Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: September 16, 1997 from Sturgis, Michigan
Classification: Endangered Missing
Date Of Birth: August 1, 1991
Age: 6 years old
Height and Weight: 4'0, 45 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: Blonde hair, blue eyes. Brittney was missing her four upper baby teeth at the time of her 1997 disappearance. She often wore her hair pulled back into a ponytail.
<LI>Clothing Description: A white tank top or t-shirt with a floral design, pink tie-dyed shorts and white tennis shoes with a pink design on the sides at the time of her disappearance. Her shoelaces had a red stripe down the center.
Details of Disappearance
Brittney was playing outside of her family's residence at Village Manor Apartments during the evening hours of September 16, 1997. She went outside to ride her bicycle at approximately 7:30 p.m. Brittney's mother, Tina Stetler, left to run errands at approximately 8:30 p.m. and saw her daughter riding her bicycle around the neighborhood at that time. Brittney's half-brother told authorities that he saw his sister sitting on a bench about five minutes after their mother departed. A witness told investigators that he saw Brittney speaking to an unidentified male driving a red or brown mid-size vehicle shortly thereafter. Brittney walked over to the witness and told him that she "made a new friend." Brittney has never been seen again.
Stetler returned home at approximately 9:05 p.m. and asked Brittney's brother to find her. The authorities were summoned when the child could not be located near the apartment complex, which is located on U.S. 12, the major thoroughfare through Sturgis. Brittney's bicycle was discovered abandoned shortly after she was last seen. Sketches of the unidentified man seen speaking to Brittney were distributed through the area in the days following her disappearance. It is not known if the man is connected to her case. He was in his late twenties or early thirties with short dark hair and a thick moustache and was driving either a mid-sized red car or a brown Renault. Police are still looking for the man; he is not being called a suspect, but a witness whom they would like to question.
Michigan courts removed Brittney's older brother and younger sister from the family's home in 1998 after allegations of child physical and sexual abuse and neglect were issued. Brittney's father, Raymond Beers; his brother, James Beers; and Kevin Folsom, the father of one of her half-brothers, were allegedly involved in the abuse of the children. Folsom is now in prison for molesting Brittney. Her case received more publicity in 2000 after the arrest of a St. Clair Shores, Michigan man who had images of child pornography saved on his computer. One of the victims resembled Brittney, but was later determined not to be the missing girl. Brittney's case remains open and unsolved.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Sturgis Police Department
The National Center For Missing and Exploited Children
Child Protection Education Of America
The Detroit Free Press
The Holland Sentinel
America's Most Wanted
The South Bend Tribune
Help Find Kidnapped Girl Brittney Ann Beers!
North American Missing Persons Network
Where is Brittney Beers?
Posted: 09/15/1999 05:24 pm
Last Updated: 09/16/1999 09:10 am
The search continues for a missing little girl from Sturgis. Two years ago, 6-year-old Brittney Beers disappeared from outside her house. Today, the search continues. But police admit, at times, it's been a discouraging and disheartening investigation. Wednesday, police released an age-enhanced photo -- what they believe an 8-year-old Brittney Beers would look like. This picture of Brittney is now on 500 trucks traveling across the country. 200 more posters plaster NASCAR and Hot Rod associate vehicles.
Sturgis police chief Eugene Alli told newscenter 16, "We know with the passing of time people forget and we want the public and the family relatives to know that law enforcement has not forgotten." The Sturgis police department says the case remains a top priority. It is a case that has broken a community's heart.
Alli added, “The tips have almost dried up. That’s a statement of fact. We live with this case everyday the family lives with the case every minute of the day.”
And two years later, Brittney's family has gone through its own changes. Her mother Tina Stetler has lost custody of Brittney and her sister and brother.
Alli stated: “A girl of six-years-old does not disappear off the face of this earth. Someone knows what happened to her. We need that person or persons to call to make the most important call of their life.”
Almost 800 tips have come in about Brittney Beers. But again those tips have now wittled down to nothing. Sturgis police say this case remains their top priority. FBI, county, and state are also assisting, and a $30,000 reward has been posted for information on Brittney Beers location. If you have any information you can call Sturgis police at 616-651-3231.
