Aurora, CO

Step-Mother Dies Suddenly And Father Convicted In Disappearance Of Colorado 6-Year-Old

The Vivid Faces of the Vanished
Aarone ThompsonThe Charley Project

6-year-old Aarone Thompson lived in the 16500 block of East Kepner Place in Aurora Colorado, with her father, Aaron Thompson, and his girlfriend, Shely Mary Lowe (also known as Shelley Marie Lowe).

Shely was pregnant. Aarone's older brother, Aaron Thompson Jr., Shely's teenage brother, Rajon Russell, and Shely's five children, Andrew Lowe, Tamara Lowe, Kadezshia Smith, Eric Williams Jr., and Kaila Williams, all lived in the house, as well. The children in the household ranged in age from 5 to 15 years.

Aarone's mother, Lynette, lived in Detroit, Michigan. Aarone and her brother were born in Michigan, and in 2001, their father, Aaron, took the children and moved to Colorado, the Charley Project reports. Lynette was hospitalized when the family moved. She was supposed to move to Colorado with them after she recovered, but when she attempted to leave Michigan, Aaron told her "not to come," she said, the Charley Project reports. He refused to tell Lynette where he and their children were living.

Aarone was never listed with any school in the Aurora area, and she was never registered as a home-school student.

Near the Holiday season of 2015, Aaron requested assistance with Christmas presents from a non-profit organization. Aaron did not list Aarone as one of his children on his application.

On November 14, 2005, a social worker visited the home to determine if the family was still eligible for assistance. The social worker inspected every room of the home. She never saw Aarone.

Then, later the same day, Aaron contacted authorities and told them Aaron was missing. He told the police that the 6-year-old had an argument with his girlfriend, Shely, over a cookie and then ran away from home between 12:30 pm. and 1:00 pm. Investigators noted that it was freezing cold outside, snowing and neither adult seemed distressed nor concerned about the disappearance of a 6-year-old child. On the day of her disappearance, between 8:00 pm and 9:00 pm, and while police were searching the neighborhood for Aarone, Aaron told authorities he was tired and going to bed. He and Shely stopped cooperating with investigators the following day. They both refused to take polygraph tests.
Aaron ThompsonThe Charley Project

Child Protective Services took custody of the remaining children but allowed Aaron and Shely to have supervised daily visits.

Initially, the children supported Aaron and Shely's story that Aarone ran away. Once they were placed in foster care, they changed their stories. The children admitted no one had seen Aarone in more than a year. The last time she received medical attention was in May 2002 at Aurora South Hospital for an abscessed tooth. No one has seen or heard from little Aarone since.

Shely had an ex-boyfriend named Eric Williams. Eric told authorities that Shely confessed to the murder of Aarone, the Charley Project reports. Eric said Shely told him that Aarone simply stopped breathing in the bathtub. She said she tried mouth-to-mouth, but she was unable to revive Aarone. Shely said she and Aaron were afraid to call 911 because little Aarone had scars on her body from prior abuse.

Her friend, Tabitha Graves, told authorities a similar story. She said Shely told her that Aarone died in her sleep. Aaron placed the little girl in his Ford Expedition when they discovered her body and later returned without her. Both Eric and Tabitha said Shely was extremely upset, crying, and shaking uncontrollably when she told these stories, the Charley Project reports. Tabitha recorded the phone conversations between her and Shely and turned them over to authorities.

In May 2006, a grand jury finally convened to investigate the disappearance and possible death of Aarone Thompson.

Right after that, 33-year-old Shely Lowe died suddenly from heart disease. She was never interviewed by the police or investigators.

Aarone's siblings came forth with information. They told authorities they were beaten with belts, bats, and other objects. They were beaten so badly at times they could not sit down. Several of the children showed investigators multiple scars from the years of abuse.

Shely's son, Andrew, told authorities about the Aarone. He said one night, Aaron was beating Aarone in the basement and his sister was crying and screaming. Suddenly, the screaming stopped, and he heard Aaron curse. They never saw Aarone again. When he asked Shely about Aarone a few days later, his mother told him Aarone moved to Michigan, the Charley Project reports.

In November 2009, Aaron Thompson was sentenced to over 100 years in prison.

Their children were raised with relatives or in foster care.

Aarone Thompson has never been found.

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