Sounder SIGN UP FOR FREE
Did You Lock The Door?
Did You Lock The Door?

Episode 18 · 1 year 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 youlock the door? The podcast. I'm your host, Peyton Reese, andtoday I'm going to be bringing to you a case that I think definitely needsall of the media attention that it can get. I think this case isdefinitely 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 caseand we can get some more people talking about it and we can get justicefor today's victim and for their family. So today I am going to betalking 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 nameswere Karen Phillips and Joseph Coles. Kira was the number four out of fivechildren born to Joseph Coles, according to ABC News, and I couldn't findin any of the articles or subreddits or anything that I looked up for thiscase. I couldn't find if Joseph and Karen had five kids together or ifthis was just relating to Joseph, but Kira did have four siblings. Shewas born into and grew up in the Chicago area, Chicago, Illinois,and according to her family and the people that knew her best, Kira grewup to be a kind woman with a beautiful smile, and if you lookat any pictures of her, you, I'm sure, will definitely agree withthat. And according to her parents, she was always close with both ofthem, especially with her mother. Her and her mother would not go oneday without talking on the phone at least once, but often they would talkthree 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 somemoney. She was definitely an independent woman and she wanted to live away fromher mom and her dad and a parental influence as soon as possible. Shestill wanted to maintain close relationships with them, of course, but she definitely hadan independent spirit and wasn't satisfied living with mom and dad. She wantedto have her own apartment. She eventually would realize this dream and move intoher own apartment in South Chicago. When Kira turned twenty, she would meeta man named Joshua Simmons. The two would hit it off and start arelationship pretty quickly. Both Kira and Josh would soon find themselves employees of theUnited States Postal Service, both working as letter carriers. Kira was now verysatisfied 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 becomepermanent for her. We are going to circle back to Kiara and her boyfriend, Josh so for a second. So the couple reportedly, when they firststarted dating, got along incredibly well and for a while things appeared to benearly perfect between the two. Eventually, as we often see in cases likethese, however, the fairytale feel of the romance would be replaced by feelingsof mistrust and even anger when rumors began to spread around USPS and between Kiaraand 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 theside. And it was also rumored that...

Josh got at least one woman whowas not Kira pregnant during the time that he and Kara were dating, possiblymore than one. But the rumor that I see the most is that hegot one woman pregnant, and this woman was actually also rumored to be namedKiara. Her name was Kiara Smith and she also worked as a letter carrierfor USPS with Josh and Kira. So Kira kind of had to live everyday and go to work every day not knowing whether or not her boyfriend wassleeping with this woman who shared her name and he possibly might have even gottenthat 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 mysympathy to her. That had to be incredibly upsetting and stressful. Ican't confirm or deny any of these allegations, however, as the police have neverspoken on them and these are things that have only been mentioned and speculatedonline in certain articles and Internet forums. But whenever they're spoken about, theyare presented as rumors and not as definitive facts. So while enough people aretalking about this for me to lean towards it being in the realm of thetruth. I definitely cannot confirm that any of this actually happened, that Joshever 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'sdefinitely the main points of what you'll see about this case if you do anyresearch on it, and because of that, it causes me to lean towards thisbeing more true than untrue. Despite, however, all of that that wassupposedly going on and rumored to be happening in their relationship, Kia andJosh did remains together for six years and actually, three months before Kira wouldgo 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 thetwo were close. Karen reported that Kira was absolutely elated to find out thatshe was pregnant, as was Karen. Karen said, quote she was alreadyexcited about becoming a mother. That's all my child ever wanted to be amom and accomplish all the things she said to accomplish to have a nice payingjob, which she had, to get a new car, which she bought, to move into her own apartment, which she did, and to becomea mother, which she was about to. and quote, Karen had also saidthat, while it was too early for doctors to tell yet, Kirawas sure that she was going to give birth to a baby boy. FromKaren'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 reasonto vanish. Well, obviously there are always going to be things that wedon't tell our parents. It seems that Kira and Karen were very close andeven 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 wasnot quite right with Kiara. On the evening of October two, two thousandand eighteen, Karen would talk to Kara on the phone and the two wouldgo to bed that night. Karen and not feeling as if anything was amissor wrong with her daughter in any way. Kara had spent some time with friendsand had a wick appointment, which wick stands for women, infant andchildren, earlier that day and, according to Karen, everything seemed normal andher daughter seemed very happy. Little to Karen know she would get one moregood 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. Shewas not yet alarmed. Maybe KIA had already clocked in at work and justcouldn't talk. When she got care's voicemail yet again that afternoon, still noalarm 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. Aswe know, the two talked once a day at the very