Jamie Fraley: Found Or Missing? Is Jamie Fraley Dead or Alive? – Jamie Fraley (born March 5, 1986), a resident of Gastonia, North Carolina, informed a friend over the phone in the early hours of April 8, 2008, that she would be visiting the hospital for the third time in the previous 24 hours due to the stomach flu.
When asked who was driving her there, Fraley replied that it was another buddy, but she would not say who it was. Her smartphone was discovered a few days later, but it didn’t reveal anything useful about her movements, and she hasn’t been seen since.
Initial inquiries focused on her fiancé’s father, Ricky Simonds Sr., who lived in the same apartment complex, since they thought there had been foul play involved in her death. He had a criminal history that included serving time in prison for manslaughter after strangling a girlfriend in the 1980s.
He had driven Fraley to the hospital for one of her previous appointments that day. But two months later, Simonds was discovered dead in the trunk of a former girlfriend’s car, reportedly from heat stroke, putting a stop to the probe.
A prisoner admitted to killing Fraley in 2015, but he was confined at the time Fraley vanished. The inquiry is ongoing, and an episode of Disappeared on the Investigation Discovery channel covered the case in 2012.
The podcast “Missing: Jamie Fraley” by Crime Junkies walks the listener through the case’s facts and the painstaking research that was conducted in an effort to solve the mystery. Let’s examine the incident in greater depth to see whether Jamie is still missing.
What Happened to Jamie Fraley?
The 22-year-old Jamie Fraley was very close to her family and lived in Gastonia, North Carolina. The podcast claimed that Jamie had a difficult background and was dealing with anxiety and bipolar disorder. Although Jamie’s condition made it challenging for her to go to school and have a regular life, she summoned the bravery to even enroll in part-time classes at Gaston College in order to pursue her goal of becoming a substance misuse counselor. Additionally, she had a supportive group of friends who frequently drove her to appointments and offered assistance when she needed it. In addition, Jamie and Ricky Simonds Jr. were joyfully engaged and anticipated a future together.
Fraley was diagnosed with a stomach virus on April 7, 2008. She visited a nearby hospital twice that day for treatment because it was so serious. In addition, she needed a social services worker, friends, and relatives to drive her to and from the hospital because she didn’t have a driver’s license.
After Fraley returned from the first trip, one of her friends went to see her, picked up the dog that Fraley had been watching for her, and then went to the neighborhood pharmacy to drop off Fraley’s prescription. Later, she returned; her detained fiancé’s father, Ricky Simonds Sr., who lived in the same apartment building and performed maintenance there, drove her there, and a different neighbour transported her back.
Finally, around midnight, Fraley made the decision that she needed to return to the hospital due to a more critical condition. She called her mother to inform her of her decision. Then, on April 8, at 1:30 a.m., she made a call to a friend in Albemarle and said that she was returning to the hospital. Fraley evidently saw her ride—whom she presumably referred to as “he”—arrived and ended the call.
The third time, Fraley failed to check into the hospital. There hasn’t been any indication of her existence anywhere since that phone conversation.
Investigation in Jamie Fraley Case
Her family visited Fraley’s residence on Lowell-Bethesda Road to check on her after she skipped an important appointment the following day. They failed to locate her there. They discovered her wallet, handbag, keys, and identification inside the closed-door but not her cell phone. There was nothing else missing. They determined that she had departed voluntarily, wherever she had gone, because there were no indications of a struggle. They called the police and reported her missing after failing to find her.
The FBI and the state’s Bureau of Investigation have been consulted as part of a comprehensive investigation that the Gaston County Police Department began. Three of the department’s investigators were assigned to the case full-time. The chief investigator, Christie Rhoney, remarked, “I have never seen a missing person case work this extensively.” Utility workers found Fraley’s phone two days after she vanished, at a crossroads about a mile (1.6 km) from her apartment.
When the phone was handed over to the authorities, it had already been handled by too many people for any external evidence, like fingerprints, to be obtained. However, when authorities looked through the call logs, they discovered that multiple calls had been placed at 4:30 in the morning. They turned out to be from the list of numbers Fraley had earlier called, and they had nothing to do with the disappearance. The phone had received a call around five in the morning, but it was unclear who had made it.
Mr. Ricky Simonds
Investigators disqualified Fraley’s fiancé, Ricky Simonds Jr. as a suspect because he was still in jail when she vanished. However, they soon returned their attention to Ricky Simonds Sr., his father. He also had a criminal history; in the 1980s, he served six years in prison for manslaughter after fatally strangling a girlfriend.
Fraley and Simonds Sr. both resided in the same complex, only two doors apart, and performed maintenance work there. One of the last people to see her that day was him, because he had driven her to the hospital twice on the day she vanished. He reportedly had a Fraley obsession. As a result, he opted against taking a lie detector exam.
But the Simonds case came to a close with his passing exactly two months after Fraley vanished. A bad smell was discovered in her automobile on June 7 by Kim Sprenger, a former girlfriend who had just lately acquired a protective order against him. She opened the trunk the following day since it persisted. Sprenger discovered Simonds’ body inside. After an investigation, police discovered that he also had her auto keys; Sprenger’s handbag had been taken from the vehicle a week earlier. Accidental heat stroke was determined to cause death; peak temperatures in the region had surpassed 90 °F (32 °C) in the previous days.
The functional emergency latch was thought to have been utilised by Simonds to escape after using the keys to unlock the trunk with the intention of ambushing Sprenger. However, it was probable that he had forgotten to use it as heat exhaustion started to set in due to panic, dying in the trunk. After concluding their investigation into his death, detectives revealed to the public that Simonds had been a person of interest in the unsolved case of Fraley’s disappearance.
Jamie Fraley: Is She Alive or Dead?
Jamie’s current situation is quite uncertain because the investigation is still open, and she hasn’t been found. After learning of the 22-year-old girl’s disappearance, the police opened a thorough investigation and even asked for assistance from other organizations. Large search teams searched the area thoroughly for days, leaving no stone unturned. There was no information about the missing girl, though. Even though Jamie’s cell phone was discovered a mile from her apartment a few days after she vanished, it offered no information regarding her location.
It’s interesting that Ricky Simonds Sr. was the subject of the initial investigation because he had previously been found guilty of manslaughter for strangling a lover. The podcast said that Simonds Sr. was one of the last people to have seen Jamie alive and that he was also pretty enamoured with his son’s fiancée. However, when the police offered to administer a polygraph test to him, he refused and insisted that he was innocent.
Prior to the inquiry moving further, Simonds Sr. was discovered dead in the car trunk of his ex-girlfriend, and an autopsy revealed that he had passed away from heat stroke. The podcast also mentions a time when Jamie’s mother received a picture of an escort from a west coast website that remarkably resembled Jamie. The girl, however, turned out to be someone else after more research.
Since that time, the case has remained unresolved, but a shocking confession in 2015 provided detectives a glimmer of hope. According to reports, Jamie Fraley’s murder was confessed to by Jerry Case, who was serving time for kidnapping, in letters he wrote to the Gaston Gazette. However, when investigators compared the evidence, they found that Jerry was incarcerated at the time of Jamie’s abduction, ruling him out as the culprit.
Sadly, despite the police’s insistence that the investigation was still ongoing, that was the case’s final significant development. According to Jamie’s mother, Kim, “Until you show me something different, I’m going to have hope that she’s alive.” However, Jamie’s family hasn’t given up hope for her safe return.