Details of Disappearance
Alexis resided with her mother and stepfather, Ayanna and LaRon Bourgeois, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. LaRon walked Alexis to Hi-Mount Boulevard School in the 4920 block of West Garfield Avenue near 49th Street at approximately 8:00 a.m. on May 3, 2002. Alexis was a first-grade student there. The school is less than one block from the family's home. LaRon said that he watched Alexis walk towards the playground before he headed back to their residence. Alexis never attended classes during the day, although students reported seeing her crying on the playground before and after school. She has never been heard from again.
Ayanna and LaRon were not notified about Alexis's absence until after her school dismissed in the afternoon. They initially believed she refused to attend classes because of an argument she had with her mother. Ayanna said that Alexis failed to properly complete her homework during the previous evening. She was not allowed to bring cupcakes for her classmates the following day as a result. Authorities agreed with the scenario and said that something may caused Alexis's disappearance after she was seen in the school's playground later in the day. She does not have a history as a runaway and had a perfect attendance record at school prior to her disappearance.
The surrounding areas were searched immediately after Alexis was reported missing. Investigators canvassed nearby Washington Park while divers searched its lagoon. Authorities focused on areas near Meinecke Avenue, Vine Street, 16th Street and 60th Street in the northwest section of the city. No evidence was discovered at any of the locations. Investigators announced that Alexis disappeared under suspicious circumstances and reclassified her case from a missing child to a criminal investigation by May 14.
Some of Alexis's classmates told police that they had seen a red truck parked near the school for most of the week before her disappearance. The truck never dropped anyone off or picked anyone up and it disappeared after Alexis vanished, never to be seen again. It has not been identified and it is unknown if it is connected to Alexis's case.
Alexis's father, Kenya Campbell, was imprisoned in Milwaukee at the time of her disappearance. He was released shortly afterwards and cooperated with authorities, as did Ayanna and LaRon. Their photos are posted below this case summary. Alexis's stepfather has a criminal history as well, but investigators announced that they did not believe either LaRon or Campbell's pasts were connected to her case. LaRon failed a polygraph test after Alexis's disappearance and was charged for an unrelated crime in 2003, a year after Alexis's vanished; he had a domestic dispute with Ayanna, who had been trying to leave him for some time, and was ordered to stay away from her. Ayanna says LaRon was abusive and threatening towards her. The criminal charges were later dropped, however. Ayanna and LaRon have since separated and moved away from the Milwaukee area.
An anonymous caller contacted a Milwaukee television station in August 2002 and claimed that Alexis's remains were disposed in the Milwaukee River near Estabrook Park. Dive teams searched the area, but no evidence related to Alexis's disappearance was discovered. Investigators announced that foul play was suspected in her case in September 2002. They searched a vacant house in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on a tip from a prisoner in 2005, but turned up nothing. Alexis's disappearance remains unsolved.
Left: Ayanna Bourgeois;
Center: LaRon Bourgeois; Right: Campbell