Posts tagged ‘AP’

Gabrielle Swainson Suspect, Freddie Grant, Indicated On Federal Ammo Charge

S.C. cheerleader vanishes without a trace

♦ Tuesday, September 18th, Marks ONE Month Since Gabrielle Swainson Disappeared

Click link for the latest update (09/19/12) on Gabrielle Swainson Suspect, Freddie Grant – Swainson kidnapping suspect indicted on federal ammo charge

– – – – –

Previous Update’s Posted Below

– – – – –

Updated: 09/14/12 – Columbia, SC  – Saturday marks four weeks since Columbia teenager Gabrielle Swainson disappeared from her home.

Deputies say the 15-year-old was taken against her will by 52 year old Freddie Grant back on August 18. Sheriff Leon Lott says his officers have obtained a warrant for Grant’s arrest, but have not formally charged him yet in Swainson’s disappearance.

Currently, Grant is being held at the Lexington County Detention Center on a federal ammunition charge.

Sheriff Leon Lott says Grant was in a relationship with Swainson’s mother and had a key to their home. Lott says Gabbiee’s blood was found in Grant’s Elgin home and in a nearby junkyard.

Lott has gone on record to calling Grant a monster, something Grant’s attorney used in a failed attempt to get a gag order in the case.

Friday, News19 asked Lott about the effort to silence him.

“I’m worried about finding Gabbiee,” Lott said. “Anything I said has been the truth and I can back it with facts. I’m going to say what I’ve got to say and that’s the truth, and whatever I can say that’s going to help find Gabbiee then that’s what I’m going to do.”

Lott say his department has followed up on more than 400 Crimestoppers tips. If you know anything that can help with this case, you can call Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.

(WLTX is the source of the article above)

– – – – – – – – – –

South Carolina; Updated – 9/4/12 – Freddie Grant, Suspect In Gabrielle Swainson’s Disappearance, Person Of Interest In Two More Cases;  Freddie Grant, a man charged with kidnapping in the disappearance of 15-year-old Gabrielle Swainson, is also a person of interest in
the case of another missing South Carolina woman and the unsolved homicide of a
S.C. man, reports the Charlotte Observer

Pictured; Freddie Grant (Police Photo)

Police in Elgin County have said Freddie Grant is a ”person of interest” in two additional cases and are looking into it further. Daniele Lee Wood, 36-years-old who was killed in October 2011 and the disappearance of Adriana Laster, 28-years-old who was last seen a year ago in September 2011 with Grant in S.C. According to CBS news, Laster is a mother of an 11-year-old daughter who said that she and her mother would keep in touch daily until September 2011 when the calls stopped. She is now living with her Grandmother in S.C.

According to CBS affiliate, a report from March 2011 says officers found Laster crying as she lay on the ground. It said Grant “grabbed her by the hair and slammed her face into the side of his mother’s house and dragged her to the car.” The report says they fought on the way home from with Grant “pouring some sort of fuel on her” in the car. The report went on the say Grant slammed Laster’s head into a brick wall. Police found and photographed various cuts, bruises and other injuries on her body. It’s believed that Grant and Laster spent time in Homestead before relocating to South Carolina.

Adriana Laster refused to press charges and according to a Police report, she was 3-months pregnant in what was a consented sexual-encounter with Grant. This was shortly before her disappearance.

Grant, who has been charged with kidnapping Gabbie Swainson, has not been cooperating with Police who continue with the help of the community and friends and family of the missing teen.

Richland County, S.C. Sheriff Leon Lott believe Gabby is still alive. “We believe that she’s alive. Where and how, I don’t know.” Said Lott.

”He’s a monster,” said Lott speaking of Freddie Grant.

Anyone with information about Laster or Grant is urged to call Crime Stoppers in South Carolina at 1888-CRIME-SC.


Previous Updates Below


♦ Gabrielle Chloe’s Disappearance, Freddie Grant Not Leading Police To Here Whereabouts ♦

→ Gabrielle Chloe Swainson, a 15-year-old cheerleader from Richland County, South Carolina, has been missing since August 18, 2012. She disappeared between 3 am and 7:30 am. Gabrielle’s mother, Elvia Swainson, left her daughter at home to work.

