Just the day before, Jamie Michelle Fraley had been to the emergency room twice suffering from a severe stomach flu. It was just after 1:30 a.m. on the morning of April 8, 2008, when Jamie talked with a friend and said someone was coming to pick her up and take her to the emergency room yet again.
Jamie hasn’t been seen since.
Left behind at her Copperfield Apartments unit was Jamie’s purse, wallet, keys and identification. Two days after her disappearance, a utility worker found her cell phone at the intersection of south New Hope Road and east Hudson Boulevard, three miles from her home. Several phone calls were made from the phone at 4:30 a.m. the day she disappeared. However, none of the calls turned out to be connected to her disappearance; they were apparently from the phone’s list of recent calls dialed.
At the time of her disappearance, Jamie was engaged to be married. Her fiance’s father, Ricky Dale Simonds, Sr., is considered a person of interest in her case. He did maintenance work at the Copperfield complex, he lived two apartments over from her and was one of the last people to see her as he admitted he gave her a ride to the hospital emergency room a few hours before her disappearance, and another neighbor drove her home. Simonds refused to take a lie detector test in his future daughter-in-law’s case. He has a criminal record for fraud, larceny and drug charges, and he served time in prison in the 1980s for manslaughter in connection with the strangulation death of an ex-girlfriend.
In June 2008, just two months after Jamie’s disappearance, an ex-girlfriend found Simonds’ body in the trunk of her car. The woman had filed a restraining order against him after her car was broken into and her purse and keys were stolen. When she found the body, her keys were in Simonds’s pocket and her purse was in the trunk with him. Authorities believe he hid inside the car trunk in order to ambush his ex-girlfriend, and he got trapped there and died of heat stroke.
It was only after Simonds’ death that police said they suspected him of involvement in Jamie’s disappearance. There is no proof that he harmed her, however, and no charges have been filed against anyone in her case due to lack of evidence.
Jamie Michelle Fraley was a part-time student at Gaston College at the time of her disappearance. Investigators don’t believe she left of her own accord, as she had no driver’s license and no transportation and it’s uncharacteristic of her to leave without warning. Her fiance was incarcerated at the time of her disappearance and therefore isn’t considered a suspect. Little evidence is available in her case, which remains unsolved.
If you have any information regarding the Jamie Michelle Farley case, please contact Gaston County Police at 704.866.3320 or Crime Stoppers at 704.861.8000.