Yup, Netflix's 'Missing: Dead Or Alive?' Is Entirely True
It's time to cancel your weekend plans. Netflix has a new true crime series, Missing: Dead or Alive? that's perfect for true crime junkies. While many shows focus on the victim's life leading up to the crime—or the act itself—this limited series focuses on the investigations.
In this docuseries, the audience gets to follow lead investigators of a South Carolina-based missing persons unit to solve four mysterious disappearances: Lorraine Garcia, Amirah Watson, David Taylor, and Sierra Stevens.
If you've already watched, you might be wondering if the cases are true. (Spoiler: They are.) Here's everything to know about the cases, and how investigators cracked them. *Spoilers Ahead*
Yes, all the events are true.
The four cases in Missing: Dead or Alive all happened between 2019 and 2021. Each case was investigated by the Missing Persons Unit in the Richland County Sherriff's Department in South Carolina. The docuseries followed the department over the course of three years (with a brief break due to COVID), per The Post and Courier.
The story primarily follows investigators Vicki Rains, JP Smith, and Heidi Jackson—who oversees the entire unit. The basis of the episodes shows how much work goes into the background of any missing person case, no matter how small.
The show adds a bit of personal flair, showing bits of each investigators' personal life, such as Heidi Jackson's experience fostering children. Parts of the show are, admittedly, a little awkward but the cases are very real. The show is like reality television for a missing persons unit.
What happened to Lorraine Garcia?
The first episode of Missing: Dead or Alive? opens up with the disappearance of 61-year-old Lorraine Garcia in 2021. At first, it seems foul play was involved. Garcia's son, Anthony, was a war veteran with a PTSD diagnosis and was a major suspect.
When the missing persons unit investigated her case, Lorraine's neighbors reported that she had been complaining about her son's concerning behavior. "She was being locked in a bedroom," the neighbor said in the series. "Things were being taken away [from her]—her bank card, her phone."
Lorraine's home also smelled like bleach, which initially made the department believe she may have been harmed. However, Lorraine was found alive after she called her bank for access to her account. She told the missing persons department that she wanted to escape from her volatile son. "My son, he did things to me he has never done," she told authorities on the show. "I don’t deserve that.”
Lorraine has maintained her secret location, but she is currently alive and well, per the docuseries.
Amirah Watson was abducted by her mother.
In the second episode of Missing: Dead or Alive?, Amirah Watson, 10, is reported missing by her father, Mansoor Watson in 2020. The lead investigator on the case, JP Smith (who focuses on juvenile cases), knew she was likely with her mother, but it took six weeks for U.S. Marshals to finally locate her at a family home in Georgia. She was with her mother, Tynesha Brooks, who was arrested.
ICYDK, Amirah's case is unfortunately very common. According to the National Center For Missing and Exploited Children, 4.8% of missing children cases are due to family abductions.
It seems Amirah is now happily living with her father in South Carolina. "[My dad is] the only person I really have in my life that really cares about me, that tries to make me happy and feel safe," she said in the show. "He's everything. I wouldn't know what to do without him."
David Taylor died of hypothermia.
The disappearance of David Taylor is arguably the most mysterious case in the series. Taylor's truck was found on the side of the highway just after he won a $10,000 prize in the lottery.
At first, investigators assumed David might have been attacked for the $10,000 prize money, but the ticket was never cashed in. Instead, Taylor's body was found in a wooded area close to the highway with no wounds. In an autopsy report, Taylor was reported to have died from hypothermia, with a fatal dose of methamphetamine in his system.
It is likely that David overdosed on drug, experienced psychosis, and ended up running into the forest from the highway.
Sierra Stevens was never actually missing.
Sierra Stevens, the 17-year-old girl featured in the final episode of the docuseries was technically never missing at all. In September 2021, Sierra had ended up staying the night at a friend's house after a party without telling her foster parents.
Her foster family reported her missing and Sierra avoided going home after seeing the police at her house. The case was flagged as a high concern because of other sex trafficking cases that had taken place around the same area, according to the show.
Sierra continued to avoid calls from family and reportedly stayed with her friend until October 2021—when she reunited with them.
You can learn more about these cases, and how they were solved, in Missing: Dead or Alive? on Netflix.
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