Left and Center: Morgan circa, 1995
Right: Age Progressed to age 31
Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: June 9, 1995
Missing From: Alma, Crawford County, Arkansas
Classification: Non-Family Abduction
Date Of Birth: September 12, 1988
Age: 6 years old
Height and Weight: 4’0″ and 55 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian Male, Blonde hair, Blue eyes, Morgan had five silver caps on her molars at the time of her 1995 abduction, they were visible to the eye and were scheduled to be removed from her teeth in 2000, her teeth were apparently crowded at the time ￼of her disappearance and she would’ve needed orthodontic braces once she reached her adolescent years, Morgan has a protruding purple vein on the lower left side of her rib cage
Clothing/Jewelry Description: A green Ozark Area Girl Scouts t-shirt, a pair of blue denim shorts, and white leather sneakers
NCMEC Number: 805103
Details of Disappearance
Morgan was abducted from Alma, Arkansas on June 9th 1995. She attended a Little League Baseball game with her mother, Colleen Nick, at the Woffard Ballpark where the Pythons team was playing. Morgan eventually went off to play with other children in a sandpit which was located behind the stands and 150 feet from the home plate. At 10:30 pm, Morgan asked her mother if she could go catch fireflies with two other children, Jessica and Tye.
Colleen initially wanted to say no to her daughter’s request but she relented since Morgan sat with her patiently to watch the game for two hours. Morgan and the children played for sometime until they realized they had sand in their shoes and on their clothing. By this time, the game was over. According to Tye and Jessica, they saw Morgan sit down either near her mothers car and begin to empty out the sand from her shoes.
They witnessed an unidentified man watching Morgan as she did this. According to other reports, this man was also seen watching Morgan as she played with the other children during that evening. The man appeared to be talking with her at the time. She disappeared shortly after this. Colleen had been periodically checking on her daughter and making sure she was within eye range but noticed she was gone after some time.
Colleen located both Tye and Jessica who told her about the man seen near Morgan. She looked around the area and even went to the sand area and looked downhill. She could not see her daughter anywhere. The police were contacted immediately and within the hour, many people were helping search for Morgan.
Authorities have created several sketches of the man who they say abducted Morgan. He is described as being a Caucasian male with black hair that appeared to have gray spots in it. It appeared to be combed back and possibly curly. He also had a mustache as well as approximately three to four days growth of beard. He also had a hair chest. He was between 23-38 years of age in 1995 and stood at 6 feet while weighing an approximate 180 pounds.
The man was seen wearing cut-off blue jean shorts and he wasn’t wearing a shirt or shoes. He also spoke in a “hillbilly” dialect or accent. Authorities have stated the kidnapping suspect drove a faded 1968-1975 red Ford pickup truck which had a white camper shell that also had windows covered with curtains. The trucks general faded appearance and dull paint job were likely attributed to it’s age. The vehicle also had a short wheel base.
According to witnesses, the camper was approximately four to five inches shorter than the truck and it might’ve had damage to its right rear-end. The truck was seen leaving the parking lot around the time that Morgan was last seen. A patron at the game who was recording a home video managed to capture the suspected vehicle in question.
Early newspapers stated that several children from the Pythons team actually chased the pickup truck allegedly involved in Morgan’s abduction. However, no one actually witnessed Morgan being taken and the police at the time stated that no one chased the trucks taillights like the children claimed they did.
Morgan’s parents, Colleen and John, were initially investigated in her disappearance as this was standard protocol in missing child cases. They were quickly ruled out. They had been divorced since January of 1995. However, investigators have ruled out a custody dispute and any family involvement in the case. They believe Morgan was abducted by a stranger.
Investigators have stated that two abduction attempts which occurred before and after Morgan’s disappearance are linked to her own abduction. On the morning of Morgan’s disappearance, a man grabbed a four year old girl at a coin-operated laundromat in Alma. The girl’s mother rescued her from the back of the man’s pickup truck. She reported the incident when she heard about Morgan’s disappearance.
