The Disappearance of Niqui McCown: Is Found or Missing? Is She Dead? – On July 22, 2001, in Richmond, Indiana, resident Marilyn “Niqui” McCown, then 28 years old, barged into her mother’s kitchen. She was unhappy because she had been harassed in the laundromat by two “scary” males.
Niqui might have been upset, but according to the police, she returned to the laundromat. Since Niqui vanished on that day, no one is certain. Since Niqui’s wedding was only three weeks away, the police found it difficult to believe she would take off. They suspected foul play, but they had no evidence because there was nobody and no apparent motive.
Niqui left to do the laundry on the day she vanished as her fiancé, Bobby Webster, went with his best man to get suited for their tuxedos.
The first section of Investigation Discovery’s episode “Still a Mystery: Danger at Close Range” focuses on Niqui’s disappearance’s circumstances and any leads that came to light afterward. Therefore, if you have the same question, we have the answer.
Who Was Niqui McCown and What Happened to Her?
On January 6, 1973, Marilyn “Niqui” McCown was conceived. She was the youngest of 10 kids and raised in the midwestern city of Richmond, Indiana.
Payton, her daughter, was born when she was 19 and still dating Steven Johnston. While she and Steven were no longer together, they continued to spend time with Payton, and Niqui saw Payton as the center of her universe.
Niqui worked at the Montgomery Education and Pre-Release Center in Dayton, Ohio, to provide for Payton and herself. She began working there in 1994 as a guard before rising to the position of chief accountant. Her interest in a career in law enforcement was sparked in part by her profession. She was enrolled in criminal justice classes at Sinclair Community College in Dayton because she wanted to be either an FBI agent or a US Marshal.
Niqui, at 28 years old, was eager to wed her fiancé, Bobby Webster. After Bobby returned from living in California, the couple—who had been dating in high school—got engaged, and Niqui was looking forward to the nuptials.
On July 22, 2001, Niqui and Bobby went to church before Niqui returned home to run errands. She decided to do laundry while Bobby went shopping to assist his cousin in getting his tuxedo measured. She left Payton at her parent’s place and then went to Richmond Coin Laundry, close to the 1100 block of South E Street.
Niqui stopped by her parent’s house once more while her clothes were drying, telling her mother that two guys had been bothering her. She seemed angry with her mother, but instead of using her parents’ dryer, she opted to return to the laundromat.
Bobby noticed his fiance wasn’t at home when he got back from the fitting. He decided to watch TV until she arrived because he thought she would be a little late.
The Disappearance of Marilyn “Niqui” McCown
Bobby was concerned when Niqui still wasn’t home at 6:00. He called her sisters, Michelle and Tammie, to ask if anybody else in the family had seen his fiancée since she had visited their parents earlier in the day, but neither had.
Niqui was running behind schedule when picking up Payton from her parent’s house, but her mother wasn’t too concerned because she assumed Niqui might have gone to work—something she was known to do on a whim. But as the evening wore on and Niqui was still missing, the family joined Bobby in his concern.
The family set out for Dayton at 10:00 p.m., thinking Niqui might have been involved in a car accident. They made more calls to nearby hospitals but could not find any clues.
On July 23, at two in the morning, Niqui’s father urged the family to go to the police and report a missing person. However, because Niqui was an adult and there were no signs of any trouble, the Richmond Police Department did not believe there was a need for alarm.
When Niqui’s relatives went into Bobby and her apartment, they found the belongings she had left behind when she went to the laundromat, including her pocketbook and ID. They also got a video from the nearby deli where Niqui made a transaction from Richmond Coin Laundry the day before. There was no indication that anything was amiss with it.
Niqui’s absence from a shift at the Montgomery Education and Pre-Release Center prompted investigators to engage in the case. They and her family were concerned because she rarely missed work. They looked into nearby hotels and homes but couldn’t find anything specific.
When questioned, no one at the laundromat had noticed anything strange, despite her mother’s worries about the men who had been bothering her daughter. They then looked at Niqui’s bank account and phone records, but neither contained any information because neither had been used since she vanished.
While the police conducted a ground search, Niqui’s family went door-to-door and distributed posters with her contact information.
Soon after the police were called, a helicopter search of Richmond and Dayton was conducted to locate her 1990 GMC Jimmy 44, which was also missing along with Niqui. But they were unable to find the car despite their search.
Bobby was one of the initial people of interest in the investigation because of the peculiar nature of his behavior following his fiancé’s abduction. He called Sinclair Community College the day after she vanished to request a refund for her unused tuition, and when he was informed that her company was paying for her studies instead, he reportedly lost his cool. In addition, he attempted to return their wedding rings but was unsuccessful because Niqui had purchased them. He had also canceled the wedding to receive the deposit back.
Bobby claims he was just acting this way to raise money to aid in the search for his fiancé, even though the police and Niqui’s family viewed these actions as suspicious. He intended to buy a phone with the money left over and use the rest to help pay for a reward.
