As parents, our life mission is to ensure the our children’s safety and well being at all costs. But, at times, there are some things that are completely out of our hands, leaving us helpless and at life’s unpredictable mercy.
In the life of a beautiful, young girl from a small town in Texas, even with a loving family and wholesome upbringing, her endless struggle with mental illness would be the cause of her tragic demise…
An Empty Room
On November 26, what should have been like any other day for Tammy, a working mother in a small town in Texas, would actually become one of the worst days in her life. Thinking her daughter was sleeping late, she went into her bedroom and found her gone…
A Mother’s Worst Nightmare
Tammy’s worst nightmare had come true when her young and beautiful 15-year-old daughter vanished from home without a trace. Her daughter, Heaven, named for her angelic beauty, was a bright-eyed freshman at Little Cypress-Mauriceville who enjoyed spending time with her family and loved the beach more than anything else.
Just A Normal Girl
Growing up in the small town of Orange, Texas, Heaven was described by friends and family as a breathtakingly beautiful, smart, loving and compassionate young girl. With her immense love of nature and animals, Heaven had always aspired to become a marine biologist, but tragically, those dreams would come to an end before she knew it…
Calling The Police
In a state of shock and panic, Tammy called police immediately to help find her missing daughter. In order to find her young daughter, it would be vital for her to disclose any information that could guide the police in the right direction. Would this be a case of an abduction by a sexual predator or a young girl who ran away from home?
Often On Her Phone
Like most kids in today’s social climax, Heaven would spend a significant amount of time on her phone. Heaven was heavily active on many social media sites, including the popular phone app called Snapchat. Right before her disappearance, Tammy noticed Heaven interacting with a man on Snapchat who looked much older than her.
A Man She Met Online
When pressed for answers, Heaven confessed to her mother that it was actually a man she met from Snapchat who resides in California. Could this man be a the frightening predator who abducted the 15-year-old girl from her home?
Teen Possibly Picked By Mystery Man
With this revelation from Heaven’s mother, police knew they had to work fast to catch the man who could have possibly abducted the young girl. Tammy told police she believed the teen was picked up by the predator who told her he would be visiting San Antonio for Thanksgiving. “The man she has been talking to is a predator, who has apparently been manipulating her for some time, and in her current state of mind, she believes that he is her friend,” she said on her Facebook account.
A Note Left Behind
Tammy also mentioned to police that before Heaven vanished, the 15-year-old left a note saying she may head to California, where the older man reportedly resides. “She left a goodbye note to me and her Dad, and said that she wouldn’t have a phone, so I’m sure he has taken it from her, as it isn’t here, and I have torn her room apart,” she said.
Suffering Mental Illness
Heaven’s mom, Tammy also warned the public and police that the young girl is in grave danger because she suffers from mental illness and could be in a manic phase due to being off of her medication. When she ran away, she left behind the medication she needed to treat her illness, which her distraught mother made clear on Facebook during her daughter’s disappearance.
A Constant Battle
Her mother expressed that life wasn’t easy for Heaven, as she battled bipolar disorder her whole life. Heaven struggled with coping with the illness deterring her from often making rational choices, especially when she was off the medication. Tammy was convinced that her mental illness acted as the driving force behind the disappearance.
On December 1, five days after Heaven went missing, the Orange County, Texas, Sheriff’s Office reported that police had found the runaway teen in a home in Louisiana owned by the relative of someone she knew. After following several leads and speaking with numerous individuals, Orange County Investigators located Heaven Cox at a residence in Louisiana. Heaven was unharmed and had been reunited with her distraught, yet relieved family.
She Ran Away
Preliminary reports showed that Heaven left her residence the previous Saturday on her own accord and that she had simply ran away from her home. No one was charged in her disappearance. The unidentified man in California had no credible link to Heaven’s disappearance, contrary to the persistence of Tammy Cox to locate the man.
Dangers Of Mental Illness
Heaven’s parents felt overjoyed with the discovery of their daughter, especially with her being brought home safely and unharmed. Tammy and her husband were embracing the miraculous turn of events, but also were aware of the incredible danger of their daughter’s mental illness. In order to avoid this type of event from occurring again, they believed their daughter had to be fully evaluated and medicated at all times. But, sadly, this happy reunion would only last shortly, with another turn of events that would permanently alter the course of life for Heaven and her entire family…
Two months after Heaven’s recovery, Tammy posted on her Facebook account a vague message about some sort of emergency that had taken place with Heaven. With all the news surrounding Heaven’s disappearance, Tammy’s Facebook had acquired a massive following. With the cryptic message posted, all her Facebook “friends” became worried, yet confused about its implications. Could something else have happened to Heaven?
An Alarming Message
Heaven’s mother posted an alarming message on Facebook at 4:27 pm, saying, “I NEED EVERYONE TO STOP AND PRAY RIGHT NOW FOR HEAVEN!! IT’S AN EMERGENCY!!” Tammy did not give any more details about what may have been happening with her daughter at that moment. Friends weighed in, sending countless prayers and well wishes. But, sadly their prayers would be left unanswered….
The Death Of An Angel
About three hours after Tammy’s unsettling post, she let the world know her daughter had died. “Our sweet Heaven left us to be with Jesus this afternoon around 4:00,” Tammy wrote on Facebook. “Some bright lights are not meant for this dark and cruel world … Sing with the angels sweet girl. I love you.” Tammy did not explain what had caused the sudden death of her daughter, leaving friends and the rest of the nation searching for answers.
The only clue left by Heaven’s family is their inclination that she had been suffering from depression and bipolar disorder. Sadly, regardless of the cause of death, a young girl has lost her life and a family will have to deal with the loss for the rest of their lives. Heaven’s grieving mother, Tammy, would not only have to face her daughter’s death, but online trolls bullying her and her family after her death. The pain had just begun…
Tammy has called out all the hateful, ignorant people who have been posting on her social media pages about her daughter. Some had chosen Tammy’s Facebook page to debate wild theories about how and why they thought Heaven had died, with many blaming her mother.
Blaming The Mother
Some cyber bullies are suggesting that Tammy could be in some way responsible for her daughter’s death, implying that she must have come from an abusive home. This accusation felt like a dagger right through Tammy’s heart. The entire case still remains a bit of a mystery.
Mental Illness Is Serious
Till this day, besides Heaven’s family, no one knows the exact details of her disappearance or the actual cause of her death. But, Heaven’s death will not go in vain. Her tragic ending has highlighted the critical issue of mental illness in today’s youth, encouraging families to play a more active role in the lives of our children.