Monday, May 27, 2019

Missing Mondays: Ember Graham

Every case I write about touches me deep in my heart. Cases, like the following stay with me, they bother me on such a level. I can’t begin to comprehend the pain that is experienced when a child goes missing. Some of these cases seem so senseless, I’m heartbroken for loved ones who are left with questions that may never be answered.

It was July 2, 2015, Ember Graham was just six months old when in the middle of the night she vanished from her crib in Happy Valley California. Ember’s parents Mathew and Jamie were fairly young parents, but Ember seemed to be the center of their worlds. Although, there did seem to be some complications. Mathew was into the party scene quite frequently, he liked to drink and smoke Marijuana. This put a fair amount of strain on the relationship.

Jamie reported that Mathew would randomly come home in the middle of the night and demand that she and Ember leave. He would tell her he didn’t want her living there anymore. Jamie never left Mathew for good, they continued to fight for their marriage, though at some point Mathew moved into his cousin Sarah’s trailer. Sarah owned two trailers, she and her partner resided In one of them when Mathew moved into the other. It’s not really known if Mathew and Jamie were separated at this time or if Jamie would eventually move in also.

On July 1, 2015, Mathew took Ember for the night. Ember would stay with Mathew once or twice a week. Mathew had Embers crib set up near the front door while he slept in a bedroom in the back of the trailer. On this night Mathew reported that after smoking a lot of marijuana he fell asleep in this bedroom in the back of the trailer.

At about 5am the next morning Mathew got up to check on Ember and she was gone. Mathew looked through his trailer and could not find her anywhere. There are many reports that the front door had been wide open when Mathew woke up, but I have also seen where this information is not confirmed. Mathew called his mother hysterical. She was the person Mathew would go to in bad situations. Mathew’s mother told him to go check with his cousin Sarah, maybe she had come in and picked up the baby.

Sarah and her partner both said Mathew burst through the door panicking and crying that he could not find Ember anywhere. Sarah ran over to Mathews trailer to have a look for herself. Ember surely did not disappear on her own at six months old. Mathew proceeded to call Jamie and 911. Jamie immediately rushed to Mathews trailer.

Ember, unfortunately, did not reach all the qualifications for an Amber Alert. She was though labeled as an endangered missing person because she suffered from a seizure disorder. This seizure disorder required Ember to take medicine twice a day to keep the disorder under control. Ember was born with the seizure disorder, everyone was very concerned because they didn’t know how she would react without the medicine.

Authorities felt like Mathews version of events were inconsistent. They didn’t feel like Mathew was very interested in finding his daughter. When the trailer was investigated the officers realized that this was very unlikely a stranger abduction. The property was surrounded by two fences that were gated. There were also guard dogs on the property. They also found that the door to the trailer was broken, the only way to get it open was to use a screwdriver in a particular way. There we’re not any signs that the trailer had been broken into.

Officers also realized that the distance between where Mathew slept and Embers crib was really not that far apart. The medicine for Embers seizure disorder made her restless. This combined with finding out Ember did not like strangers and would most likely scream had officers thinking that surely Mathew would have heard if a stranger came in to take her. There were no signs on either the property or inside the trailer that an abduction had taken place. Mathews story was not adding up. Officers decided that Mathew may have had something to do with Embers disappearance everyone around Mathew strongly disagreed.

Mathew was arrested. He had told officers he had smoked marijuana that night and he was on probation. After being arrested for the unrelated drug charge it gave the police an opportunity to question him. He was questioned for around nine hours. The questioning was intense, Mathew story of events was still very inconsistent. Officers took note that during these hours after his daughters disappearance Mathew did not ask about Ember. He never inquired if they had any leads or had she been found yet. This was very concerning to officers and people around Mathew. His daughter had just disappeared and he didn’t seem to be showing any concern.

Tests confirmed the trailer had not been broken into. They also confirmed that nothing had happened to Ember inside the trailer. They had no answers as to why six-month-old Ember had just mysteriously vanished. She wasn’t able to just crawl away and disappear. Someone was involved.

Authorities conducted searches to find Ember. They would follow search dogs around just to see if the animals would come across skeletal remains, clothing, anything to find clues to the whereabouts of Ember. They exhausted every avenue while also diving deeper into Mathews version of the events.

The day before Embers disappearance Mathew took Ember on a trip to the gas station. He had asked Sarah if she needed anything before going. It seemed a normal thing he usually did, but this should of only taken 10-15 minutes. Sarah stated it took him a lot longer than it usually did. Authorities took a look at the surveillance from the gas station called The Happy Stop Mart. They noticed some other things in this video that were not adding up. When Mathew left the gas station he did not go back in the direction toward home. He claimed Ember was restless and cranky so he drove around with calm her down. He drove her around to put her to sleep, but according to all the surveillance Ember was already quite content. Mathew claimed it only took him ten minutes in the other direction and back, surveillance clocked it at an hour. When Mathew was confronted with this information he was adamant it only took him ten minutes. He was very detailed about everything he did until leaving the gas station. After leaving the gas station he couldn’t remember much. Authorities were starting to wonder if something happened during this time frame. Sarah says she vividly remembers Mathew took longer than usual but when he arrived he entered her trailer carrying Ember. Mathews story did not line up with Sarah’s. He said upon returning from the store Ember was in the car seat and he took her inside his trailer to put her to sleep and then went by himself to see Sarah at her trailer. Was Sarah trying to cover for Mathew? Mathew was shortly thereafter named a person of interest.

On July 10, authorities found a pacifier on the roadside in the middle of nowhere. Jamie immediately recognized the pacifier. This was the pacifier Ember was using when Mathew entered the Happy Stop Mart. Mathew found out July 11, about the pacifier, he also had an appointment that day with probation. His mother has stated he was going to clear his name. She convinced him to go talk to the authorities about the missing pacifier. At this point, things start going in a pretty bad direction.

Mathews mother drove him to this appointment. Instead of going inside Mathew decided to run. Mathew had taken $400 and a gun from his mother's purse. She immediately called authorities about the missing gun. Mathew was considered armed and dangerous. The following day Mathew stole a car at gunpoint. He was not aware that the car had a GPS system. Authorities were able to track all of his movements.

On July 13, authorities were able to track the car to an intersection, they brought in K9 dogs who immediately tracked Mathew down to a nearby garage. As soon as police walked up to the garage they were fired at. They returned gunfire. Authorities didn’t realize that Mathew was not shooting at them he was attempting to shoot himself. He had crawled from the garage, police were trying to calm him down while alerting each other that Mathew still had a gun. Mathew reached for the gun and 12 officers opened fire. If Mathew had any answers concerning the whereabouts of his daughter Ember, he took them to the grave with him.

Mathew has never been tried in a court of law, in our country, he is innocent until proven guilty. To this day there is no evidence that Mathew hurt Ember. The question remains who knows what happened to Baby Ember authorities continue to believe Mathew was involved. They also believe he possibly confided in someone, probably a family member. It can be possible that Ember is still alive. She could live without the seizure medicine. People may want to believe the worse but even if there is the slightest chance Embers story and picture should be continuously shared.

My heartfelt sympathies go out to these families who lost two family members. It’s such a sad senseless tragedy.

If you have any information concerning the disappearance of Ember Graham please call the Shasta County Sheriffs Office, Detective Kyle Wallace at (530)245-6540 or Shasta Co Secret Witness (530) 243-2319


  1. That is tragic all the way around. I hope they find the baby.

  2. My God it's so horrible to not know where they are, God bless them

  3. I hope they are all ok, Good bless them, horrible to not know

  4. Such sad stories. Not knowing is very hard.

  5. So very sad for both sides of the families!