Overview of Phoenix Coldon
A mysterious disappearance leaves many with questions. Was Phoenix Coldon a victim of human trafficking or did she go missing voluntarily?
Phoenix Lucille Coldon began her life in California as Phoenix Reeves on May 23, 1988. Phoenix was raised as an only child by her parents, Goldia and Lawrence Coldon. Her family lived in California for a time, but they subsequently moved to the St. Louis, MO area for her father’s job. Phoenix excels at fencing, and she can play a variety of musical instruments, including piano, violin, and guitar. Family and friends describe her as polite, friendly, intelligent, and well-liked by everyone.
Phoenix lived a sheltered life. Phoenix grew up in a deeply religious family. Her mother, Goldia Coldon, began homeschooling Phoenix in 6th grade. As she entered adulthood, Phoenix yearned for the opportunity to spread her wings, and she enrolled in college classes. Phoenix attempted to keep much of her new life hidden from her parents, as though she was worried they wouldn’t approve. At the time of her disappearance, Phoenix was 23 years old and a junior at the University of Missouri. Phoenix, however, wasn’t enrolled in any classes. This revelation was one of many Phoenix's parents experienced after her disappearance; though Phoenix was living at home with her parents at the time of her disappearance, several years prior, when she turned 18, Phoenix moved out, telling her parents that she was going to live with a friend. It was later revealed that during this time, Phoenix was actually living in the apartment with a secret boyfriend.
The months leading up to Phoenix’s disappearance seem to indicate a young woman deeply dissatisfied with her life. Approximately one month before Phoenix disappeared, she made a selfie video in which she claims she wants to start over, and she recites a version of the Serenity Prayer. Phoenix can also be heard saying:
“I just want to be happy, man. I can’t remember a time when I was happy. Genuinely happy. … I feel so stupid because I let myself go a little bit. I probably would have been in a better situation if I would have stuck with how it used to be … .”
Phoenix began to experiment with drugs and listen to rap music in the months leading up to her disappearance, both of which friends and family describe as out of character for her. The investigation also revealed the existence of a second cell phone, separate from the one her parents provided her, that Phoenix paid for herself. She used it to communicate with a man different from her secret boyfriend that she had lived with. This man had a restraining order against him was known to be violent. Friends also report that Phoenix had been fighting with her parents more than usual and that she seemed irritable, down, and paranoid in the days and weeks before her disappearance.
December 18, 2011, seemingly started out as a typical day for Phoenix.
Though there may have been some tension between the two, Phoenix and her mother went to church together. Phoenix's mother, Goldia Coldon, stated that Phoenix sat two rows behind her at church. When Goldia joined other congregates after church for refreshments, Phoenix chose to sit in the car and asked her mother not to be too long.
After church, the pair went to a grocery store and then proceeded to head home. Phoenix changed into sweatpants and hoodie and went outside to shoot basketball. She then sat in her black 1988 Chevrolet Blazer to make phone calls. Though it may seem odd, her parents explained that it was not abnormal for Phoenix to do this when she wanted some privacy. At approximately 2:20 pm, her father claims he saw her drive away. A few hours later, Phoenix’s car was found abandoned in the middle of a traffic lane thirty minutes away from her house. Though it was initially reported that Phoenix’s car was found with the motor still running, the driver's side door open, and the keys in the ignition, the officer who had initially responded to the call about an abandoned vehicle said that there was nothing alarming about the state of the vehicle. The officer stated that the doors were closed, the lights were off, and that the keys weren't in the vehicle. The Chevy Blazer was towed to an impound lot in East St. Louis, IL and was entered into the police computer as abandoned by 6:23 pm. Important personal items were found inside of the car, including Phoenix's glasses, purse, and a pair of shoes. Initially, her family thought she may have gone to the store, but when she didn’t return home, they reported her missing the next morning. Her parents were not notified of the abandoned car and became aware of its location 2 weeks later.
Where the case stands today.
Phoenix’s case remains unsolved. All activity on her bank accounts, cell phone, and social media accounts ceased on the day of her disappearance. DNA evidence gathered from her SUV indicates that there were no other individuals in the vehicle other than Phoenix and her parents. A private investigator discovered that Phoenix had two birth certificates, one with the last name "Coldon" and one with the last name "Reeves"; Reeves is the maiden name of Goldia Coldon, Phoenix's mother. The investigator, however, found no indication that anyone had tried to update, apply, or renew any of Phoenix’s government information. In the years since Phoenix's disappearance, numerous alleged sightings have been reported. One of Phoenix's friends claimed she saw her on a flight leaving Las Vegas, but the alleged Phoenix didn't seem to recognize her, and authorities failed to locate the woman after the plane landed. In a separate incident, the Coldons even received a phone call from someone claiming to be their daughter. Unfortunately, reported sightings are common in missing person cases, and thus far no sightings of Phoenix Coldon have been confirmed.
Theories abound about what happened to Phoenix. One of the more prevalent ones is that Phoenix was abducted by sex traffickers. St. Louis is a top 20 hub for traffickers. Others suggest that Phoenix might have met with foul play, or that she left her life on her own and started over someplace else. If you have any information regarding the disappearance of Phoenix Coldon please contact the St. Louis County Police Department at (314) 615-5317.