As the search for Peorian Alexis Scott enters seventh year, one social worker is not giving up

By Tim Alexander for Chronicle Media

A GoFundMe page dedicated to raising funds to hire a private detective to look into Alexis Scott’s disappearance is currently sitting at around $6,000, with a goal of $20,000. (GoFundMe photo)

Entering its seventh year, the search for missing Peorian Alexis C. Scott, who would now be 26 years of age, is still ongoing.

Scott, then 20, went missing Sept. 23, 2017, after attending a house party on Richmond Avenue in Peoria and allegedly leaving at around 5:30 a.m., although the time and circumstances of her departure have never been officially confirmed by police officials.

Recently, Scott’s case was publicized by the Cook County Sheriff’s Office where Scott is listed as Missing Person #40059. She is described as 5 feet, 8 inches tall, 140 pounds and Black/African American, with brown eyes and long, black hair that extends past her shoulders.

Dusti Moultrie, a social worker from Peoria who is now based in San Antonio, Texas, has operated a Facebook/Meta page dedicated to finding Scott since shortly after she went missing. Moultrie isn’t sure why Scott’s missing person profile eventually wound up on the desk of the Cook County Sheriff’s Department, but she is grateful for any official or public awareness efforts associated with locating the missing Peoria woman.

“This is not a cold case,” said Moultrie. “This is still an open case, but it is a mystery to me why (Cook County) decided to post. There is no reason or thought to believe she is in Cook County. However, persons that were around her, that she had gone to Las Vegas with and who were friends with the last people she (allegedly) was seen with, do have ties to Cook County.”

In 2017, a Cook County missing persons task force officer was assigned to investigate Scott’s case, but Moultrie, who serves as a liaison and spokesperson for Scott’s mother, April Allen, said the family hasn’t heard anything else from the officer since then.

“I don’t know if something has resurfaced. We are aware of most (developments), so I am not sure why,” she said, adding that she and Scott’s family are grateful for any continued publicity of her case.

Speculation, rumors abound

The Alexis Scott missing persons case is rife with rumors and speculation, but little direct evidence of murder. However, all physical and circumstantial evidence gathered to date points to Scott no longer being alive and perhaps not surviving past the first day she went missing, according to Moultrie. Scott’s last reported social media message was sent at 5:04 a.m. on that day, allegedly saying that she was on her way to a Fulton County address.

“The fact that she was last seen alive on Richmond Avenue does not change,” Moultrie said. “The one thing people don’t really talk about is all of the circumstantial evidence that’s been put out there. The taking of items to a burn pile in Fulton County, and the fire call on that day at 4:30 or 5 p.m. The bedroom of (a potential suspect) was redone at that time … they had posted on Facebook that morning after being up all night that they were looking for a truck to remove a washer and dryer.”

“We have seen evidence to prove that she showed up at the (Fulton County) house,” Moultrie said.

Complicating the investigation are rumors of Scott’s involvement — albeit allegedly unwelcomed — with a Las Vegas-based gang of human traffickers. According to online true crime website (which sources its material from previously published web articles), Scott had survived a kidnapping in Las Vegas just three weeks before going missing.

“Alexis, along with two males and one other female, had taken the trip to Vegas in late August with hopes of making some extra money working as go-go dancers after the Floyd Mayweather fight. According to Alexis’ mother, April Allen, from there Alexis was kidnapped, drugged, then transported to Sacramento, Calif. and entered into a sex trafficking ring,” the article reads, in part.

“She managed to escape, partially naked and beaten, by running into the street and flagging down a woman who let Alexis borrow her phone. Alexis then called her mother, who sent her a bus ticket back to Illinois. According to family and friends, Alexis was looking to return to her normal life after her kidnapping,” the article noted.

According to her mother, it would have been highly uncharacteristic of Alexis to not let her family, most notably her beloved 2-year-old child, know that she wouldn’t be returning — if she were able to do so.

Moultrie, who is not related to nor was a prior acquaintance of Scott’s or Allen’s, remains committed to keeping the search for Alexis Scott on the front burner of local law enforcement priorities. The therapist became involved after perceiving that Scott’s case was not receiving the media recognition her mother, Allen, was seeking regarding her daughter’s disappearance.

“I reached out to a couple of my media friends and was able to get media attention drawn to the case. After that, I stepped in and started a Facebook campaign and became an advocate for April (Allen), who is not really a public person. Her and I became really close, and I am kind of a resource person. I just started advocating for Alexis, and she is the only missing person whom I advocate for,” Moultrie said.

“However, I have advocated for changes within the Peoria Police Department and how they handle missing persons, which has come a long way. In the process, Alexis was the very first missing person to actually have a CrimeStopper reward. The case has not been deemed a felonious act, but that is what the CrimeStopper reward is based on.”

Family, friends cling to hope of survival

Despite the foreboding circumstances, Moultrie maintains her vigilance in helping ascertain Scott’s fate largely due to Allen’s steadfast hope that her daughter is still alive.

“There is evidence that there is a very slim likelihood that (Scott) is alive. All of the evidence that we have says she is not. Unfortunately, how these things work is that although there is a large amount of circumstantial evidence, there will be no prosecution without a body,” said Moultrie. “Anything that will keep her name out there helps,” she said. “Compared to in the beginning, there was some really shoddy police work in this case. The new administration really takes Alexis seriously and has really gone to great lengths to keep this case open and moving. That is very much appreciated.”

A GoFundMe page dedicated to raising funds to hire a private detective to look into Scott’s disappearance is currently sitting at around $6,000, with a goal of $20,000. The page can be accessed at “Fundraiser for April Allen by Dusti Mendenhall Moultrie : Official Missing Alexis Camry Scott (”