Authorities Search Septic Tank For Body Of Woman Missing For 9 Years

July 26, 2012

Alabama authorities continued their search Wednesday for Melinda Wall McGhee, an Atmore area woman that has been missing for over nine years.

The Escambia County (Ala.) Sheriff’s Department used cadaver dogs to search a septic tank on Ewing Farm Road about five miles northwest of Atmore and just a short distance from the Kent Road home at which McGhee was last seen in  2003.

“We searched at an old home place that we had never searched before after getting a tip,” Escambia County (Ala.) Chief Deputy Mike Lambert said.

After pumping the septic tank, Lambert said nothing suspicious was found.

McGhee, then 31, returned to her home about 8 a.m. on March 24, 2003,  after working the night shift as a nurse at a Bay Minette nursing home.

Her husband, Troy McGhee, was at work at Masland Carpets in Atmore. Their two children were at a babysitter, and Troy’s son from a previous relationship was at a dentist’s office. At about 8:30 the morning of March 24, 2003, Melinda McGhee spoke to her mother on the phone. It was the last time anyone known to Melinda would ever hear from her.

At about 4:00 that afternoon, husband Troy came home to find Melinda missing. There was blood and evidence of a violent struggle inside the home. He reported his wife missing.

Melinda’s vehicle was found parked near the house with her keys locked inside. Her purse and cellular phone were inside the residence. Foul play is suspected in her disappearance.

“We are still actively pursuing leads and investigating this case,” Lambert said. “If anyone has any information, even the tiniest or most minute detail, please call us. We want answers so we can bring closure for this family.”

Over the years, there have been several searches for Melinda’s body or clues into the circumstances surrounding her disappearance.

In March 2009, authorities searched an area off Perry Lane in Wawbeek for clues in Melinda’s disappearance. Perry Lane is about a mile north of Highway 31 off Sardis Church Road near Old Atmore Road. The location is about three miles north of the Florida/Alabama line . On the last day of January 2009, authorities searched a water-filled gravel pit off Jack Springs Roads near the Judson Cemetery between Atmore and Poarch. All of the searches have turned up empty.

Anyone with information on McGhee’s disappearance is asked to call the Escambia County (Ala.) Sheriff’s Department at (251) 809-0741 or their local law enforcement agency.

Pictured above: Two photos of Melinda Wall McGhee who went missing in March 2003.


14 Responses to “Authorities Search Septic Tank For Body Of Woman Missing For 9 Years”

  1. anon on August 4th, 2012 10:51 am

    I’m curious who owns the property that the septic tank is on, and if they’ve cooperated with the investigation.

    While many cases of spousal disappearance do understandably focus on the husband, this sounds like someone local, who either knew Ms. McGhee or had been aware of her, attacked her. Hopefully someone will remember a comment or unusual behavior from an acquaintance in that time period and inform the police.

  2. Boone and Family on August 1st, 2012 6:17 pm

    Here’s to the McGhee family all the way from Montana. We here are hoping and praying for closure on the disappearance of Melinda too. This is one of those cases that just breaks your heart. It certainly has mine, anyway. My heart goes out to Troy and to Troy and Melinda’s children. Somebody around that locality knows what happened or maybe doesn’t even know that they hold the key to solving this case. No matter how little info you have or whatever, please do the right thing and call law enforcement with your thoughts or even better, your confession. This beautiful woman and her family as well as her community deserve to know what happened to her and where she can be located, at least. Please, give that to them. For now, we here in Montana will keep you all in our thoughts and prayers too.

  3. work mate. on July 28th, 2012 1:27 pm

    I worked with Malinda for years, a very loving and caring person. she loved her family dearly. all of the ones that worked with malinda still speak of her. i truely miss her even to this day. I know one who will tell me where she is when i get to heaven. GOD will tell me, but until then i continue to pray for her family . would some one contact Investigation Discovery. may be they could help. Troy nad the boys I love you and loved Malinda . miss her each day. also pray for her discovery each day.

