A furious family is demanding answers after the daughter they reported missing eight years ago ended up being buried in an anonymous grave without them being told after a ‘mix-up’.
Crissita Cage-Toaster was 28 years old when she vanished in Detroit in October 2009. Police had found her abandoned car with her purse, cell phone and identification still inside.
Her parents, Rosita and Johnny, reported her missing three days after she was last seen and they have been searching for her ever since.
They put up missing person’s posters throughout Detroit and gave authorities a detailed description of Crissita, including her distinctive rose tattoo with the nicknames of her parents.
After eight years of calling police for updates, the couple took matters into their own hands and contacted a national missing persons organization for help in April this year.
It was when the organization did some digging that Detroit police realized a woman matching Crissita’s description had actually been found dead years ago.
Rosita and Johnny were told in late-September that their daughter’s body had been found five months after she disappeared.
Crissita was found dead in the Detroit river. When they failed to identify her after a year, she was buried in an grave marked only with a number – Jane Doe 10-3047.
A full autopsy was never carried out and an exact cause of death wasn’t determined.
Her parents say authorities claim it was a ‘mix up’, according to 7 Action News.
They say police failed to recognize her tattoos and that someone had marked her down as being Hispanic or Caucasian, despite that she is African-American.
‘Everybody is ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry’. No you’re not sorry. You can’t feel my pain… You didn’t go through what I went through all these years. I don’t want to see anybody ever have to go through this,’ Rosita said.
‘I never would have thought I’d be living this nightmare. This is hell.’
Detroit Police Lt. Kenneth Gardner said he couldn’t speak for the team working on the case back in 2009.
‘But what I can say is that the team that we have in place today, they were able to make a turn around in 24 hours and connect the dots,’ Gardner said.
Wayne County officials notified Crissita’s parents last week that they would be exhuming her body so they can have a proper burial.