Teresa Melissa Dean

Teresa, circa 1999; Age-progression to age 19 (circa 2006)

  • Missing Since 08/15/1999
  • Missing From Macon, Georgia
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Date of Birth 09/20/1987 (31)
  • Age 11 years old
  • Height and Weight 4'10, 75 pounds
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description A short-sleeved blue and white striped button-down shirt; orange-, pink- or rust-colored knit pants, clear plastic gel-type sandals, and gold ball earrings.
  • Medical Conditions Teresa may require medical attention for unspecified reasons.
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Brown hair, blue eyes. Teresa has a speech impediment. Her ears are pierced.

Details of Disappearance

Teresa was last seen walking down Lawrence Street near her family's singlewide trailer in Macon, Georgia at approximately 8:00 p.m. on August 15, 1999. She has never been seen again. Teresa said she was going to a friend's house to visit some puppies, but never arrived there. An extensive search of the area produced no clues as to her whereabouts.

Teresa's mother's former boyfriend, Cody Landers, lived with her family in 1999. He was Teresa's mother's fiance at the time, but they have since broken off their engagement. In October 2000, Landers was indicted on seven child molestation charges involving two children.

He said that he failed a polygraph test which he took voluntarily shortly after Teresa's disappearance, but claimed that the test was administered improperly. He called himself a suspect in Teresa's case, but the police never named him as one. He is now in prison after pleading guilty to the child molestation charges.

Landers has never been connected to Teresa's case and no arrests have been made in her disappearance.

Some investigators feel Teresa's case may be connected to the abductions and murders of Heaven Ross from Northport, Alabama in 2003 and Shannon Nicole Paulk from Prattville, Alabama in 2001.

The girls were Caucasian eleven-year-olds, and they all went missing during the month of August from trailer parks where they lived. There was construction going on near the site of each girl's disappearance and it has been theorized that a construction worker or workers were involved in the cases.

Shannon was found deceased seven weeks after she disappeared. Heaven's remains were not recovered until late December 2006, over three years after her disappearance. Both girls' murders remain unsolved and no hard evidence links them to Teresa's case.

Teresa's case remains unsolved. She was a student at Alexander IV School in 1999. She has previously lived in Bibb County, Georgia. Authorities believe foul play may have been involved in her case.

Investigating Agency

  • Federal Bureau of Investigation 912-745-1271
  • Georgia Bureau of Investigation 912-987-4545
  • Twiggs County Sheriff's Department 912-945-3357

Updated 7 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated June 21, 2010; distinguishing characteristics and clothing/jewelry description updated.