Pell City, AL

Children Search For Their Mother Who Vanished From A Beauty Salon Parking Lot In Alabama

The Vivid Faces of the Vanished
Felicia CochranThe Charley Project

Felicia Cochran grew up in Pell City, Alabama, and was a 1983 graduate of Pell City High School. When she was 16, she got pregnant with her first daughter, Brandy. She completed high school and enrolled in Alabama A & M University. Felicia dropped out of college her sophomore year when she became pregnant with her second daughter, The Vanished reports. The young mother got a job at a local Hardee's, where she met a man named Travis Cochran. Travis worked for a construction company and often ate lunch at the restaurant, The Vanished reports.

A few months after they met, Felicia and Travis got married. Soon after, Felicia gave birth to a son. Travis became controlling and abusive towards Felicia. According to Brandy, she and her siblings would hear Travis beating their mother in the middle of the night. When Felicia gathered the nerve to leave her abusive husband, neighbors reported seeing him hiding in the bushes, stalking her, The Vanished reports. The couple shared custody of their son, Quadarius. This made it hard for Felicia to cut ties with Travis.

One night, Felicia's mother, Mary, discovered a recording device Travis had placed on Mary's phone line so he could tape all of Felicia's phone calls. Mary wanted to contact the Pell City Police Department, but Felicia begged her not to call the authorities, according to The Vanished.

On Thursday, June 1, 1992, Felicia asked her then 10-year-old daughter, Brandy, if she wanted to go to the hair salon with her. Brandy declined and watched her mother leave the house. Felicia drove away in her gray 1987 Nissan Sentra. That same evening, the employees at the hair salon saw Travis and Felicia arguing in the parking lot of the beauty shop. They called 911, but by the time the police arrived, Felicia and Travis were gone, The Vanished reports. The couple pulled off in Felicia's car. Felicia Cochran has never been seen or heard from again.

Around 4:00 am on July 2, 1992, authorities found her gray 1987 Nissan Sentra completely burned and abandoned on a rural road in Talladega County.

According to her family, investigators initially did not take the disappearance of Felicia seriously. Authorities told her family that she had probably run off for a while of her own free will and would return home soon, The Vanished reports. Her mother, Mary, remained persistent that this was not the case. Authorities interviewed Travis; the last person Felicia was seen with. He was never charged.

Mary gained custody of and raised Brandy and her sister. Travis was awarded custody of Quadarius and refused to allow him to see Mary. Quadarius was only allowed to see his sisters once or twice a year. He grew up thinking his mother abandoned him. When he became old enough, Quadarius discovered multiple discrepancies between the truth and what his father told him. He became a police officer in hope of finding justice for his mother one day.

Brandy wrote the following touching letter to her mother she shared with News One in 2012:

“Had I known that would be the last time I would see you my answer would have been unquestionably ‘YES!' That beauty salon was the last place you were seen. Twenty years ago today (2012), your mother had you declared legally missing. You were only 26 years old. I wish I could ask you about your childhood, your college days, or what falling in love was like for you. I wish I could tell you thank you for the sacrifices you made for me and being a great example of what a Mother is. What was your final day like? What were your last words and how were you taken from us?” Brandi asked in her letter. “But more importantly, where are your remains so that you can be properly laid to rest and there is finally closure and we are all finally at peace. Regardless if that day ever comes, you will ALWAYS be at the forefront of my mind and deeply rooted in my heart and I will live each and every day in an attempt to make you more proud of me than you were the day before. I love you and look forward to the day we are in each other’s presence again.”

Felicia Cochran is 5'3" and weighed 135 pounds when she vanished.

If you have any information, please contact the Pell City Police Department at 205-884-3334.

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