When Elvia got home, she heard the alarm clock ringing. She then called out to her daughter but Gabrielle did not respond, so Elvia went to check on her. That was when Elvia noticed her child was missing.

Elvia told ABC News that she called Gabrielle’s cell phone, but there was no answer. Chandra Cleveland-Jennings, a private investigator that the Swainson family hired, explained that Gabrielle does not have a habit of running away.

When police did search Gabrielle’s room, there was nothing missing from her room. All of her clothes were there as well as her pocketbook. “Police have been unable to locate a signal on the girl’s cell phone. There was also no sign of forced entry or signs of struggle. The Richland County Sheriff’s Office now believes Gabrielle may have been abducted.” Now police have arrested and charged 52-year-old Freddie Grant, a friend of the Swainson’s family, with kidnapping Gabrielle. Police actually “found blood and DNA from the South Carolina teen on duct tape near the man’s home…Authorities believe Grant forced the teen from her home in Columbia and took her to his home in Elgin, S.C.”

According to police, Grant is refusing to assist in locating Gabrielle.


UPDATE; Published 8/28/12 by (CBS/AP) ↔ COLUMBIA, S.C. – Investigators charged Freddie Grant with kidnapping in the disappearance of 15-year-old Gabrielle “Gabbiee” Swainson after her blood was found on duct tape near his home, authorities said Tuesday.

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said 52-year-old Grant was a family acquaintance and did yard work for the Swainson family. The sheriff was holding out hope that Gabbiee will be found alive, and more than 100 officers are combing through a junkyard across from the suspect’s home in Elgin on Tuesday looking for the missing teen. “I haven’t given up hope of finding her and bringing her home. That’s what we’re operating under, that she can be found,” Lott said. “He’s only charged with kidnapping.”

Grant was uncooperative when investigators first asked him if he knew where Gabbiee was, and hadn’t been any more helpful since he was charged with kidnapping on Monday.

Gabbiee was last seen by her mother around 4 a.m. on Aug. 18 asleep in her bed. Her mother said Gabbiee was gone when she returned home from work several hours later. All the teen’s clothes, her purse and her cellphone charger were still in the home, authorities said.

Investigators began questioning the family and anyone who knew the girl. Grant was an obvious target because he was a convicted felon and deputies became even more suspicious when he refused to cooperate, Lott said. Bullets were found in Grant’s home, leading to a federal weapons charge. Additional searches uncovered his DNA and Gabbiee’s DNA on duct tape with blood on it found near his house, the sheriff said.

Grant is being held without bail at the Lexington County jail.

Lott said investigators are checking to see whether Grant is involved in the disappearance of a 28-year-old woman last year.

Investigators said Adriana Laster, who lived with Grant in Elgin, has been missing for nearly a year. Laster disappeared in September 2011, but wasn’t reported missing until March of this year by her grandmother in Homestead, Fla., Elgin Police Chief Harold Brown said.

Grant and Laster lived together and had a troubled relationship. Brown said his officers were called to their home several times, culminating in an April 2011 charge of criminal domestic violence against Grant. Police pressed forward with the misdemeanor even though Laster asked them to drop the case. Grant was convicted and paid a fine, Brown said.



Lyric Cook & Elizabeth Collins Found Deceased In Woods By Hunters

Elizabeth Collins, 8 (left) – Lyric Cook, 10 (right)

LATEST UPDATE: 12/06/12  –  ‘Our nightmare of not knowing is over’: Mothers’ agony as hunters find bodies of missing cousins who disappeared five months ago while riding their bikes

  • Investigators have held on to hope that Lyric Cook, 11, and Elizabeth Collins, 9, were alive
  • Grainy video showed the girls riding by on their bicycles on the day that they vanished in Evansdale, Iowa
  • Young cousins were last seen on July 13

The mothers of the girls who went missing while riding their bikes in July have spoken of their agony after the discovery of their dead bodies, and said the only comfort is the nightmare of not knowing where the children are is over.

