Details of Disappearance
Melissa and her infant daughter, Jasmine
, were last seen leaving their apartment in the 100 block of Westwood Avenue in Akron, Ohio on August 8, 1991. They were walking to a grocery store four blocks from their residence when they both disappeared. Melissa did not have additional cash or supplies for either of them, nor did she have any travel plans. Neither of them has been seen again.
It's uncharacteristic of Melissa to be out of touch with her family; she usually spoke to her mother daily by phone. Even when she ran away for a month while she was pregnant with Jasmine, Melissa called her parents to let them know she was safe. Her mother described her as a very trusting teenager.
The last person to claim he saw Melissa and Jasmine is also the prime suspect in their cases. Raymond "Sweet Pea" Smith was staying with a woman who sublet her apartment to Melissa at the time. Smith claimed that Melissa and Jasmine walked to the store at approximately 7:30 p.m. the evening they vanished.
Smith left his home shortly after they departed. He returned to the apartment building one to two days later, wearing bloody clothing. He was never charged in either of the Collins cases. He had a history of mental illness and drug usage.
Smith died by suicide in 1992. The Collins cases are still unsolved, but foul play is suspected due to the circumstances involved.