• Back Road Mysteries Staff

Women left Mississippi for St. Louis in 1960 and has never been seen again

Lyrian Barry graduated from R. E. Hunt High School in the small town of Columbus, Mississippi in 1956 and was described as being “quiet” and “serious.”

Lyrian came from a close, large family that included two parents and eight children—four boys and four girls. After she graduated from high school, she met Eulice “Eddie” Stallings, a young man from New Orleans.

Lyrian even moved to The Big Easy to be with him, but it didn’t take long before things went south. Soon, Lyrian was back in Columbus with her family, but this time, she had a baby with her, a daughter named Gloria.

Stallings apparently still had feelings for Lyrian because he moved from New Orleans to Columbus, as well. They reignited their tumultuous romance and moved in together, but things weren’t happy at home.

There isn’t clarity about whether or not Lyrian and Stallings were married, and it’s something that not even her family could figure out. Some agencies have used the name “Lyrian Barry-Stallings” in their reports about her case because, according to her family, Lyrian said that she was married.

One evening, Lyrian reportedly had enough and called her family to help her move.

Wronged in so many ways, she was going to finally set things right. Build a new life for herself and her eight-month-old daughter. She left her clothes on the back porch. She left her gold, Hunt High School Class of '56 ring on the dresser.

She left her baby, Gloria, in her sister Betsy's arms. And then, on a hot summer day in 1960, Lyrian Wyvonne Barry boarded a Greyhound bus bound for St. Louis and disappeared behind a cloud of Mississippi dust.

An aunt in St. Louis said that Lyrian did make it into the city and moved in with her. A distant cousin, Sonny Lucas, made his return to St. Louis and it’s suggested that he and Lyrian carried on some sort of affair.

Lucas was married, and according to relatives, Lyrian and her cousin’s wife were engaged in a “knock-down, drag-out” fight.

It was also revealed by Lyrian’s aunt that she saw some sort of advertisement for someone looking for a live-in maid, however, the aunt doesn’t remember where it was.

She reportedly stated that the job was either in Needham, Massachusetts, or Bridgeport, Connecticut. Lyrian was scheduled to travel to interview for the position and that fight she allegedly had with Lucas’s wife occurred on the evening of her departure.

And that is it. That’s the last information that Lyrian’s relatives have about her whereabouts.

Someone said she had been found in a mental hospital in California, where Stallings had since moved.

Family opines that Stallings got Lyrian hooked on drugs and that somehow is tied to her disappearance.Stallings was later found dead, and many in her family think all hope of finding her may have died a little, too. Others subscribe to the theory that the .distant cousin in St Louis may be responsible.

Barry would be 76 now. Her parents are dead. A brother is dead. Her baby, Gloria, is dead. But she still has six siblings who miss her,

There is no death certificate. There is no evidence anyone has ever used her Social Security number. Stallings went to prison twice for drugs, so maybe Barry supplied the evidence and is now in the Witness Protection Program,

Anyone with information that might lead to closure in this decade o;d cold case is asked to call the Columbus Police Department at (662) 244-3554.

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