DiscoverCrime Stories with Nancy GracePACE GRAD DISAPPEARS ON WAY TO FAMILY WEDDING: WHERE'S CHELSEA?
PACE GRAD DISAPPEARS ON WAY TO FAMILY WEDDING: WHERE'S CHELSEA?

PACE GRAD DISAPPEARS ON WAY TO FAMILY WEDDING: WHERE'S CHELSEA?

Update: 2024-06-19
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Chelsea Grimm, a young clinical psychologist, embarked on a cross-country road trip from San Diego to a family wedding in Connecticut. However, she never arrived. Her car was found abandoned with shredded tires, raising suspicions of foul play. The investigation has been hampered by a lack of information from AT&T, which has refused to provide cell phone data without a warrant. Despite the circumstances, local authorities have been reluctant to pursue a warrant, leading to frustration among the Grim family and experts who believe the case has been mishandled. The case has drawn parallels to the disappearance of another young woman, Shayna Feynman, in the same area, further fueling concerns about a potential serial killer. The Grim family has hired private investigators and is calling for the FBI to get involved, urging them to take a more proactive approach to finding Chelsea.

Outlines

00:00:00
Introduction

This Chapter introduces the case of Chelsea Grimm, a young clinical psychologist who disappeared while driving across the country to a wedding in Connecticut. The episode features Nancy Grace, a renowned crime journalist, and a panel of experts, including Mark Klass, a missing persons advocate, Zera Barker, an investigative reporter, Justin Yantus, a private investigator, and Andrew Stoltman, a law professor.

00:04:05
Chelsea's Disappearance

This Chapter delves into the details of Chelsea's disappearance. She was last seen in Ash Fork, Arizona, where she had been camping. Her car was found abandoned with shredded tires, raising concerns about foul play. The episode discusses the lack of information from AT&T regarding Chelsea's cell phone data and the reluctance of local authorities to pursue a warrant.

00:29:00
The Investigation

This Chapter examines the investigation into Chelsea's disappearance. The episode highlights the lack of progress made by local authorities and the growing frustration among the Grim family and experts. The episode also discusses the similarities between Chelsea's case and the disappearance of another young woman, Shayna Feynman, in the same area, raising concerns about a potential serial killer.

00:38:40
Calls for FBI Involvement

This Chapter focuses on the calls for the FBI to get involved in the investigation. Experts and the Grim family believe that the local authorities are incompetent and that the FBI has the resources and expertise to make significant progress in the case. The episode discusses the importance of proactive advocacy and the need for a thorough investigation.

Keywords

Chelsea Grimm
Chelsea Grimm is a young clinical psychologist who disappeared while driving across the country to a wedding in Connecticut. She was last seen in Ash Fork, Arizona, where she had been camping. Her car was found abandoned with shredded tires, raising concerns about foul play.

Shayna Feynman
Shayna Feynman is another young woman who disappeared in the same general area as Chelsea Grimm. The similarities between the two cases have raised concerns about a potential serial killer.

Coconino County Sheriff's Office
The Coconino County Sheriff's Office is the law enforcement agency responsible for investigating Chelsea Grimm's disappearance. The office has been criticized for its handling of the case, particularly its reluctance to pursue a warrant for Chelsea's cell phone data.

FBI
The FBI is the Federal Bureau of Investigation, a federal law enforcement agency. The Grim family and experts have called for the FBI to get involved in the investigation, believing that the agency has the resources and expertise to make significant progress in the case.

Shredded Tires
Chelsea Grimm's car was found abandoned with shredded tires, raising concerns about foul play. The shredded tires suggest that the car was intentionally disabled, possibly by an attacker.

Ransom Texts
There were reports of ransom texts and messages that were sent to the Grim family after Chelsea's disappearance. However, the FBI determined that these requests were bogus and not indicative of a crime occurring.

