A Bride-To-Be Vanished Weeks Before Her Wedding In 2001 And Hasn’t Been Seen Since
Niqui McCown’s family still hopes for answers in her disappearance even though the only person of interest in the case is dead.
Wedding preparations were in full force for 28-year-old Niqui McCown when she went missing on July 22, 2001. McCown, along with her daughter and fiancé attended their Richmond, Indiana, church on that warm Sunday morning before getting back to work on the to-do list — the wedding was just three weeks away.
Niqui and her fiancé, Bobby Webster, were high school sweethearts who reconnected as adults and fell in love. With the wedding looming, they split up after church so Niqui could do laundry and Bobby could go get fitted for his tuxedo.
Niqui left her 9-year-old daughter with her mother and headed for the laundromat in town, but she wasn’t gone long before she came back and told her mom that there were two men harassing her at the laundromat. Her mother insisted she go back for her clothes and finish doing the laundry at her own house.
Niqui was never seen again.
A great place in her life
Niqui’s large, close-knit family remembers her as kind, funny, and an all-around great person to be around. She worked as a corrections officer, gave her all to motherhood, and she was attending school with her eyes set on working for the US Marshals Service or the FBI. Her family insists she would have never walked away from her daughter, her fiancé, or her growing career, and they were extremely worried when Niqui didn’t come back to her mother’s home.
The worry grew as night fell with no sign of Niqui. The next day, her family filed a police report, though officers told them that they were unable to assist until 72 hours had passed.
As the family began working the case themselves, they realized that Niqui’s fiancé was acting strange. He immediately pawned her wedding ring and began trying to get the deposit back for the wedding venue instead of helping look for his missing bride-to-be.
Officers asked him to take a polygraph test, which showed signs of deception, but there was no evidence he had anything to do with Niqui’s disappearance.
A big clue and another man
More than three months after Niqui went missing, her family was shocked when her car was recovered at an apartment complex in nearby Dayton, Ohio. It was the same complex where Niqui had lived with her ex-boyfriend when their daughter was born, and the ex-boyfriend still lived there.
The vehicle contained two baskets full of Niqui’s clean, folded laundry. Her ex-boyfriend was ruled out as a suspect, but police soon set their sights on someone else: one of Niqui’s coworkers at the corrections facility.
Fellow corrections officer Tommy Swint had been obsessed with Niqui the entire time they worked together. He reportedly went so far as to send lingerie as a gift to her bridal shower, and one of Niqui’s sisters once walked in on Swint in Niqui’s house where it appeared he was attempting to physically assault her. At the time, Swint played it off as a joke. Authorities were interested in Swint’s potential involvement, but they were unable to find enough evidence to arrest him in relation to Niqui’s disappearance.
In 2007, Niqui’s case was ice cold, and Swint had become a police officer in a nearby town, but authorities working on a cold case from 1991 learned that Swint was allegedly involved. Officers with a warrant for his arrest surrounded his home, but Swint took his own life before he could be taken into custody. If he did know anything about Niqui’s disappearance, he took his secrets to his grave.
According to the family, everyone with firsthand knowledge is now deceased, leaving them to hope that somebody who heard something can come forward and help them find closure in the case.
Anyone with information about what happened to Niqui McCown should call the Richmond, Indiana police department at (765) 983-7247.
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