30-year-old Ebonee Shanetta Spears disappeared from Wilmington, North Carolina on January 15, 2016. Ebonee acted paranoid prior to her disappearance. She has not been found.
About the Case
Ebonee Shanetta Spears was a single mother to a daughter and resided at Point-Taylor Estates in the 1300 block of Brooklyn Lane in Wilmington, North Carolina. On January 15, 2016, Ebonee ate breakfast with her parents, Alfonso and Harriet Rivers, at their home on Price Drive. The night before, Ebonee acted paranoid and disoriented. Her parents met her in the parking lot of the police department hoping police might commit her to a psychiatric hospital.
Paramedics were called to the parking lot but they did not take Ebonee to the hospital. After a while, she was her normal self again and her parents let her go home. Her parents planned on having Ebonee over for dinner the next night, but Ebonee called them at 7:00 p.m. to say she had already eaten and was going to stay home. This is the last phone call Ebonee made from her cell phone.
Shortly after, Ebonee flagged down a van driven by a Community Boys and Girls Club employee. The driver took Ebonee to the club.
Around 8:00 p.m., Ebonee walked into the Wilmington Police Department on Bess Street and asked to use the phone. She was directed to a pay phone in the lobby but seemed unable to operate it.
Ebonee once again appeared to be disoriented and paranoid. After pacing the lobby for about 10 minutes, she left.
At 10:45 p.m., a neighbor saw Ebonee. She asked him for a cigarette, but he refused to give her one. She then told the neighbor she was going to a nearby store.
Ebonee vanished without a trace after she spoke with the neighbor.
About an hour later, Ebonee’s boyfriend, Antonio McKoy stopped by her apartment and let himself in. Her vehicle was parked outside and her purse was inside. However, Ebonee’s phone was missing. The boyfriend called the phone but it went straight to voice mail. He waited two hours before calling Ebonee’s parents.
Ebonee’s parents reported their daughter missing on January 16, 2016.
Despite a search and investigation, Ebonee remains missing. Surveillance videos in the area did not show any signs of Ebonee.
Ebonee’s father, Alfonso viewed the video footage of Ebonee at the police department on the night she disappeared, and believes it shows more than what police have said.
“From what I’ve seen on that film over and over again she was asking for help and they turned their back on my daughter,” Rivers says. “I couldn’t hear the audio but I could see my daughter, I know my daughter. I know she was asking for help, I know she was.” (WECT 6)
Wilmington Police have not released the five-minute video.
Ebonee was taking an antidepressant for Lupus and had been acting strange in the days leading up to her disappearance. Her father said she was confused and believed people were following her and trying to steal things from her.
Ebonee Shanetta Spears is 5’8″ tall and weighs about 130 pounds. She has brown hair, brown eyes and a tattoo of a rose on her foot. She was last seen wearing a white T-shirt and blue jeans.
There is a Facebook page set up for Ebonee – Find Ebonee Spears.
Sources: The Charley Project, WECT 6, and John Hopkins Medicine
True Crime Diva’s Thoughts
This case is very similar to another one I came across a while back, but for the life of me, I can’t remember the name of the victim. A young black female acts strange in a public place and then vanishes without a trace.
There are many ways we could go here. The boyfriend did it. The neighbor did it. Ebonee ended up lost and confused and something happened to her.
But what if Ebonee was telling the truth and people were after her? What kind of crowd did she hang out with? Did she use drugs? What did they want to steal from her? From what I’ve read about her, Ebonee was nothing like she was before she disappeared and was a good person all-around.
Or was the strange behavior from the medication for Lupus? According to John Hopkins Medicine, antidepressant medications are used to treat clinical depression or pain. Depression and anxiety are present in almost half of all people who have lupus and can be caused by the disease itself, by medications used to treat the disease, or by inadequate coping mechanisms.
Some antidepressants may cause paranoid reaction, so it is possible that Ebonee was paranoid because of the medication. But that doesn’t explain her disappearance.
I would like to know who the neighbor was who denied Ebonee a cigarette. He was the last known person to see her so his alibi better be solid. He said she was going to a nearby store. Yet she didn’t take her purse or car. The nearest store I found is a convenience store several blocks from her apartment. If she had made it there, she would have been seen on surveillance video. But according to police, Ebonee was not seen on any video other than the police department’s. So, I don’t think she ever left her apartment.
At 7:00 p.m., Ebonee used her cell phone to call her parents. Ebonee’s phone went straight to voice mail when Antonio called it later that night. So either the battery died or someone shut it off. If Ebonee had a cell phone then why did she go to the police station to make a phone call? This was only an hour after she called her parents.
Of course, I could wonder why police are not releasing the video footage of her at the department the night she disappeared. Could they have done more? Is her father right – was Ebonee begging for help and they refused? If she was acting paranoid and needed help, why didn’t a police officer go out to the lobby to help her or call for an ambulance, especially after she was at the police department the night before acting the same way? Why did they just ignore her? Or is there more to that story?
Ebonee stayed in the area near her apartment up until she went missing, so this tells me she didn’t plan to go very far that night. Ebonee had a vehicle so why was she walking all over the area? Why didn’t she take her car? I understand she may have been out of it but that hasn’t stopped people from driving before.
It is unclear why the driver took her to the club and not to her apartment. It is less than a 3-minute drive from the club to Ebonee’s apartment. The driver picked her up somewhere in between, so the drive to her apartment would have been even shorter. Maybe Ebonee didn’t want him to.
I want to lean towards the neighbor or the boyfriend having something to do with this. It doesn’t make sense that Ebonee would leave her apartment without her purse to go to a store. Why didn’t she take her purse? Her money would have been in her purse. Did she have her purse when she was at the police station?
About an hour after the neighbor talked with Ebonee, Antonio showed up and she was gone. That would have given the neighbor plenty of time to commit murder and dispose of the body. But something could have happened between her and her boyfriend. Antonio didn’t speak to the press for ONE year after Ebonee disappeared. He waited TWO hours to call her parents. When she didn’t arrive home after a while, say 30 minutes or so, why didn’t he call then asking if she was there? He’s also not on her Facebook friends list, which I find odd considering he was her boyfriend.
This case could go either way – murder or accidental death. Personally, I don’t think this was an accident.