Naomi Wilson was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. After graduating high school, she moved to Chicago, Illinois, where she met Bennie Wilson. The couple soon fell in love, married, and then moved to Cedar Rapids, Iowa. In 1978, Bennie and Naomi divorced, she purchased a new house and new car, and Naomi began dating her ex-husband's uncle, Colbert Beets, Unresolved Mysteries reports.
On April 12, 1981, Naomi missed her usual Sunday morning church service. Colbert went to the noon service and was at Naomi's house at 1618 13th Avenue SE afterward. According to Colbert, Naomi changed into a black pantsuit and left to visit a friend around 4:00 pm, Unresolved Mysteries reports. Naomi needed gas first and Colbert went to visit his mother. He said about an hour after leaving Naomi's house, he left his mother's home and passed Naomi driving in the opposite direction.
Naomi never arrived at the home of her friend. She never clocked in for her scheduled night shift at the Harnischfeger factory on April 13, where she was employed. This behavior was uncharacteristic of Naomi. Colbert reported his girlfriend missing to the Cedar Rapids Police Department, and authorities launched a search.
Two days later, one of Colbert's brothers found her white 1978 Ford Fairmont with license plate number DOY 622 abandoned in the parking lot of a K-Mart at 2727 16th Avenue SW, about two miles from her house and from Reverend Wendell Beets church at 2325 16th Avenue SW. Reverend Beets is another brother of Colbert Beets. There was no sign of Naomi. The Cedar Rapids Police officers searched the trunk and allowed Colbert to drive the car back to Naomi's house. Her brothers, John Pollard and Lorenzo Pollard, decided to travel from Atlanta, Georgia to search for their sister.
On April 15, 1981, Reverend Paul Beets, borrowed four walkie-talkie units from the Linn County Defense Department and led a group search for Naomi. The group searched the area near the K-Mart parking lot. Naomi Wilson has never been found.
Colbert moved into Naomi's home in September 1981. He never paid the mortgage, and the house was foreclosed in January 1982.
Iowa Cold Cases shared the following statement from Wordoffaithcogic.org regarding Reverend Wendell Beets: "Two years after the Rev. Wendell A. Beets was found guilty of sexually abusing a teen parishioner for years, he is back in business as a pastor serving in capacities that often included Sunday School students and youth."
Naomi's ex-husband was questioned and never named or considered as a suspect in her disappearance. Colbert Beets was questioned, as well as several family members. The Beets family has a long history of criminal activity and tragedy, including the following:
- 1968: Wendall Beets was charged for writing bad checks. He was arrested after fleeing to another state and placed on probation
- 1970: Wendall Beets and his sister were named as persons of interest in the murder of Paula Jean Oberbroeckling, 18, who disappeared after leaving her home in the early morning of July 11, 1970, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
- 1979: Colbert Beets files for bankruptcy
- 1992: Wendell Beets admits to sexually abusing women to some of his parishioners. He is arrested and found guilty.
- 1994 Wendell and Colbert join the Gospel Tabernacle Church as reverends in Nebraska
- 1995: A woman escapes and claims she was held at knifepoint while Colbert Beets' son Tony hit her and tried to force her to have sex. Tony is charged with felony assault with intent to commit sexual abuse with bodily injuries.
- 1997: Richard Beets, the son of Reverend Paul Beets Sr., commits suicide by drowning.
- 2003: Wendell officiates the funeral of Colbert Beets' 21-year-old son, who died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
None of the Beet's family members were ever named as suspects in the disappearance of Naomi Wilson.
Naomi Wilson is 5'3" and weighed 112 pounds when she vanished.
If you have any information, please contact the Cedar Rapids Police Department at 319-286-5374.