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Did You Lock The Door?
Did You Lock The Door?

Episode 18 · 2 years ago

The Disappearance of Kierra Coles

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In October of 2018, a vibrant young mother to be by the name of Kierra Coles vanished under bizarre circumstances. The police think they know the truth of what happened to Kierra and who did this to her, proving it, however, has proved more difficult than they ever imagined. 

142 Ways to Donate in Support of Black Lives and Communities of Color: https://nymag.com/strategist/article/where-to-donate-for-black-lives-matter.html

Sources: 

https://abcnews.go.com/US/end-nightmare-mom-desperate-answers-year-pregnant-postal/story?id=65951321

https://craftonmegan.wordpress.com/2019/01/16/kierra-coles/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24OfYDrtrhg

https://www.ntd.com/missing-pregnant-woman-who-vanished-last-year-due-to-give-birth-this-month_321254.html

http://charleyproject.org/case/kierra-michelle-coles

https://www.reddit.com/r/UnresolvedMysteries/comments/btos8g/what_happened_to_kierra_coles_the_missing/

https://www.tmj4.com/news/local-news/racine-father-works-tirelessly-to-find-his-daughter-who-went-missing-in-chicago-in-2018

https://chicago.cbslocal.com/2019/08/19/family-of-kierra-coles-hope/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N47bFWGGm7U&t=951s

Hi, welcome back to did you lock the door? The podcast. I'm your host, Peyton Reese, and today I'm going to be bringing to you a case that I think definitely needs all of the media attention that it can get. I think this case is definitely very solvable. It's just that not enough people are talking about it. So hopefully I can be a voice in the discourse that is surrounding this case and we can get some more people talking about it and we can get justice for today's victim and for their family. So today I am going to be talking about the disappearance of Kiara Coles. Kierra was born on September twenty four, one thousand nine hundred and ninety two, making her a libra, I think, the first libra that I've covered on the show. Her parents names were Karen Phillips and Joseph Coles. Kira was the number four out of five children born to Joseph Coles, according to ABC News, and I couldn't find in any of the articles or subreddits or anything that I looked up for this case. I couldn't find if Joseph and Karen had five kids together or if this was just relating to Joseph, but Kira did have four siblings. She was born into and grew up in the Chicago area, Chicago, Illinois, and according to her family and the people that knew her best, Kira grew up to be a kind woman with a beautiful smile, and if you look at any pictures of her, you, I'm sure, will definitely agree with that. And according to her parents, she was always close with both of them, especially with her mother. Her and her mother would not go one day without talking on the phone at least once, but often they would talk three to four times on the phone each day. After graduating high school, Kira began working various jobs here and there in order to start bringing in some money. She was definitely an independent woman and she wanted to live away from her mom and her dad and a parental influence as soon as possible. She still wanted to maintain close relationships with them, of course, but she definitely had an independent spirit and wasn't satisfied living with mom and dad. She wanted to have her own apartment. She eventually would realize this dream and move into her own apartment in South Chicago. When Kira turned twenty, she would meet a man named Joshua Simmons. The two would hit it off and start a relationship pretty quickly. Both Kira and Josh would soon find themselves employees of the United States Postal Service, both working as letter carriers. Kira was now very satisfied and very happy with where she found herself in life because, as before, like I mentioned, she had sort of been bouncing around between different jobs, but she felt like she finally found a position with USPS that would become permanent for her. We are going to circle back to Kiara and her boyfriend, Josh so for a second. So the couple reportedly, when they first started dating, got along incredibly well and for a while things appeared to be nearly perfect between the two. Eventually, as we often see in cases like these, however, the fairytale feel of the romance would be replaced by feelings of mistrust and even anger when rumors began to spread around USPS and between Kiara and Josh's friends and acquaintances that Josh was being unfaithful. The rumors in specific, were that Josh was having several affairs. Some articles even mentioned a wife, that he was actually married and that Kira was his girlfriend. On the side. And it was also rumored that...

