FL FL - Detra McGuire, 23, Lake City, 2 Nov 1988

PayrollNerd

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This just kept running thru my head......

So if Detra was considering booting the boyfriend out due to lack of financial contribution, how in the heck did he afford a brand new car??? Had he even made the first payment??

1988 black Nissan Sentra - the car to belong to Elara Murphy, Detra's boyfriend
 

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The 7 year old could have remembered DV, if she happened to be around when it occurred. Hmmm. I wonder if the little girl ever mentioned anything to anyone. Sometimes little kids talk and have no idea the clues they're giving out.

I wouldn't think the car would still be impounded after all these years. If the boyfriend was the owner, they'd eventually release it to him perhaps, maybe not. I wonder what ever happened to him and if he kept the car or was it repo'd.
 

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I was thinking there might be DNA from the hands of whomever tossed the baby out of the vehicle. Floridians don't generally wear gloves in winter in my experience.

Could they determine from where the baby landed whether she was tossed out from the drivers side or passenger side? If the drivers side, it would seem like the person would have to be in the back seat, behind the driver. The person driving can't maintain control of the vehicle and toss an infant out the window.
 

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I was thinking there might be DNA from the hands of whomever tossed the baby out of the vehicle. Floridians don't generally wear gloves in winter in my experience.

Could they determine from where the baby landed whether she was tossed out from the drivers side or passenger side? If the drivers side, it would seem like the person would have to be in the back seat, behind the driver. The person driving can't maintain control of the vehicle and toss an infant out the window.

Same thing I wondered about for a longer time, in combination with the question if Detra could have thrown out the baby herself, so to say to save her baby from worse (still having a hard time imagine that was what happened) and if so where she would have been sitting in the car.

Is known if the baby was strapped into a child seat/baby carrier and if so where it was placed. (I don't know what the rules are in America for taking your child/baby in a car, in the Netherlands it's totally regulated)
 

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Very good question. Don't know what happened. I'm sure I replied with quote on the post about the new car.
 

JasonFutchLakeCityFL

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This just kept running thru my head......

So if Detra was considering booting the boyfriend out due to lack of financial contribution, how in the heck did he afford a brand new car??? Had he even made the first payment??

1988 black Nissan Sentra - the car to belong to Elara Murphy, Detra's boyfriend

I am going to make an educated guess that most likely the car note was in Elara's name, but Detra was probably paying the expenses on it since Elara was seemingly in between jobs, though he was doing construction work at the time of Detra's disappearance. At least that's what I would think. She was probably also using the car to get to and from work as well. I know her mother had a vehicle, which was mentioned in the reports as one that was used to drive Elara and herself around when they were looking for Detra and Roshanda the next morning.
 

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I was thinking there might be DNA from the hands of whomever tossed the baby out of the vehicle. Floridians don't generally wear gloves in winter in my experience.

Could they determine from where the baby landed whether she was tossed out from the drivers side or passenger side? If the drivers side, it would seem like the person would have to be in the back seat, behind the driver. The person driving can't maintain control of the vehicle and toss an infant out the window.

According to a Florida Highway Patrol report that I have, which is also backed up by a supplemental report done by CCSO, Roshanda was located in the middle of the westbound section of Interstate 10. That tells me that she was likely thrown from the driver side and that the car was likely in the right lane. I spoke with former Columbia County Sheriff Bill Gootee, who was one of the FDLE agents investigating the case at the time. He informed me that a video exists of him and one other FDLE agent doing a reenactment of the crime, and when he showed it to the boyfriend, the boyfriend got pretty frosty.
 

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The 7 year old could have remembered DV, if she happened to be around when it occurred. Hmmm. I wonder if the little girl ever mentioned anything to anyone. Sometimes little kids talk and have no idea the clues they're giving out.

So the 7-year-old was interviewed by Don Ugliano of FDLE in 2002 when the case was reopened by their agency. A very interesting discussion was made. The daughter said that when they arrived home so Shameka could get more clothes (assuming she was staying with her aunts that night), no one answered the door. The car was not there, and neither was the boyfriend. This was likely later in the evening too!

Doesn't this make you think even deeper??? Hehe
 

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I am finally here, now that I have time, to go over some things that I discovered on this case, thanks to the local newspapers. Because the information I am about to present is public information, there will be some name drops here. Also, I think its very imperative for the Lake City locals to understand the crime that occurred over thirty years ago; as more people are forgetting about it.

With that said, last week after getting off work, I drove to the Florida Gateway College library; where they possess the microfilm for the Lake City Reporter. I began to do some digging, going back to the November 3rd, 1988 edition. There, it discussed the discovery of an unidentified girl that was found on I-10. She was located about a mile East of the Lake City/White Springs exit by a truck driver named Aaron Dale Stokes of Lake Butler. He worked for the LJ Kennedy Trucking company and was heading to New York State for an assignment.

Though at the time Mr. Stokes was unavailable for comment, his daughter discussed the events to the Reporter. She stated that her father told her the body was still warm and that initially he thought it was a dog and ended up swerving the truck around it. He had also checked for a pulse; but there was none. Another truck driver named George Champion of Maxville, FL also pulled over and was able to get to a phone at the Munchies gas station off the highway. When Florida Highway Patrol and the Columbia County Sheriffs Office got there, it was sometime before 9:30pm. The road had been closed down for most of the night while investigators pieced everything together.

What was discovered was that there were two pools of blood about a dozen feet apart on the Eastbound section of I-10. The girl had been found bleeding from the face and that she was wearing a pink sweater, green t-shirt and pink corduroy pants.
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The next day's edition of the Lake City Reporter declared that the search was on for Detra McGuire, the child's mother (who at this point, the child's name was Roshanda McGuire). It appears very early into this investigation, Detra was not considered a suspect in this case. Based on information from the police reports and the news paper, there appeared to be signs of foul play early on.