least, andoften they would talk much more than that. It was not at all like Kiarato let three calls go to voicemail without reaching out to her mom intext 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 herfamily or any of her friends. Her Mom now knew for certain that somethingwas wrong. She called the police and asked them to perform a wellness checkon CARE's apartment. Thankfully, the police agree to do so. They tookthis complaint pretty seriously and when they arrived at CARE's apartment, there was nosign of her. EERILY, however, her car was parked in its usualspot and inside the car was Kira's purse, which contained her debit card and herID and additionally, the police found Kira's cell phone, her lunch bagthat she took to work with her every day, her keys, some prenatalvitamins and other personal items. This very understandably concern the police. However,hoping for the best, they called the post office that Kira worked at toask if she perhaps had come in that day. Maybe the explanation was asimple 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 actuallyhadn't been there the day before either. Kara had called in sick the morningof October three. This, of course, only serves to elevate the worries ofboth the police and of Kira's family if she had in fact been missingsince the third they were a whole day behind time. That, as weall know, is crucial in missing persons cases. The next step was tocheck 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 whereshe was and what she was doing. Through security cameras located near Kire's apartmentcomplex, they see a girl dressed head to toe in a USPS uniform thatseems 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, continuingto 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 soearly on in the investigation, so of course they run with it. Well, the release of this video certainly helped to garner attention. Any witness testimonythat it might have brought in would, unfortunately, soon be deemed pretty worthlesswhen it was announced by law enforcement that the woman in the video was notin fact Kiara. This, of course, was a devastating blow to all involved, and now everything was back at square one for the investigation, asit usually goes with investigations like this, Joshua Simmons, who was Kira's longterm boyfriend and the father of her yet unborn child, was the next avenuethat the police went down. One of the first things please discovered was thatJosh had very recently quit his job at USPS, so had a young womanthat you might remember, whose name is Ciarra Smith. This is the womanthat Josh was reportedly cheating on Kira Coles with. And not only was teacheating, 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 shekind of knew what was going on. So of course this would be asource of conflict in the relationship. The fact that Kira Smith and Josh bothquit their jobs right after Caracoles went missing, I think, not only adds fuelto the fire that is the allegations of them being unfaithful, or ofJosh being unfaithful to Caracoles, it also...

...paints both Josh and Cara Smith ina very suspicious light, in my opinion. Unfortunately, however, it seems thatthe police do not have that much evidence against Josh. Obviously, thepolice always know more than what they're going to tell the public, but atthe same time, it does not seem like they have as much as theywould like to. After police were able to confirm that it was not infact Kiara on the security footage, it seems that they kind of hit adead end. It is not even known if Kiara went missing the night ofthe second or the morning of the third. Seemingly, Kia hung up after talkingto her mom on October second and disappeared right into thin air. Karenwas initially incredibly vocal about her belief that Kia's boyfriend, Josh was totally innocent. As time passed, however, her mind would begin to change. Accordingto her, Josh has not reached out to her or anyone else in theirfamily a single time since Kara went missing, not even to check in and tojust ask how anyone is doing, seeing as Kira and Josh had beendating 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 thatJosh did in fact have something to do with whatever it is that happened toher daughter, and I absolutely understand where she's coming from. I think thatthat is incredibly suspicious. I mean, they were dating for over six yearsand they were having a child together. The fact that Josh has not reachedout to the family that before Cairo went missing, he talked to all thetime, 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 sinceday one. He actually moved from his home in Wisconsin all the way toChicago, 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 carthat he kept parked outside of Kira's apartment complex and the hopes that if sheever came home, he would be the first one to see her. Heactually told the Chicago Sun Times quote. All I can do is keep hopealive. I take my grandkids, we pass out flyers every day. Wedon't miss a day and quote, Kira's entire family is working diligently to keepher name in the press and to make sure that their daughter and that Kira'sbaby, 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 isout there on this case. CHICAGO, Illinois, does seem to have aproblem with their missing women. They're missing black women in particular, and incrediblyhigh amount of black women go missing and or are murdered in Chicago and theircases often go unsolved. Kiara's is one that did get a little more coveragethan others, which is why I was able to put together a whole podcastepisode on it, which is really sad. Obviously, all of the women thathave gone missing or have been murdered deserve coverage and I am working onan episode that is kind of compiling all of their cases, or a lotof their cases, and what we know about each of them to try andget as many names out there as I can. But Kira's case is justas important, obviously, so I figured I should go ahead and get anepisode 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 morningof October fourth? First of all, we've never heard the call that wasmade into USPS the morning of October three.

