Authorities in Florida are still searching for an adult with special needs who disappeared from her East Central Coast home late last month.
“We [have conducted] a week['s] worth of searching in the areas we thought she might be in,” Palm Bay, Fla., police spokeswoman Yvonne Martinez told The Huffington Post.
Marsharie “Marsha” Lemons-Garrett, 22, was last seen by her mother, Marsha Muhammad, on the evening of June 22 at their home on Oaklyn Street in Palm Bay. When family members noticed that she was missing, they notified police, resulting in the launch of a search of the immediate area. Officers located Lemons-Garrett’s socks and shoes at the edge of a nearby wooded area called Turkey Creek Sanctuary, but an exploration of the small nature reserve did not turn up any other sign of her.
Muhammad said her daughter would often walk in and around wooded areas near their home. “She is a very nature-loving and animal-loving type person,” Muhammad said.
- Black And Missing Foundation
- HuffPost Crime Missing Persons
- The Black And Missing Foundation Aims To Find People Of Color
According to the distraught mother, Marsharie has special needs, but she did not elaborate. Marsharie is the oldest of eight children.
“I don’t know anything,” Muhammad said about her daughter’s whereabouts. “The not knowing has been extremely difficult for me and my family and everyone that knows my family.”
Authorities have conducted extensive searches of the vegetation-heavy areas surrounding the young woman’s neighborhood and have conducted aerial searches with a helicopter and a paraglider, but those did not net new leads.
“We are [now] running an investigation that is lead based,” Martinez said. “In other words, if we get leads, we will follow up on them but right now we don’t have anything new.”
Martinez said Lemons-Garrett is classified as a missing and endangered person. “There is no indication of any foul play,” she said.
Lemons-Garrett’s family and members of Florida’s Nation of Islam community (her spiritual community) have conducted their own searches.
Abram Muhammad, assistant regional minister of the Seventh Region of the Nation of Islam, issued a public plea on Friday. “There are three parts to our plea,” he said. “We make a plea to whoever may have [her] to find it in their hearts to let her go. The second is to urge the community to please call the police if they see anything.”
“We are also calling on anyone who will be willing to volunteer … to help us with a search,” he added.
Lemons-Garrett’s aunt, Tivica Muhammad, said she would like the community to help with the search. “Any brother or any sister can understand, if your sister or your brother were missing, how would that feel?” Tivica Muhammad said. “So we are appealing to the community to come out … and lend a hand.”
On Saturday about 50 people answered the call for help, passing out fliers and participating in ground searches. Nothing of interest was found.
Lemons-Garrett is described as being 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighing 150 pounds and having short, braided black hair. She was last seen wearing a white T-shirt and purple Winnie the Pooh pajama pants. Anyone with information is asked to call 321-952-3456 or 1-800-423-TIPS.
“Marsharie is a very beautiful person … She likes to help people, so please help us and help her,” Marsha Muhammad said.
“Please don’t let her story just fade away,” Abram Muhammad added.