MP of the week: Zaylee Fryar

This missing person’s case of the week is Zaylee Grace Fryar, who at three months is perhaps the youngest MP of the week I’ve ever done. (Don’t quote me on that though.) Zaylee disappeared with her mother, Shauna, from Millersville, Tennessee on May 1, 2011. Less than a week later, Shauna’s body was pulled from a local river. It was so badly decomposed they never determined the cause of death, and they’re not sure if it was a murder or what. No sign of Zaylee. I should note that neither Shauna’s husband or Zaylee’s father are suspects in Shauna’s death or the baby’s disappearance.

This is a very mysterious and very sad case. I think Zaylee could still be alive — perhaps sold, or given, to someone — and I think, whether she’s alive or dead, her case could be solved if there was a lot more publicity. I haven’t updated the casefile since I added it to Charley in November 2011. Zaylee and Shauna were featured on America’s Most Wanted, but I don’t remember whether it was on the show itself or as a “web exclusive.” They got local publicity, nothing national. Zaylee’s being biracial, and her mom’s involvement with drugs, probably didn’t help. I bet if a beautiful young schoolteacher and her infant disappeared under similar circumstances it would be everywhere.

If she’s still alive, Zaylee would be three and a half today. Preschool age. I hope the NCMEC puts up an AP for her soon; the photos I have aren’t of the greatest quality and she looks like every other infant in the entire world. I wish some national news media, like Nancy Grace or that one show that profiles missing black people, would take hold of this case and run a show. Shauna’s got several other children whom, I’m sure, want to know what caused their mother’s death and where their sister is.

I hope I can get off my lazy butt and update today.

12 thoughts on “MP of the week: Zaylee Fryar

  1. Lori July 22, 2014 / 5:19 pm

    Marlene Santana is I think…she was 3 days old. It’s haunted me ever since I saw it on Unsolved Mysteries….unless that girl ever questions her past I doubt she will ever be found.

    • Meaghan July 22, 2014 / 5:26 pm

      Well, Carlina White got found. She started questioning her past, but only after she couldn’t get a birth certificate and her mom admitted she wasn’t her kid.

  2. Lori July 22, 2014 / 5:22 pm

    this case….it seems like she likely isn’t dead. And unless she has questions about her past…she too won’t look hard. We tend to believe what we are told concerning people….if mom says your dad was a jerk and that’s why he left, people accept that. Or anything else. So these cases could have all sorts lies that have been told that does not encourage further speculation. Sigh.

  3. Kat July 22, 2014 / 9:27 pm

    Random OT statements here……two MP cases showed up in the news today, the Jamison family (what a MESS that investigation is) and Robert Durst is back to his tricks again. Honestly, some good news would be welcome.

  4. Kat July 22, 2014 / 9:32 pm

    Speaking of publicity, I was looking for other opinions about why some cases are so heavily publicized and others aren’t. Case in point…Lacey Peterson. I’ve brushed up on some other years on Charley recently and there are a bunch of heavily pregnant MPs who I’d never heard of or there is a dearth of info. Anyone? Not looking to cause a firestorm, but I do wonder how on earth these women were overlooked. Social media?

    • Mion July 22, 2014 / 10:57 pm

      This is just my observation, but the ”criteria” for a high-profile missing persons case seems to be this:

      – You’re a young female

      – You’re white

      – You’re physically beautiful, especially if you look like the ”typical” American girl (slim, blonde, blue-eyed)

      – You’re from a middle- to upper-class family. Extra points if you’re related to (or friends with) a celebrity or politician

      – You have a clean criminal record and are not involved in drugs or prostitution

      – Your abduction was particularly shocking/brazen. For example, Holly Bobo (who already ticks off all the previous boxes) was abducted in front of her house in view of her own brother

      – There’s some interesting family drama. Think Casey Anthony or Haleigh Cummings

      – Luck. Some cases get more attention than others for seemingly random reasons. Sadly, some cases get more attention than others. I really can’t think of another reason why, say, Lauren Spierer’s disappearance got 100x more attention than Brittney Wood, another beautiful blonde girl whose presumed murder is shocking as all hell and involves some serious family drama (multiple members have been arrested for child pornography and molestation, and there’s a very good chance Brittney’s case is related to it in some way).

      • Kat July 23, 2014 / 12:30 pm

        Kristine Kupka, Vicki Carriere (sp?), Angela Freeman alone would qualify as interesting cases.The Kupka case in itself is mind blowing because of the circumstances. As to your blog, Meaghan, I may have read it ( though I don’t remember) and it doesn’t seem I commented. I just find it very frustrating that there are these women gone and no one seems to care.

    • Angie July 23, 2014 / 1:25 pm

      Kat: Kristine Kupka got a 10-page New York Magazine article and a bunch of other coverage, some of it even recent. I also think her case has less coverage than expected because it’s pretty obvious who did it, they just don’t have enough evidence to convict and the investigation is at a standstill.

      • Kat July 23, 2014 / 3:43 pm

        Do you have a link? I’d love to read the article. And why they haven’t prosecuted that guy on circumstances alone I’ll never know. Glad to hear her case is getting attention. And before anyone freaks out, there have been convictions on far less than what happened to Kristine.

      • Meaghan July 23, 2014 / 4:17 pm

        He probably did it, but I wouldn’t convict him from what I know about the case. From what I understand, basically, he had motive and he was the last person seen with her and that’s about it. You need more than that.

  5. theroutineriot February 7, 2015 / 10:17 pm

    I know this post is older, but this case seems very similar to the Nichelle McKnight case in my hometown of Dayton, OH. Her son, four-year-old Zaden McKnight. Police have theorized that they were both killed in their basement, and Nichelle’s body was find on the bank of the Stillwater River, about a week (?) after her boyfriend committed suicide. Zaden has not been found.

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