Details of Disappearance Pearson was last seen at by friends at approximately 1:00 a.m. on January 5, 2002. She had attended a Memphis Grizzlies game at the Pyramid in Memphis, Tennessee and went to her residence afterwards, where she entertained some female friends. Although she had complained of feeling lightheaded at the Grizzlies game, she was acting normally afterwards, and didn't appear to be unwell, afraid or upset about anything.
She was supposed to go to her sister's home to babysit her children later on the day of January 5, but never showed up. Phone records show Pearson received a five-second phone call at her residence at 1:58 a.m. The call was placed by an unknown individual at a nearby phone booth. No one saw her leave her home. She has never been heard from again.
Pearson's car, a dark blue 2001 Audi, was located at an apartment complex off Egypt-Central on January 7, two days after she was last seen. The location is two miles from her home in the 6400 block of Daybreak Street. There were no signs of violence in or around the Audi, but the vehicle had been wiped clean of fingerprints. Pearson's medical bag was in the trunk, along with her keys and $140 in cash inside an envelope.
At home, she left behind her her insulin pump and other supplies she needed to control her diabetes. She also left her cellular phone and pager at home, although she is a pediatrician and was on call the weekend of her disappearance.
Pearson's sister was listed as the beneficiary for her $150,000 life insurance policy. Her sister's husband has a criminal record and was out on bail awaiting trial for bank robbery when Pearson disappeared. Authorities considered him a possible suspect and interviewed him, but he had an alibi and there was no evidence to tie him to his sister-in-law's disappearance. He was later convicted of the bank robbery and imprisoned.
Pearson is a graduate of Jackson Central Merry High School, the University of Tennessee, and Meharry Medical College. She moved to the Memphis area in the late 1990s, and at the time of her disappearance she lived on Daybreak Drive in Bartlett, Tennessee. Her loved ones describe her as a family-oriented person with no enemies who would not disappear voluntarily without warning.
Pearson was declared legally dead in 2009, the same year her father died. One theory is that she left home after getting that 1:58 a.m. phone call, intending to be gone only for a short time, and something prevented her from returning. Her case remains unsolved and foul play is suspected.
- Bartlett Police Department
Updated 5 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated July 13, 2021; details of disappearance updated.