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Cold Case Spotlight

Brenda Lee Alexander Edmondson still missing 32 years after disappearance

Frances Alexander fondly remembers raising her daughter, Brenda, in Georgia.

“She was a very good girl growing up,” Frances told Dateline, adding that Brenda grew into an independent young woman.

Brenda was around 16 years old when she had her first child, Michelle, in 1980. Shortly after, she married Michelle’s father, Jimmy Lee, and the couple had two sons named Kevin and Shannon.

“She had [the kids] when she was pretty young,” Frances told Dateline. “She struggled for a bit, but I ended up raising all three of the kids.”

They all lived in Nicholson, Georgia, until Brenda and Jimmy got divorced, at which point Brenda moved about 15 miles away to Athens, Georgia. While there, Brenda got married to a man named Eugene Edmondson. According to Frances, Brenda and Eugene moved into a room they rented from Brenda’s uncle.

“I don't remember a whole lot from that time,” Brenda’s daughter Michelle told Dateline about Brenda’s presence in her childhood, though she says her mother Brenda did come often to visit.

On January 12, 1987, Frances says that Brenda, in her early twenties and suffering from epilepsy, came over after being released from the hospital.

A progression drawing of Brenda as she might look today.

“She had just had a seizure and came home from the hospital with medicine,” Frances told Dateline. “That was the last time I ever saw her.”

Frances says that night, Brenda went to a convenience store to buy cigarettes. She never returned.

Brenda’s husband Eugene told Frances that she was last seen at the convenience store with cigarettes. According to Michelle, who was six when her mother disappeared, Eugene reported Brenda missing to the Athens-Clarke County Police Department a couple of days after she was last seen at the convenience store.

“At the present time we are trying to locate the original case files,” Public Information officer Geoffrey Gilland with the Athens-Clarke County Police Department told Dateline. He added that Athens-Clarke County Police Department was unable to comment further on this report.

Dateline could not reach Brenda’s husband Eugene for comment. Michelle told Dateline she and her family are no longer in contact with Eugene.

Since then, both Frances and Michelle have been searching for Brenda.

“It's been hard on me, not knowing where she’s at,” Frances told Dateline about her missing daughter. Frances says police often call her to identify bodies that might be Brenda. “That's hard for me, going to see these bodies, and none of them are her. I just wish I could find her.”

Michelle doesn’t remember much about her mother, but she still wonders what happened and wants to find answers in Brenda’s disappearance.

“We had our moments. She used to play with my hair when I was growing up, and see me and my brothers,” Michelle told Dateline. “There's always going to be that part of me that wonders what happened to her even though I didn't have her there.”

Brenda Lee Alexander Edmondson would be in her mid-fifties today. She has blondish-brown hair and blue eyes. If you have information related to Brenda’s disappearance, please contact the Athens-Clarke County Police Department at (706) 603-3330.