Exclusive: Sister Addresses McGhee Disappearance; Sheriff Has Message For Abductor

March 26, 2013

It has been a decade since Melinda Wall McGhee went missing from her Atmore home, a decade that has been a living nightmare for her sister Lisa Wooten.

Wooten said Monday that she’s never held any hope that her sister will be found alive since the moment she learned the details of McGhee’s disappearance .

“I live everyday with no hope that she will be found alive,” Wooten said in an exclusive interview with NorthEscambia.com. “I knew from the first day, I knew and believed at that moment that she was murdered.”

For Wooten, her hope now centers on closure and justice.

“Every time I hear that remains have been found somewhere, I pray that it will be my sister,” she said. “We are still hoping someone with come forward with something. We want to to find out what happened, who did it, and bring them to justice.”

The case still haunts Escambia County (Ala.) Sheriff Grover Smith.

“We’re all a little concerned when we lay our head down and sleep, to know that a person can be abducted from their home in broad daylight, and ten years later we still have no answers,” he said.

Smith also had  a message of justice for McGhee’s abductor — or murderer — at a press conference held Monday.

“We also want to remind the person who took Melinda McGhee, that every time you hear a footstep behind you, every time you hear a noise in the night, it could be us. We’re not gonna quit. We are never going to let you rest and we’re going to do everything in our power that God gives us the wisdom to seek to do, to find out where Melinda is and where you are if you’re the person who took her.”

Smith said foul play was certainly part of McGhee’s disappearance, and he vowed his department will continue their investigation. A special investigator, Tommy Calhoun, is leading the search for the suspect.

Smith said sometimes he doubts the abductor will be found locally. “The type person that will commit a crime like this is likely to commit another similar crime in 10 years,” he said. “That has not happened here.”

“People remain suspects until they can be cleared, and there are several individuals we are highly interested in that we will not clear until we have sufficient evidence and information that they are no longer a suspect,” Calhou said. Some of those people have refused to speak to investigators for the past 10 years.

The morning of March 24, 2003, was a sunny start to the first day of spring break. Melinda Wall McGhee, then 31, returned to her home about 8 a.m. 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.

In 2010, authorities issued a death certificate for McGhee after a required seven year waiting period passed.

When asked what she would like to say directly to the person responsible for the disappearance of her sister, Wooten said, “I don’t want him to know the pain, the hurt, the anger I’ve felt for the last 10 years. He is not worthy of any of my words.”

Anyone with information about McGhee’s disappearance is asked to call Investigator Tommy Calhoun at (251) 809-2154 or email him at tcalhoun@co.escambia.al.us. A reward of up to $15,000 is offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction.

Pictured top inset: Melinda Wall McGhee’s mother Ouida and her sister, Lisa Wooten, sit quietly behind pictures of McGhee during a press conference Monday in Poarch, AL. Pictured inset: Escambia County (AL) Sheriff Grover Smith (left) and Investigator Tommy Calhoun discuss McGhee’s disappearance.  Pictured bottom: Representatives from contingent of law enforcement agencies that have worked the case for the past 10 years. NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.

Comments

19 Responses to “Exclusive: Sister Addresses McGhee Disappearance; Sheriff Has Message For Abductor”

  1. KATHY MAC on March 30th, 2013 9:15 am

    RWilliams, Every dental appointment I have ever had was before 8 am.
    My dentist works 4 long days every week and has 3 day weekends. So I don’t have a clue what you are talking about.

  2. 429SCJ on March 28th, 2013 6:58 am

    If only we could find a way to help those mute suspects overcome their shyness.

    I am surprised these suspects remained in the community. I suppose they are confident in this situation, that the matter will remain concealed.

  3. southerngirl on March 27th, 2013 8:30 am

    If they refuse to speak, then I would think they must know something or they are quilty themselves. I never knew you could just refuse to abide when law enforcement is involved.
    Jay, I too have always wondered about the husband……..you NEVER see him trying to find answers to her disapearance.

  4. RWilliams on March 27th, 2013 8:27 am

    @me, I tried not to offend anyone. And my statement that it’s not usual to have a dental appoointment at 8AM is not an ignorant statement. My wife has been a dental hygienist for twenty years and never has a patient before 9AM. Maybe some start at 7AM, but it’s not usual. Sorry, I must have struck a nerve.

  5. 429SCJ on March 27th, 2013 5:58 am

    I agree with you curious.

