Niqui McCown to be remembered 20 years after disappearance; family seeks answers

RICHMOND, Indiana — It’s been 20 years since Marilyn “Niqui” McCown’s family last saw here as she went missing in Richmond, Ind., on July 22, 2001.

The family has spent the last 20 years holding on to the possibility of bringing here home one day.

News Center 7′s Kayla Courvell spoke with Niqui’s daughter about what they’re doing on the 20th anniversary of his disappearance and what you can do to help.

Payton Lackings, Niqui’s daughter, said, “She was just a very bubbly personality. Everyone loved to be around her.”

Niqui disappeared just 7 days after her daughter’s 9th birthday. She said, “We went to church and she dropped me at my grandma’s house to go do laundry.”

McCown went the laundromat on E. Main Street in Richmond that afternoon.

Lackings said, “I went played with my friend and then we went home because the street lights came on and when we got home my cousin ran upstairs and she said something is wrong with one of our moms.”

There have been several persons of interest named in Niqui’s disappearance. Lackings said the last lead she received was more than 10 years ago when someone, police thought may have been involved in her disappearance, died by suicide.

“It hasn’t been easy,” Lackings said - leaving her with more questions than answers as to what happened and to navigate life without her mother.

She said, “All girls want their mom. I got married, I went through pregnancy without that motherly advice. It’s something I’ve always longed for and being able to argue about the little things. It sounds silly, but its something you never imagine.”

Lackings said after her mother disappeared, she lived with her grandmother until she passed away in 2020.

“She passed away with not knowing what happened to her daughter and I made her a promise that I would do anything I can to find answers,” Lacking said.

And, that’s the reason for the upcoming Keep the Light Alive event – to remind everyone that it’s been 20 years and they’re still waiting for answers.

The event is scheduled for July 22 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the laundromat where Niqui was last seen in Richmond. Lackings said there will be games for kids, food and a chance to remember her mother.

Kayla Courvell

Kayla Courvell

I was born and raised in a small town just north of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and decided as a child I was going to be a news reporter.