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IN JESSICA FLORES & MELINA COTTRELL: Missing from Gary, IN - 25 Feb 2019 - Age 36 & 26 *Cottrell Alive*

Discussion in 'Missing 2015 to Present' started by SheWhoMustNotBeNamed, Mar 2, 2019.

  1. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    2 women missing from Gary; car found with fire damage

    TIP LINE: 886-274-6347
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Police are looking for two women who went missing from Gary.

    Jessica Flores, 36, and Melina Cottrell, 26, were last seen Monday, authorities said. It’s believed the two women were together.

    Flores, who is from South Chicago Heights, was driving her boyfriend’s car when she disappeared, police said. It was found abandoned in South Chicago Heights with fire damage and some of her belongings inside.


    2 women missing from Gary since Monday

    Two women who have been missing since Monday were last seen in Gary, according to police.

    Authorities are looking for Jessica Flores, 36, of South Chicago Heights, and Melina Cottrell, 26, of Gary.

    A Facebook Live video posted by one of the women indicate that they were together during the day and night before going missing.

    Flores' family said they believe she is being held against her will.

    Flores' family met with Gary police on Saturday and distributed flyers in hopes that someone would recognize her.

    Mady Perez, Flores' sister, asked that whoever was holding her to please let her go.

    "She has children. She has a family that loves her. There is a God and I have faith and just know that I'm not going to stop until I find you, Jessica, and we love you," Perez said Saturday.

    The vehicle that Flores was driving was found abandoned on Chicago's South Side with some of her belongings and fire damage.

    However, the last time Flores' cellphone pinged was in Gary.

    Gary police continued to search for the women on Saturday with grid searches and by sending up a drone in the area where they were last reported to be seen.



    added media link
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2019
    kdg411 likes this.
  2. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    Melina Cottrell & Jessica Flores: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

    Melina Cottrell and Jessica Flores are two mothers and friends who went missing while together.

    Now family, friends and law enforcement agencies have mounted a concerted effort to find them. Flores is from South Chicago Heights, Illinois. Cottrell is from Gary, Indiana. “I have reason to believe that my sister’s in imminent danger,” Mady Perez, Flores’s sister, told CBS Chicago.

    Jessica Flores is 36, and Melina Cottrell is 26. Gary Cmdr. Jack Hamady said to NWITimes.com: “We are assisting in actively looking for both women.”

    1. Flores’s Car Was Found Abandoned With Fire Damage After the Women Were Seen in a Facebook Live Video

    The last sign of the women: A Facebook Live video one of them posted to social media. In it, they were together “during the day and night before going missing,” ABC 7 reported.

    Compounding the mystery, the vehicle Flores was driving was found on Chicago’s South Side “with some of her belongings and fire damage,” the television station reported. However, there was no sign of the missing women. According to the television station, Flores’s cell phone last pinged in Gary, Indiana. NWITimes.com reported that the car belonged to Flores’s boyfriend.

    “[The car] was set on fire partially, and they found some of her belongings in there but no signs of foul play,” said Flores’ sister told CBS Chicago.

    2. The Family of Jessica Flores Is Praying for Her Return

    Jessica’s family is distraught and seeking answers. Adela Pagan wrote a lengthy message on Facebook.

    3. Loved Ones Are Searching for Melina Cottrell

    A relative of Cottrell posted that she was missing on Facebook and wrote, “Please help in finding her! Prayers needed! .”

    4. Melina Studied at a Community College & Flores Wrote That She Was Moving Forward

    On Facebook, Melina Cottrell wrote that she studied at Ivy Tech Community College, went to Calumet New Tech High School, lives in Gary, Indiana, and is from Gary, Indiana.

    She also wrote that she was single, although her Facebook page is filled with photos of a man and a young child.

    5. Both Women Are Mothers

    According to CBS Chicago reporter Lauren Victory, the women have seven children between them.

    “Jessica Flores…has 6 kids; Melina Cottrell has young daughter. Both women haven’t contacted families in several days,” she wrote on Twitter.

    kdg411 likes this.
  3. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    Frantic Search Across State Lines For Two Missing Mothers

    A South Chicago Heights woman and a Gary woman have been missing for almost a week, police said.

    A Facebook Live from Sunday evening is the last time friends and family can tell Jessica Flores, a mother of six, and Melina Cottrell, a mother of one were together.

    Shortly after filing a missing person’s case in South Chicago Heights, where Flores is from, her family was notified that police had found the car the two mothers were last using near 82nd and Ridgeland.

    “[The car] was set on fire partially, and they found some of her belongings in there but no signs of foul play,” said Maddy Perez, Flores’ sister.

    Perez believes her sister gave Cottrell a ride over state lines to a spot near 5th Avenue and Chase in Gary, Indiana. Cottrell is from Gary.

    “I have reason to believe that my sister’s in imminent danger,” Perez said.

    Gary police posted Cottrell’s photo on their Facebook page, announcing they’ve exhausted all their leads.

    kdg411 likes this.
  4. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    South suburban woman scours streets of Gary looking for missing sister: 'I'm not giving up on this case'

    Mady Perez hasn’t seen her sister since last week.

