Evansville, IN

Dawnita Wilkerson Disappeared Under Suspicious Circumstances

A.W. Naves

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Dawnita Wilkerson(Photo: FBI)

Dawnita Wilkerson was concerned for her safety and seems to have, had good reason to be afraid. In the days before she vanished, she had sent messages to her family with the names of two men. One of the men was someone she had dated off and on for years. He had been sending her threatening messages. He has not been publicly identified by police, as he is not currently a suspect in her disappearance. The other was a member of his family.

Dawnita was last seen by family when she walked out of her brother’s house, where she’d been staying, in Evansville, Indiana on June 20, 2020. She spoke to a friend on the phone the following morning, telling them that she was with the two men and that she was afraid of them.

According to Courier & Press, Dawnita was reported missing the next day after nothing further was heard from her. It was out of character for the mother of two 15-month-old twins and five other children between the ages of 15 and 22 not to call her mother every morning.

According to Websleuths, Dawnita’s aunt, Nora Martin told reporters that the man her niece was afraid of had been saying things like “I’m going to get you” and “they’ll never find your body.” A friend who preferred to remain anonymous shared screenshots of messages from the same man. They show him calling Dawnita foul names and threatened both her and her children’s safety.

Another family member said Dawnita’s on-again-off-again boyfriend had not only made threats but had previously been violent toward her on more than one occasion and had even been in jail for domestic violence against her.

Court records for Vanderburgh County confirm that the man in question was arrested four times between 2018 and 2019 for domestic violence and battery against Dawnita. In 2018, he had been found guilty of assault after hitting Dawnita hard enough to send her to the ground because she refused to pull money from her bank account for him.

In one case that was later dismissed, Dawnita accused him of throwing her on the bed, spitting on her, and choking her. In another, she said he struck her in the head and face with a closed fist and hit her in the back of the head with a lamp.

In a statement to police given while being treated at St. Vincent Hospital for injuries sustained during one domestic violence episode, Dawnita said she had been assaulted for hours at her boyfriend’s home. She said he had threatened her with a knife and hit her in the head with a perfume bottle. She suffered injuries to her face, left shoulder, and arm during the attack. She says that he wouldn’t allow her to leave and told her that if she tried, he would send people to kill her children.

According to The Charley Project, a subsequent protective order she filed against him was dismissed because she failed to show up for a scheduled hearing. In three of the cases filed against him, the court issued no-contact orders. It was only after Dawnita’s disappearance that her family learned that the man had a long history of violence spanning decades that had landed him in courtrooms in both Indiana and Illinois. In addition to the charges brought against him by Dawnita, he had four convictions for domestic violence and battery in two Illinois counties between 1987 and 2009. The cases filed against him were from four different women.

In the days before she went missing, Dawnita had changed her phone number to escape the constant harassment but he had somehow found out her number. She reportedly had an argument over the phone with him shortly before she vanished. She had even told friends and family in the days before she disappeared that if anything were to happen to her it was this unnamed man and a member of his family who did it. She even went so far as to call a family member and ask if they knew anyone with a gun she might use for protection against him.

At a press conference, the Evansville Police Department and FBI provided additional details on the case in hopes of getting help from the public. They said that Dawnita was last seen at 8:16 a.m. on June 21, 2020, as she left an East Side motel in a 2004 silver Chevrolet Suburban with a sunroof and tinted windows. It was seen driving west through southwest Indiana and into southern Illinois. The owner of the vehicle had already been identified by police, though the name has not been released. They indicated that he was not cooperating with the investigation. Dawnita’s family later said that the man she feared is the owner of the vehicle in question.

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Security footage of Dawnita and the vehicle she left in(Photo: FBI)

Dawnita is 5’3” and weighs approximately 145 pounds. She has brown eyes and dark hair. She has multiple tattoos, including a heart on her lower back, praying hands with the name “Timmy” on her upper-right shoulder, and a cross on her upper-left shoulder.

If you have any information concerning the whereabouts of Dawnita Wilkerson or the Chevy Suburban, please contact the FBI Indianapolis Office at 317–595–4000 or the Evansville Police Department at 812–436–7979 or the tip line at 812–435–6194. You can also send an email to finddawnitawilkerson@gmail.com.

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Freelance Writer. Author. Alabamian. I write about true crimes, unsolved cases, and macabre mysteries.

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