The last time anyone saw Keeslyn Roberts, she wasn’t acting like her normal, cheerful self. When the 20-year-old stopped by the Flying J truck stop in Resaca, Georgia on the evening of Saturday, January 18, 2020, she walked into the kitchen area, which was for employees only. When one of the workers confronted her and told her she wasn’t allowed back there, Keeslyn seemed to panic. She dropped the backpack she was carrying and ran out of the back door of the truck stop. She was never seen again.
Employees at the Flying J called the Gordon County Sheriff’s Office to report the odd interaction. When deputies arrived, they looked inside the backpack and found Keeslyn’s wallet, which contained her driver’s license, some cash, and her debit card. Employees confirmed that the picture on the driver’s license matched the young woman who had fled the store, but they were unable to provide any information about where she had headed after she exited through the back door.
Deputies assumed that Keeslyn would return shortly for her backpack; in addition to her wallet, it also contained her phone charger and a set of car keys. When they ran her name through their computer, however, they realized that she had an active warrant out for her arrest; this was likely why she fled the scene before police arrived.
Keeslyn had hit a rough patch in life a couple of years earlier, and she had been arrested in Whitfield County, Georgia in 2018 and charged with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. After serving time in the Whitfield County Jail, she was determined to get her life back on track. She stopped hanging out with some of the people she considered to be bad influences and had been attending regular meetings with her probation officer. On January 17, 2020, however, she missed a meeting and a warrant was issued for her arrest.
Keeslyn’s parents, Eric and Shannon Roberts, initially had no idea their daughter had missed a probation meeting. Keeslyn had been staying with her boyfriend and his mother in Chatsworth, Georgia at the time, but when Keeslyn failed to show up for her meeting her probation officer called her parents’ house looking for her. After sending Keeslyn several text messages and not getting a reply, Eric decided to go looking for her.
Assuming that Keeslyn was still staying with her boyfriend, Eric drove to his house on Monday, January 20, 2020. The boyfriend said that he hadn’t seen Keeslyn for several days; ominously, he also mentioned that he thought her car was parked at the Flying J truck stop in Resaca.
Eric immediately drove to the truck stop, located right off of Interstate 75. He found Keeslyn’s white Toyota Corolla in the parking lot, but he was certain that she wasn’t the person who had parked it there as it was backed into a parking spot. Eric knew his daughter well; she always pulled forward into parking spots and never would have backed in. It was the first sign that something was terribly wrong.
Keeslyn’s parents initially tried to report her missing with the Gordon County Sheriff’s Office, since her car was found in that county. They suggested that Eric call the Murray County Sheriff’s Office, as Keeslyn had been staying in Chatsworth, which was over the county line. Eventually, both counties would be involved in the investigation; Gordon County would take the lead, assisted by Murray County.
Keeslyn’s cell phone was not found inside her backpack or her car, leading her parents to believe that she was still carrying it at the time she disappeared. Despite the active missing person investigation, police told the family that they couldn’t ping her phone. According to Eric, “Law enforcement told us they don’t have enough evidence to get a warrant” to search her phone records.
Oddly, Keeslyn wasn’t the first person to go missing from the Resaca Flying J. On January 16, 2020 — just two days before Keeslyn vanished — 21-year-old Caleb Smith was last seen at the same truck stop. As in Keeslyn’s case, his car was also found backed into a parking spot in the Flying J parking lot. Caleb also lived in Chatsworth, on the same street where Keeslyn was staying when she disappeared.
Keeslyn’s parents couldn’t help but notice the similarities between the two missing person cases. They wondered if the two cases were connected somehow, but police insisted they were not. As time went by without any word from either Keeslyn or Caleb, however, rumors persisted that the two had been ki*lled by the same people. In a press release, officials continued to deny this. “There is no evidence that these people are/were acquainted or that these cases are connected. The investigations into these matters are ongoing and any new and pertinent information will be released to the public in a timely fashion.”
Sadly, Caleb’s case didn’t have a happy ending; his naked body was found on February 2, 2020, near Sugar Valley, Georgia in northwestern Gordon County. Despite the fact that he was found with no clothes on, his death was ruled an accidental overdose.
Frustrated by the lackluster police response to his daughter’s case, Eric took to Facebook to spread the word about her disappearance. On February 6, 2020, he announced that he was offering a $2,000 reward for any information leading to Keeslyn’s whereabouts. The post was shared more than 25,000 times, but none of the tips he received led to his daughter. On February 23, 2020, he increased the reward to $3,000.
Eric continued to be critical of the way the Murray County Sheriff’s Office was handling Keeslyn’s disappearance. He didn’t feel that Detective Eric White was doing enough to find his daughter. “He has no sympathy, the way he was talking to me. He said there is nothing else he can do.”
