Alicia Osibin On The Run After Adoptive Mother Murdered; Could Be Presenting As A Man
El Cerrito Police Sergeant Ian Wong said, “We spoke with one neighbor who said that … Mary was going to be sent to Mississippi to stay with family. As we began looking further into this, we realized that she didn't have any family in Mississippi.”
EL CERRITO, CA — Lewis and Mary Osibin’s union was filled with love and respect. “Mary and Lewis had a great marriage. I never saw them battle. Mary wanted very much to have a child, but she couldn’t have children,” Mary’s cousin Kenneth Bankston tells In Pursuit With John Walsh.
In the mid-90s the Osibins, as devout Roman Catholics, had to make a big decision. They knew a child would help fill the void in their lives, so they decided adoption was the best fit for their family. After going through the process, the couple was paired with a young girl named Alicia. Bankston says, “They were overjoyed. You can see them beaming.”
Alicia, better known to the family as “Lisa,” seemed to be a match made in heaven. “She was a gorgeous little girl. Gorgeous face, curly hair, you know, down her back. Gregarious, you know, very outgoing. She was a happy child,” Bankston adds.
The Osibin home was filled with laughter and a lot of love, but as Lisa grew, something was amiss. According to family and friends, Lisa, who was 13 at this point, had a bit of a rebellious streak. Mary wasn’t quite sure what to do, so she and her husband decided to adopt another child. They thought this could possibly help fill any deficiencies in Lisa’s life.
Mary and Lewis adopted another girl, Brenda, but the transition for her was not easy. Brenda sat down with In Pursuit to talk about her struggles and her relationship with her new sister. “From the age of four to eight, I was in multiple foster homes where they were abusive and abusive in every manner,” Brenda says.
She says she was so traumatized by what happened to her at such a young age, when she was adopted by the Osibins, she didn’t speak for two full years. Brenda adds, “I think that even though Lisa wanted a sister, when she realized that she got a damaged sister, she pretty much immediately just started to hate me.”
Behind closed doors, Lisa was wreaking havoc on Brenda. “She would abuse me. She would hit me. She would fight me for nothing. She would throw things at me. Nothing was ever kind or loving between us ever,” Brenda remembers.
BRENDA CONFIDES IN HER FAMILY
As she got older, Brenda came to the realization that she is a lesbian. Brenda remembers coming out to her family: “That did not go well at all. And I don’t hold this against her at all, but in her mentality, you know, homosexuality was the work of the devil.”
Brenda was honest with herself and her parents, but she says Lisa didn’t have the heart to reveal the very same secret, saying it would break their mother’s heart. “Lisa has been a lesbian as long as I’ve ever known her. She kept it very hidden, and I think she even kept it hidden from herself to the point where she couldn’t even admit that she was.”
By the time Brenda was 18, she was ready to move out and move on, but the relationship with her parents was still something she yearned to fix. Brenda says she went through great lengths to try and gain acceptance from them, even dating men and becoming pregnant with her son. No matter what, Brenda will not come down on her mom and dad for how they felt about her homosexuality. She continued to stay in touch with them, until 1999, when everything changed.
Lewis Osibin had been battling Alzheimer’s, and tragically passed away. Lisa didn’t let her sister know that their father had passed until after he was cremated. “He was like one of the kindest men I’ve ever met in this world,” Brenda says.
Bankston tells In Pursuit that Mary was upset, depressed, and lonely after her husband passed. The only person with her was Lisa. “The two of them were sharing a home together,” Bankston adds.
Brenda remembers reaching out repeatedly, but being shunned by Lisa. “ I would send Christmas gifts, I would send birthday cards, I would send flowers to the house. Nine times out of ten, they got returned to me. Lisa had control of what mom saw and what mom didn’t see.”
After a few years of not hearing a word about her mother, and living across the country in Rhode Island, Brenda decided to have her son, Brandon, make contact. She says that he reported to her, “Lisa finally answered the phone. … Ma, the whole conversation went just like this, ‘Hey auntie, this is Brandon. I just wanted to call and wish Grandma a Happy Birthday. See how you guys are doing,’ and Lisa said, ‘You are not my nephew. You’re two years too late. Mom died two years ago. Don’t ever call me your auntie again and don’t ever call my house again.’”