Josh got at least one woman who was not Kira pregnant during the time that he and Kara were dating, possibly more than one. But the rumor that I see the most is that he got one woman pregnant, and this woman was actually also rumored to be named Kiara. Her name was Kiara Smith and she also worked as a letter carrier for USPS with Josh and Kira. So Kira kind of had to live every day and go to work every day not knowing whether or not her boyfriend was sleeping with this woman who shared her name and he possibly might have even gotten that woman pregnant. So I imagine that would be very hard on Kira. That would definitely be very hard on anyone. I think. So all of my sympathy to her. That had to be incredibly upsetting and stressful. I can't confirm or deny any of these allegations, however, as the police have never spoken on them and these are things that have only been mentioned and speculated online in certain articles and Internet forums. But whenever they're spoken about, they are presented as rumors and not as definitive facts. So while enough people are talking about this for me to lean towards it being in the realm of the truth. I definitely cannot confirm that any of this actually happened, that Josh ever cheated on Kira or that he was having a baby with another woman, but this is talked about a lot, a lot, a lot. It's definitely the main points of what you'll see about this case if you do any research on it, and because of that, it causes me to lean towards this being more true than untrue. Despite, however, all of that that was supposedly going on and rumored to be happening in their relationship, Kia and Josh did remains together for six years and actually, three months before Kira would go missing, they discovered that they too would be having a baby together. Kira and her mom, who, if we remember her name, was Karen, talked on the phone every single day, like I said, most days, multiple times. It was not at all an exaggeration to say that the two were close. Karen reported that Kira was absolutely elated to find out that she was pregnant, as was Karen. Karen said, quote she was already excited about becoming a mother. That's all my child ever wanted to be a mom and accomplish all the things she said to accomplish to have a nice paying job, which she had, to get a new car, which she bought, to move into her own apartment, which she did, and to become a mother, which she was about to. and quote, Karen had also said that, while it was too early for doctors to tell yet, Kira was sure that she was going to give birth to a baby boy. From Karen's point of view, Kiara was at a very good place in her life. She would have no reason to drop everything and run away, no reason to vanish. Well, obviously there are always going to be things that we don't tell our parents. It seems that Kira and Karen were very close and even if Kia didn't tell her she was planning on running off or anything, I do think that Karen would have at the very least notice that something was not quite right with Kiara. On the evening of October two, two thousand and eighteen, Karen would talk to Kara on the phone and the two would go to bed that night. Karen and not feeling as if anything was amiss or wrong with her daughter in any way. Kara had spent some time with friends and had a wick appointment, which wick stands for women, infant and children, earlier that day and, according to Karen, everything seemed normal and her daughter seemed very happy. Little to Karen know she would get one more good night's sleep before October three arrived and her world was turned upside down. That next fateful morning, Karen called her daughter and received no answer. She was not yet alarmed. Maybe KIA had already clocked in at work and just couldn't talk. When she got care's voicemail yet again that afternoon, still no alarm bells would ring. When nighttime rolled around and yet another call went unanswered, Karen did begin to worry that something...

...was wrong with her daughter. As we know, the two talked once a day at the very least, and often they would talk much more than that. It was not at all like Kiara to let three calls go to voicemail without reaching out to her mom in text or email or anything to let her know why. On October four, Kiara had now gone over twenty four hours without reaching out to any of her family or any of her friends. Her Mom now knew for certain that something was wrong. She called the police and asked them to perform a wellness check on CARE's apartment. Thankfully, the police agree to do so. They took this complaint pretty seriously and when they arrived at CARE's apartment, there was no sign of her. EERILY, however, her car was parked in its usual spot and inside the car was Kira's purse, which contained her debit card and her ID and additionally, the police found Kira's cell phone, her lunch bag that she took to work with her every day, her keys, some prenatal vitamins and other personal items. This very understandably concern the police. However, hoping for the best, they called the post office that Kira worked at to ask if she perhaps had come in that day. Maybe the explanation was a simple ast something was wrong with cares cell phone and or with her car, and she couldn't call her family and she couldn't drive herself to work that day. The Post Office told police that Kira was not there, and she actually hadn't been there the day before either. Kara had called in sick the morning of October three. This, of course, only serves to elevate the worries of both the police and of Kira's family if she had in fact been missing since the third they were a whole day behind time. That, as we all know, is crucial in missing persons cases. The next step was to check surveillance tapes and see if they could locate Kia on any in the area. If they could do that, they might be able to track her movements. Maybe she could lead them to what had happened to her or to where she was and what she was doing. Through security cameras located near Kire's apartment complex, they see a girl dressed head to toe in a USPS uniform that seems to match Kara's physical description and is walking in the direction of Kira's car. However, once she reaches Kira's vehicle, she walks right past it, continuing to the other side of the streets and eventually walking right out of you. The police at first are overjoyed to have found such a major lead so early on in the investigation, so of course they run with it. Well, the release of this video certainly helped to garner attention. Any witness testimony that it might have brought in would, unfortunately, soon be deemed pretty worthless when it was announced by law enforcement that the woman in the video was not in fact Kiara. This, of course, was a devastating blow to all involved, and now everything was back at square one for the investigation, as it usually goes with investigations like this, Joshua Simmons, who was Kira's long term boyfriend and the father of her yet unborn child, was the next avenue that the police went down. One of the first things please discovered was that Josh had very recently quit his job at USPS, so had a young woman that you might remember, whose name is Ciarra Smith. This is the woman that Josh was reportedly cheating on Kira Coles with. And not only was tea cheating, but it was rumored that he had gotten her pregnant as well, and it was also rumored that Kira was not blind to this, that she kind of knew what was going on. So of course this would be a source of conflict in the relationship. The fact that Kira Smith and Josh both quit their jobs right after Caracoles went missing, I think, not only adds fuel to the fire that is the allegations of them being unfaithful, or of Josh being unfaithful to Caracoles, it also...

