Left: Lucy circa, 1996
Right: Age Progressed to age 20
Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: July 25, 1996
Missing From: Goodlettsville, Davidson County, Tennessee
Classification: Non-Family Abduction
Date Of Birth: October 1, 1992
Age: 3 years old
Height and Weight: 2’8″ and 30 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: Biracial Female; Lucy is Asian and Caucasian, Brown hair, Brown eyes, Lucy is of Korean descent and might understand a few words of the language
Clothing/Jewelry Description: A long button down blue denim dress with the buttons on the front, white socks, and a pair of white canvas shoes
NCMEC Number: 821146
Details of Disappearance
Lucy was last seen in Goodlettsville, Tennessee on July 25th 1996. She was reportedly last seen in the Caster-Knott parking lot of the Rivergate Mall at 5:30 pm. The car she was traveling in parked near the Caster Knott Department store. Her mother, Yong Meadows, claimed that the child exited the cars back seat on the drivers side of the car while she went to the passenger side of the car to get packages she planned to sell at a nearby flea market. When she turned around, Lucy had vanished.
Her disappearance was immediately reported and the malls security team as well as police extensively searched the area for Lucy. No trace of her was ever found, however. It apparently only took a few seconds to a minute for Lucy to disappear. A witness who heard Meadows looking for her daughter was the one who called the police on a cellular phone.
Yong told the police that she heard no other vehicles around the area when her daughter disappeared. It’s possible that a brown or champagne colored minivan was seen by witnesses in the parking lot at the time. The vehicle was said to contain an unidentified Caucasian woman and a man with a suntan. They also had a small child with them who was seen leaving with the pair.
It’s possible the vehicle was involved in Lucy’s disappearance but no such vehicle has been located and the occupants possibly seen with her have not been identified. Nonetheless, police immediately classified Lucy’s disappearance as a kidnapping. Unknown fingerprints were lifted from Yong Meadows car and were sent for testing but the results of the tests are unknown. Detectives also stated the prints might not have any value to the investigation but that they were the only physical evidence from the case.
They quickly ruled out any possibility that Lucy had simply wandered away from her mother’s car in the parking lot. She was unfamiliar with the area and someone would have likely spotted her by now. Police stated they suspected a stranger had abducted the child.
In September of 1996, there were reports which indicated several witnesses saw Lucy in the Hopkinsville, Kentucky area in the company of an older Asian woman. The reports were never confirmed, however, and no child resembling Lucy was found in the area. After some time, police began to have doubts about how Lucy disappeared..
Yong has exhibited suspicious behavior since her daughter first disappeared. She changed her story about how long she left Lucy unattended and said she could’ve left Lucy alone for up to 15 minutes that day.
Earlier in the day before Lucy was reported missing, a woman stated that Yong came up to her panicked at Clarksville Governor Square Mall. She told the woman her daughter had vanished from the parking lot and asked for help finding her. The woman helped Yong search for Lucy through two rows of cars until her son told his mom to stop looking because the woman was crazy and that “no girl was with her at all.”
The woman got home later on and contacted Clarksville area police asking if a missing child had been reported in the area. The dispatcher told her no but did mention a child had gone missing from Rivergate. The woman did not realize the significance of what she saw until much later on. She came forward with her statement in July 1997, a year after Lucy’s disappearance.
Some witnesses said they saw Lucy at the Clarksville mall with her mother but others never recalled seeing the child at all. Surveillance footage from the parking lot were analyzed from that day. While the footage was too far away to see what happened to Lucy, it did show Yong walking around the parking lot and she appeared to be looking for someone.
At the time of her disappearance, Yong and Lucy’s father, Tom Meadows, were separated. Lucy lived with her mother, older brother, and a friend of her mothers, Hyong Dy. Tom called Dy the source for his relationship problems with Yong. After Dy’s husband was deployed with the Air Force, she moved in with Yong.