  4. Bugsgranny on July 26th, 2012 11:14 pm

    Over the years this case has touched my heart many times…I too did not know this beautiful lady or her family…but my heart has grieved for her family and their loss…there is someone out there beside the person or persons that took this young womans life and broke her family’s life apart…I pray whom ever you are …that your heart will not rest and you will feel the hurt everyday that her loved ones go through…that you will find no peace until you make this right…I ask everyone to pray that God will bring this to light …so that her family will be able to have closure…but on the guilty person I pray God will rain down so much guilt untill they will not rest until they confess….and allow her family to bring her home to rest at peace.

  5. Concerned Resident on July 26th, 2012 10:39 pm

    I will be praying for the family!! I’ve seen the papers all around town for this missing woman for years and I hope this search doesn’t go on for much longer so the family can finally have some closure. We can always hope that she’s still living somewhere and just waiting to be found!! I will deff keep her and her friends and family in my prayers!!

  6. long time friend on July 26th, 2012 10:11 pm

    @curious i think that you should use your words carefully! it may seem to some that you are trying to pass judgement on someone that has been through something that myself and probably you does not know how you would handle the situation i know both troy and melinda and i know that they loved each other and there 2 boys with everything they had. he has done a fine job holding himself and those boys together in this situation there is no written word on how to handle this kind of thing. like jason said before just try to walk a mile in his shoes i know i would as would most trip and fall over and over again before i would be able to figure out what was best. please take into consideration who may be reading your “opinion” before you post it somethings are better left to yourself.

  7. dna on July 26th, 2012 8:52 pm


  8. let it end on July 26th, 2012 6:43 pm

    why not call crimestopers noone would never no who told where her body is it would bring so much closure just to know if she is truley dead… this is so sad so many what ifs its time for this to end. someone knows somthing just tell so she can rest now. If someone knows where she is at call crimestoppers and just let her be found that is best.

  9. schoolmate on July 26th, 2012 5:00 pm

    As someone who went to school with Melinda and grew up in Atmore and knows the family well I hate to see this still drawn out. They have had so many close calls to closeure only to be disappointed yet again. If anyone who knows anything about this case please do the humane thing and be real and let this family have a proper burial and closure for her. My heart goes out to all of her close family and friends. Hang in there. God knows and justice will be served, if not here then on Judgement Day.

  10. dee from the b.p. on July 26th, 2012 4:02 pm

    this is one case that needs closure, a whole community still at loss. holding on to confusion, anger, and a haunting. i hope that for everyones sake and for melindas sake as well, she is soon laid to rest.

  11. Ernestine Roberts on July 26th, 2012 11:03 am

    I have always had a gut feeling that she is nearby her home..I think about her every time I go thru on Jack Springs road,,,I did not know her but I know her dad and her sister,,My ex was working with her dad at the time of her disapearence. sad..Her mama needs closure.

  12. JustMe on July 26th, 2012 10:31 am

    I never seen where curious was accusing the husband of anything. In the husbands defense he may not see these articles printed everytime so he wouldnt know to comment. If he does then shame on him. I wouldn’t care if it had been 50 years since my wife had dissapeared I would still be trying to get answers by pleaing or pushing law enforcement to keep trying. Yeah Im sure I too would have moved on but I would still be trying. I hope and pray they find out who did this and where she is for the family!

  13. Jason Cox on July 26th, 2012 8:50 am

    @ curious

    I work with Troy. You didn’t see him during the long drown out time he held hope she would turn up all fine and unharmed. He and his children have moved on as well as they can. Sometimes its best to hold hope close but be prepared for the worse. I feel Troy does just this. We all hope her mystery will be solved but comments like this can hurt. How would you feel if you were in pain and didn’t speak out and was attacked for it? Please temper judgment with compassion. The whole sin and first stone idea comes to mind, or at the least walk a mile in his shoes.

  14. curious on July 26th, 2012 7:55 am

    Please anyone with information regarding this case come forward and tell what you know. This has gone on long enough and I”m sure the family would love some closure. I do not even know this young lady, but it breaks my heart every time I read this story.

    Kind of amazing though that anytime I see this story printed, there’s never a plea from the husband reaching out trying to find information.