The Franklin County Coroner’s Office in Ohio identified the body found in the Scioto River on Saturday as 28-year-old community activist Amber Evans who had been missing since January.
“The family has been notified. While this is not the outcome we hoped for, we understand this brings closure for the family. Our thoughts & prayers go out to them,” the Columbus Division of Police tweeted on Sunday.
Evans disappeared on Jan. 28 after a domestic dispute with her boyfriend, WBNS-TV reported. Evans’ mother, Tonya Fischer, told the news outlet that she had received a text message from her daughter that evening that read, “I love you and I’m sorry.”
The police gave these details about the recovery in a Facebook post: “On Saturday, March 23, 2019, members from the Columbus Police Special Victims Bureau were working in conjunction with the Columbus Police Dive team on the Scioto River in the area of the Whittier Street Peninsula. Through the efforts of the detectives and dive team members, a body was recovered from the river. The Franklin County coroner’s office was called in to work with detectives.”
A GoFundMe page that was created on Feb. 6 for Evans had surpassed its fundraising goal of $5,000 by Sunday. Donations to the campaign went into a savings account that her family manages to cover expenses, according to information on the site.
Activists often observe that missing Black women don’t get the same level of attention from investigators and media compared to missing white women.
In 2017, there was an increased awareness of missing Black and Latina girls and young women after a sudden rise in social media attention to cases in the nation’s capital. Black and Missing Foundation reported in 2014 that 64,000 Black women and girls were missing nationwide.
The Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls convened a town hall in April 2017 at the Library of Congress to announce plans to investigate and report on the overlooked problem of trafficked and missing Black children.
“We don’t want to just talk about the problems, we want to think about the solutions,” said Rep. Robin Kelly (D-Ill), a founding member of the caucus, at the town hall.
Panelists at the event said they want to dispel the myth that most missing Black girls are troubled teens who either ran away from home or involved in illegal activities.
Activists called on Congress to put more resources into addressing the problem and to collaborate with government agencies and advocacy groups.