Hunters discovered the bodies of Lyric Cook, 11, and nine-year-old Elizabeth Collins, from Eastern Iowa, in a wooded area yesterday after they vanished on July 13 near Meyers Lake in Evansdale.

Elizabeth’s mother Heather Collins posted a statement on her Facebook page late last night: ‘We have been so blessed by the outpouring of all the prayers and support tonight with the gut wrenching news that my beautiful daughter and niece’s bodies were found by hunters today.

Close: The girls, pictured in 2009, often spent the day together when Lyric's mother was at work

Like sisters: The girls, pictured in 2009, would often spend the day together when Lyric’s mother was at work and were very close

Cousins: Elizabeth Collins, 8, and her cousin have been missing since Friday July 13, 2012      'Not sure why': Lyric Cook-Morrissey, 10, has been missing since last week and FBI officials say the family has not been totally cooperative

The bodies of Elizabeth Collins and Lyric Cook-Morrissey were found by hunters on Yesterday December 4, 2012

Helen Collins, the mother of Elizabeth, said: 'This was (not) the outcome we wanted but we know that they are up in Heaven with our Savior and our nightmare of where they are and what is happening to them has been answered'Helen Collins, the mother of Elizabeth, said: ‘This was (not) the outcome we wanted but we know that they are up in Heaven with our Savior and our nightmare of where they are and what is happening to them has been answered’

‘This was (not) the outcome we wanted but we know that they are up in Heaven with our Savior and our nightmare of where they are and what is happening to them has been answered.

‘Lord, we know that you have them in your loving arms and we are so blessed for that.’

The bodies have been sent to the state medical examiner’s office for autopsies.

Captain Abben who has been leading the investigation, said the nearly five-month-old case has been very difficult for the families, the community and law enforcement officers, too.

He said: ‘It is definitely not the outcome we wanted. Numerous officers from many, many jurisdictions have worked on this case around the clock since the 13th of July, when we were notified of this.

‘This is a difficult thing for us to go through; a difficult thing for the people of the community.’

Discovery of the two bodies came on Day 145 of the girls’ disappearance.

Abben says the area where the bodies were found is still being processed.

Estranged: Lyric's parents, Misty and Dan Morrissey, both have checkered criminal pasts - and were investigated as persons of interest in the disappearance of the girlsEstranged: Lyric’s parents, Misty and Dan Morrissey, both have checkered criminal pasts – and were investigated as persons of interest in the disappearance of the girls
Missing: The two young cousins have been missing since Friday, July 13 after going for a bike ride togetherMissing: The two young cousins have been missing since Friday, July 13 after going for a bike ride together
Grandmother: Wylma Cook, pictured, was believed to be the last person o see the girls before they vanishedGrandmother: Wylma Cook, pictured, was believed to be the last person to see the girls before they vanished

The girls were last seen leaving from their grandmother’s house on their bikes.

The grandmother, Wylma Cook, has said Lyric knew not to go far because the girls planned to leave for the home they shared in nearby Waterloo with Lyric’s mother, Misty Morrissey, by 1:30pm.

She said that she expected the girls to return for lunch or a drink of water or juice as they always did when they were playing in the heat.


Pink Divider Line

Published: 09/05/12 – Did Missing Iowa Girl’s Cause Mass Panic?

→ After missing Iowa girls Lyric Cook and Elizabeth Collins vanished from Evansdale, attempted abduction reports seemed to increase drastically. While law enforcement in the area treat each and every report thoroughly and honestly, is it possible that some of them are just the resort of mass panic? It’s likely that many attempts are stories made up either by the children or the people calling — as this sometimes happens when cases become high-profile. High profile missing persons and unsolved homicide cases sometimes attract strange individuals, and that’s an understatement.

After the two missing Iowa girls became a national news story, at least two reports of creeps in vans attempting the abduction of children. In each case the children were able to run free and tell their parents all about it. This could be brought on by the common knowledge this case has shared of a van driver being questioned in regards to Lyric’s and Elizabeth’s disappearance. However, it’s equally possible that there is a van driving child predator lurking about the neighborhoods throughout the state.

