A frantic search for two missing young women in North Carolina — Alexandra King, 22, and 20-year-old Tatianna Diz — continued on Monday even though torrential downpours and low visibility due to fog on the French Broad River near Asheville hindered the efforts of local police and fire department. Rescuers combed the river and surrounding areas, looking for the two women who have not been seen since Tuesday, October 27.
Police and the women’s families are worried because King (pictured above right) and Diz (above left) were last seen Tuesday night when, according to police documents cited by Asheville TV station WLOS, the women gave a ride to 22-year-old Pierre Griffin.
Griffin was charged last week in the shooting and death of 31-year-old Uhon Johnson, a man who King, Diz and Griffin may have been visiting to conduct some sort of a drug transaction, according to the police warrants. Whether the two women were involved in the alleged drug deal or just giving Griffin a lift remains unclear.
Griffin’s girlfriend was house-sitting an apartment directly across from the apartment where King and Diz were living. How well the women knew Griffin is also unclear, though some reports have characterized them as friends.
“We are looking for evidence, anything and everything that might be connected to the missing young ladies,” said Asheville Police Sergeant R. Scott Lunsford.
On the morning of October 28, the day after the two women went missing, police found a 1988 Volkswagon Jetta that was registered in the name of Alexandra King on the banks of the French Broad River.
“The windows of the vehicle had been broken, blood was located in the passenger compartment and a bullet hole located in the passenger headrest,” a police warrant stated, according to a report by WHNS-TV News.
Though a shooting clearly occurred in or near the Volkswagon, police have not publicly stated where they believe the shooting actually happened, or who the victim was in the incident.
Police responded to a call from the apartment complex where Johnson resided at 10:34 p.m. on Tuesday, because they received a report of a gunshot victim there. Johnson died at a hospital less than two hours later.
Police said they had interviewed Griffin’s girlfriend, who told them that Griffin returned, alone, to the apartment where she was staying on Tuesday, telling her that they had to leave the area because “he had done something bad.” The girlfriend refused to leave with Griffin because “she did not feel good about what was happening,” the police warrant said.
Later on Tuesday night, Griffin was spotted driving a Ford Expedition that police say was owned by Johnson. Griffin then led police on a 30-mile chase before stopping and pointing a gun at the officers who were pursuing him. The police then shot Griffin and took him into custody.
Griffin had attended Asheville High School where teachers and acquaintances were shocked over his arrest. One teacher described him as a straight-A student “of promise” who “took challenging courses and did well.” He was enrolled in a local college and earning credits there while still a high school student.
But, Griffin had been in trouble previously, once pleading guilty to stealing $800 cash and a set of headphones from a hotel guest when he was employed on the maintenance staff of the local hotel.
Tattiana Diz was also a standout student, her mother told the Citizen-Times newspaper. She planned to pursue a degree in chemistry, but was also “always trying to figure out how to get connected with God,” Pamela Diz said.
The families of Tattiana Diz and her partner, Alexandra King, have posted a reward for the return of the missing women, though the possibility that they are no longer alive remains open. See the above poster for details.
[Photo via Tattiana Diz/Facebook]