Episode 032: Asia Maynard

March 21, 2022

When a mother of four is found dead under mysterious circumstances, her family doesn’t believe the story police are telling them. What really happened to Asia?

Episode Media
Asia Maynard (Instagram)
Asia Maynard (Facebook)
Isiah James Crown (Facebook)
Episode Sources
Episode Transcript

Welcome back to Bite-Sized Crime. In last week’s episode, we looked at the case of Lauren Smith-Fields, who was found dead after going on a date with a man she’d just met. But Lauren’s case was unfortunately not unique. As I researched her case, I came across the story of Asia Maynard, another young Black woman who died under mysterious circumstances – circumstances that were eerily similar to Lauren’s. Sadly, there is very little information in this case, but Asia’s story deserves to be told, so I have done my best to find the facts that are available, piecing together information from news outlets and from Asia’s family and friends. This episode does discuss sensitive topics, so listener discretion is advised.

Asia Maynard was a 29-year-old single mother of four living in Kansas City, Missouri. She was extremely close to her family, being one of 13 siblings. Asia was active on social media, going by the name Ladii May Flower on Facebook and Instagram.

In mid-February of 2022, Asia met a guy at a gas station, and the two hit it off. He said his name was Elijah and he was from Florida. They exchanged numbers and made plans to get together. On Friday, February 18th, Asia called her sister Teara and told her that she was going on a date with a “new friend”. She sent Teara a picture of the man she was meeting and told her she would be careful and that she would call after the date was over.

But Asia didn’t call, and she didn’t come by Teara’s house on Saturday like they had planned. Teara was slightly worried at first; it wasn’t like her sister not to call or text when her plans changed. But later that day, Asia’s daughter called asking if Teara knew where her mom was; she hadn’t come home and calls to her phone were going straight to voicemail. Teara knew something was wrong.

On Sunday, February 20th, Teara called the Kansas City Police Department and asked to file a missing persons report. The officer who came out to the house asked Teara for details about Asia’s last known whereabouts, but all she knew was that Asia had gone out on a date with a man she thought was named Elijah.

The officer told Teara that Asia was an adult and didn’t have to check in with her family, but Teara knew that Asia wouldn’t go days without calling her, and she definitely wouldn’t go days without seeing her children. The officer suggested that Teara call Asia’s workplace and check local hospitals, and he would check the police database to make sure Asia wasn’t in jail somewhere.

As Teara stood in her kitchen calling every hospital in the Kansas City area, she saw several more police cars pull up in front of her house. She watched as the new officers began talking with the officer she had been speaking with before. After a few minutes, the group of them started to walk towards the house. Teara met them at the door, her heart pounding.

Then, the officers delivered the horrible news. Asia had been found, and she was dead.

Teara was devastated and confused, but the officers would not provide any more information. They said Asia’s body was already at the medical examiner’s office, and that a Detective Riley was looking into the case. They gave Teara a number to call, and that was it.

Asia’s family was determined to find out what happened. But as the details began to emerge, it was even worse than they had expected.

According to the police, Asia had met up with a young man on the evening of Friday, February 18th. They eventually ended up at his home on East 57th Street. Around 8:00 the next morning, the man woke up and found Asia lying face down in the bed. He rolled her over and discovered that she was dead, her body cold and stiff. He then called 911.

When officers arrived, the man told them that Asia hadn’t been feeling well the night before, and that he had just found her dead. Her vehicle was still parked in his driveway with her belongings inside, including her shoes, keys, and phone.

Asia’s body was taken to the medical examiner’s office, where she was identified through fingerprints. An autopsy and toxicology were performed, and her body was sent to a funeral home. At no point in this process was Asia’s family notified of her death or the whereabouts of her remains. It wasn’t until Teara called to report her sister missing the next day that they found out anything at all.

And what they found out wasn’t good. Detectives told the family that Asia had died of “natural causes” and that no investigation was needed because there were no signs of foul play at the scene. But how could they be so sure of this when they were still waiting for the autopsy results?

Asia’s family did not believe what detectives were telling them. With the little information they had, they took to social media, posting the picture of the man Asia had been with and hoping that someone could identify him.

And that’s just what they got. Comments began pouring in from people in the Kansas City area who recognized the picture. It immediately became clear that this wasn’t “Elijah from Florida”, but Isiah James Crown, a local man who is rumored to be connected to multiple overdose deaths in the area. He is allegedly known for supplying friends with drugs laced with fentanyl, a highly addictive and often fatal opioid.

This all seemed to fit with what Asia’s family suspected. According to her siblings, when they saw Asia’s body at the funeral home, there was blood in her eyes and ears, and her clothes were saturated with blood. It was clear that something had happened to Asia, who had been a healthy 29-year-old woman with no pre-existing conditions. Was it possible that this Isiah had provided Asia with illegal drugs that led to her death?

But according to the Kansas City Police Department, Isiah Crown is not currently considered a suspect in Asia’s death, nor is he being treated as a person of interest. It’s unclear if he has even been questioned in connection with Asia’s death. Considering he is the last person to see her alive, this seems like an important oversight.

Asia’s family believes that there is more to this story. Teara told local news outlet Fox4, “I believe they thought we would just go with the flow of everything. They would let us know she died of natural causes, and we would be OK. But we are a family who fights. When you know your family, you just know something’s not right.”

As I mentioned earlier, there are very few verifiable details in this case. The Kansas City Police Department has not given the family access to the police report from the day Asia’s body was found, citing an open investigation. But according to the family, detectives have not communicated with them at all, just giving them the runaround again and again. All they have now are hunches and rumors.

Teara told Fox4, “Our family really wants answers. We’re trying to grieve, and it’s so hard to grieve when we don’t know what happened to my sister. We just want answers.”

As of March of 2022, Asia’s case is being handled as a death investigation, not a homicide, and detectives are still waiting for the results of Asia’s autopsy and toxicology test.

In the meantime, the family has started a GoFundMe in hopes of hiring their own lawyer and private investigator and funding a private autopsy. There is also a Change.org petition asking for the mayor of Kansas City to address the mishandling of Asia’s case. Both links can be found on the podcast website.

As always, the more attention Asia’s case gets, the more likely it is that justice will be served. As Teara said, “We need that push for people to hear our story because a lot of people don’t know what’s going on… I want everybody to know. Thank you for sharing and stand[ing] behind us.”

Please share Asia’s story on social media to help get the word out. And if you have any information surrounding the death of Asia Maynard, please call Kansas City Crime Stoppers at (816) 474-8477.