Arrest made in decades-old cold case kidnapping of teen girl — female classmate in custody

A woman was recently arrested in connection with the 1991 kidnapping of a 19-year-old Georgia woman who remains missing 27 years later.

Per The Macon Telegraph, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation arrested Melinda McSwain, 46, at Mercer University and charged her with the kidnapping of Sabrina Long. Long was last seen August 14, 1991, at a home in Macon; she reportedly lived with her former stepfather (he and her mother divorced) at the time of her disappearance.

McSwain currently lives in Coffee County. The Telegraph reported that McSwain was also 19 when Long vanished—and that McSwain and Long were classmates at Southwest High School. Authorities said the pair knew one another and online records obtained by the news outlet indicated that McSwain lived a mile away from where Long was living with her stepfather.

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“By conducting multiple interviews as well as serving numerous search warrants in the Middle Georgia area, the GBI developed enough probable cause to secure an arrest warrant charging McSwain with kidnapping,” the agency said in a press release issued to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

According to the newspaper, Long’s mother, Sue Corley, told authorities that the 19-year-old received numerous unsettling phone calls prior to her disappearance.

Speaking with The Telegraph, Corley also alleged that, on the night of Long’s disappearance, Long had called her and said she was going over Keith Loyd’s house to help him with a birthday gift for his mother. Alarmingly, Loyd was out with his girlfriend that night—and his mother’s birthday was a month away.

Loyd, a friend from high school, underwent questioning multiple times and passed a polygraph. The newspaper noted that he was struck and killed by a train last September.

Reports also indicated that Long’s stepfather and boyfriend had alibis for the night of Long’s disappearance.

Police have indicated that foul play was involved as Long never picked up her last paycheck from work. She also reportedly left her truck, purse, and makeup behind.

Authorities haven’t revealed a motive in this case or what evidence led them to zero in on McSwain.

“The hopes are to try to locate Sabrina,” GBI Special Agent in Charge J.T. Ricketson said. “We’re on the right track. We get a lot of lucky breaks, but a lot of this was really generated by good investigative work.”


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[Featured image: Melinda McSwain/handout; Sabrina Long/WMAZ video screengrab]