CLARKSDALE, Miss. — Clarksdale is roughly 75 miles southeast of Memphis, Tennessee. Hailed as the “home of the blues,” Clarksdale’s history is filled with music and racism.
Here, the rape of two young black women at the hands of white teenage boys started the Civil Rights Movement locally. The Empress of the Blues died after a tragic car accident, and a particular Hollywood star with a distinctive voice co-owns a blues club.
Fifty miles away in Money, MS, white racists Roy Bryant and his half-brother, J.W. Milam, brutally murdered 14-year-old Emmett Till in 1955.
The area has seen its share of violence. But the fate of one young Clarksdale woman remains a mystery.
Phyllis Rome, 22, deaf and mute, was last seen at approximately 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 19, 1993, at Red’s Blues Club (also known as Red’s Lounge), located at 398 Sunflower Avenue in Clarksdale, Mississippi.
Phyllis Rome’s mother reported her missing the following Monday. A cousin of Phyllis’ reportedly saw her on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd near Tony’s Liquor Store after she went missing, although it is unclear when the cousin saw her. It makes sense because Phyllis would have traveled along Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd to get to her home at 409 McKinley Street.
Phyllis Rome was last seen wearing a white blouse, white polka-dot blue shorts, and shoes. She stood only 5 feet tall and weighed 100 pounds.
A few days later, police announced Phyllis was “doing alright, though still not home.” A police investigator claimed a witness saw Phyllis Rome a half-mile away at Coahoma County Courthouse.
Courthouse officials identified Phyllis’ picture in the newspaper and called the police when she left. Not long after, police said they were still investigating her disappearance.
There has been no information on this case since 1993 that I can find.
True Crime Diva’s Thoughts
I wrote about Phyllis’ case to bring awareness to it, as I usually do with cases like hers. There is little information on this case, sadly.
There doesn’t appear to be any Facebook pages for her either.
I don’t think she took off on her own. I think someone kidnapped and killed her.
The Charley Project states on Phyllis’ page there were rumors Phyllis was killed and her body dumped in downtown Clarksdale.
There’s no doubt that being deaf and mute made Phyllis an easy target. Perhaps, she was attacked and killed by more than one person.
People go to Red’s to listen to music. Phyllis Rome was deaf and mute, so why did she go that night? Did she meet someone there? Did she have a boyfriend?
I’m not sure it was Phyllis in the courthouse. By then, people obviously knew she was missing, and if it was her, she knew people were looking for her. If she left on her own, why stick around for several days? Why didn’t the people at the courthouse approach and ask her if she was in fact Phyllis Rome?
If it was her, what was she doing at the courthouse? Why didn’t she let her mother know she was alright?
I could not find any info on Phyllis’ mother or any other family member. I want to know why there is barely any info on her. Where is her family? Are they still searching for her?