    I wonder how we can learn the names of the people who refuse to speak with investigators? Is it a matter of public record that they refused to speak?

  6. William on March 27th, 2013 1:06 am

    >>>My only question is why is the sheriff standing in front of a Poarch Creek Flag?

    The press conference was conducted at the Poarch Creek Family Life building on the reservation, which is close to the home. Poarch Creek Tribal Police (along with Atmore PD, the ABI, the FBI and others) were also involved in the investigation and search.

  7. Fire fight on March 27th, 2013 12:51 am

    I pray that the family finds closure. As a man who has lost a wife and child in a accident 10 years ago I know the pain they are going through. My only question is why is the sheriff standing in front of a Poarch Creek Flag? Is he not a county official or is working for PCI

  8. Truth on March 27th, 2013 12:09 am

    I think someone will be talking soon ..

  9. Me on March 26th, 2013 9:23 pm

    RWillams, you must not go to the dentist often. Most open up as early as 7am for appointments and are close on Fridays. I’d like to know what would make you say such an ignorant statement.

    I agree that 10 years is long enough. I can’t begin to imagine the nightmare the family has been living since this happened. I’m sure whatever ideas we’ve thought of, investigators thought of too.

    I hope something comes to light soon.

  10. Jay on March 26th, 2013 8:20 pm

    Where is her husband on all this? Has he just moved on? If this was my spouse I would be out there doing all I could to get some closure on this.

  11. jw on March 26th, 2013 12:37 pm

    Hey ..two registered sex offenders near her home..one was charged with sexual assault on a 35 year old woman in Texas back in 94. Lives 110 Calvin McGhee Circle

  12. jw on March 26th, 2013 12:32 pm

    Just behind Melindas house through the woods is a registered sex offender..convicted in 1992 for child molestation(13 year old girl). 60 year old man on Stoker Road . I dont know if he lived there in 2003 but hey..just doing some research…

  13. jw on March 26th, 2013 12:12 pm

    Sherif Smith said sometimes he doubts the abductor will be found locally. “The type person that will commit a crime like this is likely to commit another similar crime in 10 years,” he said. “That has not happened here.”

    So im thinking that maybe this person or persons are in jail and have been since around the time it happened. Maybe that explains the silence and lack of tips in 10 years. How about check people that were arrested or sentenced to prison around that time and see if any connections are possible. A person who does this more than likely has a criminal past..probably of violence,burglary,.something. Its very unlikely that whoever did this has a clean record so i think the person whoever it is can be found in the justice system.

  14. Curious on March 26th, 2013 11:43 am

    “People remain suspects until they can be cleared, and there are several individuals we are highly interested in that we will not clear until we have sufficient evidence and information that they are no longer a suspect,” Calhou said. Some of those people have refused to speak to investigators for the past 10 years.

    I don’t know the law but why can’t they have these people that refuse to speak…SPEAK?? Never mind, it’s obvious…

  15. cee cee on March 26th, 2013 11:20 am

    if I were the investagators…. I would get all those that lived there in the three homes lock them up in a room till I got some information or till some one made a boo boo and get some questions answered. there’s some one there that knows some thing. also in the surrounding area…… most of the time it is the people under you that knows. this mother and dad needs closure and I hope who ever did this GOD takes your sleep till you have to come clean. how can you live with your self?

  16. Lynn McGhee on March 26th, 2013 10:19 am

    @RWilliams….I am the mother of Troy’s son. The reason he was at the dentist office is because I worked there. It was spring break and he was out of school. Just thought I would let you know!!!!!!!!

  17. RWilliams on March 26th, 2013 10:00 am

    I don’t know anyone involved in this case and may God bless them all. But the article leaves me with a few questions: Her stepson was at the dentist at 8AM? Medical appointments that early are not usual. And he was gone all day (husband found her at 4PM). I’m sure this has been investigated and verified but the article makes no mention of it.

  18. Courtney Gibson on March 26th, 2013 9:28 am

    I will keep Melinda and her family in my thoughts and prayers. Whoever it is, is out there somewhere and they will be judged one day whether here on earth or in front God. So sorry for your loss Mrs. Wooten. I hope they solve this soon. Ten years is long enough.

  19. southerngirl on March 26th, 2013 8:15 am

    There has be rumor for years she was buried in the floor at the Country Lounge, just wonder has that ever been investigated??





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