ALIQUIPPA, Pa. — A 24-year-old woman, who spent a considerable amount of time interacting and posting on social media platforms, hasn’t been seen or heard from in exactly seven months.
Ri’kiah Griffie vanished from Aliquippa on Oct. 11, 2022. Her mother reported her missing ten days later when she hadn’t heard from her.
As Rick Earle learned, Investigators suspect she may be the victim of foul play.
Earle spoke with her mother and Investigators who are now working the case.
Griffie has had a difficult life. She’s been in and out of legal trouble. And she’s had issues with substance abuse.
“I just want my baby back. Nobody should have to go through this,” said Ronda Duke, her mother.
Duke has spent the past 7 months searching for her daughter, canvassing neighborhoods in and around Aliquippa and putting up posters with her daughter’s picture.
But there’s been no sign of her.
“She’s the most caring, giving person in the world and her downfall was she was so trusting,” said Duke.
Griffie was last seen in a video she posted on Facebook on the afternoon of Oct. 11 -- the day she vanished.
In the video, she is sitting in the passenger’s seat, pointing the camera in the direction of the front windshield. She also shows a shot of the dashboard and an ignition switch with no key in it, but the car is moving.
Investigators determined that the video was taken while she was in a car, driving on Route 65 North, just outside of Pittsburgh.
Detectives have been unable to determine whose car she was in, but they are attempting to track down the owner by determining the make and model of the vehicle.
“We have no evidence of her being alive since that video in a car on Route 65,” said Beaver County District Attorney Dave Lozier.
Beaver County detectives have been working the case with Aliquippa police.
They’ve run down every lead but come up empty. They checked out a report that she was seen at a gas station in Ohio, but that wasn’t the case.
She’s been known to spend time in Beaver Falls and New Castle.
Investigators said Griffie hasn’t reached out to her family or posted anything on social media since Oct. 11.
Lozier: She has gone cold as far as contact goes and she was very active on social media, always posting videos contacting family, calls, texts.
Earle: Do you guys suspect there might be foul play involved?
Lozier: Foul play is possible because it ended abruptly.
Griffie was living with her boyfriend at Towne Tower in Aliquippa. But Duke says her boyfriend kicked her out on the morning of the day she vanished.
Duke: He put her out in the middle of the night.
Earle: He threw her out, why?
Duke: Because she was acting crazy.
Police said the boyfriend, who is substantially older than Griffie, has cooperated with the investigation.
Several weeks after she vanished police found her purse in a friend’s car.
“They just happen to stop him like a week after she was reported missing and they ask, ‘Have you seen her?’ He said, ‘Oh, she left her purse in my car,’” said Duke.
There was no sign of her cell phone. It’s unclear what was in her purse, but investigators confirmed that her cell phone was not in there.
Earlier this year, the investigation took another bizarre turn, when Duke awoke to a startling text message on her cell phone.
She read the text message to Earle.
Duke: It’s time for you to do what I tell you to do to get Ri’Kiah back. You will send me three thousand dollars in the way I indicate.
Earle: Did you think it was real?
Duke: I did.
Earle: You thought somebody was holding your daughter for ransom.
Duke immediately contacted the police. They looked into it and suspect it was bogus and someone was trying to take advantage of Duke.
Duke is still holding out hope that her daughter will be found alive.
Earle: Do you think she’s still alive?
Duke: Absolutely, I feel it in my heart. I know it in my heart. Let me know where my baby is. Let me find her. Let me just hold my baby, that’s all I want to do.
Duke recently provided her DNA to investigators who have put it into a national database, searching for possible hits.
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