Retha Lee Hiers

Hiers, circa 1982; Cleveland Hill in 1989

  • Missing Since 12/29/1982
  • Missing From Largo, Florida
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Female
  • Race Black
  • Date of Birth 08/12/1939 (84)
  • Age 43 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'1, 130 pounds
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description A red shirt and blue jeans.
  • Medical Conditions Hiers has an unspecified medical condition.
  • Associated Vehicle(s) White two-door 1976 Ford Elite (accounted for)
  • Distinguishing Characteristics African-American female. Black hair, brown eyes. Hiers wears eyeglasses. Her nickname is Lil Baby and her maiden name is Ingram. Hiers walks with a limp. She has surgical scars on both knees, and her ears are pierced. Some agencies give her name as Retha Ingram-Hiers.

Details of Disappearance

Hiers was last seen in the morning hours of December 19, 1982, driving away from her residence at the Breakers Apartments in the vicinity of the 12900 block of Campbell Lane in Largo, Florida. She was on her way to buy laundry detergent at the time. She left home without taking any clothing and personal belongings.

A few days after her disappearance, her husband got a letter from Hiers saying she had left him to be with Cleveland Hill Jr. and she wanted her children to stay with their father. She has never been heard from again. Her white two-door 1976 Ford Elite was found in March 1983, four months after her disappearance, in the vicinity of the 2900 block of Gulf To Bay Boulevard in Clearwater, Florida.

Hiers had lived with her husband for 25 years prior to her disappearance and they had six children, but they didn't marry until shortly before her disappearance. Months before she vanished, her then-boyfriend found out about her affair with Hill, a married asphalt contractor and a friend of the family.

Hiers attempted suicide by overdosing on drugs after her boyfriend found out about the relationship. She survived and her boyfriend agreed to marry her, and she claimed she had ended her relationship with Hill.

Her husband approached Hill after his wife disappeared and asked where Hiers was, and Hill said she had left with a Caucasian man and he had no idea where she was. Her husband sought, and was granted, a divorce on the grounds of adultery.

A photo of Hill is posted with this case summary. Donyelle Johnson and Margaret Dash also disappeared while dating him and have never been found.

Hill shot his wife and mother-in-law in 1968. Four days after his wife left him and returned to her parents, he went to his in-laws' home and shot both victims multiple times. They survived and Hill was sentenced to five years of probation for assault, but then went to prison for a year for probation violation.

He was paroled in 1971, and his wife whom he had shot re-married him two weeks later because her Pentecostal church did not believe in divorce and church leaders urged Hill's wife to give him another chance. His wife is still alive and still has a bullet in her neck. She later said she asked Hill about the missing women and he told her, "If you keep messing with me, I will tell you what happened to those women. I can make people disappear."

In 1992, Hill was convicted of drug trafficking. He was released from prison in 2008 and died of of cancer in Virginia in 2018. He was never charged in connection with any of the missing women's cases and he maintained his innocence for all his life,

The missing women did not know each other and authorities have found no connection between them other than their association with Hill. Foul play is suspected in all three cases, which remain unsolved.

Updated 11 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated January 23, 2024; details of disappearance updated.