The police took him in for a polygraph examination, which revealed evidence of dishonesty. However, they could not move forward because there was no proof that a crime had been committed or anything connecting him to Niqui’s disappearance. But as the investigation went on, it was revealed that Bobby was no longer a person of interest since another suspect had surfaced.
Bobby has expressed his concerns that the Richmond Police Department won’t be able to crack the case and believes that focusing on him was a waste of time. His relationship with the McCown family was strained due to the investigation’s attention on him; they had already frozen him out when he was brought in for questioning.
As the months passed, the McCown family grew impatient with the lack of advancement in Niqui’s case and accused the police of failing to perform their duty. Therefore, they began their own search operations, prompting investigators to believe they had overstepped their bounds. As a result, they threatened to arrest family members if they continued their behavior.
On November 3, 2001, around 7:30 am, the Dayton Police Department called the Richmond Police Department to inform them that Niqui’s car had been discovered in Dayton’s parking lot of the Meadows of Catalpa apartment building. It was discovered with her folded laundry inside, and when it was towed back to Indiana for inspection, there was no sign of a break-in or a struggle.
Steven Johnston lived in the apartment building, so he was brought in for a polygraph test, which he passed. He also contributed his DNA. Police believe Steven was not engaged in his ex-disappearance girlfriend’s, given his cooperation and the available evidence, and that the vehicle’s location was purely a coincidence.
Investigators started looking into Niqui’s coworker Tommy Swint after finding the vehicle. He resided roughly a quarter of a mile from the complex of apartments and was rumored to have had a troubled relationship with Niqui. Niqui had been the victim of violence by Swint, and their ideals about their friendship were in contradiction. Because of everything, he was designated a person of interest.
It was soon established that Niqui had called a female coworker on July 22 to let her know she would be picking up vitamins from a drugstore close to the Meadows of Catalpa.
The sisters of Niqui made their way to New York on November 5, 2002, when they appeared on a talk show to tell their tale. Police searched the area near Richmond Coin Laundry after a psychic informed them that she had been murdered. But nothing was discovered.
The family and a missing persons’ organization collaborated in 2004 to establish a reward of $100,000 for information leading to Niqui’s safe return. The reward money was supposed to encourage someone to come forward, but no leads were called in before they ran out.
At the laundry, a vigil was organized in Niqui’s honor on the fifth anniversary of her disappearance.
Detectives learned that Swint had been employed as a Trotwood, Ohio, police officer on August 30, 2007. They and Niqui’s family were both surprised by the news. Police in Richmond tried to have him fired after informing the Trotwood Police Department that he was a person of interest in their probe. Swint was therefore given the option of resigning or starting the firing process. After less than two months on the force, he decided to leave.
After leaving, Swint filed a lawsuit against the city of Richmond and its police force, claiming he was unaware of his potential role in Niqui’s disappearance. According to Richmond police, he was informed that the lawsuits were ultimately dropped.
On November 29, 2007, a phone was made anonymously to the Dayton Police Department requesting that they investigate Swint about an unsolved homicide from the early 1990s after viewing news coverage of Swint’s lawsuits. The body of Tina Marie Ivery, a prostitute who had been beaten and murdered before being wrapped in a quilt and dumped in a mound of trash on Dayton Liberty Road near Calumet Lane, was found partially nude on December 17, 1991, by a tree-trimming team.
Police were unable to identify any suspects at the time. They could generate a DNA profile using stains found on the quilt, but they were never successful in finding a match. When Richmond police received the tip, they gave Swint’s DNA, which they had acquired during the legal proceedings, to Dayton detectives, resulting in a match. As a result, they began to reexamine the evidence to locate him at the crime scene. Upon closer inspection, a palm print was seen on a piece of tape.
To get Swint’s fingerprints and speak with him, Dayton investigators went to Russell County, where he had subsequently moved, on November 17, 2009. Despite his denials, a later analysis of his fingerprints revealed a match to the print on the film.
When Swint was charged with killing Ivery on February 3, 2010, Dayton police were ready to detain him in Alabama. But when they got close to his house, they heard a gunshot, and when they got there, they discovered he had died, apparently by suicide.
Investigators believe Swint was involved in the disappearance of Niqui based on Swint’s conduct and the information they have gathered. They are currently attempting to speak with a coworker with whom he had a romantic relationship because they think he may have given her some crucial information.
According to the Richmond Police Department, the investigation is still ongoing.
Is Niqui McCown Dead or Alive?
The program said that Bobby’s actions following Niqui’s disappearance led to suspicion. To recover the wedding deposit, he had pawned her engagement ring. Additionally, Bobby’s polygraph result revealed that he was lying. The authorities eventually disqualified him, though.
With Tommy’s death, all hope of a solution in Niqui’s case ends. The family hasn’t given up hope, though, over the years. Now an adult, Payton wants to keep looking for her mother. In July 2021, she declared, “What I want to do is to get back out there. I want to resume my footwork. I want the fliers posted. I want to circle back, review the situation, and determine where we made mistakes. Even if we uncover the answers, we will have to deal with them for the rest of our lives, but the closure would be quite beneficial, in my opinion.