The Trail Went Cold – Episode 182 – Cherita Thomas

August 3, 1980. AuSable Township, Michigan. 20-year old Cherita Thomas borrows her friend’s car in order to pick up her daughter from a babysitter, but the vehicle breaks down before she arrives. Witnesses see Cherita climbing into a blue pick-up truck driven by a white male, but she is never heard from again. Jimmie Allen Nelson, the babysitter’s brother-in-law, is suspected of harming Cherita in a racially motivated hate crime, and even though Cherita’s body is not found, Nelson is charged and convicted of her murder three decades later. However, Nelson’s conviction is overturned when newly discovered evidence surfaces which reportedly implicates another suspect, so the murder charge against him is dismissed in 2014. Was Jimmie Allen Nelson actually responsible for Cherita Thomas’ disappearance? If not, then what actually happened to her? This week’s episode of “The Trail Went Cold” chronicles a convoluted missing persons case which has had a number of surprising twists and turns over the past 40 years.

Special thanks to Chris Wimmer for providing the opening narration on today’s episode. Be sure to listen to Chris’ podcast, “Infamous America”.

“The Trail Went Cold” is on Patreon! Visit to become a patron and gain access to our exclusive bonus content.

“The Trail Went Cold” will be participating in the “Tawny & George Platis Podcast-a-Thon” fundraiser on GetVokl which will take place on Saturday, July 11 from 1:00 PM-1:00 AM ET/10:00 AM-10:00 PM PT. All proceeds will be donated to Tawny Platis’ GoFundMe for her medical bills. Our livestream show will be take place at 12:15 AM/9:15 PM PT and the entire Podcast-a-Thon can be viewed here.

“The Trail Went Cold” is now doing a weekly livestream show on GetVokl every Thursday from 7:00-8:00 PM ET as part of their “True Crime Thursday” line-up. For more information, please visit their website.

Additional Reading:

“True Police Stories of the Strange & Unexplained” by Ingrid P. Dean

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The Trail Went Cold is produced and edited by Magill Foote.

All music is composed by Vince Nitro.