Missing in California: The Case of Khadijah Britton

Khadijah Rose Britton was born April 22nd, 1994. Daughter of Connie and Jerry Britton, Khadijah is a proud Wailiki member of the Round Valley Tribes in Covelo California, out of Mendocino County. Khadijah had a large, loving family. She was especially close with her Aunt Laura, who has become a champion for the missing woman since her disappearance. 

Khadijah grew up excelling at school and sports in her tiny community. She was especially talented in basketball, an all-star on her team- the Lady Mustangs. Her cousins and siblings, who called her Dij, remember her fondly at family parties as always being the one to get a game going. In the many interviews I listened to, you can hear the love and the longing in their voices, especially as they recount how they miss her smile that could light up a room. 

Although Khadijah had an encouraging family and a bright future, after graduation she was reluctant to leave home to pursue her college basketball dreams. Mendocino county is an area known for its drug and alcohol abuse, and the Round Valley area in particular struggles with Meth and Heroin addiction related issues. More than 41 percent of Covello’s residents are below the poverty line, but at the time of Khadijah’s disappearance in 2013 the Round Valley Tribe’s unemployment rate was at a staggering 86 percent. Khadijah, like many others, began to party after high school. 

Through these party circles, Khadijah began a tumultuous and volatile relationship with a man 14 years her senior. Negie Fallis IV also grew up in the Round Valley tribes, though his upbringing was undoubtedly different. Negie’s mother was 14 when he was born to a father who was in and out of the picture. According to the Press Democrat, there were at least 7 other siblings, and his dad had multiple domestic violence court records. Negie dropped out of high school and saw his first felony charge in 2000 for manufacturing meth. His rap sheet grows from there to include drug charges, weapons charges, and horrific charges of endangering his own children- babies surrounded by weapons, drugs, and left to sit in their own filth. 

Khadijah’s family believes the children were a major part in what caused her to stay with Negie, despite his violent tendencies. It’s reported that Khadijah did their laundry, cooked for and fed them, even brought them to and from school. But her family reports that the more time they spent together, the worse Khadijah seemed to feel. They watched her confidence dwindle as he became more and more controlling and possessive. Her mother tearfully recalls being concerned that his abuse may have been turning physical, but repeatedly Khadijah insisted everything was fine. 

On January 30th, 2013 Khadijah’s father and stepmother were horrified to find their daughter banging on their front door, hysterical and bloody. She had the family take to the floor, screaming “He’s trying to kill me… get the babies on the floor, he’s going to shoot up the house” 

Khadijah reported that he’d beat her- first with his fists, and then with a hammer. She says he had tried to drag her to his car at gunpoint but she’d gotten away. She filed a restraining order and was given a new phone, new clothes, and money for food and toiletries. Her hearing was set for a February 5th but at the last moment, Khadijah withdrew, saying she had reconsidered. Khadijah’s family believes she was coerced with threats of violence toward her siblings. 

By February 10th, when Khadijah’s family hadn’t heard from her in a few days they began to worry. At first they thought maybe she’d gotten back with Negie and was hiding out from their judgement and concern, but something in their gut told them this was bad news. It wasn’t until February 12 when a witness came forward that police really understood the danger Khadijah was in. 

On February 7th Khadijah was staying with a friend in Covello. The eye witness reported that she saw Fallis and his new girlfriend Antonia Bautista-Dawson pull up to the home in his black mercedes. Fallis went to the door, armed with a Derringer pistol calling for Khadijah. She refused to leave with him, and a physical altercation ensued. According to the witness, Fallis hit Kadijah and forced her into the car against her will. Dawson sped away and has not been seen since. 

I’m going to share with you a quote directly from the Charley Project about what happened with Fallis after this: 

“Ten days after she was reported missing, Fallis was charged with assault, kidnapping, first-degree burglary, threats to commit a crime resulting in death or great bodily injury, attempted murder, and being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition in Britton’s disappearance.

He pleaded not guilty and refused to cooperate with the investigation into Britton’s disappearance. In June, the authorities were forced to drop most of the charges against him for lack of evidence. His bail was reduced and he was released not long afterwards, although he still faced the charges of possession of a gun and ammunition. In August, Bautista-Dalson was arrested for felony suspicion of harboring or concealing a wanted felon, Fallis.

In October 2018, Fallis pleaded no contest to being a felon in possession of a firearm, and Bautista-Dalson pleaded no contest to being an accessory to a felony. Fallis was sentenced to four years in prison, and Bautista-Dalson to eighteen months in jail and eighteen months of supervision”

Khadijah’s body has still not been recovered despite what the sheriff says is extensive search efforts. The family follows every lead, taking them into dangerous and heartbreaking situations. 

National Institute of Justice in 2016 says that Native American and Alaska Native women are 1.6 times more likely to experience physical violence by an intimate partner than their white counterparts. 

Khadijah Britton’s family unfortunately does not hold out much hope that she’ll be found alive, but they need help putting her to rest. She’s out there somewhere, and someone knows that happened to her. It’s unlikely that Negie didn’t talk, or leave a trail. Someone knows and its time to speak up. 

If you have any information about the abduction of Khadijah Britton, please all the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office at 707-463-4411 

Help spread awareness about Khadijah’s story by sharing the podcast, blog post, or social media posts







The Press Democrat


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