Tina Marie McQuaig: How Did She Die? Was She Killed?

Image Credit: Saralyn McAfee Smith/Find a Grave

When Tina McQuaig went missing in 2000, she became the center of an extensive search led by the police and her loved ones. After every lead led to a dead end, the case went cold until a shocking discovery was made a couple of years into her disappearance. The revelation sparked a renewed search, all of which is covered in the episode titled ‘The Wedding Ring’ of Investigation Discovery’s ‘Disappeared.’ The inclusion of interviews with Tina’s family and friends, as well as experts involved in the investigation, provides the viewers with an in-depth study of the mysterious case.

Tina Marie McQuaig Was Found Dead Two Years After Disappearing

Tina Marie McQuaig (née Rice) was brought into the world by Linda Rice and Elmer “John” Rice Jr. on May 5, 1972, in El Paso, Texas. Apart from the loving company of her parents, Tina was also accompanied by her brother Christopher Rice. She went to Englewood High School, where she met William Ottis McQuaig and the two began dating. She graduated in 1990 and just four years later, she tied the knot with her high school sweetheart in November 1994. The married couple welcomed their first son Cory McQuaig together in May 1995. In the coming years, Tina gave birth to another son and the couple named him Tyler McQuaig.

Image Credit: Linda Rice/Find a Grave

Around the time she went missing, Tina had been studying for additional certification in order to secure her career as a pharmacy technician and was employed at Shands Jacksonville Hospital, which is now UF Health Jacksonville. On March 15, 2000, Tina left for work in her 1992 blue Nissan Sentra alone after dropping her son off with her sister-in-law who lived next door. After arriving at Shands Jacksonville Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida, she began her shift around 8:30 am, and as per her colleagues’ claims, she was quite upbeat and in a happy mood throughout the day. As soon as her shift ended before 5 pm, she left the hospital and took the elevator to get to the parking garage of the hospital, all of which was captured on the surveillance footage.

Tina entered her car and left the parking lot, but did not return home. After waiting until 6 pm in the evening, her husband William reported her missing to the police. A few days later, on March 19, 2000, one of her friends reportedly spotted her car at the Walmart parking lot at 6830 Normandy Boulevard, in Jacksonville, Florida, which was not the store where the family usually shopped. When the authorities arrived to inspect the vehicle in search of evidence, they discovered that her car was unlocked but the keys and her purse were nowhere to be found. Tina’s brother Christopher suspected that the investigators might find her body in the truck, but it was empty. Apart from a few unidentified fingerprints and fibers, the car had no other clue in or around it.

For the next two years, her family and friends kept looking for Tina and hoped that she would return to them someday. But on December 26, 2002, when they received the news that human remains were discovered by a surveying crew in a wooded area near the Cecil Commerce Center in Jacksonville, Florida, their hopes shattered. At the time, it used to be a military property. Then, a few months later, on March 10, 2003, the body was confirmed to be that of Tina Marie McQuaig by the anthropology department of the University of Florida. Furthermore, experts at the Duval County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled her death as a homicide by violence. Causing unrest amongst her loved ones, her parents demanded to see an arrest of the perpetrator/s responsible for murdering their daughter.

Tina Marie McQuaig’s Case Remains Unsolved

In the following years after the discovery of Tina’s lifeless body, the investigators followed multiple leads but nothing conclusive or incriminating came out of them, and hence, no arrests were made. They even found some evidence of alleged infidelity and focused on her potential lover, but even that came to nothing. In order to motivate more people to come out with any information they might have regarding the murder of Tina Marie McQuaig, the police offered a $5,000 reward for anyone who gave them information that could result in an arrest or answer some significant questions.

Image Credit: AustralianWildflower/Find a Grave

In May 2017, there were some developments in the case as one of the officials told First Coast News, “There are some people of interest in this particular case, however, I wouldn’t feel comfortable commenting as to what their involvement was.” Meanwhile, Tina’s father expressed his frustration. He stated, “He is walking the streets and he needs to be off the streets.” Even her mother, Linda Rice, raised her voice for the cause. She said, “Somebody knows something, I know they do and they’ve got to come forward. It has been too long. Tina needs justice, we need an answer.” Tragically, her father passed away in 2019, without learning the truth about her daughter’s murder. To this day, no arrest has been made but the police and her family are hopeful that the truth would surface one day.

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