3 years gone: Foul play suspected in Jordan Wilson’s disappearance

Jordan Wilson (contributed)

CULLMAN, Ala.  – “There is foul play suspected,” said Cullman County Sheriff Matt Gentry.

Wednesday, May 15 marked three years since Jordan Lee Wilson disappeared. Her family had held out hope that she would be found alive. Now, though, said her mom, Judy (Johnston) Thomas, she has faced the hard truth that Jordan is not just missing- she is not coming home.

“I sat in my chair for the first three months, in a state of shock. Tremors would just go through me. The phone would ring, tremors. A car would hit the driveway, tremors. Until July of last year, I thought she was coming home. She’s not coming home. No,” said Thomas.

She said prayer is what brought her to accept the truth that her daughter is not coming home.

“I gave it to God. I had to,” she said.

The Cullman County Sheriff’s Office and Walker County Sheriff’s Office have suspects they believe were involved in Jordan’s disappearance and know what happened to her. Those suspects have not been publicly named.

“We got some information last week, we went over and worked with Walker County last week, following up on some stuff, and got some new leads that we’re going to follow up on,” said Gentry.

“We’re still working. We’re actively working with Walker County. We’ve met with them multiple times over the last few months. It’s still a top priority for us. Captain Ronnie Melton (the lead investigator in Wilson’s case) has put a lot of time and effort into this case, just day in and day out.”

At approximately 5’8” and 150-160 pounds, Wilson, who was 32 at the time she disappeared, had dark blonde hair and was last seen by friends and family on May 15, 2016 driving a newer, dark-colored Kia Sorento near the Walker County line in the Bremen and Bug Tussle area. Later discovered near Busby Road and Campbellville Lane in an area north of Sipsey and west of Arkadelphia, the SUV was abandoned approximately 7 miles from where Wilson was last seen by friends and family, and Wilson was nowhere to be found. Her cell phone was in the vehicle. Her makeup bag, containing her driver’s license and debit card, was found a year later.

Thomas said Jordan left after an argument with her common law husband on May 14 and went to a friend’s house, where she stayed the night. At 2 a.m. May 15, Jordan’s phone died. Thomas said the following Wednesday a phone call was placed by one of the people believed to have been at the house on May 14 to Jordan’s sister, with the caller saying, “Something bad happened to Jordan.”

The family has had billboards up on Alabama Highway 69, banners up at Cold Springs School and a few hundred decals on cars showing Jordan’s picture and information. Up until a short time ago, there was a $50,000 reward for information leading to her whereabouts. The family is no longer offering that reward.

The CUE (Community United Efforts) Center for Missing Persons has been instrumental in the search for Jordan. The nonprofit has organized several searches in the area where her car was found, working its way outward and searching in grids, documenting each search and keeping records of exactly what areas have been searched.

When asked if he thinks the crime will be solved by this time next year, Gentry responded, “I think there’s a good chance in it. This case and Tabitha Franklin’s (another missing woman from Cullman County) are top priority for us and have been since the day we took office.”

Thomas has struggled over the last three years, grieving the loss of her daughter, but she said letting go of the idea that Jordan is coming home has given her some peace.

“I’m better today because I accept reality. I gave it to God. That was hard for me, but I needed to do it through faith, and I did,” said Thomas. “She’s not coming home. She’s in the arms of Jesus. I’m after those that killed her, and I’m not giving up.”

Jordan also leaves behind two sons. Dylan is 14 and Caleb is 9.

Anyone with any information on any missing person in Cullman County or the surrounding area is asked to contact the Cullman County Sheriff’s Office at 256-734-0210 or 256-734-0342, or the 24-hour CUE Tip Line at 910-232-1687 or 910-343-1131. Find out more about CUE at www.ncmissingpersons.org.

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Wendy Sack