Police may have lead in Brittney Beers case
Posted: 09/08/2000 12:26 pm
Last Updated: 09/08/2000 09:04 pm
Sturgis, MI - Three years ago, 6-year-old Brittney Beers went missing in Sturgis on September 16, 1997. The case has baffled police and has kept a community hoping for answers to her mysterious disappearance.
The little blond-haired girl disappeared in September of 1997. She was last seen in Sturgis sitting on a bus-stop bench outside her home three years ago. For three long years, the entire community has wondered what happened to her.
On Friday, Sturgis police said they may have found pictures of her as a result of a pornography arrest. The latest lead stems from a child pornography case in Macomb County, north of Detroit. Photographs found in the possession of the suspect bore resemblance to Brittney Beers. Macomb County Prosecutors sought help in identifying the girl pictured. The request caught the attention of police in Sturgis. The girl in the picture is believed to be about six years old and she is believed to be the subject of serious abuse.
“Some of the pictures in a way resembled Brittney Beers. We’re currently following up on that lead. We want to emphasize this is a lead, not absolute positive identification – contrary to what some people have said,” said Sturgis Police Chief Eugene Alli.
Neither Sturgis nor Macomb County police have arrived at a final conclusion. The picture of the unidentified girl was one of many found on the computer of 41-year-old Russell Tombs, who now faces criminal charges of child pornography. He is not talking to Macomb County investigators who made the arrest.
In comparing photos of the unidentified girl and Brittney Beers, the Sturgis police department at this time remains cautiously optimistic that this could provide a break in the case although that is by no means a certainty.
“We've had these peaks and valleys before. We've been there, had names that were supposedly identical same age, different parts of the country, only to find out there was a child by that name, but was not our missing child,” said Alli.
Striking resemblance, but girl may not be Beers
“The photos of Brittney Beers that have been forwarded to the police department do bear a striking resemblance to the child pictured in these photos, however, it is not exact,” said Carl Marlinga, Macomb County Prosecutor. Marlinga says the general consensus among investigators is that Beers is not the girl in the picture. They say the unidentified girl appears to be no more than six years old, and that the photos are recent. Brittney Beers today would be nine years old.
“Right now most of the people who have looked at it believe it is not the same child, but of course it could be. We don’t know when these photos were made. That’s part of the problem,” said Marlinga.
Even if it does turn out to be Brittney, police have only found the pictures, not the girl. There's nothing in the pictures to indicate where the pictures were taken, nor who took the pictures.
Anyone with information related to this case is asked to contact the Sturgis Police Department at 616-651-3231 or the Kalamazoo FBI Office at 616-349-9607.
http://www.wndu.com/news/092000/news_3631.php. . .Police: Unidentified girl is not Brittney Beers
Posted: 09/11/2000 03:36 pm
Last Updated: 09/11/2000 03:41 pm
Sturgis, MI - An unidentified girl in a photograph is not Brittney Beers, according to Sturgis police. The picture was one of many found on the computer of 41-year-old Russell Tombs, who now faces criminal charges of child pornography . . .
http://www.fox28.com/php/article.php?news_id=9421SUSPECT STILL ON THE LOOSE
The suspect in a weekend abduction and sexual assault remains on the loose this morning.
This occurred in the same apartment complex as another high-profile kidnapping.
The boy was taken from the same complex where six-year-old Brittney Beers was abducted back in 1997.
FOX 28's Mike Brookbank found out police are calling it a coincidence ... and they're doing their best to keep the community focused on this latest abduction. . .
It also appears there is a myspace account under the name "Brittney Beers"
Note: Sorry for so many posts but I felt that the posts needed to be kept separate to avoid blurring the subjects into one big mess.
Here's a link to her myspace. You have to be on her friends list to see her entire profile but you can see her picture. The age is close, but I don't think she really looks like the age progression picture.
Try this linkOriginally Posted by Paradise
Wait a bit as it was slow to load for me.