On June 10th 1995, a girl was nearly abducted in Fort Smith, Arkansas. This is approximately fifteen miles away from the site of Morgan’s abduction. The man grabbed a nine year old girl and attempted to force her into the men’s restroom at a convenience store. The abduction stopped when the girl resisted the man’s advances.
Alma Mayor, John R. Ballentine, believes he might’ve seen Morgan’s abductor earlier in the day of her disappearance. He says he saw the man at a car wash he owns and the individual appeared to be staring at a young woman. He said he had a habit of writing down the license plate numbers of people he sees as suspicious but he didn’t do so that day because he was busy.
According to police, the incidents were all similar in nature and it appeared to be the same man and the same pickup truck used in each crime. The man appeared to take his victims at random. The individual in all three cases has never been identified but police suspect all three were committed by the same person.
On June 14th 1995, Alma police announced they were looking to question a man identified as Mark Waddle. He was 40 years old in 1995. Waddle had an arrest warrant out of Washington state for charges that included rape of a minor and sexual abuse of a minor. He was arrested at a job site in Mulberry, Arkansas which is about fifteen minutes away from Alma.
Investigators also wanted to question Mark in the kidnapping and murder of nineteen year old Melissa Witt. Melissa was abducted from the parking lot of a bowling alley in Fort Smith, Arkansas on December 1st 1994. Her body was discovered in the Ozark National Forest on January 13th 1995 by two trappers who were hunting near Turner Bend. The location was 50 miles away from where she had been taken.
However, investigators stated that Mark was not a suspect in Morgan’s disappearance or Melissa’s murder. He was not charged in either case and investigators have no reason to believe the Nick and Witt cases are connected. They do seem similar in nature but there’s no definitive evidence to say they were the work of the same person. Investigators also doubt Witt was the victim of a serial killer.
There were several possible sightings of Morgan and her abductor following her 1995 disappearance. Two weeks after she went missing, a man contacted police and said he had seen the child and the suspect near Forrest City, Arkansas. However, it turned out this man was lying and he was charged with filing a false police report.
A woman believes she saw Morgan and the abduction suspect at a Walmart store in St. Louis, Missouri on July 27th 1995. The store in question is located on Manchester Road and the woman who was a greeter with the store said she saw the two at approximately 8:30 am. She said she saw them leave the parking lot sometime afterwards. The woman stated she recognized Morgan from missing child posters that had been distributed.
On September 14th 1995, it was announced that Morgan might’ve been sighted in the state of Arizona, hundreds of miles away from her home in Arkansas. According to the reported sighting, Morgan was seen in a restaurant in Payson, Arizona. She was accompanied by a man who resembles the sketch of her abductor and they were driving in the same pickup truck with Arkansas license plates.
According to the reports from that time, three people came forward and said they had seen Morgan at the restaurant. This came after the Payson Police Department received a copy of Morgan’s photograph. It’s unclear if these sightings are true or not. However, multiple false sightings were given to police over the years and it caused great anxiety to Morgan’s family.
Investigators received over 5,000 leads within the first year of Morgan being missing. Some of these leads have been deemed as good possible leads while others have been known to lead to dead ends. They continue receive many leads in the case as more time passes since she was taken and they’ve also named multiple suspects and persons of interest in the abduction case.
On September 25th 1997, authorities received a lead regarding a man who apparently made some odd statements regarding Morgan’s abduction to an informant. He was said to possibly know something about the Nick case or might’ve been directly involved in her disappearance. The man was 36 years old in 1997 and lived in Crawford County, Arkansas.
The informant was not identified but said he had been a friend of the individual for thirteen years before this. Investigators then set up a video surveillance at the Ozark Truck Plaza where the informant and the man met. The man allegedly made the same statements regarding Morgan’s that he had made earlier. The video tape was enough for authorities to issue a search warrant of the unnamed individuals house and vehicle.
The man lived on about three acres of his grandmothers property near U.S. 71 and while he owned a pickup truck, it wasn’t the same one that has been described as the kidnapping vehicle. The truck is described as being a 1988 Ford pickup truck but it was dark blue in color as opposed to the faded red truck allegedly used in Morgan’s abduction.
