Arianna Fitts: Found or Missing? Is She Dead or Alive?

Image Credit: ABC7 News

A horrific tragedy gripped the city of San Fransisco, California, when a mother of one, Nicole Fitts, was reported missing on April 5, 2016. After all, Nicole was last seen alongside her then-two-year-old daughter, Arianna Fitts, in mid-February of the same year, and the infant has been missing since then, much to the entire family’s concern. Crime Junkies’ ‘Missing: Arianna Fitts’ thus chronicles this strange disappearance and follows the ensuing investigation that has tried its best to bring the child home safely. Let’s delve into the details surrounding the case and find out more, shall we?

What Happened to Arianna Fitts?

At the time of Arianna’s disappearance in early 2016, the two-year-old was full of energy and never failed to light up a room. Yet, like most toddlers, she was obviously entirely dependent on her mother, and Nicole made sure to prioritize her daughter over all else. However, since the mother had to earn a living to provide for her family, she took up employment at a San Fransisco Best Buy store, which required her to take on either late-night or early-morning shifts. Hence, finding no other option, she was forced to leave Arianna with babysitters during work hours. Little did she know, though, that this decision would turn everything around.

Arianna and Nicole// Image Credit: Fitts Family/CNN

According to sources, Nicole was last seen alive on April 1, 2016, when she stepped out of her home as someone had called and asked to meet at San Fransisco’s McLaren Park. She never returned home from that meeting, and even her daughter hasn’t been seen since then. Concerned and anxious, her family members, along with a team of volunteers, combed through a few local areas but to no avail. Therefore, knowing they would not have disappeared without contact, loved ones went and reported the pair missing on April 5, 2016.

The local authorities took the case on as a priority and interviewed several of Nicole’s acquaintances before mounting a massive search operation. There was no news for the first few days, but a thorough search of McLaren park revealed a horrific scene as the mother’s body was discovered buried in a shallow grave. However, Arianna was nowhere to be seen nearby. As per official records, it is believed that although Nicole’s death was related to her toddler’s disappearance, the then-two-year-old was not present during the atrocious murder.

Is Arianna Fitts Found or Missing? Is She Dead or Alive?

We are sorry to report that, to this day, Arianna Fitts remains missing. Though, the police do classify it as an ongoing investigation. They, as well as Arianna’s family members, are confident about bringing her back home safely. We should mention that those close to Nicole have since revealed that shortly before her disappearance, the single mother of one was going through a tough time and had to live with a woman named Lemasani Briggs. But because she still had to work owing to her situation, Lemasani began looking after Arianna whenever the toddler was alone, leading to her developing a bond with the then-two-year-old. In fact, Lemasani would often refer to Arianna as her own baby, yet it reportedly never really bothered Nicole as she did not think much of it.

Image Credit: Fitts Family/Crime Junkies

Nicole did eventually move out to another house, but she kept up a close association with Lemasani. She even allowed her previous homeowner’s nieces, Siolo Hearns and Helena Martin, as well as Helena’s husband, to be Arianna’s babysitters when she worked at Best Buy. Yet, Nicole faced genuine issues with this arrangement, as the two women would often neglect their duties as a babysitter, citing random excuses. Still, she let things carry on as nothing seemed out of the ordinary up until the last day the mother of one was seen alive.

At the time of Nicole’s disappearance, on April 1, 2016, she lived with a roommate who claimed that Arianna was being looked after by her babysitters while the former was off at work. Then, the roommate said that upon returning on the fateful day, the young mother received a text message on her cellphone, following which she suddenly rushed out to meet someone at McLaren Park, never to be seen or heard from alive again. The roommate has always believed the text was from Arianna’s babysitters, yet there is no evidence to support such a claim.

Unfortunately, with no information or evidence on Arianna or the person responsible for killing Nicole, the case has been sitting unsolved for years. However, the FBI is now actively involved, and while special agent Scott Schelble mentioned that not everyone was cooperating with their investigations, progress is being made. He said, “We continue to re-examine the original evidence on this case, and that has led to additional evidence being recovered. Additionally, there have been significant advances, both in digital and biological forensic evidence, that is allowing us to see much more than what we knew six years ago.”

Still, it’s imperative to note that no arrests have been made in connection to this matter as yet. Therefore, in 2022, Arianna’s picture, age-progressed to eight years, was released to the press and the San Fransisco police announced that any information leading to the child’s whereabouts would be rewarded with up to $250,000. Law enforcement officials continue to urge the public to contact them with any likely tip they might have (via calls, texts, or online), while Arianna’s family refuses to rest until she is home safe.

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