Mother of Kierra Coles, missing pregnant postal worker, demands answers 3 years later

Chicago Police said they consider Coles’ case “a high-risk missing person investigation with potential foul play suspected."

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Karen Phillips, the mother of a missing postal worker, Kierra Coles, is speaking out three years later in the hopes of rallying public support to find out what happened to her daughter who disappeared on Oct. 2, 2018. 

The 26-year-old woman was about three months pregnant when her car was found on Chicago’s South Side with her phone and a packed lunch still inside. Her family said that she had been working for the U.S. Postal Service for years, and that Coles and her boyfriend had saved money for a car and home, and had planned her pregnancy. 

Phillips told ABC News that she has not gotten new information from the Chicago Police Department in over a year. “I could never reach nobody. They’re gone to lunch, they’ll call me back, they’re out of the office. It’s always something,” she told the network last week. “They don’t even reach out and say, ‘Well, Ms. Phillips, we’re still going through this’ … or, ‘We don’t have any new leads.’ Just say something.”

Chicago Police said they consider Coles’ case “a high-risk missing person investigation with potential foul play suspected.” They said that they have not given up on her case, and urge “anybody with knowledge of her last whereabouts” to contact the Chicago Police Department.

In a statement, police said, “We are seeking any and all information in an attempt to locate her and we won’t stop until we do.”

Kierra Coles.
Missing U.S. Postal Service Employee Kierra Coles.(Photo courtesy of missing flyer)

Phillips said not knowing if her daughter is dead or alive is a loss that is “unbearable.” 

“I went from seeing my child every day — if not seeing her, at least talking to her every day — to not seeing her in three years,” she said. “I try to stay strong for the other kids, I try to not really break down in front of them. But we talk about her all the time, we got pictures everywhere. We just really want her home.”

She said she wishes she would have had the chance to meet the grandchild her daughter never had, “I miss him — he or she — even though they wasn’t born yet. I just miss him because she would’ve been a great mother,” Phillips said. “For her to be a mother, we were so excited. …That was the last thing she was waiting for.”

In addition to Chicago Police, the FBI and the United States Postal Inspection Service are working on the case. “Since October 2018, Postal Inspectors have tracked down and vetted nearly 400 leads across the country. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service distributed thousands of reward flyers,” the Postal Inspection Service told ABC News.

“Kierra Coles is a member of our Postal family and we will continue looking for her and following up on all leads,” the agency continued. “If you know something, no matter how trivial it may seem, please come forward as it may be crucial to our investigation.” They asked anyone with any knowledge to come forward. 

Tens of thousands of Black women and girls go missing every year in the U.S., and the website Our Black Girls, launched by Erika Marie Rivers, is working to amplify their stories. 

Last month, Rivers told NPR, “I don’t want to be just the latest person who writes about these girls and these women,” she says. “I want there to be an end to their story or an end to this chapter, whether we find out what happened, whether somebody got justice, whatever it is.”

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