Details of Disappearance Demakia was last seen dropping someone else off at the Fillmore Center, the alternative school where she worked as a security guard in the 900 block of Fillmore Drive in Tupelo, Mississippi, at noon on October 12, 2007. She has never been heard from again.
Her red two-door 2005 Pontiac Grand Am, which she was driving when she was last seen, was recovered that evening at Warfield Apartments in the 2600 block of Jackson Street in Tupelo. A photograph of it is posted with this case summary. Witnesses saw the vehicle enter the apartment complex at a high rate of speed. An African-American male wearing a white t-shirt and blue jeans was driving. He exited the car and ran behind the apartments, where there was a field and a small storage unit.
When Demakia didn't pick up her children from her sister's house after school, her sister reported her missing. When police went to her home, they noted the sheets in the master bedroom were gone. Demakia's husband, Robert Delawrence "Tre" Phinizee, said he hadn't seen her since 6:00 a.m. on the day of her disappearance, and suggested she had simply run off with a boyfriend. He said he'd removed the sheets because their children had wet the bed. The sheets were never recovered.
Demakia spent five years in the United States Army and was earning a degree in criminal justice at the time of her disappearance. She and Robert were separated and she was seeing another man. Her loved ones stated it is uncharacteristic of her to abandon her children. There had been at least two domestic violence incidents in the couple's relationship.
A photo of Robert is posted with this case summary. He took the children and moved out of Tupelo the day after Demakia's disappearance. He later remarried. In February 2020, he was charged with attempted murder in the shooting of his estranged wife; they were in the process of a divorce.
In the wake of Robert's arrest, police are looking into Demakia's disappearance again. He has always been the main person of interest in her case, but he has never been charged in connection with it.
Demakia is a U.S. Army veteran and was getting a degree in criminal justice at the time of her disappearance. Her case remains unsolved.
- Mississippi Department of Public Safety
Updated 5 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated April 12, 2020; details of disappearance updated.