OH OH - Susan Cummings, 30, Toledo, 18 July 1996


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Jul 12, 2006
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Missing since July 18, 1996 from Toledo, Lucas County, Ohio
Classification: Endangered Missing

Cummings was last seen in the vicinity of the 2200 block of Hickory Street in Toledo, Ohio on July 18, 1996.

She had been evicted from her home. She may be living elsewhere, though her disappearance seems suspicious. Her last known address was Hickory Street in East Toledo.

Doe Network - http://doenetwork.org/cases/1606dfoh.html

NamUs - https://www.findthemissing.org/en/cases/9657/3/

Charley Project - http://www.charleyproject.org/cases/c/cummings_susan.html

Susan Cummings was actually Susan Sturt at the time of her disappearance. She married James T Sturt Jr in Toledo in June 1992. NamUs mentions the Sturt name and the marriage comes from Ancestry. Also on Ancestry is the divorce in June 1998 on the grounds of 'Other or divorce obtained out of state'. I have no idea what this means. Interestingly the divorce record says there are 2 minor children. So we seem to have a mother of 2 young children, presumably separated from her husband, who goes missing.
James Sturt remains living in Toledo and has a long criminal record ranging from assault to theft to drugs (but it all seems small scale of the sort expected of an addict). Details can be found at http://www.mugshotexplorer.com/records/search?first_name=james&last_name=sturt&submitted=1. I do not have any information on the children.
I did not intend to imply that I thought her husband is responsible for Susan disappearing. It seems to me that someone with James Sturt's record may be capable of harming his wife but I doubt that he would be able to engineer a disappearance without leaving some trace. He seems likely to have been (or be) an addict and to be unable to avoid the attentions of LE, which is the least you would expect of someone managing a disappearance. It seems more likely to me that this points to one of two scenarios;

That Susan's disappearance relates in some way to the drugs and crime environment in which the family was involved and that someone else in that group is responsible or;

Susan felt the need to get away from such an environment. My problem with this is that I find it difficult to accept that she would be able to manage such a process (especially if on drugs), that an eviction seems an unlikely trigger and it requires her to be willing to leave two children.

It would be interesting to know what enquiries have been followed by LE.
I'm wondering if it's possible to link Susan's disappearance to Claudia Tinsley's. Similar circumstances (prostitution, drug use) and timeframe (1996, Toledo).

Other possibilities for either Susan or Claudia: Dellmus Colvin (new confession and bones discovered in Peru, Ill in September 2020?) or possibly William Clyde Gibson? Colvin specifically committed murders of prostitutes in Toledo and drove around on his long-haul trucking job with the deceased until he found a remote location to dump the remains. Gibson was also active in the midwest, but his earliest confirmed murder was 2002. It might be a stretch but still possible.

The family has never gotten any answers on Sue's disappearance. TPD reported to her daughter that it's likely she was missing for ~3 months by the time the missing person's report was filed in October 1996. Claudia's disappearance occurred in September 1996.

Just hoping to open up a dialogue. Additional ideas and comments very welcome.
Since I last looked at this case the obvious development of interest has been the arrest of Samuel Legg III for multiple murders and rapes in Ohio when he was working as a truck driver. This includes murders along the Ohio turnpike which passes Toledo and was a common route for him. The first murder was in 1992 in Youngstown and in December 1996 he murdered Victoria Collins just outside Toledo. He was found unfit to plead and is in a secure mental facility. There is no doubt of his guilt (DNA) and the offences fit well with the Cummings case.

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