Indiana police were searching Tuesday for 30-year-old Najah Ferrell, a mother of five children who vanished nearly a month ago. Unfortunately, she is now counted among the alarming number of African-American women and Black girls who have gone missing across the United States.
Investigators in the town of Avon held a press conference with Ferrell’s family on Thursday to ask for the public’s help in solving this missing person case, South Side Times reported.
“We’re convinced, this family is convinced, this community is convinced also, somebody knows something,” said Avon Police Department Chief of Investigations Brian Nugent.
“She should be here with her boys,” Ferrell’s mother, Paula Gholsen, said at the news conference. “They’ve never been without their mother.”
Ferrell, who has two biological sons and three foster children, was last seen by family members at about 3 a.m. March 15 when she headed to her new job at a Panera sandwich shop in Indianapolis, authorities said.
“She got up for work and told [her fiancé] to get the kids out, because she had to go in,” Gholson told WTHR-TV. “He said that’s the last time he saw her.”
Gholsen was the first family member to report her missing, Ferrell’s younger sister Azaria Joseph told Dateline. The mother notified the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department because she suspected that something happened to her at work.
However, investigators discovered that Ferrell never arrived to work that morning and handed the case over to authorities in Avon.
Investigators discovered Ferrell’s black Nissan Altima about two miles from the Panera. Her items were found along Interstate 465. Nugent has not revealed much more about the search.
Police filed more than 30 search warrants and conducted about 40 interviews with family, friends and people in the area where she was last seen. They did not immediately name a person-of-interest or suspect.
A GoFundMe campaign had raised nearly $4,000 of its $5,000 goal by Tuesday afternoon.
“Her sons have been with their mother since she has been gone. We have received an overwhelming amount of support and many have asked what can they do? Right now we are accepting assistance for her two sons as we make this transition,” the page said.
About 64,000 Black women and girls have been missing since 2014, according to Blacknews.com. Most of them have received little mainstream media attention.
Anyone with information on Ferrell’s whereabouts is urged to contact the Hendricks County Communications Center at 317-839-8700 or Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 317-262-TIPS.