In February 2007, which doesn’t seem that long ago, news stories told of the plight of a poor young girl who couldn’t stop hiccupping. Many of us may have at some point felt that very fear. In any case, 15-year-old Jennifer Mee of Pinellas County, Florida, was beset with chronic hiccups. This was no simple case of “breathe into a paper bag, dear.” Jennifer was hiccuping at the rate of 50 “‘cups” an hour, and it lasted for weeks. The girl was even seen on national television.
Jennifer searched high and wide for a cure. Her fathervowed to find a solution: “Either a doctor here, or a doctor in Africa!” Jennifer met with doctors, cardiologists, neurologists, chiropractors. She met with them in Florida, she met with them in New York; all to no avail. “She even hiccups through yawns!” one doctor reported.
Then one day, an odd thing happened. The hiccups went away. The discomfited 15-year-old had been going from appointment to appointment, and on one Wednesday afternoon, she reported, “They were gone!” Asked her first reaction, she repeated, “Holy cow, they’re gone” “I cried, too!,” she added.
The story doesn’t end there. Not by a long shot. In June of 2007 Jennifer, still 15, went missing and was reported a runaway. Her sister told local news people she had seen Jennifer on Sunday evening, at a neighborhood recreation center in St. Petersburg, and after that Jennifer had never returned home, having told her sister she didn’t want to go home.
The plot thickens. It is not clear what transpired in young Mee’s life between June 2007 and the present, but now 19-year-old Jennifer has been charged with murder. Police arrested her, and two others, in connection with an armed robbery gone bad. According to sources, Mee lured the victim, 22-year-old Shannon Griffin, to a home on 7th Street, St. Petersburg, where Laron Raiford, 20, and Lamont Newton, 22, were poised to rob him. A struggle occurred and Griffin was shot and killed. All this took place at about 11:30 PM on a Saturday night, police say. All three are charged with first degree murder. The investigation is ongoing.