InvestigatorsMaryland Cold Cases


MISSING IN MARYLAND: Cherice Ragins disappeared at the age of 24 in February 2010

Boyfriend serving 25 years in prison for her death
Posted at 6:25 PM, Nov 22, 2021

BALTIMORE COUNTY, MD. — Cherice Ragins disappeared more than a decade ago at the age of 24 in February 2010.

Since then, her family found a shred of closure but one painful question remains unanswered.

At the time, her boyfriend told police they had walked to a bus stop along Route 40 at Rolling Road in Catonsville.

He claimed Cherice was on her way back home to her mother's house after spending the weekend with him but she never made it.

Cherice’s mother Clariese Ragins said “when she did go away and stay the weekend, she would always call. We would always be in contact with one another, but I hadn't heard from her by Sunday. So, I started to get a little bit nervous not having heard from her at all the entire weekend.”

It’s something Ragins says was very much out of character for her daughter.

“She definitely would have called or come back home, because that was just not like her. She never did anything like that, ever,” Ragins said.

Ragins reported her daughter as missing to Baltimore County Police.

However, there was something else strange besides not hearing from her daughter Cherice, Ragins also hadn't heard from her daughter's boyfriend.

“Because he would call her incessantly. I mean day in and day out, he would call multiple times. So, just by virtue of the fact that he hadn't called either, it was very strange,” Ragins said.

He also was someone whom Ragins never really liked dating her daughter.

“Bcause he just didn't seem to have any get up and go. No motivation. Didn't just seem to be going anywhere in life. And, I had spoken with her on several occasions about that. I just think she was just looking for love in all the wrong places,” Ragins said.

Meanwhile, police were looking at her obsessive boyfriend in the search to find Cherice.

“The investigation began at his house. They did a search. They got a warrant. They did a search of his house, their vehicles, they searched the area, the surrounding area where he lived,” Ragins said.

Although detectives never found her body, seven years later Cherice's boyfriend, Travis Elleby, found himself in a Baltimore County courtroom.

Judge Judith Ensor found there was enough evidence to convict Elleby of second-degree murder.

He's now locked up behind bars, serving a 25-year prison sentence.

“It felt like I had some closure, even though not having her body still was very hurtful because I wasn't able to of course have a normal service for her. Anything like I normally would have, but we did do a memorial service. We did set up a couple memorial services in honor of her,” Ragins said.

Cherice's killer not only took her life but robbed her mother of some of life's proudest moments.

“Never got an opportunity to see my daughter get married or have children or to live her life out the way it should have been lived out, because her life was taken away from her, prematurely,” Ragins said.

Nearly 12 years after Cherice disappeared, her mother has no answers on what happened to her daughter's body, but she advises others who are waiting for answers about their missing loved ones, to have hope for justice and hang in there.

“You have to be strong. If you have a child that's missing, I’m sure, hopefully you have people on your side just like I had people on my side, you know.I had to pray my way through this whole situation and I continue to do that, because most days it's the only way I can make it through,” Ragins said.

“I believe in God, and I know God is good. I know he has a plan for my life, nevertheless, so I have to hold on to that," Ragins added.