Teresa Dean (Missing Persson)

Date:
August 15, 1999 (Sunday)

Location:
Lawrence Drive, Macon, Georgia, USA

Situation:
Missing

Teresa Melissa Dean

Nickname: Unknown
Alternative Name: Unknown

Disappearance

Missing from: Lawrence Drive, Macon, Georgia
Date Missing: August 15, 1999 (Sunday)
Taken By: Unknown

Circumstances:

Teresa Dean was a friendly little girl, once described by her mother as “everyone’s best friend” (Link). She often ran in and out of her home amidst playing around the neighborhood and visiting her friends.

Teresa was walking along Lawrence Drive around 4:00pm (16:00)* by her family when she disappeared. She was meant to be visiting puppies at a neighbor’s home and then heading to a friend’s, but she disappeared along the way. Family expected her to return home approximately 9:30pm, but became concerned when she did not arrive. Her disappearance was reported to police by a relative around 11:00pm (23:00) (Link).

*Some resources say she was last seen around 8:00pm (20:00) (Link); while other sources say 4:00pm (Link) It seems like her family last saw her around 4:00pm; while neighbors reported seeing her as late at 8:00pm.

The police from three counties searched several miles of forested land and in nearby kaolin mining pits, but nothing was ever recovered.

There have been no significant suspects in her disappearance, although her mother’s ex-fiancée Cody Landers was problematic. He lived with the family in 1999 but was found guilty of seven counts of child molestation in 2000. According to Landers, he failed a polygraph test regarding Teresa’s kidnapping but said the tests was not given properly. However, as of August 1999 he and the mother (Dorothy Dean) had both refused to take a lie detector test. Police never listed him as a formal suspect.

Link to Other Missing Girls

Police have acknowledged that there may be a connection between the disappearance of a collection of other girls of similar age across the Southern US. Specifically the disappearance of Shannon Nichole Paulk (Georgia – 2001), Teresa Melissa Dean (Georgia – 1999) and Heaven LaShae Ross (Alabama – 2003). Some believe Tabitha Danielle Tuders (Tennessee – 2003) should also be added to the list.

Similarities

  • Age: 11-13
    • Teresa, Shannon, and Heaven were 11
    • Tabitha was 13
  • Gender: Female
  • Demographics: Caucasian, Fair-Skinned, Light Hair, Light Eyes, Similar Build
    • Exact hair & eye colors varied:
      • Tabitha (Blonde, Blue-Eyed)
      • Teresa (Brunette, Brown-Eyed)
      • Heaven (Red, Hazel-Eyed)
      • Shannon (Brunette, Green or Hazel-Eyed)
    • Tabitha and Heaven were similar enough in appearance that some missing persons sites have mixed up their photos
  • Taken From: Trailer Parks
    • Teresa, Shannon, and Heaven were taken from the Trailer Parks where they lived
    • Tabitha did not live in a Trailer Park (tips suggest she may have been seen at a nearby trailer park around the time of her disappearance); however, her neighborhood was an older, poor, and run-down community.
  • Time: August, 2 Years Apart
    • Teresa, Shannon, and Heaven were all taken in Mid-August almost exactly two years apart
      • Teresa (8/15/1999)
      • Shannon (8/16/2001)
      • Heaven (8/19/2003)
    • Tabitha does not fit the timeline – (4/29/2003)
  • Circumstances: Walking Alone
    • Teresa, Heaven, Shannon, and Tabitha were all walking alone around or near their homes.
    • Teresa, Shannon, and Heaven all had commercial construction going on near the path they walked.
    • Tabitha and Heaven were headed towards the bus stop for school.
  • On Major Highways
    • Major highways connect all four hometowns involved in Teresa, Heaven, Shannon, and Tabitha’s disappearance.
    • Tabitha was possibly sighted in Linton, IN which is also on a major highway connected with the others.

Key Descriptors

  • Date of Birth: September 20, 1987
  • Age at Disappearance: 11
  • Ethnicity: Caucasian
  • Nationality: American
  • Gender at Birth: Female
  • Hair: Brown, Short
  • Eye Color: Blue
  • Height: 4’10” (147.3 cm)
  • Weight: 75 lbs (34 kg)

Distinguishing Marks or Factors

  • Pierced Ears
  • Speech Impediment
  • May be in need of medical attention for undisclosed reasons

Clothing

  • Short-Sleeved, Button Down shirt (Blue & White Stripes).
  • Orange-Rust Knit Pants.
  • Clear Gel Sandals.
  • Gold Ball Earrings

If You or Anyone You Know Has Information About The Disappearances, Please Contact the FBI or Crime Stoppers at 1 (800) 222-TIPS

References

  • NBC News (2015) ‘Saturday marked 16 years since Teresa Dean vanished’, 14 August. Link
  • Seabrook, C. (1999) ‘ATV Crash Kills Ranger for DNR’, The Atlanta Constitution, 20 August. Link.
  • True Crime Promise (2019) ‘Teresa Melissa Dean’, Tumblr, 19 July. Link
  • Hobb, J. (2005) ‘Twiggs sheriff reopens Teresa Dean case’, Courier Herald. Link
  • Echos Path. ‘Teresa Melissa Dean’. Link
  • u/BeardChester (2018). ‘Missing in Georgia #29: Charles Daniels and Teresa Dean’, Reddit. Link
  • u/KSMCC (2018) ‘Disappearance of 11 Year Old Teresa Dean’. Reddit Link
  • Porchlight International for the Missing and Unidentified. (2006) ‘Dean, Teresa Melissa – August 15,1999’ Link
  • Websleuths (2005) ‘GA – Teresa Dean, 11, Macon, 15 Aug 1999’ Link
  • Henry, S. (2015) ‘Middle Georgia Cold Cases: Teresa Dean’s Disappearance’, 41NBC, 29 July. Link

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