Alexis Ware was 29 when she vanished on January 30, 2022. She was last seen at a 7/11 in Anderson County, SC.
Alexis’ younger half-brother Travis Ware spoke to NBC about his sister:
My big sister Alexis, she’s the life of the party. I love to say that. Anywhere she goes, she just lights up the room, first and foremost. Before she’s the makeup artist, hairstylist, before any of that — she’s a mother and she loves her two kids, my niece and my nephew. That was her pride and joy. And so, she was a mother before anything, but she truly was this — the light that shines anywhere she went.”
Alexis is a hairstylist, who loves fashion and doing make-up. “Alexis has a great personality,” Alberta said. “She had several appointments set up to — to do photoshoots. She wants to do Instagram modeling. She was going to build her platform with that.”
“She has always been supportive, kind. She’s just always been the person that wants to help everyone,” Travis said. “Everything that came with being a big sister, that was her. She always supported me and my career. Always encouraged me.”
Alexis’ two children were aged 9 and 2 when she disappeared.
January 30, 2022 was a Sunday. Alexis’ mother Alberta has said that Alexis had been hanging out with her family all weekend, but that something seemed off.
“It wasn’t the Alexis that we’re used to,” Alberta said. “I knew that something was going on with her — something was freaking her out.”
During the family weekend, Alberta said her daughter was crying about her upcoming 30th birthday. “She — she said stuff like she didn’t feel like she was gonna make it to see her birthday,” Alberta told Dateline.
Alberta thought this was very out of character because Alexis has always gone all-out for her birthday. “That’s big for her, where, you know, months in advance, she’s, you know, she’s got her birthday outfit together, she would have her shoes together, how she’s gonna style her hair.” But this year, Alberta said, “she hadn’t done anything.”
Late at night on Saturday January 29, 2022 – Alexis talked about being followed. “She sat here and cried. She wasn’t telling me exactly what was going on,” Alberta said.
“That particular Saturday, she kept getting a phone call all day. She didn’t know who it was and she was like, ‘Look, look: How is this number keep getting through? I have it in block.’ And she would go to her block list and it actually showed me this number being in her block list. When I asked her who it was, she called him the devil.”
Alberta also spoke about Alexis’ behaviour around the time she disappeared. ‘She had got into the zodiac signs. She read so much about her zodiac sign and she kept saying that she could see different things that was going to happen. She would tell us to pay attention to the roads. She would tell us to pay attention to certain colors. She even said that it was a black truck following her.”
What is confirmed in the case is that Alexis left her family at around 12pm on January 30, 2022 and she went to her own home.
Alberta and Alexis talked via video chat at around 3pm that day. “She left around noon that Sunday. And then I called her to check on her around 3,” Alberta told Dateline. “I saw that she was laying in her bed because I did a video chat. She answered right away and she was laying on her bed taking a nap.”
“And she said, ‘Mom, I’m just so tired.’ She said ‘I’m laying down — taking a nap, and I’ll call you when I get up.’ That never happened.”
Alexis had arranged to meet up with the father of her children, TJ Patterson, on the night of January 30 (I have seen it reported that he was the father of both children and in another report that he was the father of the youngest child). They were meeting so that Alexis could drop the kids off to him.
I was a bit confused because Alexis met to drop the kids to him, and then according to media reports, Alexis planned to follow him back to his mother’s house. I wondered if that was the case, why didn’t they just meet there? Alberta cleared this up via the Missing in America Podcast:
“She called him when she got to Anderson and had told him that she was running out of gas. So he said that he asked her if she could make it to the 7-Eleven gas station and he put gas in her car. She gave him the kids. He said that he asked her where she was going. He said that she told him that she was coming to my house. It didn’t make sense, but that’s what he told me. “
Anyway, the two met at the 7/11 as arranged and the kids got into their father’s car. Alexis put gas in her car. Both she and TJ started to leave – Alexis was following him in her vehicle.
Alexis didn’t follow him for long though. Alberta said, “She actually shot around him with the high rate of speed and made a quick — a quick right at the red light and took off from there.”
TJ has said that he tried to call Alexis multiple times to find out what happened and where she was going, but he could not get hold of her. TJ called Alberta to let her know what was going on. Alberta then tried to call Alexis herself, but her calls went straight to voicemail. “I tried calling her right then, well her cell phone was going straight to voicemail where she had turned it off,” Alberta said.
The family grew increasingly concerned when they could not get hold of Alexis and they filed a missing person report on February 1, 2022.
Alberta has said there is CCTV footage that confirms everything TJ said and also confirms that Alexis was at the gas station.
“They actually showed us the footage of the meeting in the 7-Eleven parking lot. Nothing seemed out of the norm, at all. Nothing looks suspicious or anything.”
Alexis’ family and the police looked into TJ’s alibi early on. “His alibi and everything checked out with the detectives,” Frank said. “We made all types of efforts to find out where she may have gone to, or whatever, and all of our leads have come up empty-handed.”