...paints both Josh and Cara Smith in a very suspicious light, in my opinion. Unfortunately, however, it seems that the police do not have that much evidence against Josh. Obviously, the police always know more than what they're going to tell the public, but at the same time, it does not seem like they have as much as they would like to. After police were able to confirm that it was not in fact Kiara on the security footage, it seems that they kind of hit a dead end. It is not even known if Kiara went missing the night of the second or the morning of the third. Seemingly, Kia hung up after talking to her mom on October second and disappeared right into thin air. Karen was initially incredibly vocal about her belief that Kia's boyfriend, Josh was totally innocent. As time passed, however, her mind would begin to change. According to her, Josh has not reached out to her or anyone else in their family a single time since Kara went missing, not even to check in and to just ask how anyone is doing, seeing as Kira and Josh had been dating for quite a while and that the two were expecting a child together. She finds this incredibly suspicious and now finds the feeling bubbling up inside her that Josh did in fact have something to do with whatever it is that happened to her daughter, and I absolutely understand where she's coming from. I think that that is incredibly suspicious. I mean, they were dating for over six years and they were having a child together. The fact that Josh has not reached out to the family that before Cairo went missing, he talked to all the time, even once, just screams guilty in my opinion. Of course, he is innocent until proven guilty, but that is incredibly suspicious to me. Kara's father, Joseph Cole's, has been an absolute champion for his daughter since day one. He actually moved from his home in Wisconsin all the way to Chicago, Illinois following Kia's disappearance. Finding her is now his full time job. At the beginning of the investigation, Joseph was even living in his car that he kept parked outside of Kira's apartment complex and the hopes that if she ever came home, he would be the first one to see her. He actually told the Chicago Sun Times quote. All I can do is keep hope alive. I take my grandkids, we pass out flyers every day. We don't miss a day and quote, Kira's entire family is working diligently to keep her name in the press and to make sure that their daughter and that Kira's baby, who would have been born in April of two thousand and nineteen, come home to them. So that is really all of the information that is out there on this case. CHICAGO, Illinois, does seem to have a problem with their missing women. They're missing black women in particular, and incredibly high amount of black women go missing and or are murdered in Chicago and their cases often go unsolved. Kiara's is one that did get a little more coverage than others, which is why I was able to put together a whole podcast episode on it, which is really sad. Obviously, all of the women that have gone missing or have been murdered deserve coverage and I am working on an episode that is kind of compiling all of their cases, or a lot of their cases, and what we know about each of them to try and get as many names out there as I can. But Kira's case is just as important, obviously, so I figured I should go ahead and get an episode up about her. So we're going to go into some theories now. So my first question regarding this case, and this will play into the theories, is Dick Cierra go missing on the evening of October second or the morning of October fourth? First of all, we've never heard the call that was made into USPS the morning of October three.