It wasn't until days later that her car was found at the L&G Truck Stop around 11:30pm that Friday in Ellisville, Florida (in the southern part of Columbia County, just 15 miles south of Lake City). It was a 1988 black Nissan Sentra. The paper identified it as Detra's, until an article the next week posted a photograph of the car with baby booties hanging from the rear-view mirror, revealing the car to belong to Elara Murphy, Detra's boyfriend.

It was also revealed that Detra lived at the Gatorwood Apartments, which is off U.S. 90 on the west side of Lake City. She was 5'7" and weighed about 135 lbs. The paper also stated shed was wearing a grey sweatshirt, jeans and bedroom slippers when she left with Roshanda on her ill-fated trip.
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When the paper came out releasing a photo of the car, it was revealed Elara Murphy was the owner of the car and had been living with Detra at the Gatorwood Apartments. He did not know where she was, nor what had happened to the baby when she was thrown out of the vehicle the night Mr. Stokes found Roshanda. Then after that, there was no more real coverage about the case in the newspaper until about a month later, when Lake City Councilman Glenel Bowden began to raise questions about how the sheriffs office was handling the cases involving African American missing and murdered in the county. Detra and Roshanda's case was one of a few cases that occurred in 1988 that hit the African American community. The others involved:

* Lavern Mack, a 26 year old woman who went missing in August 1987. Her skeletal remains were recovered near I-10 in April 1988. It was determined she died from homicidal violence.

* Leroy Mills, a 72 year old man, was reported missing in March of 1988. His wallet was found in a dumpster the day after he was reported missing. I am still unsure of the status of the investigation; however, I will attempt contact with the Lake City Police Department soon.

* Pamela Gamble's body was found near Bunn Road and Tustenugee road by the I-75 overpass in August of 1988.

Of the cases mentioned, the McGuire case and those of Mack and Gamble are STILL unsolved. As mentioned, I'll attempt an update on the Mills case later.

Glenel Bowden wrote a letter to the FDLE, asking for them to investigate the cases. He accused the CCSO of not paying attention to the situation, and then accused Sheriff Tom Tramel of implementing "systematic racism". Though Sheriff Tramel vehemently denied any kind of system playing, the FDLE decided to get involved. However....After the paper publicized the political discussion concerning the cases, that's where the discussions ended in the paper.
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PERSONAL THOUGHTS: I am happy to be able to publish additional information to this case. Its been a case I've followed for a long time. I know the family of Ms. McGuire have been very adamant about wanting to forget this case, but unfortunately, forgetting this case means no justice for her or the baby. It's a rare event that I don't honor the wishes of the family; but in this case I've made heavy exceptions with no regrets.

I personally think someone knows what happened and what led up to the events of this case. I think they still live in Columbia County and walk among us. Detra would be in her fifties today if she was still alive. I am also aware that she had another daughter who is still living in Lake City.

Based on what I've read over the years, her boyfriend has never been labeled a person of interest in this case. And there haven't been further leads. But I've always been asking myself: Is there a reason, other than grief, why the McGuire's don't want to see justice in her case? Do they know who did it? Big questions I've always asked myself.
I’ve read the entire thread but not the attachments. A few thoughts come to mind.

If Mom was headed out to do errands, why was she still wearing slippers? Did she normally wear them out to do things?

Mom took the 2 y/o but not the other child. How old was the other child? Older as in too rambunctious to deal with in a store? Old enough to remember domestic violence? Younger as in an infant who required constant care? Who stayed with the other child? Or was the other child with the Gparents?

Is the boyfriend the bio Dad to one or both kids? Did he resent the kids being there?

Maybe Moms family has been threatened to not look into their daughters whereabouts. I wonder how much they helped with child rearing.

If the boyfriend was involved, he had to have had an accomplice, to get back home after leaving the car at the truck stop. While his car was missing, did he use her car? How did he get around, go to work, etc.

If the child was tossed out a window of that car, maybe her DNA was on the window ledge. In November, it would have been chilly after dark. I wouldn’t think anyone would normally be riding around with their windows open.
According to a Florida Highway Patrol report that I have, which is also backed up by a supplemental report done by CCSO, Roshanda was located in the middle of the westbound section of Interstate 10. That tells me that she was likely thrown from the driver side and that the car was likely in the right lane. I spoke with former Columbia County Sheriff Bill Gootee, who was one of the FDLE agents investigating the case at the time. He informed me that a video exists of him and one other FDLE agent doing a reenactment of the crime, and when he showed it to the boyfriend, the boyfriend got pretty frosty.
Thank you for you answers. I just want to unraffle this case. I had also some kind of "melt down".....needed to get away some time from the sadness of this cases. My thing is....how come that the missing persons report (dispatcher) date/time doesn't fit with some other dates....Was there any proof she ever left to run errands....(seen in store, errands in car) Everybody can say anything....how many cases are around that a mostly a male spouse said....ohhh she just left (with another man etc.) and police took that for real.....[/QU
Hey PayrollNerd! I can definitely answer all those question, but give me a few hours. Driving up to Columbia, SC. It’s a pretty interesting case. Bit of Hope posted a link to a podcast that John Lordan came out with, with assistance from myself and friend Gwen, and it should help with those answers until I get back. I may be able to add a little more.
When i first became aware of this case it has haunted me for years because of personal reason of my own i feel like elara isnt the person that you should focus on. I feel like there is a need to focus on Detra other child's dad fred terry.
 

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Hi and welcome @americangirl5050 Was FT ever a suspect, Person of Interest (POI) in this case, as far as you know? I ask, because of TOS it's not allowed to sleuth persons just like that on WS. What would/could have been his motive in your opinion?
 
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