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Sheila Dianne Hughes - Online Memorial Website

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Sheila Hughes
Born in Alabama
36 years
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I have died many a death in love, and yet, had I not loved I would never have lived at all.David Lasater

This memorial website was created to remember our dearest Sheila Dianne Hughes who was born in Alabama on June 17, 1971 and passed away on February 22, 2008. You will live forever in our memories and hearts. 


Shelia Diane Hughes
Missing Since: September 1, 2000 from Aliceville, Alabama
Classification: Endangered Missing
Date Of Birth: June 17, 1971
Age: 29 years old
Height and Weight: 5'5, 150 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: African-American female. Black hair, brown eyes. Hughes has scars on her left arm and on her lower lip. Her ears are pierced. Hughes's nickname is Boot.
Clothing/Jewelry Description: A gray shirt and white maternity shorts.
Medical Conditions: Hughes was nine months pregnant with a boy at the time of her September 2000 disappearance. She was due to deliver her baby at any time.

Details of Disappearance

Hughes left her residence in Aliceville, Alabama with a male acquaintance, the father of her baby, at approximately 10:30 p.m. on September 1, 2000. She was last seen in Pickensville, Alabama later in the evening. Her friend told authorities that he dropped her off at her home at approximately 3:00 a.m. on September 2, but Hughes has never been heard from again.

Hughes's brown purse and white shoes were discovered under a tree in a cotton field in Noxubee County, Mississippi sometime after she was last seen. An extensive search of the area produced no clues as to her whereabouts. The items were located just west of the Alabama/Mississippi state line. Hughes's disappearance remains unsolved.

Hughes's family members believe that she may have traveled with her boyfriend, Renard Simmons, at the time of her disappearance. The couple may have traveled to Texas, but the theory has not been confirmed. Her family believes she is deceased.

Missing woman legally dead

February 23, 2008

ALICEVILLE | It's been more than seven years since Shelia Hughes disappeared.

The night it occurred, Sept. 1, 2000, a pregnant Shelia Hughes left her home with the child's father, Renard Simmons. Her son was due the next day.

Simmons told police that he dropped Shelia Hughes off at her home in Aliceville at 3 a.m., but she was never seen again.

Time has done little to alleviate the pain of her family.

'There's still hurt in our hearts because we still don't have any answers,' said the Rev. Nellie Woods, Shelia Hughes' cousin. 'We don't know any more today than we did seven years ago.'

At 2 p.m. Friday, the Hughes family held a memorial ceremony for Shelia Hughes, who was 29 at the time of her disappearance, at New Canaan Baptist Church in Aliceville.

She would have been 37 in June.

The small solemn ceremony didn't mark the anniversary of Shelia Hughes' disappearance, and according to the family, it didn't give them closure. But what it did do was give them the closest thing to a funeral they may ever have for Shelia Hughes and her unborn son, Renard Simmons Jr.

'We're holding the memorial service today because today the probate judge in Carrollton presumed her dead,' said Debra Hughes, 38, Shelia Hughes' older sister.

'It's painful because we don't have her body,' she said. 'But we still remain prayerful and hopeful that something will turn up because God is able.'

Chris McCool, the district attorney for the 24th Judicial Circuit, which covers Fayette, Pickens and Lamar counties, said the Hughes family had Shelia Hughes legally presumed dead in probate court Friday, but that doesn't mean the search for her is over.

'With their lawyer, the family filed something to have her declared dead in probate court,' McCool said. 'Our office and the state had nothing to do with this. As far as the investigation goes, it's still wide open.'

Shelia Hughes' family has their own theories on what happened to Shelia Hughes the night she went missing and who's responsible for it.

'Renard Simmons, her boyfriend, was dating Shelia for five years,' said Debra. 'He was the last person who saw her and we feel he may have had something to do with her going missing.'

'He's shown no sympathy since she disappeared,' she said. 'He wanted her to have an abortion, but she refused and he was really upset.'

Keith Cox, the chief investigator for the 24th Judicial Circuit and the primary investigator in Shelia Hughes' case, wouldn't say whether or not Simmons was a suspect in her disappearance, but said he's still actively investigating the case.

'We do have some angles we're looking at and have been for quite some time,' Cox said. 'As far as who or what those angles are, I'm not going to get into that.'

Despite having Shelia Hughes declared dead for legal reasons, the Hughes family hasn't given up hope that the truth about what happened to Shelia will one day be revealed.

'It ain't over,' said Rutha Hughes, Shelia Hughes' mother. 'We'll never give up until the day comes that we get an answer.'

Court Declares Missing Woman Dead

Feb 23, 2008

ALICEVILLE, ALA-- A court has declared a missing Pickens County woman dead.
Sheila Hughes of Aliceville disappeared September First, 2000.
She was nine months pregnant at the time.
Friday, friends and family members remembered her and her unborn son in a short memorial service.
Investigators found her purse and a pair of shoes in Mississippi shortly after her disappearance, but they never discovered a body.
No one's been arrested.
But family members are still hoping for answers.
Hughes’ cousin, Nellie Woods, said, "How can they live with themselves? Day after day and night after night knowing what happened. ‘Cause someone knows what happened. Somebody's responsible for what happened.”
Pickens County investigators still consider the case open and active

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