In honor of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, this month’s unsolved murder post will focus on tthe case of an indegenous girl named Adre’Anna Jackson. This is just one of hundreds of cases of MMIWG (Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls) across the United States and Canada. This case specifically is one that I had never heard of before looking specifically for crimes against indigenous persons – and that shocks me. Not only does this case feature a missing and murdered ten year old girl, the details are comparable to the case of Amber Hagerman or Adam Walsh. So let’s do our part to get this case out there. What happened to Adre’Anna Jackson, who left home one snowy day in 2005 and never returned? Let’s explore.
Who Was Adre’Anna?
Adre’Anna Jackson was born on September 25, 1995 in Tacoma, WA to Yvette Gervais and John Federici. She has indigenous heritage, though I cannot find any specific tribal information. She had two sisters and a brother. Not a lot is publicly known about Adre’Anna’s short time on Earth, but from what I can tell, she was a typical tween. She wasn’t involved in any sort of risky or dangerous behavior. She has an incredibly supportive and loving family. If anyone has any details or stories that would help people remember Adre’Anna for more than how her life ended, I would love to edit this post to include them.
Adre’Anna Jackson was last seen at 7:45 AM on the morning of December 2nd, 2005. She was headed to school, as neither she nor her mother had seen the news that her school had cancelled classes that day due to the snowfall. She walked to school each day, as it was only three blocks from her home. Adre’Anna’s mother reported her missing after school was due to be let out and Adre’Anna had not returned home as usual. She had not realized classes were cancelled due to the weather that day. I want to point out that this is a tragic miscommunication, but it is in no way anyone’s fault. I see a lot of victim blaming going on in discussions of this case, and I’m not going to stand for it. We do not know the situation in which Yvette sent Adre’Anna to school that day – all we know is that it was a typical thing for her to walk to school.
The following spring, the search for Adre’Anna came to a devastating end. On April 4, 2006, two young boys were walking across an unoccupied plot of land described as a thicket. The plot was described as a shortcut used by local school children, an impromptu dump site for unwanted garbage, and a spot for persons struggling with addiction to gather. They discovered skeletonized remains off of the path, and notified the authorities. Investigators searched the area and local bodies of water using bloodhounds, sonar, and other high-tech methods, but found nothing to give them a lead for the investigation. Due to the condition of the remains, no cause of death was able to be determined, though it is considered suspicious and foul play is likely.
The most frustrating aspect of this case is that there really are no leads. As stated above, the investigators used bloodhounds in an attempt to trace Adre’Anna movements, but nothing of substance was discovered. Sonar was used to search nearby American Lake, but nothing of interest to this case was found. Seemingly the only solid lead is a person of interest named Terapon Adhahn. He is a convicted sex offender and child murderer, currently serving a life sentence for the murder of a 12-year-old girl in Tacoma. He worked as a tow-truck driver at the time of Adre’Anna disappearance and had no tows on record that day, meaning he could not account for his whereabouts.
The other person of interest is an unnamed man who reportedly had a relationship with Adre’Anna parents. He had visited the home on the morning of her disappearance, though no further information regarding this individual has been released by the authorities.
Due to the fact that there is very little information about what actually happened to Adre’Anna, there are really only two theories in this case. The first theory is that the person who abducted and murdered Adre’Anna knew her. Unfortunately, this seems like the more likely theory to me. Adre’Anna was on her way to school that snowy morning, and I don’t think it’s out of the question that she would accept a ride from someone she knew, or maybe even someone who claimed to know her family. The other thing that makes me lean towards this family is where her remains were found. It was a popular spot for locals to drop unwanted items and trash. Someone from out of town is extremely unlikely to just stumble onto it by accident.
The second theory is that Adre’Anna was murdered by a stranger. This seems to be the theory that law enforcement favors based on the comments I have read in news stories covering Adre’Anna’s case. Interstate 5 (colloquially known as I-5) runs right by the town of Tillicum, meaning that anyone could have made their way into town that day and escaped just as quickly. I can see the appeal in thinking the assailant isn’t someone living amongst them, isn’t someone they knew. It is possible that someone pulled off in Tillicum for some reason – maybe they needed gas, or maybe they sought shelter from the snow – and saw an opportunity.
If you or anyone you know have any information about the disappearance and murder of Adre’Anna Jackson, you can report tips to Crime Stoppers of Tacoma and Pierce County at 1-800-222-TIPS. You can also report information by using their online form here. There is currently a reward of $60,000 for the discovery and arrest of Adre’Anna’s murderer.