Missing Persons Case
Chelsea Grimm's disappearance is a missing persons case that has garnered national attention. The case has highlighted the challenges of investigating missing persons cases, particularly in rural areas.

Truck Stop
Chelsea Grimm was directed to a truck stop by a police officer after she told him she was going to camp for the night. The episode discusses the safety of truck stops for women traveling alone.

Bearded Dragon
Chelsea Grimm was traveling with her bearded dragon, Rosie, when she disappeared. The episode discusses the challenges of traveling with pets and the importance of planning ahead.

Clinical Psychologist
Chelsea Grimm is a clinical psychologist, a mental health professional who provides therapy and counseling to individuals and families. The episode discusses the importance of mental health and the impact of trauma on individuals.

Q&A

  • What are the key details surrounding Chelsea Grimm's disappearance?

    Chelsea Grimm, a clinical psychologist, disappeared while driving across the country to a wedding in Connecticut. Her car was found abandoned with shredded tires, raising concerns about foul play. The investigation has been hampered by a lack of information from AT&T, which has refused to provide cell phone data without a warrant. Despite the circumstances, local authorities have been reluctant to pursue a warrant, leading to frustration among the Grim family and experts who believe the case has been mishandled.

  • Why have local authorities been reluctant to pursue a warrant for Chelsea's cell phone data?

    Local authorities have been reluctant to pursue a warrant for Chelsea's cell phone data because they believe there is not enough probable cause to do so. They have argued that the ransom texts received after Chelsea's disappearance were bogus and not indicative of a crime occurring. However, experts and the Grim family believe that the circumstances surrounding Chelsea's disappearance warrant a more thorough investigation and that the cell phone data could provide crucial information.

  • What are the similarities between Chelsea Grimm's case and the disappearance of Shayna Feynman?

    Both Chelsea Grimm and Shayna Feynman were young women who disappeared in the same general area of Arizona. Both were nature lovers and both seemingly disappeared leaving their vehicles behind. The similarities between the two cases have raised concerns about a potential serial killer.

  • What are the calls for the FBI to get involved in the investigation?

    Experts and the Grim family believe that the local authorities are incompetent and that the FBI has the resources and expertise to make significant progress in the case. They argue that the investigation has been mishandled and that the FBI could provide a fresh perspective and more resources to the case.

  • What are the concerns about the handling of the investigation by local authorities?

    Experts and the Grim family are concerned that the local authorities have rushed to judgment and have not taken the investigation seriously enough. They believe that the authorities have not been thorough in their investigation and have not pursued all possible leads. They are also concerned that the authorities have not been transparent with the public about the investigation.

  • What are the potential implications of the shredded tires found on Chelsea Grimm's car?

    The shredded tires found on Chelsea Grimm's car suggest that the car was intentionally disabled, possibly by an attacker. This raises concerns about foul play and suggests that Chelsea may have been the victim of a crime.

  • What are the challenges of investigating missing persons cases, particularly in rural areas?

    Investigating missing persons cases in rural areas can be challenging because there are often fewer resources available and the population is smaller. This can make it more difficult to gather information and track down leads. Additionally, rural areas may have less surveillance and fewer witnesses, which can make it more difficult to piece together what happened.

  • What are the potential risks of traveling alone, particularly for women?

    Traveling alone, particularly for women, can be risky because it can make individuals more vulnerable to crime. It is important to be aware of your surroundings, take precautions to protect yourself, and let others know where you are going and when you expect to return.

  • What are the importance of mental health and the impact of trauma on individuals?

    Mental health is essential for overall well-being. Trauma can have a significant impact on individuals, both physically and emotionally. It is important to seek help if you are struggling with mental health issues or have experienced trauma.

  • What are the challenges of traveling with pets?

    Traveling with pets can be challenging, particularly when traveling by air. It is important to plan ahead and make sure that your pet is properly prepared for travel. You should also be aware of any restrictions or regulations that may apply to traveling with pets.