    A resident of South Chicago Heights, Ill., Perez has been searching the streets of Gary, handing out leaflets and asking questions – all in hopes of getting some information about Jessica Flores.

    Police in South Chicago Heights are working with the Gary Police Department and the Lake County Sheriff’s police – officially treating the case as one of missing persons. Gary police say anyone with information about the case should contact their tip line at 886-274-6347.


    Missing woman's sister pleads for help in search: 'She's a mother. She's loved.'

    A teary-eyed Maddy Perez is pleading with residents, police and elected officials to help search for her missing sister, Jessica Flores, 36, of South Chicago Heights, last seen Monday in Gary.

    "Jessica is a mother of six children. I'm raising her three smallest. Today is Isaac's birthday. He just turned 8, and all they keep doing is asking 'Where's my mom?'" Perez said as she stood before Gary City Council members at Tuesday's meeting.

    Because the missing persons report was filed in Illinois, it has not been widely reported on in Indiana, she said. Flores and her friend, Melina Cottrell, 26, went missing at the same time.

    Though Perez did not directly say her sister or friend struggle with drug addiction, she said as she passed out flyers and walked the community over the weekend, she noticed "a sense of dehumanization with women who have a drug problem in this community."

    "I know people have friends out there. She's a mother. She's loved. She's a person. If someone has her out there at one of these places, I'm just asking that they let her go," Perez said. "Leave her at a park or somewhere. And if not, just call it in, wherever she is. We still want her home and we love her. I just wanted you to know who she is. Any help would be greatly appreciated."

    Gary Council President Ronald Brewer told Perez the Gary community and its police force will do everything in its power to bring her sister home safely.

    kdg411 likes this.
  5. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    Suspect charged with murder in high-profile case of missing woman; cops also investigating slaying of potential witness

    A Gary man faces a murder charge in the high-profile disappearance of an Illinois woman who was reported missing late last month.

    Drew “Tiny” Carter III, 41, of Gary, is charged with murder in the Feb. 25 disappearance of Jessica Flores, 36, of South Chicago Heights.

    A second woman, Melina Cottrell, 26, of Gary, who reportedly was last seen with Flores in late February and also was considered missing, has been located, police said Friday.

    The case became somewhat confused Friday when Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson's office issued a plea for public help in locating Cottrell, even indicating that police would lead a search party for her Sunday.

    Detective Ed Gonzalez confirmed Cottrell is safe and no longer missing.

    Meanwhile, Flores’ body still has not been found, Lake Criminal Court records state.

    MUCH MORE AT LINK: https://www.nwitimes.com/news/local...e_3332042d-2907-5118-86d6-c00f1a789526.html#1
    kdg411 and Paradise like this.
  6. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    Despite murder charge, Illinois woman believes missing sister is still alive

    A Gary man has been charged with murder in connection to a missing Chicago Heights woman. But her family hasn’t given up hope she’s still alive.

    Jessica Flores, 36, and Melina Cottrell, 26, were reported missing from Gary, Ind., in late February. The pair disappeared after meeting up with 41-year-old Drew Carter III, nicknamed “Tiny,” authorities said.

    Police later found Cottrell, who said she was able to escape Carter after he held her captive with a weapon.

    Cottrell told police Flores was shot in the head after she told Carter she did not want him to have sex with Cottrell, according to court documents obtained by the Chicago Tribune.

    Carter, of Gary, Ind., has been charged with murdering Flores and kidnapping Cottrell.

    According to court records, the amount of blood found in the backseat of a car where Flores was sitting made investigators believe she did not survive.

    But Flores’ sister, 36-year-old Mady Perez, said she believes Flores is still alive because detectives haven’t found her body — and because the story just doesn’t add up.

    “I have faith God is good,” Perez said. “Everything happens for a reason. We have to be strong for her and her kids and her mom.”

    Perez believes her sister, a mother of six, is hurt but still alive and possibly caught up in a sex trafficking ring. The car the women and Carter were found in was burned.

    “We haven’t found her,” Perez said. “We are still waiting for DNA results to come in, so I just hang on to my faith that she is okay.”

    Carter is slated to appear in court in Lake County, Ind., on Monday.

    Paradise likes this.
  7. TripleA

    TripleA Zoo Keeper

    Does someone understand how the two women are connected to one another? I have skimmed the articles but can't find that information. Where was one woman found and what did she say happened?
    Dobrev and SheWhoMustNotBeNamed like this.
  8. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    Yeah the articles are not clear at all. I'm pretty sure the "witness" mentioned in the first article is Melina Cottrell. The second article uses some of the same details with Melina's name.
    I'm not sure that it's been revealed where or how she was located. Here's what it sounds like happened, based on the convoluted mess of reporting.

    "Female Witness" aka Melina Cottrell met up with Jessica Flores. They then went to meet up with a friend of Flores, but that friend never showed up.

    Flores and Cottrell then went to George Heath's home. Flores introduced Cottrell to Drew "Tiny" Carter, the man now arrested for murder.

