While going through personal evidence collected by the parents of missing Phoenix Coldon, investigative reporter Shawndrea Thomas and retired deputy Police Chief Joe Delia re-examined a selfie video taken by the young woman shortly before her 2011 disappearance.
In the video, which aired exclusively in part one of Oxygen's two-night special "The Disappearance of Phoenix Coldon," Coldon says she just wants "to start over," but feels like she can't "start the new me over." Coldon also appears to be praying when she says, "Lord, please help me accept the things that won't change and that I won't change the things that I can't change."
Delia told Thomas that when the video started playing, he wrote down two phrases — "trouble" and "a girl in crisis" — and the two agreed Coldon appeared to be "deeply troubled."
Though Thomas and Delia were able to understand most of the video, parts of it were inaudible, so they took the file to an audio expert for clean-up.
With the video cleaned up, Coldon can be heard saying, "I just want to be happy, man. I can't remember a time when I was happy. Genuinely happy. ... I feel so stupid because I let myself go a little bit. I probably would have been in a better situation if I would have stuck with how it used to be ... ."
Delia hypothesized that Coldon may have done something that she regretted, and that she possibly got herself "into a dangerous situation" or "mixed up with a bad crowd."
In the video, which was recorded a little more than a month before her disappearance, Coldon continues to vent, saying, "The only person that won't let me down is me."
While Coldon's parents, pastor and friends described her as a happy, friendly and driven young woman, her video proves she lived a more complicated life than many people knew about.
Delia asked, "The question is, who's Phoenix?"
To gain more insight into what Coldon discussed, Thomas and Delia showed the video to Coldon's best friend, Akira Hogan. Hogan said she didn't know Coldon made videos, but that Coldon seemed "depressed" throughout the recording.
"She don't have a feeling in the world, like she feels lost, lonely, like she don't have nobody," said Hogan.
Through tears, Hogan explained she had never seen that side of Coldon before and that she didn't understand why Coldon never told her how she felt. Hogan told Thomas and Delia that after watching the video, she believes Coldon "went away," but doesn't think she would have "run away" from her family and friends.
"I don't think this is her ... to be gone this long and not say nothing," said Hogan.
Watch part two of "The Disappearance of Phoenix Coldon" on Sunday, November 4 at 7/6c.
[Photo: "The Disappearance of Phoenix Coldon" Screengrab]
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