Details of Disappearance
McCown was last seen at the Richmond Coin Laundry (now called the Corner Laundry) in the vicinity of the 1100 block of south E Street in Richmond, Indiana on July 22, 2001. She stopped by her mother's house and said some Hispanic men at the laundromat had been harassing her. She went back to the laundromat to get her belongings and never returned. She has never been heard from again. Surveillance footage showed her loading clothes into her 1990 GMC Jimmy 4x4 and leaving the laundromat; she did not appear to be under duress.
McCown disappeared weeks before her wedding, leaving behind an eight-year-old daughter from a previous relationship. Her fiance, Robert "Bobby" Webster, was questioned in her case. Days after McCown's disappearance, he canceled the wedding and demanded a full refund from the reception hall. He also tried to return his wedding band for cash, but the jeweler refused because McCown had purchased it and her name was on the receipt. Webster said he needed extra money to help look for McCown. Police have found no evidence against him and he did take a polygraph test. The car McCown was driving when she disappeared was registered in Webster's name.
On the day of her disappearance, McCown tried to contact her sister several times. Her sister says McCown was seeing another man, Tommy L. Swint, whom Webster didn't know about. Her sister warned McCown to end the relationship. Swint was sworn in as a police officer in Trotwood, Ohio in 2007, but he resigned from the department less than two months later. When the department found out he was a suspect in McCown's disappearance, a fact he hadn't disclosed to them, they told him he had to resign or be terminated. Swint had worked as a corrections officer at a state prison, the Montgomery Education and Pre-Release Center, from 1994 until 2007. McCown also worked at the prison as an accounting clerk from 1994 until her disappearance; this is how she met Swint. He was considered a suspect in her case since shortly after she vanished. A photo of Swint is posted below this case summary.
On November 3, 2001, McCown's vehicle was located at the Meadows of Catalpa, a large apartment complex in Dayton, Ohio. The door lock was knocked in, the ignition switch had been tampered with, and the battery and stereo were missing. McCown's laundry was folded in the backseat. There was no sign of her at the scene, and no fingerprints or other clues. McCown's ex-boyfriend lived at the Meadows of Catalpa and McCown had lived with him there in 1997. He passed a polygraph test and had an alibi and was therefore eliminated as a suspect in her case. She had made a phone call to Dayton the day she went missing; she spoke to a coworker who lived about a mile from the apartment complex.
In February 2010, Swint was indicted for murder in the death of Tina Marie Ivery, a prostitute from Dayton who was beaten and strangled to death in 1991. Authorities planned to question him about other homicides as well. The same day he was indicted, however, as police approached his home to arrest him, Swint committed suicide. He was living in Phenix City, Alabama at the time of his death. He remains a suspect in McCown's case.
McCown was a student at Sinclair Community College at the time of her disappearance; she wanted to become a United States Marshal. She is the youngest of ten children. Authorities believe she drove to Dayton after leaving the laundromat and something happened to her there. Her case remains unsolved and foul play is suspected.
Above: Tommy Swint, circa 2007