Phoenix Coldon, a UMSL student, has been missing from her home in north St. Louis County since Dec. 18. Lawrence and Goldia Coldon, came to UMSL last week to ask for help in finding their daughter.

Lawrence and Goldia Coldon live out every parent’s worst nightmare. Every day. The Coldons travel the St. Louis region telling the story of their missing daughter, hoping to find people who know something or someone, hoping to find Phoenix.

Last week, the Coldons visited the University of Missouri–St. Louis where Phoenix was a student. They told their story to a group of students and staff in the Pilot House at the Millennium Student Center. The event was organized by the Black Leadership Organizing Council.

Phoenix Coldon, 23, was last seen by her parents at 3 p.m. Dec. 18. She was backing out of their driveway in her 1998 black Chevrolet Blazer. They thought she might be going to the store. When she didn’t return hours later, they started to worry. When she wasn’t home by the early morning hours, Goldia knew something was wrong.

“Phoenix was not the type of young lady who would leave and not call to let us know where she was,” Goldia said.

She always uses the present tense when speaking of her daughter and described her to the audience.

“Her name means beautiful, and unique,” she said. “She is an athlete, intelligent and compassionate with a keen sense of fairness. She’s a champion fencer, a musician who played piano, guitar and handbells at her church. She loves school.”

The Coldons, who live in north St. Louis County, reported their daughter missing to St. Louis County Police on Dec. 19. Police ran her license plates and there were no reports of it being towed, no accidents. The Coldon’s called friends, relatives and hospitals and distributed flyers. They filed a missing person’s report. The Major Case Squad was brought in on the case about five days after she was reported missing.

On Jan. 1 Phoenix’s car was found at an impound lot in East St Louis, Ill. It had been there since Dec. 18. According to the Coldons, the car was found at approximately 6 p.m., three hours after her parents saw her leave the driveway. The car door was open, the keys were in the ignition and the engine was still running. The car was towed to a lot where it sat for two weeks.

“The car never showed up on police reports because no one in East St. Louis entered the car into the system,” Goldia said. The parents spoke repeatedly of their frustration with police and local media early in the investigation. Police told the Coldons that because Phoenix was an adult, “she was free to do whatever she wanted,” Goldia told the audience. And because police were not yet involved, local media told them it wasn’t news.

Lawrence Coldon now leads search parties in the area of St. Clair Avenue and 9th Street in East St. Louis where Phoenix’s car was found. He told the UMSL audience the area is filled with empty lots and abandoned buildings.

Now, nearly three months after her disappearance, local and national media have done stories on Phoenix and fliers have been distributed nationwide. At last count, the Coldons have more than 1800 friends on the Missing Phoenix Coldon Facebook page. Up-to-date information can also be found at MRI, another social networking site.

The family has established a fund to hire a private investigator. Contributions can be made through Pay Pal or to the Phoenix Coldon Missing Fund at any Regions Bank in the St. Louis area.

At UMSL, planning is underway for a fundraiser and Aleshia Patterson, president of BLOC, said a group is working on contacting national radio hosts Tom Joyner and Michael Baisden, and the television shows “The View” on ABC and “Find Our Missing” on TVOne. Contact Patterson at 314-516-5286 or

The family has posted a reward. People with information on the case should call St. Louis County Police Captain Troy Doyle at 314-355-1200, Detective Robert Vogel at 314-615-8630 or the Coldons at 314-653-6606.

Phoenix Coldon is African American, 5 feet, 6 inches tall, 123 lbs. She was last seen wearing black sweat pants with UMSL imprinted on one leg, a dark hoodie and tennis shoes.

Maureen Zegel

Maureen Zegel