Deneva Napier keeps photographs of her grandchildren close at her Harrison Twp. apartment. Her daughter, Michelle Napier,the mother of 3 of her grandchildren, was a victim of an unsolved homicide in 2003 and another daughter, Janis Pringle, went missing the same year. LISA POWELL / STAFF
Photo: Lisa Powell
Photo: Lisa Powell

7 missing persons cases that have captivated the Dayton area

News that authorities are testing skeletal remains discovered in Greene County as a possible match to a missing Middletown woman, Lindsay Bogan, has reminded the Dayton area about the dozens who remain missing.

According to an Ohio Attorney General's Office database of missing persons, 99 people are missing in the region. Here are seven of those cases:

Ron Tammen

City: Oxford
Mising since: April 19, 1953
Age at disappearance: 19

A student at Miami University, Tammen was last seen in Fisher Hall, his dormitory, which has since been torn down. He left behind all of his possessions, including his car, which was parked in its usual spot.

A housewife in Seven Mile, 12 miles east of campus, told police a young man knocked on her door that night and asked what town he was in. She gave him directions to the nearest bus stop. The man, who wore similar clothes to Tammen, appeared to be disoriented, leading to theories that Tammen had amnesia.

In 2008, authorities took a DNA sample from Tammen’s sister so it could be compared to remains found in Georgia.

Lori Lloyd

City: Kettering
Mising since: Feb. 11, 1976
Age at disappearance: 14
Read more: Guilt haunts families of missing persons

Lloyd left home to walk to a nearby 7-11 to buy some cigarettes. She hasn't been seen since, and police have said they don't believe she ever arrived at the store.

Joni Spencer, Lloyd's eldest sister, said that “I blew it off” when Lori first went missing, thinking that she had run away again, in an interview with the Dayton Daily News in 2012. Their mother, Anita Smith, said she even felt guilt about moving from the family's house, thinking that, if Lori were to return, that’s where she would go.

“I stayed in my house for years, even after I wanted to move,” Smith told the Dayton Daily News.

Erica Baker

City: Kettering
Mising since: Feb. 7, 1999
Age at disappearance: 9
Read more: Family, police still search for closure in Baker's disappearance

Baker went missing while taking her dog for a walk, and it's believed a hit-and-run accident might have caused her death.

Investigators believe that Erica was hit by a van driven by Christian Gabriel shortly before 4 p.m. as he was driving westbound on Glengarry Drive near the intersection of Powhattan Drive. His passenger, Jan Franks, died of a drug overdose in 2001.

Her disappearance set off a community-wide search for the third-grader at Indian Riffle Elementary School, but the first big break in the case would not come until Dec. 10, 2004, when Gabriel contacted investigators. Detectives have said Gabriel confessed three days later, and that his account of the accident was convincing.

Donald Ping

City: Dayton
Mising since: Jan. 25, 2002
Age at disappearance: 42
Read more: Man vanished after leaving work for the day

Ping left his Elder Beerman job one evening when his shift ended at 6 p.m., and he hasn't been seen since.

When he didn't show up for work on the next Monday morning, Ping's family called police. He was known as a good employee, one who was well-dressed, wearing nice suits to work. His mother has said, “he always looked like he just stepped out of a magazine.”

His bank account was never touched after he disappeared, and his family believes he never made it home after leaving work that evening.

Janis Pringle

City: Dayton
Mising since: Aug. 14, 2003
Age at disappearance: 32

Pringle is the sister of Michelle Napier, who disappeared from her Harrison Twp. apartment in October 2003 and whose body was found in May 2004 behind the Siebenthaler Co. Nursery on Catalpa Drive.

Though Napier’s homicide is unsolved, police say they have no information that it is related to Pringle’s disappearance.

Pringle was reported missing by a family friend on Nov. 7, 2003, but was last seen three months earlier.

Nikki Lyn Forest

City: Piqua
Mising since: Sept. 25, 2010
Age at disappearance: 19
Read more: Still no trace of missing pregnant woman

Forest, who was four and a half months pregnant when she disappeared, was last seen getting into a blue car at an ex-boyfriend's house following an argument.

Earlier in the day she had argued with a family friend with whom she had been staying. Then she went to see the ex-boyfriend, with whom she had a disagreement about plans to move away from the area. The blue car picked her up while they were talking.

Several days later, her bag was found with personal items and medication, and the unknown person who found it took it to the pharmacy. Police were then alerted that she was missing.

Zaden McKnight

City: Dayton
Mising since: March 26, 2014
Age at disappearance: 4
Read more: Vigil held for Zaden McKnight

McKnight went missing along with his mother, Nichelle McKnight. His mother's remains were discovered by police on April 11, 2014, near the Stillwater River bank, but McKnight or his body have never been found. He is presumed dead.

Earlier that week, McKnight's boyfriend, 26-year-old Antwan Anderson, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound during a shootout with police. Police had asked him to come in so they could question him about McKnight and her son, but he did not respond to the request. Police believe Anderson killed McKnight and his mother in the home of another woman, Tonisha Harris, on Birchwood Avenue.

Harris was sentenced in November 2015 to three years in prison. She had been charged with tampering with evidence, failure to report a crime and gross abuse of a corpse for her role in the killing of McKnight and his mother.

All missing persons in the Dayton region

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