causing the missing Missouri woman's family additional pain, their entire life savings and their home.Sad that folks with evil intentions target the families of this missing; viewing the misfortune as an opportunity to scam.
"Unfortunately, we will now be losing our family home," the missing woman's mother, Goldia Coldon, told The Huffington Post. "We have tried to explain the situation to our mortgage company but they don't care."
A tip that led the family to Texas came from a man who claimed to know Coldon's whereabouts and provided her family with very convincing details, Goldia Coldon said.
The family already had invested much of their money to search for Phoenix, she said, but spent the remainder of their savings on private investigators to follow up on the lead. It was not until after the family's money was gone that the man who provided the tip admitted he fabricated the story, Coldon said.
"They said he made it up to get attention," she said. "It cost us dearly and it led absolutely nowhere. It was just his idea of a joke."
...Phoenix Coldon, 23, was last seen in the driveway of the family's St. Louis County home at about 3 p.m. Dec. 18. Her mother said she was sitting in her vehicle one minute and the next, she was gone.
Coldon said she initially thought her daughter had gone to the store but when she did not return that night, Coldon said she reported her daughter and her black 1998 Chevy Blazer missing to police the following morning.
They operate like burglars who read obituaries to determine when the deceased and family members of the deceased will be away from their homes at funerals--knowing that opportunities for break-ins await.
On a related note--reading the details of this disappearance reminded me of another one that I covered in depth.
Like that of missing person Brianna Maitland of Vermont, police also unknowingly towed Ms. Coldron's vehicle several hours after she was last seen (in this instance, three hours after her mom saw her) . Authorities had found the Coldron SUV unoccupied on the day she vanished about 25 minutes from her residence.
Another sad similarity between the Coldron and Maitland cases is that the family and not authorities initially discovered the missing woman's SUV had been impounded. For the family of Coldron, her loved ones did not realize that the vehicle was in government custody until nearly two weeks later.
They then notified police.
In other words, a potential crime victim's vehicle was contaminated (during the impoundment process) and then sat for fourteen days--a long time before authorities could begin investigating this disappearance.
One hopes that law enforcement will adopt new policies/emphasize existing directives to ensure that impound lots are checked and rechecked for the vehicles of those reported missing.
Because it is just not happening every time.