Sgt Finley said, “Unfortunately, a lot of the video is actually blocked by a tractor trailer that comes into view. But you can see that they’re both there — separate vehicles. And doesn’t appear any struggle or anything — or anything that’s going on that’s bad.”
On February 2, Alexis’ red Honda was found abandoned in a wooded area in McCormick County, SC.
It is believed that the car had been there for a few days. Because it was logging season in the area, the property owner assumed that it was a logging worker’s vehicle. Sgt. Finley: “It’s a heavily-wooded area with some trails cut by construction equipment, but mostly wooded area.”
Alberta has said that Alexis would not have been familiar with the area:
“She would never have been in the place where her car was found in because that’s an unfamiliar area to her. That’s my question, why?”
“She lives in Greenville, South Carolina,” Alberta said. “Which is 30 minutes opposite of Anderson.”
According to google maps, the distance between the 7/11 and where Alexis’ car was found is around 55 miles – 1 hour drive.
Her cellphone, her purse, her identification, and a bag of clothing were in the car
The hair bonnet was laying outside her car, right on the ground. Alexis had been wearing the bonnet when she was at the 7/11. Alberta believes that points to there being a struggle. “That right there is enough to say that there had to be some kind of scuffle to take place.”
“When she was at the gas station, that was on her head. So if it — if it came off, you know, the first instinct that you would do as a woman is pick it up and put it back on,” Alberta explained. “They didn’t see that as suspicious. They didn’t see her walking away from her vehicle — with leaving all her personal items and purse and everything in the car. That is not — that’s — that’s not what a woman would do.”
Randomly, I have read online that Alexis apparently had an appointment at the state lottery office in Augusta Georgia on the Monday after she disappeared. She clearly never made the appointment, but lottery tickets were also found in her car. Alberta said “She was going to the main corporate office. I don’t know if she had winning tickets or not, but she had several tickets. And she had an appointment that she had made to go to the headquarters.”
Alberta told Dateline that authorities told the family Alexis’s car had done quite a bit of traveling before being found in McCormick. “They did give us information that it was seen at an apartment complex in Anderson, South Carolina, where the – the outgoing camera actually caught that,” Alberta said.
“They still said they don’t know if she was driving the vehicle, but her car was there.”
Alexis’s car also apparently traveled to Augusta, Georgia during that time, according to Alexis’s stepfather. “Augusta, Georgia back to McCormick is 30 miles. So that vehicle traveled at least an hour from Anderson to travel to Georgia and it ended up in a hunting field in McCormick, South Carolina,” Frank Simpkins Sr. told Dateline. “And all that is rural area – when I say rural areas, like, it’s basically recreational hunting.”
Sheriff McBride told Dateline, “Obviously her car has been found, you know, several counties over in McCormick County. You know, there’s — there’s been some other reports where she has potentially gone out of state and that kind of stuff. But the last footage that we can see with— with, you know, her and, I guess, a normal everyday state, is leaving the gas station on Highway 29 within Anderson County’s jurisdiction.”
After Alexis’ vehicle was found, police searched the surrounding area. They conducted a grid search and went 150 yards into the woods in each direction. They searched 220 acres with cadaver dogs and nothing was discovered.
The Sheriff made this statement:
“This was truly a unified event with all having the same purpose to find Alexis Ware,” the sheriff’s statement read. “Please know that while this search ended with negative results, our focus and search continue until Alexis is found and reunited with her family.”
“The area is vast,” Sheriff McBride told Dateline. “I think right now it’s — it’s like a needle in a haystack. So we’re not exactly sure where to search — where to start, until we have some more information developed.”
On Feb. 8, law enforcement teams searched for eight hours alongside a state law enforcement helicopter.
They checked local boat ramps and nearly 700 acres of shoreline. Also, included local bass boats and fishers to help.
In a tip taken from social media, the McCormick County Sheriff also searched Hickory Nob State Park with bloodhounds.
“In all of our searches, we found no signs of foul play,” said McCormick County Sheriff’s Office Sheriff Clarke Sterns.
As Alexis’ case went on, people began to contact Alberta to say they know where Alexis was. “Alexis’ mother, Alberta, has received numerous messages from a person claiming to know her whereabouts,” community advocate Traci Fant said.
“I asked to speak to her, ‘Can you send a picture of her?'” Alberta said. “They never put her on the phone even though they said they would.”
On March 3, 2022, the FBI got involved in Alexis’ case. Kevin Wheeler, spokesman for the FBI Columbia field office confirmed FBI involvement in the case and added, “I cannot go into details about the investigative techniques being used by investigators.”
“Hopefully, you know, our– our FBI missing persons specialist will be able to help shed some light on some more ideas that we could do,” Sheriff McBride said. “Maybe we can come up with something together that will maybe give us a better location or pinpoint an area that we need to focus on.”
Around the same time that the FBI got involved, the Anderson County Sheriff updated on their search for Alexis.
