Overview of Loretta Vann
Loretta Vann was a 22 year old mother-to-be when her life was taken from her far too soon.
Loretta grew up as the youngest of seven children in her family, who grew up in the area of Tampa, FL. According to Loretta’s sister, she had a lot of friends and quality relationships with those she cared about. Loretta was pregnant at the time of her death.
At the time of her death, Loretta was nearing the end of her sentenced probation for a February 1983 charge of “uttering a forged instrument”, also known as passing a forged check. Loretta’s life, overall, seems to have been headed in a better direction, as she was looking forward to the birth of her child and being off of probation.
Loretta is last seen alive by her sister.
Loretta was last seen on the evening of February 8, 1987 by her sister, Janice. According to Janice, the two ran into each other on 22nd Street in Tampa. Loretta reportedly told Janice that she was heading to her home only blocks away. In some reports, Janice adds that Loretta was surrounded by a group of friends at this time.
Loretta’s body is found the next morning.
The following morning, February 9, 1987, Loretta’s partially-nude body was discovered in the garage of a home lying next to an old Chevrolet pickup truck, approximately a half-mile away from where she was last seen. Loretta’s cause of death has not been made public, though reports state that she had bruises covering her face.
Residents of the 15-resident home found her body at approximately 7:19 am and flagged a passing Tampa police patrol car to inform them about Loretta’s body. From here, the task of identifying the remains began. Police reportedly showed the crowd that had formed in the area an image of Loretta, to see if anyone was able to identify her. When this attempt failed, Loretta was identified by her fingerprints.
“We just want to catch whoever did that to her” - Lula Vann, Loretta’s mother.
Where the case stands today.
Today, it has been more than 35 years since Loretta’s untimely death and it seems that investigators are no closer to a resolution than when her remains were discovered. If you have any information, please contact Crime Stoppers of Tampa at (800) 873-TIPS (8477) or contact the Tampa Police Department at (813) 276-3564.