Tyarra Cacique Williams was born on June 18, 1996. The eldest of two children, she grew up in Greensboro, North Carolina. Her parents divorced when she was young, and she and her brother – who she was very protective of – went to live with their mother, Danielle.
In high school, Tyarra was said to be witty and kind. She had a thriving social life, both in real life and online, and as such her mother closely monitored her Facebook activity.
During her junior year, she joined an early childhood development program, as she wanted to work with children when she was older. She especially wanted to work with young children and those with disabilities, as she felt she could give them the love they deserve.
In her senior year, Tyarra felt the need to be more independent and moved in with her grandmother, who lived at the Stoneybrook Apartment Complex on Webster Road, near Randleman Road. While she claimed her grandmother shouldn’t be living alone, everyone knew she really preferred her grandmother’s cooking over Danielle’s.
In 2014, she graduated from Dudley High School and took a year off from school. In December 2015, she decided she wanted to go to college and enrolled at Guildford Technical Community College for early childhood development. She way 19 years old at the time.
LEAD UP TO DISAPPEARANCE:
January 7, 2016 was an early one for Tyarra. At 8:00am that morning, she went to Guildford Technical Community College to finish her enrolment papers and have her student ID made.
At 6:00pm, she stopped by her mother’s place, where she filled her in on her day and took down the Christmas tree. The two were joined by Tyarra’s boyfriend, Aaron, and her little brother. According to her mother, Tyarra was in high spirits, and she offered to take her daughter shopping the next day for textbooks and school supplies.
At 8:00pm, Tyarra, her brother and her boyfriend left Danielle’s and went to her grandmother’s apartment. They ate dinner and spent the evening watching television until 8:30pm, when Tyarra announced she’d be going out to meet a friend, Travis. While Aaron didn’t recognize the name, he didn’t question their meeting, and he, Tyarra and her brother left the apartment. Aaron and her brother went to play video games back at his place, while Tyarra went to meet up with Travis. She said she’d be back in an hour.
9:30pm came around and Tyarra hadn’t returned, nor had she texted Aaron. He returned to her grandmother’s apartment to wait for her and texted her over the next few hours. However, she never responded.
At 7:00am on January 8, 2016, Aaron still hadn’t seen or heard from Tyarra, and left the apartment to attend a pre-scheduled appointment. Upon his return, she still wasn’t back, so he woke up her grandmother, who also hadn’t seen her.
Alarmed, Tyarra’s grandmother called her cellphone, but no one answered. This struck her as strange, as Tyarra never turned her phone off unless she was at work. She called Danielle, who also hadn’t heard from her daughter. Danielle began to worry and went to Tyarra’s room, where she saw her purse was still there. It was then she realized something wasn’t right and made arrangements to meet Aaron.
At 12:30pm, Aaron informed Danielle about Tyarra’s meeting with Travis. She didn’t recognize the name, so she logged onto her daughter’s Facebook account. While she couldn’t find any friends by that name, she did notice Tyarra had been messaging an ex-boyfriend and she began to wonder if “Travis” could have been an alias.
When 8:00pm came around and Tyarra still hadn’t been seen or heard from, her mother contacted the Greensboro Police Department to report her daughter as missing.
When Danielle reported her daughter missing, she informed the police that Tyarra had no prior history of running away or leaving without telling anyone where she was going. There were also no problems at home at the time.
On January 9, 2016, the family canvassed the Stoneybrook Apartment Complex. However, no one reported having seen Tyarra.
The case was assigned to the Crimes Against Persons Squad on January 11, 2016. Detectives spoke to Danielle, who informed them of her theory about Travis. His real name wasn’t released to the public, given the ongoing investigation.
Investigators were suspicious as to why Tyarra was talking to him while in a new relationship, so they brought him in for questioning. While he initially stated he’d had had no contact with her, his story changed when presented with the evidence that had been collected. It appears he was the one to reach out to her.
On the night Tyarra was last seen, he said he met up with her and they talked in his car for around 20 to 30 minutes, before she exited the vehicle and began walking back to her grandmother’s apartment. This was corroborated by his text messages to her. From this story, police were able to surmise he was the last one to see Tyarra. A search of his car brought up no evidence.
Early on in the investigation, police were able to gain access to Tyarra’s cellphone records. While they weren’t able to access her texts, GPS pinged her phone near the Stoneybrook Apartment Complex at around 8:30pm the night she vanished. It is believed the phone stayed on until it ran out of battery power.
While investigators started looking around the area of the apartment complex, her family put up flyers. Multiple residents were spoken to, but no new evidence or sightings were uncovered.
