April Lee Pease
Pease, approximately 2009; Tattoo on Pease's abdomen; Cedric Marks
Date reported missing : 03/17/2009
Missing location (approx) :
Missing classification : Endangered Missing
Gender : Female
DOB : 02/15/1979 (42)
Age at the time of disappearance: 30 years old
Height / Weight : 5'3, 120 pounds
Medical conditions : Pease has a long-term substance abuse problem. She was clean at the time of her disappearance, however.
Distinguishing characteristics, birthmarks, tattoos
: Caucasian female. Brown hair, brown eyes. Pease has a mole near her right eye. She has a tattoo of a small butterfly on her left buttock and a tattoo of a swirl design on her abdomen around her navel. A photo of the abdomen tattoo is posted with this case summary.
Information on the case from local sources, may or may not be correct : Pease was last seen in Bloomington, Minnesota on March 17, 2009. She has never been heard from again. She had recently moved to Minnesota to get treatment for her addiction and to get away from her former boyfriend, Cedric Joseph Marks. Her mother said she had gotten clean and seemed to be doing well. She was not reported missing for several months.
Peace was in a bitter custody dispute Marks at the time of her disappearance. When she failed to show up for court about the custody issue on March 20, three days after her disappearance, Marks speculated she had relapsed. He was awarded custody of their four-year-old son and wasn't considered a suspect in Pease's disappearance at the time.
In January 2019, another of Marks's former girlfriends, Jenna Scott, disappeared with her friend Michael Swearingin from Temple, Texas. Scott had gotten a protective order against Marks, saying he had threatened her and her family and had choked her and thrown her out of his car. The order was not made permanent, however.
In August 2018, Marks had been charged with burglary after he allegedly broke into Scott's house. Marks was arrested in Michigan on the outstanding burglary charge. A photo of him is posted with this case summary. His current girlfriend, Maya Maxwell, was arrested on the same charge, and his wife, Ginell McDonough, was arrested for harboring a fugitive; she allegedly helped Marks hide from the police.
Two weeks after they vanished, Scott and Swearingin's bodies were found buried in Okfuskee County, Oklahoma. Marks was charged with their murders and extradited to Texas. Authorities began reinvestigating Pease's disappearance in light of the later homicides.
One of the people they interviewed was a Belton, Washington woman named Kellee Kristine Sorensen, who had been one of Marks's girlfriends. When Sorensen was interviewed in 2019, she admitted she'd helped Marks find Pease in Minnesota after Pease left him in 2009, by calling airlines and shelters across the country and even posing as Pease. She further admitted to playing a role in the abduction of Pease.
Sorensen stated she and Marks had traveled to Minnesota and found the women's shelter where Pease was staying with her son. They parked across the street from the shelter and waited for her. When they saw Pease drive up and get out of her car with her son, Marks punched her and forced her into his vehicle.
Sorensen dropped the child at the shelter, then they drove away with Pease. Marks drove south on Interstate 35, and at first Pease screamed and yelled for help, but eventually she fell asleep. At some point, Marks turned onto a gravel road and stopped beside a shack that appeared to be abandoned. This was possibly somewhere in North or South Dakota. Sorensen stated Marks took Pease out of the car, and as she begged for her life he put her in a chokehold and dragged her out of sight behind the shack. Sorensen waited in the car during this time. When Marks returned he was alone and crying, saying he'd murdered Pease and removed her hands and teeth to prevent her body from being identified.
Another witness police spoke to about Pease's case was Marks's wife, McDonough. She said Marks had admitted to her that he'd killed Pease so he could get custody of their son. He gave her a CD which he had made for his son to watch when he grew up. The CD contained two videos, in which Marks spoke to his children and said he was "about to go and do something that could either get him locked away for the rest of his life or get him killed." Speaking directly to his and Pease's son, Marks said he was going on a road trip to save the boy's life because Pease had kidnapped him.
In March 2020, the 11th anniversary of Pease's disappearance, Marks and Sorensen were charged with second-degree murder in her case. The suspects are awaiting trial. Pease's body has not been recovered, but foul play is suspected due to the circumstances involved.
Other information and links : ncy
Bloomington Police Department
Interactive Missing Person Search Map