That girl is 21. Brittney was born in 1991, so this can't be her.Originally Posted by docwho3
Correct . . . .if she was telling the truth about age, and I can't yet say I know of very many people who told the truth about their age on a myspace account.Originally Posted by Paradise
However, I was never putting this person forth as the missing person so much as posting the fact that the account existed because it came up in my search results. I do find it to be one of those interesting coincidences that I run into once in awhile when researching a case.
There is a Brittney Beers on Facebook as well. The school says SD State 08'. Of course, in order to use Facebook, you have to be a university or high school student with a email address at your college/school, she would have to be a student there to get the facebook account. Therefore, it is not likely to be the missing Brittney.
Makes sense.Originally Posted by anthrobones
The original link that I had posted was to a myspace account belonging to a Brittney Beers who was 15.
The case of a missing Michiana girl remains open nearly a decade after she disappeared.
On Saturday, it was exactly nine years ago when Brittney Beers vanished from her Sturgis apartment community.
On the anniversary, Sturgis Police are renewing their commitment to the case.
Despite receiving more than 1,000 tips, Beers' disappearance remains a mystery.
Investigators say they will continue to work on this case until its solved, and they still encourage people to call in tips.
Thanks for taking the time to post about Brittney. I often think of her and wonder what became of her.
I came across this today and thought it was very nicely done.
click on the pic to enlarge it.
What I have to say may very possibly be ABOSOLUTLY NOTHING.....and probably IS NOTHING, ...but I live in a rather secluded area...and across a lane from a relative of a 6 yr old girl that came up missing almost 10 years ago from our town.
It is common knowledge around here that pretty mcuh the entire family is strange (indeed even some of them have been arrested for phusically and sexually abusing this child....and her siblings were removed from the family a number of years ago for similiar reasons)
These neighbors are somehow related to this child, but I`m not sure exactly how (same last name, so maybe the man is a cousin or brother or something) and they are, at the very least, odd. They keep to themselves and have not allowed their kids to play with other neighborhood kids as they were growing up. Being ODD may be all they are "guilty of".....so I hesitate to say more....except some thoughts keep "haunting" me.....and I wonder if anyone else would think these ideas are just too wierd to be true....I mean, maybe I`ve watched too many cold case programs on TV or something???? (And certinly, because of surviving some pretty horrific abuse from my own childhood, I`m possibly over reacting?)
However, for over a year now, these folks have had what sounds like an air compresser plugged in. It is on pretty much 24/7 as far as the rest of us neighbors can tell. It kicks on and off every little while. (If not an air compresser it sounds exactly like one....we have one also , so I do know the sound.) When we are done using ours, we turn it off.....I`d think having one running 24/7 would be quite expensive on the electric bill ! I can not swear that it was on all last winter, as we can not hear it when we are inside the house with the doors and windows shut, but it was not at all uncommom to hear it kick on or off as we`d go outside during that time of year to get in our vehicle.
We started noticing it last July (over a year ago) and it was pretty constant from then and up through the fall. (There was one time in the fall when it was off for only a few days....and we all noticed the silence)
Here`s the thing....us "other neighbors" have all commented to each other how strange this is and have "half jokingly" made comments about maybe them using it to keep someone alive underground.(Wierd things like that really do happen!!!)
Also, when the girl disappeared these folks had, at about the same time, parked a truck camper next to , and almost to the back of their house that had not been there before....and within a few to several weeks it too disappeared and it has`nt been back since. (Maybe they were just storing it for someone else?) After it was gone, another neighbor mentioned to me something about it , (again, half jokingly) that they had wondered if these folks may have hidden her out in it and had actually thought about calling the cops to have it checked out.....but then had decided they were over reacting because of how starnge these neighbors seem to all of us......I was SHOCKED at the time...because my husband and I had remarked the same thing to each other.
To give you an idea of why we see these neighbors as "odd" I`ll tell you of a couple of things that have happened that don`t seem right to us other neighbors.
