Three- month-old Zaylee disappeared with her mother, Shauna Marie Fryar, from Millersville, Tennessee on May 1, 2011.
Shauna's husband, Michael Fryar (who is not Zaylee's father), left their home on C Road at 9:00 p.m. to go to the store. When he returned, Shauna and Zaylee were both gone although Shauna's Honda Accord, wallet and cellular phone were left behind and so was Zaylee's diaper bag.
Shauna had dropped out of sight for days at at time at least four times before and had always come home safely, so Michael didn't report her and Zaylee missing until May 5. Shauna had a history of drug abuse and authorities believe she may have gone out to look for drugs on the day of her disappearance.
On May 6, 2011, Shauna's body was pulled out of the Cumberland River near the Jefferson Street bridge in downtown Nashville, Tennessee. It wasn't identified until May 10, 2011 and there was no sign of Zaylee. There were no signs of trauma to Shauna's body and the cause of death could not be determined.
Authorities aren't even sure whether Shauna was dead before she was in the river. However, investigators said they did not think it was a suicide and believed that foul play may have been involved. She was 28 years old at the time of her death.
Shauna and Michael married in 1999 and separated in 2005. They both dated other people and had children by other people, but they remained legally married and were still friends. Michael regularly let Shauna stay with him when she needed to.
Shauna and Zaylee were living in Nashville and were homeless before they moved in with him again on April 29, 2011 just a few days before they went missing.
Shauna's loved ones said she was happy at the time of her disappearance and appeared to be a responsible and loving mother to Zaylee in spite of her drug abuse history. Michael stated he loved Zaylee and took care of her as if she was his own child, he had been at the hospital when she was born, and he hoped to get custody of her.
Both of Shauna's parents are dead. By the time of her own death, Shauna had eight children in all, two of whom were Michael's. The oldest child was 12 years old. One of Shauna's children died before she went missing and all the others (besides Zaylee) lived with various relatives, including Michael's parents.
Zaylee's father, Thurman McMurry, was in jail for assault at the time of the baby's disappearance and Shauna's death, and isn't considered a suspect in the case. He and Shauna had dated for about a year and he was looking forward to seeing her and Zaylee again after his release from custody in mid-May 2011.
The circumstances of Zaylee's disappearance are unclear, but she is considered to be in danger. Her case remains unsolved. Zaylee is biracial (of African-American/Caucasian descent) with black hair, brown eyes, and a brown quarter-sized birthmark on her right leg.
- Zaylee Grace Fryar on Charlie Project.