Inside the truck, investigators located what appeared to possibly be blood. A white piece of paper and a glove with “dark stains” were recovered from the vehicle. They also discovered a pink toothbrush and a piece of duct tape that had hair fibers on it from inside the man’s house. Investigators interviewed the man at the Alma Police Department but he wasn’t questioned as he requested for his attorney and gave them his lawyers card.
The samples and what were recovered from the residence and truck were sent for FBI testing. However, it’s unclear what exactly came of the evidence. Colleen told the press that the items seized in the search did not seem to belong to her daughter and she didn’t believe they had any relevance to the case. She also expressed anger towards the media for what appeared to be them implicating the man in her daughters case.
In January of 2002, investigators dug on a private piece of land near Booneville, Arkansas after receiving a tip that seemed very specific and indicated that Morgan was buried on the land. The current owner of the land was not involved in Morgan’s disappearance but the name of a previous owner who might’ve been involved was given. The search lasted for hours and included a police dog before it halted at 9:30 pm.
In the summer of 2010, an unidentified man incarcerated in Indiana confessed to abducting Morgan in 1995. However, investigators do not believe the confession is credible. The man was apparently unable to recall specific information that could prove he did indeed kidnap her and he had no new information to give. His confession has since been dismissed by investigators.
On November 15th 2010, investigators announced they were searching a residence in Spiro, Oklahoma in connection to Morgan’s disappearance. They stated they were looking for DNA evidence to prove Morgan was in the home at some point after her 1995 abduction. They also spoke with a man who lived on the property at the time she was reported missing. The property was located 25 miles away from Alma.
Despite extensive search efforts, no evidence regarding Morgan’s disappearance was located on the property and it’s unclear if she ever was there. No charges or arrests were made either but investigators did state that the home belonged to an individual who has been a person of interest in Morgan’s abduction since the initial investigation into her disappearance took place in 1995.The person of interest in question was later sent to the Oklahoma Penitentiary on charges of rape and child molestation.
On June 23rd 2012, a woman named Tonya Renee Smith was arrested and charged with attempting to steal Morgan Nick’s identity. A man identified as James Monhart was also arrested. They were previous felons who allegedly attempted to purchase vital personal documents and information that belonged to Morgan which also included her birth certificate. Smith initially plead innocent to the charges of felony computer fraud.
In early 2013, Smith plead guilty to the charges against her and she acknowledges that her actions caused great harm to Morgan’s family and could’ve caused even greater harm to the investigation at hand. She was given a sentence of six years on probation and a $2,500 fine. Colleen said she was initially hopeful the woman trying to buy her daughters birth certificate could be Morgan but she says she is certain it isn’t her.
On December 19th 2017, investigators received a tip from someone who claimed they had information about Morgan’s disappearance which once again led them to the property in Spiro, Oklahoma that had previously been searched in 2010. This time, investigators focused their attention on a well located on the property. They searched the well carefully, being sure to examine every bit of it they could.
A cadaver dog allegedly hinted there might be human remains located in the well but after over ten hours of searching, no evidence related to Morgan’s disappearance was located. The person of interest who owned the property hasn’t been publicly identified and the person who owned the property by 2017 was not connected to the missing persons investigation.
In April of 2021, a documentary titled “Still Missing Morgan” was aired on local television programs. The documentary, which was a 90 minute segment, took two years to compile and complete. Colleen stated she was very pleased with how the documentary portrayed her daughter’s disappearance. The documentary had a great impact on the case and investigators even announced that they had received over 200 leads as a result of its airing.
Colleen told news reports that there were new leads that had never been called in before that sounded very promising and might ultimately lead to Morgan’s case being solved. Investigators also released a photograph of the vehicle that was captured in the home video by a game patron. Investigators and Colleen continue to ask the public to direct them towards whoever drove a vehicle matching the description in 1995.
In November of 2021, investigators released the name of an individual they believe to possibly be involved in Morgan’s disappearance. The man, Billy Jack Lincks, was in Arkansas at the time of her disappearance. He had previously been convicted for the sexual abuse of a young girl in 1992. He was on probation for this offense when Morgan vanished. He lived in Van Buren, Arkansas at the time.