So we have no way of knowingwhether or not it was Kiara that called in. That's never been spokenabout. I'm not sure if the police even know that. We just knowthat a call was made saying that Kira would be sick and not coming intowork that day. If Kira did make that call, I find that incrediblysuspicious. I think that she was being forced to make that call and ifshe didn't make that call, obviously same circumstances. Someone who was either holdingher hostage or it already done something horrible to her, was making that callso that there would be more time before people came looking for Kira. Shewas obviously a very diligent and hard working employee, so if she just didn'tshow up, red flags would pop up right away. so by either forcingher to call in sick or calling in sick for her. Whoever did thisto her definitely gave themselves some time, but I think it would be veryimportant to know whether or not it was Kira that made the call or someoneelse. This is something that I'm sure the police know and just aren't sharingwith us and of course, like I said, I think it's crucial tothe investigation. So if they just aren't sharing it with us, that definitelymakes sense. But I think whether or not I was is Kira that madethis call will be a big part in finding out who do this to herand just a big part in the investigation in general. I also think thatthe lunch bag found in Kira's car holds the key to answering when Kira wentmissing. So was there like a full, ready to go lunch packed in caresbag? If so, Kiara likely packed up her car and was readyto 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 oflike scraps left over, it's likely that Kira had already eaten it that dayand that would indicate that she had gotten out of her car when she pulledup to her apartment and that something bad happened heard. Then again, thisis the question that the police likely know the answer to, as they arein possession of her lunch bag, but I think this also plays a bigrole in helping us decipher when exactly Kira went missing. My second major questionis, was Kira's car found in a condition that her family and her friendswould have expected her to leave it in? And by this I mean often inmissing persons cases, when the victim's car is found, the family andor 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. Forexample, was it messier than Kira normally left it? Was it cleaner?Was the seat pushed back just a little bit too far? Was it alittle bit too far forward? Basically, did it look like Kiara was thelast one that was driving her vehicle? This is yet another question that thepolice 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 understandthe case better and help us put more puzzle pieces together than we are currentlyable to police have in vocal about their belief that foul play was absolutely involvedin this case, and they agree with Kia's family that, especially with herbeing pregnant, she would not have made the choice to disappear and leave herfamily and her boyfriend and her job so worried and so devastated. Police haveeven 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 toKiara. I'm going to go from what, in my opinion, is least likelyto 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 astranger either when she got home on October two or when she was leaving herapartment on October three. For this theory, I am making the assumption that nothingwas out of the ordinary with Kira's car, other than the fact thatit still housed many of her belongings. And I'm making this assumption because astranger probably would not have known where to park here's car unless she unless sheremained conscious in the car with him and was willing to tell the perpetrator whereshe lived, the perpetrator would not have known where he should take here ascar back to. So that leads me to believe that if she was attackedby 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 tookKiara 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 iton her ID or she told it to them. If a random stranger didabduct her, I don't see the purpose they would have for dropping cares vehicleback off at her home. I mean, I think it would make much moresense for them to leave it on the side of the road or evenburn it or to hide it in some way. Definitely not take it backwhere they would risk being seen on security cameras, where they would risk beingseen 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'tthink that a random person would have taken the time to either call out forKiara and risk having their voice heard, or to ask or force Kira tocall out of work. I mean, obviously, I mean it does makesense that they would want to save themselves a little time be able to getout 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 tothink that they took Kira. They would just be concerned in getting as faraway as possible and not in making care a call out of work. Thesecond theory is someone Kira knew that was not her boyfriend Josh. Had SomeoneKara new come over either when she got home on the second or before shewas about to leave on the fourth, she probably would have opened the doorfor a familiar face, just as most of us would. Perhaps this personwas a friend or even a family member who convinced Kiara that she should callit of work and play Hooky with them. Perhaps it didn't take longer than ittook for Kira to open the door for someone that she thought was aloved one before things turn sour. As far as we know and as faras the police have said, there was little to no motive for almost anyonein Kira's life to want to make her disappear. Of course, someone couldhave been obsessed with Kira and just no one else knew about it. Perhapsthe recent news of Kira becoming pregnant with Josh's baby set someone off, maybea jealous lover or a wannabe lover. We don't have much information on thepeople in Kira's life that aren't her family that are dedicating every day to searchingfor her or her boyfriend Josh, who is understandably a prime suspect. Soit is difficult to say what motive other people in her life might have hadfor harming Kia. And, of course, if it was not someone that Kiaknew that wasn't Josh, that's going to leave us with Josh. Weall know that one of the basic rules of true crime is that the boyfriendor the husband probably did it. Well, I often try to root for thepartner's innocence in cases where the answers...