Tom strongly disagreed with Dy staying in the home with them and the children and it was this disagreement that caused Tom to leave the house and for Yong to file for divorce. They had been separated for a year by the time Lucy disappeared. Tom started eviction processes for Dy after multiple statements of neglect were brought fourth to him.
Neighbors told him that they would find Lucy wandering alone outside and crying. One incident occurred in March 1996 when a neighbor found Lucy crying and alone on the road leading to the farmhouse her parents owned. He also discovered that Yong would leave their 11 year old son at home alone for extended periods of time. Tom claimed he felt that Dy had something to do with Lucy’s disappearance.
It should be noted that Yong failed two polygraph exams in relation to her daughters disappearance and stopped cooperating with investigators regarding the whole thing. Tom has been active in the search for his daughter and hopes for answers. Dy refused to take a polygraph exam in the case and also refused to allow investigators to interview her two young children who lived at the home with Lucy prior to her disappearance.
As a result of the discrepancies in her story, police conducted a search of Yong Meadows property off Powell Road in early September 1996. They searched the pastures on the property and also brought cadaver dogs to search for any possible human remains. The dogs twice indicated on a rocky pond located on the property. Divers spent two hours searching the ponds muddy bottom for any clues possibly related to Lucy’s disappearance but found nothing.
Police did note that all of Lucy’s belongings including her toys, clothes, dresses, and other items were all still in the home. This indicated at the time that Yong was still waiting for her daughter’s safe return.
Detectives searching the property also theorized the possibility that Lucy might’ve somehow slipped and fallen into the Red River which runs near the farm on the property. Montgomery County Rescue Squad members searched the river in late September from the confluence of the Cumberland River in Clarksville almost to the Robertson County line for Lucy’s body. No evidence of her whereabouts was found as a result of the search.
Lucy’s disappearance occurred during a period in 1996 when two other young Tennessee girls were abducted and murdered. On July 8th 1996, nine year old Jacqueline “Jackie” Beard was picking blackberries near near her home in Clarksville at approximately 1:30 pm when she was abducted by a man who identified himself as “Tommy Robertson” who had approached her and her family a few times throughout the morning.
Police soon focused William Glenn Rogers who initially denied seeing the child on the day of her disappearance. Turns out, he was posing as an undercover police officer at the time and using “Tommy Robertson” as an alias. He admitted to police he had met Jackie days prior to her abduction while shooting fireworks with her and other children.
Rogers soon admitted that he accidentally ran Jackie over on the day of her disappearance and then threw her body in the Cumberland River to cover up her death. He was charged with first degree murder in her case despite her body still being missing. Jackie’s partial skeletal remains and clothing were later found by a hunter in a remote, wooded area in Land Between the Lakes in Stewart County, Tennessee.
Jackie’s cause of death could not be determined but no evidence of a car accident were found on her remains. There was said to be semen on her clothing which indicated she had been sexually assaulted before her death. Rogers was later sentenced to death in the case but that sentence was overturned. It’s unclear if he was investigated for involvement in Lucy’s case or not.
On July 24th 1996, seven year old Morgan Violi was abducted from the parking lot at Colony Apartments in Bowling Green, Kentucky by an unidentified Caucasian man driving a maroon colored 1978 Chevy Van that was believed to have been stolen out of Dayton, Ohio the previous day. The suspect grabbed Morgan and forced her into his car before speeding away.
Despite an extensive search, Morgan was not found and her abductor was not identified. On October 20th 1996, Morgan’s badly decomposed body was found in a culvert near an old barn on North Swift Road at Webster Road in Robertson County. Witnesses would later state they had seen a 1979 or older white Ford Van with a slatted trailer-door type window on the side parked near the barn the day after Morgan’s abduction. The vehicle was there for four hours.
Morgan’s abduction and murder remains unsolved. Detectives are unsure if the suspect in Morgan’s case was involved in Lucy’s disappearance just a day after he took Violi. The van possibly seen in the parking lot where Lucy was reported missing from does match the general description of the van used in Violi’s abduction. The two cases have never been linked, however.
