Randa David Jawhari was born on June 2, 1966, to David and Anisse Jawhari in Lebanon. She has six sisters and one brother.
The Jawhari family moved to the United States when Randa was a child. She lived in various places, including Florida and Hawaii, and she has family in Ohio.
Randa was a former actress who had bit parts in the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie “True Lies” and the 1980s crime drama “Jake and the Fatman.” She wrote a book, “Letter From the Rose,” and was also an artist.
Although a creative and talented woman, Randa had bipolar disorder and other health conditions that often disrupted her life.
A doctor had prescribed medication to treat her mental illness, but she had resisted traditional medicine in the past, opting for natural treatments instead.
Randa’s mother had guardianship over her and took care of Randa’s daughter, Mattilyn, due to her health conditions.
Despite being severely mentally ill, Randa lived independently in an apartment at 3464 W. Shiawassee Ave., a quarter of a mile east of U.S 23, in Fenton, Michigan.
At 10 a.m. on Feb. 10, 2009, Randa was wandering around asking for money at the McDonald’s restaurant on Owen Road. A Fenton police officer arrived and drove Randa to her apartment.
Later that night, at 11:30 p.m., Randa spoke on a landline telephone with her sister, Fadia Jawhari, and planned to go to bed afterward.
Fadia was the last known person to speak to Randa.
At 8 a.m. the following morning, Your Ride, a personalized public transit service, arrived at Randa’s apartment for a scheduled pickup, but she never answered her door.
Anisse Jawhari took Mattilyn, then five years old, to school and drove straight to Randa’s apartment. When she arrived, the front door was open, and Randa was gone. Randa’s clothes were laid out, and it appeared she did not sleep in her bed. Furthermore, the coffee pot was cold, and a half pack of Randa’s cigarettes was sitting on the table beside the woman’s favorite chair. Randa was a chain smoker and would not have left the apartment without her cigarettes.
Randa’s mother reported her daughter missing to the Fenton police on Feb. 11, 2009. Authorities found no signs of a struggle in Randa’s apartment. Later that day, the Jawhari family held a press conference at the Freedom Center Church to plead for information on Randa’s whereabouts. They believed she likely wore her blue bathrobe since it disappeared along with her and a brown jacket.
Police heavily searched the area around Randa’s apartment. A few days later, more than 100 volunteers and the K-9 One Search and Rescue, a volunteer group out of Genesee and Lapeer counties, joined in the search. Dogs picked up Randa’s scent from her apartment to McDonald’s, where she often walked, and the same one she had been panhandling at the day before she vanished.
Neighbors on each side of Randa were home but did not hear or see anything unusual.
Police questioned a male neighbor Randa knew who had gone fishing at Crane Lake in Fenton Township the night before Randa disappeared. He cooperated with investigators, and they subsequently searched Crane Lake and the area surrounding it more than once but found no traces of Randa.
Police obtained Randa’s telephone records, but after the call with Fadia, Randa placed no further calls.
About a month after her disappearance, the family erected a billboard along U.S. 23. Police received a few tips, but nothing substantial.
Investigators viewed enhanced surveillance video footage from the apartment complex’s parking lot. The motion-activated video camera captured a passenger car entering the lot at 5 a.m. and leaving about a minute later. Still, it was too dark outside to make out the car’s make and model or license plates. Police do not know whether the vehicle was involved in the disappearance.
The Jawharis wondered: How did Randa manage to get past the parking lot without showing up on the surveillance footage? They quickly dismissed a theory because she walked too slowly and might not have activated the camera’s motion detectors, Fenton’s Tri-City Times reported in 2010. For real? I hope it wasn’t a cop who threw that ridiculous theory out there; they should be unemployed.
In April 2009, Fenton police released a composite sketch of a man who had accompanied Randa to several dentist appointments in Flint in October and November 2008. The receptionist called in the tip and said the man waited impatiently for Randa and asked numerous times how much longer the appointments would take. The man was between 30 and 35 years old. Despite public appeals for information regarding the male’s identity, he remains unknown.
Three years after Randa’s disappearance, Fenton Crime Stoppers became involved. They held a press conference at the police station pleading with viewers to offer any information they had on the missing woman or the unidentified male, but nobody came forward.
Randa did not own a cellphone, a vehicle, or a driver’s license and relied on family, public transportation, or walking to get around Fenton.
The missing woman had participated in several programs in Flint due to her mental health.
Police submitted her personal information to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs). If a body is found elsewhere, the system will detect a match and notify Fenton police. Her case is listed with several missing person agencies, and her DNA is on file.
Randa was in constant contact with her family and would never have abandoned her daughter or left the area without informing family members.
Her father, David Jawhari, passed away in 2015 without ever knowing the fate of his beloved daughter.
If you have information regarding the Jawhari case, you can submit an anonymous tip on the city’s website, cityoffenton.org, by calling (810) 629-5311 or through the Crime Stoppers website 1800speakup.org or crimestoppersofflint.com.
True Crime Diva’s Thoughts
Here are a few possible scenarios in Randa’s disappearance:
- Randa wandered away from home sometime after the phone call with her sister and died accidentally, or someone abducted her.
- A person(s) kidnapped Randa from her apartment.
- She willingly left her apartment with someone she knew.
Randa laid out her clothes on her bed, which tells me she had every intention of being picked up by Your Ride the following day.
No smoker, especially a heavy smoker like Randa, would leave their home without their cigarettes unless they intended only to be gone for a short amount of time.
Because her robe and a jacket were also missing, I think theory 1 or 2 makes the most sense. Police found no signs of a struggle, so she might have known her killer if foul play was involved.
I would guess the driver of the mystery car entering and exiting the apartment complex’s parking lot had something to do with it. The person entered and left quickly, so maybe the unidentified male (the one in the sketch) picked Randa up for whatever reason. However, the driver might also have been picking up a coworker who lived there too.
The male in the sketch never came forward, which suggests he might be involved. Strangely, Randa’s family did not know this man. She was always in touch with them, yet she never mentioned him? She knew him well enough to ask for several rides to the dentist.
I love cases like this one — a complete mystery. It constantly amazes me when someone disappears with zero clues left behind. Poof! They’re gone.
For a case less than 15 years old that occurred in the internet and social media age, there is not much info out there on Randa’s disappearance. However, I had enough to write this post, so I’m happy about that.
As is my goal for each piece I write, I wanted to bring more awareness to Randa’s case.