The 1997 Disappearance of Kentucky Teen Erica Fraysure

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Brooksville is a tiny town of 643 residents, located in central Bracken County, Kentucky and lies southeast of Cincinnati, Ohio. It’s one those everybody-knows-everyone-and-everything towns.

Hardly the place you would think a crime might occur. But in 1997, teenager, Erica Fraysure disappeared and has not been seen since.

The Disappearance of Erica Fraysure

17-year-old high school senior, Erica Fraysure was a pretty girl who resided in Germantown, Kentucky with her parents. She worked part-time at Carota’s Pizza in nearby Augusta. After high school, she planned to attend Northern Kentucky University and major in accounting.

However, Erica started hanging out with a rough group of people who partied a lot.

On Tuesday, October 21, 1997, Erica decided to socialize with her friends that night and went cruising around in her car. She was last seen between 9:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. at Video-N-Tan in Brooksville (some reports say she was last seen at a party).

The next day, Erica’s 1988 Pontiac Bonneville was found wedged between two large bales of hay in a field on Fronks Lane, about a mile from Video-N-Tan. The car was unlocked and the keys were found in the field. Erica’s purse, wallet, checkbook and some money were inside the car. There was no sign of Erica.

Despite several searches through the years, Erica has never been found. Authorities do not believe Erica left on her own.

Shortly after Erica’s disappearance, Shane M. Simcox, 20, said in a television interview that he was the last person to see Erica alive.  He claimed Erica drove him home around 9:00 p.m. Well, Erica was missing not dead so his statement caught the attention of local police who wanted Shane to take a lie detector test. He refused.

When state police detective, Bob Scott, now Bracken County Chief Deputy, tried to interview Simcox, he evoked his right to counsel and a full interview was never completed.

Simcox had been expelled from school after threatening to kill a teacher and her daughter.

Less than a year after Erica went missing, Chris Mineer, 28, shot and killed his girlfriend, Carmen Moorhead, 24, then killed himself one day after Erica’s mother appeared on The Montel Williams Show with psychic, Sylvia Brown. When asked who knew about Erica’s disappearance, Sylvia said “Chris”. The show bleeped it out so people could not hear the name, but apparently it was obvious by reading her lips.

After Mineer died, his mother sued the talk show and Sylvia Browne. However, the lawsuit was later dismissed. Chris Mineer was ruled out as a suspect shortly before he committed suicide; He had an alibi for that night.

Simcox remains a person of interest in Erica Fraysure’s disappearance, but he has always maintained his innocence.

Erica’s mother died from cancer in 2011, and her father passed in 2016.

If you have any information about Erica’s disappearance, call Kentucky State Police at 1-800-222-5555.

True Crime Diva’s Thoughts

I think that whatever happened to Erica, there are many people today who know of her fate and know where her body is.

Some questions in this case:

  • Who was with Erica when she was cruising around in her car? Simcox claimed he was with her. Who else?
  • Anybody else see Erica cruising that night?
  • If there was a party, where was this party located? Who was at the party?
  • Were people at the party interviewed by police?
  • Did police check Erica’s car for fingerprints? What about inside the car?
  • Any DNA found?
  • Did Mineer have any knowledge of Erica’s fate? Why did he shoot Carmen and then himself one day after the talk show episode aired?

Possible Theories

  • Erica was abducted, likely raped, and murdered by someone known to her.
  • Erica died of an accidental overdose at the party and those at the party panicked and disposed of her body (this theory is what many people believe happened to her).

This was not a random abduction/murder, in my opinion. If she was murdered, she knew her killer.

I’m going with theory #1. Simcox knows more than he’s telling about that night. He either is solely responsible or he knows who is. Why refuse a lie detector test if you’re innocent? Why evoke counsel if you’re innocent? Why is he not cooperating with police? He said he was the last person to her ALIVE. At that point, she was just missing, so I think that statement said everything. Erica was already dead when Simcox was interviewed.

I would not rule out theory #2 because that is very possible. I have no idea if Erica used drugs or not, though. I think if this was an accidental overdose, someone would have come forward by now.

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True Crime Diva

True Crime Diva

I've blogged true crime since 2010, happily taking up only a tiny corner of the internet. I'm not here for attention; I'm here to tell you their stories.

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