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Three days after his fiancée went missing, the man canceled their wedding plans and sold his ring
Unexplained Disappearance: The Mysterious Case of Marilyn McCown
In the summer of 2001, Richmond, Indiana resident Marilyn "Niqui" McCown, aged 28, had her eyes set on the future. Employed as an accounting assistant at a state prison in Dayton, Ohio, she was also pursuing her dream in Criminal Justice at Sinclair Community College, aiming to serve as a U.S. Marshal.
However, beneath her aspirations lay a tangled web of relationships. Niqui was a doting mother to 9-year-old Payton, a child she co-parented with her former partner, Steven Johnston, a relationship that had its share of turbulence and infidelity. After escaping Steven's clutches, she found solace with Bobby Webster, her high school love, and the two were soon engaged.
The fateful date was July 22, 2001. While Bobby and his sibling went for tuxedo fittings, Niqui took time to launder her clothes. During a short return home, she mentioned to her mother a concerning encounter with two men at the laundromat. Despite her mother's advice to complete her laundry at home, Niqui ventured back, planning to reunite with her daughter at 6 pm.
When 6 turned to 8 and then 10, worry grew. The police initially hesitated to intervene, but by the next day, with Niqui absent from work, the urgency became clear. Her home, which she shared with Bobby, yielded her purse and ID but no clues to her whereabouts.
Where the Investigation Led
As the days went on, various individuals entered the spotlight:
Bobby Webster: Niqui's fiancé took certain actions post her disappearance that raised eyebrows. He promptly cancelled their wedding and even sought a refund for Niqui's college tuition. Though he explained these actions as preparation for a potential reward offer and to purchase a mobile phone for easier communication with investigators, the rapidity of his decisions caused suspicion. Notably, he did not clear a lie detector test.
Steven Johnston: Niqui's ex-boyfriend, and father of her child, Steven was a significant figure in the investigation, especially since her car was eventually discovered in the vicinity of his apartment in Dayton. However, Steven had a solid alibi, passed a polygraph, and his DNA didn’t match any evidence.
Tommy Swint: A colleague from Niqui's workplace, Swint had reportedly shown obsessive interest in her. More chillingly, he was later linked to another crime - the murder of Tina Marie Ivey in 1991. Swint's refusal to cooperate with the investigators in both cases intensified the suspicion around him. However, just as authorities closed in on him with an arrest warrant in connection to Tina's case, Swint ended his own life, taking any secrets with him.
Two Decades On: The Quest Continues
Today, even 22 years later, the shadows of Niqui's disappearance loom large. Her daughter, Payton, now 32, has traversed significant milestones - love, marriage, and motherhood, all in the absence of her mother's embrace. The mystery surrounding Niqui’s fate remains, with Tommy Swint considered a principal suspect. Yet without conclusive evidence, the story remains unresolved.
For those with any leads on Marilyn “Niqui” McCown's case, please get in touch with the Richmond Police Department at 765–983–7247.