At the end of October 2009, I wrote an article about a little 3 year old girl, Masaraha Ross missing along with her mother, Ronkeya Holmes. According to the police reports the two were reported missing when the mother didn’t return to her home where she lived with her own mother in Georgia after she went to Winter Haven Florida to pick up her daughter, Masaraha.

Holme’s mother, Edith Fletcher told the authorities that her daughter allowed the baby to stay with her father, Lester Ross in Florida so she could concentrate on her studies while she was attending college classes at Savannah Technical College. At the end of the semester she was on her way to Florida to pick the child up.

Fletcher told police that something just wasn’t right with the situation though, because everytime Holmes would call to speak to her daughter there was always an excuse why she couldn’t like she was sleeping or not there. Finally Holmes just decided to go to Winter Haven and get her daughter and bring her home with her.

Holmes was supposed to be meeting the baby’s father at the Wal-Mart parking lot to pick Masaraha up but she has not been seen nor heard from since then. Lester Ross claims he met with her and hasn’t seen them since then. Police checked the surveillance cameras of the parking lot and have never been able to verify that Ross ever met up with Holmes as he says he did yet he has maintained his story that she did show up and he gave his daughter back to her.

Strangely enough, later that night cousin of Lester Ross’s, Joseph Wilcox was found driving in Holme’s car. Police say that they found Holme’s luggage on the front seat of the car and her college badge hanging on the rear view mirror and several children’s toy in the back seat but no signs of the mother and daughter at all.

Police had listed the two missing and considered them both endangered.

Now 14 months later the reports are that Winter Haven police are digging in an orange grove for the bodies of the missing mother and child. Lt. Brad Coleman said that this is the second day they have been digging near the intersection of Dundee Road and Sage Road in Winter Haven Florida. He said they have received some credible information saying the bodies were buried in the grove. He did add that if they do indeed find any bodies it could take some time to identify any of them. Making matters even worse neither Ronkeya Holmes nor her daughter, Masaraha have any dental records to help identify their bodies.

According to the police, Lester Ross had been arrested recently on charges of non child support payments and non spousal support and on grand theft and is still in jail. He apparently was renting a house in Winter Haven and was using the utilities there without paying for them.

I have always wondered about this story. I just never could believe Lester Ross was so innocent, but if he is, does he know anything about where his daughter is and what has happened to her and her mother?

My prayers will be with Holme’s mother and her family as they wait for news about this dig. I am sure this has to be difficult for them especially during the holidays. May God be with them all.

Jan Barrett

Update: Investigators have found human bones in an orange grove in Winter Haven after receiving a tip on a year-old case of a missing mother and daughter. I wish I could be with Ronkeya Holmes’s mother right now to hold her hand as she waits on the news she has been dreading for over a year now. I am sure sure she needs support about now. My prayers are with you, Edith Fletcher. 

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