Several years ago the daughter of these folks was outside in her yard, (a rareity), when another neighbor had their granddaughter (about the same age) over visiting. The girls began to play together, but after the mother called her daughter inside, when she came back out ,she told the neighbors granddaughter that she was no allowed to play with her anymore because her grandparents "were wierd"! (Not! And like THEY should talk anyhow!)
Another time, when I was out gardening, this little girl came riding her bike up the lane and into my yard, and started a conversation with me (one and only time, and they have been here for over 11 years) She wanted to know what I was doing, and when I told her, she asked if she could help me, so I let her help me plant some flowers.(In full view of her own home) Then her mother called her in for lunch, and as she got back on her bike to go home she asked if she could come back and help me after lunch, which, of course I said "yes"....but she did`nt. The very next day I was out in the garage working on a painting project, with the garage door open and I suddenly realized she`d ridden her bike up into my driveway....so I greeted her and said I`d missed her company yesterday afternoon when she had`nt come back.....to which she stuck her nose up in the air and rode off on her bike without saying a single word, as if I`d offended her in some way....and she has`nt come back or spoken to me since! (Did they tell her I was "wierd" and she could`nt be around me too????)
I do not want to make enemies of these neighbors, if they are not guilty of anything.(although I`m not looking to MAKE FRIENDS of them either.....just have a "straight line" feeling about them, if you know what I mean.)
I DO NOT KNOW that this is "a lead" in the case, but since I can`t get this off my mind I feel driven to ask someone if they think it is worth investigation....however , I do not have a whole lot of faith in our police dept. I feel like they`d maybe
write a report and just file it....or just think I`m a nut or simply a nosey neighbor.
I`ve asked a few people what they think and I have gotten several answers.
(1) Just report that the sound is disturbing your peace, ( But, what if there is anything to this and the police came out... and they would turn it off?)
(2) Just ask the neighbors about it . (But if I did, and they thought that people were suspecting somthing strange was going on.....would they "get rid of the evidence" if indeed there is any???)
(3) One person even suggested they may be using it for a job, or to keep something running for someone that is ill and needs some sort of machine having something to do with that....but I doubt it...they don`t seem ill ....not physically anyhow...as we see them coming and going all the time. The father works as a manager for a restruant and the mother is a nurse. I have never seen that they appear to have any hobbies that would require an air comprsser i.e. carpentry work...nor have we ever heard hammmers or saws. To be truthful, they hardly ever even mow their yard, so I think he is even too lazy for a hobby.....maybe even just too lazy to bother to turn the compresser off? I`d think it would drive them crazy listening to it so close all the time!)
To be honest....I`m not even sure an air compresser COULD BE USED to pump air to someone that might be underground or trapped in a space where getting enough would be a problem. Do any of you know???
I admit that what I`ve written, and my haunting thoughts concerning all of this, DO sound far fetched, so feel free to tell me if you think I`m way off base.
Yesterday afternoon the air compresser was turned off, and is still not back on.....but I expect it will be soon, as it always is....in the meantime the silence seems almost loud ....and the we, the "other neighbors' are talking about it again.
Thank you for your time in reading all of the above, and I am sorry that it was so long...I just really needed to say it to someone who might have a real idea of what I should, or should not do, concerning it....if anything.
What do you think???
I dont think your crazy at all, this seems very strange......Maybe you could report it to police annomously. I seem to remember a case I saw where neighbors were hearing a humming sound and the person was running a freezer or refridgerated truck with a body inside..
Maybe its a generator you are hearing wonder if they have some type of drug operation where they need those special lights for marijuana plants
IDK Im just throwing thoughts out there
Hi Linda, and welcome to WS
Instead of an air compressor, could the sound be a generator? I don't know how one sounds versus the other, but I imagine both to be loud (and annoying). That still wouldn't explain why the thing would be running so much, since generators use gasoline to run ($$).
Is the little missing girl listed with Doe Network or Project Charley (or barring either of those, on any state or local missing persons websites)? If so, would you feel comfortable sharing the information?
As far as what, if anything, to do, I simply don't know (big help, huh). But I do think that our "gut" speaks to us for a reason, and even if they have nothing to do with this missing girl, there could be something hinky going on.
