Activist Amber Evans disappeared over a month ago but her community in Columbus, Ohio is continuing to both look for her and keep her name in local and national headlines.
Evans, who works for the Juvenile Justice Coalition and is an activist with the People's Justice Project and March for Our Lives, went missing on January 28. Her car was found near the Scioto River in Downtown Columbus, which has yet to be searched by local investigators. The lack of a search in the river and answers about Evans’ disappearance has many in Ohio’s capital city angry.
Many are accusing Columbus PD of conducting a slow investigation because of Evans’ past criticism of them through her activism. They refute the allegation, claiming that they are working as hard as they can but there have been delays because it’s been too cold to drag the river.
"While every missing persons case is important to us the news has actually aired this case more than many others. We also posted it on our social media pages and don’t commonly do that for missing persons cases," CPD Public information officer Denise Alex-Bouzounis told Refinery29 in an email. "Last year nearly 7,000 missing persons cases were reported to us. That’s a lot. That’s also a tremendous amount of families and loved ones affected. We value everyone regardless of race, political affiliation, career or what not."
Police are also claiming that a reported drowning late last month is proof that it’s currently unsafe for any diver to be in the water at this time. "We had a reported drowning [Feb. 22] and unfortunately could not get into the river because of the rising and moving waters," Alex-Bouzounis said. "We want to get in as soon as we can to see if Amber is in there or not as well as the man who supposedly went in."
Alex-Bouzounis reiterated her department is doing all they can to locate Evans and everyone else currently missing. "We have eight detectives in our missing persons unit. As you can imagine they have big caseloads. We rely on family and friends as well as tips to assist us in locating the missing," she said. "We want to provide closure to Amber’s family as well as the thousands of others who have loved ones missing. Her family and her friends are working with us which helps a great deal."
Amber Evans’ father, Brian Peters, told Refinery29 on February 13 that he doesn’t have any updates and all he really knows is that his daughter “vanished from downtown.” During an interview with the publication on Monday (February 25), Peters says he hopes investigators will be able to search the water soon. He’s also setting up a Facebook page to showcase Amber’s work with the community.
"This page will be for anyone who knew her that she helped in anyway. A page where people can share who Amber was to them," Peters said. "She will always be my beautiful baby girl that changed the direction of my life and gave me purpose. But she gave her life to helping others and activism ... so I want to hear what her life meant to others."
If you or someone you know could provide information about Evans’ disappearance, please contact the Columbus Police Department’s Special Victims Bureau at 614-645-4624 or 614-645-4545.