Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Shemaeah Nicole Gunnel
Missing since February 10, 1989 from Yuma, Yuma County, Arizona.
Classification: Lost, Injured, Missing
Date Of Birth: November 6, 1983
Age at Time of Disappearance: 5 years old
Height and Weight at Time of Disappearance: 4'0" (122 cm); 50 lbs (23 kg)
Distinguishing Characteristics: Black female. Black hair; black eyes.
Circumstances of Disappearance
She was last seen at her home on February 10, 1989 and has not been seen since.
Her 26-year-old mother, Valerie Gunnel, was found beaten to death with a tire iron in the family's apartment. Shemaeah and her 9-month-old sister, LeCresha Gunnel (sometimes called "LeCresha Kirklin"), were missing. LaCresha's body was found floating in an irrigation canal in Mexico six days later. The baby had also been beaten to death.
Alvie Copeland Kiles, Valerie's live-in boyfriend, was convicted of murdering all three members of the Gunnel family and was sentenced to death.
Prosecutors believe he killed Valerie because she would not give him money to buy cocaine, then killed the children because they began screaming. His conviction was later overturned on the grounds that he had an inadequate defense, but he was convicted again of three counts of murder and two counts of child abuse in 2000. Kiles is awaiting execution.
Shemaeah has never been located.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Amber Alert has been issued for a missing 8-month-old girl, Daisja Weaver.
The girl's mother, Tamera Weaver, told the Dallas police that the child was taken at about 11:30 Tuesday evening after she fought off a sexual assualt in her home at the Preston Oaks Apartments.
Nearly 12 hours later, the Amber Alert was issued. Police intially launched a full-scale search on foot and by helicopter, but they have not located the child.
The Dallas Police Department said they did not issue an Amber Alert initially because the missing child did not meet the department's criteria for issuing an Amber Alert. They didn't explain their reasoning further.
Early Wednesday morning, the woman and her husband were being questioned by police who said some elements of the story had changed.
Investigators are now working to sort out the facts in the case while continuing to search for the missing girl.
Family members told NBCDFW that the baby, who was born premature, is physically challenged. The child's mother was taken to the hospital for minor injuries Tuesday night and was later released