According to information gathered by investigators, Billy owned a red 1986 Chevy pickup truck in 1995 and drove it at the time of Morgan’s disappearance. The sexual abuse crime he was previously convicted of wouldn’t be the only crime he committed.
On August 29th 1995, an eleven year old girl walked to a Sonic restaurant in Van Buren, Arkansas with her brothers and a friend during the night. They purchased fries and Cokes to eat and drink before sitting on a nearby wall. Lincks pulled up in his truck and began talking to the girl. He talked to her about “sexual matters” and offered her money to get into his truck and go home with him. The girl became frightened and ran away crying and screaming.
Lincks also fled the scene and hit a pole with his truck as he sped away. Investigators later found his damaged truck parked at his home. He was arrested and charged with the attempted abduction. He was sentenced to six years in prison for the crime and passed away in 2000 at the age of seventy five. He died four years into his sentence.
According to reports, when investigators searched Lincks truck in 1995, they found some surprising things inside. They found blood on one part of the seat in the car and they also found hair. The evidence wasn’t apparently tested when it was first recovered in 1995 and investigators won’t reveal if any new testing has taken place due to the ongoing investigation into her disappearance.
Investigators are asking anyone who knew Billy Jack Lincks at any point in his life to come forward with information regarding his life or possible connection to Morgan’s disappearance. According to information gathered, Lincks was born and raised in Crawford County, Arkansas. He also served in the United States Army during World War II and then proceeded to work with Braniff Airlines in Dallas, Texas from 1962 to 1974. He returned to Van Buren in the late 1970s.
Investigators aren’t calling Lincks a suspect but have stated he is their primary person of interest in the Morgan Nick case. Even though he has been dead for over two decades, investigators have stated that any piece of information about his life, whether it’s from when he was in school or church is important and people who have any information are urged to contact the FBI or police investigating Morgan’s disappearance.
At the time of Morgan’s disappearance, she was described as being shy and she loved cats, apples, and thought bubble gum was a food group. Morgan didn’t normally like to run outside and play because it made her sweat. She once signed up for the school track team and quit after the first practice because she didn’t like the sweating. She then joined Girl Scouts and said she liked it because she could stay inside and “glue stuff.”
Morgan dreamed of becoming a doctor and a circus performer when she grew up. Morgan has two younger siblings. They were with her grandmother during the evening of the baseball game because they were too young and it was just Colleen who would be there. Colleen stayed in the Alma Fire Department building for two months following her daughter’s disappearance to stay close to the investigation. Morgan and her family lived in Ozark at the time but were invited by a family friend to watch the game.
Morgan’s apparent abduction caused a massive heartbreak in not only her community but all around the nation. Colleen has devoted her life to helping the families of other missing children and people and in 1996, she founded the Morgan Nick Foundation which is still in operation today. Colleen continues to search for her daughter and hopes for her safe return and for the arrest of the man responsible for taking her daughter away.
Before her daughters disappearance, Colleen ran a daycare center known as Wee Works. She stated that Morgan had a kitten at the time of her abduction and she waited nineteen years for Morgan to return before she passed away in 2014. Colleen said the cat was buried in the flower bed of their home. She moved to Alma in 1997 and didn’t change her phone number in case Morgan attempts to call her.
Morgan’s disappearance remains unsolved. There is currently a $60,000 reward for information leading to Morgan’s recovery or information leading to the arrest/conviction of Morgan’s abductor. Colleen continues to hold onto hope that Morgan is alive. The state of Arkansas named their missing child alert system in honor of Morgan.
Image: This image shows a possible photograph of the vehicle used in Morgan’s abduction
Images: These two sketches show what Morgan’s abductor looked like when he kidnapped her in 1995
Image: Bill Lincks, circa 1990s/2000s
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Arkansas State Police 479-783-5195
Federal Bureau of Investigation 479-452-5873
Alma Police Department 479-632-3333