Given the lack of evidence, police began to dig more into Tyarra’s life, where they discovered she had another ex-boyfriend, Tre. While she was still in love with him, Tre and her wanted different things and the pair split. He was cooperative when spoken to by investigators, and Danielle believes he had nothing to do with the case, as he was just as distraught as her family.
About a week after the search began, authorities turned to the media, sending out a press release. Billboards were put up on local roadways and posts were spread on social media. Crime Stoppers also released a flyer.
To help bring in tips, Danielle created a Facebook page, Help Find Tyarra Cacique Williams, and the family set up a hotline, manned by her uncle Darryl, a former bail bondsman.
10 days after its setup, a call came into the hotline from a sanitation worker in High Point, North Carolina, who claimed to have seen a disoriented girl who resembled Tyarra walking down the street in a dark jacket. Another witness reported having seen the same girl on Textile Drive in Greensboro.
Police received two anonymous tips hinting that Tyarra was dead and her body dumped in a tractor trailer lot located across the street from the Stoneybrook Apartment Complex. However, a search came up empty.
On February 8, 2016, authorities intensified their search efforts around the apartment complex, looking through wood lines, creeks, culverts and sewer drains. Despite using tracking dogs, the icy conditions made their search difficult and nothing of substance was found.
An unanticipated development in the case came on February 20, 2016, when Tre was found shot dead near his apartment in Greensboro. Initially, it was believed his death and Tyarra’s disappearance could be linked, but it was found he was killed during an altercation with his roommate.
In March 2016, police received a tip about a post on Instagram, where a user claimed to have overheard a conversation between two people that might be connected to the case. Upon closer examination, the post was deemed to be incorrect and the persons mentioned had nothing to do with the disappearance.
In April 2016, Danielle received a promising tip from a Waffle House server in Jesup, Georgia. The server claimed to have seen Tyarra several times a week as part of a group of girls who visited the restaurant, but she never spoke or made eye contact.
Darryl travelled to Jesup to investigate, but around that time the group of girls stopped their visits to the Waffle House. The server suggested they might be staying at a nearby motel, so Darryl visited local ones until he came upon a manager who said a girl matching Tyarra’s description was staying nearby with a suspected pimp. Local authorities were contacted, but the girl turned out not to be Tyarra.
The National Center For Missing and Exploited Children added Tyarra’s case to their website and tips continued to come in from across the United States. Darryl followed up on as many leads as he could and offered up a $10,000 reward for any information leading to the return of his niece.
Spring allowed for a renewed search for evidence in May 2016, but nothing new was uncovered. Anxious for leads, the family urged detectives to look into Aaron, who when questioned was found to have no involvement in the case. When pressed, he admitted to having become depressed after the disappearance and said he regretted not asking more questions about Travis.
The last purported sighting of Tyarra came on June 13, 2016, when a relative thought she saw a girl resembling Tyarra at the DMV in Greensboro. When the relative called out her name, the girl said she wasn’t Tyarra, but asked the relative to pray for her. Police pulled surveillance footage, but Danielle confirmed it wasn’t her daughter.
1) Police believe Tyarra isn’t a runaway and that she didn’t disappear voluntarily. While they haven’t publicly stated if they have any persons of interest in the case, they continue to work on this premise.
2) Some believe Tyarra might have been abducted and forced into human trafficking. This comes from the sightings of those who say a girl resembling Tyarra was seen walking around, disoriented. Given how she was acting, it’s thought she might be drugged and being held hostage.
3) Tyarra’s family believes her ex-boyfriend has something to do with the disappearance, given he was the last person to see her. Given the ongoing status of the investigation, investigators won’t comment on whether he’s involved.
As the investigation has drawn on, tips have begun to slow down. However, despite the lack of information, investigators say they’re still looking for new evidence and believe someone within the vicinity of the Stoneybrook Apartment Complex knows something.
CASE CONTACT INFORMATION:
Tyarra Cacique Williams went missing in Greensboro, North Carolina, from the Stoneybrook Apartment Complex on Webster Road, on January 7, 2016. She was 19 years old and was last seen wearing a pink shirt, a black North Face jacket, blue jeans, white Jordan sneakers with blue and green trim, and a blue knit cap. At the time of her disappearance, she was 5’5″ and 120 pounds. She has brown hair and brown eyes, with a nose piercing and a nickel-sized burn scar on her wrist.
Currently, her case is classified as endangered missing. If alive, she would be 22 years old.
If you have any information regarding the case, you can contact the Greensboro Police Department at 336-373-2222 or Crime Stoppers at 336-373-1000.
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