Linda, coincidentally we had a family here in Arkansas that the wife was a nurse of some sort and the father in the restaurant business that did the same thing. Only they were running a generator to get electricity to their house. Do you think it may be a generator you are hearing? It is also very loud. I do not know why the people in Arkansas did it because the gas to run the thing would be expensive unless they had outstanding bills with the electric company and that was the only way to get electricity to the house. As for the missing girl, I don't blame you for your concern. It is plausible that they could be hiding her and using the generator to keep her alive. Do you have meter readers that come out to the houses to read the gas meter, electric meter, etc.? If so, try to catch him or her when they read your meter and ask questions about the neighbors house because chances are the meter reader will think them odd as well. You might ask him if they have electric on, what he thinks is running over there all of the time, etc. This will help you in making a decision as to whether your idea is plausible. Just some suggestions. Let us know how things progress. Rhett.
Actually....I have seen the meter person over there from time to time, so I do think their electricity is on....And I know there is electricity to the house because we built it, and they are the folks who bought it from us 11+ years ago when we sold it ,and built this one across the lane from them.
Where we live, it is not uncommon for our electric to go out during a big storm (and sometimes even for no apparent reason) so we also have a small generator.....it does NOT sound like an air compresser.
A generator is much louder and is a constant sound (except for when it runs out of gas, or when you stop it to add more) An air compresser comes on, runs till it builds up to the set pressure, then kicks off and will be silent until some of the pressure is used, then kicks back in to build up pressure again. That`s what this sound is like. (Only I might add that it sure goes off and on a LOT....like one that has a leak.....or is being constantly used)
When ours is on and we are using it, say to use the nailer or power sander, it goes on and off quite often....but if we quit using the power tools and forget that the compresser is still turned on, it can be a lot longer berfore it comes back on again to build up pressure. We have even forgotten it was on before and when it kicks in (sometimes in the middle of the night) it will wake us up and my hubby will go out and turn it off. It`s not the kind of thing you want to have to hear if you are`nt using it....so I can`t even imagine leaving it on for most of a year, especially as often as theirs goes on and off. I just don`t know how you`d get used to the sound enough to ignor it.
When my hubby has ours on and is using it for several hours for a project I`m always relieved, as are our cats, when he finnally turns it off!
I am going to look at our electric bill and see if I can figure out just when the meter person comes around and keep an eye out for them so I can talk to them. (Our meter is on the back of our home, so I can go out the back door and visit with them without being seen by these neighbors.
Thank you all for responding back to me and when I can find something out I will post back, although it may be a few days, as I have to go out of town tomorrow afternoon for a few days to help my Mom, who`s getting out of the hospital from having surgery.
In our city you can call the electric company to find out what someone else is paying per month at their address. It's more or less used when you are looking to buy homes, but maybe that might help you determine if they are using a normal amount of electricity.
Are you saying the girl would be about 16 yrs old now? The girl was from their (extended) family? I'm sorry if I'm confused!
I know exactly what you mean about wondering if someone has a dungeon underground or whatever. I don't think you watch too much tv, you are just watchful of your surroundings. That has helped save many people in the past.
I hope your mom recovers well. Take care! (and Welcome to WS!)
I think it sounds extremely odd and I wouldn't be too hesitant in your shoes to talk to someone in the police department, considering there is a missing child in their extended family, and the way they don't want to have anything to do with their neighbors and discourage their child, who is obviously lonely, from talking to or getting close to neighbors. If this missing child is listed with the NCMEC or something similar, you could report this to them and let them investigate it. I do find it all sounding very strange and I don't blame you for being suspicious. Keep your wits about you and keep watching. Is there anyone you know who is connected to the police department? What about contacting your state's department for missing people?
Keep us posted.
Does their child attend public school? Is she home schooled, Something defanatly sounds amiss... I know a lady that lived in our neirborhood that had a sort of nervous breakdown and she stopped checking her mail and stopped mowing her grass etc, well I guess the mailman reported it to the police than maybe she was in the house dead. They went out and knocked on the door to check her well being. I think if you contact they police they are required to go out and at least do a routine check....