Zaylee Grace Fryar

Zaylee, circa 2011; Age-progression to age 5 (circa 2016); Shauna Fryar; Michael Fryar; Thurman McMurry

  • Missing Since 05/01/2011
  • Missing From Millersville, Tennessee
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Female
  • Race Biracial, Black, White
  • Date of Birth 01/14/2011 (13)
  • Age 3 months old
  • Height and Weight 2'0, 12 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Biracial (African-American/Caucasian) female. Black hair, brown eyes. Zaylee has a brown quarter-sized birthmark on her right leg.

Details of Disappearance

Zaylee disappeared with her mother, Shauna Marie Fryar, from Millersville, Tennessee on May 1, 2011. Shauna's husband, Michael Fryar, stated he left their home on C Smith Street at 9:00 p.m. to go to the store. When he returned, Shauna and Zaylee were both gone, although Shauna's Honda Accord, wallet and cellular phone were left behind and so was Zaylee's diaper bag.

Shauna had dropped out of sight for days at at time on at least four prior occasions and had always come home safely, so Michael didn't report her and Zaylee missing until May 5. Shauna had a history of drug abuse and authorities believe she may have gone out to look for drugs on the day of her disappearance.

On May 6, Shauna's body was pulled out of the Cumberland River near the Jefferson Street bridge in downtown Nashville, Tennessee. It wasn't identified until May 10, and there was no sign of Zaylee. She was 28 years old at the time of her death. Authorities believe Shauna was murdered in Millersville before her body was dumped in the river. Although her body was badly decomposed, it had obvious injuries, including a through-and-through wound from front to back.

Shauna and Michael married in 1999 and separated in 2005. They both dated other people and only two of Shauna's eight children were Michael's, but they remained legally married and were still friends.

Michael regularly let Shauna stay with him when she needed to. Shauna and Zaylee were living in Nashville and were homeless before they moved in with him again on April 29, just a few days before they went missing.

Shauna's loved ones said she was happy at the time of her disappearance and appeared to be a responsible and loving mother to Zaylee in spite of her drug abuse history. Although he's not Zaylee's biological father, Michael stated he loved the baby and took care of her as if she was his own child, he had been at the hospital when she was born, and he hoped to get legal custody of her.

Both of Shauna's parents are dead, and one of her children died before she went missing. All the others besides Zaylee lived with various relatives, including Michael's parents.

Zaylee's father, Thurman McMurry, was in jail for assault at the time of the baby's disappearance and Shauna's death, and isn't considered a suspect in the case. A photo of McMurry is posted below this case summary. He and Shauna had dated for about a year and he was looking forward to seeing her and Zaylee again after his release from custody in mid-May. Photos of Shauna, Michael and McMurry are with below this case summary.

Michael is the main suspect in Shauna's murder and Zaylee's disappearance. He had a drug problem and a history of violence, including child abuse. He provided three or four written statements about the case to police, and each of his stories was different from the others. However, he was never charged in Shauna's death or Zaylee's disappearance, and is now deceased.

Investigators stated that if Zaylee's body was dumped in the river like her mother's, it's unlikely she will ever be found. However, it's possible she is still alive and does not realize she is a missing child. Her case remains unsolved.

Updated 6 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated July 20, 2021; details of disappearance updated.