So we have no way of knowing whether or not it was Kiara that called in. That's never been spoken about. I'm not sure if the police even know that. We just know that a call was made saying that Kira would be sick and not coming into work that day. If Kira did make that call, I find that incredibly suspicious. I think that she was being forced to make that call and if she didn't make that call, obviously same circumstances. Someone who was either holding her hostage or it already done something horrible to her, was making that call so that there would be more time before people came looking for Kira. She was obviously a very diligent and hard working employee, so if she just didn't show up, red flags would pop up right away. so by either forcing her to call in sick or calling in sick for her. Whoever did this to her definitely gave themselves some time, but I think it would be very important to know whether or not it was Kira that made the call or someone else. This is something that I'm sure the police know and just aren't sharing with us and of course, like I said, I think it's crucial to the investigation. So if they just aren't sharing it with us, that definitely makes sense. But I think whether or not I was is Kira that made this call will be a big part in finding out who do this to her and just a big part in the investigation in general. I also think that the lunch bag found in Kira's car holds the key to answering when Kira went missing. So was there like a full, ready to go lunch packed in cares bag? If so, Kiara likely packed up her car and was ready to head off to work and something happened to her that morning on October three. However, if the lunch bag was empty or there were just kind of like scraps left over, it's likely that Kira had already eaten it that day and that would indicate that she had gotten out of her car when she pulled up to her apartment and that something bad happened heard. Then again, this is the question that the police likely know the answer to, as they are in possession of her lunch bag, but I think this also plays a big role in helping us decipher when exactly Kira went missing. My second major question is, was Kira's car found in a condition that her family and her friends would have expected her to leave it in? And by this I mean often in missing persons cases, when the victim's car is found, the family and or law enforcement will comment on whether or not the car, you know, is found in a manner that the victim would have left it in. For example, was it messier than Kira normally left it? Was it cleaner? Was the seat pushed back just a little bit too far? Was it a little bit too far forward? Basically, did it look like Kiara was the last one that was driving her vehicle? This is yet another question that the police probably have the answer to that we the public just don't know yet. And again, these are all just questions that I think would help us understand the case better and help us put more puzzle pieces together than we are currently able to police have in vocal about their belief that foul play was absolutely involved in this case, and they agree with Kia's family that, especially with her being pregnant, she would not have made the choice to disappear and leave her family and her boyfriend and her job so worried and so devastated. Police have even stated that they have a, quote, pretty good idea of what transpired, and quote. With that being said, there are, in my opinion, three clear options when it comes to the theories about what actually happened to Kiara. I'm going to go from what, in my opinion, is least likely to what is most likely. So we'll start out with theory number one, which is just a random stranger.

Perhaps Kira was grabbed by just a stranger either when she got home on October two or when she was leaving her apartment on October three. For this theory, I am making the assumption that nothing was out of the ordinary with Kira's car, other than the fact that it still housed many of her belongings. And I'm making this assumption because a stranger probably would not have known where to park here's car unless she unless she remained conscious in the car with him and was willing to tell the perpetrator where she lived, the perpetrator would not have known where he should take here as car back to. So that leads me to believe that if she was attacked by some random stranger while she was either exiting or getting into her vehicle, the stranger just left her car there, didn't even touch anything and just took Kiara and put her into a separate vehicle that whoever this person was owned, even if they did know cares addressed for some reason, say they read it on her ID or she told it to them. If a random stranger did abduct her, I don't see the purpose they would have for dropping cares vehicle back off at her home. I mean, I think it would make much more sense for them to leave it on the side of the road or even burn it or to hide it in some way. Definitely not take it back where they would risk being seen on security cameras, where they would risk being seen by people that lived near Kiara and therefore knew her, knew her car. This is just something that I definitely don't think a random kidnapper would do. This random stranger theory also doesn't make sense to me in terms of well, I mean the fact that Kira called out of work. I just don't think that a random person would have taken the time to either call out for Kiara and risk having their voice heard, or to ask or force Kira to call out of work. I mean, obviously, I mean it does make sense that they would want to save themselves a little time be able to get out of the area. Maybe, but if they're just a random stranger, I would think that I would think that they wouldn't assume anyone was going to think that they took Kira. They would just be concerned in getting as far away as possible and not in making care a call out of work. The second theory is someone Kira knew that was not her boyfriend Josh. Had Someone Kara new come over either when she got home on the second or before she was about to leave on the fourth, she probably would have opened the door for a familiar face, just as most of us would. Perhaps this person was a friend or even a family member who convinced Kiara that she should call it of work and play Hooky with them. Perhaps it didn't take longer than it took for Kira to open the door for someone that she thought was a loved one before things turn sour. As far as we know and as far as the police have said, there was little to no motive for almost anyone in Kira's life to want to make her disappear. Of course, someone could have been obsessed with Kira and just no one else knew about it. Perhaps the recent news of Kira becoming pregnant with Josh's baby set someone off, maybe a jealous lover or a wannabe lover. We don't have much information on the people in Kira's life that aren't her family that are dedicating every day to searching for her or her boyfriend Josh, who is understandably a prime suspect. So it is difficult to say what motive other people in her life might have had for harming Kia. And, of course, if it was not someone that Kia knew that wasn't Josh, that's going to leave us with Josh. We all know that one of the basic rules of true crime is that the boyfriend or the husband probably did it. Well, I often try to root for the partner's innocence in cases where the answers...

