Shelia Diane Hughes

Hughes, circa 2000; Renard Simmons

  • Missing Since 09/01/2000
  • Missing From Aliceville, Alabama
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Female
  • Race Black
  • Date of Birth 06/17/1971 (53)
  • Age 29 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'5, 150 pounds
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description A gray shirt, stretchy white maternity shorts and white house slippers.
  • Medical Conditions Hughes was nine months pregnant with a boy at the time of her September 2000 disappearance. She planned to name him Renard Simmons Jr. She was due to deliver her baby at any time.
  • Distinguishing Characteristics African-American female. Black hair, brown eyes. Hughes has scars on her left arm and lower lip. Her ears are pierced. Her nickname is Boot.

Details of Disappearance

Hughes left the Aliceville, Alabama residence she shared with her sister and nieces at approximately 10:30 p.m. on September 1, 2000. It was her baby's due date, but she wasn't showing any signs of going into labor yet.

Her boyfriend, Renard Simmons, the father of her unborn son, had stopped by to check on her and asked her to go for a ride with him. Hughes told her sister she was leaving with Simmons and didn't plan to be gone long, but added, "If you don’t ever see me again, don’t worry because I have lived my life to the fullest."

The police stopped Simmons's car at a roadblock in Pickensville, Alabama at 1:00 a.m. on September 2; Hughes was in the car at the time. This is the last time anyone saw her. Pickensville is about ten miles from Aliceville.

Simmons later told authorities that he dropped Hughes off at her home at approximately 3:00 a.m. on September 2. Her sister was home at the time and said Hughes never came back into the house. She has never been heard from again.

Hughes's brown purse and her white slippers were discovered under a tree in a cotton field in Noxubee County, Mississippi sometime after she was last seen. An extensive search of the area produced no clues as to her whereabouts. The items were located just west of the Alabama/Mississippi state line. Hughes's disappearance remains unsolved.

Hughes's family members stated Simmons was unhappy about her pregnancy. He wanted her to have an abortion and was angry at her refusal to do so, but Hughes still loved him, and planned to name their baby after him. After her disappearance, Simmons didn't seem very interested in finding her and didn't participate in any of the searches for her. A photo of him is posted with this case summary.

Her family believes she is deceased, and authorities also think she met with foul play. She was declared legally dead in February 2008, seven and a half years after her disappearance. Simmons died in 2013. Hughes's case remains unsolved.

Updated 7 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated November 2, 2021; details of disappearance updated.