Details of Disappearance
Brittney was last seen in Mobile, Alabama on May 30, 2012. She said she was going to visit her uncle, Donald Paul Holland Sr., in the Styx River area. She apparently got a ride from him and was last seen getting in his car at 7:30 p.m. Her last cellular phone signal was from that vicinity, but she never arrived and has never been heard from again. Her parents reported her missing on June 2.
Donald Sr. was found dead on June 1, the day after Brittney was last seen. At the time of his death, he was under investigation for sex crimes. He had been shot and his death was ruled a suicide, but some people doubt this explanation because the gunshot wound was in the back of Donald Sr.'s head, which is unusual in suicide cases. A photograph of Donald Sr. is posted with this case summary. Authorities found Brittney's cellular phone battery in his truck after his death.
In June and July 2012, several members of Brittney's family were arrested. Ultimately, eleven people were charged with crimes including incest, rape, sodomy and production of child pornography.
The arrested men included Brittney's brother, Derek Thomas Wood; her uncles, Randall "Scott" Wood and Dustin Alton Kent; her step-cousin, Donald Paul "Donnie" Holland Jr.; James Cumbaa, a Wood family member by marriage; and two friends of the Wood family, William "Billy" Brownlee and Nelton Lloyd "Butch" Morgan. Brittney's maternal aunt, Wendy Wood Holland; Wendy's twin sister, Mendy Kent, who was Dustin's wife; Brittney's mother, Chessie Wood; and Jennifer Gonzalez Moore, a friend of the family, were also charged.
There were multiple victims, and police described the case as one of the worst of its kind in the county. One teenage victim stated she had first been abused while she was a toddler in diapers, and that her earliest memories involved being raped by adult relatives. Very young children would observe what was going on, and some of the women used sex toys on the children to get them "ready" for further abuse.
Authorities determined Brittney had been a victim of sexual abuse at the hands of her relatives as well, starting when she was four or five. Police were planning to question her, but she disappeared before they could.
Wendy Wood Holland was sentenced to 219 years in prison, Mendy Kent to 40 years, Dustin Kent to 17 years, and Randall Wood to a split sentence fifteen years, of which he served only three. Derek Wood and Donald Holland Jr. were both granted youthful offender status, meaning their records are sealed. Chessie Wood pleaded guilty to misdemeanor reckless endangerment and served no time. William Brownlee was sentenced to 21 years and Nelton Morgan to ten years in prison and five years of probation. The case outcomes for James Cumbaa and Jennifer Gonzalez Moore unknown.
None of the trials and guilty pleas led to any further information about Brittney's whereabouts or fate.
Brittney left behind a young daughter. She didn't have a car at the time of her disappearance, and her mother stated she would not have run away from home. Authorities believe she may have been taken against her will and may have been murdered. She may still be in the local area. Her case remains unsolved.