Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Alton Coleman & Debra Brown: Odyssey of Mayhem

The Spree Begins

The pair laid low for two weeks until June 18 when two young girls, Tamika Turks and her 9-year-old aunt disappeared on their way to a candy store. Later that day, the 9-year-old was found beaten and raped. Tamika was missing.

A day later, Tamika's badly ravaged body was found in a wooded area in Gary. She had been raped and killed by someone stomping on her chest.

The older girl was forced to watch as the pair killed Tamika Brown holding Tamika to the ground and covering her nose and mouth and Coleman jumping on her chest and face until her ribs fractured and punctured her vital organs. The older girl then was forced to have sex with both Brown and Coleman before being beaten about her head. To this day the young woman suffers severe headaches and screaming fits.

She will get to screaming and crying like someone is hitting her on the back of the head, said Mary Hilliard, the childs mother. Her injuries left the family with $15,000 in medical bills, which were substantially, but not completely, covered by insurance.

LaVerne Turks, Tamikas mother, was forced to move to Minneapolis because the memories of Tamika in Gary, Indiana, were too painful.

LaVernes gone. Tamikas missing. My daughter is having these problems. Our family will never be the same, said Hilliard, who attempted suicide shortly after her granddaughters death.

The same day Tamika's body was discovered, Donna Williams, 25, was reported missing by her parents. Her car was stolen, as well.

A week later, Williamss car was found abandoned in Detroit with a forged identification card featuring Browns picture. Residents from the area said the car had been parked in the alley since June 19. Police in four states were now looking for the pair, working on the assumption that Donna Williams had been murdered, even though her body had not been found. In the meantime, two days after Williams was reported missing, a Detroit woman was kidnapped by a man and woman whom she later identified as Coleman and Brown. She escaped while driving the pair to Toledo by purposefully ramming her car into oncoming traffic.

Coleman and Brown were able to survive by befriending good Samaritans and later turning on their friends, authorities said.

Weve come to the conclusion that Coleman and Brown are staying with people they meet, said FBI Special Agent John Anthony in Detroit. They spend a day or two with the people, get a little money gambling with them and then assault and rob them and steal their car.

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