Bianca Richardson Tanner
Case Type: Endangered
Date of Birth: January 1, 1983
Missing Date: June 8, 2014
Age Now: 31
Missing City: Charlotte
Missing State: North Carolina
Hair Color: Brown
Hair Length: Shoulder Length
Eye Color: Brown
Wear Glasses or Contacts: No
Location Last Seen: Tanner was last spotted Sunday on Druid Circle in Charlotte by her boyfriend, who also lives in Charlotte.
Circumstances of Disappearance: Tanner’s boyfriend, Angelo Smith ,told police that she stormed out of the apartment after a text message he received led to an argument. Smith claims that Tanner was intoxicated and had a bag with her. Police say that Tanner left behind her son, prescription medications, and her car when she disappeared.
But search warrants in the case reveal that police are now examining the relationship between Tanner and Smith after Tanner’s 3-year-old son told police that his mother was allegedly a victim of domestic violence.
“Mommy got a spanking with the belt. Angelo kicked mommy’s butt and made her cry,” the boy said, according to the search warrant. “Angelo is mean to mommy and hurt mommy in the face.”
Charlotte Police are now investigating the case as a homicide because they believe witnesses they interviewed were not being truthful.
“Some of those we have interviewed, we do not believe they have been forthcoming with us,” Charlotte Police Chief Rodney Monroe said during a recent press conference. “We just don’t feel that this is a simple missing persons case.”
Still, no one has been charged in the case and police have not named any suspects.
The Charlotte Observer reported that Smith called Tanner’s son’s father to pick the boy up after she went missing. The child remains with his father in Greensboro. N.C.
Smith voluntarily went in for an interview with police. While at police headquarters, they asked if they could examine his cell phone.
“Mr. Smith started deleting information from the phone,” according to the search warrant. “It is unknown what information Mr. Smith deleted.”
Police have also searched Smith’s apartment and his car, removing evidence such as a laptop and foam bedding and earrings found in the trash. Smith has an outstanding domestic violence case, which alleges that he assaulted a woman in Arkansas, the Observer reports. According to a warrant in that case, Smith allegedly “threw her on to the bed and covered her face, both mouth and nose, with his hand smothering her,” WBTV.com reports.
Two women have also previously filed restraining orders against Smith. The Observer reports:
In 2011, Smith’s then-wife, Devona Smith, filed a temporary restraining order against him after she said he caused her “extreme emotional distress and bodily harm caused by overreacting.” Authorities ordered Angelo to stay away from her home and job.
In 2007, Kristen Croskey-Freshwater, Smith’s girlfriend at the time, told a judge that Smith became angry when he spilled juice on the carpet and she refused to clean it up. Croskey-Freshwater left the apartment, according to the order, but Smith came after her, first gesticulating, then grabbing her. “He then pulled me by my hair out of the pool & dragged me on to the cement,” Croskey-Freshwater wrote in the restraining order. “Then he threw me over the gate, and when I tried to run, he threw me in to the bathroom by the pool area where I slammed in to the sink.”
“On 9/21/07, Angelo slapped me twice & strangled me for over an hour.” Neither woman could be reached for comment.
According to neighbors, Tanner and Smith had recently moved in to a ground floor apartment about a mile north of Charlotte’s city center known as Uptown. Neighbors reported hearing an argument the night Tanner went missing.
Tanner’s family say she moved to Charlotte because she wanted to live in a bigger city and was in the process of securing a new teaching job at a program that improved educational outcomes for kids at West Charlotte High School and the eight middle schools that feed students there.
Since she went missing, Smith has had no contact with her family and there has been no activity on her credit or debit cards or social media accounts.
“Nothing is narrowed at this point,” Capt. Brian Cunningham of the Charlotte-Meclenburg Police Department told the paper. “We’re still looking for all the help we can get, including from the community.”
Tanner’s family is holding on to hope that she returns but it’s difficult when her son cries himself to sleep every night.
“It’s been a very difficult time, just not knowing where she’s at or if she’s OK,” said Tanner’s sister Cerise Richardson. “But we have been coming together and standing by our belief… that God is going to bring her home.”