In June of 1995, a group of people in Arkansas gathered to watch a softball game. It was supposed to be a fun outing, something that happens frequently even today. But this particular night would end in tragedy. Let’s talk about Morgan Nick, who hasn’t been seen or heard from in over 25 years.
Morgan was described as shy and playful, with desires to be a circus performer and a doctor. She loved cats but didn’t like playing outside because it made her sweat. She ran track for a little while, but later joined Girl Scouts instead because she could mostly stay indoors.
There are lots of contradictory details about exactly what happened on the night Morgan was last seen. The following is what I’ve managed to piece together that I believe is the most succinct and accurate account.
On the evening of Friday, June 9, 1995, 6-year-old Morgan and her mom were invited by family friends to watch a Little League game in Alma, Arkansas, about 30 miles down the road from the family’s home in Ozark. Toward the end of the evening, two friends of Morgan’s named Jessica and Tye invited her to catch lightning bugs with them. Colleen Nick was reluctant to let her daughter go, but ultimately said yes. Morgan and her friends were only about 75 yards away — another source says they were even closer — and they were only gone for about 15 minutes.
While they were playing in a sand pile, the kids saw a man in the distance. They didn’t think too much of it and continued playing — but witnesses would later report the man watching Morgan. Morgan’s friends eventually got separated from her, and she was last seen by her mom’s car, dumping sand from her shoes.
When the game ended around 10:45 pm, Morgan’s friends headed back to the field without her. They said Morgan had gone to clean out her shoes, but there was no sign of her. When they recalled the man they’d seen earlier, the adults around them must have realized something was wrong. Someone at the game who had a cell phone used it to call the police.
Police interviewed all 300 people who were at the game that night, including Morgan’s two friends, who both told police separately about the man they’d seen. Police gathered items like bottles and cigarette butts from the field for DNA, but were never able to match it with a suspect.
There were two reported attempted child abductions in the same month and area. In both cases, the suspects largely resembled the description of Morgan Nick’s alleged abductor. But I couldn’t find much else about these abductions, and there’s contention over whether they even happened at all.
With Morgan’s case, there was very little evidence to go on. Even though witnesses had seen a suspicious man in the area around the time Morgan was last seen, nobody had actually witnessed the alleged abduction. As stated by Alma Police Chief Russell White in 2010:
“What makes it a hard case to crack is that it's a real simple crime. It's not a conspiracy and does not involve a lot of people.”
“This is probably a person by nature who is a loner, had very few friends. He committed a crime and has not told anybody.”
In 1996, Colleen Nick launched The Morgan Nick Foundation, which “provides a support network to parents and families of all missing children,” according to KATV. In 1997, she moved to Alma but kept the same phone number. She initially set up a room for Morgan in her new house, but eventually packed it up. In a 2000 article, Russell White said he no longer believed Morgan was alive.
In 2002, police got a tip that said Morgan might be buried in a backyard in Logan County. The digs turned up nothing, and police later said the property owner was not connected to Morgan’s disappearance.
In 2010, a vacant house in Spiro, Oklahoma was searched due to reported evidence that Morgan had been there. But again, nothing was found.
In 2013, a 24-year-old Missouri woman was arrested for trying to steal Morgan’s identity. Tonya Renee Smith pled guilty to felony computer fraud after trying to buy personal documents of Morgan’s, including her birth certificate. She served 120 days in prison.
In 2017, a tip led police to the same Oklahoma house that had been searched in 2010. Nothing was found in this new search, and it’s never even been confirmed that it was related to Morgan’s case.
In 2020, the 25th anniversary of Morgan’s disappearance, new age progressions were released by The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. In 2021, the documentary Still Missing Morgan aired on local TV in Arkansas. As far as I could find, it’s not readily available to the public at this point.
Later that year, the FBI named their first publicly identified person of interest in the case. Billy Jack Lincks was born and raised in Arkansas and has a history of both alleged and confirmed crimes involving child abductions and child sexual abuse. He died in 2000, but the FBI is still seeking information about him from anyone who knew him. They’ve asked people who have anything they want to share about Lincks to call them at 1-800-CALL FBI (2255-324).
So what happened to Morgan Nick? There aren’t many theories in this case; most people seem to believe she was kidnapped. The only points of disagreement and speculation are over who kidnapped her and whether she’s still alive. Some people believe Morgan is still being held captive somewhere, possibly in the nearby Ozark mountains, where it would be difficult to find her. Others believe her abductor would have no reason to keep her alive for very long.
Morgan Nick was six years old when she was last seen in Alma, Arkansas on the evening of June 9, 1995. Police believe she was abducted by a stranger.
Morgan is a white female who was 4 feet tall and 55 pounds at the time of her disappearance, with strawberry blonde hair and blue eyes. She had five visible silver caps on her molars and was last seen wearing a green Girl Scout t-shirt, blue shorts and white shoes. If she were alive today, she would be 33 years old.
Around the time Morgan was last seen, an unknown man was spotted nearby, reportedly watching her. He’s described as a white male, between 23 and 38 years old and 180 pounds, with salt and pepper hair and a beard and mustache. Also spotted nearby was a red Ford pickup truck with a white camper. It’s not clear if this man was the driver of the truck, but the truck did disappear around the same time as Morgan.
If you have any information about this case, you can contact the Alma Police Department at 1-479-632-3333. You can also contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE LOST (843-5678).