Details of Disappearance Erica was last seen been 9:00 and 10:00 p.m. at the Video-N-Tan in Brooksville, Kentucky on October 21, 1997. She was socializing with her friends that night. She has never been heard from again.
Erica's black four-door 1988 Pontiac Bonneville SSE was discovered unlocked and abandoned off of Fronk Road between bales of hay in a field off Fronks Lane the day after her disappearance. The vehicle was located approximately one mile from the Video-N-Tan.
Her purse, wallet, checkbook and money were inside the car, but there was no sign of her at the scene. Erica's car keys were missing for some time afterwards, but were later discovered across the road under some leaves. There was no sign of Erica near the car, nor were there any signs of foul play. A photo of the vehicle is posted with this case summary.
A man who was questioned about Erica's disappearance later shot his wife to death before committing suicide. Authorities say the individual was ruled out as a suspect in Erica's case before he died; he had an alibi for the night of her disappearance.
Another suspect, 20-year-old Shane M. Simcox, an acquaintance of Erica's, was with Erica the night she vanished and may have been the last person to see her. He stated she gave him a ride to his house, dropping him off at 9:00 p.m.
Simcox had previously been expelled from Bracken County High School for threatening a teacher and her daughter. He has a criminal record for burglary and he refused to take a lie detector test in connection with Erica's case, but he has maintained his innocence in her disappearance and no convincing evidence has been found against him. He is, however, considered a person of interest in Erica's disappearance.
Erica was a resident of Germantown, Kentucky, fifty miles south of Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1997. She was a senior at Bracken County High School in 1997 and worked part-time at Carota's Pizza in Augusta. Shortly before she went missing, she requested more hours at her job. She planned to enroll in Northern Kentucky University after graduation and study accounting.
Although she'd started hanging out with a rough crowd and she had argued with her best friend prior to her disappearance, authorities do not believe Erica left of her own accord. She has no history of running away, she was a good student with a steady boyfriend and no indications of trouble in her life, and she didn't tell her friends of any travel plans.
There are few leads in Erica's case. Her parents have both died in the years since her disappearance. Due to lack evidence as to her fate, her disappearance is being investigated as a missing person rather than a crime.
- Bracken County Sheriff's Office
Updated 8 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated November 8, 2017; details of disappearance updated.