According to the family, Shamari Brantley, the woman from Illinois who went missing and had her cellphone found at a Bronx train station in September, was spotted inside an Apple store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan last Sunday. She was recognized and immediately brought to the hospital for medical attention.
Artimece Cotton, Brantley’s relieved mother, expressed her joy to PIX11 News, saying “I was so happy, I just couldn’t believe it.”
According to Chanece Lewis, the sister of the 22-year-old woman, a security guard with a background in law enforcement was able to identify the missing woman. She had been using a different last name and her middle name to log onto a computer.
Lewis informed PIX11 News that someone had recognized her in the store during the wee hours of the night.
After being evaluated, Brantley, who suffers from schizophrenia, was taken to a local hospital.
It had been almost three months since she disappeared.
In late August, she had her last conversation with her mother before leaving their family home in Wheaton, Illinois. Her relatives, including her mother, sister, and others, tirelessly distributed flyers and organized rallies in the Bronx to find her.
According to the family, Brantley had been hitchhiking and accepting rides from truck drivers in order to reach New York City.
In September, Brantley’s mother discovered from phone records that her daughter had contacted a man in the Bronx. She repeatedly tried calling her daughter’s phone, until finally, a woman answered and told her that she had found the device at the Zerega Avenue subway station, close to the No. 6 train.
During their visits to New York City, the family received support from the Girl Vow Missing Task Force. This assistance included housing, food, and financial aid.
Dawn Rowe, who is in charge of the task force, expressed relief that Shamari had been found, but acknowledged that the journey had been long and arduous. She emphasized that the focus now is on helping the family heal and achieve stability. Furthermore, Rowe stated that the next step is to evaluate how city and state systems can improve their practices for locating missing girls. Despite the progress that has been made, there is still much work to be done. Rowe also mentioned that they are awaiting Governor Kathy Hochul’s signature on their legislation.
Bo Deal, a rapper from Chicago and cousin of Brantley, traveled to New York and shared his experiences on his widely-followed Instagram page.
On Tuesday morning, Brantley’s mother and sister boarded a flight to New York. Their main objective was to head straight to the hospital to visit Brantley.
The NYPD was contacted by PIX11 News to obtain further details regarding the case.