Lucy was the last young girl to be presumably abducted in the state of Tennessee in the summer of 1996. She was the only child not recovered and her father was upset when news outlets reporting on the Beard and Violi abductions printed things such as “the body of Lucy Meadows has yet to be recovered” as it only added to the pain of not knowing where she was. He strongly hoped his daughter was still alive.
Police still always had suspicions that Lucy was never at the Rivergate Mall and that she might’ve died elsewhere. They still suspected she might be hidden somewhere on or near her residence at the time in Clarksville.
In late March 1997, Yong and Tom had an altercation because she refused to allow him to have a court appointed visit with his son. During the altercation, Yong allegedly claimed that Lucy was alright and would be back soon. Her attorney at the time stated she was simply stated her faith that her missing daughter was unharmed and would return safely soon.
In April 1997, divers searched Spring Creek after dogs trained to find human remains indicated the possibility that a body was in the water. The creek was near her home and police we’re optimistic they would find her body there but again nothing was found in this location.
They also searched another 53-acre farm that was four miles away from Lucy’s home and was owned by a man named Glenn Hooks. Spring Creek was located on the rear of his property. Police specified he had no connection to the case and did not live on the property but that they had received anonymous tips telling them that Lucy’s body could be in a well on the property. The well was searched but nothing was found.
In May 1997, Lucy’s older sister, Amy Brookmyer, was picked up by a bail bond company after she didn’t appear in court for a shoplifting charge. After they picked her up, Amy told them she reportedly had information about Lucy’s disappearance. She claimed that the child was abducted and being held in the Hopkinsville, Kentucky area as collateral damage for gambling debts.
Amy accused Yong Meadows of having debt from a poker style gambling game with Korean cards and that Lucy was taken as a result. She stated that the child was being cared for by an elderly Korean woman and was alive. Brookmyer claimed she heard the information from someone in Yong Meadows household. Police interviewed residents of the Korean community in Hopkinsville and also visited businesses where the card game is played. No evidence was found to indicate Lucy had been taken for debt.
Amy and Yong had an estranged relationship and tabt they hadn’t spoken to each other in months. She previously lived at the Powell Road residence with Yong and the children but had moved out prior. Lucy’s father accused Amy of recycling an old rumor about the case to get attention. He does not believe gambling had anything to do with his daughter’s disappearance.
A break in the case came in 2004 when a new witness came forward about something he saw the night before Lucy disappeared. Apparently, the witness observed that Lucy was in medical distress and that she was wrapped in a blanket and could’ve been dead. The witness also claimed to have seen two adults standing over Lucy. They screamed Lucy’s name in panic and asked for a bible. They then took Lucy to the bathroom.
The witness stated one of the adults standing over Lucy was Yong Meadows. Investigators have not revealed whether the witness stated what occurred after Lucy was taken to the bathroom. Yong Meadows has not provided a statement regarding the witnesses account and she refuses to cooperate with police investigating her daughter’s disappearance.
The witness was 12 years old at the time of the alleged incident. Investigators have refused to identify him but did state he was a family member. He was given a polygraph exam and passed it. Investigators believe he was telling the truth about what he saw. He didn’t come forward sooner because he didn’t know the significance of what he saw. Based on the information, police believe Lucy might’ve died before she was ever reported missing.
No criminal charges have been filed in Lucy’s disappearance and investigators have no strong suspects in her case. It should be noted despite Yong Meadows behavior throughout the investigation, she has not been named a suspect in her daughter’s disappearance. Police are also unsure of whether Lucy is alive or not as they have no hard evidence to prove she’s deceased.
Due to lack of evidence, Lucy’s disappearance is classified as a non-family abduction. Her disappearance remains unsolved and foul play is possible in the case.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Goodlettsville Police Department 615-859-3405