PASCAGOULA, Miss. — A southwest Missouri toddler missing for nearly four decades is identified.
The Jackson County, Mississippi Sheriff’s Office announced that a DNA search identified remains found back in 1982.
Family members told investigators that Alisha Ann Heinrich and her mother Gwendolyn Mae Clemons of Webb City were last seen leaving Joplin Thanksgiving of 1982 and that they were moving to Florida to start a new life with an unidentified male; they say Heinrich and Clemons were never seen alive again.
Heinrich’s remain were found on December 5, 1982. Details from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children say, “the body of an unidentified child was found in thick brush along the Escatawpa River, beneath the Westbound lanes of Interstate 10 in Jackson County, MS. The body was that of a white female, approximately 18 months old. She had been deceased less than two days before being found. The child was approximately 2′ 5” tall and weighed around 25 pounds. Her eye color was indecipherable but was possibly brown or blue. Her hair color was strawberry blonde. The child was found wearing a pink and white checkered “Cradle Togs” dress or shirt and a disposable diaper. She had 12 teeth and appeared to have been well-nourished and cared for. Witnesses recall seeing a young adult female, carrying a baby walking along the Interstate a few nights prior to when her body was found. Authorities believe the baby seen by witnesses could be this unidentified child. The adult female has never been located or identified.”
Clemons is still missing and authorities are asking for anyone with information to contact the Jackson County, MS Sheriff’s office.
Deputies say they have identified a suspect, however he is deceased.