Morgan Nick was just 6 years old when she was abducted from a Little League park in Alma, Arkansas on June 9, 1995. Join Kim today on Kudzu Killers: Homicide and Sweet Tea to hear the details of the abduction and see if you can offer some information...
Morgan Nick was just 6 years old when she was abducted from a Little League park in Alma, Arkansas on June 9, 1995. Join Kim today on Kudzu Killers: Homicide and Sweet Tea to hear the details of the abduction and see if you can offer some information on her disappearance. Let's give this family closure.
Hey y’all, and welcome to the Season 2 of Kudzu Killers: Homicide and Sweet Tea. Lark has decided to pursue other interests, so I’m going to attempt to do this gig solo. She might pop in from time to time to add her two cents, but for now it’s just you, me, and the occasional guest co-host to chime in. As well as whatever ghosts we might dig up along the way.
This season I’ll be concentrating on unsolved missing persons and cold-case murders, and hopefully if anyone has any information pertaining to these cases, they can call the numbers provided at the end of each episode. New episodes, like today’s, will air on Fridays now, and I hope to be back to two episodes a week at some point in the future. Maybe. ANYWAY
Today our first case is from my home state of Arkansas. Alma, to be specific. A small town of about 6000 people near the Oklahoma border sitting on Interstate 40, which cuts across the country from Barstow, California to Wilmington, North Carolina. It was from this town that Morgan Nick was abducted and has been missing for 26 years, and it’s time we find out what happened to her and find the person who abducted her.
Morgan Chauntel Nick was only 6 years old when she disappeared from a Little League ball park in Alma, Arkansas, on June 9, 1995. She was about 4 feet tall at the time of her disappearance and weighed around 55 pounds. She had blond hair and blue eyes. Morgan had a protruding purple vein on the lower left side of her rib cage. Her teeth were also crowded and she had five visible, and I think I read somewhere temporary, silver caps on her molars at the time of her disappearance. She was wearing a green girl scouts t-shirt, denim shorts and white sneakers. She and her mother had gone for a sort of girls’ night out, as her mother described it, watching some baseball which is THE sport in Arkansas, sort of like football to Texas. Okay, maybe second to basketball, but you get the picture. People like to go watch everything from coach pitch to American Legion. I can remember when I was in high school going to all the games with my best friend to check out the guys in their baseball pants, wondering which ones might go on to play pro ball. I don’t think any of them ever did get any farther than farm clubs. But I digress.
Morgan Nick was born September 12, 1988. A beautiful little girl, she loved cats, apples, and chewing bubble gum. When she grew up, she wanted to be a circus performer and a doctor. According to her mom, she liked to help people and to make them laugh.
Morgan and her mom were there to have a good time. Colleen’s husband was working, so after dropping off the two younger kids at their grandmother’s house, she and Morgan planned to watch the games with friends, cheering on one of the friends’ child as he played a little league game. There had been some rained out games the previous week that were being made up that night, so the games were running a little late. Youngsters were getting bored. Morgan was playing under the bleachers, tying her mother’s shoelaces together, trying to do something to have fun, when a couple of kids, a boy and a girl, stopped by and asked if she could go catch fireflies with them for a few minutes up on the hill beside the bleachers.
Morgan was a bit shy, and she didn’t want to go at first, but when they came back a second time at 10:30, Morgan decided she wanted to go play. Colleen was hesitant, it was late and it was dark, but her friends told her their kids played there all the time and it was safe. People had told her time and again she was overprotective with her children, she should let them have more fun. The kids promised to stay where she could see them, so reluctantly she gave her permission. Morgan gave her a hug and kiss, and she watched as the kids raced away to the nearby grassy hill area to play. It would be the last hug and kiss she ever received from her daughter. Colleen could hear them squealing and racing after the lightning bugs, she could look over and see them playing every few minutes. She began to feel better about her decision.
And then when the game was over about 15 minutes later, Morgan’s new little friends, Tye and Jessica, returned to the stands…without Morgan.
Colleen, panicked, asked where she was, and they said they’d all stopped to shake the sand from their shoes, and she had stayed back by what they thought was her car. But Colleen looked toward the car and Morgan wasn’t there. Morgan was nowhere to be found. People in the parking lot, hearing Colleen’s calls for her daughter, immediately began to help. Colleen borrowed a cell phone and called 911, and police quickly responded to search for Morgan, the small police department was very nearby so they were there within a few minutes. And the police haven’t stopped working the case in the 26 years since. One of the baseball coaches talked to the kids who’d been playing with Morgan and found out they’d seen Morgan talking to what they called a “creepy guy” who drove a red Ford pickup truck with a white camper top that didn’t quite fit the truck right. An older truck, maybe 70s make.
When police questioned Ty and Jessica, the two children Morgan had been playing with, the gave them a description of this creepy man. They said he was about 6 feet tall, weighed about 180, muscular, midtwenties to midthirties, and he had a thick, short beard and slicked back, dark hair. He spoke with a thick southern accent. He wore no shirt or shoes, and had denim cutoffs and a chest covered with hair. A nearby adult confirmed their description. She’d seen the man, too, and noticed that his truck was gone about the same time Morgan disappeared. Morgan was generally pretty shy, so police don’t believe she really talked to him, they think this was a simple snatch and go. As soon as the other kids left her by her mother’s car, dumping sand out of her shoes, he saw the opportunity and took it. Likely he grabbed her, put a hand over her mouth to keep her from screaming, put her in that red truck with the white ill-fitting camper, and took off.