    Flores gets into an argument with Carter, apparently about another woman. Flores tries to leave, but Carter follows and gets into the car.

    Carter promises to get Flores and Cottrell cocaine, so he drives them to another house. Then they drive back to Heath's house, but Heath didn't open the door. (Later found dead)

    Carter now drives around the neighborhood arguing with Flores. He asks her if he can have sex with Cottrell. Flores tells him no.

    Carter turns around and shoots Flores. Cottrell flees from car, but Carter catches up to her and tackles her. Puts her back in the car and takes her back to the house they got drugs from. He leaves Flores' body in the car as he takes Cottrell inside, gives her drugs and asks her to have sex. She says no. He falls asleep and she flees.

    The next day, Flores' boyfriend files police report. Later that day, police find car on fire. Large amount of blood found in the seat.

    Cottrell says she did not report the incident because she feared for her family and didn't want to get in trouble for the drugs.
    kdg411 and Dobrev like this.
  9. TripleA

    TripleA Zoo Keeper

    Wow! I live such a boring life.

    And thank you @SheWhoMustNotBeNamed for the recap. I really appreciate you making it make sense for me.
    Dobrev and SheWhoMustNotBeNamed like this.
  10. Dobrev

    Dobrev Former Member

    so George is dead too?
    did Carter kill George as well?
    i feel like i am watching some drama.
    this is awful that this is a real life case.
    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed and kdg411 like this.
  11. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    kdg411 and Dobrev like this.
  12. Dobrev

    Dobrev Former Member

    :thankyou: @SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    this is very confusing. thanks for breaking it down for my small brain :D
    kdg411 and SheWhoMustNotBeNamed like this.
  13. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    :teehee: Your brain isn't small! This case is a convoluted mess!
    kdg411 and Dobrev like this.
  14. EmJay

    EmJay New Member

    The beginning article on the original post says they were friends
    Kimster, kdg411 and Dobrev like this.
  15. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member


    And :welcome: to our group! Love your kitties! :cat: :flirt:
    Dobrev and kdg411 like this.
  16. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    A violent start: Homicides, shootings up so far this year in Gary

    Mady Perez spent Saturday much like she has many days since her sister went missing Feb. 25, walking the city, searching for answers.

    Perez's sister, 36-year-old Jessica Flores, disappeared Feb. 25 and is presumed dead. She's one of 17 people Gary police say were killed in homicides during the first quarter of 2019.

    "I'm not going to stop looking until we find her," Perez said as she prepared to walk a trail along the Little Calumet River in the city's Black Oak section. "We are going to find her."

    Though a murder charge has been filed in Flores' disappearance, Perez still has many unanswered questions, she said.

    She's still holding out hope her sister is alive and being held against her will somewhere. DNA testing results that could more conclusively show Flores is dead remain pending, she said.

    As she's combed Gary for clues, she's been taken aback by the blight and condition of many of the areas she's searched, she said.

    The loss of Flores, a mother of six children, has affected her family tremendously.

    "It's horrible," Perez said. "We've had to become investigators. We can't sleep."

    Perez said she's pushed herself to go to work, because she has bills to pay and children who need her care. Her mother also has had a difficult time, and has had to rely on her strength and faith.

    Flores' youngest children don't yet know their mother is presumed dead, she said. The older children are having a hard time.

    "Nothing is going to stop me from looking for my sister," she said.

    Kimster and Paradise like this.
  17. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    Search party scheduled for missing mother; family asks for public's help

    The family of a missing woman is asking the public's help as they continue to search the city for their loved one.

    The Gary Police Department will lead a search party at 12 p.m. Saturday, according to Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson.

    Volunteers should be at the Gary Police Department at 555 Polk St. at noon and will be given further instructions at the location.

  18. Adela J Perez

    Adela J Perez New Member

    At one point in time, the year before my daughter went missing, both Melina and my daughter Jessica were serious enemies over a man who happened to be Melinas ex man. There was no connection just were acquaintances. Through people who know Melina Cottrell all say she is the Recruiter for Sex Trafficking in Gary Indiana.
  19. kdg411

    kdg411 Resource Mod

    Thank you for the information and welcome, especially under these circumstances. If there's any information you'd like to share we appreciate your being here.
    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed likes this.
  20. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    Murder Charges Dropped In Missing South Chicago Heights Mom Case

    Murder charges against an Indiana man accused of killing Jessica Flores of South Chicago Heights have been dismissed.

    A Lake County, Indiana, judge dismissed the charges Monday against Drew "Tiny" Carter III, 41, the Northwest Times of Indiana reported. He remains in custody on a $100,000 surety or $10,000 cash bond on related gun charges, the newspaper reported. Those charges against Carter, a felon, allege he had two guns in his car when he was arrested for the murder of Flores.

    Prosecutors tried to continue the murder case against Carter to buy more time for evidence to be processed, the Northwest Times said. The items are still being tested, so prosecutors filed to dismiss charges. The judge dismissed the case Monday without prejudice, which permits prosecutors to re-file charges later, the newspaper reported.

    kdg411 likes this.

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