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ALACHUA COUNTY, FL. (WTXL) - Heather McCrossen and Kamrie Mitchell are two women missing from North Florida and the similarities of their disappearance don't end there. Both were victims of abuse and both were tied to one man, Andrelo Witcher.
McCrossen, 26, was an abuse victim, police documents detail how she was terrorized by Witcher. McCrossen and Witcher had a violent relationship.
"Eventually he beat her up so bad that she tried to flee and get away from him. She went to Michigan to be with her family and while she was in Michigan he called her and threatened her and said if she didn't come back he was going to come there and murder her entire family."
According to McCrossen's close friend Heather Atkinson, "He would beat on her quite often and he did other things to her and I was there for her and every time she called me I was there to rescue her but she always went back to him because she loved him but then the beatings got worse everything got worse."
Atkinson said that McCrossen filed several police reports detailing black eyes, a broken bones. On one occasion in 2007, Atkinson said that, McCrossen was kidnapped and locked in a hotel room. She was tied to a bed for days, while repeatedly being beaten and raped.
Friends said that McCrossen finally got up the strength to leave Witcher for good and had it all planned out. However, McCrossen was never heard from or seen again.
Atkinson remembers her last talk with McCrossen like it was yesterday, "My boyfriend at the time was suppose to pick her up or myself from the bus station and because I was at work he went to get her and she never arrived at our bus station."
With no body and no leads, the case went cold. That is until Cold Case Detective Kevin Allen got involved.
Det. Allen says, "I first interviewed him prior to getting a warrant for his arrest, I wanted to hear his side of the story and his response was, 'I've put that part of my life behind me, I've made my piece with God, it's Gods will now'".
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi also recently hired prosecutor Cass Castillo. In his 35 years of experience his specialty has become homicides where no body has been recovered.
When Detective Allen filed the case, Castillo got involved and filed manslaughter charges against Witcher.
It's through witness testimony that the Alachua County Sheriff's Office was able to file charges. According to Det. Allen, "He threatened to kill her, he had the means and opportunity to kill her and according to Heather's mother, she was the last person to see her."
During the McCrossen investigation. Allen realized Witcher could be a person of interest in another missing persons case where another body was never recovered. "I was made aware in a very prompt manner that Kamrie Mitchell was also one of the last people to be seen alive with Andrelo Witcher and that Andrelo Witcher had threatened her the night before she disappeared."
In 2012, 24-year-old Kamrie Mitchell went missing from the Branford/Lake City area. According to Suwannee County investigators, Witcher broke into her home and got into an argument with her and her father Jeff Mitchell over prescription pills.
The next morning Mitchell was gone.
Deputies were unable to charge Witcher in Mitchell's disappearance but they were able to charge him with home invasion.
Sheriff Tony Cameron with The Suwannee County Sheriff's Office says, "We were able to file charges and get him arrested and sent to prison for five years, which he is just about to be serving, his sentence is over."
Detective Allen is confident his case will stick, "Manslaughter is an easier case to prove in a homicide without a body, all we have to prove is that it was an act by the defendant and unjustified. Both mothers of both victims, Heather McCrossen and Kamrie Mitchell are relieved and optimistic that if and when we convict him maybe he will talk and maybe we can get their daughters back for decent burial and bring them home."
Andrelo Witcher is set to be arraigned May 16th in a Columbia County Courthouse.
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