The news crushed Brenda. “I was so hurt. I just remember staying home and just mourning her.”
Months later, in 2015, Brenda says she received a shocking call from the El Cerrito Police Department. “They said to me, ‘Is your mom out there in Rhode island visiting you for Thanksgiving?’”
Brenda thought the call was a joke, and told the detective, “She’s been dead for two years!” Then the investigator said, “Okay, well, I know for a very true fact your mother has not been dead for two years. But I do know that she’s missing right now.”
Lisa’s lies were beginning to unravel. Police said neighbors told them that Mary was seen alive as recently as four months earlier, but she had been missing since then. Brenda knew her mother wouldn’t just have taken off somewhere, because she was 90 years old.
El Cerrito Police Sergeant Ian Wong told In Pursuit, “We spoke with one neighbor who said that Alicia had said she was going to be moving to Los Angeles or Arizona to work, and Mary was going to be sent to Mississippi to stay with family. As we began looking further into this, we realized that she didn’t have any family in Mississippi.”
SEARCH WARRANT UNCOVERS A MAJOR SECRET
As the investigation continued, officers were able to secure a search warrant for Mary’s home. “The house looked abandoned. And it didn’t look like that anyone was currently living there,” Wong says. “There was just clutter and garbage everywhere. Alicia’s bedroom was downstairs of this two-story residence. She had a TV, recliner, a desk, and a bed down there in total disarray. The bed was unmade — tons of soda cans, garbage, books, movies, stains on the carpet.”
Unlike the downstairs, Wong says, “I noticed that Mary’s room was immaculate. Her bed was made. Her dressers had items lined up, spaced perfectly. Everything was neat and tidy.”
Wong also says in that Alicia’s area they found a “significant” collection of murder mystery and true crime movies, books about death investigations, and murder stories that Alicia had written herself. Wong says, “I noticed a lot of the characters within Alicia’s writings were names of family members — such as Mary.”
Inside the garage, Wong detected an odor. It wasn’t until he found two garbage cans, one stacked on the other and wrapped in duct tape, when he realized they may have a major problem. “We began to see some advanced growth stages of maggots, and [while] that was being removed, the smell intensified. Then eventually, as we took the top garbage can off, we could see there was human remains in there.”
Police confirmed those remains were Mary Osibin and that she was likely murdered sometime in August 2015. At this point, Lisa had been gone for months.
Authorities told Brenda that Mary was, “Shot multiple times … and had been there for months and that was just – that was horrible. It was the most horrible information I ever had to hear.”
Lisa has been on the run ever since. She didn’t have any credit cards, her phone was turned off, and authorities have no idea where she could be hiding out. Wong adds that another reason she’s been difficult to track is that, “She didn’t have any kids. She wasn’t married. We had a real difficult time identifying any friends.”
Investigators say there may have been one sighting in spring 2016 where Lisa was reported to be in Southern California. But at this point, she could be hiding out anywhere. She is heavyset, is prone to adult acne, and could potentially be passing as a man.
Alicia Osibin is wanted in connection with the murder of Mary Osibin.
TRAITS & CHARACTERISTICS:
- Weight: 130 (but may be different; this is from her 2002 driver’s license)
- Height: 5 feet 8 inches
- Sex: Female
- Race: Biracial; Caucasian and black
- Hair: Black
- Eyes: Brown
- Date of birth: July 20, 1965
- Location of crime: El Cerrito, CA
- May be presenting as a man
- Could be doing security work, working as a janitor, or running a cleaning business
- Known to have hoarder tendencies
- Fascinated with crime, ran her neighborhood watch formally and was known to be chatty with police officers
- Used to have cats
- She is known to be able to live off the land
- She lied to employers and co-workers about various tragedies in her family
- Has used rental cars in the past to get around
- Could be using the name “Alex Callico” (grandmother's maiden name)
- Has a small mole on her right cheek
- Could have adult acne break outs
- Played softball as a kid
- At the time of her disappearance, she did not have tattoos
If you know anything about this case, please contact our hotline (833-3-PURSUE) or submit a tip online.
For more on this case, watch the “Deadly Daughter” episode of In Pursuit With John Walsh on Wednesday, March 20 at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery! Or catch up on ID GO.