There haven’t been any investigative updates in this tragic case, which is making it hard to foresee a positive ending. The case is approaching its two-month-mark soon, but will detectives bring news to the public regarding the possible whereabouts of Elizabeth Collins and Lyric Cook? There are also no updates regarding the recent hospitalization of the mother of Lyric Cook, who recently appeared to overdose on medication.



08/15/12 – Missing Iowa Girls Not The Only Children in Family to Vanish –


09/11/12  – Vigil for Missing Iowa Girls


07/30/12 – Missing Iowa Girls May Be Alive & Mysterious Boater May Know Something

Some hopeful news on a day that everyone is talking about children being shot in movie theaters and abused by football coaches. Investigators think the two missing cousins from Iowa are still alive! The girls’ bodies are not in the lake, and the case has been officially classified an “abduction.” But what exactly did they find or discover that makes them think that? You almost never hear investigators say they believe that an abducted child is still alive after almost a week later. There is definitely something up here, a twist is coming that we don’t expect, I can feel it. Could the mysterious person in the paddle boat on the lake possibly hold the key?

Police are looking to interview someone who was paddleboating on the lake at the time the girls vanished. He or she is not necessarily a suspect, but police obviously think he may have seen something. I wonder if this has some connection to the “object” near the shore bagged as evidence that everyone made a big deal about.

Late last week it appeared as if the parents might have had something to do with the girls’ disappearance, as they were reportedly not cooperating with police. Dan Morrissey and Misty Cook-Morrissey, Lyric’s parents, have both served time in jail over drug charges, and Dan has a history of domestic violence. But Misty Cook-Morrissey apparently submitted to a lengthy lie detector test today and is telling everyone she passed. Dan is also currently off the hot seat for now, though he’s being watched closely.

It can’t be that difficult to track down people in the area who have paddle boats. I’m sure investigators are scouring the county as we speak. Another theory could be the disappearances are linked to the parents’ drug past. Or, maybe someone the girls knew took them.

The case is so wide open right now that any scenario is possible. In the end it really doesn’t matter what it is as long as the girls are found safe and unharmed, and let’s hope that happens very soon.


Video footage has emerged of two Iowa cousins who went missing on Friday, July 13.

ABC News has obtained the footage of 8-year-old Elizabeth Collins and her 10-year-old cousin, Lyric Cook, riding their bikes on the same day they went missing. It lasts just a few seconds.

“It looked kind of grainy, I mean just zoom they were by the thing and so it’s very hard to really make much out of the thing,” Black Hawk County Chief Deputy Rick Abben said. “The girls were less than a block from the house when this camera captured them riding by, important to note they were riding away from Meyers Lake.”

Investigators are examining the footage for clues that could lead to the discovery of the missing girls who, authorities say, were abducted twelve days ago after riding their bikes near Meyers Lake in Evansdale.

The children’s grandmother, who was babysitting the cousins when they disappeared, told the AP she has no idea how they ended up across town by a lake.

Earlier this week, ABC reported that the families of the two cousins remain hopeful.

“They told us they do have a couple of leads and that is it. Anything is hopeful,” Heather Collins told ABC News’ Robin Roberts.

On Saturday, the AP reported that authorities still believe the girls are alive.

“We believe these girls are alive, and we are not discouraged by the passage of time since their disappearance,” FBI spokeswoman Sandy Breault said. “We are urging anyone with information to come forward. Any information, as insignificant as it may seem, could be vital to this investigation.”

Cook’s parents, Misty and Daniel Morrissey, have criminal records relating to methamphetamine, and Daniel Morrissey has been eyed by family members as a suspect in the girls’ disappearance.



Saturday July 21, 2012 – Iowa Cousins Case Now Considered Abduction
Monday July 23, 2012 – FBI Believes Missing Iowa Girls are Still Alive
Thursday July 26, 2012 – Surveillance footage Found of Missing Cousins
Sunday August 11, 2012 – Vigil for Missing Iowa Girls