Show Notes

Chelsea Grimm attends Pace University in New York to study psychology. She graduates with a master's degree in social work. Putting her degree to good use, she works for the New York City Department of Education as a  social worker. Chelsea Grimm makes a change, heading to the West Coast, and settling in Ocean Beach, California. 

Chelsea making plans to meet her parents at a wedding in Connecticut, but when she can't find an airline that will let her fly with her pet Bearded Dragon, Chelsea decides to make it a road trip, using the travel to take photos of forgotten soldiers and other special people at cemeteries across the country.

On September 24, Chelsea Grimm leaves San Diego and heads for Connecticut.  

Three days into her cross-country trip, Grimm arrives in Phoenix, Arizona, where she meets her sister and a friend. Grimm makes plans to meet the same friend for lunch the next day but cancels the plans.  On that same day, she stops at a motel in Seligman, about 160 miles north of Phoenix. The clerk says Grimm seems confused as she tries to book a room, exchanging Euros instead of US Currency. She mentions wanting to be "off-grid" and asks if there are any places in town that would exchange Euros.  

From a motel in Seligman, Arizona, Chelsea Grimm calls her parents and tells them she isn't going to make it to Connecticut on time for the wedding, the trip is taking too long. She tells them she is going to camp out nearby for a couple of days and head back home to San Diego.

The next day, September 28, Grimm leaves the motel and heads 40 miles east to a war memorial cemetery in Williams, Arizona. Williams police are alerted to a suspicious vehicle and when the officer checks, he finds Chelsea Grimm seated in her car, crying.

She tells the officer she gets emotional taking photos for a lost soldier project and doesn't want to drive while crying.  The officer spends nearly 9 minutes with Grimm and asks if she has a hotel room for the night. She says she is going to camp and the officer directs her not to camp in the city, but she can sleep at Love's Truck Stop nearby, he tells her she won't be bothered there  

Two days after talking to the police officer in Williams, Arizona, Grimm finds herself 19 miles west of Williams Ash Fork, Arizona. She is camping out in her Ford Focus SUV. A local woodcutter sees Grimm and talks to her for a few minutes, saying she isn't in distress or need of help. It is September 30. The woodcutter in Ash Fork, Arizona, is the last person to see Chelsea Grimm. 

Grimm's parents report her missing on October 4. The next day, her 2019 White Ford Escape SUV is found abandoned on the side of the road with two flat tires in the middle of Forest Service Road 6 in the Kaibad National Forest, northeast of Ash Fork.

Inside the vehicle, all of Chelsea Grimm's personal belongings such as her wallet, driver's license, clothes, sleeping bag, and her bearded dragon are gone. Police say there is no evidence of foul play 

The area where Grimm's locked SUV is found is an area popular with hunters and loggers. An extensive search is conducted of a 3-mile radius around where her car is discovered. Her family believes that due to the intensity of the search, if Chelsea is in the area, she will be found.

Hunters and loggers in the area also strongly believe she is not there. Chelsea Grimm's family hires a private investigator, Kelly Townsend, to help with the case.

Joining Nancy Grace Today:

  • Marc Klaas – Founder, KlaasKids Foundation; X: @PollyDad
  • Andrew Stoltmann - Chicago Attorney and Adjunct law professor at Northwestern University, co-author of the book Waging War on Wall Street: My Battles Suing Banks and Brokerage Firms; X: @Stoltmann1971 
  • Dr. Leslie Dobson - Clinical and Forensic Psychologist   
  • Justin Yentes - Private Investigator for Grimm Family and Criminal Defense Investigator at Arizona Investigative Associates 
  • Zara Barker - Reporter, Fox 5 San Diego; X @zarabarkertv  

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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PACE GRAD DISAPPEARS ON WAY TO FAMILY WEDDING: WHERE'S CHELSEA?

PACE GRAD DISAPPEARS ON WAY TO FAMILY WEDDING: WHERE'S CHELSEA?

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