- Obtained numerous search warrants for many items of evidence related to this case
- Spent countless hours reviewing and analyzing search warrant results
- Reviewed surveillance footage from last known locations and possible sightings
- Interviewed family members and associates of Ware, including those who saw or spoke with her prior to her disappearance
- Checked with area hospitals and coroners’ offices for unidentified patients
- Checked with TSA for flights Alexis may have taken
- Partnered with the McCormick County Sheriff’s Office, SLED and other partner agencies to conduct a large-scale search in the area where Ware’s vehicle was found
- Utilized K-9 search teams
- Engaged with local community leaders and activists working on behalf of Ware and her family
Alexis’ family celebrated her 30th birthday in March. “We had a seafood boil — which is her favorite food. We just tried to make the best of it. We had shirts made with her 30th birthday and a picture of her on it.”
I found an interesting post on social media. The poster has summarized information in Alexis’ case in great detail.
There is doorbell footage of her coming to a neighbor’s home where she is seen holding what looks to be some kind of spade for digging in a garden or maybe a cake cutter. She explained that she did ‘root work both good and bad’ and then began to talk about leaving and moving away. This was earlier the same week.
She spent time with her mother and family on the weekend and returned to her apartment. Her mother said she called and she was taking a nap.
Later on she called her mom from home to say that a black SUV was at her apartment and she was in fear.
She called the police about the incident and once the police left she left the apartment with her children.
This is when she called her son’s father and told him that she was driving and running out of gas, allegedly.
He stated that this call was also strange and he put her on speaker so others with him could hear her.
They suggested that he get his son because things were not sounding good with her, allegedly.
He then asked how much further could she get and told her to meet him at the 7 eleven.
He met her there and purchased gas for her and him both. He put $30 in her tank.
Once there he said she asked that he take not only her son but her daughter who is 9 years old from another relationship.
He agreed and she hugged him. He told her he was going to his mother’s home and she said she would follow him there and that’s where allegedly, she starts to follow him and then makes a quick turn and drives off.
Both of the children’s fathers have done videos telling what they experienced with her and their thoughts on what could be happening. Her daughter, per her mother and aunt has said the same thing that the son’s father has said happened. He is also wearing an ankle monitor so his whereabouts are tracked.
June 30 marked five months since Alexis disappeared. Her family held a candlelight vigil for her. “Just prayer and faith in God that she’s okay,” said Katrina Gray, Ware’s aunt.
“It’s been five months and she’s still missing, and we just want her home,” said Alberta.
“She is a mom. She is a daughter. Her kids miss her, they need her. Her mother misses her. We all miss her,” Alberta also said.
A billboard was put up at this time, to raise awareness for Alexis’ case.
The billboard was donated by the Black and Missing Foundation (BAMFI), a non-profit organization that brings awareness to missing people of color across the country, a press release said.
Alberta spoke about the billboard to WSPA.com “Just putting it out there, it’s giving me that hope. It’s giving me something to hold on to,” she said.
“Lexi if you could hear us, we love you we miss you. We will never stop looking for you.”
To Alberta and Frank, it makes no sense that Alexis would just pick up and leave. “You’re talking about somebody that’s on social media every day, all day,” Alberta said. “She had a large clientele, as far as her clients coming in rapidly. You know, she had clients in Charlotte, North Carolina – Atlanta, Georgia. She had clients all over that will come and get their hair done. And everything just ceased.”
“She had just gotten approved to break her lease and move to Atlanta. Her goal was to open up a boutique, because she was into fashion. She was going to open up a boutique. She wanted to open up her own salon, Alexis had a business license. She has a whole bunch of stuff that you would put in a boutique, as far as the clothing racks. And she even had started stacking up on the shoes and the merchandise that she was gonna place in the boutique.”
Alberta also recalled Alexis being worried about the safety of her children. “She actually said to me, ‘Mom, I don’t know what I would do if something happens to me and my kids is in the car with me.’”
Alberta told Dateline that when she found out Alexis had met up with the father of her youngest child to give him the children that night she disappeared, she immediately understood why. “She did what mothers would do. She separated herself from the kids because she felt like she was in danger. So, motherly instinct. She protected her kids.”
Alberta said “She would never leave her kids. That’s how I knew something was wrong. She would have just never left her kids like that — and this is the longest her children has been without her.”
Alberta has also spoken about TJ’s possible involvement: “The reason why I feel that he has nothing to do with it — because I know the conversations that me and my daughter had, as far as she would call him “creepy man” in her inbox, her messenger. The fact that she felt like she was being followed, I don’t think TJ did any of that.”
Sheriff McBride told Dateline that as of right now, “It would be hard for me to say that we’ve, you know, identified any particular person of interest or suspect, at this time.”
The sheriff continued on to say, “We’re just trying — just trying to figure out where Alexis is and we hope and pray, of course, that she is alive and well and just doesn’t want to be found for the moment, or whatever that case may be.”
CLIP USED IN THE PODCAST