...are unknown. I find that pretty difficult to do in this case. I also try not to make mountains out of mole hills, especially when it comes to internet rumors. But the fact that both Joshua Simmons and Kira Smith, a woman who it is widely believed that Caracoles knew Josh was cheating on her with and might have even known that Josh had Gotten Kira Smith pregnant, the fact that Kia and Josh both quit their jobs at the post office right around when Kira Coles went missing. Those two things is all but confirm these rumors, for me, at least in terms of Joshua's infidelity. Why did Josh, a loyal USPS employee for years, suddenly quit without any reason right around the time when his girlfriend of six years and the soon to be mother of his child went missing? He has never provided any reason for this, but whatever reason he could provide, it's incredibly suspicious, especially when one of the women he was rumored to be cheating on Caracoles with quit at the exact same time. More of Josh's behavior that I find pretty suspicious include his lack of communication with Kara's family. We've already touched on this, but they have not once heard from him since Kara disappeared. It's not like he and Kira were just casually dating. They've been together for over half a decade and they had a child on the way. Why has he never reached out to Kira's family? Was Josh afraid that once a child came into the world it would be more difficult for him to sneak around on Kira? was He just really opposed to settling down with her? Maybe he was given some kind of her or me ultimatum by either of the two Kiras and he turned to drastic measures to appease Kara Smith. Or maybe all of these Internet rumors are just that rumors. I definitely think that Josh knows a lot more about Kiracole's disappearance than he's ever shared. I also find it very plausible that Kira Smith does to. Jealousy and Josh's infidelity seem like the most likely motives for this crime, and I think it's very likely that Joshua just did not want to be tied down. I also find it very likely that one of the other women that Joshua was likely involved with was pressuring him to leave Caracoles and it all just got to be too much. The police think that they know what happened and have alluded to the fact that they believed someone known to Kira was involved, someone that she knew very well and that she trusted. And I am with all of the reddit posters and all of the online detectives when I say that I think it's not at all unlikely that that person could be Josh and I think that the police will eventually uncover enough evidence, uncover something that helps them put the pieces together and that brings Kira and her baby home, hopefully alive but in any capacity. I do have faith that this one will be solved. Hopefully this happens much sooner rather than later. When Kira was last seen, she was described as a black female, about five foot for, a hundred and twenty five pounds, dark hair and Brown eyes. She had several tattoos, including a heart on her left hand, the phrase lucky libra on her back, a jaguarers head on the back of her shoulder and the phrase love my in a design on her chest. If you or anyone you know have information that can help solve this case and bring Kia and her family closure, you can contact the Chicago PD at three, one, two, seven, four seven, five, seven eight nine, or you can call the United...

States postal inspection service at eight seven, seven, eight seven, six, two, four, five five. Obviously, I am sure that we are all well aware of what is going on in the world in relation to black lives matter right now. As a white woman, I don't think that it's my place to speak on that. I think it is my place to elevate black voices and black experiences, and that is why I am going to leave a link in the description of this podcast that will direct you, guys to a hundred, forty two different links and ways that you can donate in support of black lives matter and that you can support people and communities of color, be it bail funds, be it black businesses. There are so many different resources in this link, so definitely make sure you guys go and check that out. Did you lock the door the podcast stands with black lives matter absolutely. You can find did you lock the door the podcast on Instagram, twitter and facebook at lock the door pod. You can also email me at lock the door pod at gmailcom with any case suggestions or any theories and thoughts you have, or if you just want to say hi. I always welcome that. Please make sure that you guys are staying safe and also staying educated and informed during these times. Thank you, so, so, so much for listening. I appreciate it more than you know and, as always, make sure you lock your doors by.

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