The residents of Gastonia in North Carolina were left perplexed when 22-year-old Jamie Fraley went missing from her home on April 8, 2008. Although her cellphone was located just a few days after Jamie went missing, it provided no leads about her whereabouts, leaving the police confused. Crime Junkies’ ‘Missing: Jamie Fraley’ takes the listener through the facts of the case and follows the meticulous investigation that tried its best to get to the bottom of the matter. Let’s take a detailed look at the incident and find out if Jamie is still missing, shall we?
What Happened to Jamie Fraley?
Jamie Fraley was a 22-year-old who resided in Gastonia, North Carolina, and was quite close with her family. According to the podcast, Jamie had a challenging childhood and was living with bipolar disorder and anxiety. Although her condition made it quite difficult for her to attend school and live a normal life, Jamie gathered her courage and was even studying part-time at Gaston College, as she wanted to find a job as a substance abuse counselor. Moreover, the people around her were pretty helpful, as they often drove her to appointments and supported her whenever needed. Additionally, Jamie was happily engaged to Ricky Simonds Jr., and the two looked forward to a future together.
Interestingly, Jamie’s fiance was sentenced to 15 months in prison for theft in January 2007 and was to be released about 20 days after Jamie’s disappearance. Nevertheless, on April 8, 2008, Jamie called up a relative and complained about an acute stomach ache. Finding no one around, she asked her fiance’s father, Ricky Simonds Sr., for a lift to the hospital. Simonds Sr. resided in the same building and so was able to drive Jaime to the hospital at a moment’s notice. Interestingly, Jamie made two trips to the hospital that day, and a neighbor saw her entering her apartment at around midnight. However, shortly after, at around 1:30 am, Jamie called another friend and stated that she was going back to the hospital. She even mentioned that she was being driven there by a male but refused to give any other information. Shockingly, that was the last anyone ever saw or heard of Jamie as she completely vanished into thin air.
Jamie’s family got wind of her disappearance after she failed to attend an appointment the following day. Nevertheless, once a few of Jamie’s family members went to her apartment, they saw that she had left all of her essentials and identity documents behind, apart from her cell phone. Yet, once people realized Jamie was unreachable over text and call, they immediately contacted the police and reported her missing.
Is Jamie Fraley Dead or Alive?
Unfortunately, the investigation is still ongoing, and Jamie remains missing to this day, making her current status quite unclear. When the police were informed about the 22-year-old’s disappearance, they launched a full-scale investigation and even requested help from other agencies. For days, large searching parties combed through the local areas and left no stones unturned. Yet, there was no news of the missing girl. Although a couple of days after Jamie’s disappearance, her cell phone was found about a mile away from her apartment, it provided no clues about her whereabouts.
Interestingly, the initial investigation focused on Ricky Simonds Sr., as he was previously convicted on a manslaughter charge for strangling a girlfriend. According to the podcast, Jamie’s acquaintances mentioned how Simonds Sr. was quite obsessed with his son’s fiancee and was also one of the last individuals who had seen Jamie alive. Nevertheless, once the police approached him with a polygraph test, he refused to take one and kept insisting on his innocence. However, before the investigation could roll any further, Simonds Sr. was found dead in the trunk of his ex-girlfriend’s car, and an autopsy mentioned that he had died of heat stroke. On the other hand, the podcast also speaks of an incident where Jamie’s mother was sent a picture of an escort from a west-coast website that looked very much like Jamie. However, upon further investigation, the girl turned out to be someone different.
Since then, the case sat unsolved until a sudden confession in 2015 gave investigators a faint ray of hope. Reports mention that Jerry Case, a man then-incarcerated for kidnapping, confessed to killing Jamie Fraley in letters that he wrote to the Gaston Gazette. However, when detectives cross-examined the evidence, they discovered that Jerry was in prison at the time of Jamie’s disappearance, making it impossible for him to be the perpetrator. Unfortunately, that was the last sizeable development in the case, although the police insist that the investigation is still ongoing. Meanwhile, Jamie’s family has not given up on their hope for her safe return, as her mother, Kim, said, “Until you show me different, I’m going to have hope that she’s alive.”