Shirley Ann Carpenter Trapp

Trapp, circa 2004; Larry Bright, circa 2010

  • Missing Since 08/26/2004
  • Missing From Peoria, Illinois
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Date of Birth 06/25/1959 (58)
  • Age 45 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'4, 130 pounds
  • Medical Conditions Trapp is diabetic.
  • Distinguishing Characteristics African-American female. Black hair, brown eyes. Trapp has a scar between her eyes and a surgical scar extending from her collarbone to her navel. Her lower left front tooth is chipped. She is sometimes referred to as Shirley Ann Trapp, Shirley Ann Carpenter, or Shirley Trapp Carpenter. She does not usually wear makeup or jewelry.

Details of Disappearance

Trapp was last seen at approximately 6:00 p.m. on August 26, 2004, at her residence in the vicinity of the 1100 block of George Street in Peoria, Illinois. She has never been heard from again. A friend reported her missing two days later, on August 28.

It is uncharacteristic of Trapp to leave the Peoria area for very long without contacting someone; she stayed in close touch with her children prior to her disappearance. She is described as a streetwise woman who usually carried a weapon and would fight to protect herself if necessary. Her children do not believe she would willingly get into a vehicle with someone she did not know. Trapp lived with her boyfriend on west George Street in Peoria at the time of her disappearance.

Authorities theorized Trapp was the victim of a suspected serial killer who targeted African-American female drug addicts and prostitutes in the Peoria area. Larry D. Bright, a former concrete worker, confessed to the deaths of eight women, including Trapp, over a 15-month period. He led police to sites where he says he dumped his victims' remains.

In May 2006, he pleaded guilty to all the murders. He stated he had deliberately killed seven of them and had unintentionally caused the death of another with a drug overdose.

According to Bright, he had picked up Trapp on the north side of Peoria and taken her back to his own residence in the 3400 block of west Starr Court. They smoked crack cocaine together and had sexual intercourse, then Trapp got nervous and tried to leave. Bright struck her on the head and strangled her to death, then set her body on fire and kept it burning for about a day before disposing of the ashes. Detectives found some charred bone fragments in his backyard, but these weren't proven to be Trapp's remains.

Bright was sentenced to seven terms of life in prison and one term of thirty years; he could have faced the death penalty if he had been convicted at trial. He will probably never be freed. A photo of him is posted with this case summary.

Trapp remains missing and foul play is suspected in her case due to the circumstances involved.

Investigating Agency

  • Peoria Police Department 309-494-8302

Updated 5 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated June 18, 2017; picture added; details of disappearance updated.