Published: Tuesday, March 26, 2013 @ 10:47 AM
Updated: Tuesday, March 26, 2013 @ 10:47 AM
By: Lou Grieco - Staff Writer
Nikki Lyn Forrest was 4 and a half months pregnant when she vanished.
More than 2 years later, Piqua police still don’t know what happened to Forrest or the baby she was carrying. They also don’t know the identity of the people who turned Forrest’s purse in to a nearby pharmacy.
“We would like to talk to the people who found the bag,” said Piqua Deputy Chief Tom Christy. “We think that’s a critical part of an investigation that’s lacking.”
Forrest, 19, who had been somewhat transient during the previous year, disappeared Sept. 25, 2010. That day, she had two arguments in two Miami County cities, one in Piqua and one in Troy.
The first argument was with a friend of her late mother. Forrest had been staying at the woman’s home on Piqua’s Young Street. The argument was about the rules Forrest was to respect to stay there, and Forrest responded by packing her things and leaving, according to Piqua Police.
It’s unknown how she travelled the eight miles to the northern part of Troy, but she arrived there later that same evening. She stopped by a girlfriend’s place on Trade Square West, then walked to the home of an ex-boyfriend about three blocks away. That man reported that they argued about her plans for the two of them to move away from the area. Then, while the two were in his driveway, a blue car picked her up and she left, he told police.
That is the last reported sighting of Forrest, who was midway through a high-risk pregnancy that required she take daily medication.
That medication was found days — it’s not exactly clear when — later in her shoulder bag, along with her identification card, a food stamp card and some other personal items. The people who found the bag saw the prescription issued by the pharmacy at the Covington Avenue Kroger in Piqua, and took it there. The pharmacy called Forrest’s emergency contact, who then contacted police.
Police have never identified the people who dropped off the bag and still hope they come forward. They told Kroger employees that they found the bag on a covered bridge on Eldean Road, off County Road 25-A, just north of Troy and five miles from where Forrest was last seen.
But the exact location is unknown, though police have searched the areas around Eldean Road. They have contacted other states to check for birth records. They obtained Forrest’s cellular phone records, but it hasn’t been used since she vanished. A waitress at a Waffle House, Forrest never picked up her last paycheck.
Christy said that there were several people that he hoped would cooperate with police, including the ex-boyfriend, who stopped talking after making his initial statement. Thomas said that Forrest was not known to police before she went missing, but a number of her acquaintances were.
The day she vanished, Forrest also texted Tammy Weddington, her step-mother who had custody of her from the time she was 12. Weddington said Forrest indicated she was OK and that she and a friend were probably moving out-of-state.
Weddington told the Dayton Daily News last year that she persuaded her ex-husband to give her custody after Forrest’s mother died and he appeared unable to handle her. She said that Forrest was a good student involved in band, choir and other activities, but when she turned 18, in November of her senior year, she announced that she no longer wanted to live with Weddington.
Within the past month, police received what they hoped was a good tip: it was about a woman who used the names Nikki Lyn, the same first and middle names Forrest, but a different last name. She matched the general description of the missing girl, and frequented a Cincinnati-area business. But police quickly determined that it the person was not Forrest, Christy said.
Christy said police will look into any information or tip, and that hopes a new a new service on the department’s website will encourage people to come forward. By clicking on “Submit a Tip,” people can send texts or emails anonymously. Police can also respond and ask questions, though without knowing where those questions are being sent – so that the original person’s anonymity is protected, Christy said.
People can also call Crime Stoppers at 937-615-TIPS (8477).