For six weeks, Colleen and her husband, John, Morgan’s father, stayed in Alma camping out at the fire station, searching for her, trying to help the police, find leads, try to find their daughter, but to no avail. The town of Alma is about 30 minutes away from where the Nicks lived in Ozark. Alma is small, and situated on a highway, interstate 40, with easy access to the nearby Oklahoma border. So in reality, the man could have taken her anywhere in a very short amount of time. Colleen ended up moving to Alma so she could continue the search.
The town of Alma and the surrounding around hasn’t forgotten either, and they’ve continued to speculate and wonder what happened to that little six-year-old girl at that ball park on that muggy summer night.
There were two other attempted abductions around the same time in Alma and Forth Smith by a man fitting the description of the person of interest in Morgan’s disappearance. A man attempted to lure a 9 year old girl at a laundromat in Fort Smith. Reportedly someone saw what was happening and stepped in. Another attempt was made on a 4 year old girl, who started screaming and the mother came out to intervene. Her description of the man was eerily similar to the man they think took Morgan.
I’m going to take a very quick break here for our sponsors, and when I come back, we’ll discuss recent tips and other things going on with Morgan’s case, as well as a heartfelt letter from Colleen to her daughter. Back in a minute.
Thanks for coming back for the rest of Morgan’s story. Over the years, there have been new leads here and there regarding Morgan’s case, and the Alma police have diligently followed all of them. And they want more. So anything you can think of, if you were in and around the area at the time, they will be pleased to learn about.
On January 15, 2002, after a tip, police conducted a dig on a private piece of land in Booneville, Arkansas, after they received a tip that claimed Nick might have been buried there. Booneville is about an hour southeast of Alma. The tip was "so specific" that police decided to dig; a police dog was also used in the search. Police ended the search at 9:30 pm and said they did not intend to return to the property.
On November 15, 2010, federal investigators searched a vacant house in Spiro, Oklahoma, about a half hour away from Alma, for DNA evidence that could show Nick had once been in the house. Nothing was found at the time. On December 18, 2017, investigators returned to the same house to conduct another search after they received a tip about the case. Cadaver dogs alerted investigators to a well on the property, which they said was the "center of the investigation". The search was called off on December 19, after no evidence was found.
In August 2012, Tonya Smith and James Monhart, two previously convicted felons, were arrested for computer fraud after attempting to assume the identity of Morgan Nick. She allegedly tried to purchase vital personal documents and information belonging to Nick, including Nick’s birth certificate. Shame on them. They aren’t believed to have any connection to the case, other than being two lowlifes taking advantage of a missing child’s identity.
Recently a documentary was released called Still Missing Morgan. I believe it was aired on local stations in Little Rock. I believe it’s set to be aired on Netflix, so if you get a chance to watch it, please do. It has a lot of detailed information I don’t have time to give you here, and although I haven’t had an opportunity to watch it all the way through, I’ve seen bits and pieces I was able to find on the internet. This documentary asked for photos from the ball park that night, and along with 300 new leads, they now have a clear photo of that red pickup truck, which I will be placing on our website. Also there’s a drawing of the man in question and a time progressed photo of Morgan. I’ll have them up today.
To this man, if you’re still alive, you’d be in your fifties or sixties. You know who you are, you know what you did, and you know you don’t have a lot of years left on this earth. You aren’t getting any younger. You need to give this family relief and turn yourself in. If you’re the wife of this man, you likely know who he is. You know he owned that red truck with the white camper that didn’t quite fit. You know what he did, and you need to turn him in. This family deserves to know what happened to their little girl, who would be approaching her midthirties now.
"I think somebody knows something and maybe multiple people. Twenty-six years is a long time to hold something in," said Alma police Chief Jeff Pointer. I have to agree with him.
To be honest, I don’t think this young woman is alive, I doubt she was alive much more than a few hours after her abduction. Usually the victims of these men are a hinderance to them and they do their thing and then dispose of them pretty quickly. I sincerely hope that’s not the case. I sincerely hope someone took this little girl to raise her because they missed one of their own, but…
“The weeks and months and years keep adding up,” said Morgan’s mother in a blog post on the Center for Missing and Exploited Kids website. “Her siblings grew up. Her friends grew up. Her dad and I have gray in our hair. Her kitten, Emily, waited 19 years for Morgan to come home … she is buried in our flower bed wrapped in a T-shirt with Morgan’s picture on it.”
Morgan’s mother has a message for her daughter, should she still be alive, and I wanted to read this for you, in case you’re out there, Morgan, and happen to be listening to this podcast episode. This is quoted from a video called Help The Missing:
My sweet girl, if you should happen to read this, we want you to know how very important and special you are to us. You are a blessing we cannot live without. We feel cheated by every day that goes by and we do not see your smile, hear your bubbly laughter or listen to your thoughts and ideas. We have never stopped believing that we will find you. We are saving all our hugs and kisses for you. We will bring you back home to our family where you belong. We will always love you, we will never give up. Love, Mom and Dad.
Colleen Nick started the Morgan Nick Foundation in order to help other parents of missing children. In 2020 ALONE, the foundation helped more than 1500 Arkansas families search for their loved ones. Unfortunately, she’s never been able to find her own. The Morgan Nick foundation educates kids on sex-trafficking, stranger danger, and try to make them aware of their surroundings and the people around them.
"It doesn't matter how someone is missing, whether they're a runaway, a family abduction, a stranger abduction, a missing adult, missing is missing. If you're not where you're supposed to be then you need to be found," Colleen said.
There are 2,300 children reported missing each day in the US. That’s two THOUSAND, three hundred. If you’d like to donate to the Morgan Nick foundation and help find other missing children and adults, the number to call is 1-877-543-HOPE (4673) or visit their website. The link is in our show notes on the website. OR you can mail a donation to PO Box 1033, Alma, AR 72921
Hope you join us next week, when we talk about the case of Dennis Martin, who disappeared from The Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee on June 14, 1969.