...are unknown. I find that prettydifficult to do in this case. I also try not to make mountains outof mole hills, especially when it comes to internet rumors. But the factthat both Joshua Simmons and Kira Smith, a woman who it is widely believedthat Caracoles knew Josh was cheating on her with and might have even known thatJosh had Gotten Kira Smith pregnant, the fact that Kia and Josh both quittheir jobs at the post office right around when Kira Coles went missing. Thosetwo things is all but confirm these rumors, for me, at least in termsof 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 sixyears and the soon to be mother of his child went missing? He hasnever provided any reason for this, but whatever reason he could provide, it'sincredibly suspicious, especially when one of the women he was rumored to be cheatingon Caracoles with quit at the exact same time. More of Josh's behavior thatI find pretty suspicious include his lack of communication with Kara's family. We've alreadytouched 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 togetherfor over half a decade and they had a child on the way. Whyhas he never reached out to Kira's family? Was Josh afraid that once a childcame into the world it would be more difficult for him to sneak aroundon Kira? was He just really opposed to settling down with her? Maybehe was given some kind of her or me ultimatum by either of the twoKiras and he turned to drastic measures to appease Kara Smith. Or maybe allof these Internet rumors are just that rumors. I definitely think that Josh knows alot more about Kiracole's disappearance than he's ever shared. I also find itvery plausible that Kira Smith does to. Jealousy and Josh's infidelity seem like themost likely motives for this crime, and I think it's very likely that Joshuajust did not want to be tied down. I also find it very likely thatone of the other women that Joshua was likely involved with was pressuring himto leave Caracoles and it all just got to be too much. The policethink that they know what happened and have alluded to the fact that they believedsomeone known to Kira was involved, someone that she knew very well and thatshe trusted. And I am with all of the reddit posters and all ofthe online detectives when I say that I think it's not at all unlikely thatthat person could be Josh and I think that the police will eventually uncover enoughevidence, uncover something that helps them put the pieces together and that brings Kiraand her baby home, hopefully alive but in any capacity. I do havefaith that this one will be solved. Hopefully this happens much sooner rather thanlater. When Kira was last seen, she was described as a black female, about five foot for, a hundred and twenty five pounds, dark hairand Brown eyes. She had several tattoos, including a heart on her left hand, the phrase lucky libra on her back, a jaguarers head on theback 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 caseand bring Kia and her family closure, you can contact the Chicago PD atthree, one, two, seven, four seven, five, seven eightnine, 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 goingon in the world in relation to black lives matter right now. As awhite 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, andthat is why I am going to leave a link in the description of thispodcast that will direct you, guys to a hundred, forty two different linksand ways that you can donate in support of black lives matter and that youcan support people and communities of color, be it bail funds, be itblack businesses. There are so many different resources in this link, so definitelymake sure you guys go and check that out. Did you lock the doorthe podcast stands with black lives matter absolutely. You can find did you lock thedoor 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 anycase suggestions or any theories and thoughts you have, or if you just wantto say hi. I always welcome that. Please make sure that you guys arestaying safe and also staying educated and informed during these times. Thank you, so, so, so much for listening. I appreciate it more thanyou know and, as always, make sure you lock your doors by.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (21)