A month after Keeslyn was last seen, friends and family organized a large-scale search of the area where Caleb Smith’s body had been found. It wasn’t an easy area to search — it was a marshland covered in overgrown vegetation — but by using drones, four-wheelers, and volunteers on foot, they were able to cover more than 100 acres of land. They found no clues to Keeslyn’s whereabouts.
Six weeks after Keeslyn went missing, some clothing believed to belong to her was found near the dumpsters behind the Flying J truck stop. According to a witness, the clothing had been there since around the time that Keeslyn disappeared, but it had not been found by police during their initial search of the area. Although investigators said they couldn’t confirm that the clothing was indeed Keeslyn’s, the sizes and brands were a match for what Keeslyn normally wore and her parents believed that the items did belong to her. The find troubled Eric. “It’s got me very worried about the outcome.”
Months went by and there was no progress on the case. Murray County Chief Deputy Jimmy Davenport told reporters, “We’re exploring every avenue we can to find Miss Roberts” but he had nothing new to report. He noted only that there was still an active probation violation warrant in the system for her, so if she had any interaction with police she would be picked up.
Eric made regular posts on Facebook, asking for anyone with any information about his daughter to contact him. He passed any tips he received on to Murray County officials, but didn’t feel like they were following up on them. “That’s the most hurtful thing, that no one is doing anything for my daughter, saying they can’t do this or that because there’s no point.”
Eric acknowledged that Keeslyn had made some mistakes in life. “My daughter got mixed up with the wrong crowd and got on drugs, no excuses.” But she had been actively trying to get her life straightened out, and she knew she had parents she could count on. In a May 2019, Facebook post made shortly after she had served time in Whitfield County for drug charges, Keeslyn wrote, “Good riddance to all the toxic people and vibes I previously used to let into my life, and here (sic) to the blessings I received in my life so far.”
Eric started a fundraising account to raise money to offer an increased reward for information. He noted, “My Keeslyn is my world and I miss her very much. She is a good kid with a big heart. She would do anything for anyone. I miss her so much and it’s ki*lling me not knowing if she is safe, de*ad, or hiding.”
In October 2020, the case was turned over to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Eric wasn’t impressed. “It seems like the GBI is dropping the ball big time since they took it over…if you’re not going to take it over and work the case, then don’t take the damn thing.” GBI Special Agent Joe Montgomery insisted that “every lead and every reference” had been investigated but no substantial leads had been developed.
Eric questioned whether Keeslyn’s prior drug use was a factor in the way her case was handled. “I feel like they violated by daughter’s civil rights…it’s not right. A missing person is a missing person.” He also thinks there are people who are withholding information. “The people that seen her last, they know more than what they’re telling us.”
Hoping to find some new clues, Eric and Shannon hired a private investigator, who followed up on hundreds of tips. Eric just wanted answers. “We’ve got to have closure one way or the other. Whatever the outcome is, we’ve got to have closure for our sanity.”
In October 2022, Keeslyn’s parents increased the reward for information to $50,000. They hoped that the large amount would finally bring someone forward with the information needed to solve the case. “Somebody knows something. We just want the truth.”
As the third anniversary of Keeslyn’s disappearance approached, her parents continued to hold out hope that they would one day see their daughter again. Shannon noted, “We’re just trying so hard to find her…to find out what’s happened. I’m still hoping that there’s a chance she’s alive out there somewhere.”
Shannon told reporters that the situation was every parent’s worst nightmare. “It’s very, very hard, not knowing where your child is at and not seeing them in this length of time, not hearing their voice…it’s just unimaginable.”
It’s been more than three years since Keeslyn vanished, and her parents don’t know anything more now than they did on the day they reported their daughter missing. There have been reported sightings of Keeslyn at truck stops in Georgia, Oklahoma, and Texas, but none of these sightings have been confirmed. Her parents continue to hope that Keeslyn will be found and she can finally get herself back on track. “She had so many dreams. She wanted to be a marine biologist…she got detoured.”
Keeslyn Noelle Roberts was just 20 years old when she went missing from a truck stop in Resaca, Georgia. Although she had gotten mixed up with the wrong crowd, she had been doing everything possible to get her life back on track and her parents are certain that she never would have voluntarily vanished. Keeslyn has green/hazel eyes and blonde hair, and at the time of her disappearance, she was 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighed 120 pounds. She has a tattoo on her right forearm of turtles and waves with the words “love yourself first” and her ears are pierced. If you have any information about Keeslyn, please contact the Georgia Bureau of Investigation at 800–597–8477.