Aubrey Dameron, who went by the nickname “Shorty,” was last seen leaving her family’s home on March 13, 2019, at approximately 3:30 AM. According to her mother, Aubrey left the house with only her cell phone and was wearing all black; a black jacket, skirt, top, tights, and boots. When her mother asked where she was off to, Aubrey simply stated that she was going out to meet “someone.” Her cell phone pinged one last time near her home around 3:42 AM then was either shut off or died. She would never be seen or heard from again.
Aubrey, who was originally named Austin, lived and grew up in the small town of Grove, Oklahoma; about a forty-five-minute drive from the Missouri state line. Twenty-five-years old at the time of her disappearance, Aubrey is a member of the Cherokee Nation and one of thousands of indigenous women who have gone missing in recent years. Being a transgender woman who began transitioning in high school in a small town with a population of only about seven thousand, Aubrey experienced her share of prejudice and disdain. Before transitioning, Aubrey came out as gay to her family which put a strain on her relationship with her father who immediately began distancing himself. However, despite being bullied for most of her life, being gawked at, enduring name-calling, and being banned from churches where she simply enjoyed worshiping, Aubrey would tell those close to her that instead of retaliation, everyone should pray for one another.
Aubrey’s uncle, Christian Fencer, describes her as his “support system” and his “rock.” Only six months apart, they shared similar identity struggles while growing up together. Aubrey’s aunt and Christian’s sister, Pam Smith, who, a year later is still actively searching for her niece, recounts how Aubrey would always rush over and greet her with a big kiss on the cheek. Aubrey loved music and dancing and dreamed of working in the entertainment field.
It was Christian and Pam who immediately noticed something was off during the month of December of 2018, three months prior to her vanishing.
Late 2017/early 2018, Aubrey moved to New Mexico with her then-boyfriend, Jay C. Pierson. Before long, Christian and Pam learned of abuse within the relationship and how Jay threatened to kill Aubrey if she ever tried to leave him. In August of 2018, Aubrey mustered up the courage to break up with Jay and move back to Oklahoma to be with her family and, according to Jay, receive help for drug and alcohol addiction. Aubrey’s aunt and uncle were concerned about her moving back into her family home. Her mother, stepfather, and brother, Tommy, all suffered from methamphetamine addiction and were known to local law enforcement.
As mentioned, by December of 2018, Aubrey’s communication with family members began to decrease significantly as well as her social media presence. To this day, it is unclear as to why. She may have fallen into the same pattern of drug abuse that her immediate family was caught up in.
During Pam’s interview on The Vanished Podcast, although Aubrey was last seen on March 9th, Pam wouldn’t discover this until March 16th when a friend of Pam’s saw a post on Facebook. After Pam did some investigating, she uncovered that word got out about Aubrey’s disappearance through Tommy’s girlfriend. When Christian visited the family home, he found all of Aubrey’s belongings had been packed up. After questioning Aubrey’s mother about this, she claimed that Aubrey had been looking for a bottle of nail polish. Why would someone box up all of their belongings to search for something?
Another strange occurrence took place on or about March 12th. A woman claiming to be a friend of Aubrey, Deanette Rowbotham, called Aubrey’s ex-boyfriend, Jay, who had since moved to Colorado, and told him that Aubrey was being held against her will in Ketchum, Oklahoma for drug money she owed. Deanette stated that Aubrey would only be released when the debt was paid and proceeded to ask Jay for the money. When the authorities learned about this call, they questioned Deanette only to find out this was a hoax on Deanette’s part and she was charged with extortion.
A few weeks before her disappearance, an altercation took place between Aubrey and her stepfather. According to the Grand Lake News, charges of assault and battery were filed against her then dropped on March 1st. There has been some speculation that her stepfather may be responsible for her fate. Could another altercation have taken place, either while she was out or did she come home shortly after going out and something sinister took place between the two?
It’s imperative to note that Aubrey was epileptic and on anti-seizure medication which she did not take with her when leaving home, so I don’t believe it possible she planned on being gone for an extended period.
As listed in the missing poster above, if anyone has any information about this case, please contact the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation at 800.822.8017 or the Delaware County Sheriff at 918.253.4531.
The Vanished Podcast: www.thevanishedpodcast.com/episodes/2019/8/5/episode-186-aubrey-dameron
***Brenda Thornlow is an author from Brooklyn, New York. more of her work can be found on amazon.com***