The parents of Phoenix Coldon observed her 24th birthday today. Coldon has been missing from her suburban St. Louis home for more than five months. The Huffington Post reports the family hasn't given up hope the college student is still alive. Despite facing financial difficulties, donations have poured in that have allowed Coldon's relatives to rehire a private investigator. Funds were also used to stave off foreclosure on the family home. The search for Coldon has yielded mysterious circumstances but no solid leads.
Dec. 18: Last seen
Coldon was last seen leaving the driveway of her home around 3 p.m. Dec. 18. Around three hours later, police in East St. Louis noticed the young woman's black 1998 Chevy Blazer parked, with the keys in the ignition, and the motor running. The driver's door was open and the vehicle was impounded.
Dec. 19: Reported missing
Coldon's parents reported her missing the following morning. Despite police running the plates on the vehicle, it didn't turn up as missing, according to the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Five days after the initial missing persons report, the St. Louis Major Case Squad was activated.
Jan. 1: Impoundment discovered
The parents didn't realize the Blazer was impounded until two weeks after Coldon's disappearance. No one entered the car into the police's computer system. In the following weeks, the woman's parents searched through the area of East St. Louis where her car was found. Despite searching empty lots and wooded areas, nothing was found.
March 9: East. St. Louis searched again
A photo published by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch shows Lawrence Coldon walking down an empty street near where his daughter's vehicle was found. With grey hair and a walking cane, Lawrence Coldon was attempting to locate more clues as to his daughter's disappearance.
April 18: Home foreclosure notice
The Huffington Post stated in mid-April on a hoax that cost the Coldon family the remainder of their life savings. To date, the Coldons have spent more than $50,000 on a private investigator. The mortgage company sent the family a foreclosure notice. At this point in the investigation, the East St. Louis Police Department hadn't contacted the missing woman's family since February.
May 9: Search intensified
KSDK reported in mid-May that the family began a more thorough canvassing of East St. Louis. Cards with Phoenix Coldon's name, picture and description were handed out in the city. Coldon was last seen wearing grey sweatpants, a dark hoodie and tennis shoes. She is 5'6" tall and weighs around 125 pounds. Anyone with information should call the St. Louis County Police at (314) 615-8630.
William Browning, a lifelong Missouri resident, writes about local and state issues for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. Born in St. Louis, Browning earned his bachelor's degree in English from the University of Missouri. He currently resides in Branson.