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The Killing Season - Websleuths

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  1. #1

    NE - Joann Lofton, 20, Omaha, 8 Jan 2005

    Police Seek Missing Woman In 2nd Disappearance In 2 Months
    Rene Branch Faces Charges In December Disappearance Of Joane Lofton

    POSTED: January 14, 2005

    OMAHA, Neb. -- A man accused of abducting his ex-girlfriend in December was jailed Tuesday after that woman went missing for a second time Saturday.

    Rene Branch is behind bars, held without bond, and charged with felony false imprisonment and use of a weapon to commit a felony in connection with the Dec. 19 disappearance of Joann Lofton. Lofton was found several days after she was reported missing. Branch allegedly forced Lofton into a vehicle at gunpoint, but she was able to get away.

    Branch was arrested in connection with the December disappearance on Tuesday -- three days after Lofton's latest disappearance, when officers showed up to question Branch on the new missing persons case.

    Lofton's family said she hasn't been seen since Saturday. The 20-year-old has left before, but her family says she always calls to say where she is.

    "That's when we became really concerned," said Mytrethia Smith, Lofton's cousin. "No call, no nothing. No one knew where she was at. We called people she hung out with, her friends. No one knew."

    Branch's Tuesday arrest led to a Thursday court appearance, prosecutors said that during police interviews, Branch acted oddly and referred to Lofton in the past tense.

    Family members say there have been several altercations between Lofton and Branch since she ended the relationship a few months ago.

    "He would come over there on a daily basis and stand in the street and yell her name out and my auntie would have to keep calling the police," Smith said.

    Omaha police Sgt. Teresa Negron said Branch is only facing charges for the incident in December.

    "We don't have any evidence to suggest he is connected to her disappearance at this time," Negron said. "At this point, we really don't have any indicators to say any foul play has happened."

    Family members are hoping someone knows what happened, and where Lofton is.

    "We have no idea where she's at and we just want to know she's safe, and for her to return home," Smith said.

    If you have information about Lofton, call Crime Stoppers at (402) 444-STOP.


  2. #2

  3. #3
    Vehicle May Lead To Missing Woman

    POSTED: January 14, 2005

    Joan Lofton disappeared on Saturday after leaving her home near 33rd and Manderson streets at 7 p.m.

    This is not the first time Lofton has gone missing, she disappeared for the first time on Dec. 19, when her ex-boyfriend abducted her, but she was able to get away.

    Police believe Lofton was seen talking with people inside a car in the late afternoon Saturday near 30th and Pinkney streets.

    Investigators want to know who those people are and ask if they know where Lofton may be.

    The vehicle was a dark colored, older model car with four doors.

    If you have information about Lofton, call Crime Stoppers at (402) 444-STOP.


  4. #4
    Family Asks For Clues About Missing Daughter
    Joann Lofton Has Been Missing 10 Days

    UPDATED: January 18, 2005

    OMAHA, Neb. -- It has been 10 days since Joann Lofton, 20, was last heard from and her mother is asking for any clue about her daughter's disappearance.

    Lofton was last seen Jan. 8 at about 7 p.m. Police believe Lofton was seen talking with people inside a car in the late afternoon Saturday near 30th and Pinkney streets. Investigators want to know who those people are and are asking if they know where Lofton is. The vehicle was a dark-colored, older model car with four doors.

    Joann's mother, Terrie Lofton, has been looking for answers for more than a week now.

    "I don't know if she's alive or dead. I just need to know. I need to know something," Lofton said in her first interview asking the public for help. "If anyone's seen her or heard from her, please call the police or somebody."

    Lofton broke down, and her niece, Mytrethia Smith stepped in. Smith asked people to call police no matter how small the detail.

    "Call anyway," she said. "'Cause it's that little piece of information that might be (what finds Joann.)"

    "I miss my daughter. I want her home. I want to know where she's at," Terrie Lofton said.

    The day Joann Lofton was reported missing, her ex-boyfriend, Rene Branch, appeared in court. He's accused of forcing Joann Lofton into a car at gunpoint during a separate incident in December. A judge ordered Branch held without bond after prosecutors said Joann Lofton was missing.

    Police said they don't have any indicators foul play is involved with the current disappearance, nor do they have any evidence connecting Branch to the case.

    If you have any information about Joann Lofton, call Crime Stoppers at (402) 444-STOP.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    A printable poster of JoAnn with a better quality re-scanned photo is available at:


    (Click on JoAnn's link)

    Please help this family by placing a poster and praying for them.

    Thank you.

    Kelly Jolkowski, Mother of Missing Jason Jolkowski
    President and Founder,
    Project Jason

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2004

    Body of woman found in north Omaha


    Omaha police have found the body of a black woman in a undeveloped area near 38th and Miami.

    Police investigate the area where a body was found near 38th and Miami Streets Sunday.

    They were called to the area at 11:22 a.m.

    Police have not confirmed that the body is that of JoAnn Lofton, the 20-year-old missing since Jan. 8. But Lofton's family has gathered at Lofton's grandmother's house, which is near the site.

    Lofton was last seen leaving her north Omaha apartment about 7 p.m. Jan. 8, said Officer Chris LeGrow. Relatives reported her missing Jan. 11.

    Police had said Lofton was seen in an older dark-colored, four-door car near 30th and Pinkney Streets on Jan. 8.

    Police arrested a 20-year-old man Jan. 11 who was accused of forcing Lofton at gunpoint into a car Dec. 19.

    Officers talked to Lofton after she escaped minutes later and noticed that she had suffered injuries, said Sgt. Teresa Negron.

    The man, who had a past relationship with Lofton, was charged with false imprisonment, use of a weapon to commit a felony and two misdemeanors. He is being held without bail.

    Negron had said there was no evidence at the time that the man is responsible for Lofton's disappearance. Investigators have interviewed many people and are searching for leads, she said.

    Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 402-444-7867.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2003

    Body Identified

    Horror! I am sick with grief for Jo Ann Lofton and her family and friends.
    Her body has been positively identified.


    Two bodies id'd today ... young ladies losing their lives at teh hands of violent men!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Rest in peace, JoAnn....you are loved.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Where else? Texas ! ! ! !
    I can not begin to put into words the feelings of sympathy that I have for the friends and family of this young woman. Prayers are headed your way.

    "Would some power the Giftee gie us To see ourselves as others see us" R.Burns

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Native Texan, In Germany
    Rest in peace, JoAnn.

    You will never be forgotten.

    With much love to the Lofton's, Lanie

  11. #11
    For the family and friends of Joann,
    My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

    Rest in Peace Joann


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Whittier, CA
    I, too, pray she rests in peace. She was so beautiful.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    I'm confused. Was the boyfriend in jail for the previous Kidnap at the time of the second disappearance? If not, I'd like to know why not, and why he would be let out.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    nashville, tennessee
    I wondered about the boyfriend myself, seems to me that due to his background that he is the most likely person to have done this. I wonder myself if he was in jail like txsvicki WAS thinking. if he wasn't then the justice system there needs a real tune-up. if he was in jail its a good chance that some one known to him could have done this. according to a video link on the local newspaper there they say she was located on top of the snowfall "obviously meaning she hadn't been there for long" does anyone know when that area got a measurable snowfall? the video link I was viewing showed a view from a helicopter of the area where she was found, there were paint markings outlining the tire impressions where someone had turned around to leave. Its so sad that she met an untimely death. I understand she was dumped very close to where her grandmother lived. so sad. our thoughts and prayers will be with you

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    The snowfall was before she disappeared. I do not know why the FORMER boyfriend was out of jail.


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