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    Shemaeah Nicole Gunnel (5) - Yuma AZ, 1989

    Missing Since: February 10, 1989 from Yuma, Arizona
    Classification: Endangered Missing
    Date of Birth: November 6, 1983
    Age: 5 years old
    Height and Weight: 4'0, 50 pounds
    Distinguishing Characteristics: African-American female. Black hair, black eyes. Many accounts spell Shemaeah's last name "Gunnell."

    Details of Disappearance

    Shemaeah was last seen at her home in Yuma, Arizona on February 10, 1989. Her 26-year-old mother, Valerie Gunnel, was found beaten to death with a tire iron in the family's apartment. Shemaeah and her 9-month-old sister, LeCresha Gunnel (sometimes called "LeCresha Kirklin"), were missing. LaCresha's body was found floating in an irrigation canal in Mexico six days later. The baby had also been beaten to death.

    Alvie Copeland Kiles, Valerie's live-in boyfriend, was convicted of murdering all three members of the Gunnel family and was sentenced to death. A photograph of him is posted below this case summary. Prosecutors believe he killed Valerie because she would not give him money to buy cocaine, then killed the children because they began screaming. His conviction was later overturned on the grounds that he had an inadequate defense, but he was convicted again of three counts of murder and two counts of child abuse in 2000. Kiles is awaiting execution.

    Shemaeah has never been located.
    Above: Kiles

    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Yuma Police Department



    Last edited by KateB; 08-22-2015 at 09:01 PM.

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